housing & housing services Training
local government Training

Effectively Handling Complaints in Housing

housing & housing services Training

local government Training

09:15 - 16:15

Wednesday 16 October 2019

etc. Venues – Marble Arch, Central London


Complaints received by the Housing Ombudsman rose by almost 15% last year with 6,806 complaints received in 2017/18 up from 5,870 the previous year. In an increasingly pressured environment, housing associations are facing increased scrutiny to ensure that they are excelling at customer service and dealing with complaints effectively.

In order for organisations to improve tenant customer satisfaction and avoid escalation of the complaints to Housing Ombudsman, it is essential that your organisation develops complaints handling system that is both effective and efficient.

On this Effectively Handling Complaints in Housing training course, learn the necessary tools and techniques to implement a responsive complaints handling system that reduces costs, increases efficiency and protects your organisation’s reputation.

Learning Objectives:
  • Learn from the Housing Ombudsman Service to better understand the types of complaints it receives
  • Learn how to effectively resolve complaints regarding repairs and defects
  • Understand how you can resolve complaints about anti-social behaviour
  • Hear how best to utilise customer feedback to drive improvement in complaints performance
  • Create an action plan that you can take away in order to make improvements to your complaint handling system


Peter DaveyCharity and Housing Consultant


Emma Foxall, Deputy Ombudsman, Housing Ombudsman Service

Angelique Noble, Housing Services Manager, Mount Green Housing Association

Sarah McCormack, Customer Services Manager (Complaints Responsibility), Mount Green Housing Association

Amy Winder, Partnerships and Quality Manager, Golding Homes

Eileen Parrott, Asset Manager, Golding Homes

View the agenda and additional speakers




Chair’s Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

Peter Davey, Charity and Housing Consultant (CONFIRMED)


Understand the Role of the Housing Ombudsman Service

  • Gaining clarity on the role of the Housing Ombudsman and the powers it has been granted
  • Understanding what the Housing Ombudsman expects of housing associations
  • Working with the Housing Ombudsman to develop an effective complaint reduction plan
  • Developing clear complaints procedures for residents in new-build properties

Emma Foxall, Deputy Ombudsman, Housing Ombudsman Service (CONFIRMED)


Morning Break


Case Study: Developing a Clear Strategy to Respond to Complaints about Repairs and Defects

  • Analysing what are the main challenges in handling complaints about defects and repairs and best ways to overcome them
  • Implementing effective complaints procedures and processes to reduce the volume of complaints and improve response time
  • Improving your response rates to complaints about defects
  • Setting performance targets for responding to complaints and monitoring performance against those targets

Amy Winder, Partnerships and Quality Manager, Golding Homes (CONFIRMED)

Eileen Parrott, Asset Manager, Golding Homes (CONFIRMED)



Best Practice: Understanding How to Effectively Resolve Complaints about Tenants Behaviour

  • Developing clear strategies when managing a tenant’s complaint about anti-social behaviour
  • Creating clear line of communication and cooperation police and other agencies when responding to complaints
  • Providing training and support for staff to help them identify anti-social behaviour and then effectively deal with the issue
  • Dealing with angry and abusive correspondence and difficult clients

Angelique Noble, Housing Services Manager, Mount Green Housing Association (CONFIRMED)

Sarah McCormack, Customer Services Manager (Complaints Responsibility), Mount Green Housing Association (CONFIRMED)




Workshop: Writing Effective Responses to Complaints

Delegates will have the opportunity to improve their responses and receive guidance on the latest trends and insights

  • Understanding how correspondents want their complaint handled and what they expect from the reply
  • Discovering ways of presenting information to be easily understood
  • Summarising complex information into language and a structure that can be easily understood
  • Identifying best practice use of style, tone, vocabulary, presentation of facts and evidence

Peter Davey, Charity and Housing Consultant (CONFIRMED)


Workshop: Developing an Effective Complaints Handling System

Discuss in groups and with the Chair the best methods to improve your organisation’s response to complaints.

