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

Be assured, 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 can 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.

Dealing with housing problems can be stressful. If you or a member of your family want to talk to someone, you can contact NHS mental health services. Alternatively, you can speak to a mental health charity.

How can I get involved and what else is government doing to help social housing residents?

We’re taking action so that residents have strong voices and get the dignity and respect they deserve from landlords.

To help get our messages out there, we have published a toolkit of Make Things Right posters, leaflets and social media posts to print or download and share with people you know. Some of them are translated into other languages too.

Behind this campaign we’re bringing in new laws to protect residents through our Charter for Social Housing Residents (Social Housing White Paper) and the Social Housing Regulation Bill.

This includes Awaab’s Law. In memory of Awaab Ishak who tragically lost his life due to conditions in his social home, Awaab’s Law will force social landlords to fix damp and mould within strict time limits.

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

  • Allowing for residents to take complaints directly to the Housing Ombudsman Service without delay – 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 England to share their views with the government on our approach to driving up the quality of housing
  • Publishing new tenant satisfaction measures from the regulator to make landlord performance more visible to tenants so they can hold their landlord to account
  • 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 introduced in the Social Housing Regulation Bill for the Housing Ombudsman to identify best practice in case handling, including publishing a new Complaint Handling Code with which social housing landlords are expected to comply and this will be monitored.
  • The Housing Ombudsman can also now publish guidance on good practice and order social landlords to complete a self-assessment against this guidance when a complaint is received.
  • In August 2022, we announced that the Department will highlight poor practice by landlords including on its social media platforms. We will publish `Severe Maladministration’ findings by the Housing Ombudsman and judgements of the Regulator of Social Housing that consumer standards have been breached.