This page is to provide you with additional information about our complaints service and performance.

This includes the volumes of complaints we receive at different stages of the process and those that are referred to the Housing Ombudsman Service.

We include the types of complaints that we receive and information on the key learnings that we have gathered from our complaints and areas that we are looking to improve on as result of customer feedback we have received.

The complaints process

We log a formal complaint and provide a stage one response if a customer isn't happy with the service they've received from us. If they aren't happy with the resolution, they can ask for the complaint to be moved to stage two. The complaint will then be reviewed by an independent Customer Experience team. If the customer is still not happy, they can refer their issue to the Housing Ombudsman.

Overall number of complaints received 2022/23

Complaint stage

Q1 2022 (Apr – June)

Q2 2022   (Jul – Sept)

Q3 2022  (Oct – Dec)

Q4 2023 (Jan – Mar)

Total

Stage one

412

577

1131

1537

3657

Stage two

95

121

173

155

544

Total

507

698

1304

1692

4201

Housing Ombudsman investigations received 2022/23

The table below shows the number of our complaints that were referred and investigated by the Housing Ombudsman Service. The outcomes of the investigations are detailed below. The conclusion of those referrals range from 'no maladministration' (no service failure found on the landlords part) to 'severe maladministration', where a serious level of service failure was found.

We received a total of 73 investigations. This means that 1.73% of our complaints were referred to the Housing Ombudsman and 0.97% of our complaints were found to have some form of service failure found against them.

Key learning points which we received from these cases were around the application of compensation to be in line with the Housing Ombudsman guidelines, record keeping, ensuring that we adhere to our complaints process and taking into account the individual circumstances of the resident when making decisions.

Overall case determinations 2022/23

Landlord (Peabody and Catalyst combined)

No maladministration

Service failure

Partial service failure/Mal

Maladministration

Partial/Severe Maladministration

Total

Total

32

10

21

5

5

73

 

The type of complaints we receive

The chart below shows which areas of service complaints related to in the last financial year (2022-2023). They concern a range of issues, but fall mainly into one of three areas:

  • The time we take to do something
  • Lack of communication
  • A dispute about action or a decision we’ve taken.

The type of complaints we receive

The two service areas we receive the majority of complaints about are:

1) Repairs. With 107,000 homes and around 14,000 – 18,000 repairs per month carried out by our in-house repairs team or our contractors, this is unsurprising given the high volume of jobs being managed on a daily basis.

2) Our Neighbourhoods team. These are mostly around anti-social behaviour (ASB). This includes how residents feel the issue is being handled or progressed or when they are not happy with the outcome of an ASB case.

Learning from complaints and improving our services

It’s really important to take on board the feedback our customers give us as part of our complaints process and learn from it. Here you can find details of some of the areas we’re currently reviewing and improvements we’re looking to introduce.

Our repairs service

A high percentage of our repair complaints relate to damp and mould. We, along with other housing associations, are working with the Housing Ombudsman to explore new ways to deal with damp and mould enquiries and complaints through:

  • looking at specialist services we can employ
  • better diagnosis of the causes
  • clear explanations for residents of how to minimise damp, mould and condensation
  • introducing new monitoring and alert technologies.

As a result we are looking to reduce complaints in this area during 2023 and will report back on progress later in the year.

  • We are getting in touch with residents who tell us they aren’t satisfied when they complete our post-repair survey. This proactive approach means we can find out what the issue is and resolve it, rather than the customer having to raise a complaint.

How we deal with antisocial behaviour (ASB) and transfer requests

From some of the complaints we’ve received that relate to this area, we’ve identified that we need to manage residents’ expectations better and also provide explanations for why we have taken a certain decision or course of action in a clearer and more empathetic way. The feedback from customers who ask to be moved because of ASB has already led to improvements in the wording of the letters we send about transfer requests, and also the information the lettings team are provided with about the types of vacant properties we have so they can keep residents better informed.

We have also identified that we need to improve our ways of working relating to record keeping. This ensures that we have accurate information to record the things we do and why we do them.

We are working also to improve the way we work with residents who have vulnerabilities to ensure we take these fully into account before or during a complaint is made and that all decisions and outcomes are fair in the circumstances.

We are currently working on these areas and hope that by providing our neighbourhoods teams with more training and guidance it will help to reduce the number of complaints and provide a better overall service for our residents.

Other useful sources of ideas for improving services

It isn’t only feedback from customers who raise complaints that results in improvements to the way we deliver services. We take into account feedback from a range of sources, including:

  • our ongoing customer satisfaction surveys
  • from determinations that the Housing Ombudsman issues
  • suggestions from our teams who are well placed to see where we can do things more effectively and deliver better customer service.

Housing Ombudsman’s complaint-handling code

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.