Housing Ombudsman Self-assessment code
In July 2020 the Housing Ombudsman produced a guide on complaint handling for all social landlords to adopt. This is to make sure that all social landlords handle complaints consistently, and to make it easy for customers to make a complaint if they are dissatisfied.
This guide is consistent with the aims outlined in the Charter for Social Housing Residents white paper, which the government published in November 2020. This charter proposes positive action on things like inspections, tenant satisfaction and performance improvement.
What the new code means
The code expects social landlords to work with customers to keep them informed throughout the complaints process and to try resolve complaints quickly. It also aims to make sure that lessons are learned from the complaint, so that it does not happen again.
The code also requires social landlords to publish a self-assessment on how they are doing against the code’s requirements, as well as an action plan to improve or change processes if necessary so that they meet all the requirements set within the code by March 2021.
What we’re doing at NCH
We’re pleased to say that we already meet many of the proposed standards and requirements. However we’re always working to improve resident satisfaction and there are some areas that we need to review.
We’re starting with a review of our current complaints policy. In its place we plan to adopt a clear two stage internal complaints process. This will introduce a pre formal complaint stage which will be used where possible to resolve issues or dissatisfaction more quickly, at the first point of contact.
It’s really important that we continue to listen, understand and improve when things go wrong for our customers. We will publish a yearly report on the types, numbers and trends regarding our complaints we have handled. We will also provide regular updates on what we have learned and improved from these complaints, and any resulting changes and improvements we are carrying out to our complaints service.
If you have any comments or would like to know more, please email us.
You can read our current Complaints Policy here.