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The complaint process explained

Making a complaint What happens when I complain | Putting things right | Housing Ombudsman

 

We now use a 2-stage complaint process. We are committed to carrying out a successful investigation and finding a resolution at the first opportunity. Our aim is to provide not only a shorter process, but an improved experience overall.

Stage 1 (Full investigation and response)

Working with the Resolution Officer, the team responsible for the service you have complained about will investigate and provide its response.

Stage 2 (Senior Manager Review)

If you are dissatisfied with our response at stage 1, you may ask for your complaint to be reviewed by a senior manager. This will usually be a Director or Head of Service from a different team.

In some circumstances there may be a reason why we decide not to escalate your complaint to stage 2. For example, if you are waiting for a repair and the appointment to carry it out is imminent.

This decision will always be taken by a senior manager and the reason why will be explained to you.  

When a stage 2 review takes place, you can expect to be contacted by the senior manager to discuss your reasons for dissatisfaction and what you would like to see happen to resolve your complaint.

The stage 2 review is not a repeat of the full investigation, but the actions and decisions taken at stage 1 will be examined to check if they were thorough, reasonable and fair.

The outcome of the stage 2 review represents the end of our internal complaint process. We hope we will have been able to resolve your complaint. If this is not the case, you may at this point ask the Housing Ombudsman Service to review our responses to you.

We will always explain the options to you at the end of our internal complaint process.

Timescales

At both stages of our internal complaints process our target timescale for responding to your complaint is 20 working days (four weeks). You will be given an actual calendar date as your target response date by your Resolution Officer. Within this time, we will agree with you regular updates.

We do not intend to take this long to respond to your complaint if the time is not needed. We will monitor time taken to respond to complaints and publish our performance on our website.

If the target of 20 working days for a stage 1 complaint is reached without an update provided about the deadline, at this point the complaint will be escalated automatically to stage 2 for a senior manager review.

Case closure

We will monitor the time taken between receiving your complaint and providing you with our response. If there are follow on actions in response to your complaint, e.g. repairs, we will keep your case open until these actions are completed.