Telling residents about our service

The landlord's responsibilities

As members of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, landlords must inform their residents about their right to bring complaints to us. All member landlords must have a published complaints procedure that is in accordance with good practice recommended by the Ombudsman to include details about our service and how to access it.

We encourage landlords to have a positive view of complaints, seeing them as valuable feedback that helps to make continuous improvements to complaint handling and housing services.

Our dispute support approach

Unlike many other Ombudsman schemes, we not only investigate complaints but we actively support landlords and residents to find a resolution between themselves within the landlord’s internal complaints procedure. This prevents problems escalating and improves landlord and resident relationships.

Residents and landlords can contact us at any time while a complaint is going through the landlord’s complaints process for advice and to help them find a resolution. We cannot make a formal decision on a case at this stage.

We use our dispute resolution principles (see Helpful Links) and encourage landlords and residents to use them to help reach a resolution.

Information about our role

Landlords must provide details about the Housing Ombudsman Service in all information provided to residents about their complaints process. This must be provided in various communication channels to ensure all residents can access this important information. This should be on a website (if there is one), in complaints leaflets, posters and letters to residents about their individual complaints.

A landlord’s final response to a complaint must be set out in writing and it must state that it is the final response. It must include details such as those below advising residents on what to do if they remain dissatisfied with the response to their complaint.

If you remain dissatisfied with this response you can ask the Housing Ombudsman Service to investigate how we dealt with the matter. To contact the Housing Ombudsman Service, you can ask one of the following to refer your complaint:

  •  A Member of Parliament (MP)
  • A local Councillor
  • A tenant panel

You can also contact the Housing Ombudsman directly but please note that the Ombudsman will not be able to investigate your complaint until eight weeks from the date of this letter.

 The contact details for the Housing Ombudsman Service are:

The online complaint form guides residents through the process before getting to the point of submitting a complaint to us. This helps to ensure that residents submit a complaint for investigation at the relevant point.

Other resources for landlords

We have other information in the Helpful Links that landlords can use to inform residents about our service:

  • A poster that can be downloaded and displayed in communal areas to inform residents about our service.
  • An information sheet that can be emailed or printed and given to residents explaining our role in more detail and the help we can provide at different stages of the complaints process.
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