Our complaints policy

Lewisham Homes’ policy is to resolve all complaints at the earliest possible opportunity.

We can often resolve issues quickly, for example where an appointment needs to be rearranged. However, if we are not able to find a solution quickly, we will register your complaint formally. All formal complaints will be acknowledged within two working days. When making a complaint please include what the issue is and how you’d like Lewisham Homes to put things right.

Formal complaints

Stage Zero:

Where we are able to put things right quickly, we will log your concerns as a stage zero complaint. The investigating officer will make contact with you within 2 working days of your concerns being acknowledged to resolve the issues or offer a timeline for a resolution.
Where we cannot offer a solution straightaway, or at your request, your concerns will be registered as a formal complaint.

Stage one:

The investigating manager (or an officer at the manager’s request) will try to resolve the complaint over the phone or through a home visit. Sometimes we will ask for additional information to ensure we understand the complaint and what you would like us to do. If further action is required we will let you know when this will happen, and monitor it to make sure it takes place. We will confirm the outcome in a letter to you which will be sent  within ten working days of the acknowledgement date.

Stage two:

If you remain unhappy or feel your complaint has not been fully addressed, you can contact us to explain why, and ask for your complaint to be reviewed by a Head of Service (or a Manager at the Head of Service’s request). Please let us know if you want to do this within six months of receiving your stage one response. We will respond to your stage two complaint within 15 working days.

Stage three:

If you are still dissatisfied with the results of the stage two review, you can ask for your complaint to be investigated by an Independent Adjudicator. The Adjudicator will respond to your stage three complaint in writing within 30 days. Please let us know if you want to do this within six months of receiving your stage two response. Read the fact sheet for more information.

The Housing Ombudsman

From 1 April 2013 the Housing Ombudsman will deal with all social housing complaints. If you are not satisfied at the end of stage three, you could refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. It is a free service.

You can approach a ‘designated person’ who can suggest solutions, provide advice or act as advocate for you. A ‘designated person’ is an MP, local Councillor or a tenants’ panel and they have the power to refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. However, they must have your written permission. Lewisham Council has chosen the Chair of the Council’s Housing Select Committee to act as the designated person.

If you would like to approach the designated person, please send a letter to: Designated Person (Complaints), London Borough of Lewisham, Lewisham Town Hall, Rushey Green, London, SE6 4RU or email designated.person@lewisham.gov.uk

Alternatively, you can go to the Housing Ombudsman eight weeks after going through all stages of our process (this does not apply to leaseholders who can go to the Housing Ombudsman straightaway after receiving their stage three response).
Housing Ombudsman Service, 81 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN
Tel: 0300 111 3000
Email: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk

Freedom of information

You can request information under this Act. We will respond in writing to confirm whether we hold the information requested. If we do, and it is not exempt, we will provide this information within 20 working days.

Our responsibilities

  • To ensure we understand what the complaint is about and what you want us to do about it. We may contact you for further information to help us to do this.
  • To resolve each complaint at the earliest opportunity.
  • To investigate and deal with the cause of the problem.
  • To make sure our reply covers all the issues you raise.
  • To learn lessons from complaints, and take action to reduce the chance of the problem happening again.

Putting things right

There are various things we can do to put things right if we have made a mistake. This may include:

  • apologising
  • carrying out work, such as a repair
  • reconsidering a decision
  • improving procedures and training staff
  • considering compensation