Our new statutory Complaint Handling Code comes into effect from 1 April 2024 - find out more.

Our jurisdiction

This page is for residents who are thinking about bringing a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman so you can check whether a complaint can be considered.

What does ‘jurisdiction’ mean?

We cannot consider every complaint we receive.

What we can and cannot consider is called the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. This is governed by the Housing Ombudsman Scheme which sets out what issues fall under our remit to investigate and when we can decide that a complaint is not for us. 

Watch this video to understand more about our jurisdiction

What complaints can you consider?

We look at complaints from social housing residents about their landlords' actions and provision of housing management. We decide whether we can consider a complaint case-by-case depending on the case's facts and the evidence available to us.  

View the jurisdiction guidance

How do you decide which complaints you can investigate?

When we receive a complaint, we assess it against a set of rules – the first thing we consider is the non-discretionary rules – as set out in our Scheme. For example, we will never consider a complaint where: 

  • the resident bringing the complaint to the service does not have a landlord/ tenant relationship with a member of the Scheme 
  • the landlord or managing agent being complained about is not a member of the Scheme 

Once we have made a non-discretionary decision, we then assess our discretionary decision.

For example, we may decide that we are not able to consider a complaint that has been referred to us before having exhausted the landlord’s complaints procedure.  

If we decide we cannot consider your complaint, we will tell you why and set out our reasons in writing.  

What if the complaint is for more than one Ombudsman?

Some complaints we receive fall under the remit of both the Housing Ombudsman and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO). For example, a complaint about a local authority in its capacity as a provider of social housing and its actions and provision of housing management.

Occasionally a complaint may be considered by both Ombudsman schemes, and we may be able to complete a joint investigation 

You may also be interested in

Which Ombudsman for housing complaints?

This page looks at what housing complaints should be referred to the Housing Ombudsman or the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Which Ombudsman for complaints (opens in a new tab)

How will my complaint be investigated?

This page explains the complaints process including early resolution, complaint timeframes, and what to do if you are unhappy with the final decision.

How we investigate complaints (opens in a new tab)

Links to helpful organisations

Find details of advice agencies and charities, legal advice and other helpful organisations.

Discover organisations that can help (opens in a new tab)