We are in the Housing Ombudsman’s jurisdiction by effect of the 1996 Housing Act and 2011 Localism Act. Our membership covers all our housing activities as long as they are about the landlord and tenant relation, and all types of tenure (periodic and long lease).
Here is a link to the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, which explains this in more detail.
We strive to provide services of a high standard at all times.
It is always great to receive positive feedback and to know that we got something right. However, we know that we don’t always get it right, and if we have not met your expectations, we also want to hear from you.
How to make a complaint
What is a complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by Tuntum, its own staff, or those acting on our behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.
We will not regard as complaints:
- Requests for service, information, etc.
- Liability or personal injury claims.
- Complaints from one neighbour about another: resolving neighbourhood disputes is part of the housing management service.
- Complaints linked to legal action already begun against Tuntum.
- Matters already dealt with by the Housing Ombudsman service
- Complaints closed, unless (a) there is evidence of on-going issues e.g. mould and/or (b) an MP, Councillor or the Housing Ombudsman has asked us to re-open the complaint.
- Anonymous complaints, although we will investigate such complaints outside of this policy.
Who can make a complaint?
Any tenant, leaseholder, resident or applicant for housing can make a complaint. If you need help in making a complaint, someone else can complain on your behalf, but we will need to be sure that they are representing your views.
What happens once you send us a complaint?
When you let us know that you have had a problem with our service, we will always try to fix things straight away. If the person taking the complaint can resolve things for you straight away, we will then close the case.
If you are still not satisfied and wish to make a formal complaint, a two-stage complaints process is followed.
Stage 1 – Investigation
Where a complaint has escalated from the informal stage, an investigation will be undertaken by an officer from the service responsible for the alleged service failure.
At Stage 1, we will:
- Acknowledge the complaint by telephone or e-mail within five working days.
- Discuss the complaint with the complainant to ensure we understand the background details
- Give the complainant a unique reference number and let them know the name and contact details of the person who will be dealing with their complaint.
- During the investigation, we will contact the complainant to keep them informed of progress and ask any further questions if necessary.
- Write or e-mail them within 10 working days to let them know the outcome.
If further investigation is needed, which will take longer than 10 working days, we will telephone you to agree when you will get a full response.
Stage 2 – Appeal and Review
If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome at Stage 1 then they should contact the staff member who had handled the complaint to appeal for a review, stating:
- The specific things they disagree with;
- What their desired outcome would be.
A senior manager, who was not previously involved with the complaint, will then review the complaint and will:
- Acknowledge that they are now dealing with it by contacting the complainant within three working days with their name and contact details.
- Offer the complainant the opportunity for a personal telephone conversation or meeting.
- Review the Stage 1 response, speaking with the investigating officer where appropriate.
- Deciding whether the original outcome still stands or whether to try to resolve the complaint, it can be improved, e.g. by offering compensation.
They will then contact the complainant by e-mail or in writing within 10 working days to let them know the outcome of the review.
If the 10 day response target cannot be met, we will contact the complainant to explain the reasons why, and let them know when they can expect a full response.
If the complaint is still aggrieved after Stage 2 then the Head of Service will explain their further options which are:
- Referral to the Independent Complaints Panel.
- Eight weeks after receiving the Stage 2 response they may contact the independent Housing Ombudsman Service.
It should be noted that the Customer Excellence Leader can be used at Stage 2 to offer advice in managing a complaint, especially if it is complex or difficult.
If you are considering submitting a Housing Disrepair claim through a third-party then please read our article on the subject and ensure you are informed. We would rather work with you to resolve any problems.
Making or escalating a complaint
The Localism Act 2011 brought in an additional step before a complaint may be sent to the Housing Ombudsman. This is scrutiny of the complaint by a ‘designated person’ which could be a local MP, the local authority or an independent complaints panel made up of fellow tenants. Tuntum operates such a panel in partnership with other three other housing providers – Derwent Living, Chorus Housing and Longhurst Group.
If your complaint remains unresolved after Stage 2, then you are invited to submit the complaint to the ICP. This request should be made by e-mail or writing to the Customer Excellence Leader. They will then process the complaint and advise you of the procedure to follow.
Only if a complaint remains unresolved after the ICP has met, or 8 weeks have passed since the end of Stage 2, can a complaint be forwarded to the Housing Ombudsman Service.
In this section you will find more details on the ICP panel including how their process works.
The Housing Ombudsman is an independent and impartial service that resolves disputes between landlords and tenants. This service is free to use but the Ombudsman will not accept any complaint unless you have been through the Association’s Complaints Procedure above.
The Customer Excellence Leader will make the relevant files and records available to the Housing Ombudsman’s Investigating Officer on request and we will co-operate fully with the investigation.
This section will explain how to escalate your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman, it also includes contact details for the Housing Ombudsman. You can also watch some helpful videos explaining the several stages of a complaint.