Complaints

At Hastoe we aim to give an excellent service to our customers. We recognise, however, that from time to time things go wrong, and when this happens we want to try to put them right as quickly as possible. We value the opinion and perspective of others and see complaints as an opportunity to learn and continually improve our service.

What is a complaint?


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about:

  • The standard of service received from Hastoe or
  • Hastoe’s response to a request for a service or
  • Hastoe’s action or lack of action.
Some issues do not fall within the definition of a complaint in this policy. These include, for example:
  • A first request for a service (such as a repair).  It will only become a complaint if the service requested has not been performed or has been inadequately performed. 
  • neighbour disputes or anti-social behaviour, unless the complaint refers to our failure to deal with the disagreement appropriately
  • an issue regarding hate crime or domestic violence
  • a dispute against the amount of rent or service charge being accurately charged in line with policy
  • a claim being dealt with by our insurers
  • a dispute where a resident has commenced legal action against us
  • an appeal against policy decisions.

There are alternative procedures for issues of this kind and we will advise on the relevant course of action

Complaints must be raised within a reasonable time scale. Hastoe will not normally investigate a complaint if it is about something the complainant knew about for more than six months before contacting the Association.


Who can complain?


Anyone who uses Hastoe’s services can complain. This includes tenants, shared owners, leaseholders, applicants for housing, contractors, and suppliers. 


Residents may also complain through a third party such as an MP or Councillor, or other advocate. Where the third party is not an MP, Councillor or a person with power of attorney, we will require the written permission of the resident to correspond with their advocate.  Complaints received in this way will be dealt with within the same timeframe as complaints made directly by residents.

How to make a complaint

Anyone who is unhappy with the service they receive from Hastoe can complain by:
  • filling in a complaints form
  • letter
  • telephone
  • text 
  • e-mail
  • on our website or MyHastoe portal or 
  • in person. 
They should set out the complaint clearly and state what would resolve the problem or what they require from Hastoe to make things better. 

If someone requires help in making a complaint Hastoe staff will assist, or direct them to an independent source. 


People can also ask a family member or friend to help if preferred at any stage of the procedure. In such a case we are likely to ask for written consent from the person making the complaint that they are happy for us to deal directly with the third party


How we will handle complaints


Hastoe’s aim is to:
  • Deal with complaints quickly and fairly;
  • Keep all parties up to date with relevant information;
  • Take the needs of the complainant into account and hear the complaint from their point of view;
  • Investigate the complaint fully
  • Listen to the comments and use them to improve our products and services.

We will
  • Acknowledge the complaint within two working days, advising the procedure and giving details of the investigating member of staff and their experience in the area in question.
  • Advise the complainant if we need more time to look into their complaint, explain why and respond fully within 14 days wherever possible.

Appeal


If the complainant is not satisfied that we have resolved their complaint they should notify us within 14 days.


We will acknowledge the appeal within two working days.

We will arrange for a Manager, or equivalent to review the complaint and the previous investigation. They will respond within a further 14 days wherever possible.
If the investigation is likely to take longer, the complainant will be advised and given a reasonable target time for response.

Review


If the complainant is still not satisfied, they can request a review of the way their complaint was handled. They should notify us of this request within 14 days.  


We will acknowledge the request for review within two working days.

We will arrange for a Director and a Board member to review the way the complaint was handled. 

We will aim to conduct the review and notify the complainant within 21 days.  
If the review is likely to take longer, the complainant will be advised and given a reasonable target time for response.

Designated person


Residents who remain unhappy after the review process have the right to have their case reviewed by a “designated person” who will decide whether the matter should be referred to the Housing Ombudsman. The “designated person” will be the Hastoe Hundreds Club. Requests to have the complaint reviewed by the designated person should be made within 14 days of the receipt of the Review decision.


A complainant who chooses not to have their complaint referred to the “designated person” is entitled to contact the Ombudsman direct at the end of 8 weeks after the review process is completed. The Housing Ombudsman service is free to use


Independent services


Contact details for the Independent Housing Ombudsman Service are as follows:

Housing Ombudsman Service
Post: 81 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4HN
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
Fax: 020 7831 1942
Lo-Call: 0845 712 5973
Email: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk

Where it appears to be appropriate, Hastoe will seek to resolve a complaint through mediation. 


If there is any possibility that a complaint might lead to a legal claim or an insurance claim against Hastoe it will be referred to the appropriate Director. This may result in the complaint being dealt with under the legal system or the insurance company’s timescale, which may differ from Hastoe’s. 

Improving the service we offer

Once a complaint has been concluded, we will contact the complainant for feedback.  


Compensation

Where Hastoe considers that the complainant has suffered monetary loss, other damage, considerable delay or unreasonable inconvenience in an action being carried out and Hastoe is responsible for this loss or delay, the Compensation Policy and Procedure will apply. 
Equality and Diversity 

Hastoe will take all possible steps to provide equal opportunities for all people. We are opposed to discrimination on any grounds including race, religion or belief, gender reassignment, sex marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity sexual orientation, disability, age, discrimination by association, or other unjustifiable criteria.
Complaints of discrimination on the grounds of race or gender may be lodged in the County Court and anyone experiencing harassment may also make a civil claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. There is a six month time limit from the date of the event giving rise to the complaint to the date the complaint is registered. 

Monitoring and Review

The progress of complaints and feedback from complainants will be regularly monitored by the Association and the learning from it incorporated into improvement plans. 

You can download our complaints policy here. 

 
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