We pride ourselves on offering competitive market rents and the security and comfort of long term tenancies if you need it.
Updated in July 2020
South Cambs Limited trading as Ermine Street Housing is committed to treating you fairly and providing a professional service to all our clients and customers. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
If you have a complaint, please put it in writing, including as much detail as possible. We will then respond in line with the time frames set out below (if you feel we have not sought to address your complaints within eight weeks, you may be able to refer your compliant to the Property Ombudsman to consider without final viewpoint on the matter).
1. Identifying your complaint
1.1 Should you be dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, policies, actions or decisions, including but not limited to:
1.1.1 failure to respond to initial enquiries;
1.1.2 staff unhelpful or not polite;
1.1.3 failure to meet customer service promises;
1.1.4 unclear, misleading or unsuitable advice;
1.1.5 policies or procedures; and
1.1.6 dissatisfaction in respect of actions or decisions, please let us know.
1.2 A request for a service or a mere enquiry will not be deemed to be a complaint and will not be dealt with in accordance with this Procedure.
1.3 There are some instances when we will not deal with your issue via the complaints process including:
1.3.1 if your complaint relates to a legal matter which is already being dealt with by a solicitor; or
1.3.2 if the complaint relates to any agent acting on behalf of Ermine Street Housing, for example an agent we have employed to manage a building or advertise, market and let a property, as you may be advised to proceed through the agent’s complaint handling process in the first instance, before we will consider the matter.
2. Managing your complaint
2.1 This Procedure and any associated internal procedures aim to ensure that you are kept informed throughout the following three complaint handling stages:
2.1.1 Stage 1 - Dealt with at Officer/Team Manager level;
2.1.2 Stage 2 - Dealt with at Senior Manager.
2.2 Should the above two stages be exhausted; you may have the option to refer your complaint to The Property Ombudsman.
2.3 The Property Ombudsman can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at The Property Ombudsman, Milford House, 43-55 Milford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2BP, telephone number 01722 333306 or via their website and their Codes of Practice And Consumer Guides can be found here.
2.4 Please note you have a limit of 12 months to refer your complaint to The Property Ombudsman.
2.5 Ermine Street Housing will acknowledge all complaints within three working days of receiving the complaint and enclosing a copy of this procedure.
2.6 We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally be dealt with by the officer/team manager who will review the details. A formal written outcome of our investigation will be sent to you within 15 working days of sending the acknowledge letter.
2.7 If, at this stage, you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a separate review to take place by a senior member of staff,
2.8 We will write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final viewpoint on the matter.
2.9 If you are still not satisfied after the last stage of the in-house complaint procedure )or more than 8 weeks has elapsed since the complaint was first made) you can request an independent review from The Property Ombudsman without charge.
2.10 Ermine Street Housing will use the outcome of complaints and comments and the actions that have been taken as a consequence as a positive method of improving its service.
2.11 Email will be an appropriate correspondence medium for acknowledging complaints and in some cases providing a full reply.
3. Vexatious, serial or recurring complaints
3.1 It is recognised that some customers will not or cannot, accept that ESH is unable to assist them further in respect of a complaint.
3.2 Ongoing demands may impact substantially on our work by taking up excessive staff time to the disadvantage of other customers or functions.
3.3 Internal procedures are therefore in place to ensure that complaints can be identified as vexatious or persistent and that they are dealt with clearly and consistently.
4.1 Where appropriate and possible Ermine Street Housing will provide support to complainants with particular challenges such visual or hearing impairment, learning difficulties, where English is not the first language and any other disability that may affect the understanding of this complaints policy.
4.2 When implementing the complaints policy and procedures we will ensure that we will comply with the Equality Act 2010.
4.3 Through implementation of this Procedure, we do not discriminate on the grounds of any protected characteristic namely: age; disability; gender; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; maternity; race and ethnicity; religion or belief; and sexual orientation.
5. Making a complaint
5.1 Should you decide to make a complaint, (or alternatively, provide us with any positive feedback), please direct your comments in writing to Duncan Vessey by email: Duncan.Vessey@scambs.gov.uk
5.2 Or by post at to: South Cambs Limited, South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB23 6EA, telephone number: 01954 713099