Hear direct from the Housing Ombudsman Service on how the social housing sector can better handle noise complaints at this interactive virtual workshop.
Noise is the most significant driver of complaints in the social housing sector after repairs – and landlords are failing those involved – on all sides – by not dealing with them correctly.
That’s the verdict of the Housing Ombudsman in its latest Spotlight report, based on insights gained from hundreds of noise-related complaints, which shows the failure to handle complaints correctly has a human and financial impact, affecting residents’ mental health and costing landlords in protracted, multi-agency interventions and impacting staff morale.
The Ombudsman is now calling for a fundamental shift in the way the sector responds to noise nuisance and Victoria King, Sector Learning and Development Lead, will be setting out some practical guidance at this virtual workshop.
Currently, most landlords handle noise complaints under their anti-social behaviour policy. However, the Ombudsman says this is unfair to both the complainant and complained about, and harder for the landlord to make consistent and reasonable decisions, if it doesn’t have the right framework for all types of noise reports.
Instead, it has called for landlords to adopt a proactive good neighbourhood management policy, distinct to the ASB policy, with clear options for maintaining good neighbour relationships. This should include mediation, an approach that should work better but lacks confidence amongst residents because it can be deployed too late and under an ASB label.
What will be covered?
- The key findings of the Housing Ombudsman’s Spotlight on noise complaints
- Why are we handling noise complaints so poorly?
- A breakdown of the Ombudsman’s key practical recommendations that landlords can undertake immediately – from updating their void standard to ensure that carpets aren’t routinely removed to increasing landlord presence on estates
- The importance of good quality data and accurate record-keeping
- The role of mediation in noise complaints.
Learning from complaints is a requirement of the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code. Faced with tightening resources and increased demands, landlords need to maximise their use of intelligence that complaints can provide.
This workshop is essential for those involved in complaint-handling, but also for all staff and managers who are committed to driving service improvement.
Delegates will come away with an understanding of the benefits of a learning culture and an understanding of how learning can be systematically captured and used.
Victoria King, Sector Learning and Development Lead, The Housing Ombudsman Service
Victoria King is the Sector Learning and Development Lead at the Housing Ombudsman Service. She joined the Service in January 2023 having worked for 6 years at the UK Health Security Agency in Global Health and Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response. Victoria has experience in various Learning and Development roles, including Financial Services Complaints and as a course tutor in A Level Criminology. Victoria is part of the Quality, Engagement and Development Department, and is part of the team developing the Housing Ombudsman Service’ Centre for Learning, which will share learning from complaints and drive positive complaint handling across the sector. The function also provides insight into service provision from themes and trends in complaints to facilitate sector learning and a positive complaints culture for landlords and governance.
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