How to make a formal Complaint

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Scope of the Complaints Policy:

W&Q TMO is committed to providing high quality, efficient and effective services to all its residents and applicants for our services. However, W&Q recognises that from time to time people may have cause to express dissatisfaction with its services.

W&Q values all feedback and will respond to all complaints and other enquiries made about its services, in order that it can review the services it provides and the way in which it provides them.

Any lawful resident of the TMO who has a complaint against the TMO, or those acting on its behalf, and has been unable to resolve the issue after discussion or correspondence with the TMO staff, may use the Complaints Procedure.

The Complaints Policy and Procedure is linked with other TMO policies, including:

  • Repair Performance Standards
  • Performance Standards for Estate Services
  • Tenancy Management policies

Any resident, who has a complaint against the Council, or those acting on its behalf, should use the Council’s own complaints procedure. Complaints about the Council which are made to the TMO will be passed to the Council within 3 days.

Types of Complaint Covered under this Policy:

 The Complaints Procedure is appropriate in the following circumstances:

  • Complaints about any service provided by the TMO, such as;
    • repairs undertaken to a dwelling or the communal areas;
    • the standard of caretaking and cleaning
    • the rent collection service
    • how the TMO deals with tenancy management issues
  • Complaints about the behaviour or performance of an employee of the TMO, or anyone acting on the TMO’s behalf;
  • Claims for compensation for disrepair or loss of services provided by the TMO
  • Complaints about the behaviour or performance of a member of the TMO Board or sub committees.

What is not a complaint? 

  • Requesting a service or reporting a repair.
  • Disrepair claim
  • Complaints made more than 6 months after the resident first became aware of the issue they wish to complain about will not normally be considered.
  • Cases of Domestic Violence; Harassment/Anti-Social Behavior Disputes between residents are not subject to the Complaints Policy, but are dealt with separately under the ASB policy.
  • The following types of complaint, if not resolvable locally, should be referred to the Council:

Complaints about rent levels or service charges;

Complaints about the construction of service charges or major works;

Complaints about services provided directly by the Council – e.g. door entry; heating & hot water or gas service; bin collections; estate (TMO responsible for changing bulbs) or street lighting; paving; drains and soil/stack pipes (internal and external); roof leak; TV aerial; trees; car or motorbike parking or allocations; etc.

Complaints about the behaviour or performance of an employee of the Council, or anyone acting on the Council’s behalf such as a contractor appointed by the Council;

Claims for compensation for disrepair or loss of services provided by the Council 

  • Anonymous complaints will not be dealt with under this policy; they will be noted and depending on the content, may be acted upon.

Making a complaint:

 All complaints must be made in writing.

The TMO Manager or TMO Officer will provide assistance to those who require help in putting their complaint in writing. If the Manager or the TMO Officer is the subject of the complaint, the complainant should be referred to the Secretary of the TMO. Complaints should normally be addressed to:

TMO Manager or Chairperson –

Webber & Quentin TMO

Living Space, 1 Coral Street

London SE1 7BE

Email: contact@wqtmo.org

The Complainant’s Rights:

Confidentiality:

All complaints made about the TMO’s services, or those acting on its behalf, will be treated in the strictest confidence. The full report of any investigation will only be available to the Manager or, if it relates to the manager or actions of the TMO Board or its sub committees, it will be available to the Chair or Secretary of the TMO.

Rights of Representation and Support:

  • The complainant may be represented by any person of their choice.
  • The complainant may be accompanied during any interview or investigation by a friend, witness or advocate.
  • The complainant has the right to the assistance of a translator or interpreter, if required
  • Where the complainant requires the help of a translator or interpreter, a contribution may be made to any costs at the discretion of the TMO Board of the TMO.

Investigation of Complaints

Stage one – Manager/ Chairperson

Complaints will be investigated by the TMO Manager or, where appropriate, the Chair of the TMO or another Board Member delegated by the Chair.

The person responsible for investigating a complaint may use face-to-face interviews, and other evidence – such as police, medical records, environmental health records, surveyor reports, referrals to/from other authorities – to reach a fair decision on the complaint.

The person responsible for the investigation will compile a detailed report with the following contents:

  • The nature of the complaint(s) and how it/they relate(s) to the TMO’s responsibilities and standards of performance;
  • Details of those providing evidence about the complaint
  • The evidence or statements provided;
  • The conclusion and recommendations of the investigating officer
  • A document summarising the complaint, investigation and conclusion

The TMO Manager/Chairperson will acknowledge all complaints within 5 working days of receipt. The TMO will notify the complainant in writing of its conclusions within 15 working days of receiving the complaint.

In acknowledging the complaint, the TMO will provide the complainant with the contact details of the investigating officer and the deadline for the completion of the investigation.

The outcome of all complaints, together with outstanding complaints, must be reported to each meeting of the TMO Board.

How Decisions will be Taken and Communicated:

When the response to the complaint has been decided, it should be included in the summary document and sent to the complainant.

The summary should state whether or not the complaint has been upheld.

If the complaint has been upheld, the summary should state:

  • What action will be recommended to the TMO Board to rectify the cause of complaint;
  • What compensation, if any, will be recommended to the TMO Board.

If the complaint is not upheld, the summary document should state:

  • The main grounds on which the complaint has not been upheld and (if applicable) the main grounds on which the claim for compensation has not been upheld.

Stage two – Southwark Council
If the complainant remains dissatisfied at stage 1, they will be able to ask for the complaint to be considered as a formal stage 2 complaint within two calendar months from the date of W&Q TMO decision on stage 2, giving the reasons why the decision is unacceptable, in writing to;

The Principal Complaints Officer; Performance and Compliance Section;

London Borough of Southwark; 160 Tooley Street; London SE1 2HZ

Tel: 020 7525 2209; Fax: 020 7525 3189

The appeal will be dealt with in line with Southwark Council’s Complaints Procedure

Record Keeping and Monitoring:

A record of the investigation will be kept on the tenancy file of the resident making the complaint and is confidential to the tenancy file

The TMO Manager will keep a summary sheet of each complaint showing

  • The nature of the complaint
  • How it was dealt with
  • The response times
  • The service area complained about
  • The outcome of the complaint
  • Whether the decision was appealed, and the outcome of the appeal

A report outlining all complaints will be presented to the TMO Board quarterly.

Bi-annual review of performance and of the Complaints Procedure will be carried out by the TMO Board. A copy of this review with KPI’s will be sent to Southwark Council.