As a responsible social landlord, here at Red Kite we have always been committed to meeting the requirements of the Housing Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code. The Housing Ombudsman is a free, independent, and impartial organisation that investigates complaints and resolves disputes involving the tenants and leaseholders of housing associations and local authorities. Their Complaint Handling Code became statutory on 1 April 2024, meaning that landlords are now obliged by law to follow its requirements.

Each year we have completed and submitted a self-assessment against the code, but this year there was a legal requirement to do so by 30 June. We're pleased to say that we published our self-assessment ahead of the deadline, and that we showed full compliance with the code.

There is also a new requirement to produce a Performance and Service Improvement Report to complement our self-assessment against the Complaint Handling Code.

This report covers:

  • analysis of our complaint handling performance including a summary of the types of complaints we have refused to accept
  • any findings of non-compliance with the Code by the Ombudsman
  • the service improvements made as a result of the learning from complaints
  • our actions following any annual report about our performance from the Ombudsman
  • our actions following any other relevant reports or publications produced by the Ombudsman in relation to our work
  • our self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code for 2024-2025.

The report, which is available to download in full, was approved by our Board in June, following working with our Member Responsible for Complaints, Derek Cash. Derek wrote this foreword to the report:

"This report provides an accurate overview of the performance of Red Kite’s complaint handling in the financial year 2023-2024, as confirmed by scrutiny of the underlying data.

"Red Kite has experienced high demand for its complaints service this year, driven by factors including government campaigns such as the ‘Make things right’ campaign which Red Kite supported and promoted, highlighting to our tenants how they can let us know if there is a problem with our services and how we can resolve issues quickly.

"In response to these trends, the organisation has adapted, with capacity being added to the Feedback team, in a new structure which reflects the growing significance of complaints, learning, and the Housing Ombudsman within the sector, as well as the Ombudsman’s increased powers and stronger relationship with the regulator.

"Complaint performance is also a key component of the Tenant Satisfaction Measures, collected for the first time in 2023-2024. Whilst sector data from the first submission will be published by the regulator in Autumn 2024, early benchmarking data available provides reassurance that our performance and tenant satisfaction with the service remains competitive in the sector, this despite significant resource difficulties experienced during the period. This, along with our maladministration rate of 0% in Housing Ombudsman case determinations for the financial year 2023-2024, compared to a sector rate of circa 70%, shows a good basis for further complaint service improvements in the new, dedicated structure.

"Our Self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code for 2024-2025 shows full compliance with no outstanding actions.

"We have particularly developed our learning from complaints during the past year which should help improve service outcomes in key areas for our current and future tenants. During the coming year, we need to ensure that this learning, along with that from other feedback, is further consolidated and integrated regularly into our policies and service delivery practices in order to ensure this crucial strand of continuous improvement is maintained. With the additional capacity, now greater corporate awareness and focus, plus the added benefits which will arise from agreed new technology improvement tools within a modernised ICT system, Red Kite are in a good place to achieve this."

Our Annual Complaints Performance and Service Improvement Report is available to download, and our Self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code is also available to read online and download.