Complaints about Housing Services

We are committed to providing high quality housing service. There may be times when things go wrong, and you do not feel satisfied. When this happens, we want to hear about it, so that we can explain things and try our best to put them right. Please do not worry if you make a complaint, that we will treat you unfavourably because of it, this will not happen. You have the right to tell us if something is wrong and we need to know.

The ways you can tell us about your complaint

Complaints, comments or compliments all help us to improve the way we do things, you can tell us about a complaint, provide positive and constructive feedback or make a comment using our online form - this will immediately log your complaint or comment onto our system. You will receive confirmation and a unique reference number and password which will enable you to track the progress of your complaint or comment online.  Alternatively, you can call our complaints line on 01908 253817.

Complaints, comments or compliments form

The definition of a complaint

We define a complaint as a - “A clear expression of dissatisfaction about a Council service (whether that service is provided directly by the Council or by a contractor or partner) including the standard of service, action or lack of action, decision taken by the Council, or the way in which staff carry out their duties.”

You can complain if you think we have:

  • Done something wrong
  • Behaved unfairly or not politely
  • Not carried out a service to an agreed standard
  • Not responded to your request for a service within our stated timescale
  • Not provided a service to the standard stated
  • Staff who are rude or unhelpful
  • Not followed our own policies, rules or procedures
  • Made a decision without consideration of all of the facts

Our Customer Feedback Policy also lists items that will not normally be considered as a complaint. These include:

  • A housing repair
  • A request for compensation
  • Issues that are in court or have already been heard by a court or a tribunal
  • Commercial or contract matters
  • Wanting information or an explanation of a council policy or practice
  • An appeal against a Housing application or statutory notices (these are dealt with under other procedures)

Our Two-Stage Complaints Process

Stage 1 - In most cases problems can be sorted out quickly and satisfactory at stage 1. The Investigating Officer will look into your complaint and what you think ought to be done to put things right. You will receive contact from them within 5 working days and we aim to provide a full response within 10 to 20 working days. More complex cases may require more time.

Stage 2 - If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can request that the matter be reinvestigated at stage 2 of our complaints process. To request a further investigation please contact the Customer Feedback Team within 20 working days of receiving your response, or where applicable within 20 working days of works agreed within this response being completed. Please set out your reasons for dissatisfaction with the outcome at stage 1. This information will then be reviewed, taking into consideration what has been investigated at stage 1 and your reasons for why this has not fulfilled your expectations.  If it is deemed that the council’s response will stay the same, we may confirm a final decision at stage 1, however if we agree that a further investigation is required then the matter will be escalated to stage 2.

Housing Ombudsman - Please note that you can contact Housing Ombudsman Service throughout your complaint. For more information visit the Housing Ombudsman Service website.

Consent and Data Protection

Anyone can make a complaint on your behalf if you are unable to do so. They will need signed authorisation from you.  Please be assured that all complaints, comments, and compliments will be dealt with in confidence.

Time limit for making complaints

We will not normally consider a complaint that is made more than twelve months after the individual first became aware of the issue they want to complain about.

Housing Customer Feedback Policy

Complaint handling code self-assessment

The Complaint Handling Code sets out good practice for landlords to respond to complaints. You can find it online on Housing Ombudsman website. Each year we assess ourselves against the code, and you can find our assessments below.