If you are not happy with the response to your complaint you can request for it to be escalated to Stage 2. You must do this within 30 days of receiving your response. An escalated response is normally looked at by a director. Your escalation will be processed and acknowledged within two working days. Once your escalated complaint has been investigated you will receive a response within 10 working days.
If your complaint cannot be resolved within 10 working days, we will let you know when you can expect a response.
What happens if I'm still not happy with your response?
If after receiving your response to your escalated complaint you are still not happy, you can take your complaint to the independent Ombudsman who will review your complaint free of charge. The nature of your original complaint will depend on which ombudsman you refer your complaint to. The Ombudsman will want to see that every effort has been made to resolve the complaint locally before investigating.
If you are a housing tenant and remain dissatisfied after receiving your response to your escalated complaint, you can refer the matter to either a designated person or the Housing Ombudsman.
Referring an eligible complaint to a designated person means that you can send your complaint to your local councillor, your MP or the local Tenants’ Panel. At this stage, your complaint will be reviewed, and a decision will be taken on whether the complaint can be resolved to the satisfaction of both the tenant and the council. Your designated person has the power to refer the complaint to the Ombudsman if they feel this is the most appropriate channel.
You may decide not to refer your complaint to the Tenant Complaints Panel and refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman instead. However, complaints cannot be sent to the Ombudsman until eight weeks after receiving your final response from the council.
Local Government Ombudsman or Housing Ombudsman?
In most cases, it will be the Local Government Ombudsman that you need to take your complaint to. If however, the original complaint is relating to housing you may need to refer it to the Housing Ombudsman.
You can ask the relevant Ombudsman to independently investigate, depending on the nature of your complaint:
Local Government Ombudsman
Complaints relating to the following issues will be handled by the Local Government Ombudsman:
- Housing allocations – assessment of applications
- Homelessness – discharge of legal duty to the homeless, advice and prevention
- General housing advice – housing options, advice relating to private landlords
- Housing benefit – application for benefit
- Housing Improvement Grants – advice, processing of applications, payment of mandatory and discretionary grants, assessment by Occupational Therapists.
- Anti-social behaviour – not relating to the social landlord function
- Noise nuisance – statutory noise and other nuisance reported to the Environmental Health Section
- Sale or disposal of land on housing estates – right to buy, sale of other properties or land
- Planning and building control at properties owned by the Council – planning permission, building control, enforcement
- Delivery of adult services.
Get in touch with the Local Government Ombudsman via their website.
Complaints relating to the following issues will be handled by the Housing Ombudsman:
- Leasehold Services – sale and repair of leasehold properties, mortgage rescue schemes
- Moving to a property – transfers, mutual exchanges, type of tenancy offered
- Rents and service charges
- Occupancy rights – conditions of tenancy, succession/assignment (passing on your tenancy), possession proceedings
- Property condition – repairs, empty properties, planned maintenance
- Tenant behaviour – anti-social behaviour, noise nuisance, harassment
- Estate management – use and maintenance of communal areas, grounds maintenance, parking
- Complaint handling
- Compensation – home loss or disturbance, improvements, damage or discretionary payments.
Get in touch with the Housing Ombudsman via their website