Dispute resolution principle: Learn from outcomes

Effective and positive complaint handling provides insight into the services provided by a landlord and how they are perceived and received by tenants. The lessons learned from a complaint or complaints can improve the quality and focus of services provided to the individual tenant and the wider tenant body. They can also improve alignment between the landlords’ internal functions. The learning process can also be used as a mechanism for encouraging positive tenant engagement.

Here are some of the signs that complaints are being used for learning:

  • Systems are in place to record and analyse data from complaints. Also to review the outcomes and the implication for service delivery and any changes to policy.
  • Reports on complaints are made through the relevant governance framework, including lessons learnt and proposals for improving service delivery.
  • Anything learned from an individual complaint is recorded and the tenant informed.
  • The landlord receives positive as well as negative feedback.
  • Landlords are more proactive in their response to future complaints.
How is ‘learning from outcomes’ relevant?


  • We expect landlords to demonstrate improvements in service delivery as a result of lessons learned from complaints.
  • Landlords should keep tenants as well as scrutiny and tenant panels informed about changes they make to service delivery as a result of complaints.
  • Reporting on lessons learned is an effective way of demonstrating that landlords are listening to their tenants


  • Scrutiny and tenants panels have a role in ensuring that lessons are learnt from complaint handling and that systems are in place to allow service delivery improvements to be made.

Designated persons

  • Designated persons can consider whether or not a landlord can demonstrate that it has applied learning from the complaints it receives to improve its service delivery.
  • They may also wish to consider how their own consideration of future complaints can be improved through applying lessons learned in the same way.