This factsheet provides guidance for tenants, members of the public and registered tenant organisations on making a complaint about a regulated body. It sets out what The Scottish Housing Regulator (the regulator) can and can’t do about your complaint.
In this factsheet the term ‘regulated body’ means a social landlord that we regulate, including: housing associations, co-operatives, housing partnerships and housing companies that are registered with us (registered social landlords); and local authorities that provide landlord, homelessness and factoring services.
Complaining about the activities of a regulated body
If you have a complaint about a regulated body, you should ask the organisation for a copy of its complaints procedure. You should make your complaint following this procedure to the point where your complaint is resolved or the procedure comes to an end.
If you have reached the end of the organisation’s own complaints procedure and you are still not satisfied, you may want to refer the complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman at Bridgeside House, 99 McDonald Road, Edinburgh EH7 4NS. You can find more information via their website spso.org.uk, telephone 0800 377 7330 or email: Contact us form. The Ombudsman has the statutory authority and powers to investigate a complaint.
What your landlord is expected to do
The Scottish Government’s Social Housing Charter sets the standards and outcomes that all social landlords should aim to achieve when performing their housing activities. The Charter requires landlords to manage their businesses so that tenants and other customers find it easy to communicate with them and get the information they need about how and why it makes decisions and the services it provides.
Specifically in relation to complaints, landlords should make it easy for tenants and others to make complaints and provide feedback on services, and they should let people know what they have done in response to complaints and feedback.
The role of the regulator in complaints
Our role is to monitor and report on landlords’ performance against Charter outcomes. We will use a variety of approaches to do this and inform the SPSO if we find that complaint handling by a landlord is inadequate through any of our regulatory engagement or activity. Our Regulatory Framework also sets out our approach to gathering information about complaints. Our Regulatory Framework can be found at: Regulatory Framework | Scottish Housing Regulator and in our factsheet on significant performance failures.
As the regulator, it is not our role to intervene in complaints between an individual or a registered tenant organisation and a regulated body. It is the role of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to deal with individual complaints that cannot be resolved through a regulated body’s complaints procedure (see ‘Complaining about the activities of a regulated body’ above). However, if the issue amounts to a Significant Performance Failure we may have a role to play. For more information about a Significant Performance Failure please see here A guide for tenants and service users - Section 7 Significant Performance Failures
If, however, we are notified of a very serious allegation against a regulated body we may gather information to help us determine whether we need to take any action. It is not appropriate for us to become involved in complaints where legal action is underway. In some circumstances we may refer you to another regulator. For example, if your complaint is about a housing support service it may be more appropriate for you to contact the Care Inspectorate.