The Housing Ombudsman Service published a new Complaint Handling Code in July 2020. In March 2022 this was refreshed, with a new Code going live from 1 April 2022.
You can read more about this here.
The key areas of both Codes include:
- 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 are recommended, 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.
All landlords are required to self-assess and publish against this new Code. Our assessment of this is here. This has been reviewed by our Complaints Review Panel, which is made up of involved tenants, as well as our Leadership team and Board.
There’s a number of new things we have introduced because of this Code, including an objective for all of our team members in complaint management. But we’ve also included preventing complaints.
We know from the complaints we receive that communication and not taking ownership are common themes, and we’re determined to improve this.
In this new Code, there’s one area we’re choosing not to implement – this is 4.9 in the ‘best practice’ items. We think it’s important members of our team and contractors are named in our complaint responses, so you can see we’re being transparent in our complaints handling. There may be some occasions reasons we don’t do this, but this will not be our starting point.
For further information on making a complaint, or to feedback on the good service you’ve received from us, please click here.
To view last year’s assessment, please click here.