Complaining About a Social Landlord
Complaining to a Social Landlord
You must first ensure that you have provided the housing association a reasonable opportunity to resolve the problems associated with the behaviour of the tenant.
First contact your housing association through your local neighbourhood office or estate office. However, you can usually find contact details online which may often include a complaints form (if you use an electronic form make sure that you keep a record of what you sent and the date). Make sure you are clear about what you are complaining about and would you would like them to do about the issue.
They will also have a formal complaints procedure. If you obtain a copy of this you will be able to confirm that you have followed the correct steps.
They will need to investigate whether the action they have taken is appropriate and review any decisions made. Again, you should give the housing association a reasonable time period to complete their task.
The Housing Ombudsman Service
The procedure for making a complaint to the housing ombudsman service is not entirely straightforward and is designed for tenants rather than the tenant’s neighbour. In addition, if you contact them directly they may require you to wait for a period of 8 weeks after the housing association (or landlord) has completed their complaint process. In order to speed the process up they request that your complaint is considered through a “designated person”; this will usually be an MP, Councillor or Tenant Panel (the association should let you know if they have set up a tenant panel). The designated person may then refer the case to the Housing Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will use dispute resolution principles to consider complaints.
If your problem is not dealt with appropriately by the housing association or local authority we recommend that that you go to your local ward Councillor and/or MP anyway.
Whilst the Housing Ombudsman service can examine complaints about social landlords, some private landlords and letting agents have elected to be voluntary members and will also be covered by the same process.