Complaints and feedback

You said, we did

Customers are at the heart of what we do here at South Tyneside Homes and your feedback is so important to us as it helps us make services better for you.

Following comments gathered through satisfaction surveys, customer journey mapping, complaints and online comments and feedback we want to provide an update on what we plan to do.

Read on to find out how your feedback is making a difference. 


Our response to your feedback

The information on the website regarding damp, mould and condensation could be improved.

  • We have reviewed and refreshed our website to update the information and made it more accessible for customers.

The processes around dealing with cases of damp, mould and condensation in our homes need improving.

  • We have created a Healthy Homes Team that will deal with all reports of damp, mould and condensation, making sure necessary work is completed as quickly as possible. This will ensure customers are kept updated with progress.

When a decant is required for major works to be carried out in our home, your communication could be improved.

  • We have worked with our tenants panel to review the full decant procedure and have implemented processes to improve communication with customers.

Sometimes it is difficult to use the new heating thermostats you installed.

  • When a new thermostat is fitted our heating engineers will show you how to work your new thermostat and will also leave you an instruction leaflet. 

It seems to take a long time for repairs to be completed.

  • We have reviewed our appointment system and deployed additional resources to meet demand.

The Repairs Team's response times for call backs needs to be improved.

  • We have reviewed our internal processes to improve performance with call backs and reduce waiting times.

Sometimes the wrong trade operative attends to undertake the repair.

  • We have reviewed and made changes to our repairs reporting system and worked with our teams to ensure the correct trade operative attends your repair.

For information on the improvements we made last year, please see Improvements made during 2021 and 2022

Make a complaint or give feedback

We always want to hear your views on our services, both positive and negative.

When you tell us that you aren't happy with the service we have given, we use this feedback to put things right and make sure the same mistakes don't happen again.

We want to know if you have any comments, complaints, suggestions or compliments about our services to help us continually improve.


Use the online form

You can make a complaint or give feedback using the online form: 

Make a complaint or give feedback


Other ways 

You can also make a complaint or give feedback by:

  • emailing connect2@southtynesidehomes.org.uk
  • speaking to a Customer Service Advisor through LiveChat on our website
  • telling your Neighbourhood Officer
  • asking someone to complain on your behalf (we will need your permission)
  • telling your Housing Plus Officer (if you are in a Housing Plus Scheme)
  • approaching a councillor to make the complaint on your behalf
  • telephoning 0300 123 6633
  • writing to us: Customer Service Team, South Tyneside Homes, Town Hall and Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 2RL

More information

Find out more about making a complaint and how we can help put things right.

What happens after you've made a complaint

When you tell us that you aren't happy with the service we have given, we use this feedback to put things right and make sure the same mistakes don't happen again.


We'll try to resolve it straight away

Many complaints can be resolved straight away.

For those that can't, there are two stages to our complaints process. 


Stage one - investigation

If we haven't been able to resolve the issue straight away, it will go to stage one.

At stage one, we will:

  • log and acknowledge the complaint within 5 working days and issue an acknowledgement letter providing you with a unique reference number
  • investigate the issue(s)
  • send you a written response within 10 working days (if this isn't possible, we will contact you to explain why and provide you with a new target date, up to another 10 working days)

Stage two - second opinion

If you are not satisfied with our response at stage one, you can ask for your complaint to go to stage two.

The purpose of stage two is to assess how the complaint has been investigated at stage one.

We will also review any new information provided to assess the complaint.

At stage two: 

  • we will log and acknowledge the complaint within 5 working days and issue an acknowledgement letter providing you with a unique reference number
  • a Customer Feedback Officer will investigate your complaint
  • the Customer Feedback Officer will report the investigation findings to our Managing Director (or one of our Directors, if the Managing Director isn't available)
  • we will reply to your complaint within 20 working days (if this isn't possible, we will contact you to explain why and provide you with a new target date, up to another 20 working days)

For complaints about debt advice, we must send you a response within a maximum of 30 working days.

If you are unhappy with how we've dealt with your complaint

If you are not satisfied after your complaint has been through all stages of the process, you can refer your complaint to:

When we respond to your complaint at stage two, we will include details of how to refer your complaint.


Councillor

Once your complaint has been through both stages of our complaints process, you can contact your local Councillor to ask for a review of your complaint.

This is called contacting a designated person. 

Find your find your local Councillor on the South Tyneside Council website

They will review your complaint and either:

  • make recommendations to South Tyneside Homes, or
  • refer your complaint the Housing Ombudsman Service

A designated person has no powers to enforce their recommendations, they can just refer a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service on a tenant's behalf.


Housing Ombudsman Service

The Housing Ombudsman Service is an independent body which deals with disputes between social landlords and their tenants.

You can contact them directly after eight weeks of receiving a response from us at stage two of the complaints process.

Or you can ask a designated person to refer you.

Contact: 


Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

You can refer your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, if it is about the management of the:

  • Allocations and Lettings Policy, or
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Policy

We manage these policies on behalf of South Tyneside Council.

Contact: 


Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service settles complaints between consumers and businesses that provide financial services.

You can make a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service if your complaint is about debt advice that we have given you, and:

  • you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint, or
  • we have been investigating your complaint for eight weeks (30 working days) and haven't given a final response

Contact: 

  • Financial Ombudsman Service website
  • Telephone (ask for a call back if you are worried about the cost of a call) Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm
    • 0800 023 4567 (free on mobile phones and landlines)
    • 0300 123 9123 (costs no more than calls to 01 and 02 numbers
  • Text (to request a call back): 0786 002 7586
  • Email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk
  • Writing: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR

Complaints policy

Read the full South Tyneside Homes complaints and compliments policy and procedure: 

Complaints and compliments - policy and procedure

Our performance

We are committed to dealing with all complaints within the timescales set out in our complaints process. 

Our performance for the past few years: 

2021 - 2022

  • Complaints received: 1010
  • Compliments received: 713
  • Completed within timescale: 89.43%

2020 - 2021    

  • Complaints received: 709
  • Compliments received: 448
  • Completed within timescale: 92.52%

2019 - 2020    

  • Complaints received: 684
  • Compliments received: 653
  • Completed within timescale: 93.42%

2018 - 2019

  • Complaints received: 668
  • Compliments received: 657
  • Completed within timescale: 93.56%

2017 - 2018

  • Complaints received: 678
  • Compliments received: 464
  • Completed within timescale: 91.26%

2016 - 2017

  • Complaints received: 844
  • Compliments received: 497
  • Completed within timescale: 91.59%

 

Self-assessment

South Tyneside Homes is committed to being compliant with the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code. 

We measure ourselves against this code to see if we are compliant and where we can improve.

For our self-assessment see Complaint Handling Code Self-Assessment.