You said we did

You said we did

We really appreciate your time and that of others in giving us feedback about the services we provide.

You might wonder what we do with all this feedback. Below, you’ll find a list of changes we’ve made as a result of it.

Complaints handling review

In March, we reached out to residents who had raised a complaint in the past year. Their feedback proved invaluable, providing insight into their expectations regarding our complaint handling process. This transparency also enabled us to address any shortcomings in meeting the requirements outlined by the Housing Ombudsman’s complaint handling code.

Resident’s feedback highlighted several areas for improvement:

  • Improving the accessibility of our complaints procedure.
  • Ensuring timely appointments and minimising delays.
  • Clearly communicating complaint outcomes and following through on agreed actions.
  • Providing a dedicated point of contact and maintaining regular updates until resolutions are achieved.

In response, we’ve updated our complaints policy and committed to implementing service improvements based on residents’ feedback. Additionally, we’ve made significant enhancements to the information available on our website. For comprehensive guidance on raising a complaint, please click here

Contact Hub

[update published December 2023]

Reviewing feedback from the Tenant Satisfaction Measures and post call surveys, we can see areas for improvement linked to wait time for calls and emails; knowledge and ability; and the ease to resolve a resident’s query.

What we’re doing

We have introduced more colleagues into our contact Hub and made better use of technology. As part of this we launched a call back feature on our busiest two lines. This means that we are now responding to all emails within our target of 5 working days.

We are increasing the number of calls and emails our Hub management team will be reviewing. This will enable us to ensure that gaps in knowledge are acted on and improve future interactions.

What’s next

We are hoping to launch live chat early in the New Year. This will enable us to manage more contacts at any one time. We will also have a quality assurance partner join the team in the New Year. This will enable us to further understand feedback received about the experience delivered in the Hub and work with colleagues to upskill them.

Annual Report for Residents 2022/23

We updated the format and content of the report following feedback, especially from our Voice of the Resident Panel. This included introducing a summary version of the report to make the information clearer and using ‘resident’ and ‘tenant’ instead of ‘customer’. The news story we published on the report provides more details.

Repairs, including wait times

In our annual report for residents 2022/23, we noted that we had received the highest number of complaints during the year linked to repairs – with feedback that it is taking too long for us to book in repairs, and complete follow on works where we haven’t been able to complete a repair on our first visit to a property. During the year we made changes to the property team management and staff resources to ensure we can better respond to requests for support in this area. At the time of publishing the report, in December 2023, we have a repairs recovery plan in place to ensure we reduce the waiting time for repairs, and we are providing monthly updates on our website until we meet our repairs targets.

Condensation, damp and mould

Throughout the year 2022/23 we proactively encouraged residents to report any instances of damp or mould to us. We saw a significant increase in requests for support in this area, and also a corresponding increase in the number of complaints. We include details in our annual report for residents.  We are committed to making sure no resident lives with damp or mould in your home. We noted in the report that introduced a new damp and mould policy during the year, to be clear to all residents on how we will respond to these cases, and we have increased the level of resource available to work on cases of damp and mould.

Property condition

In the annual report for residents 2022/23 we noted that some of the complaints we received around repairs, damp and mould and the processes we follow around these types of contacts to us, will also be influenced by the age and condition of the homes and how comfortable they are to live in. We have significantly increased the investment we make in homes, to replace things like windows, roofs, kitchens, bathrooms and boilers. At the end of March 2023 we also secured additional funding to invest in energy efficiency improvements to homes, which we will deliver through a two-year programme involving 677 homes. The combination of improvements delivered through these programmes will make homes more comfortable for residents to live in.

Issues within the neighbourhood

During 2022/23, we saw some complaints linked to areas such as the quality of our estate management, cleaning of communal areas, and wider issues in the neighbourhood such as how we deal with Anti-Social Behaviour. We included details of these and how we are acting on this feedback in our annual report for residents 2022/23. This includes launching our customer offer in September 2022 and work to develop the more detailed settle standards, which all set out our aims for the services we provide, so that we are clear to residents on the standards we will work to and you can use these to hold us to account.

Lack of response – communications

We hear feedback about the importance of keeping residents updated in a timely way about work we are due to carry out in your home. We noted in our annual report for residents 2022/23 that this had been one of the themes of complaints received during that year. We noted that we are regularly sharing examples with all colleagues about the importance of keeping residents updated on what we are doing and when; that during the year we launched an internal process called ‘Raise, chase, escalate’ to proactively monitor when updates are due to residents and make sure these are provided in a timely way; and also developed new online forms to help residents provide information to us online, if this is the format they would like to use for sharing that information.

