Our complaints process
Our staff always work hard to provide the best possible standard of service for customers, however we understand there are times when you may be dissatisfied or not happy with the service you have received.
If this does happen then you can contact us to make a complaint.
Our Compliments Complaints And Comments Policy sets out how we deal with complaints and the different stages we use to process a complaint.
You can also find out more information below about how we process your complaints and the standards we have to achieve.
For more information about the number of complaints we receive and how quickly we respond take a look at our Performance Page.
If you feel like you need to take an issue to the formal complaint stage then we have a strong and clear process for doing so.
This process gives you the confidence that we will deal with your complaint in a timely manner and sets out what we need from you to get to the bottom of the issue.
We take complaints seriously and will always try to resolve any issues straight away when you first contact us. If you do go on to make a complaint, during Stage 1 we will:
Acknowledge your complaint within three working days
Investigate your complaint within 10 working days, keeping you informed as much as possible during this process
Give you a full response by your preferred contact method when the investigation is complete
Depending upon the nature of the issues raised and the outcome of our investigation, we will then
Agree a resolution with you, where appropriate
Apologise and give you a fair and honest response
We aim to provide an accessible, fair and effective complaints procedure for all of our customers.
If you are not happy with the outcome you can ask for it to be reviewed under Stage 2 of our complaints procedure. Please let us know about this within 20 working days from receiving your Stage 1 response.
All Stage 2 complaints are reviewed by a Head of Service and our aim is to respond within 20 working days.
If you have already made a complaint to us and are not happy with the way it has been handled - or you feel the issues you raised have not been addressed to your satisfaction - then you have the right to contact the Housing Ombudsman.
The Housing Ombudsman offers a free, independent and impartial service to help resolve complaints made about landlords.
You can contact the ombudsman at:
Housing Ombudsman Service PO Box 152
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
Meet the Ombudsman
The Housing Ombudsman's Office also run a series of events called 'Meet the Ombudsman'. They help raise awareness about the Housing Ombudsman's service.
The events are held monthly and offer tenants a forum to directly ask the Ombudsman questions about the service and what they do. The Ombudsman will not be able to discuss individual cases at these events.
They hold the events in different regions, hosted by member organisations. The next events are taking place as shown below:
- Sandwell Council - 22 January (1pm-2pm)
- Cobalt Housing - 20 February (1pm-2pm)
- Gentoo Group - 27 February (1pm-2pm)
- Ipswich Borough Council - 01 March (1pm-2pm)
- Crawley Homes - 08 March (1pm-2pm)
For further information about the Meet the Ombudsman Events visit the Housing Ombudsman's website shown above.
In April 2022 The Housing Ombudsman published a new Complaint Handling Code, setting out good practice that will allow landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.
Key areas in the Code are:
- Universal definition of a complaint
- Providing easy access to the complaints procedure and ensuring residents are aware of it, including their right to access the Housing Ombudsman Service
- The structure of the complaints procedure - only two stages necessary and clear timeframes set out for responses
- Ensuring fairness in complaint handling with a resident-focused process
- Taking action to put things right and appropriate remedies
- Creating a positive complaint handling culture through continuous learning and improvement
- Demonstrating learning in Annual Reports.
- The Code is part of the Ombudsman’s new powers in the revised Housing Ombudsman Scheme.
The self-assessment was completed by our Customer Relations Team and our independent Tenant Appeals Panel. It has also been approved by our Executive Management Team and Board. You can find a copy here.
The 'Make Things Right' campaign
The Government have launched the 'Make Things Right' campaign to make sure that social housing residents who are struggling to resolve their problems and need support, are aware of how to make a complaint.
You can find more information on the Make Things Right website.