Complaints & Compliments

How to make a complaint or pay a compliment


What is a complaint?

Swan is committed to providing a high-quality service to all customers. We know that sometimes we get things wrong. When this happens, we want to know about it so that we can put things right. We treat all complaints extremely seriously and as invaluable feedback from our customers, and are committed to using lessons learned to identify improvements to our service delivery. Our Complaints Policy explains more about how we manage your complaints and what you can expect from us if you do complain.

As part of our Complaints Policy, we have adopted the Housing Ombudsman’s definition of a complaint. We consider a complaint to be:

Informal complaint - A complaint is an "expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or a lack of action by Swan, our own staff or those acting on our behalf, affecting an individual customer or group of residents". We always try and resolve your complaint quickly, effectively and informally wherever possible.

Stage one - If you want to make a formal complaint, your complaint will be registered at stage one of our complaint procedure, and someone will contact you to make sure we understand what has gone wrong and how you would like us to resolve it. We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days and respond in full within six working days. If our stage one response does not resolve your complaint, we can escalate it to stage two of our complaints process.

Stage two - You can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by a Senior Manager. Please note that escalation to stage two is not automatic, and must be agreed by either the Head of Customer Relations or Director of Customer Services. Once agreed, a Senior Manager will be appointed and they will look at how your complaint has been managed and decide whether there is more we can do. You should receive a full response within 15 working days of your complaint being reviewed.

Although we may reply to your complaint using the stages of our complaints process listed above, the stage two response will make it clear if we consider the matter closed. Until you’ve received this final response from Swan, you’re not yet in a position to make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. More details on how to contact the Housing Ombudsman and the services they provide are in the next section.

The Housing Ombudsman - Once our internal complaints process is exhausted, and if you feel we haven’t put things right, you have the option to refer the matter to a designated person such as an MP or Councillor. Alternatively, you may choose to make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman. The Housing Ombudsman will only consider investigating your complaint if you reported the original problem to Swan and have been through our internal process and you’re dissatisfied with our response. However, please note you can contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time for advice and guidance on a complaint.

Phone: 0300 111 3000, Monday to Friday 9.15-5.15pm
Email: Info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk

There are, however, some things that we won’t investigate as part of our complaint’s procedure. You can find out more detail on this in our Customer Service Policy. Some examples are provided below:

  • A first request for a service or information. If you have a question or an issue, please contact us to ask us about it. Customers are asked to follow the correct procedure and can only make a complaint if we fail to deliver the service or information requested
  • A neighbourhood nuisance and anti-social behaviour. The initial allegation of anti-social behaviour will be investigated in line under the hate crime and anti-social behaviour policy
  • Lettings and allocations decisions will be dealt with under the Allocation Policy
  • Service charge disputes will be dealt with under our Disputes Procedure
  • Complaints relating to a new build property as a result of a build defect or latent defect where the builders of your home or building warranty provider are investigating
  • Complaints made against an individual member of staff will be recorded and dealt with by the Line Manager and supported by our People team where appropriate
  • Anything that is not our responsibility such as bin collections or increase in Council Tax
  • Old complaints that have had a final response and there is no new evidence or information available
  • Anything that has already been through our internal complaints procedure

There may be occasions when we don’t accept a complaint in line with our policy. If this happens, we will explain to you the reasons for this, and write to you to confirm this. 

If you have a complaint you can fill out our feedback form here or call our Customer Relations Officers on 0300 303 2500.

If you prefer, you can write in to: The Customer Relations Team, Swan Housing Association, Pilgrim House, High St, Billericay, CM12 9XY. 

Click here for a copy of our Complaints Policy Statement.

Click here for a copy of our Complaint Handling Code - self assessment form. 

We welcome all feedback, especially if we have done something well. If you would like us to pass on to a member of staff that they have done a good job or if you have an idea how we could do something better, you can email us at improvement@swan.org.uk

If you can’t find the information you need, or want to talk to us about this in more detail, you can contact us by phone by calling 0300 303 2500 and pressing option 4, by Live Chat Monday-Friday 9.00am-5.00pm or by e-mail improvement@swan.org.uk.