Quality of work completed

In our annual report for residents 2022/23 we noted that we had received some complaints during the year about the quality of work completed, mainly linked to repairs, estate management and our planned investment programmes. We noted that we are addressing this through our customer offer and settle standards, which are clearer on the quality of work we will deliver and support you to hold us to account to meet these standards. Also that we regularly share case studies with colleagues about where we can improve, and where quality issues are linked to an external contractor, we will follow up on this through our procurement process to make sure any issues are fed back into contracts and improvements are made.

Reviews by settle voice during 2022/23

settle voice is our online community of over 300 residents. During 2022/23 settle voice members were instrumental in shaping 11 policy reviews, including those for complaints, damp and mould and vulnerable customers, along with our Sustainability Plan 2020-2025.  

Summer Big Door Knock 2023

Summer Big Door Knock Summer 2023 – we spoke to residents in Royston and surrounding villages. We chose the Royston area following lower scores around the quality of the neighbourhood which were captured through the surveys we carry out as part of the Tenant Satisfaction Measures. We visited 805 households and spoke to 234 residents. We heard feedback about what residents like about the neighbourhood and improvements that can be made. We will use this feedback to shape our work in this neighbourhood, and ongoing support responding to the impact of cost-of-living challenges.

Spring Big Door knock 2023

Spring Big Door Knock July 2023 – We spoke to residents in the Jackmans. We received feedback about improvements we can make to the neighbourhood, and also to help shape our new homes and neighbourhoods standards. We asked residents also about the impact of cost of living challenges to help inform the support we provide to all residents.

Winter Big Door knock 2023

Winter Big Door Knock January 2023 – We spoke to residents in Westmill to continue gathering feedback about the impact cost of living challenges are having on residents and the ways settle can help. We have used this feedback to further develop the support we provide, all of which is kept updated in the support from settle section [please add a link] on this website. We also received some escalations from residents about queries including outstanding repairs and these were sent directly to teams involved to action.


December 2022 – We know that a fast and reliable repairs service is one of the things that matters most to residents, but in our review of complaints received during 2021/22 [Our customer annual report 2021/22] we could see that wait times before appointments are too long and that resolving an issue can take multiple visits. We’ve introduced a new smart scheduling system to help us plan in repairs in the quickest and most efficient way · So that more jobs can be completed by a member of the settle team, we’ve expanded our in-house repairs team, including Homes and Maintenance Partners who oversee specific locations.

Condensation, damp and mould

December 2022 – We know that having problems with condensation, damp and mould in your home can be a difficult and distressing experience. In our review of complaints received during 2021/22 [Our customer annual report 2021/22] we noted that we’ve heard residents feel worried and don’t always feel listened to, sometimes feeling like we were leaving them to resolve the problem themselves. Our response included introducing a damp and mould policy that emphasises our zero-tolerance commitment to tackling damp and mould problems; we’ve brought in a dedicated damp and mould team; and we are tracking all damp and mould cases.

Housing management

December 2022 – In our review of complaints received during 2021/22 [Our customer annual report 2021/22], we explained that you’ve told us that we need to be open and honest and manage expectations so that you are clear about what to expect from us. When something goes wrong, take ownership and pro-actively seek a resolution to put things right.

Communicate clearly so that you do not have to chase to find out what’s happening. When you request a call back, we need to be clear about when this will happen. Our response includes introducing colleague principles for query handling; monitoring closely how many times residents contact us about the same thing and making sure that there are clear escalation routes when things go wrong; we’ve developed a customer off­er to set out clearly what to expect from us; and we’ve introduced a customer hub and we’re working to improve queries at first contact.

Property condition

December 2022 -What have we heard? We included in our review of complaints received during 2021/22 [Our customer annual report 2021/22] that we know that having problems with condensation, damp and mould in your home can be a difficult and distressing experience. We heard that residents feel worried and don’t always feel listened to, sometimes feeling like we were leaving them to resolve the problem themselves. What are we doing? We invested £8.3 million during 2021/22 in improving our existing homes – up from £4.9 million in the previous year – and around £13 million during 2022/23; we are working to improve how we proactively communicate to residents when planned maintenance is scheduled. We formed the Greener Herts partnership with two other Hertfordshire–based housing associations to accelerate our work to improve the energy efficiency of our homes.

Improving the online account statement

February 2022. We received several requests from customers asking if it was possible to go back further than 90 days in the online account statement on the website.

We’re pleased to say that we’ve now made it possible for you to go back as far as you like in the account statement page. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the back arrow.

