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Our consultations

Here you can find information relating to consultations about the Housing Ombudsman Service.

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Our business plan 2021-22

March 2021

This consultation report summarises the responses to our consultation.

November 2020

We have published a consultation paper seeking feedback on our business plan 2021-22. It is set within the context of the Social Housing White Paper and its strengthened role for the Ombudsman, plus the continued challenge of Covid-19 and our ongoing transformation programme.  

We have made good progress towards our overall objectives with average determination times continuing to reduce while quality and positive customer feedback have been maintained.  

The consultation focuses on two key areas that will help shape our future development. The first concerns raising resident awareness of the role of the service and redress, a key part of the White Paper. An Ombudsman led initiative planned is the creation of a new Resident Panel with 100 members to support engagement and provide feedback as our service evolves 

We will also be inviting landlords to host quarterly ‘Meet the Ombudsman’ events around the country. This will provide an opportunity for their residents to discuss the lessons identified in the latest published Insight Report with the Ombudsman and his team.  

The second key area for future development is expanding work on learning with landlords, with a comprehensive range of complaint handling information, tools and training and encouraging the sharing of best practice between members. Targeted support will be provided for landlords with particular issues, higher maladministration rates or complaint handling failure orders.  

The consultation is open until 5pm on Tuesday 22 December 2020. Full details on how to respond are set out in the consultation document  


Our business plan 2020-21 and the Scheme

March 2020

These consultation documents summarise the responses to our consultation for the business plan 2020-21 and the revised Scheme (to take effect from 1 July 2020).

October 2019

We launched consultations on two documents aimed at providing a faster, more accessible and more transparent service.

Both the Business Plan for 2020-21 and revised Housing Ombudsman Scheme propose significant changes to meet the challenges of unprecedented demand for our service and respond to resident and landlord expectations.

The consultation on the Business Plan 2020-21 closed on 6 December 2019, and the consultation on the Scheme run until 20 December 2019.

The Business Plan 2020-21 sets out new approaches for handling casework based on a new, more efficient operating model. It includes plans to support earlier resolution of complaints within landlords’ complaint procedures as well as faster, high-quality decisions on complaints in its formal remit.

We aim to achieve our fastest determination rate on record, effectively halving average case handling times over the next two years. In addition the service will be more transparent, publishing more information on performance, landlord reports and all determinations. The service improvements planned require additional resources so an increased subscription is proposed for the first time in three years, together with a new approach. This would see the rate capped at £2.16 per home over the next two years with the aim of giving landlords longer-term certainty.

The Housing Ombudsman Scheme governs how the service works, setting out the matters that can and cannot be considered within the Ombudsman’s role. Changes proposed would increase awareness of the service and support consistent complaint handling practice across landlords. A new power would help to ensure evidence is provided in a timely manner to accelerate complaint resolution, with the initial evidence requested not being received in an estimated 25% of cases. Another new power to conduct further investigations beyond the initial complaint would help to identify any potential systemic failure.

Our corporate plan 2019-22 and business plan 2019-20

June 2019

This consultation report summarises the responses to our consultation.

November 2018

As we develop our three-year corporate plan for 2019-22 and the supporting business plan for year one, we are asking for views from stakeholders. These views are important to us and ensure we are providing a service that is relevant and meets customer needs.

Since our last corporate planning exercise, both social housing and consumer redress are receiving much greater attention. We have set out an ambitious programme over the three-year period to fulfil our four strategic objectives. The consultation document has an introduction to each objective plus our priorities over the three yeas and the key activities for year one. The final section focuses on our subscription fee proposal across the three years.

The consultation is available online which is the preferred method of response. Alternatively you can respond by email to consultations@housing-ombudsman.org.uk

The consultation is open until 5pm on Monday 10 December 2018.

For the consultation document click here.

For the online consultation click here.

Our plans and budget for 2018-19

June 2018

The consultation report summarising the responses is here.

November 2017

We have published a consultation paper seeking views on our service to help inform our plans for 2018-19.

The paper provides a review of the year 2017-18 up to the end of September which shows year on year improvement in our casework performance.

As set out in the 2017-18 Business Plan our intention is to keep the subscription fee at the same level of £1.25 per unit in 2018-19. However, we are still seeking views and insight to help us make further improvements in our service within the resources available.

The consultation will help inform how we develop various elements of our business including better access to our service, supporting the local resolution of complaints, increasing transparency and improving efficiency.

Our final Business Plan for 2018-19 will reflect the feedback we receive during the consultation. We are keen to hear from both landlords and residents and look forward to receiving responses.

The paper including details of how to respond by the deadline of 22 December 2017 is available here.

Our plans and budget for 2017-18

January 2017

The Ombudsman published a consultation paper on her proposed plans and budget for 2017-18, including the level of subscription fee, plus an update on performance for the current year.

The consultation sought views on the proposed service, including the balance of activity between casework resolution and sector development work, and the fee.

The consultation report is available here.