Tenant panels, MPs and councillors can play a more active role in resolving housing complaints locally. This role is known as a 'designated person'.
Complaints about housing services, where the council is the landlord, will be managed by the Housing Ombudsman. The Local Government Ombudsman investigates complaints about allocations, homelessness and private sector housing.
If complaints are not resolved at the end of our complaints process, tenants can then refer the matter to a designated person, or wait 8 weeks and refer directly to the Housing Ombudsman.
The Housing Ombudsman will only consider complaints if our complaints system has been exhausted.
The Chartered Institute of Housing website explains the role of a Designated Person. A summary of the role is provided below.
The role and responsibilities of a designated person
A designated person:
- can be an MP, a local ward councillor or a designated tenant panel
- has no legal authority over our complaints procedure other than the right to refer complainants to the Housing Ombudsman at the point the process has been exhausted
- only has the power of persuasion and negotiation
- are not an additional stage within the complaints process
- can recommend proposals and approaches that we may not have considered when investigating the complaint
- can only take up their formal role once the complaints process is complete
- must obtain written consent from the complainant to confirm they can represent them
We will check that tenants have provided consent before to sharing information with a designated person.
It is the tenants' choice whether to set up a tenant panel. More than one tenant panel can be set up in Thurrock. We will provide the Housing Ombudsman with contact details of tenant panels that have been formally recognised.