The Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code

The Housing Ombudsman published a new Complaint Handling Code in July 2020, setting out good practice that will allow landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.

Key areas in the Code

  • Universal definition of a complaint
  • Providing easy access to the complaints procedure and ensuring residents are aware of it, including their right to access the Housing Ombudsman Service
  • The structure of the complaints procedure - only two stages necessary and clear timeframes set out for responses
  • Ensuring fairness in complaint handling with a resident-focused process
  • Taking action to put things right and appropriate remedies
  • Creating a positive complaint handling culture through continuous learning and improvement
  • Demonstrating learning in Annual Reports.
  • The Code is part of the Ombudsman’s new powers in the revised Housing Ombudsman Scheme.

Self-assessment

Landlords were asked to self-assess against the Code by 31 December 2020 and publish the results.  Raven Housing Trust completed this assessment and are now working with residents on areas where we think we can improve further.  The Housing Ombudsman expects landlords to report the outcome of their self-assessment to their board members and this was sent to our board in December. 

More details on the Complaint Handling Code can be found at https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/landlords-info/complaint-handling-code/