Posted on 12 December 2023
The Housing Ombudsman has announced it will be carrying out an investigation to look into how we’ve have handled some customer complaints and whether there are any patterns between cases.
We’re sorry that, on occasion, we’ve let some of our customers down and we take every complaint we receive extremely seriously.
We’re looking forward to working with the Ombudsman and welcome the opportunity to reflect on where we’ve got things wrong. We’ll also be able to demonstrate how we’ve changed, so that we’re listening to customers, and working with them to improve their services, by putting their needs first.
We’ve made fundamental changes to how we work since some of these complaints were raised a couple of years ago. For example, we’ve improved how we tackle damp and mould, with more training for colleagues, thousands more homes inspected and an extra £2m spent addressing issues last year.
We’ve also streamlined our complaints handling process and hired more colleagues to resolve cases faster and keep customers updated. This has already had a positive effect, with almost three quarters of customers telling us they find it easy to communicate with our Complaints team.
We recognise we must continue to build on the positive changes we’ve already delivered. That’s why, in response to customers’ feedback, we’re creating smaller ‘neighbourhoods’, served by local teams. This means we can communicate better and more regularly with customers, can be clear about who’s responsible for resolving problems, and be more visible in our communities.
The investigation is expected to take between six and nine months, with the Ombudsman publishing its findings and recommendations later in 2024.