Complaints procedure

What to do if you want to complain about a service delivered by the Regulator of Social Housing.

Your complaints will be handled quickly, effectively and in a fair and honest way. We treat all complaints in confidence.

Procedure

This policy sets out how you can complain about the service provided by the Regulator of Social Housing. It does not set out how you can complain about services provided by your landlord as these types of complaints are subject to different complaints procedures. Before you submit a complaint please check the section at the end of this document to see if there is a more appropriate route for dealing with your concerns. The regulator will not normally investigate complaints which we receive more than three months after the incident took place.

Definition

A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction with a service delivered by the RSH. You can complain about the service we’ve provided, including:

  • failure of staff to follow RSH procedures
  • poor treatment by RSH staff, eg rudeness or not doing something we said we’d do
  • discrimination
  • undue delays
  • not responding to phone calls, emails or letters
  • not answering complaints fully and promptly
  • failure to comply with our published service standards

The RSH complaints procedure is designed to respond to any failures in the service that we’ve given to you. The procedure doesn’t cover, for example:

  • a complaint about the service you’ve received from your landlord
  • our regulatory decisions
  • dissatisfaction with the Housing Ombudsman Service
  • matters relating to decisions made by a local council
  • matters relating to decisions made by Homes England

If you’re not sure whether the RSH is able to consider your complaint, we’ll be happy to advise you.

Accessibility

In accordance with our duties under the Equalities Act 2010, on request, the RSH must make reasonable adjustments so that complainants do not face undue difficulties in contacting us. We will offer appropriate help to enable people to use this complaints procedure effectively. For example, if a complainant feels more comfortable talking to someone about their complaint, a RSH staff member can write a note and check with the complainant that it covers all the issues they want to raise.

How to make a complaint

You should send the details of your complaint to the Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries Team no later than 3 months after you became aware of the problem, or should reasonably have become aware of it. You can send your complaint by post or email or speak to a member of the team. The contact information is set out below. You should include as much information as possible so that the team can fully address the concerns that you have raised.

Where someone complains orally, we will make a written record and provide a copy of it within 3 working days We’ll acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days of receipt. We will respond to you as soon as possible and within 40 working days. If the investigation into your complaint will take longer, you’ll be kept informed of the progress of the case.

How to contact us

By mail:

Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries Team
Regulator of Social Housing
1st Floor - Lateral
8 City Walk
Leeds LS11 9AT

By email: enquiries@rsh.gov.uk

By telephone: 0300 124 5225. Choose option 3

What happens next?

We have a 3-stage complaints process:

Stage 1

This stage is managed by the team to which the complaint relates. You should complain no later than 3 months after you became aware of the problem, or should reasonably have become aware of it..

Stage 2

If you’re unhappy with the way we handled your complaint at stage 1 you can escalate it for an independent review of the original complaint. The review will be carried out by a different team to the one that handled the stage 1 review. You should submit your complaint within 3 months of receiving a response to stage 1.

Stage 3

If you’re still unhappy with our response you can refer it to the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, who will carry out an independent review. If you wish to make a referral to CEDR you should do this as soon as possible, as CEDR may not be able to consider the matter if there is undue delay in referring the matter to them.

CEDR will be able to provide guidance to you on the timescales that apply.

If you’re still not satisfied

If you are still not satisfied, you can ask your MP to take your complaint to the independent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review the handling of your complaint.

Unreasonably persistent or vexatious complainants

The regulator is committed to providing clear and prompt responses to people who contact us, and to dealing appropriately with information supplied to the regulator about registered providers. We understand that the circumstances leading to someone approaching the regulator may have been upsetting or distressing, and that behaviour may be out of character. However, some individuals who contact us are so angry and/or persistent that their behaviour results in unreasonable demands on, or behaviour towards our staff. The RSH has adopted a policy for working with those complainants that become unreasonably persistent or vexatious. This policy will only be applied when all other courses of action have been exhausted and only under limited circumstances.

Unacceptable behaviour statement

Our approach to dealing with unacceptable behaviour is outlined on our Standards of service page.

Complain to your landlord

Providers have principal responsibility for dealing with and being accountable for, complaints about their service; a tenant with a complaint against their landlord should raise the matter with it in the first instance and follow its complaints policy. Should the complaint remain unresolved, tenants can contact a designated person (a local housing authority councillor, MP or recognised tenant panel). Or, after eight weeks, they can also pursue the matter directly with the Housing Ombudsman.

We do not have a statutory mandate to deal with individual complaints and cannot mediate in disputes between landlords and tenants. In relation to such issues, the regulator will direct tenants or other complainants towards the provider’s own complaints system and the Housing Ombudsman.

Further information

Regulating the Standards

Our approach to regulation is detailed in our publication Regulating the Standards.

How to appeal against our decisions

See our How to appeal against our decisions page.

Privacy notice

The regulator is committed to protecting your privacy and the security of your personal data. Please read our privacy notice to find out more about how we do this.