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Complaint handling code self-assessment

Complaint handling process

Compliance status and additional notes for Section 5 criteria of the Housing Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code
Code sectionCode requirementComply (Yes/No)Evidence, commentary and any explanations

Landlords must have a single policy in place for dealing with complaints covered by this Code. Residents must not be treated differently if they complain. 


Appendix 1 relates to the Housing Assets Service - an appendix has been used to allow the Council to update the policy to comply with the 2024 Complaints Handling Code as there was no time to complete a wider review of the Complaints Policy - this wider refresh of the policy will take place in 2024 aligning all complaints across the Council to reflect the Two Stage process in place for the Council's landlord service.

Residents who complain are not treated differently.


The early and local resolution of issues between landlords and residents is key to effective complaint handling. It is not appropriate to have extra named stages (such as 'stage 0' or 'informal complaint') as this causes unnecessary confusion. 

YesThe policy has two complaint stages. There is no informal complaint process.
5.3A process with more than two stages is not acceptable under any circumstances as this will make the complaint process unduly long and delay access to the Ombudsman.YesFrom 18 March 2024, a two stage complaint process was introduced for the Council's landlord services.  Prior to this the three stage process in place across other council services applied to the landlord service.

Where a landlord's complaint response is handled by a third party (e.g. a contractor or independent adjudicator) at any stage, it must form part of the two stage complaints process set out in this Code. Residents must not be expected to go through two complaints processes.

YesThe Councils Joint Venture, Great Yarmouth Norse will undertake complaint handling at stage 1 and where escalated, the stage 2 complaint will be considered by the Council.

Landlords are responsible for ensuring that any third parties handle complaints in line with the Code.  

YesThe policy has been shared with GYN, training of the complaints lead has been completed with training of all managers due to be completed in 2024. This will ensure complaints handling and investigations comply with the Council's policy and the Complaint Handling Code.

When a complaint is logged at Stage 1 or escalated to Stage 2, landlords must set out their understanding of the complaint and the outcomes the resident is seeking. The Code will refer to this as "the complaint definition". If any aspect of the complaint is unclear, the resident must be asked for clarification. 


See page 10 of the complaints policy: section on 'Complaints' and page 11 section on 'Complaint Investigation'.

This requirement was included in the training and template for acknowledging complaints.


When a complaint is acknowledged at either stage, landlords must be clear which aspects of the complaint they are, and are not, responsible for and clarify any areas where this is not clear.


See page 10 of the complaints policy: section on 'Complaints' and page 11 section on 'Complaint Investigation'.

This requirement was included in the training and template for acknowledging complaints. 


At each stage of the complaints process, complaint handlers must:  

a. deal with complaints on their merits, act independently, and have an open mind;  

b. give the resident a fair chance to set out their position;  

c.take measures to address any actual or perceived conflict of interest; and

d. consider all relevant information and evidence carefully.


See page 11 of the complaints policy: section on 'Complaint Investigation'

Requirements included in training.


Where a response to a complaint will fall outside the timescales set out in this Code, the landlord must agree with the resident suitable intervals for keeping them informed about their complaint.


See page 11 of the complaints policy: section on 'Complaint Responses'. 

Requirement included in training.

5.10Landlords must make reasonable adjustments for residents where appropriate under the Equality Act 2010. Landlords must keep a record of any reasonable adjustments agreed, as well as a record of any disabilities a resident has disclosed. Any agreed reasonable adjustments must be kept under active review.YesRequirement included in training. Case management process captures these requirements (disability and agreed reasonable adjustments).

Landlords must not refuse to escalate a complaint through all stages of the complaints procedure unless it has valid reasons to do so. Landlords must clearly set out these reasons, and they must comply with the provisions set out in section 2 of this Code.

YesComplaint process outlined in policy. The policy states that escalation to Stage 2 will not be accepted more than six months after the Stage 1 complaint response.

A full record must be kept of the complaint, and the outcomes at each stage. This must include the original complaint and the date received, all correspondence with the resident, correspondence with other parties, and any relevant supporting documentation such as reports or surveys.  


Internal case management process includes this. Relevant supporting documentation, reports or surveys will be held on property files not as part of complaint management.


Landlords must have processes in place to ensure a complaint can be remedied at any stage of its complaints process. Landlords must ensure appropriate remedies can be provided at any stage of the complaints process without the need for escalation.

YesPart of complaint handling training.
5.14Landlords must have policies and procedures in place for managing unacceptable behaviour from residents and/or their representatives. Landlords must be able to evidence reasons for putting any restrictions in place and must keep restrictions under regular review.YesThe Council has a specific policy for dealing with abusive, persistent or vexatious complaints and complainants policy.
5.15Any restrictions placed on contact due to unacceptable behaviour must be proportionate and demonstrate regard for the provisions of the Equality Act 2010. YesSee above.
Last modified on 26 June 2024

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