Compensation Policy

Purpose This policy sets out how Mount Green Housing Association Ltd (“Mount Green”) manages compensation claims.
Applies to This policy applies to all residents of Mount Green and all tenancies managed by Mount Green (“residents”). It also applies to all employees, temporary/agency workers, and any volunteers providing services within Mount Green (“team members”).
Date first implementedApril 2023
Author Customer Experience Manager
Date approved by Exec TeamMarch 2023
Date approved by Resident
Committee Group
January 2023
Review Frequency Every3 years
Service Area Housing Services

Document Status: This is a controlled document. Any printed copies of this document are not controlled. As a controlled document, this document should not be saved onto local drives but always accessed from the Policy Library.

Consequential Amendments
(made prior to full policy revision)

Amendment DateNature of AmendmentRevised by
31st May 2023Removal of 7.10 – reference to offsetting compensation against existing debt. Practice stopped as advised by the Housing Ombudsman.Customer Experience
Manager

Current Policy Revision

Date revisedDecember 2022
Revised byCustomer Experience Manager
Executive approval dateMarch 2023
Next revision dueMarch 2026

1. Policy Statement

1.1 This policy sets out how Mount Green manages discretionary compensation claims. It gives examples of the circumstances in which it may be necessary for Mount Green to pay compensation for a service failure, or to anyone who goes through our complaints process.

1.2 We acknowledge that sometimes things go wrong, and we recognise that the way we handle service failures will affect the quality of our future relationships with our residents.

2. Definitions

2.1 There are two types of compensation; payments that the landlord is obliged to make, usually due to legal requirements, and discretionary compensation, which is a payment the landlord chooses to make.

2.2 A compensation payment, either obligatory or discretionary, is a sum of money in recognition of loss or detriment to a complainant.

2.3 A good will gesture may sometimes be given to recognise a shortcoming in the way Mount Green have delivered the service. This could be a shopping voucher or a gift.

3. Policy Principles

3.1 This policy clarifies the circumstances in which we will award compensation where a service failure has been identified.

3.2 We are dedicated to ensuring that a transparent, fair and consistent approach is taken when dealing with compensation.

3.3 We will ensure that compensation is proportionate and means of satisfactory redress.

3.4 This policy does not cover compensation awarded from a housing disrepair claim. This would be agreed as part of the Pre-action Protocol for Housing Conditions Claims. See Sec 9 for details of exclusions.

4. Implementation

4.1 This policy will be made available to residents through the Mount Green website.

4.2 Residents will be made aware of this policy when they make a compensation request or experience a service failure.

4.3 Changes to this policy and its associated procedure will be communicated to the Housing Services team, the Customer Experience team, and the Property Services team.

4.4 All team members who handle complaints will be required to read this policy, and to confirm that they have read and understood it.

5. Other Policies

5.1 This policy should be used in conjunction with the following policies:

  • Complaints Policy
  • Decant Policy
  • Repairs & Maintenance Policy

6. Responsibility

6.1 The Customer Experience Manager is responsible for ensuring sufficient funds are available for compensation claims and approving compensation payments. The Customer Experience Manager should record and monitor spend against budget.

6.2 Compensation or a goodwill gesture can be recommended by any team member investigating a complaint or service failure, but approval will need to be provided by the Customer Experience Manager.

6.3 All team members are responsible for feeding back any improvements that could be made to this policy and its associated procedure, or problems they have found while trying to implement it.

7. Awarding Compensation

7.1 Compensation payments are not automatic and Mount Green are keen to avoid creating a culture where compensation is expected.

7.2 Claims will be treated reasonably and with urgency, ensuring that all efforts are made to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Claims must be made within 6 months of the failure, fault or event. Rent and Service charge must continue to be paid while Mount Green try and resolve the complaint or claim.

7.3 There may be no right to compensation from Mount Green where any loss or damage would normally be covered by a household contents insurance policy and where Mount Green have not been at fault.

7.4 Where a resident has made approved alterations that are damaged and where Mount Green have not been at fault, home contents insurance should cover the re-instatement of improvements.

7.5 Where compensation may be appropriate Mount Green will consider the following:

  • The level of inconvenience, distress and disruption caused by the failure.
  • The length of time taken to resolve the problem.
  • Any known costs that have been reasonably incurred subject to evidence from the resident.

7.6 In most cases an offer of compensation will be made in full and final settlement of the complaint and the resident should be aware that their acceptance of the offer will be considered confirmation that the complaint has been resolved to their satisfaction. Mount Green will seek written agreement of this prior to any payments being made.

