Our priority is always to try to put things right. Problems can often be resolved quickly by talking with us about your experiences of Lewisham Homes, without a formal complaint being necessary. We always encourage this approach as the first step to resolving the vast majority of issues, as it is often the easiest and quickest way to achieve a positive outcome for us both. These issues are still recorded on our systems so we can monitor and understand where we are not meeting expectations, and we use this information to improve our services and processes.
However, if we have been unable to resolve your issue for you and you want to make a formal complaint to us, the Customer Relations team will co-ordinate the responses to be sent under our three-stage complaints process:
Stage 1 – when we receive your complaint, we will:
- Acknowledge it within two working days
- Tell you the name of the investigating officer or the team it has been allocated to
- Give you a complaint reference number
Once the investigating officer has investigated your complaint, they will send you their response within 10 working days notifying you of the outcome of their review, the decision and what we will do to put things right. The actions we will take to resolve your complaint will be logged on our systems to ensure we can track they have been delivered. If we cannot respond fully to your complaint within 10 working days, we will let you know that we need more time and the reason for the delay.
If you do not agree with the outcome of your complaint or the actions proposed to resolve it, you may decide to escalate your case to stage 2 of the complaints process. If this is the case, you should let the Customer Relations team know within 20 working days from the date of the final response letter.
Stage 2 – when you ask for your complaint to be escalated to stage 2, we will:
- Acknowledge it within two working days
- Tell you the name of the allocated officer or the name of the team it has been passed to
- Give you a complaint reference number.
The stage 2 is not usually a reinvestigation of your complaint, but a review of the actions and decisions taken at stage 1 to check that they were thorough, reasonable and fair.
Once the allocated officer has looked into your complaint, they will send you their response within 15 working days to let you know the outcome and any additional actions to be taken to resolve it. If the allocated officer cannot respond fully to you within 15 working days, they will let you know if more time is needed and why.
Where you are still not happy with the outcome of your complaint after stage 2 has been completed, you can ask Lewisham Council’s Independent Adjudicator to review your case.
Stage 3 – the Independent Adjudicator appointed by Lewisham Council considers complaints about the actions of Lewisham Homes when a complaint is escalated to them. The Independent Adjudicator’s role is not to question the actions taken by Lewisham Homes because someone does not agree with them. However, if something has gone wrong and the person has suffered as a result, their aim is to get it put right by recommending a suitable remedy. The Independent Adjudicator will Issue their final decision to both you and Lewisham Homes within 20 working days of your request to escalate your complaint. If more time is needed, they will let you know.
You can contact the Independent Adjudicator by:
- By email to: email@example.com
- By post to: Independent Adjudicator, FREEPOST, Lewisham Town Hall, Rushey Green, London SE6 4RU
- By telephone to Customer Services: 020 8314 6000
Download the fact she to find out more about the role of the Independent Adjudicator.
The Housing Ombudsman
If you have been through all three stages of the Lewisham Homes complaints process but are still unhappy, in most cases you can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman who is responsible for investigating social housing complaints.
The Housing Ombudsman can be contacted:
- Telephone: 0300 111 3000
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online: www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk
- Post: Housing Ombudsman Service, PO Box 152, Liverpool L33 7WQ
You will need to wait for eight weeks from the date of the last response letter you received from Lewisham Homes before referring your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman yourself. If you don’t want to wait, you can contact a designated person who has the authority to refer complaints to the Housing Ombudsman directly with your written permission without waiting for the eight weeks to pass. A designated person is an MP, local Councillor or a tenants’ panel if there is one in your area.
Find out more about:
In July 2020, the Housing Ombudsman published its new Complaint Handling code which contains good practice to help landlords respond to complaints effectively and fairly. Lewisham Homes has carried out a self-assessment against this new code, and the link below shows how we already comply with the new code and identifies the areas where we need to improve.
We have carried out a self-assessment of compliance in line with the housing ombudsman’s new complaints code. You can read it here.