Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code LHP Self-Assessment

Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code: LHP Self-assessment


Compliance with the Complaint Handling Code 


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.





Does the policy have exclusions where a complaint will not be considered?



Are these exclusions reasonable and fair to residents?

Evidence relied upon

  • The complainant has refused to reasonably engage with the complaint’s investigation process or with the service complained about.
  • The issues raised do not fall within the remit of the complaints policy
  • The issues raised are not within LHP’s power to investigate, change or influence
  • The basis of the complaint has changed or there are subsidiary issues subsequently raised which are not part of the initial complaint. Subsidiary issues will be addressed as a new complaint
  • A complainant’s refusal to accept documented evidence as factual
  • That a final response has been provided







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



Is the complaints policy and procedure available online?



Do we have a reasonable adjustments policy?



Do we regularly advise residents about our complaints process?



Complaints team and process




Is there a complaint officer or equivalent in post?



Does the complaint officer have autonomy to resolve complaints?



Does the complaint officer have authority to compel engagement from other departments to resolve disputes?



If there is a third stage to the complaint’s procedure are residents involved in the decision making?

We have a two-stage process



Is any third stage optional for residents? 



Does the final stage response set out residents’ right to refer the matter to the Housing Ombudsman Service?



Do we keep a record of complaint correspondence including correspondence from the resident?



At what stage are most complaints resolved?

Stage 1







Are residents kept informed and updated during the complaints process?



Are residents informed of the landlord’s position and given a chance to respond and challenge any area of dispute before the final decision?



Are all complaints acknowledged and logged within five days?



Are residents advised of how to escalate at the end of each stage?



What proportion of complaints are resolved at stage one?




What proportion of complaints are resolved at stage two?




What proportion of complaint responses are sent within Code timescales?


·       Stage one

Stage one (with extension)

·       Stage two

Stage two (with extension)







Where timescales have been extended did we have good reason?



Where timescales have been extended did we keep the resident informed?



What proportion of complaints do we resolve to residents’ satisfaction




Cooperation with Housing Ombudsman Service




Were all requests for evidence responded to within 15 days?




Where the timescale was extended did we keep the Ombudsman informed?




Fairness in complaint handling




Are residents able to complain via a representative throughout?



If advice was given, was this accurate and easy to understand?



How many cases did we refuse to escalate?



What was the reason for the refusal?





A complainant’s refusal to accept documented evidence as factual




Did we explain our decision to the resident?



Outcomes and remedies




Where something has gone wrong are, we taking appropriate steps to put things right?



Continuous learning and improvement




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

  1. A customer and their family let us know that they found the direct debit (DD) change letter confusing. We reviewed the way we communicated direct debit changes regarding rent accounts and any changes will now be discussed on the telephone to explain why the change is happening before a letter is sent confirming these changes.
  2. Customers were unhappy with having to be transferred between teams to log a complaint regarding a repair. A review of the customer journey process took place and highlighted changes on the current system for access to information to be updated. Training was also provided to all our repairs planning team, so they felt empowered to take the details of a complaint and support customers.
  3. Customers felt unsupported and disconnected from the ‘Exceptions’ process for a management home move. A review of the process was completed by Heads of Service who went on to amend the process and train all Lettings and Housing Staff in how it works and the expectations on them to support customers with evidence gathering before submitted a request. There is now clearer guidance for staff and customers on this process.




How do we share these lessons with:


a)    residents?

Website, social media, electronic and paper newsletters


b)    the board/governing body?

Quarterly performance reporting


c)     In the Annual Report?








Has the Code made a difference to how we respond to complaints?




What changes have we made?
  • Comprehensive staff training

  • Induction training for new staff

  • Empowered staff to resolve at first point of contact

  • Improved our response times and increased customer satisfaction with the process.





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