Tenants have a right to know how to complain if they get a poor service from their social landlord, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said today (7 July 2014).
While the vast majority of social tenants are happy with the service they receive and the relationship they have with their landlords, Mr Hopkins made clear that there must be no delay in resolving issues where they arise and that tenants need clear and simple advice about how to make a complaint.
Since 2011, MPs, councillors and designated tenant panels have had a formal role in the complaints process, and have been able to represent tenants who feel their concerns are not being addressed.
Mr Hopkins wants tenants up and down the country to get the service they deserve – but also to know where they can turn if they get a raw deal.
The complaints process for social tenants is now published on the government’s website, while the Homes and Communities Agency has clarified its role as the industry’s regulator.
Kris Hopkins has also written to the National Housing Federation, the Charted Institute of Housing and the Local Government Association, urging them and their members to ensure tenants know how to complain if they need to do so.
In addition, ministers are examining the greater role tenants themselves can play in shaping the service they receive form their landlords.
Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:
From reporting repairs to paying their rent, the overwhelming majority of social tenants are very happy with the service they receive from their landlords.
However, when tenants don’t get the service they rightly expect, I want them to know where to go to get that issue resolved. That’s why today I’m urging MPs, councils and housing associations to make sure tenants in their area know where to turn for advice and help.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:
I have seen first-hand some of the fantastic work that is going on in local areas when tenants and their landlords work successfully together to provide high quality housing services - services that are delivering better value for money and are more responsive to tenants needs. But on the rare occasions where things don’t go right it is important that tenants know who to turn to for advice so that any complaints can be resolved as quickly as possible.
Read details of how council housing and housing association tenants can complain if they get a poor service, and on the Housing Ombudsman and Homes and Communities Agency websites.