How our complaints procedure works

Complaints

If you are not happy with our service you may wish to make a complaint.

Our complaints policy aims to explain:

  • How to make a complaint

  • What a complaint is

  • How we deal with complaints

  • How we report and learn from complaint

You can also:

Getting help to make your complaint 

We understand that it may be difficult to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is unhappy with our service.

We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you. We will ask for confirmation of this consent before proceeding with your complaint. We can also take complaints from an elected representative. 

If you need help making your complaint, you can also contact Housing Rights. Housing Rights are an independent housing advice organisation and can support you in making your complaint to us.

You can contact Housing Rights online at:

The Form of Authority your representative will need to supply is available here. We will accept a typed signature when proof of identity is also provided. 

We want to sort out problems quickly and locally, where possible. If you have a problem, please contact the person dealing with your case and they will try to help you resolve your issue.

If they can’t fix your issue, you can make a formal complaint. There are two stages to our formal complaints policy.

First Stage 

Your local Area, Housing Solutions Senior Manager, Housing Benefit, Grants, Accounts or Place-shaping Manager will deal with your First Stage complaint.  Hopefully this will sort out your problem.

Housing

If your complaint is about repairs, heating, housing / homelessness, scheme-related work or your rent account, you should contact your Area Manager.

If your complaint is about housing / homelessness in Belfast or Lisburn please contact the Senior Manager of Belfast Housing Solutions and Support Team.

The Area/ Senior Manager may assign someone to investigate your case on their behalf. They may need to ask you for more information, or discuss your complaint in more detail to ensure that it is fully addressed.

The Area/ Senior Manager, or their representative, will contact you to let you know how they will deal with your complaint. This may involve arranging to meet you or visit your home.

You will receive a written response to your complaint. If you need assistance, we can arrange for someone to discuss the response with you.

We aim to issue responses within 10 working days, with up to 10 working days extension where there is good reason. If this is not possible, we will keep you updated on the progress of your complaint and issue your response in writing when the investigation is complete.

You can find the contact details for your local office in our section:

Leasehold

If your complaint is about repairs or scheme related work, you should contact your Area Manager.

If your complaint is about anything else related to your leasehold, you should contact the Central Leasehold Unit.

Housing Benefit

You should contact the Housing Benefit manager for your area. Further details are available in our section on:

Grants

You should contact the Grants Manager for your area. Further details are available in our section on:

Buying or selling your house or land

You should contact the Place-Shaping manager for your area.

If you are not sure where to send your complaint, you can send it to the Central Complaints Unit (details below). They will send it to the correct team.

Final Stage

We will try to sort out your complaint at First Stage, but sometimes this will not be possible.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the First Stage investigation, you may then ask for it to be investigated by a Director. Your First Stage complaints letter will tell you how to do this.

A Central Complaints Officer will be responsible for leading a thorough and independent investigation of your complaint.

We will write to you to confirm that we have received your complaint and the issues of complaint that are being investigated. We aim to issue the Director’s response within 20 working days of confirming your complaint with you.

If your case is complicated, it may take longer to investigate. We will contact you to tell you if there is going to be a delay and issue your response in writing when the investigation is complete.

Contact details

Final Stage Complaints can also be addressed to:

Email: centralcomplaints@nihe.gov.uk

Or at the following address:

Central Complaints Unit

Chief Executive’s Office

Northern Ireland Housing Executive
The Housing Centre
2 Adelaide Street
Belfast BT2 8PB.

The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

If we are unable to resolve your complaint, you may choose to ask the Ombudsman to investigate. The Ombudsman will normally only deal with your complaint after you have gone through our complaints system.

We will co-operate fully with the Ombudsman's investigation.

The Ombudsman’s address is:

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

Progressive House
33 Wellington Place
BELFAST
BT1 6HN

Freepost: Freepost NIPSO

Telephone: 028 9023 3821 or Freephone: 0800 34 34 24

Text Phone: 028 9089 7789

Email: nipso@nipso.org.uk

Website: www.nipso.org.uk


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Dealing with complaints - How we perform