Telling residents about our service

The landlord's responsibilities

As members of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, landlords must let their residents know about their right to bring complaints to us. All member landlords must have a published complaints procedure that includes details about our service and how to access it.

We encourage landlords to have a positive view of complaints, seeing them as feedback that helps to improve 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 procedure. This prevents problems escalating and improves landlord and tenant 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 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 others to use them.

Information about our role

Landlords should provide details of our service in any information provided for residents about their complaints process. This could be on a website, in a complaints leaflet and letters about individual complaints.

A landlord’s final response to a complaint should be set out in writing and should state that it is the final response. It should 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 let residents know about our service:

  • A poster that can be downloaded and displayed in communal areas to let residents know 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.