Complex Complaints Investigation

Friday 1st of May 2020

Our client was a council, based in the Midlands, with approximately 22,000 council houses and is split into five township areas.

What were we approached to do?

The Council had a tenant who had made a number of complaints about services received, and remained dissatisfied with the outcomes from the internal complaints processes. The Council wanted an independent review of the complaints, resolutions offered and any learning that they could gain from the case before it escalated further.

What did we do?

We agreed a term of reference for the investigation, between the Council and the Complainant. This set out that the investigation would use the best practice principles set out by the Housing Ombudsman of:

  • Fairness
  • Putting Thing Right
  • Learning

 Once agreed, our lead investigator interviewed the complainant, who was supported by a Tpas tenant advocate. From this we gained a clear understanding of why the tenant was complaining and what resolutions they were looking for.

Our lead investigator, who has undertaken complex case reviews on behalf of the Housing Ombudsman, then interviewed members of staff and other key witnesses and undertook a desktop review of evidence such as policies, procedures and correspondence. 

What were the successful outputs and outcomes?

At the end of the investigation we produced a comprehensive report which catalogued and cross-referenced key pieces of evidence to support recommendations. 

The report considered both how the Council has implemented its complaints process and then provided determinations on the specific issues that the tenant was complaining about.

We also provided feedback with regards to progress that had been made in adopting and implementing actions and plans with regards to these complaints, and recommendations the Council could adopt in respect of findings to improve the future provision of services.