• Case ref:
    201802907
  • Date:
    December 2018
  • Body:
    Falkirk Council
  • Sector(s):
    Local Government
  • Subject:
    repairs and maintenance
  • Outcome:
    Upheld, recommendations

Summary

Mr C complained that he was unreasonably charged for additional works he had not agreed to, or been advised of, following on from his initial agreement for smaller works to be carried out by the council to his property. Mr C said that the increased charge was unreasonable.

We found that, having decided to charge Mr C for the additional works, the council did not follow their own procedures in how they authorised, inspected and charged for the repair or communicated with Mr C. There was also a delay of six months after completing the works before the council queried the increased invoice from the council's building maintenance division, and invoiced Mr C. Therefore, we upheld Mr C's complaint.

Recommendations

What we asked the organisation to do in this case:

  • Apologise to Mr C for not following the correct process. The apology should meet the standards set out in the SPSO guidelines on apology available at www.spso.org.uk/leaflets-and-guidance.
  • Consider whether a deduction of the administrative charge is appropriate in light of the failings identified.

What we said should change to put things right in future:

  • Ensure works invoices which have increased substantially are queried within a reasonable timescale.
  • Ensure invoices are issued to owner occupiers within a reasonable timescale.

We have asked the organisation to provide us with evidence that they have implemented the recommendations we have made on this case by the deadline we set.