Who are the principles for?
The principles are based on the Ombudsman’s experience of resolving disputes. Over more than 20 years we have considered thousands of disputes and seen many examples of good and bad practice. The Ombudsman’s team applies the principles in the way we consider disputes and the support that we give to everyone who uses our service. The principles give examples of good practice to be used by anyone involved in or managing a dispute.
Landlords can use the principles as a good practice guide in complaint handling. They will improve success in resolving disputes, encourage better relationships and save resources.
Tenants can expect their landlord to apply the principles when it responds to a complaint. Tenants can also use the principles as a guide to help make their complaint more effectively.
Designated persons can apply the principles when considering a landlord’s complaint handling. It will also help to resolve complaints more effectively if they apply the principles themselves.
How do the principles work?
There are three principles behind effective dispute resolution:
- Be fair – treat people fairly and follow fair processes
- Put things right
- Learn from outcomes
An organisation’s culture must be right for the complaint handling process to resolve disputes effectively and in order to learn from the outcomes. While a good procedure and well trained staff will achieve results for maximum impact a positive complaints culture is essential.
Although the three principles are simple, applying them effectively means having the right culture, process and behaviours. The relationship between the principles and culture, process and behaviours is demonstrated in the diagram.