Scheme changes improve access to Housing Ombudsman

Changes to the Housing Ombudsman Scheme took effect from 1 October, making it easier for residents to access the service if they remain unhappy with their landlord’s final response on their complaint.

The revised scheme removes the ‘democratic filter’ following a change in the law. It means residents will no longer have to contact a designated person or wait eight weeks before referring their complaint to the Housing Ombudsman, if they remain dissatisfied at the end of their landlord’s complaint process.

Residents can still contact their MP, local councillor or tenant panel about a complaint, but the designated person role will not be part of the Ombudsman’s formal process. Removing this barrier will ensure that social housing residents are not disadvantaged and have direct access to the Ombudsman, as well as helping to speed up the overall complaints process.