Our approach to compensation
We are committed to providing high quality services, but accept that from time to time mistakes may occur. We strive to put things right quickly but in some instances it is appropriate to also offer compensation or a gesture of goodwill.
In making compensation and gesture of goodwill payments, we will be fair and consistent, and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
What we mean by compensation
Compensation is a payment that we offer our residents in certain situations. For example, if we have not met the service standards that we aim to achieve or because you are required to move out of your home in order for us to do work to your property.
We recognise that there are other circumstances where you may be significantly inconvenienced should our service fall short. If this happens, we will make gestures of goodwill as guided by this policy and its related procedure. We will consider gestures of goodwill payments on a case-by-case basis.
What you can expect from our service
Home loss and disturbance payments
If you have lived in your home for at least a year and we ask you to move out permanently, we will give you a home loss payment. You may also be entitled to a disturbance payment to compensate for your moving costs. For permanent moves, we will pay your removal costs as well as the costs of transferring your phone, disconnecting and reconnecting your cooker and washing machine, and other unavoidable costs relating to the move. The costs must be reasonable and you will need to provide receipts.
For temporary moves, we are not legally obliged to make a payment but we may consider contributing to the costs of your move. We consider each case individually.
We offer compensation where we do not complete a repair to your home within our target times (emergency repairs: within 24 hours, urgent repairs: within five working days, routine repairs: within 15 working days), and then fail to meet a second deadline provided to you.
If you are an assured or secure tenant you can request compensation where you carried out an improvement with our consent and your tenancy ends before the life of the improvement expires, provided:
- You sent us two independent quotations for the work (we do not compensate for works you completed yourself)
- You provide evidence of receiving any official permission needed, such as planning permission
Compensation is not payable where your tenancy is ended by court action or you are buying your home.
The minimum amount payable for improvements is £50, and the maximum is £3000.
Gestures of goodwill
We offer gestures of goodwill where:
- We fail to attend an appointment and/or do not give more than 24 hours’ notice of a change to an appointment
- We fail to provide services which are paid for as part of your service charge for over 10 working days (except where this is related to planned works)
- Room/s and service/s are out of use for certain periods of time
- You cannot remain in your home for short periods while works are taking place
- Your heating breaks down and you have to pay extra costs for an alternative way of heating your home, or you incur extra energy costs as a result of using dehumidifiers
- Your belongings are damaged as a result of negligence by Octavia
- You are significantly inconvenienced in other circumstances (at the discretion of managers, but with regard to Octavia’s compensation procedure)
We will not offer compensation or gestures of goodwill where:
- You were not inconvenienced by the fault or failure of service
- We were unable to carry out a repair to target time because reasonable access was not given to your property
- We were unable to carry out a repair to target time due to circumstances outside of our control. For example, loss of facilities or access to suppliers due to public health incidents
- We need to remove flooring or there is damage to laminate (or other difficult to replace flooring) you have laid when we carry out a repair. We are also not responsible for subsequent on-going maintenance of any contents repaired or replaced
- The claim is to compensate for time off work or loss of earnings
- You are taking legal action on the same matter
- The fault was caused by a third party, or was outside of our control. For example, a water leak from a neighbour. We would also not compensate for any damage to decoration caused in these circumstances.
We encourage you to take out contents insurance to cover your belongings and decorations against accidental damage, loss, fire or flood.
In our efforts to treat all of our residents fairly, you will need to provide us our insurance company with relevant evidence when claiming compensation for damaged property, such as:
- Proof of ownership and the value of the lost or damaged item. For example, photos, instruction booklets or receipts
- Evidence of the damage. This may include the damaged items themselves
- Written estimates of repair costs
You will need to give us, or our contactors, access to, or allow inspection of, the damaged property.
You should immediately tell the police about any loss or damage caused by suspected criminal activity. You will need to request a crime reference number and a CAD number and provide us with the details.
Without relevant evidence, we may be unable to deal with your request for compensation or be unable to pay the claim in full.
What will happen when you make a claim for compensation
You should make your compensation claim as soon as possible, ideally within 28 days of the completion of the event, and no later than six months after the event. We encourage you to make insurance claims for damage to home contents within 10 days of the event.
When we make you an offer of compensation, you must contact us within 28 days with a response to the offer. If other matters need to be resolved before you are able to respond to our offer (for example, if you are taking further advice or waiting for a complicated repair to be completed), you should send us an acknowledgement of the offer within 28 days.
You must provide us with a final response to the compensation offer within three months of the offer. After this time, we will withdraw the offer and close the claim.
If you are in arrears, and your arrears is not due to be paid by housing benefit, we will usually credit any compensation or other payment to your rent account unless the compensation is meant for the reimbursement of the cost of a specific item that has been damaged. If this is the case, you will need to provide your bank account details for the payment to be made by the BACS system.
If you have made an insurance claim, you are not eligible for compensation from Octavia.
How to contact us
If you wish to make an enquiry about compensation, you should contact our Customer Contact Team on 020 8354 5500.