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NOTE: The ‘democratic filter’ introduced by the Localism 2011 and which is explained in this paper will be removed by section 160 of the Building Safety Act 2022 when it’s brought into force.  

The Localism Act 2011 provided for a new approach to dealing with complaints by social tenants against their landlords. These provisions came into force on 1 April 2013. The aim is for councillors, tenant panels and MPs (“designated persons”) to play a more active role in resolving complaints at the local level. Referral of a complaint to a designated person will normally only take place once the landlord’s complaints procedure is exhausted.

The only legally defined powers of designated persons are to refer complaints from social housing tenants to the Housing Ombudsman.

The “designated persons” role is new – the National Tenant Organisations suggest that “it will require the imagination of local people coming up with new ideas to make it effective.”

The Chartered Institute of Housing together with other housing organisations has developed a series of designated person FAQs which can be accessed online.

Documents to download

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