How Barnet Homes handles complaints

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, and on being made aware of an issue we expect our staff to listen and put things right quickly and informally if they can, at the first point of contact.

If we cannot resolve your issue when you first report it to us, or if you still wish to make a complaint, we will deal with it under our formal complaints process. Our complaints process has two stages.

We want to make it easy for you to complain when you need to. We accept complaints verbally or in writing, including by email, through our Contact Us form on our website, through our social media accounts, by telephone, in person, or by letter.

You can read our Complaints and Compliments Policy here: Complaints and Compliments Policy. Our policy gives you more information including who can complain, and any exceptions to our policy where a matter will not be considered under the complaints process.

You can also download our Complaints Leaflet, an Easy Read document about Making a Complaint and an Easy Read document about Compliments

Stage 1

We will send you an acknowledgment of your complaint within five working days of receiving it. This acknowledgement will include information about who is dealing with your complaint and how you can contact them if you need to.

We try to reply to Stage 1 complaints as soon as possible and in any event within 10 working days of acknowledging them, but if we need more time to investigate, we will tell you why and how long it will take.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied that all or part of your complaint has been resolved, you should contact us and advise that you wish to escalate to Stage 2 of the complaints process, stating the reasons for your request. We ask that you request to escalate your complaint within 6 months of the Stage 1 response, but we consider the circumstances surrounding each individual case.

We will consider your request and determine if your complaint is eligible to be escalated to Stage 2. Within 5 working days of receiving your request we will either write to you to acknowledge your Stage 2 complaint, or if we determine it is not eligible, we will write to you to explain the reasons for our decision, and we will tell you what your options are.

At Stage 2, your complaint will be investigated by a more senior officer who has not previously been involved in the complaint investigation.

We try to reply to Stage 2 complaints as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days of acknowledging them, but if we need more time to investigate we will tell you why and how long it will take.

Following completion of our process

Complaints related to social housing landlord services

If you are not satisfied with our response after Stage 2, or if we refuse your request to escalate the complaint following Stage 1, you can ask the Housing Ombudsman Service to review your complaint. It investigates matters fairly and impartially and is free to use.

When we send you our Stage 2 response or if we refuse your request to escalate the complaint to Stage 2, we will tell you about your right to approach the Housing Ombudsman.

Complaints related to homelessness and housing allocations

If you are not satisfied with our response after Stage 2, or if we refuse your request to escalate the complaint following Stage 1, you can approach the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to review your complaint. It investigates matters fairly and impartially and is free to use.

When we send you our Stage 2 response or if we refuse your request to escalate the complaint to Stage 2, we will tell you about your right to approach the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Contact details

Barnet Homes

Email: Talk2Us@barnethomes.org

Write to: The Complaints and Information Team, Barnet Homes, 3rd Floor, 2 Bristol Avenue, London, NW9 4EW

Telephone: 020 8080 6587

Housing Ombudsman

Website: www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk  

Telephone: 0300 111 3000

Address: Housing Ombudsman Service, PO Box 152, Liverpool, L33 7WQ

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Website: www.lgo.org.uk/how-to-complain

Email: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk

Telephone: 0300 061 0614

Address: PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH

Support in making a complaint

Customers may need support to make their complaint, or may like to seek independent advice. Whist we cannot guarantee they will be able to offer support, and other specialist organisations may also be available, the organisations below may be able to help:

Housing Ombudsman Service

If your complaint is about landlord services, you can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service at any time throughout your complaint, to ask their dispute support advisors for impartial advice.

Citizen’s Advice

Shelter

Housing Ombudsman and Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Complaint-Handling Code

Complaints about landlord services

Barnet Homes is required to handle complaints about its social housing landlord services in line with the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code, which you can read on its website.

We are required to complete and publish an annual self-assessment of our compliance with the Complaint Handling Code. In our most recent self-assessment, we found that we are compliant with the Code. This self-assessment was reviewed by the Barnet Homes Board on 21 September 2023.

The Complaint Handling Code requires the landlord, the London Borough of Barnet, to appoint a Member Responsible for Complaints (MRC). Their role is to make sure that complaint handling drives learning and service improvement for residents, and to champion a positive complaint handling culture. They have lead responsibility for making sure the governing body receives regular updates on complaints and complaint handling performance.  The London Borough of Barnet’s MRC is Councillor Ross Houston, Cabinet Member for Homes and Regeneration.

Complaints about homelessness services and social housing allocations

Barnet Homes is required to handle complaints about its homelessness services and social housing allocations in line with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code, which you can read on its website.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman suggests that we complete and publish an annual self-assessment of our compliance with the Complaint Handling Code. We will complete this in June 2024 and will update our website here with the results.

Compliments

If you are happy with the service you have received, and would like to give a compliment to an individual employee, team, or the organisation, please contact us. We welcome compliments as an opportunity to acknowledge when our employees have made a difference, and we use them to identify good practice and learning to improve our services.