How do I make a complaint?

If you’re unhappy with the service from your landlord you should make a complaint to them first.

Complaints could include:

  • repairs and maintenance
  • issues with communal areas
  • health and safety issues
  • anti-social behaviour
  • customer service

You shouldn’t be penalised for making a complaint and it will not affect your tenancy.

Your landlord will typically have 2 stages to their complaints procedure, and each stage takes around 10-20 working days for them to respond.

Advice on how to make an effective complaint can be found in this guide.

I’ve made a complaint, but I’m unhappy with the response

If you’re unhappy with the response from your landlord then you’re entitled to make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. The Housing Ombudsman will investigate fairly and impartially.

Find out how to escalate your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

Alternatively, you could contact your MP, councillor, or Tenant Panel who may be able to help you resolve the issue.

What if I don’t live in social housing?

You’re only able to make use of the Housing Ombudsman Service if you’re a social housing resident (this includes leasehold residents of social housing providers and residents in shared ownership arrangements with social housing providers) or if your private landlord is a voluntary member of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme. You can check if your landlord is a member of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme.

If you don’t live in social housing and your landlord is not a member of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme there is advice and guidance available on GOV.UK.

What is government doing to help social housing residents?

Everyone should be safe and secure in their own home. We’re taking action so that residents have strong voices and get the dignity and respect they deserve from landlords.

We’re bringing in new laws to protect residents through our Social Housing White Paper. Find out more about our actions and also our Charter for Social Housing Residents.

The Charter sets out that every resident should expect to: ​

  • Be safe in their home​
  • Know how their landlord is performing​
  • Have their complaints dealt with promptly and fairly​
  • Be treated with respect​, backed by a strong consumer regulator for tenants
  • Have their voice heard by their landlord​
  • Have a good quality home and neighbourhood to live in​
  • Be supported to take their first step to ownership
mother with child

We’ve already taking action to achieve the aims sets out in the Charter. This includes:

  • Making it quicker and easier for residents to take complaints directly to the Housing Ombudsman Service by removing the need to go to your MP, local councillor or tenants’ panel first and to wait 8 weeks after completing your landlord’s process
  • Making smoke alarms mandatory in all social homes, and carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all social homes with a gas supply
  • Launching the Social Housing Quality Resident panel to bring together residents from across the country to share their views with the government on our approach to driving up the quality of housing
  • New tenant satisfaction measures set out by the regulator to make landlord performance more visible to tenants so they can hold their landlord to account
  • A new Complaint Handling Code from the Housing Ombudsman to improve complaints handling
  • Publishing an anti-social behaviour information package to clarify the roles of the agencies responsible for tackling anti-social behaviour and the help and support available for tenants
  • New powers for the Housing Ombudsman to identify best practice in complaint handling, with which social housing landlords are expected to comply