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Regional analysis

Figure 1 below shows the distribution of social homes across England by region. It shows the predominance of the Greater London region which holds 19% of the total social rented homes across England. The next highest is the North West with 14% and the South East with 13%. The North East has the smallest share at 7%.

Two maps of England showing the number of social rent homes by region and the Ombudsman's formal determinations by region

Figure 2 shows the rate of complaints brought to us by tenants and formally determined by the Ombudsman per 10,000 social rent homes for each region.

Again, Greater London dominates with 9.91 complaints brought to us and formally determined per 10,000 homes. The North East has the lowest rate at 1.91 complaints brought to us and formally determined per 10,000 homes.

In 2019-20, over 3 times more complaints were brought to us from Greater London than the rest of the country per 10,000 homes, and 2.4 times more than the next highest region (the South East).

The analysis also shows a broad convergence across non-London regions despite different social housing stock profiles.

There are a number of possible explanations as to why the rate of complaints brought to us by tenants differs across the country:

  • there are fewer issues or issues are being dealt with by landlords effectively
  • there are differences in the stock profiles such as the age and condition of properties held
  • there is lower awareness of or use of complaints procedures in those regions, or
  • residents’ right of access to the Ombudsman is not adequately promoted.

During the last quarter of 2020-21, we will begin on-going awareness raising activities with residents.  We also published our Complaint Handling Code in July 2020 which requires all landlords to raise awareness of their complaints procedure and the Ombudsman and self-assess themselves against its requirements.

The data table supporting the above analysis is reproduced below:

Social homes summary table - regions

Area Units (tens of thousands) Determinations per 10,000 homes
London 81.34 9.91
South East 53.37 4.12
West Midlands 47.27 3.87
East of England 41.88 3.20
East Midlands 32.23 2.98
North West 58.92 2.89
South West 33.93 2.53
Yorkshire and the Humber 42.80 2.20
North East 27.24 1.91