Housing Ombudsman call for evidence on noise complaints

Under the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, we can conduct investigations into potential systemic and thematic issues. Our systemic framework sets out how we will look beyond individual disputes to identify key issues that impact on residents and landlords’ services. Under this framework the Ombudsman has launched a call for evidence to support a systemic investigation looking at noise complaints. 

The investigation will explore how social landlords manage reports of noise nuisance – both ambient and people generated – and what drives complaints about how those are handled. Noise complaints can have a particularly significant impact on residents causing deep frustration and stress, and it is an area that also presents difficult challenges for landlords.  

We have determined a significant number of complaints relating to noise over the last three years – 848 in total – and identified maladministration in 41 per cent of cases. The lines of enquiry for the investigation will include: 

  • How do policies around noise work in practice? 
  • How do landlords work with other agencies? 
  • What is successful in mitigating for/dealing with inherent modern noise? 
  • What is successful intervention? 

We are calling for survey submissions from both member landlords and their residents who feel they can contribute from their experience of reporting noise nuisance. We will also draw insight from our casebook and our Resident Panel members, together with fieldwork in five landlords of varying size, type and location and their residents. This will ensure we can make far-reaching recommendations that promote greater understanding of the complexity of tackling noise complaints. 

To preview the resident or landlord survey questions ahead of submitting a response, please see helpful links (to the right). 

Our surveys closed on Friday 13 May 2022. 

We want our inquiries to be informed by a diverse range of voices. Our investigation team are happy to help if you require a reasonable adjustment, such as submitting evidence in an alternative format. Please get in touch at Insight@housing-ombudsman.org.uk or 0300 111 3000 

It is important to stress that this investigation is not looking at individual landlords and will not respond to individual complaints. Information on how to make a complaint can be found here. 

If you are a resident and would like to respond to our survey but are unsure if your landlord is a member of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, you can check here before continuing. 

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