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The Local Government Ombudsman is an independent service set up by the government to investigate complaints about most council matters. You can complain to the ombudsman at any time.

Sometimes she may agree to investigate a complaint that has not been through the council's own complaints procedure, but she normally prefers that complaints do go through the council's own procedure first.

You can ask for a leaflet at any council office or visit or contact the ombudsman advice line on 0300 061 0614.

Social Housing complaints

On 1 April 2013 the new Housing Ombudsman Service was launched with an extended jurisdiction covering all housing associations and local authorities. Some managing agents and private landlords are also members of the Scheme.

If you have completed all 3 stages of South Tyneside Homes' complaints procedure but you remain unhappy with the decision, you may contact a 'Designated Person' such as an Elected Member or MP with your concerns. They can decide whether to raise further enquiries on your behalf and/or refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service on your behalf. Alternatively you may complain to the Housing Ombudsman Service directly yourself once 8 weeks has elapsed since receiving your Stage 3 response from South Tyneside Homes.

If you require further information, the Housing Ombudsman Service can be contacted online via or by telephone on 0300 111 3000.