The document is dated April 2009 and indeed alleges (amongst other things) that the complaint system within Lambeth Living has broken down and that the organisation is is bad at rent collection and the collection of service charges. Most alarmingly, the number of properties without Gas Safety Certificates is high. Anybody who knows anything about property management (and I know a little) might be aware that if a house blows up on account of faulty gas equipment (and indeed has no valid Gas Safety Certificate), and anybody is killed, the people within a company responsible for arranging the certificate might be charged with Corporate Manslaughter. There's a RICS report here to such end, should there be any interested landlords reading. It's a very serious alleged failing of a landlord duty.
The report (I'm presuming the copy I've received is genuine) does also say some good things. I wouldn't want anybody to think that Lurking about SE11 is unfair in its reporting, so it's worth recording that estate management is considered to be delivered effectively with "reasonable" standard of ground maintenance and cleaning, and that some improvements are beginning to emerge from the service overall.
However, the report is incredibly damning. There is no escaping the fact that major reform will have to be carried out. I suppose the main question will be; is there money to carry out the reforms of the department, necessary to drag it up from its weak position?
I actually do have a suggestion on the matter. In my view, property management is all about systems, and software systems in particular. With the implementation of excellent software, staff trained to follow procedure and use the software, and good relationships with maintenance teams, it's possible to turn around a management service relatively quickly.
Personally, I find it very interesting that this report should have been leaked so close to the Princes ward by-election. I doubt it has been leaked for precisely that reason (since the inspections took place in February, and relate to the entirety of Lambeth and not just SE11), but it's not going to help the local Labour team in their campaign efforts.
Ed: Actually, I think I'm going to change my mind about the fact that I said 34k properties aren't a lot to manage in the grand scheme of things. There's a recently published housing strategy by Lambeth Council (2009 - 2013) which suggests that Lambeth Living is the largest ALMO in London, which would imply they have a huge number of properties to manage. On reflection, perhaps that might be the problem.