How to make a complaint or compliment


 

You can make a complaint or compliment about Your Homes Newcastle by completing a complaints and compliments form online

 

Our promise to you

We are committed to putting you first and providing a quality customer service.  This includes how we deal with any complaint or compliment you may have.

  • We will deal with your complaint or compliment quickly and fairly
  • We will tell you what is happening with your complaint and we will do everything we can to help you
  • We will do our best to treat the information you give us in confidence
  • We will explain our decision
  • We will use complaints and compliments to review and improve the way we provide services
  • If you make a complaint it will not affect your right to receive or use a YHN service in the future.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is when you tell us you are not happy.  For example if:

  • We do not deliver a service on time
  • We give you the wrong information
  • You receive a poor quality of service
  • You are not happy with a member of staff in some way
  • You believe that the information we hold on you is inaccurate

Our complaints process is for the services we operate and manage within YHN. 

Newcastle City Council has their own complaints process for the services they provide.  For example:

  • Refuse collection
  • Street parking
  • Pest control

If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour, please contact YHN’s Housing Anti-Social Behaviour Enforcement Team.

If you write to us anonymously with a complaint we will be unable to reply to you.  We will however, send your complaint to your YHN Housing Services Office for investigation.

What is a compliment?

A compliment is when you tell us you are happy.  For example if:

  • We deliver a service on time
  • We give you the correct information
  • You receive a good or excellent quality of service
  • You want to praise or highlight the service given to you by a member of staff

When should you use the complaints procedure?

If something goes wrong with a service we are providing you should contact us straight away and we will try and resolve your issue.

If you are still unhappy, then you can make a formal complaint. Please note we cannot deal with complaints relating to issues which are month than six months old. 

You can tell us in person, by phone, by letter or by using our online Complaints and Compliments form.

Please contact us at:

Customer Service Team
YHN House
Benton Park Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE7 7LX
Phone: 0191 278 8600 
Email: yhncomplaints@yhn.org.uk

Please ask a member of staff if you need help to write your complaint or to fill in the form.  If you prefer, a friend or relative can fill in the form for you.

If you prefer, you can ask a friend or relative to speak, or write to us for you.

When you contact us, please make sure you:

  • Give your name, address and phone number
  • Tell the person you speak to what your complaint is

If your complaint is about a member of staff, you should inform their manager, not other members of staff.

We aim to resolve your complaint using our process, however there are some circumstances that should be handled outside the complaints process, for example cases that can be handled through a court of law or a case that may result in disciplinary proceedings for a member of staff. In these cases we will tell you why we will deal with your complaint differently and give you more information.

How will we deal with your complaints?

Our complaints process has been written following consultation with customers and follows the principles as laid out in the Localism Act 2011.

Step 1 – Formal Complaint

At this stage you should put your complaint in writing.  You can do this by:

  • Letter
  • Using our online Complaints and Compliments form
  • emailing us at yhncomplaints@yhn.org.uk
  • We will contact you within three working days, or for complaints received by email, within one working day to let you know we have received your complaint.
  • We will give you a reference number and the date you can expect to receive a full written response to your complaint.  If you do not receive a reference number within three working days, please contact us on 0191 278 8600.
  • We will tell you the name of the manager who will investigate your complaint as this will make it easier for you to contact the person dealing with your complaint if you need to.

The manager will:

  • Contact you to fully understand your complaint
  • Investigate your complaint
  • Take any necessary action
  • Apologise for any inconvenience or stress caused
  • Make sure you receive a full written response within 10 working days

If your complaint needs more investigation and we cannot send you a written response within 10 working days, we will write to you and let you know when you will receive a written response.

Where your complaint is justified and you have suffered stress, inconvenience or suffered a loss, you may be entitled to some compensation.

Please refer to our compensation and claims leaflet available from any YHN Housing Services Office, Customer Service Centre or by phoning 0191 278 8600.

Step 2 – Escalated Complaint

If you have been through step one and are not happy with the results of our investigations, you can make a complaint to Newcastle City Council.

Write to Complaints at Newcastle Corporate Services, Newcastle City Council, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH, email: complaints@newcastle.gov.uk or telephone on 0191 278 7878 and ask for 'complaints'.

Newcastle City Council will investigate your complaint independently and will write to you within three working days to let you know:

  • they are reviewing your complaint
  • approximately how long it will take to investigate
  • when you will receive a written response

Escalating your complaint to an external organisation

The Local Government Ombudsman

Any complaints relating to the management of the Allocations and Lettings Policy that YHN manage on behalf of Newcastle City Council can be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman.

You can contact the Local Government Ombudsman at PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH,
online at www.lgo.org.uk or telephone: 0300 061 0614.

All other complaints about the services that YHN deliver should follow the process below.

The Designated Person

If you have completed both steps of YHN’s complaints process you can contact a designated person to request a review of your complaint. A designated person is any local councillor or any MP. Newcastle City Council’s website will tell you who your councillors and MP’s are. Visit www.newcastle.gov.uk

The designated person can act on your behalf to review your complaint with YHN. At the end of a review the designated person can make recommendations to YHN, however they have no powers to enforce their recommendations. The only legally defined power that the designated person has is to refer a complaint to the Independent Housing Ombudsman.

The Housing Ombudsman Service

The Ombudsman Service is an independent body which deals with disputes between social landlords and their tenants. You can contact the service directly without approaching a designate person if you wait for a period of eight weeks after your complaint has been closed at Step 2 of YHN’s procedure. Or you can ask a designated person to refer you to the Ombudsman.

You can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service at 81 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4HN
or email info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk or telephone: 0300 111 3000.

Leaseholders

If you have a specific complaint about your service charges you can appeal to:

Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT)
Residential Property Tribunal Service,
1st Floor,
5 New York Street,
Manchester,
M1 4JB

Phone: 0845 100 2614 or 0161 237 9491
Fax: 0161 237 3656
Email: northern.rpa@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Complaints about Data Protection and Freedom of Information

If you have been through our internal complaints process you can appeal to The Information Commissioner’s Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
or online: www.ico.gov.uk or telephone: 0303 123 1113

How do I make a compliment?

You can make a compliment in person, by phone, by letter, or by using our online Complaints and Compliments form.

How we will deal with your compliments

When you make a compliment we will write to you within 10 working days to tell you how we will use this to improve our services.