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Complaints or concerns

We want to hear from you if you have a complaint or criticism about the services we provide. We always try to give you the best possible service, but sometimes things do go wrong. If this happens, we aim to put things right and learn from your complaint so it doesn’t happen again.

We remain committed to responding to complaints as swiftly as possible and aim to provide all of our formal responses within our target times (10 working days at front line resolution (FLR) and 20 working days at Investigation).

Due to the current Covid-19 situation, we would be very grateful if you could:

  • Contact us using the online form
  • Be patient when calling us, or waiting for a call back from a named member of staff
  • Tell us very clearly what you are unhappy about, what the impact has been and what you would like us to do to resolve the situation for you

A call handler at the Customer Service Centre in Hull.

Please be assured that we do want to resolve the situation for you, it may just take us a little longer than normal to respond to you in full.

You should tell us if you are not satisfied with the standard of service, actions or lack of action by Sanctuary Housing, our own staff, or those acting on our behalf and how it affects you as an individual resident or group of residents.

You can tell us why you’re unhappy by telephone, email or using the online form. We will then look into your concerns and contact you within five working days to explain how this will be taken forward.

You can contact us in the following ways:

For more details about our complaints process, please read our leaflet: Unhappy with our service? (PDF 180KB).

Sanctuary Housing’s complaints process has two stages:

  • Front Line Resolution (FLR) – our teams will focus on resolving your outstanding concerns by agreeing with you what action needs to be taken. We aim to respond to you in writing, within 10 working days.
  • Investigation – your complaint will be escalated to this stage if you are not happy with our first response. An independent review will be completed, and you will receive a full written response within 20 working days.

Watch our short video about how we manage complaints.

To ensure that all Sanctuary Housing customers are fully aware of the way that we will handle their complaints, we have made our policy and procedure available. You can read them using the following links:

Sanctuary’s complaints policy and procedure are fully compliant with the Housing Ombudsman Code (PDF 160KB) as published in September 2020.

If you are still unhappy after following our complaints process, you have the right to ask for your complaint to be looked at by a 'designated person'. This can be:

  • Your local MP
  • A local councillor

The designated person may be able to help you resolve your Sanctuary Housing complaint directly or they may refer it to the Housing Ombudsman Service – an independent organisation which deals with disputes between social landlords and their residents.

If, when the complaints process is complete, you are not happy with the outcome, you can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service. You can only do this after an eight-week period has passed, but you will not need to go through the designated person to refer your complaint.

The eight weeks is from the point that the complaint is closed at the investigation stage.

There are several ways that you can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service:

Please be aware that the Housing Ombudsman Service will only investigate your complaint if it has been through the Sanctuary Housing complaints process.

We believe it is vital that our residents have full confidence in our complaints process as the best way to report problems with us and for any issues to be resolved quickly and fairly. To make sure that our process is fair and transparent, we work very closely with the National Resident Scrutiny Panel who lead the work of more than 2,000 involved residents across the country to:

  • Assess our service to ensure it complies with the Housing Ombudsman Code
  • Assess our performance on a regular basis, to ensure we deliver our promise
  • Review our policies and procedures to make sure they are resident-focused
  • Review our training to ensure that staff understand what is expected;
  • Conduct in-depth reviews of our service if they have any concerns

If you would like to get involved in how we run our services for you, please email our Co-Regulation team at scrutiny@sanctuary-housing.co.uk

Complaints offer us an opportunity to think about how we can develop and improve the services that we offer and, over the last 12 months, we have made the following changes in response to complaints:

  • Published the full risk assessment for repairs completed during the Covid-19 pandemic in response to concerns that this wasn’t readily available (January 2021);
  • Updated and published our resident guide to compensation requests in response to complainants’ feedback that this should be more transparent (August 2020);
  • Implemented a new policy and procedure for responding to Hate Crimes and Incidents to make it clearer how these will be responded to (July 2020).

We recognise that when you are unhappy with our services, some complainants may become angry and frustrated. Although our staff always look to be understanding and explore how we can resolve the problem for you in a positive way, there are occasions where we need to take a different approach to ensure we are responding effectively.

Sanctuary Housing has a policy which sets out how we will manage any difficult situations. Read our Managing Challenging and Unacceptable Behaviour Policy (PDF 140KB).

We would be grateful if you could tell us very clearly what you are unhappy about, what the impact has been and what you would like us to do to resolve the situation for you.

Please note questions marked by a * are mandatory.

About your complaint or concern