No one likes complaining. But sometimes you don’t have a choice. Understanding the options available is important if you want to achieve the best outcome and avoid unnecessary delays.

In this short guide, we’ll show you how to complain about a property management company if you’re unhappy with the service you’ve received.

1. Complain Directly To the Company

Before formalising your complaint, it’s important to make contact with the property management company – so that they can listen to your concerns and attempt to solve the problem.

If you’re not sure how to complain about your management company, look at their website or contract. Information about the company’s complaints policy should be listed in one or more of these locations.

Ask how quickly your concern can be resolved, so expectations are clearly defined and confusion avoided. If you’re unhappy with how the problem is handled, or the solution offered, you can make your complaint official

Still Not Happy?

As we’ll explain in the next section, you can escalate your complaint to the Ombudsman if dissatisfied with the resolution offered – but only if you’ve already:

  1. Explained to your company why you’re unhappy
  2. Outlined what they need to do to resolve the problem
  3. Responded to follow-up messages they’ve sent you

It’s important to retain copies of correspondence and log any calls you make, noting who you spoke to, when, and the outcome of the conversation.

The more information you provide the Ombudsman with, the more efficient their investigation will be (although a successful outcome is never 100% guaranteed).

2. Escalate to Ombudsman/Redress Scheme

Even if you complain directly, there’s no guarantee of success. Fortunately, there are several redress schemes in place to protect tenants and leaseholders.

The two you need to know about are:

A third scheme – called Ombudsman Services Property – was discontinued in 2018. Any property management company belonging to it should have transferred their membership to one of the two above schemes.

These schemes are independent. However, they won’t investigate unless you’ve followed your property management’s complaint procedure first.

How do I complain about my property management company if they don’t belong to one of these listed schemes? You can raise your concerns with your nearest local trading standards office.

Important: every local authority works differently. This means that there’s no singular rule each must abide by. When complaining, be sure to provide proof your property management company isn’t listed.

3. Complain to the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA)

ARMA serves as a trade association which acts on behalf of residential property management companies. It is a legal requirement for ARMA members to give their clients access to an independent scheme – so complaints can be independently investigated and resolved.

How to make a complaint about a property management company that’s an ARMA member

Visit their website to see if the company in question is a registered member. If so, ARMA will take on your complaint to see whether it can be upheld.

If you’re unhappy with the outcome, you’ll still have redress through the Ombudsman.

Block management specialists you can rely on

Hopefully, you now understand how to make a formal complaint about your property managerr. But, in an ideal world, you’d prefer to work with professionals who do everything they can to get things right the first time.

We work with resident management companies, self-managed block owners, leaseholders and others. Learn more by getting in touch with a friendly member of our team today, so we can help.