Common questionsWe have answered some common questions we are asked specifically about making a complaint. However if your question is not answered below, please contact us.
A complaint is usually about poor service. This could be because we have done something wrong or failed to do something we should have done.
Examples of complaints can include:
- Where you believe that your repair has not been completed to an acceptable standard or within the prescribed time limit
- Where you believe that you have not been treated fairly or in line with our policies or procedures.
Examples of issues that cannot be dealt with through our complaints procedure include:
- Initial requests for repairs
- Problems concerning antisocial behaviour or neighbour nuisance. For this please see our Antisocial behaviour page.
If you have a customer/landlord relationship with us you can make a complaint. This includes anyone who has a tenancy, lease, service agreement, licence to occupy or any other arrangement to occupy premises owned or managed by us in either a sole or joint capacity. If you live in a property where someone else has the relationship and want to make a complaint, we will only respond to the person who has the relationship with us, unless we have their written permission to correspond with you.
Similarly, if you hold the relationship with us but would like someone else to make the complaint on your behalf, for example a friend or relative, we will only respond to your representative if we have your signed permission to do so. Otherwise, all contact will be with you.
If you are a member of a household where no-one has a customer/ landlord relationship with us, for example you are a home owner or private tenant, you may still make a complaint to us if you feel that we are responsible.
If you wish to make a complaint anonymously, we will investigate it as best we can.
If you wish to complain, you should do this within four months of the cause of the complaint.
You should always tell us when you are not satisfied with any aspect of our service and we will try to resolve it as quickly as possible. In this way, most problems can we resolved quickly outside of our complaints procedure. However, if you need to make a complaint, you can do so in several ways.
Our staff are available to help you. Please contact the Customer Services Team who will aim to resolve your issue at the first point of contact.
We can also advise where you may be able to seek independent advice, for example from Citizens Advice or a housing advice centre. Please ask if you would like more information about this.
Please tell us what the problem is and when it started. It is also helpful if you can tell us the names of anyone who has already spoken to you or written to you about the problem. Although we cannot promise to do everything you ask, it helps to know what you would like us to do to put things right.
We will aim to deal with your complaint promptly and to resolve it at the earliest stage. When we receive it, we will aim to acknowledge it within three working days (not including the date of receipt) unless we are able to issue a full response. Your complaint may then progress as follows:
You can raise your concern with any member of staff who will aim to resolve matters immediately for you. If they cannot resolve it, the details will be passed to the Customer Service team who will make contact with you either that day or the next working day. You will be given the Customer Service Officer’s name and they will work with you and with colleagues in other teams to resolve the problem. We will agree timeframes with you to keep you updated of progress. We will correspond with you by whichever method you prefer and we will not issue written responses at this stage unless you would like one.
If we are unable to resolve matters at Stage 1, you can ask to escalate to Stage 2. You must do this within one month and you must tell us what you feel we have failed to explain or do.
Our Customer Feedback Officer will escalate for you and assign the complaint to a Director. You will be contacted that day or the next working day by the Director or a manager with the level of expertise required. We will agree timeframes and work with you and other teams to gain a resolution. If we cannot resolve matters, we will issue you with a full response which will advise you of next steps.
Who can be a ‘designated person’ and what can they do?
A designated person may be an MP or local Councillor. A designated person can either try to resolve your complaint or refer it to the Ombudsman. If they decide to do neither, you can then immediately refer the complaint to the Ombudsman yourself.
Do I have to refer my complaint to a ‘designated person’?
If you do not want to refer your complaint to a designated person, you must wait at least eight weeks from the end of our internal procedure before you can contact the Ombudsman.
In summary then, you have the following options:
- Ask your MP or local Councillor to help resolve your complaint
- Wait eight weeks from the date of our Stage 2 response and refer your complaint directly to the Ombudsman.
I do not have a customer/landlord relationship with you – does the ‘designated person’ stage apply to me?
If you do not have a customer/landlord relationship with us you will not be able to take your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman, therefore the ‘designated person’ stage does not apply to you. However you may wish to contact your local MP or Councillor to see if they can assist you any further with your complaint. Alternatively, you may wish to seek advice on what to do next from your local Citizens Advice.
This service aims to provide a fair and effective way of resolving complaints against a landlord such as Grand Union. There is no charge for the use of the Housing Ombudsman Service.
The Ombudsman will expect you to have used our complaints procedure in order to give us the opportunity to resolve your complaint.
If you want to refer your complaint to the Ombudsman, you must contact them within six months of reaching the end of our procedure, however, please remember that if you have decided not to refer your complaint to a designated person, you must wait eight weeks before doing so. You can ask a friend, relative or adviser to help you with the complaint.
Contact details for the Ombudsman are: