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 receiving a complaint, we expect our staff to listen and put things right quickly and informally.
Wherever possible, we aim to resolve matters informally. We are always keen to hear if something has gone wrong and how we can put it right, and we encourage our staff to put matters right at first point of contact without the need to enter the formal complaints process.
You can read our Complaints and Compliments Policy here: Complaints and Compliments Policy
You can also download our Complaints Leaflet, an Easy Read document about Complaints and Concerns and an Easy Read document about Compliments
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 within two working days that will tell you who is dealing with your complaint and give you their contact details.
We always try to reply to complaints within 10 working days but if we need more time to investigate we will tell you why and how long it will take.
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. 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 more senior manager, and we will send you a response within 10 working days. 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
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 have the right to refer your complaint to a Designated Person. Designated Persons are:
- any ward Councillor
- any Member of Parliament
You can find out who your local Councillors or MP are on the Write to Them website: www.writetothem.com.
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 8 weeks has passed from receiving your Stage 2 response.
You may also approach the Housing Ombudsman Service directly yourself if the Designated Person (member or panel) refuses to refer your complaint; again 8 weeks after receiving your Stage 2 response.
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 have the right to approach the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
The Complaints and Information Team
2 Bristol Avenue
Telephone: 020 8080 6587
Your Local MP or Ward Councillor
You can find your local MP or ward councillors at www.writetothem.com.
Address: Housing Ombudsman Service, PO Box 152, Liverpool, L33 7WQ
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
Address: PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH
Telephone: 0300 061 0614
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:
Citizen’s Advice Bureau
- Mind in Barnet provides an advocacy service for Barnet residents aged 18 and over, excluding those who are entitled to the services of an IMHA under the Mental Health Act. It also provides advocacy to anyone over the age of 18 experiencing Mental Health Problems, Autistic Spectrum Disorders or Asperger’s and learning disabilities, and advocacy for anyone between the ages of 18 and 50 experiencing Acquired Brain Injury, Sensory Impairment and Communication Difficulties.
- Telephone: 020 8906 7500
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Opening times: Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm
Disability Action Barnet
The Housing Ombudsman Service also offers support to help resolve complaints locally, and we may also be able to refer an issue to it for assistance.
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.
Housing Ombudsman Complaint-Handling Code Self-Assessment
In line with its responsibilities under the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint-Handling Code, Barnet Homes has completed a self-assessment of its compliance with the Code. This self-assessment was reviewed by the Barnet Homes Board on 9 December 2020.