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Housing Services Annual Complaints Report 23/24

The Housing Ombudsman’s new Complaint Handling Code became a statutory requirement from 1st April 2024.

It requires social landlords to produce an annual complaints performance report which should be published to residents and submitted to the Housing Ombudsman.

The following report details our performance for 2023/24 and includes plans for improvement.

Total number of Stage 1 complaints - 375

Total number of Stage 2 complaints - 69

Stage 1 complaints responded to 'in time' against our internal policy - 59%

Stage 2 complaints responded to 'in time' against our internal policy - 70%

Average response time for all complaints - 9.6 days

Tenants satisfied with our approach to complaint handling - 32% (TSM data)

Number of informal complaints and service requests - 6,636

Repairs and property condition accounted for 93% of all complaints

Number of complaints received per 1000 homes:

  • stage 1 - 25
  • stage 2 - 5

Total number of complaints refused - 0

Our key priorities for 2024/25 are:

  • To introduce a more robust follow up process and improve resident satisfaction with complaint handling
  • To respond to all complaints ‘in time’, as per our internal Complaints Policy
  • To focus on ‘local resolution’, meaning we will do everything possible to resolve complaints at the first stage and prevent residents feeling they need to escalate their complaint to get a fair and reasonable outcome
  • To demonstrate that the learning from resident complaints is used to truly change and improve services
  • To be open, transparent and accountable, and allow residents to influence how services are delivered
  • To improve communication channels both internally and with our residents – as this is a key theme in most complaints.

Housing Ombudsman’s reports, determinations and orders

The Housing Ombudsman has made six determinations against Manchester City Council in 2023/24, which means six separate complaints were accepted and investigated by the Housing Ombudsman this year. A determination is the Housing Ombudsman’s response to how a complaint has been handled. There are several outcomes a determination can take, but in summary the Ombudsman will deliver one or more (or a combination of) findings, as per their Complaint Handling Code 2024. The possible findings are:

  • No maladministration – where the landlord acted in accordance with its obligations in the tenancy agreement and relevant policies and procedures. Minor failings may have been found, but these have caused no detriment to the resident
  • Service failure – where there is evidence of a minor failing, but action is still needed to put things right. Service failure is a form of maladministration
  • Maladministration – where there was a failure that has adversely affected the resident
  • Severe maladministration – the most serious failure, where there is evidence of a serious detrimental impact on the resident
  • Mediation – where the resident and landlord have agreed to mediate and, with the Ombudsman’s intervention, reached an agreed outcome that resolves the complaint satisfactorily
  • Redress – there is evidence of maladministration, but the landlord has identified and acknowledged this prior to the Ombudsman’s investigation and has, on their own initiative, taken steps to put things right.

Ombudsman’s orders

Depending on their findings, the Housing Ombudsman may make a range of ‘orders’ to put things right. Often, these include ordering the landlord to

  • Pay compensation
  • Apologise
  • Review their policies and procedures
  • Complete any outstanding repairs.

In 2023/24, the Housing Ombudsman service made the following findings against Manchester City Council:

  • Findings of reasonable redress = 1 (relating to one complaint)
  • Findings of service failure = 4 (relating to three complaints)
  • Findings of maladministration = 3 (relating to three complaints)
  • Findings of severe maladministration = 3 (all relating to one complaint)

The Ombudsman ordered the Council to pay a total of £6,490 in compensation in 2023/24 (relating to five complaints)

In addition to these findings, the Ombudsman made a total of four determinations about ‘managing agents’ who look after some of our homes. In these four cases, the findings were:

  • Two cases were found to have ‘no maladministration’
  • Two cases were found to have ‘service failure’

The Housing Ombudsman produces an annual report about any landlord with five or more determinations. You can view their most recent report about Manchester City Council, and any ‘investigation reports’ relating to individual cases, by:

Going to the Housing Ombudsman’s website:

  • Select ‘Landlords’ at the top of the page
  • Select ‘Landlord Performance Data’
  • Search for Manchester City Council to find our latest annual performance report and any special investigation reports.

In addition, the Ombudsman publishes detailed investigation reports when they make determinations. You can view the published reports relating to Manchester City Council by visiting the Ombudsman’s website and searching for ‘Manchester City Council’. If you would prefer to receive this information in a different format, please contact us on 03000 123 123.


Social Landlords are required to publish an annual self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman’s Statutory Complaint Handling Code, 2024. To view our 2024 self-assessment in full, follow this link: Self Assessment Form - Manchester City Council Housing (

How we are learning from complaints and making improvements

Listening to the Resident Voice

  • We co-produced the Compensation Policy with residents.
  • Our website has been improved as a result of resident feedback and suggestions.
  • We co-produced the Repairs Service Standard with residents.
  • Your Voice Groups have all been undertaking service shadowing and feeding back ideas for improvements.
  • Several residents have enrolled on training to help them deliver scrutiny exercises during 2024/25.

