Handling codes and guidance

Local government and Social Care Ombudsman handling guidance

We adhere to Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman guidance on effective complaint handling, which outlines guidance to ensure complaints are properly identified, investigated and resolved, to ensure an effective complaints system that helps improve services.

The guidance also examines statutory procedures for social care complaints, advice on dealing with third-party complaints and how to draw out learning.

Housing Ombudsman Complaints handling code

On the 7 July 2020 the Housing Ombudsman published the New Complaint Handling code. It sets out good practice to allow landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.

The Housing Ombudsman instructed all landlords to carry out a self-assessment by 31st December 2020 and share the findings with their boards and publish the results. This was to make sure we are compliant with the Code and that we make improvements to how we handle complaints.

Although our policy was mostly compliant, we did make some improvements to our policy and processes as a result of the self-assessment, and other steps were already being taking to make sure we apply the learning from complaints we receive.

The self-assessment identified that we needed to:

  • be clearer in how our policy affects tenants
  • define what we mean by ‘complaint’
  • explain more clearly the Housing Ombudsman, their role and what support they can provide throughout the complaints process for tenants
  • update the information provided to stakeholders to support their understanding of our process
  • explain who manages complaints handling
  • describe how our complaints process falls into a two stage process
  • add in the opportunity for all complainants to hear feedback, the findings and outcome before receiving the resolution letter
  • be clear on what happens if complaints are received via social media
  • be clear on what happens where legal proceedings are underway

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