We always try to do our best but recognise that we don't get things right every time.
When you let us know that something has gone wrong, there are two routes that you can take, depending on whether you are looking for us to focus on simply trying to resolve an issue (we refer to this as ‘service recovery’), or whether you want us to investigate it as a formal complaint.
If you're not sure which route to take, you can find out more here.
You can also find out more about how we handle complaints in our complaints policy (pdf 140kb).
The stages of our complaints process
There are two stages to our complaints process:
- acknowledge receipt of a complaint within five working days
- give you a case reference number and let you know when you can expect to hear from your case manager.
Your case manager will:
- investigate and get back to you with their findings within ten working days
- if the case manager needs more time to address your complaint they'll tell you why and agree an extended timeframe with you.
Depending on the outcome of our investigation, we will apologise if we have failed to deliver a satisfactory service, explain what went wrong, take appropriate steps to put things right and also share what we have learned and sought to improve as a result of your case.
You then have ten working days to let us know whether you’re satisfied with the outcome. If you’re not we will do our best to try and resolve your outstanding concerns and will also explain how you can escalate to stage two of our formal complaint process. If we don’t hear back from you the case will be closed.
Our Customer Experience Team (CET) will take over at this point. They will:
- get back to you as soon as possible to confirm the name of the manager handling the case (for some complaints this may involve a review by a complaints panel – please see below for more details)
- carry out a full review of the case and send a response to you within 20 working days
- if they need more time to complete the review they’ll let you know and agree an extended timeframe with you.
Our review will consider whether we properly accounted for all aspects of your complaint at stage one and appropriately acknowledged any failings. It will also establish whether there are further steps we should take to put things right and learn from any mistakes.
At the end of our process you will see that you can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman if you remain unsatisfied. However, even while you are engaging with us during the complaints process, you can contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time to seek advice or guidance on the process or service you are receiving.
The Housing Ombudsman
If you’ve gone through all the stages of our complaints process and remain unsatisfied with our response you can take your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will independently and impartially review your complaint, and provide a decision that it considers fair in all the circumstances. We will comply with any orders and recommendations the Ombudsman makes to resolve your complaint.
Sometimes there are instances where the level of service we have delivered has been particularly unsatisfactory. Where that happens we will take appropriate steps to put things right. You can find out more about the actions we can take in our compensation policy (pdf, 299kb)
We are required to self-assess our complaints service against the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code. Read our latest self-assessment carried out in October 2023.