7.7 In exceptional cases, where a service failure is causing financial hardship, and with the approval of the Assistant Director of Housing Services, Mount Green may pay compensation during the complaints process.

7.8 An acceptance of compensation does not prevent a complainant escalating to the Housing Ombudsman.

7.9 The Ombudsman can provide fair and proportionate remedies to complaints where maladministration or service failure has been identified. There are a wide range of proportionate remedies which include both non-financial remedies and compensation.

Goodwill Gestures

7.10 Mount Green may offer a discretionary goodwill gesture where it believes it will restore faith and confidence in the organisation. Payments in these circumstances are not an admission of liability.

7.11 Goodwill gestures can include (but are not limited to) flowers, chocolates or vouchers.

8. Repair Compensation

8.1 Mount Green advises residents to take out contents insurance to cover against accidental damage.

8.2 Where a resident believes that a contractor or team member has unintentionally damaged personal belongings, residents will need to provide reasonable proof of the damage paused in order to have a claim considered.

8.3 Mount Green recognise that it has a responsibility for the contractors we employ and therefore in some instances compensation will be offered by Mount Green relating to a service failure by a contractor. Residents also have the right to deal directly with contractors to claim compensation for a service failure.

8.4 Mount Green will not award compensation for defects in new build properties. This would be covered within the developer’s contract. We may award where there has been significant service failure in the rectification of defects.

8.5 Mount Green will reimburse the increase in energy costs incurred if we provide a dehumidifier or additional heaters to a resident to help with the progress of a repair.

8.6 The loss or failure of a service that is chargeable to our residents, will be reimbursed through the service charge process for variable service charges. The reimbursement is not a cash benefit and will reflect in future service charges.

8.7 When the failure to carry out repairs results in the loss or limited use of rooms or services for unreasonable periods of time, compensation based on the rent (not mortgage), may be made. If a resident owns their home this will not apply if the loss is covered by their insurance.

8.8 Compensation for the loss of rooms or facilities only applies where residents have not been temporarily decanted by Mount Green.

8.9 If the loss of facility is the result of a problem beyond Mount Green’s control as landlord, no compensation will be payable. Examples of this include localised or national power cuts, repairs being carried out by utility companies and blocked street sewers.

8.10 If residents pay Mount Green rent, the following calculations will be used where there has been a loss of rooms or facilities due to maintenance or repair

Rooms / Services LostCompensation due*
Loss of living room 20% weekly rent
Loss of Bedroom (is used)20% weekly rent
Loss of kitchen30% weekly rent
Loss of bathroom30% weekly rent
Loss of garden 10% weekly rent
Loss of heating (after published
response times during October to
March only)
£5 per day
Loss of hot water (after published
response times)
£5 per day
*No more than 100% of rent can be paid for loss of use of a home. Please refer to our decant policy.
*No additional heating or hot water compensation will be paid where we have taken reasonable steps to provide an alternative source of heating or hot water.

8.11 Where a resident is vulnerable or is significantly impacted by the failure, Mount Green will take into consideration the impact of any room or service loss and consider this when awarding compensation.

9. Exclusions

Mount Green will not pay compensation for the following:

  • Where the failure or mistake has caused little or no inconvenience to those affected
  • Where the fault is caused by a third party who is not contracted by Mount Green, for example an energy supplier.
  • Where the resident can claim on their own insurance or where it is covered by Mount Green’s insurance.
  • Where the resident has been negligent or failed to comply to the terms of their tenancy or lease
  • Loss of earnings
  • Where the matter is subject to legal proceedings
  • Circumstances beyond Mount Green’s control such as power cuts or severe weather
  • Where payments are made for a decant (see decant policy)

10. Right to Appeal

10.1 If a resident disagrees with the outcome of their claim they can appeal through the complaints process.

11. Monitoring

11.1 Mount Green is committed to providing on-going training to residents, team members and Board Members to ensure awareness and understanding of this policy and associated procedure.

11.2 This policy will be reviewed in line with changes in working practices, legislation or regulatory requirements.

11.3 Compensation claims will be monitored annually through complaints analysis.

11.4 Offering or paying compensation outside the term of the policy constitute a breach of policy.

12. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

12.1 For Mount Green, diversity is about respecting people’s individual differences and ensuring that all people that come into contact with us have access to the same high standards of behaviour and service.

12.2 We are committed to ensuring that no resident will be treated less favourably because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation.