Skip to main content

We are changing how we manage complaints

We want to improve the way that we manage our residents’ complaints. We’re working with involved residents to make sure that any changes we make are what our residents would want to see, should they be unhappy with our services and wish to complain to us.

We currently manage our complaints with a three stage process:

  • Stage 1 – Investigation
  • Stage 2 – Management review and decision
  • Stage 3 – Final review

We do not believe, however, it should take three attempts to resolve a complaint when our target is to get it right first time. So, we are looking to move to a two stage process, which would involve:

  • Stage 1 – Investigation
  • Stage 2 – Senior management review and decision

This will reduce the time taken for a complaint to escalate to our senior management team. If we cannot agree a resolution, you would be free to take your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service more quickly than you can now.

Currently, we aim to acknowledge complaints within two days and to respond within 10 working days. We struggle to meet the 10 day target at the moment as many complaints can be complex.

With this in mind, we are considering moving to a 20 day target to allow time to complete a full investigation and provide the complaint response. This will ensure we are managing expectations at the beginning of the process and allowing ourselves enough time to thoroughly investigate the complaint.

With repairs complaints, sometimes we can give a final response to the complaint itself, but a plan for follow on repairs has to be put in place which takes time to deliver. We are looking into whether we should close the complaint when the response is given, or keep it open until the repairs are complete.

We collected resident feedback in an online survey in March this year. We learned residents are clearly supportive of a two stage process and agree to a target timescale of no more than 20 working days, provided regular updates are communicated. The vast majority of respondents said they would want their complaint case kept open until all follow on activity is completed. 

During June and July we will test this approach with some of our complaints. If you have a complaint and it is included in this test we will let you know in your acknowledgement letter. 

We expect to introduce the new way of working for all our complaints at the beginning of August 2019.