Resident Panel: Terms of Reference

The terms of reference set out how the Panel will work including membership, roles and responsibilities, and details of meetings


The Resident Panel provides an opportunity for residents of member landlords to be involved in the development of our service as well as giving us direct feedback on their experience of using our service and how we can increase awareness.   

The Resident Panel will never be asked to consider individual disputes. 


The Resident Panel consists of residents of member landlords appointed by the Ombudsman. 

Members will be appointed for three years. Residents will form a pool and be invited to attend at least two full Resident Panel meetings each year, with up to 100 residents participating in a discussion afterwards. Attendance at the discussion will rotate between meetings.  

Members of the Resident Panel are independent of the Housing Ombudsman Service and the role is unremunerated. 

Membership will not be evaluated and the Ombudsman has the final decision on membership of the Resident Panel. 

Remit and responsibilities

The Resident Panel will convene through a combination of full and special interest meetings, to be held online until further notice.  

Members will be invited to respond to formal consultations by the Housing Ombudsman at full meetings, including (but not restricted to) the annual business plan and three-year corporate plan. Members will also be invited to give feedback through surveys and questionnaires.  

Members will be invited to join special interest discussions on awareness raising, service development and learning at smaller meetings.   

Meetings will be held on a Chatham House principle, which means the discussion may be referred to by members of the Housing Ombudsman Service, but individual contributions will not be identified. 

The Resident Panel is not part of the governance of the Housing Ombudsman Service and its formal decision-making. 

Membership of the Resident Panel does not affect a residents’ right to make a complaint to their landlord or the Ombudsman through the complaints process. 

Frequency and notice of meetings

The Resident Panel will meet in full at least twice during each financial year. 

The dates for the full meetings will be circulated at the start of the financial year and the agenda three weeks in advance of the meeting. These will be published on the Housing Ombudsman website. 

Other meetings, such as special interest meetings, will be convened with members when required. 

Chair of the meeting

Meetings will be chaired by the Ombudsman or their representative. 


Communication with members will be by email.  

Meetings will be facilitated by the Housing Ombudsman Service. 

There will be no minutes of the meeting but any actions will be published on the Housing Ombudsman’s website after the meeting.