How we meet the Complaint Handling Code.
The Housing Ombudsman publishes a Complaint Handling Code which helps social landlords, like the council, respond to complaints effectively and fairly.
As part of the Code, we must complete a self-assessment at least once every 12 months. This page is a summary of our latest self-assessment, completed in September 2022.
Our complaints procedures
See our complaints procedures page and pdf complaints policy (464 KB) for details of how we handle complaints, including our 2 stage process.
How you can make a complaint
You can make a complaint:
- online, see housing: complaints and feedback
- in person at our Citizen Service Point
- by post, write to Customer Relations (100TS), PO Box 3399, Bristol, BS1 9NE
For help with making a complaint in another language, braille or larger print, or on audio tape, you can email email@example.com.
If you make a complaint through social media, we'll ask you to use our online form to tell us about it. This is so we have all the information we need to investigate it. See our social media policy.
Our complaint handling performance
Between April 2021 and March 2022 we received 1,480 landlord service complaints. Of those complaints:
- 868 were handled as formal complaints
- 581 were treated as service requests
- 31 were rejected
Of the 868 cases handled as a formal complaint:
- 91.1 percent were resolved at stage one, with:
- 83.2 percent being responded to within 15 working days
- 4 percent having extended timescales
- 24 percent being upheld, 26 percent partly upheld and 47 percent not being upheld
- 7.9 percent were resolved at stage two, with:
- 66.7 percent being responded to within 20 working days
- 14.1 percent having extended timescales
- 14 percent being upheld, 28 percent being partly upheld and 58 percent not being upheld
- 1 percent were escalated to the Ombudsman and we responded to all requests for evidence within timeframes agreed with the Ombudsman on a case by case basis
75 residents provided an overall satisfaction rating on how we handled their complaint, with 38.7 percent of residents rating us good or very good.
What we improved
As a result of complaints and feedback we received and our 2021 self-assessment, we:
- changed our process around carrying out repairs that may affect the validity of external wall insulation warranties
- changed our process around monitoring and reviewing of right to buy applications
- reviewed our mutual exchange policy with a view to streamlining the process
- provided training or refresher training to relevant staff and contractors on the following:
- importance of recording any decisions and relevant contacts on case records
- identifying homeless or at risk of homelessness cases
- processing HomeChoice applications that may also be a homeless application
- importance of, wherever possible, anonymising and summarising tenant complaints about contactors/partners before sending these to the contractor/partner
- distinguishing between complaints and service requests
- importance of checking all works have been completed by contractors/partners and not making assumptions
- importance of considerate parking of Council vehicles so as not to cause obstructions or congestion
- importance of accurate record keeping
- are now including details about how to complain and the Housing Ombudsman service in our annual service charge statements to leaseholders
- rolled out a mandatory training programme for all officers who handle housing complaints
- rolled out a quality audit programme, to identify areas for improvement in our processes, behaviours and training material
- have established a learning from complaints working group in order to workshop the best ways to capture and share lessons and obtain more feedback from residents
Along with any ongoing learning from complaints that we receive, our planned improvements going forward are as follows:
- we will implement a formal framework for capturing and sharing lessons learned from our complaint handling, as developed by the learning from complaints working group
- we will be including details about how to complain and the Housing Ombudsman service in our rent statements to tenants
Read our completed self-assessments:
pdf September 2022 self-assessment (263 KB)
pdf December 2021 self-assessment (199 KB)