Complaints about housing associations

If your landlord or freeholder is a housing association  you can complain using the housing association's formal complaints procedure. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, the Housing Ombudsman Service may consider your complaint.

When to complain to a housing association

You can complain to a housing association if you rent your home from them or they manage your tenancy. For example, you can complain if the housing association has failed to do repairs or has done them badly.

If you own your home on a long lease (including a shared ownership lease), and the housing association is the freeholder, you can complain if it is not doing what the lease says. For example, you could complain if the housing association is not cleaning the common parts of the building or carrying out structural repairs.

You can also complain to the council's environmental health department if there is a hazard to health or safety in your home and it is the housing association's fault. Use the Gov.uk council finder to find the contact details of your local council.

Anyone can complain about large amounts of litter, dog fouling, fly tipping, noise or antisocial behaviour on a housing association estate.

How to complain to your housing association

Contact the housing association through its neighbourhood office or estate office or find its contact details online or in the Yellow Pages.

Use the housing association's complaints procedure. Ask about it at their office or get information from their website.

Complain by letter if you can't find any information about an official complaints procedure.

Give the housing association a reasonable amount of time to deal with your complaint. At the end of the complaints procedure, you can take your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service if you are not happy with the housing association's response.

You may be able to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle your dispute.

Find out more from AdviceGuide about ADR.

Contact the Housing Ombudsman Service

You can complain about housing associations to the Housing Ombudsman Service. The Ombudsman can't usually help you until you have gone through the housing association's complaints procedure. It also can't usually help you if you have a court case about your complaint.

The Ombudsman decides whether it can investigate your complaint. It will investigate if the rules allow it to. The Ombudsman may ask you questions as well as contacting the housing association. The Ombudsman then comes to a decision.

If the Ombudsman upholds your complaint, it could recommend that the housing association treat you properly and possibly to pay you compensation.

Find out more from the Housing Ombudsman Service about making a complaint.

If you are not happy with the Ombudsman's decision, you may be able to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle your dispute, or you may have to consider taking legal action.

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