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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 2024 and we have worked with our customers to look at our complaints procedure to ensure the statutory guidance from the Housing Ombudsman is 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 contact us if you need help finding the correct information or details. 

How to make a complaint

It is easy to make a complaint about our service. We have a dedicated team of advisors who handle your complaint.

To make a complaint you can:

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.

You have the right to contact The Housing Ombudsman Service at any point throughout the complaints process, for advice and guidance.

Is your complaint about noise nuisance or anti-social behaviour?

To log a report of nuisance or anti-social behaviour, please sign into your online account and complete the relevant form. Alternatively, you can contact our Customer Service Centre.

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

In line with the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code, we support the earliest resolution of complaints and try to resolve any service requests quickly. A service request is a request requiring action to be taken to put something right.

If we can work with you to put it right, we will. For example, if you tell us

  • An appointment was missed.
  • An Operative was late to arrive.
  • A colleague didn’t call you when promised.

We will treat this as a service request. We will log it and try to resolve it for you quickly as a “Put it Right”. We log and monitor all service requests. 

If the issue is more complex, or you remain dissatisfied, it’s easy to make a complaint. 

You can view our complaints procedure here.

Monitoring and learning

We use complaints as a source of intelligence to identify issues and introduce positive changes in service delivery. 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.

In line with the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code 2024, by June 30, we will publish our annual complaints performance and service improvement report.

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.

County Court

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 was 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.