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Complaints and suggestions

We aim to provide an excellent service but we’re aware that sometimes we get things wrong. Please tell us what you feel went wrong and we’ll work with you to help put things right. 

What is a complaint?

We define a complaint as:

An expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation or its representatives affecting an individual customer or group of customers.

How do I make a complaint?

Please let us know right away if you are unhappy with our service.

You can make your complaint by:

  • visiting your local office
  • calling 0300 456 2099
  • writing to Catalyst Housing, Ealing Gateway, 26–30 Uxbridge Road, London W5 2AU
  • Completing our complaints and suggestions form

You may ask another person (such as a friend, local councillor or MP) to act as an advocate so that they can make the complaint on your behalf and/or represent you throughout the process.

If you, or your legal representative, start court proceedings against Catalyst then we will manage this outside our complaints procedure.

A complaint must be made within three months of the initial incident occurring and you will receive a written acknowledgment within two working days of submitting it.

What’s not covered by our complaints policy

There are a number of situations which are not a failure of service and so will not be dealt with under our complaints procedure.

The following are examples of situations that we do not consider to be complaints (unless your complaint is about the way you in which you were dealt with):

  • A request for a service such as a repair. You may only make a complaint if a repair (or service) is not completed within a reasonable time or you are dissatisfied with the standards to which it has been carried out.
  • Reporting anti-social behaviour. In the first instance, please call our customer services centre. You can only make a complaint if you are not satisfied with the way in which we have dealt with your report.
  • Insurance claims. All insurance claims lie outside our complaints policy and so are directly managed by the insurers.
  • Complaints about a service provided by a managing agent. These will be subject to the managing agent’s complaints procedure.
  • Situations where you have started legal proceedings against us. These cases will be managed by the appropriate business team.
  • If you are requesting a review of a decision made as a result of our policies, please speak to us about how you can ask for a review of that decision.

If you are not sure about any of the above please contact us. We will do our best to put you in touch with the right person to answer your questions.

What happens when I make a complaint?

Once a complaint has been received, the Engagement Team (who are responsible for reviewing it) will contact you. You’ll receive a response within ten working days from the date the complaint is received.

Complaint Review Panel

If you remain dissatisfied with the decision you may request that a complaint panel review it. You must do this within 21 days of receiving the Engagement Team’s response.

A Complaint Review will look into your case to carry out an unbiased and independent assessment.

If you wish to attend the panel meeting yourself, we will agree a date and time with you.

You can have an advocate (such as a friend, local councillor or MP) attend the panel meeting with you, but if you (or your legal representative) then start court proceedings against Catalyst your case will not continue to be dealt with under the complaints procedure.

Following the hearing, the panel will write to you within ten working days giving their decision.

There are certain circumstances where a request for a review at panel may not be considered – for example, where we can show that:

• Policies and/or procedures have been followed
• Regulatory and/or legal requirements have been met

So we reserve the right to turn down a request for a review at panel – but if we do, you’ll always receive a full explanation as to why we’ve made that decision.

What if I am still not happy after the Complaint Review Panel’s decision?

If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the Complaint Review Panel then you may refer your case to the Housing Ombudsman Service. However, you must wait eight weeks from the date of the panel’s decision before taking this step.

The Housing Ombudsman prefers that tenants follow the complaints procedure before opening a formal case with them. However, you may contact them for advice at any point during the process.

Referring to a designated person

Following the Complaint Review Panel’s decision, you can refer your case  immediately to a ‘Designated Person’ who may be able to recommend other ways for it to be resolved. Alternatively, the designated person may also decide to refer the matter directly to the Housing Ombudsman.

A designated person is:

  • a member of Parliament
  • your local councillor
  • a recognised tenant panel.

Other help

You can get help and advice from the following organisations:

Citizens Advice:

Find your local office by visiting www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Leasehold advisory service:

www.lease-advice.org