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Attitudes, respect and rights

Effective communication is critical in maintaining positive relationships between landlords and residents. Unfortunately, poor communication is often the root cause of housing complaints, eroding trust and leading to escalating issues. In fact, in 68% of cases reviewed over 15 months, poor communication was a key issue.

Why have we focused on attitudes, respect and rights?

The cost-of-living crisis, increase in mental health difficulties and housing shortages have changed the landscape for landlords to an increasingly challenging and complex environment to navigate.

There is a pressing need for landlords to create human-centric policies, adapt to meet the needs of all their residents and make sure the most vulnerable residents are not left behind. For many landlords, their current approach is potentially inadequate for responding effectively to the needs of the population it serves.

Our report on this topic made clear things need to change. On this page you will find what the Ombudsman expects from landlords and residents on this topic, as well as links to the report and our special webinar looking into the report.


Landlord guidance

We have developed this equality and human rights in our casework guidance, which provides an overview of the Equality and Human Right Act in relation to our work. With practical advice on investigating complaints which involve these issues.

View the landlord guidance (opens in a new tab)

Expectation for landlords

To improve the quality of service you provide for social housing residents, we recommend focusing on your culture, vision, and values. 

Find out more by viewing and downloading our summary report which outlines the expectations for landlords. 

View landlord expectations pdf (opens in a new tab)

Resident guidance

A guide for residents on how social housing landlords should protect your rights and what they must do as your landlord.

View resident guidance (opens in a new tab)


Spotlight report on attitudes, respect and rights – relationship of equals

Our Spotlight report on attitudes, respect and right - relationship of equals focuses on the importance of clear and respectful communication to prevent complaints and create positive relationships.  

View the report (opens in a new tab)

Lessons from our spotlight report presentation

View this presentation to understand why we choose to do a spotlight on attitudes, respect and rights, the research we did, and the call for evidence data.

View the report presentation (opens in a new tab)

Webinar on attitudes, respect and rights

Centre for Learning webinar

Special webinar on our latest spotlight report

This webinar explores the Spotlight report on attitude, respect and rights: a relationship of equals. Looking at the data used to create the report, key findings and key recommendations. 

View the webinar on YouTube (opens in a new tab)

Landlord training

The Centre for Learning has a range of microlearning available to landlords via the Learning Hub. Simply log in to access the courses.

A brief overview of the evolution and perception of social housing


This microlearning looks at housing as a human right and a public health mission.

It gives an overview of the evolution of social housing and perception of social housing residents.

Log in to the Landlord Learning Hub (opens in a new tab)

Social housing: the operational landscape in 2023


Landlords and residents alike face a challenging shift in the need, availability and use of social housing. The landscape of social housing has changed and with it the financial, legal and regulatory pressure affecting all aspects.

This microlearning explores these changing landscapes to understand the obstacles that have prevented a modern country from fulfilling the original purpose of our social housing; to safeguard public health and enshrine housing as a human right.

Log in to the Landlord Learning Hub (opens in a new tab)

What does it mean to be vulnerable in social housing?


This microlearning looks at what it means to be vulnerable in social housing, who determines whether someone is defined as being vulnerable and the statutory framework.

Log in to the Landlord Learning Hub (opens in a new tab)

Our jurisdiction

Short video

This short video looks at the types of complaints the Housing Ombudsman Service can consider and who can bring a complaint to us.

Log in to the Landlord Learning Hub (opens in a new tab)

Podcast with the Centre for Learning

Season 4 Episode 2

Spotlight report on attitudes, respect and rights Part 1

In this episode, Sector Learning and Development Lead Victoria King talks to Zoe Miller, Compliance and Systemic Investigation Manager, and Chris Harrison, Compliance Systemic Lead, about our Spotlight report into attitudes, respect and rights. 

Listen to the podcast (opens in a new tab)

Landlord Learning Hub

Centre for Learning online platform

Explore our NEW learning tool - the Landlord Learning Hub. 

Log in and discover the training options available to you. 

If you have not logged into the new Hub, you will need to set up an account to gain access to a range of learning materials. 

Log in and learn today (opens in a new tab)

Resident information

When to use the Housing Ombudsman Service

If you are unable to resolve the complaint with your landlord directly via its complaint procedure, this service may be able to provide you with further assistance.   

View the residents' pages to find out how to raise and complaint to your landlord and when to escalate your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service. 

Find out more (opens in a new tab)