The Housing Ombudsman Service Emma Foxall Director of Dispute Resolution
The Housing Ombudsman Scheme S51 Housing Act 1996 (amended by Localism Act 2011) and the scheme approved by the Secretary of State • Enables the investigation of complaints against landlords by tenants • 2,368 member landlords, primarily housing associations and local housing authorities (required membership) but also some voluntary members (charities & private sector landlords) • Complaints can be brought not just by tenants but also leaseholders, shared owners, licensees or their representatives, and applicants for housing with a member landlord. Core of our remit is the landlord and tenant function
Our vision Housing Matters: Fairness Matters We ensure the fair and impartial resolution of housing complaints, locally where possible. We understand the importance of housing to people’s lives. When things go wrong we seek to put things right and encourage learning from outcomes. We help improve landlord and resident relationships and housing services. We role model the service we expect of others.
The role of the Ombudsman is to: • resolve disputesinvolving members of the Scheme, including making awards of compensation or other remedies when appropriate, as well as to • support effective landlord-tenant dispute resolution by others.
Our Dispute Resolution Process • Local • resolution • Early resolution • Enquiry • jurisdiction • Investigation
Dispute resolution principles • Be fair - treat people fairly and follow fair processes • Put things right • Learn from outcomes
Reducing complaints • Understand issue from customer point of view • Empower staff to deliver excellent customer service and outcomes • Remember CAT (Communication, actions & timeliness) and DRPs (be fair, put things right, learn from outcomes • Ask for feedback and use it to develop/improve
Key points for complaints process • Easy to follow • Allow for informal & formal responses • Proactive escalation • Written responses – audit trail of decision making • Reasonable timescales • Flexibility to deal with vulnerable residents • Final letter – clear, concise, stand alone – reference to Ombudsman included.
Sector Engagement • Working with landlords, designated persons, tenants and other organisations in the sector: • Discussions and training for individual landlords and tenant panels • Open access talks, workshops and events, often in partnership with others • Dispute resolution e-learning • Virtual classroom action learning sets • Guidance, case studies and best practice • Improved website (coming soon)
Contact us Housing Ombudsman Service Telephone – 0300 111 3000 Email – email@example.com www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk Follow us: @HousingOmbuds Housing Ombudsman