How to make a formal complaint
We are committed to providing good quality services to residents, visitors, organisations and community groups and want you to be completely satisfied. However, we know that sometimes things can go wrong. If this happens, please let us know and we’ll try to put things right.
If you wish to make a complaint, please let us try to resolve the issue first.
If you feel unable to make the complaint yourself please phone 01522 881 188
To make a complaint, complete the online complaint form or write to our Customer Services Team.
Before you start
- Please include a description of your complaint enclosing any copies of letters or notes made during personal visits or phone conversations etc.
- There are some things that we can’t deal with under our complaints procedure, but we will explain this to you and tell you about your rights when you contact us.
- If we require you to provide any additional information so we can deal with your complaint, investigation will be suspended and commence again once the information has been received.
Level One Complaints
If you wish to make a complaint you can do so in person, by phone, email, complaint form, letter or online form.
- We will try to resolve your complaint with you. Your complaint will be acknowledged and you may be contacted by phone
- A line manager will then respond fully in writing to you as soon as possible
- We respond to most complaints within three weeks
- If more time is required you will be kept informed as to when you can expect a response.
Level Two Complaints
If you feel your complaint is not resolved by the answer you receive you should contact us and:
- Provide us with the reasons you wish to escalate your complaint to a level two
- Enclose copies of any letters or notes made during visits or phone conversations with the Council
- If we need any additional information we will contact you.
- Your complaint will be acknowledged and a senior manager will look into your complaint again. They will write to you as soon as possible with their findings.
What to do if you’re still not satisfied
The council’s complaints procedure ends at level two.
If you are still not satisfied you can then contact the relevant Ombudsman service, who will look into the merits of your complaint and may also investigate how we dealt with it.
For General Complaints about the City of Lincoln Council
Contact the Local Government Ombudsman using the details provided to the right of this page. Or at the bottom of the page if you are using a mobile device.
Lincoln Tenants Complaining about a Landlord
For tenancy-related complaints by City of Lincoln tenants there are two routes you can take.
You can either:
1. Complain through the ‘Designated Person.' Current ‘Designated Persons’ are:
- The MP for Lincoln
- All City of Lincoln Council councillors
- The Designated Tenant’s Panel
A full list of council members is available at democratic.lincoln.gov.uk
2. If you want to complain directly to the Housing Ombudsman Service you must wait eight weeks after the City of Lincoln Council complaints procedure has ended at level two.
You can find their contact details to the right of the page. Or at the bottom of the page if you are using a mobile device.
Housing Ombudsman Self-Assessment 2020 - Complaints
The Housing Ombudsman published a new Complaint Handling Code in July 2020, setting out good practice that will allow landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly. The key areas in the code are:
• Universal definition of a complaint
• Providing easy access to the complaints procedure and ensuring residents are aware of it, including their right to access the Housing Ombudsman
• The structure of the complaints’ procedure - only two stages necessary and clear timeframes set out for responses
• Ensuring fairness in complaint handling with a resident-focused process
• Taking action to put things right and appropriate remedies
• Creating a positive complaint handling culture through continuous learning and improvement
• Demonstrating learning through various reports
As part of the requirements, the Housing Ombudsman asked landlords to complete a self-assessment form against the New Complaint Handling Code and publish the results to tenants. A working group of council officers, which included the Lincoln Tenants’ Panel, took part in the self-assessment to ensure tenants’ views were represented in the process.
If you would like to see a copy of the self-assessment, please email LTP@lincoln.gov.uk and we will provide you with a copy.
From the self-assessment we carried out, the key results were:
• The council’s complaints information is clear and easy to understand to enable residents to make a complaint via many accessible routes. The council’s complaints process is explained at the start of the complaint via the acknowledgement letter and at the end of both stages of process. In addition, residents are always advised on the options available to them should they not be satisfied at the end of both stage 1 and stage 2 of the council’s complaints process.
• The Housing Complaints Officer acknowledges all complaints within five working days.
• The investigating officers will continue to improve communication with complainants throughout the council’s complaints process.
• We recognise the need to learn more from our complaints and the need to know that all our customers are satisfied in the handling of their complaint.
• The council works alongside the Housing Ombudsman by answering queries and requests for further information within the deadline. If the specified deadline is not achievable, we will agree an extension.
Whilst we are confident that we already handle complaints in a fair, professional and robust manner the self-assessment identified a few areas where we could improve. To address this we have highlighted a number of internal recommendations and the council, along with the Lincoln Tenants’ Panel, will look to implement these in 2021.