  • Learning how to use complaints to improve services by analysing the root causes of the complaints and prioritising areas for improvement
  • Filtering out and finding the best way to deal with the vexatious and repeated complainants
  • Developing procedures to mitigate the impact of a complaint on your organisation’s reputation
  • Utilising customer feedback to inform future complaint handling and ensure that tenants feel listened to
  • Creating an action plan to improve your complaint handling systems and processes to improve efficiency whilst also improving tenant relations

Peter Davey, Charity and Housing Consultant (CONFIRMED)


Feedback, Evaluation and Close

*Programme subject to change

Peter Davey

Charity and Housing Consultant 

Peter is a consultant specialising in helping housing associations, local authorities and charities develop the quality of their services and approaches to governance, strategic and business planning, user involvement and equality and diversity. Peter has extensive experience as a director, manager, consultant and trainer in industry, local and central government, housing associations and charities, with a successful record of delivering consultancy and interim management assignments. He is a trustee of Thames Reach, a charity working with London’s rough sleepers.

Emma Foxall

Deputy Ombudsman, Housing Ombudsman Service 

Emma comes from a legal background and has worked as a solicitor in both private practice and a local authority legal team. She also has extensive housing advice experience, having provided advice and training to advisors and advice agencies through Shelter’s National Homelessness Advisory Service.

Emma joined the Housing Ombudsman Service in 2004, initially as an investigator. In her current role she has brought together her legal and training knowledge to lead on sector development work for the Housing Ombudsman Service.

Angelique Noble

Housing Services Manager, Mount Green Housing Association 

Angelique is an engaging leader with over 13years experience in Housing. She is passionate about frontline ‘customer centered’ service delivery, bringing out the limitless potential of the people she leads and delivering changes which translate into improvements in resident and employee experiences.

At the age of 19, her professional career started at Richmond Housing Partnership within voids and lettings and through promotion moved to asset management, health and safety and housing management over 10years. Having worked from the bottom up, she has developed a great awareness and understanding of front line operations. In 2014, she successfully led a housing team of 22 frontline Customer Advisors to win European Customer Service Team of the Year through delivering a “by sundown” approach to customer resolution.

She was involved in the implementation of CRM Dynamics and introduced innovative ways to use CRM as an ASB toolkit for case management resulting in a significant increase in victim satisfaction with case handling and outcome. As part of this work she was recognized for her team’s joint work with the Police and was asked to share this best practice with the London Assembly and Crime committee. 

In her current role at Mount Green she oversees Income and Welfare Benefits, Allocations and Housing Management. Since her starting in 2018, she has transformed the way housing management services are delivered to residents. Angelique is passionate about transforming services to deliver better outcomes customers. She has made vast improvements to how officers approach ASB management which has resulted in a revised policy and process and having a tailored approach to how complaints about ASB are dealt with

Sarah McCormack

Customer Services Manager (Complaints Responsibility), Mount Green Housing Association 

Sarah is a motivated and passionate leader with excess of 17 years’ experience in frontline customer service and housing management. She has a passion for improving, developing and creating services, using customer and employee insight. 

Entering the sector as a Tenancy Management Assistant, Sarah quickly developed her experience and knowledge and moved into a generic Tenancy management role. She developed an idea to have action days on estates that had ongoing ASB issues that were generating complaints. Using tenant engagement, community partnerships and Joint working with other agencies she managed to mediate and resolve long standing community issues and rebuilt trust. This is where her love for resident engagement and complaint management began.

Moving through the sector in progressive roles Sarah has managed neighbourhood teams,  developed customer service strategies, implemented new customer service models and now  leads on resident engagement, customer feedback and complaint management at Mount Green Housing Association. Since joining Mount Green she has made significant improvements in complaint handling by ensuring there is business wide buy in and incorporating customer satisfaction into staff objectives.

By listening to complainants and using scrutiny panel feedback, Sarah has developed and improved the complaint process. This has seen an improvement in performance and has led to successful and innovative service improvements across the business. Transforming the resident engagement values at Mount Green has seen an increase in Customer Involvement and Satisfaction with a reduction in complaints.

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In-house Option

We can also run this course for you, at your organisation, at a time and date that suits you. Please email inhouse@insidegovernment.co.uk for more info.