Responding to a complaint
How to respond to a complaint
If we haven’t been able to resolve the dispute with you and the complainant at an early stage, we might need to investigate further. Find out below how we deal with complaints and what you need to do when responding to a complaint.
Dealing with complaints
If the complaint is within our jurisdiction and we decide to allocate it to one of our Adjudicators to investigate, we will tell you, the complainant and any other party to the complaint. At this stage you will not need to take any action but if you do not think we have the power to investigate the complaint you should contact us to explain why.
When we start investigating the complaint we will usually ask you for a formal, written response. By law you must respond to a complaint made about you and provide information when we request it.
What you need to do
You should provide a written response within 21 days after we ask you to respond to the complaint. In some circumstances we can extend this timeframe.
In your response you should tell us:
- the facts, as you see them, relating to the complaint
- if you oppose the allegations made and why
- about anyone else who might have a direct interest in the complaint
- if you are appointing a representative.
You’ll also need to send us a copy of any documents we ask for.
If you don’t respond to a complaint made about you we may make a decision without your evidence or we can use our statutory powers to require you to respond.
You can submit a joint response if the complaint relates to more than one party. In most cases we expect trustees to respond jointly.
You can appoint a representative, such as a solicitor, to act for you. Whether you seek professional representation is a matter for you. Even if the complaint against you is not upheld, you will not be able to recover costs.
During the investigation
All parties have rights and responsibilities while a complaint is being investigated. This includes keeping all the information you receive confidential and responding to requests for further information.