Brent Council handed out almost £50,000 in compensation last year following housing complaints.

Its housing department received 800 complaints across 2017/18 covering subjects including poor repairs, lack of enforcement and communication issues.

More than four in ten of these cases resulted in the council accepting at least some responsibility – though just ten per cent led to a pay-out.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, deputy leader of Brent Council, explained that, where appropriate, the authority was happy to admit culpability.

She said: “If we recognise that we are at fault, we will hold our hands up and say so.

“But in terms of complaints, things are going well – we are improving the service in the face of constant pressure, which is a good sign.”

She reiterated the council’s commitment to dealing with complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This included the fact that the number of stage one complaints – those answered within 20 days – against the council dropped by 16 from the year before.

However, stage two housing complaints – those which required a 30-day response time – increased by 18 in the same timeframe.

In terms of complaints taken further to the Local Government Ombudsman, eight were upheld, eight were dismissed and four were closed after initial enquiries.

Cllr McLennan said that when it comes to protecting the council’s interests – again, where appropriate – compensation amounts had dropped by more than £700 from 2016/17.

However, the number of cases where the council admitted responsibility had increased by roughly two per cent.