The new complaints handling code: everything you need to know

Date: 30/05/2024

In April the Housing Ombudsman introduced a new law to help housing providers like us deal with and respond to complaints.

This month we’re outlining the key changes of the code and sharing what we’re doing in response.

What’s new?

  • A new definition. In order for housing providers to successfully handle complaints, the Ombudsman has set a clear definition of what it considers a complaint to be. This is defined as: “An expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by a landlord, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting a resident or a group of residents.”

  • A need for more accessibility and awareness. We must make it easy for you our residents to access the complaints process and make it as accessible as possible for you to make a complaint. As part of our process we should also make you aware of your right to access the Ombudsman’s service if you feel you need support with a complaint.

  • Two clear complaint stages. The complaints process must have two stages with clear timescales set out.

  • Our process must be fair and transparent with a resident-focused process.

  • Putting things right. When things go wrong, we must acknowledge it and offer you a way to make things right with an appropriate remedy.

  • We should have a positive complaints handling culture that uses complaints as an opportunity for continuous learning and development.

  • We must demonstrate any learnings or changes made as a direct result of complaints in our annual reports.

  • We must complete an annual self-assessment against the code and appoint a member of our board as champion.

You can read the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code in full here.

Our response

From the first of April we adopted the new code and responded to the consultation on good practice. We revised our policies and procedures in-line with the code and completed a self-assessment against them. We’re also making staff aware of the changes with training and new objectives to keep it a focus. We’ve made changes to our system so any service requests can be logged and have updated our websites with new customer guidance. We’ve also appointed a complaints Board Champion and have introduced new customer satisfaction questions.

Want to find out more about our complaints process? Visit


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