Complain to the Ombudsman about repairs in social housing

You can contact the ombudsman if you complained to your council or housing association about repair problems but aren't satisfied with the result.

How the housing ombudsman can help

The Housing Ombudsman Service is an independent watchdog. They deal with complaints from council tenants and housing association tenants. The service is free.

The service investigates complaints about councils or housing associations doing things the wrong way or not doing something they should have done. The ombudsman does not investigate every complaint made to them.

The ombudsman service can look at how your landlord dealt with your request for repairs. The service decides if your landlord acted properly and followed the correct procedures. Their decisions are not legally binding but most landlords usually follow them.

If they agree with your complaint, they can:

  • recommend that your landlord takes steps to put things right
  • suggest that the landlord pays you compensation

How to complain

You must use your landlord's formal complaints procedure first. You can complain to the ombudsman if you are not satisfied with the outcome.

Put your complaint in writing and include any evidence that supports it.

Evidence can include:

  • photographs showing the repairs which need doing
  • photographs of damaged belongings
  • copies of any letters you sent to your landlord
  • copies of any doctor's notes or hospital reports which show that your health has been affected by the problem

Include receipts for any money you spent because of the repair problem (for example if you had to replace damaged belongings).

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

Get advice from Shelter

Get advice from a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice before you make your complaint.

Use Shelter's directory to find a local advice centre.

Last updated 01 Sep 2015 | © Shelter

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