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Complaints procedure

Our procedure is a step-by-step system that lays down what we must do at each stage, and tells you when we will do it.

Stage 1

Talk to the office that dealt with you originally. Tell us why you're unhappy and what you want us to do. Very often this will sort the problem out on the spot, without needing to fill in forms or put your complaint in writing. But if you are not happy with the response . . .

Stage 2

Fill in our complaints form on-line now, or contact us and we will post one to you. We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days. The manager of the office will investigate the problem and give you a full response within 10 working days or, if that's not possible, explain why there is a delay. We will always try to speak to you before we write to you with the outcome of our investigation. The vast majority of complaints are sorted out by this stage, but if you are not happy with the solution we offer, you can take the complaint further.

In some cases, particularly where the complaint includes the actions of the manager, we may decide to move the complaint straight to the next stage. Where we do this, we will tell you what we have done and why we have done so when we make that decision.

Stage 3

If you have had a response, but are still not satisfied, you can take the complaint to a more senior officer who will review the case and respond to you in the same timescales (acknowledgment within five days, full response in 10).

If you have taken the complaint to a senior officer and are still not happy, the case will go to a Northwards executive director who will respond to you in the same timescales (acknowledgment within five days, full response in 10).

Stage 4

If you are still not happy, you can take your case to the 'Housing Ombudsman' (HO). The HO will only look into a complaint if:

  • it has gone through the previous three stages of our complaints procedure first

and either:

  • eight weeks have passed since our complaints procedure has finished or
  • your case has been considered by a "designated person" (e.g. an MP or local councillor).

For more information on the Housing Ombudsman, visit http://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/.

The vast majority of cases are sorted out at stage 1 or stage 2. In rare cases where you want to take the case to the higher stages, we will explain exactly what you need to do.