How to make a complaint

Improving our services through customer feedback
We are committed to giving you an excellent service and, to make sure this happens, we are happy to respond to any issues which may arise.

Two Castles Housing Association welcomes feedback about our services as it helps us to improve where we need to and tells us what we’re doing right.

Please see below for some guidelines about our compliments and complaints process:

What to do if you have a complaint

Who can complain?

Anyone who feels that they have been affected by the Association’s actions.

How do I make a complaint?
Complaints can be brought to our attention in many ways:

  • Over the telephone
  • By email
  • By letter
  • Verbally to staff
  • Via our website
  • Via a third party – friend, Councillor, MP, etc (in these cases, the Association will satisfy itself that the third party has the customer’s authority to act on his/her behalf).

How will my complaint be resolved?

As a resident of Two Castles Housing Association, you have the right to make a formal complaint whenever you choose to, but it can often be quicker and easier for everyone if the problem can be sorted out informally. Most of our complaints are resolved this way.

If you would like to have a matter pursued as an informal complaint, we will record the details, setting out your complaint and the action taken. We also keep a log of these informal complaints, which will help us to identify any recurrent problems or trends (for example if one area of our service has a high number of informal complaints).

What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?
If you are not satisfied with the outcome, we do have a formal complaints process (please see below for further details).

Formal complaints

When will my complaint be responded to?
At Stage 1 of the Complaints Policy, a complaint will be dealt with by the relevant Director. The complaint will be investigated and a written response provided within 10 working days (where this is not possible, an interim letter will be sent to the complainant within 10 working days, giving a timescale for providing a full response).

What if I am not happy with the response?
If you are not satisfied by the response given to a Stage 1 Complaint, you are entitled to take the matter further. At this stage, the complaint will be reviewed by the Chief Executive.

What if I am still not happy with the response?
At Stage 3, the Board Deputy Chairman will arrange for a panel of three people (made up of this Deputy and 2 Board members, where if possible one of these will be a Resident Board member). The panel will further review the complaint and the actions taken by the Association at Stages 1 and 2 and you will be invited to attend the panel hearing in person, however you are not obliged to attend. You may also bring a person to give you support, such as a friend or neighbour, to the panel hearing. The Stage 3 Complaint will be dealt with within 20 working days of receipt – if this is not possible, interim letters will be sent to you. Following the panel hearing of a Stage 3 Complaint, the Board Deputy Chairman will write to the customer giving the Association’s final response within five working days.

What if all the offers have failed to satisfy me?

The issue of the letter at Stage 3 will mark the end of the Association’s Formal Complaints Policy.

Our response will give full information on the Independent Housing Ombudsman Service together with a leaflet, produced by the Ombudsman outlining this scheme.

If you remain dissatisfied you then have 2 options to refer the matter to the Independent Housing Ombudsman:

Option 1 – Refer the matter to a designated person, which can be an MP or local Councillor. This option provides an independent tier to consider your complaint before any referral to the Ombudsman.

Option 2 – You can wait 8 weeks following exhaustion of our internal Complaints Procedure then refer the matter direct to the Ombudsman.

The Housing Ombudsman Service can be contacted in the following ways:

Matters which cannot be dealt with as a complaint
A case which is subject to ongoing legal action or a case which is being dealt with by the Association’s insurers cannot be dealt with as a complaint, nor something that happened more than 6 months ago.

How are complaints recorded?
A log of complaints is kept by the Association, which is analysed and monitored on a monthly basis. This log will give details of:

  • Individual complaints we have received (without compromising confidentiality).
  • The action we have taken in response to the specific complaint.
  • Action we will be taking to ensure that service improves in future.

An annual report on complaints received will be reported to the Board and is available in all our offices, published on the website and reported in our Residents’ Newsletter (Fanfare).

All informal and formal complaints are recorded our Annual Report. To access this information please click here

COMMENTS AND COMPLIMENTS
We greatly value any feedback and would be interested in receiving any customer comments and compliments. We will use feedback to analyse our current performance and improve our future performance. To pass on any comments/compliments please click here.

COMPENSATION
We aim to provide excellent quality services to our customers. However, there may be an occasion where we fall short of our customers, or our own, reasonable expectations. In cases where we fall short of our own published standards, and we consider that the quality of service received by a customer has been seriously affected, we have a Compensation policy.

For more information on compliments or complaints, please click here to contact us.

Link to complaints form