Our people

  • We created a dedicated Complaints and Feedback team to handle all complaints.
  • Every manager who handles complaints has attended dedicated complaint handling training.
  • We introduced a weekly surgery for colleagues investigating complaints, to ensure they are supported to resolve cases at the first stage.
  • Root Cause Analysis has been carried out for 25 complex cases, and the learning from this will be used to deliver specialist Resident Journey sessions with staff over the summer.
  • Learning from complaints is reflected in all Service and Team Objective plans.

Our homes

  • We improved the Void Standard, with an emphasis on preventative damp and mould work.
  • Stock condition surveys commenced in February 2024, to help the Council’s Housing Services make informed decisions regarding assets and future investment.
  • We established a specialist Damp, Mould and Condensation Task Group.

Our processes

  • We improved how we support residents when they have disrepair claim.
  • We introduced a 72-hour call-back option for urgent, non-emergency repairs.
  • We developed a new ‘case management’ model to ensure tenants moving into a new tenancy are given a single point of contact for any repairs during the first month.
  • We transferred our Repairs Hub Team into our Customer Service Centre, to ensure residents can access specialist help at the first point of contact.

Our technology

  • We introduced a mobile working solution to enable staff working in our neighbourhoods to report issues while staying ‘on the ground’.
  • We introduced digital methods to make it easier for residents to contact us, including automated call-backs and social media live chat.
  • We used automated survey tools to collect Resident Feedback and Satisfaction measures, which can be used to make real-time improvements and identify trends for complaints.

How we listen to our Resident Voice

We have several ways for residents to interact with us and tell us what they think about our services. Here are all the ways you can have your say:

  • Join a Your Voice group, where you have the opportunity to influence our policies, scrutinise services, and hold us to account regarding our performance.
  • Complete the Tenant Satisfaction Measures survey. This is a requirement for all social landlords, and we must complete this annually. Please take the time to tell us your thoughts, as we use this data and insight to shape future service-delivery plans.
  • Collecting resident satisfaction following a range of ‘transactions’. We collect feedback about our Contact Centre, our repairs service and our antisocial behaviour service.
  • Lots of our residents interact with us via our social media platforms. We use a specialist tool behind the scenes to track all this interaction, and it tells us the key themes that are causing our residents dissatisfaction – so we can tackle the root causes!
  • Community events are a great opportunity for us to meet residents in person, and we use these events to gather information and hear what our residents are saying. Keep an eye out for news of events, fun days and involvement activities in our newsletter and on our social channels. 
  • Our website provides residents with an opportunity to contact us about a range of issues, and all the contact forms are handled by the Customer Service Team.
  • Our Housing Management System is able to record the types of enquiries we receive via these messages, and our in house business analysts help us to understand what the themes of these contacts are.
  • We use our formal and informal complaints data to understand what our customers are telling us. This shapes a range of activities – from performancemonitoring discussions with our repairs contractors, to dedicated learning sessions with our service managers.
  • Community outreach is a key part of our Resident Engagement strategy, and we aim to make sure that everyone who lives in our diverse communities has an opportunity to interact with us.
  • We do this by working with community leaders and the voluntary/social enterprise sector to make meaningful connections and create links between us and the people they support and work with.

What it’s like to get involved

Here are some thoughts from two our our Your Voice members on what it's like to get involved

“I joined Your Voice to help make positive changes to the way MCC Housing treats its residents, since joining I’ve gained an avid interest in the homes/maintenance areas. The group has also given me the opportunity to gain qualifications in social housing which in turn will help me within Your Voice meetings in the future. I’ve met lots of new people along the way, and hope our group can be successful in improving the quality of homes within our local communities.”

Claire Graham

“For me it’s been very inclusive and also you feel like your voice is being heard, not just as a single individual, as a tenant, but also as a community. It gives you a sense of purpose to know you are not just speaking for yourself, but for everybody else in your community, for your children, for the future of your neighbourhoods. Until you really understand what other people are going through, you can’t really empathise with them, so by MCC including tenants and residents who actually live within the community, it brings a shared experience to the initiative. I feel that I can truly advocate for our tenants, and that is really, really valuable”.

Gode Bolefo

We are always looking for new members to join us.

Members take part in regular meetings, they speak to staff and residents, and take part in focus groups and studies. This all works towards producing a report with recommendations on how to improve services.

What’s in it for me?

We offer a training program to all new members, as well as the opportunity to complete a Housing qualification. Members will also be able to attend housing-related conferences and seminars. The groups will be regularly briefed by staff on housing-related issues.

Find out more here:

“Thank you to all our residents who have given us the opportunity to listen and respond to their complaints this year – resident feedback is important and will help us improve our services in the future.”

Resident Experience Team

You can download a PDF version of this report here:

Housing Complaints Annual Report 2324