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Tenants advice and information

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4. Housing Complaints and Feedback

Our Complaints Process

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the council, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents. 

You will need to raise your complaint within 12 months of when you first noticed the issue. We will not normally consider a complaint made after that time.

You can make a formal complaint if you think we have:

  • done something wrong
  • behaved unfairly or impolitely
  • not carried out a service to an agreed standard
  • not responded to your request for a service within our stated timescale
  • or if you think we have got something wrong in an Exeter City Council policy decision


Who can make a complaint?

Anyone can make a complaint on your behalf, if you are unable to do so. They will need signed authorisation from you.

Housing complaints can be made in writing by letter, or via our Housing complaints form. You can also call us, visit us in person or arrange a visit to your home using the contact details below.


Stage One - Investigation of your complaint 

We will acknowledge your corporate complaint within five working days. A Department Lead will investigate and respond within 10 working days. We may extend this if the investigation is complex.


Stage Two – Independent review of your complaint

If you remain dissatisfied after our Stage One investigation, you can request an escalation where a new senior officer will conduct an independent review. Your request must be made within 3 months of the resolution of the Stage One complaint. We will complete a Stage Two review within 20 working days and send you a final response. This timescale may be extended if the investigation is complex.

Before we carry out a Stage Two review, you will need to explain to us why you remain dissatisfied and why you are requesting a review. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of your complaint will not be sufficient. We will require evidence of any errors, inaccuracies in our findings or evidence of factually incorrect statements.


After your complaint

If your complaint remains unresolved at the end of our complaints process you have the following options available to you:

  • Use the Housing Ombudsman’s Early Resolution Service. This is an alternative process to formal investigation where they will work with you and us to resolve the dispute as fairly and quickly as possible
  • Refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman to be formally investigated.


The Housing Ombudsman

The Housing Ombudsman Service is available to our tenants and leaseholders. They provide a free, independent and impartial dispute resolution service.

See how you can contact the Housing Ombudsman.


Housing Ombudsman self-assessment

The Housing Ombudsman ask that housing providers publish a self-assessment of their complaints service. You can download our current self-assessment document.


The role of the Regulator and Housing Ombudsman Service

See further information about the role of the Regulator of Social Housing and Housing Ombudsman Service and how residents can seek support.


Exeter City Council contact details

Telephone: 01392 265759

Online: Contact Us

Exeter City Council, Housing Complaints, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 9SA