Landlords can now complete the Complaint Handling Code Annual Submissions form. More information is available online.

Our orders

This key topic page explores the variety of orders that we can make to put things right such as compensation, ordering a repair to be undertaken or a survey to be completed, as well as apologies and reviews of policy. 

What are our orders?

Where we have made a finding of service failure, maladministration, or severe maladministration, we can order a landlord to implement the remedies we have identified for that case.  

We aim to provide fair and proportionate remedies to complaints appropriate to each case's circumstances. This includes ensuring that the order we propose is proportionate to the severity of the maladministration we found during our investigation. 

We can make a variety of orders to put things right such as compensation, ordering a repair to be undertaken or a survey to be completed, as well as apologies and reviews of policy. 

These orders are legally binding, meaning that if a landlord does not comply, we can force them to do so via court action. However, the compliance rate with our orders is 100%. 

Podcast with the Centre for Learning

In conversation with dispute resolution on responding to orders

Season 4 Episode 3 - February 2024

During this podcast, we look at 2 cases involving noise complaints exploring the orders and recommendations made and what the landlord did to put things right.

Listen to the podcast (opens in a new tab)

Remedies

A remedy is how the Ombudsman ensures that matters are put right after we investigate a case. 

This guidance should be read alongside our Investigations Guidance (PDF), Guidance on Outcomes, and Guidance on complaints involving insurance issues (PDF).

Remedies guidance

This guidance is intended for use by Housing Ombudsman Service staff, our member landlords, residents and their representatives. It looks at what a remedy is, the key considerations for remedies nd what remedies we can and cannot make.

Read the guidance (opens in a new tab)

Remedies: Offsetting and the Ombudsman’s approach

View our guidance on offsetting and the Ombudsman’s approach including legal considerations and our approach to complaint handling. 

Read the guidance (opens in a new tab)

Compensation

There are 2 types of compensation:   

  • payments that the landlord is obliged to make - usually due to legal requirements  
  • discretionary compensation - which is a payment the landlord chooses to make  

View the compensation policy

Compensation payments ordered by the Ombudsman

Compensation will not be appropriate in every case. We will only order a landlord to pay compensation if we find evidence of service failure or maladministration that has not been put right. In addition, we must be satisfied that compensation is the most appropriate action that will put things right in the circumstances of the complaint.  

All compensation calculations are based on what is considered fair in the circumstances of the case. We can order a landlord to pay compensation for:  

  • actual, proven financial loss sustained as a direct result of the maladministration or service failure  
  • avoidable inconvenience, distress, detriment or other unfair impact of the maladministration or service failure 
Find out more (opens in a new tab)

Compensation required by law

Local authority or housing association residents may be entitled to compensation from your landlord if you’ve been affected by: 

  • home loss 
  • disturbance 
  • improvements 
  • Right to Repair  
  • payment for damage to your property/belongings 
  • discretionary compensation 
Find out more (opens in a new tab)

Apologies

An apology is an opportunity to restore trust and begin to mend a resident and landlord relationship. A well-made apology is an important and powerful tool in resolving a complaint early.  

Apologies guidance for landlords

This guide will help you decide what to include in your apology, whether it should be written or in person, and who should give it. 

View the guidance (opens in a new tab)

Responding to a complaint guidance

We have developed guidance for landlords when investigating and responding to complaints through their complaint's procedure. View our guide to see the issues we expect landlords to consider when responding to a complaint. 

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Wider orders

The Social Housing Regulation Act (2023) provided us with considerable new powers. In late 2023 the Housing Ombudsman received approval from the Secretary of State to make recommendations to a landlord to evaluate a particular policy or process which goes beyond the scope of an individual complaint and seek to address any wider issues.

Following the statutory Code on 1 April 2024, these recommendations can now be issued as orders, which the landlord is duty bound to act upon.

Our power to order a landlord to review its practice is designed to help prevent repeated service failure and the same issues happening again, or happening to more than one household, which may result in further complaints. Wider orders can also help to share good practice across the sector, demonstrating our value of sharing learning from complaints to meet our vision of improving landlord’s services through complaints. 

Two hands each holding puzzle pieces that fit together

Wider order reports

As part of the new powers we have gained to issue wider orders under the Social Housing Regulation Act, we have ordered several landlords to undertake independent reviews to identify issues with policy and procedure.

View the independent reports (opens in a new tab)
Important documents in files placed in the filing cabinet

Guidance on addressing the wider public interest in our casework

View the updated guidance on addressing the wider public interest in our casework.

Guidance on addressing the wider public interest in our casework (opens in a new tab)

Landlords 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.

Create an account (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. 

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