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Suitable for:       All What does this mean?

Most people living in social housing are reasonable — but managing the unreasonable or overly persistent behaviour of a minority of residents, particularly complainants, is a difficult and complex area for landlords.

Many landlords are not confident about the appropriate steps to take and what restrictions they are entitled to put in place, particularly when dealing with an overload of communication or unreasonable demands from a resident.

Unreasonable or persistent behaviour can take up a disproportionate amount of time, preventing landlords from delivering a service to others. It can also be stressful for staff when facing it on a daily basis.

This course looks at how landlords can identify and address unreasonable behaviour, and the expectations of the Housing Ombudsman. The trainers draw on their wide experience, spanning over 25 years’ working at the Housing Ombudsman Service, and use real-life examples to put best practice tips into context.

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    What will delegates learn?

    Delegates will gain an understanding of:

    • What constitutes unreasonable and persistent behaviour and what practical steps it is appropriate to take in response
    • The expectations of the Housing Ombudsman and its ‘Complaint Handling Code’
    • How to consider the needs of vulnerable residents
    • How to support frontline staff who are faced with unreasonable behaviour from residents.

    Who should attend?

    The course is aimed at staff working in social housing who regularly deal with residents in general or complainants in particular. It is also suitable for line managers who need to understand what policies to put in place and what support they should provide for staff.

  • Our trainers

    Dave Simmons currently works as a Dispute Resolution Improvement Manager for a large housing association.

    He is an experienced trainer in complaints handling in the housing sector covering a wide range of subject areas. He was formerly Sector Development Lead at the Housing Ombudsman Service where he was responsible for the writing and delivery of training workshops, webinars and forums to difference audiences including residents, landlords and Boards. Dave also led on the project to produce the Ombudsman’s first ‘Complaint Handling Code’ which sets out best practice complaint handling for the sector.

    Outside of his full-time roles, Dave’s training experience extends to his work as an associate for Tpas (tenant engagement experts). He is also an experienced accredited mediator and has mediated on a wide range of disputes including family, community and workplace. As well as his private mediation work, he volunteers for a community mediation charity in Croydon where he is a Board Trustee.

    John Goodwin is a housing trainer and consultant, with extensive experience in the social housing sector, particularly in complaint-handling, resident involvement and governance.

    John was Compliance and Systemic Lead at the Housing Ombudsman Service until 2022, responsible for addressing systemic failings by landlords. He was involved in drafting the Ombudsman’s first ‘Complaint Handling Code’ and for delivering training to landlords, residents and others to improve complaint-handling and learning from complaints across the sector.

    Prior to joining the Ombudsman, John spent ten years with the Audit Commission’s Housing Inspectorate – inspecting a range of housing organisations and services.

    John previously worked for Shelter in several roles, including Head of Legal Services and Editor of ROOF magazine. He began his housing career in homelessness, housing advice and resettlement with a London borough.

    John has written and edited a number of publications including: ‘Built to Last’ (a history of British housing policy).

    John is also an accredited mediator and a trustee and past chair of a social care charity.

  • Price and booking

    Bookings are closed for this event.

    If you experience any issues when submitting your booking, please email [email protected] with the name and date of the session along with the delegate name(s), email address(es) and job title(s) and we’ll process the booking for you.

  • Cancellations and substitutions

    If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email [email protected] Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable. If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance. Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited.


We can bring this course to you.
If you have five or more staff interested our in-house training offers great value for money.

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We can bring this course to you.
If you have five or more staff interested for this course date, our in-house training offers great value for money. All you need to do is click the in-house tab and drop us a message.


Making a booking:
Step 1: Select the number of delegates you would like to book on this session
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