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Complaints

New Gorbals Housing Association is committed to providing high-quality customer services. We value complaints and use information from them to help us improve our services. If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, please tell us. This page describes our complaints procedure and tells you how you can make a complaint. It also tells you about our service standards and what you can expect from us.

What is a Complaint?

For us, a complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.

What can I complain about?

You can complain about things like:

  • delays in responding to your enquiries and requests
  • failure to provide a service
  • our standard of service
  • dissatisfaction with our policy
  • treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
  • our failure to follow proper procedure

Your complaint may involve more than one of our services or be about someone working on our behalf.

What can’t I complain about?

There are some things we can’t deal with through our complaints procedure. These include:

  • a routine first-time request for a service, for example reporting a problem that needs to be repaired or initial action on anti-social behaviour

  • requests for compensation

  • our policies and procedures that have a separate right of appeal, for example, if you are dissatisfied with the level of priority you have been given when applying for a house

  • issues that are in court or have already been heard by a court or a tribunal

  • an attempt to reopen a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision following a stage 2 investigation.

If, after you have been through our complaint procedure, you are still not satisfied you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman for an independent review of the complaint. If other procedures or rights of appeal can help you resolve your concerns we will give information and advice to help you.

Who can complain?

Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. Please also read the section ‘Getting help to make your complaint’.

How do I complain?

You can complain in person at our office, by phone, in writing, or by email.

It is easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the service concerned. So please talk to a member of our staff at the service you are complaining about so that they can try to resolve any problems on the spot.

When making a complaint please tell us:

  • your full name and address
  • what has gone wrong
  • as much detail as you can about your complaint
  • how you would like us to resolve the matter

 

How long do I have to make a complaint?

Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of the event you want to complain about, or finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself. In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

What happens when I have complained?

We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint. Our complaints procedure has two stages:

Stage 1: Frontline resolution

We aim to resolve complaints quickly and as close to where we provided the service. This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong, with immediate action to resolve the problem. We will give you our decision at stage 1 in five working days or less; unless there are exceptional circumstances. If we can’t resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why. If you are still dissatisfied you can ask for your complaint to be investigated further through stage 2. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial response. We can help you with making this request.

Stage 2: Investigation

Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.

When using stage 2 we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days

  • discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for

  • give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

What if I’m still dissatisfied?

After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.

The SPSO cannot normally look at:

  • a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO)

  • events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago

  • a matter that has been, or is being, considered in court.

Reporting a Significant Performance Failure

The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) can consider issues raised with them about ‘significant performance failures’. A significant performance failure is defined by the SHR as something that a landlord does or fails to do that puts the interests of its tenants at risk, and which the landlord has not resolved. This is something that is a systemic problem that does, or could, affect all of a landlord’s tenants. If you are affected by a problem like this, you should first report it to us. If you have told us about it but we have not resolved it, you can report it directly to the SHR.

A complaint between an individual tenant and a landlord is not a significant performance failure. Significant performance failures are not, therefore, dealt with through this complaints handling procedure. You can ask us for more information about significant performance failures.

If you require to contact the Scottish Housing Regulator, you can:

 

Getting Help to Make your Complaint

We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you.

You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance or Citizens Advice Bureau.

We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. We can provide details about our Complaints Handling Procedure in other languages and formats (such as large print, audio and Braille). Please tell us if you would like information in a different format.

SPSO Contact Details

If you require to contact the SPSO, you can:

 

  • Visit or write to SPSO, 4 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7NS.
  • Call freephone number 0800 377 7330.
  • Visit their website www.spso.org.uk/contact-us
  • Text phone 0790 049 4372.

More details about the SPSO and what they do can be found on their website www.spso.org.uk