Harbour Light Complaints Policy and Procedure

Complaints Policy and Procedure

1. Introduction

Harbour Light Assisted Living CIC Housing Association aim to provide a professional and friendly service as housing providers. We strive to do our best however we are not infallible and mistakes can happen. If we do make a mistake then we aim that the process to make a complaint and have the problem rectified is as simple and straightforward as possible.

2. Those Eligible to use this Complaints Procedure

The Complaints Procedure can be used by anyone who receives or is affected by a service provided by Harbour Light Assisted Living CIC Housing Association (the “Association”). This includes:

- Tenants of the Association
- Appointees of Tenants of the Association
- Agencies who have Management Agreements with HLAL
- People applying to be housed by the Association
- Residents residing in neighbouring property

The procedure is also open to people who may be acting on behalf of residents, this includes: Advice Agencies, Solicitors, Local Councillor, Member of Parliament.

Although the Association will work with representatives, residents are encouraged to contact the Association first.

3. Circumstances Where Complaints Can Be Made

Customers can lodge a complaint about any aspect of service they are unhappy about. Although not exhaustive, examples of this may include:

- If you feel that a member of staff, a committee member, a contractor or any other representative of the Association has not behaved in an acceptable manner.
- If you have not received information you have requested.
- If a repair has not been carried out in accordance to policy/procedure
- If you consider that your housing application has not been handled properly

There are a few exceptions where the nature of the complaint would not be dealt with under the Complaints Policy. Examples of this may include:

- Complaints against Support Staff will not be considered by the Association but will be passed to the Support Company’s senior point of contact with the Housing Association.
- Complaints against neighbours will not be considered under this policy unless it is a complaint about the way in which the Association has handled the neighbour dispute. Neighbour disputes are dealt with in accordance with the process outlined in the Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour Policy.
- The Association has numerous policies in operation. A complaint about the content of any policy will not be dealt with under the Complaints Procedure Policy; however the Association welcomes resident’s views on policy contents which will be referred to the management committee during the review process.
- In terms of confidentiality, members of staff and the Management Committee are strictly prohibited from discussing someone’s circumstances with a third party. This means that a complainant cannot be given information on any individual e.g. how an applicant was rehoused, but can receive general information about the subject matter.

4. Complaints Procedure

4.1 Any complaints should be in the first instance verbally made to a Support Staff member or the House Manager at the property the tenant resides at.
4.2 With the assistance of a Support Worker a formal complaint should be raised in writing by contacting: -
- By email to
- By Post to: 71 Linacre Road, Litherland, Merseyside, L21 8NP
- If a verbal complaint needs to be made it can be made by ringing 0151 909 5919 and stating that you wish to make a Formal Complaint.
4.3 The first stage of the Formal complaints procedure will be for the Harbour Light Property Manager to investigate and respond in writing within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. If a longer period than 10 workings days is required to provide a full response the time delay will be given as soon as the Property Manager is aware of the delay.
4.4 If a Complainant is unhappy with the written response of the Property Manager they have the option of Appealing to the Harbour Light Board who will investigate and respond in writing within 28 days of an Appeal being received.
4.5 If we can’t resolve your complaint at the Appeal stage, or you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you’ll have the option to refer your complaint externally. You can ask a local ‘designated person’ such as a councillor or MP to act on your behalf. Alternatively, you have the option to wait eight weeks and then ask the Housing Ombudsman to review your complaint.

The Ombudsman’s contact details are: -
AI_Logo Housing Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower
Harbour Exchange Square
E14 9GE
Phone: 0300 111 3000

5. Unreasonable complaints

A very small number of complaints may be unreasonable because of the way or frequency that complaints are raised with staff, or how complainants respond when they receive feedback about the complaint. These may include tenants who make frequent complaints which are not valid; who persistently make the same complaint; who request a complaint to be escalated when we have fully responded to all points; or are seeking an unreasonable or unrealistic outcome. In these circumstances we reserve the right to refuse to deal with the complaint.

6. Compensation
The Complaints Procedure Policy is aimed at resolving complaints. HLAL recognises that it is important not to be overly prescriptive in its approach and, where possible and reasonable, resolve the complaint at an early stage. The Association consider appropriate redress to include:

- An apology
- An explanation
- Correcting the error
- Financial redress

As a ‘Not for Profit’ organisation, we very rarely offer compensation, unless you’ve suffered financial loss (for example damage to your personal belongings) or paid for a service you didn’t receive.