Before submitting a formal complaint

What is a complaint?

We have adopted the following definition of a complaint as defined by the Housing Ombudsman Service: ‘an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the Council, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting and individual resident or group of residents’. 

What is not a complaint?

A complaint is not:

  • A request for service, for example, request for a repair or removal of fly-tipping.
  • A request for information.
  • An explanation of council policy, for example, the level of Council Tax.
  • An issue regarding anti-social behaviour.
  • A liability or personal injury claim.
  • A matter already being dealt with by the ombudsman.

Who can complain?

Any resident, tenant or user of services provided by us. Alternatively, you may represent an organisation or be an advocate for a service user affected by the way our services have been provided.

Time limit

We expect complaints to be made in a timely manner and will not, except in exceptional circumstances, consider complaints in respect of a matter that is more than 12 months old. 

Complaints about councillors

This document concentrates on complaints about the service provided by us. If you have a complaint about one of your local Councillors, it will be dealt with under a separate procedure by our Monitoring Officer.

Complaints about housing services

The Housing Ombudsman published its Complaint Handling Code in July 2020. The code outlines what you can and should expect from us as your council. A key part of the code is for us as your landlord to annually self-assess our performance against the code. We assess our complaint procedure in May each year. 

If you are a tenant or leaseholder of the Council and your complaint concerns a property, we will aim to provide you with a full response at stage 1 within 10 working days of your complaint being logged.

Complaints about our contractors

If your complaint relates to a service that is provided by a contractor as opposed to the council, you must go through the contractor’s complaints procedure.

If you are dissatisfied with your final response from the contractor you may request that your complaint is investigated by us.

When we receive your complaint, it will be allocated to a director within the relevant service area. It will be acknowledged within five working days, and you will be given the director’s name and contact details.

We will try to complete the investigation into your complaint and let you have our answer within a further 20 working days. If this is not possible, we will advise you of the date by which you will receive a full reply. The decision made by the Director will be final.

If you are unclear who the contractor is, please contact us and we will advise you further.

Phone: 01483 755 855