Compliments, Complaints and Comments

Stages of complaint

South Essex Homes has three stages for dealing with complaints. At every stage of your complaint, we will ask you how you feel that we have failed to meet your expectations and what you think we should do to resolve your complaint.

Stage 4 is the final external stage of complaint that is reached if you remain dissatisfied with what we have done after Stage 3 is complete. 

Stage 1

If you are making a complaint about a person or a service area for the first time, the Corporate Services Officer will be responsible for making sure it is investigated and will send you an acknowledgement letter within 3 working days. Whenever possible we will do our best to provide a full response to your complaint at this point.
Your complaint will be passed to the Manager or Team Leader responsible for the area of service you are unhappy about, who will send you a full response within 10 working days. This letter will also include details of who to contact if you are still unhappy.

Stage 2

If, despite efforts to resolve the issue at Stage 1, you are still unhappy with the way it was dealt with, or the service is still poor, please contact the Corporate Services Officer (the telephone number will be provided on response letter from Stage 1). 

Your complaint will then be passed on to a Group Manager or the Director.

The Director or Group Manager will respond to you within 10 working days. The response will include an explanation of what you can do if you are still not satisfied.

If you feel a response at Stage 2 has not fully satisfied your complaint, you can appeal. In this request, you must set out clearly why you think the ongoing complaint has not been resolved and the remedy required.

We need this information in order for the Complaints Review Panel to be convened and to enable them to consider your request effectively.

Failure to provide this may result in us being unable to proceed with your complaint.

Your appeal must be received by the Corporate Services Officer within 15 working days of the response to your Stage 2 complaint.

Stage 3

Your stage 3 complaint will be investigated within 21 working days by a review panel made up of members from our South Essex Homes Management Board. The Corporate Services Officer will send you a response within 2 working days of the panel meeting. This will set out the panel’s decision and will also give you details of the Ombudsman if you are not satisfied.

Stage 4

If you have been through the South Essex Homes complaints process and are still not satisfied with our response or feel the issue has not been resolved, there are further options you can take;

1. Instead of going directly to the Housing Ombudsman, residents can go to a ‘designated person’ and ask their assistance in resolving their complaint and/or referring their complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.  A ‘designated person’ can be:

  • A Member of Parliament
  • A local Councillor from the district you live in - for us, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
  • A designated Tenant Panel - however there is currently no designated Tenant Panel in Southend

The ‘designated person’ will try to resolve the complaint locally but if they are unable to, and the complainant wishes them to, they can refer it to the Housing Ombudsman.

2. Contact the Housing Ombudsman directly. However, you must wait for eight weeks from the date of the decision on your Stage 3 complaint  - this will be the date on the letter confirming the Review Panel’s decision.
You can contact the Housing Ombudsman at:

Housing Ombudsman Service
81 Aldwych,
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
Fax: 020 7831 1942

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