Complaints and petitions
Making a complaint
We try to get things right first time. However, we appreciate this doesn’t always happen. We take all complaints seriously and believe we can learn from our mistakes to improve our service in the future. As a landlord, we're also a member of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme. You can contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time during the complaints process.
What we consider a complaint
A complaint is defined as:
an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.
What we do not consider a complaint
- An initial request for a service or a repair
- A report of anti-social behaviour (often referred to as a 'complaint'), unless the complaint is about how we have handled a report of anti-social behaviour
- A request for information or an explanation of our policies
- An issue raised more than six months after the event, unless there are exceptional circumstances
- Cases that have been referred to the insurance company, where legal action is being taken or where a disrepair case has been submitted
- Where the underlying issue is not within the control or remit of Derby Homes
- Requests from Members of Parliament and councillors are addressed as part of a separate policy and procedure
Where we decide not to accept a complaint we will be provide you with a detailed explanation, setting out the reasons why the matter is not suitable for our complaints process. We must exercise discretion fairly and appropriately when deciding not to consider a complaint. We will not unreasonably deny someone access to our complaints procedure.
We particularly welcome feedback where our staff, services, policies and procedures have exceeded customer expectations and delivered excellent customer satisfaction, we record these as compliments.
We welcome customer comments and ideas about how we can improve the way we deliver a service.
You can make a complaint by:
- Using the above webform
- Visiting us in your Local Housing Office, the Council House or at our Head Office
Our complaints procedure
Please talk to us if you are dissatisfied with any of our services. You should first contact the staff who provided the service, who will try to resolve it for you. If you remain dissatisfied you can speak to their line manager. If you are still not happy, you should make a complaint. We aim to resolve all complaints first time.
Dealing with your initial complaint
When we receive your complaint we will:
- acknowledge your complaint within two working days
- investigate and respond to you within ten working days.
- review all available evidence relevant to the investigation
- discuss the outcomes of the investigation with you and provide a written record of this
- record all information on our Housing Management system
Stage two complaint escalation
Where you feel we have not resolved your complaint satisfactorily, you can ask for it to escalated to the next stage. This will be looked at by a different investigating officer. We call this a 'stage two' complaint. If you want us to do this, you must request your complaint be escalated to stage two within 20 working days from receiving our response to your initial complaint.
The relevant Head of Service will appoint the most appropriate manager to investigate the stage two complaint. The investigating officer must be a different person to the officer who investigated the initial complaint.
If you are still dissatisfied
If you’re still not satisfied after the appeal process has been carried out, you can request that your complaint be considered by a 'designated person'. This will be an MP, a local councillor or a recognised tenant panel. The designated person will either try and resolve the complaint themselves, or refer the matter directly to the Housing Ombudsman.
Remember, you can contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time during the complaints process.
Petitions and group complaints
A group complaint is one that has been submitted by residents from more than one property, relating to the same issue. If it appears that the individuals involved are raising different issues, or the circumstances vary for a similar issue, it may be more appropriate to deal with matters as separate complaints.
The group need to agree on a lead complainant. The names and addresses of all members of the group are needed as part of the complaint to show that their permission has been gained and to confirm they are a member of the group making the complaint.
How we deal with group complaints
- Group complaints are submitted into our complaints process are dealt with through our two-stage complaints procedure.
- We will only communicate with the lead member of the group.
- The lead group member is responsible for sharing information with the other residents and individuals in the group.
Groups members can contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time during the complaints process.
We will respond quickly to any claims against Derby Homes or our contractors. We will visit your home and send the completed claim form to our insurance section, or the contractor, within ten working days of receiving your claim.
Remedy and compensation
If we’ve made a mistake, there are several ways we try to put it right. We can:
- make an apology
- carry out work, such as repairs
- review a decision we’ve already made
- improve the way we do things and train our staff so the mistake doesn’t happen again.
If we find you’ve been disadvantaged in some way, either by the cause of your complaint or in pursuing it, we will consider paying you compensation. Generally, compensation will be a payment in recognition of distress or inconvenience caused to you. The person who investigates your complaint will determine the right level of compensation.
Paying compensation to you
We are committed to delivering high standards and will pay compensation to you if we fail to meet our published standards in the following areas:
Right to Repair
You have the right to have certain repairs done within set time limits. If we do not complete a qualifying repair within the set time limits, you have the right to ask us to arrange for another approved contractor to carry out the work. If this contractor fails to carry out the work, you may get compensation.
The timescales for carrying out repairs can be found here in our Repair FAQs.
Missing a home visit appointment
We will pay £10 if we miss an appointment made with you. This includes if we are more than 30 minutes late for an appointment and fail to contact you to let you know. This applies whether the appointment is written or verbal.
You can also claim compensation if we have arranged for an external contractor to visit you and the appointment is missed.
Failing to acknowledge a letter
We will pay £10 for each letter that isn’t acknowledged within three working days. This compensation covers letters addressed and delivered to a specific housing office for issues that are able to be resolved by that housing office (for example, if you contact your Local Housing Office to inform them of a fly-tipping issue on your street).
This compensation does not apply to emails.
Communal Door Entry system
We will pay £5 for each four week period your communal door entry system does not work.
Compensation is not payable where the loss arises as a result of negligence by the tenant or failure to confirm with tenancy conditions, or if it is the result of a third party (for example, water, gas or electricity suppliers).
If you are unable to resolve your complaint through our complaints procedure, you can contact a 'designated person' who can also help find a solution.
The designated person can be an MP, a local councillor or a recognised Tenant Panel. Their role is to help resolve disputes between tenants and their landlords which they can do in whatever way they think is most likely to work.
If the designated person cannot help they can refer a complaint to the Ombudsman.
If you have decided not to contact a designated person, you can still contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time during the complaints process.
More information about designated persons can be found on the Housing Ombudsman website.
To find your local Councillor or MP
All current Derby Councillors are listed on the Council's CMIS website, along with contact details.
Derby Homes' registered Tenant Panel
Our Tenant Panel are registered with the Housing Ombudsman. You can reach them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07979 847523.
- Dennis Rees OBE
- Bob Macdonald
- Win Buchan
Customer Experience Officer
839 London Road
Derby City Council Corporate Complaints Officer
Derby City Council
The Council House
Housing Ombudsman Service
The Housing Ombudsman Service is set up by law to look at complaints about the housing organisations that are registered with them. Their service is free, independent and impartial.
They resolve disputes involving the tenants and leaseholders of social landlords (housing associations and local authorities) and any voluntary members (private landlords and letting agents who are committed to good service for their tenants).
0300 111 3000
Housing Ombudsman Service
PO Box 152