Self-assessment FAQs

The Housing Ombudsman requires landlords to carry out regular self-assessments against its Complaint Handling Code, and take appropriate action to make sure we are in line with the Code. The aim of this self-assessment is to assess whether we are compliant and identify where we can improve.

Here are the results of our first Housing Ombudsman self-assessment.

Definition of a complaint

Does the complaints process use the following definition of a complaint?

“An expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.”
Yes and stated in our policy.

Are these exclusions reasonable and fair to residents?

Yes, and stated in our policy.
Exclusions: Reports of antisocial behaviour, insurance claims, defects in a warranty period or where legal action has been instigated will be dealt with by the relevant teams outside of this policy. Customers may make a complaint in line with this policy about the way the above have been handled.

Accessibility

Are multiple accessibility routes available for residents to make a complaint?

Yes. The routes are: face to face, on-line, letter, phone, email, and via social media.

Is the complaints policy and procedure available online?

Yes. They are on a dedicated section of our website.

Do we have a reasonable adjustments policy?

Yes. We have a reasonable adjustment statement. The policy will be live in March 2021.

Do we regularly advise residents about our complaints process?

Yes. We publish regular articles in our customer magazine. We have a complaints page on our website.

Complaints team and process

Communication

What proportion of complaints are resolved at stage one?

96% of our complaints were resolved at stage one.

What proportion of complaints are resolved at stage two?

4% of our complaints resolved at stage two

What proportion of complaint responses are sent within Code timescales?

100% of complaints were acknowledged within the timescale.
71% of stage one complaints were resolved within 10 days.
29% of stage one customers had their complaint response extended with reasonable explanation.
60% of stage two complaints were responded to within 10 days.

What proportion of complaints do we resolve to residents’ satisfaction?

We attempt to survey each customer after the complaint is closed to understand how satisfied they were with the way the complaint was handled.
Our customer satisfaction score year to date is 52%. This figure only includes those customers who were surveyed.

Cooperation with Housing Ombudsman Service

Fairness in complaint handling

Outcomes and remedies

Continuous learning and improvement

What improvements have we made as a result of learning from complaints?

We haven’t recorded our improvements.
We are designing our lessons learnt and continuous learning framework. It will ensures that lessons are captured , shared with business and most importantly that action are taken to eradicate route causes.
A pilot will be in place in February. We will go live in March, ahead of the 30 March timeline when the Handling Code should be fully implemented by landlords.

How do we share these lessons with residents, the board/governing body and in the Annual Report?

We will share the results of our self-assessment with the Executive Team and the Board.
We will share the results with customers and publish them on our website from February 2021.
We will share the lessons learnt with our customers via our website and the customer magazine.
We will include any organisational learning in our 21/22 annual report and share learnings to the Executive Team and the Board.
The customer complaints scrutiny panel who will scrutinise a sample of closed complaints, our performance and offer recommendations for service improvement will hold their first meeting in April 2021.
We have designed a new dedicated section on our website for complaints. Customers can find all the information they need of how to make a complaint, our complaint process and view our performance. We will also include results from self-assessments and continuous learning outcomes

What changes have we made?

Key changes made to the Policy:

We will accept complaints for any service failure within six months.
Easy access for customers to make a complaint.
A two-stage approach to complaint handling, with the final stage being an appeal only.
The final stage of the complaints procedure (appeal) will be carried out by a manager or above who has not been previously involved in the complaint.
Customers have the right to contact the Housing Ombudsman at any given point. The procedure allows customers to use the Housing Ombudsman Service throughout the life of a complaint.
All stage one and two complaints will be handled by a centralised Resolution Team.
Policy now available to customers in an easy to read format.
Easier ways, more accessible for customers to make a complaint – multiple channels.