Nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes.

We help thousands of our customers every month and over 80% of our customers are happy with what we do. However, every so often we make customers unhappy.

We know we’re not perfect, that’s why we have a complaints policy. There will always be things that don’t go to plan and if this happens, we’ll do everything possible to:

  • listen
  • explain
  • put things right - quickly
  • do what we say we’ll do
  • understand how we can do things better next time

As well as the information on this page, you can view our Complaints Policy.

Our complaints process

We welcome complaints as a learning opportunity, and accept complaints from everyone, be that current or former customers, or members of the public. We also accept complaints from nominated representatives, such as Local Councillors or Members of Parliament (MPs). If you’d like your Local Councillor or MP to raise a complaint on your behalf, we’ll need to see that you’ve given them permission to speak to us.

We have a two-stage complaints process:

  • Stage one: first investigation and resolution
  • Stage two: appeal investigation

If you are not satisfied with the investigation or resolution to your complaint after the appeal has been closed, then you can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. We can help you do this if you need additional support.

Stage One: first investigation and resolution

Definition of a complaint

We define a complaint to be an expression of dissatisfaction , however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by us, our colleagues, or those acting on our behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.

If it turns out you have a service request rather than a complaint we won’t investigate it under this policy but we will make sure we the request is raised for you. An example of a service request could be a new repair that we’ve not previously been informed of.

Informing us of your complaint

If you aren’t happy with what we do you can let us know in whatever way you choose. The sooner the better as we can’t investigate a complaint after 12 months.

All complaints will be taken seriously and sorted out quickly, where possible, by our colleagues.

Sometimes we can apologise and put things right straight away, but at other times we may need to pass a complaint on to be looked at by one of our complaint investigators. If your complaint requires an investigation, it will be formally acknowledged within 1 working day.

Investigating your complaint

Once your complaint has been allocated to an investigator, they’ll work closely with you to make sure they really understand the cause of your complaint. They’ll be our single point of contact throughout the complaint, and will let you know exactly what they need to look into and how long they think it’ll take.

Resolving your complaint

We aim to resolve all complaints within seven working days from the date you raise the issue with us. If there are circumstances which mean we may need longer to resolve the complaint, then we’ll let you know.

We'll resolve your complaint by agreeing with you what actions need to happen. We'll close the complaint once we agree that all actions have been completed.

If there’s evidence that something’s gone wrong, we’ll offer:

  • A meaningful apology
  • An explanation
  • Money if you’ve been left out of pocket
  • A goodwill gesture if deemed necessary
  • An idea of what we’ve learnt and what we want to improve

Closing your complaint

Your complaint may be closed for a number of reasons including

  • When a resolution has been agreed with you, and all required actions have been completed
  • We’ve not had any contact from you after 10 working days from you raising the complaint, despite the complaint investigator attempting to contact you (unless you’ve made us aware of a potential delay)
  • We’ve not had any contact from you after 20 working days from your last response to us, despite the complaint investigator trying to contact you (unless you have made us aware of a potential delay)

Stage two: appeal investigation

Requesting an appeal

Sometimes you might feel we’ve not properly investigated your complaint in line with our policy, or may disagree with the outcome the complaint investigator has come to. If this is the case, you can request an appeal of your complaint.

If you wish to make an appeal, you need to make it clear what you’re not happy with,  why you disagree with the outcome, and what more you feel we should do to put it right. You can appeal by letting your complaint investigator know, or you can email complaints@mhs.org.uk.

We can only accept appeals within one calendar month of a complaint being closed. Any appeal requests will be acknowledged within two working days.

Investigating your appeal

An independent mhs colleague will be allocated to conduct your appeal. They’ll speak to you to make sure they understand what you’re unhappy with, explain what they need to do and a date they’ll have this done by. They’ll check to make sure our complaints policy has been followed and the quality and detail of the investigation. They’ll let you know if any further action is needed.

You will receive an appeal outcome in writing, letting you know the outcome of the investigation and anything we could have done better. We aim to resolve all appeals within 15 working days from you making the appeal request.

If you still feel we haven’t followed our policies, you can refer your complaint to your MP, Local Councillor, or the Housing Ombudsman.

Learning from complaints

We’ll get insight from complaints and feedback and transform it into useful information. We share this with appropriate teams to help them make better decisions regarding our services and offer to customers.

We sometimes survey customers who have raised a complaint to find out how they felt their complaint was handled. If you’d rather not be involved in our surveys, you can let us know by emailing complaints@mhs.org.uk. All information gathered through complaints and surveys is used anonymously to help improve our service, and no personal information is processed.

Our self-assessment

In July 2020, the Housing Ombudsman released a Complaint Handling Code, where they set out how they expect Housing Associations to manage, monitor and learn from complaints they receive.

We’re working hard to make sure we are delivering the best possible service in line with the Complaint Handling Code.

We have completed a self-assessment which confirms areas where we are compliant with the Code; it also identifies improvements we need to make. We will repeat our self-assessment every year to make sure we maintain our high standard of complaint handling.

Download our self-assessment