How do I make a complaint to my social housing provider?

If you are unhappy with the service you are receiving from your social housing provider you can make a complaint.

Your complaint could be about:

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

You should make your complaint to your social housing provider in the first instance. You shouldn’t be penalised for doing so and it will not affect your tenancy.

Your social housing provider normally has at least two stages to their complaints procedure, and each stage takes around 10-20 working days for them to respond. Information on how to make an effective complaint can be found in this guide.

You can also contact the Housing Ombudsman if you need further advice and support at this stage.

What if I’m not satisfied with my social housing provider's response?

If you’re not happy with the final response from your social housing provider, you are entitled to make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

The Housing Ombudsman will investigate fairly and impartially. Find out more about what the Housing Ombudsman will investigate and how they can help.

They can only review your case after 8 weeks has passed since your social housing provider’s complaints process has ended. The government is proposing legislation to speed this up.

You could alternatively contact your MP, councillor, or Tenant Panel who may be able to help you resolve the issue. They can also refer you immediately to the Ombudsman before the 8 week period ends if they cannot help themselves.

What is the government doing to help social housing residents?

The government has introduced the Charter for Social Housing Residents.

This ensures that residents have a strong voice and are listened to when they raise their concerns and complaints and that residents are treated with dignity and respect by their landlord. It also sets out how the government will ensure landlords are more accountable for the service they deliver, including through strengthening the powers of the Housing Ombudsman and transforming the consumer regulation role of the Regulator of Social Housing.

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

The Charter and the action the government is taking to support Social Housing Residents is set out in the Social Housing White Paper.

The government has already started taking action to achieve the aims sets out in the Charter. This includes:


What if I am not a social housing resident?

You are only able to make use of the Housing Ombudsman Service if you are 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 on the Housing Ombudsman website.

If you want to make a complaint but you are not a social housing resident and your landlord is not a member of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme there is information, help and guidance available.

If you rent your home from a private landlord:

If you are a leaseholder:

If you are buying or selling your own home: