Make a complaint: England
Published on 21 July 2022
Our aim is to ensure we handle your complaint in a prompt, polite and fair way, by working with you to find a resolution as soon as possible. Once we know something has gone wrong, we can put things right, and prevent similar things happening in the future by learning from our complaints.
We have fully adopted the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code and we have worked with our customers to look at our complaints procedure to ensure the good practice recommendations from the Housing Ombudsman are embedded in the way we manage your complaint.
Freehold homeowners and leaseholders
If you are a freehold homeowner, or in some cases a leaseholder, you may not be able to access the Housing Ombudsman. Please click here for our Freehold Homeowner and Leaseholder Complaints page for more information such as details of separate appeals processes.
How to make a complaint
It is easy to make a complaint about our service. We have a dedicated team of Customer Focus Advisors to handle your complaint.
To make a complaint you can:
- submit an online complaint
- email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org
- contact our Customer Service Centre
- tell us in person
- message us on social media (we are mindful of data protection when responding, and will contact you offline)
- send your complaint in writing to the Customer Focus Team using the address below:
Customer Focus Team
Places for People
PO Box 2070
When you contact us, please tell us:
- your full name, address, and contact number(s)
- what happened, when it happened and how it affected you
- what you think we should do to put things right.
Is your complaint about noise nuisance or anti-social behaviour?
If your complaint is about our service and how we handled any reports of nuisance or anti-social behaviour you reported, you can make a complaint in the usual way.
Sharing your details
We may share your name and contact details with In House Research, an external company who we have appointed to carry out surveys so that we can obtain feedback from you on our complaints service. The appointed company will work on our behalf and will never use your information for any other purposes.
What happens next
We will always try to resolve your complaint on the day we receive it. If we are unable to resolve the complaint within 48 hours, we will acknowledge that we have received your complaint within five working days.
View our complaints procedure.
Monitoring and learning
We are committed to learning from the complaints we receive. If learning is identified from a complaint at any level, this is recorded internally. We work with those teams and contractors concerned to identify how we will implement the changes needed.
We analyse all complaints received and produce an internal complaints and compliments report every month. We also produce and publish annual customer reports which contain the key facts regarding complaints received and completed.
Homeowner and leaseholder complaint options
Options for those who may not be able to use the Housing Ombudsman.
Homeowners and Leaseholders are entitled and welcome to use our internal complaints procedure. If you are a freehold homeowner, or in some cases a leaseholder, you may however, not be able to access the Housing Ombudsman.
We always aim to reach a fair and reasonable outcome to complaints. However, if the complaints procedure has been exhausted and you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, the option of a Housing Ombudsman review may not be available to you, depending on the complaint.
There are several alternative appeal options potentially available which can either be instigated once the complaints procedure is exhausted or, if appropriate, instead of the Places for People complaints procedure altogether. If an alternative appeals process is instigated whilst a complaint is open, the complaint will be withdrawn.
Examples of alternative appeals processes are as follows:
First-Tier Tribunal (FTT)
The FTT can consider a range of issues such as rent increase and service charges. The tribunal is unconnected to either party or government and would consider both sides before reaching a conclusion.
Rent Assessment Committee (RAC)
The RAC is a tribunal of two or three people set up under the provisions of the Rent Act 1977. It is an independent decision making body regarding rent which is unconnected to either party or government.
The County Court considers civil (non-criminal) matters whereby an individual (or business) believes their rights have been infringed, and compensation is sought.
Customers can contact The Housing Ombudsman for advice via the contact details within our Complaints Policy. Information regarding the above alternative appeals options can be obtained through your local council. The Leasehold Advisory Service also provides information for Leaseholders.
We would also be happy to discuss your options when considering raising a complaint, or escalating a complaint.
Independent Complaints Panel (ICP)
The Independent Complaints Panel (ICP) is a joint project which runs in partnership with several housing providers.
You can refer your complaint to the ICP once it has fully passed through our internal complaint procedure.
The role of the ICP
The ICP has been set up in response to the Government’s Localism Act, designed to increase the influence of local people when decisions are made. The Act introduced local complaints panels to look at cases that have exhausted an organisation's internal complaints processes. This role is termed the ‘designated person’.
The ICP has been set up by Places for People, Places for People Living Plus, Tuntum Housing Association and Longhurst Group, and consists of customers from all these housing providers. The members are supported by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service to ensure that the process is fully independent and objective.
Customers are appointed to resolve complaints by helping to mediate an outcome between the housing provider and complainant. The members have both skills in complaint handling and experience as tenants and leaseholders. This adds a valuable layer to the process and lessens dependence on the Ombudsman.
The panel can resolve the complaint itself or refer it directly to the Ombudsman.