walterton & elgin
community homes

a charitable housing association and community land trust

How to complain

WECH aims to provide the highest possible level of service and encourages feedback.

The purpose of this Complaints Process is to investigate and resolve complaints in a way that is satisfactory to all concerned.

Who can use this process?

This process is open to:

  • WECH’s tenants and leaseholders
  • tenants in commercial properties 
  • leaseholders who do not live in their properties
  • applicants for housing
  • people living in or owning property adjoining any of WECH’s properties.

This process is not for:

  • Tenants of leaseholders or tenants of Genesis (who may live in properties ultimately owned by WECH)
  • anyone else not listed above.

Our process 

It is always better for complainants to try and resolve issues informally with members of WECH staff but, if they wish to raise a formal complaint to WECH, they can do so at any
time.

Any complainant has the right to have their complaint made by a representative or to be accompanied by a representative whenever there is meeting about the complaint. WECH

will verify that the complainant has genuinely appointed that representative before dealing with them.

To raise a complaint a complainant should contact any member of WECH staff or management, write in, phone in or email and say that they would like to raise a formal
complaint. This will immediately trigger WECH’s complaints procedure.

Download Complaints Form

Step 1 

The member of staff receiving the initial complaint shall inform the Corporate Services & Governance Assistant (CSGA) of the complaint. The CSGA shall enter details of the complainant in the complaints register, issue a complaint number and inform the appropriate manager of the complaint and its number. The manager must not have previously dealt with the matter before the complaint was made. Within one working day of the complaint being made, the CSGA shall contact the complainant and (a) inform them of the name and contact details of the manager who will be handling the complaint, (b) give them a copy of this process and (c) give them the complaint number.

Step 2 

As soon as possible, the manager will contact the complainant to (a) find out the detailed nature of the complaint and (b) ask the complainant what they would like to achieve. This information should be stated on a complaints form that the complainant signs. At this stage, the manager may inform the complainant that WECH is unable to deal with the complaint and try to give advice as to where they should address it. If the complaint is valid, within ten working days of step 1, the manager will write to the complainant with either a response to the complaint or, in exceptional circumstances, to give a detailed account of why more time is needed before a response can be made. In this case the manager has another ten working days in which to respond to the complainant. If the complainant is not happy with the response, then they have a further ten working days to escalate the matter to the Chief Executive.

Step 3 

The Chief Executive shall respond to the complainant within ten working days.

Step 4 

If the complainant is still not happy, then they can appeal to a panel of Board members. The complainant has ten working days from receiving the Chief Executive’s decision to request a panel hearing by contacting the Chief Executive. The panel hearing must be convened within ten working days of the complainant requesting it. The panel should ideally consist of at least three Board members and must respond to the complainant within ten working days of the panel hearing.

There are no further internal steps in WECH’s complaints policy.

Independent bodies

Complainants can take their complaint to bodies that are independent of WECH. These include county courts and the following examples of outside bodies:

  • Local councillors for the Harrow Road Ward can be contacted at Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP. Telephone 020 7641 5377. The ward councillors hold a surgery each Saturday from 11am to 12 noon at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES.
  • The Member of Parliament for Westminster North can be contacted at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Telephone 020 7219 3000.
  • Housing Ombudsman Service, PO Box 152, Liverpool, L33 7WQ www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk. Telephone 0300 111 3000
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Housing Justice, 256 Bermondsey St, SE1 3UJ. Telephone 020 3544 8094.
  • Shelter. Telephone 0344 515 1540
  • Paddington Law Centre, 421 Harrow Road, W10 4RE, Telephone 020 8960 3155.
  • Central London Law Centre. Telephone 020 7734 4067.