Autumn Big Door knock 2022

Cost of Living Big Door Knock Autumn 2022 – We spoke to residents in Royston and surrounding villages, along with those living in Pixmore, Letchworth. We used feedback about the increased the cost of living is having on residents to to help shape support we provide. Details of this are included in the support from settle section in this website. Some of the residents we spoke to also used those conversations to escalate issues they were waiting to hear from us on. We passed details directly to teams involved to make sure these were all actioned.

Summer Big Door knock 2022

Summer Big Door Knock July 2022 – We visited residents living in retirement living schemes. We heard feedback about being more consistent around the general maintenance and upkeep of some indoor and outdoor communal spaces. Some members from our executive team who took part in these visits spoke with residents about these issues and ensured improvement works are in place to put things right as a result of what they heard. Other residents mentioned that they were waiting for a follow-up on reported repairs and these were all sent directly to the teams responsible to action.

Spring Big Door knock 2022

Spring Big Door Knock April 2022 – We spoke to residents in Stevenage and surrounding villages. We heard feedback from some residents about waiting longer than expected for repairs to be carried out or for updates on those repairs. We noted that we will continue to do all we can to reduce the time it takes to complete repairs and are recruiting new colleagues into our trades teams to help us provide repairs more quickly. We also got in touch directly with residents who highlighted concerns during the visits with an update on any outstanding repairs or queries.

Winter Big Door knock 2022

Winter Big Door Knock February 2022 – We spoke to residents in Royston and surrounding villages. We heard a theme in particular across the feedback we received that colleagues need to check in with customers when we are providing services, to make sure we have done everything we could at that time. We will work together across settle to make sure we get better at this.


September 2021. As highlighted in our complaints report for 2020/21, we received some complaints and feedback about the time it takes to arrange repairs, repeat visits to complete a repair and the quality of work carried out. We have introduced the ability to book repair appointments through our website, and we now send surveys following all appointments which immediately tells us about the customer experience. We have also published our repairs recovery plan which shows how we’re working to provide repairs more quickly.

Condensation, damp and mould

September 2021. We received feedback through complaints that residents were unclear about how we will help resolve damp and mould issues and were not sure what support we provided or what to expect next. We don’t want any settle resident to live with condensation, damp or mould in their home. We have reviewed how we respond to and deal with cases of condensation, damp and mould and we’ve updated our residents. You can see more details here about the update we published in July. If you have any ongoing concerns about condensation, damp and mould in your property, please report these now using our web form or call us.

Service charges

September 2021. We received several complaints about the charges included in the annual rent and service charges sent to customers. We have reviewed the way estimated service charges are set and have made changes when setting the 2020-2021 service charge estimates. These are now set in line with the previous years’ actual costs, making them more accurate and removing the high variances leaseholders have faced in the past.

Problems with neighbours and in the neighbourhood

September 2021. We noticed an increase in complaints about how we respond to reports of anti-social behaviour. Through our investigation of these complaints, we saw cases where extra support was needed for vulnerable residents. We have reviewed our anti-social behaviour policy and we worked with residents to agree on what is defined as anti-social behaviour and what is within our remit to manage in line with legislation. We have also created a dedicated team to support residents who are impacted by anti-social behaviour. We have refreshed the information on our website and putting in place additional training for colleagues who work with vulnerable residents. We expect this to be completed by October 2021. We also worked with the Housing Associations Charitable Trust (HACT) to develop a framework to further develop our ability to support customers. 

Cleaning and grounds maintenance

September 2021: We received a number of complaints about the quality of grounds maintenance and the frequency of cleaning in communal blocks. A common theme was around timely query handling. We have increased the resource of our estate’s team to help improve the way we deliver services. We’re also undertaking a consultation with our customers to help us better understand the services they want to receive and will use feedback from this to shape our future service.

Replacing kitchens, bathrooms and windows

April 2021. Through our big check-in during April, you told us that you’d like more communication about when we’ll carry out major maintenance to homes like replacing kitchens, bathrooms and windows. During May we wrote to about 500 residents who were due to have kitchens and bathrooms replaced this year to provide more information on when this work will take place. You can read more including details of our investment in homes over the next 10 years in our results from our latest big check-in article.

Website account access for homeowners

February 2021. Homeowners told us that they’d like the same access to the website as renting customers with the ability to see account data, make payments and report and track repairs. So, we’ve enabled homeowners to register on the website and access their account from any device.

Got a suggestion?

Why not fill out our suggestion form and give us your comment or suggestion

How we collect feedback

Resident stories

How we choose improvements