Redbridge Council was ordered to pay £3,500 compensation after it housed a homeless family of four in a single hotel room outside London for more than a year.

The amount was decided by the local government ombudsman on August 11, after investigating a complaint by a mum-of-three identified only as “Mrs B” for privacy reasons.

In January 2018, Mrs B was evicted from her privately rented Redbridge home after a dispute with her landlord, who she alleged refused to fix a leak in the roof she reported in June 2017.

She applied to be housed by the council, which placed her and her three children in a single hotel room outside London while it considered her case.

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The ombudsman found Redbridge Council took eight months to decide whether to house Mrs B, adding: “I can find no satisfactory explanation for the delay.

“There are several gaps in the records suggesting that for weeks at a time the council took no action on Mrs B’s case.

“The council should have considered if it was appropriate for Mrs B to remain in such accommodation for more than three months. It did not do this and this was a fault.”

The hotel room Mrs B’s family was housed in was 12 miles away from their former home, had no cooking facilities and, for several months, only one double bed.

Read more: Redbridge Council told to compensate residents four-figure sums over failings

The ombudsman adds: “The council has also agreed to reflect on the faults in this case and consider how it might avoid a repeat.

“It has told us... there have been backlogs in processing homeless cases and it has a plan of action in place which has resulted in more staffing to reduce this.

“It has further agreed that, as a result of this complaint, it will introduce a short procedure to advise staff on how to review the suitability of interim or temporary accommodation.”

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