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Complaint Handling Code 2022

The below page refers to the 2022 Complaint Handling Code which is applicable for complaints made before 1 April 2024.

Complaint Handling Code 2022

The Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code sets out good practice that allows landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.

Information on the new statutory Complaint Handling Code 2024 can be found online.

Key areas in the Code

Key areas of the Code include:

  • universal definition of a complaint
  • providing easy access to the complaints procedure and ensuring residents are aware of it, including their right to access the Housing Ombudsman Service
  • the structure of the complaint's procedure - only 2 stages necessary and clear times set out for responses
  • ensuring fairness in complaint handling with a resident-focused process
  • taking action to put things right and appropriate remedies
  • creating a positive complaint handling culture through continuous learning and improvement
  • demonstrating learning in annual reports
  • annual self-assessment against the Code

The Code was introduced as part of the Ombudsman’s new powers in the revised Housing Ombudsman Scheme.

The updated Code took effect on 1 April 2022 and landlords had until 1 October 2022 to self-assess and become compliant.


Landlords must carry out an annual assessment against the Code to ensure their complaint handling remains in line with its requirements and publish the results, but please note that these do not need to be submitted to the Ombudsman. Non-compliance could result in the Ombudsman issuing complaint handling failure orders. Guidance on these orders has also been reviewed and updated.

Guidance on Complaint Handling Failure Orders

The Code also acts as a guide for residents setting out what they can and should expect from their landlord when they complain. The requirements in the Code also provides residents with information about how to make a complaint and how to progress it through the landlord’s internal complaints procedure.