We are always pleased to hear from you when we get things right. We will pass on your comment to the member of staff or team concerned.
But we also want to hear if we get things wrong. Complaints are an important form of feedback. If you point out that our service has been poor, we can put things right and learn lessons for the future.
You are welcome to complain if you feel:
- we have failed in our duty as your landlord
- our policies or ways of working have unfairly affected you
- we have failed to apply our own rules or been inefficient, or
- a member of staff, or someone working on our behalf, has behaved badly or been rude to you.
Talking to us informally
We want to sort out your problem as quickly as possible. If you talk to a member of staff, they will try to resolve things straight away.
But if your complaint is more serious, you may want to use our formal complaints process.
Please ask if you need an interpreter or a translation at any stage.
Getting additional help
You may find it useful to get independent advice from an advice or law centre.
At any stage, we may also offer the option of mediation. This is where a trained, independent person comes in to listen to both sides and helps to resolve the problem. We would not arrange this without asking you first.
Our formal complaints process
You can take your complaint to our Head of Service by:
- phoning the office on 020 8524 6987
- emailing us at email@example.com, or
- writing to us (address below).
We will aim to respond within 10 working days. Our Head of Department may arrange to sort things out by visiting you, or inviting you to the office.
If you are still unhappy, you can take your complaint to stage 2.
You can take your complaint further by contacting one of our Directors of Department. You can do this in writing, on the phone or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please explain why you are still unhappy and what you would like us to do about it.
Our Director of Department will investigate and aim to send you a written response within 20 working days of hearing from you.
If you are still unhappy, you can take your complaint to stage 3.
If you are dissatisfied with the Directors decision an appeal can be made to the Board of Management within 15 working days of receiving the Director’s decision.
You will need to do this in writing either by letter or email, and with the reasons you re dissatisfied, and provide copies of relevant documentation, photos etc.
Please mark the envelope for the attention of The Chair, (Complaint), WFHA Board of Management and send it to our Head Office address.
The Board Members will form an Appeals Panel of three members.
We will arrange a convenient date for the Panel to meet you. You will be able to explain your complaint and what you want doing about it. We will also send someone from our staff to explain our position.
If you prefer, you can choose not to go to the appeal in person. You can also opt to talk to a representative from the Panel instead.
After the hearing, we aim to let you know the panel’s decision within 20 working days.
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome, they can escalate the appeal to the Independent Housing Ombudsman.
This panel’s decision is a final response from WFHA.
Taking your housing complaint outside WFHA
You should normally get to the end of our complaints process before taking your complaint about your home, our housing services, or your tenancy, outside WFHA.
You can then approach the organisations or people listed below, in the order shown.
If your home is owned by a landlord that is not WFHA, you must contact them before approaching the Housing Ombudsman.
The landlord will review how we have handled your complaint and make recommendations to us if they aren’t happy.
If you remain dissatisfied, they can refer you direct to the Ombudsman. (You don’t have to go through the ‘designated person’ stage.)
If your complaint is about your home or tenancy, after you have exhausted our complaints process you can take it to a ‘designated person’ – usually an MP or a councillor. (If another landlord owns your home, they also count as a designated person.)
In some larger housing associations, but not ours at the moment, a tenant organisation can play this role.
Your ‘designated person’ will either try to resolve the problem with us, or refer your complaint in writing direct to the Housing Ombudsman Service.
The Housing Ombudsman can take complaints referred from a designated person (see above).
For a complaint direct from you (where you don’t contact your owning landlord or another designated person first), you will have to wait eight weeks after getting a final response from WFHA, before you can involve the Housing Ombudsman.
To contact the Housing Ombudsman, write to:
Housing Ombudsman Service
Phone: 0300 111 3000
Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9.15am to 5.15pm (except public holidays).
You can also submit your complaint and download supporting documents using their online form.
In July 2020, the Housing Ombudsman published its Complaint Handling Code. This sets out how landlords should respond to complaints effectively and fairly. Our policy and procedure is aligned with the code, and please click here to see our self assessment form.