Understand the complaints process

The complaints process


Tell your landlord about the problem

The first step is to report the problem to your landlord. They may be able to put things right. If you are having difficulty reporting the issue or are dissatisfied with the service you received in response, we can help you and your landlord resolve the issue. All landlords have complaints procedures that should be easy to use, fair and designed to put things right. If you think your complaint is not being dealt with correctly, for example if you receive delayed or no response, we can help ensure your complaint is responded to by your landlord.


Complain to a designated person

If you are unable to resolve your complaint through your landlord’s complaints procedure you can contact a designated person who can also help find a solution. The designated person can be an MP, a local councillor or a Tenant Panel. Their role is to help resolve disputes between tenants and their landlords which they can do in whatever way they think is most likely to work. If the designated person cannot help they can refer a complaint to the Ombudsman. If you have decided not to contact a designated person you can come directly to the Ombudsman eight weeks after your landlord has given you its final response to your complaint.


Escalate your complaint to the Ombudsman

We will deal with each complaint to find the best outcome for your individual circumstances. Once we receive your complaint we may:

  • Refer the case to a different organisation if it is an issue we cannot make a decision about because it is not in our jurisdiction
  • Work with you and your landlord to resolve the dispute under our early resolution procedure. For example we can use our experience of resolving complaints to make suggestions to the landlord and/or the resident if we believe there is a way to resolve the complaint
  • Carry out an investigation; we only do this for those complaints where we decide an investigation is proportionate to the circumstances and evidence before us, for example complex complaints involving many issues.
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