We know that things can occasionally go wrong. We welcome feedback as a valuable opportunity to learn from mistakes and make improvements for the future.
You can find more information about our performance on complaints in The Barnet Group’s Annual Complaints Report for 2013-14.
How Barnet Homes handles complaints
On receiving a complaint, we expect our staff to listen and put things right quickly and informally.
Stage 1 (internal)
If we cannot resolve your complaint when you first report it to us, we will log a formal Stage 1 complaint and send you an acknowledgement which will tell you who is dealing with your complaint and give you their contact details. We always try to reply to complaints within ten working days but if we need more time to investigate we will tell you why and how long it will take.
Stage 2 (internal)
If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint at Stage 1, you should call or write to us and advise that you wish to escalate to Stage 2 of the complaints process.
A complaints officer will ask you the reason why you remain unhappy and what outcome you are looking for and you will need to provide further evidence to support your complaint for it to be considered for escalation and review. We will ensure your complaint is investigated by a senior manager, if appropriate, and we will post a reply within ten working days. If we need more time to investigate, we will tell you why and how long it will take.
Stage 3 (external)
If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint at Stage 2, you should call or write to us and advise that you wish to escalate your complaint further.
When our internal complaints procedure is finished, you have the right to ask for your complaint to be considered by a designated person.
Designated persons are –
- Any ward councillor
- Any Member of Parliament
- An independent tenant panel
If you wish to have your complaint heard by the tenant panel, you should contact the Complaints Team. A complaints officer will ask you the reason why you remain unhappy and what outcome you are looking for and you will need to provide further evidence to support your complaint for it to be considered by the panel.
Our tenant panel is made up of Barnet Homes’ tenants and leaseholders and they will try to work with you and Barnet Homes to resolve the complaint if at all possible. The panel will refer the complaint to the Housing Ombudsman if they feel it is appropriate and they feel there is nothing further that they or Barnet Homes can reasonably do to resolve your complaint.
Finally, if you would rather not go through the designated person stage, the Localism Act 2011 states that you may approach the Housing Ombudsman Service directly after a period of eight weeks from your Stage 2 response has elapsed.
You may also approach the Housing Ombudsman directly yourself if the ‘designated person’ (member or panel) refuses to refer your complaint; again after eight weeks from your Stage 2 response has elapsed.
However, if you are not a tenant or leaseholder and your complaint relates to homelessness or allocations, your escalation route is slightly different and you have the right to have your complaint reviewed independently by Barnet Council. If you would like the Council to review your complaint, please let us know and we will refer it to them.
If after the Council has reviewed your complaint you remain unhappy, you have the right to approach the Local Government Ombudsman.
How to complain to Barnet Homes:
In writing to: The Complaints Team, The Barnet Group, Floor 3 Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone, N20 0EJ
By email to: Talk2Us@barnethomes.org
By telephone to: 0800 389 5225
In Person at: Barnet Homes Reception, Floor 2 Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone, N20 0EJ
You can find your local MP or ward councillors at www.writetothem.com
Housing Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9GE
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
Fax: 020 7831 1942
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH
Telephone: 024 7682 1960
Fax: 024 7682 0001
Advice line: 0845 602 1983