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Making complaints

This content applies to England

How to complain about a private registered provider of social housing (PRPSH), formerly known as registered social landlord (RSL).

Complaining to a PRPSH

Anyone who wishes to make a complaint about a PRPSH should complete the PRPSH's complaints procedure in the first instance. If a complainant remains dissatisfied, then s/he may complain to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will investigate the complaint and, if s/he finds in favour of the complainant, may require the PRPSH to take steps to put things right or to compensate the complainant.

Complaints and the Ombudsman

In England, complaints against PRPSHs can be raised with the Housing Ombudsman Service.

The Ombudsman is independent and impartial, and the service is free of charge. S/he may look into complaints that a person has been treated unfairly or received bad service through some failure on the part of a landlord. All residents in homes managed by an PRPSH can make a complaint to the Ombudsman. All PRPSHs are required to be subject to the Ombudsman, and certain private landlords and management agents have also agreed to be subject to the Ombudsman voluntarily. These include, for example, some unregistered subsidiaries of PRPSHs and some charities providing housing. For more information see the page Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS).

Regulatory concerns

In England, the Ombudsman or any other person or organisation, including elected local councillors, MPs and organisations representing tenants, can refer issues of regulatory concern about a provider to the Regulator of social housing. A statutory committee of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the regulator of all registered providers of social housing, including local authorities, and will investigate complaints if:

  • the complaint provides evidence or grounds to suspect systemic failure against one or more of the its standards, or
  • it raises serious regulatory concerns, such as an immediate/potential risk to a tenant's or a number of tenants' health and safety, an allegation of mismanagement or fraud, or a significant risk to the reputation of the sector.

For more information about complaining against PRPSHs in England, see the Complaints against social housing providers page in the Regulation of social housing providers section.

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