Glossary of terms


Anti-social behaviour

Assured shorthold tenancy

A type of assured tenancy that can be terminated more easily, without the need for specific grounds to be proved at court

Assured tenancy

The most common form of tenancy granted by Housing Associations and private landlords since 15 January 1989

Be Fair

A constructive approach that applies consistent principles to all complaints whilst ensuring each complaint is considered on the facts of the individual case. treating each complaint justly and without favour or discrimination.


Payment, either obligatory or discretionary, of a sum of money in recognition of loss or detriment to a complainant

Designated Person

A designated person can be an MP, a local councillor, or a recognised Tenant Panel


The Ombudsman’s decision on a case


Description of a decision or action that a landlord (or the Ombudsman) chooses to take rather than because of any obligation to do so


Data Protection Act/Freedom of Information Act. These are both laws that enable people to request information from public bodies

Formal Complaint

Confirmation, usually in writing or electronically, of dissatisfaction with a service or services provided by a landlord

Formal Resolution

When a dispute is resolved by an Ombudsman’s investigation


Internal complaints procedure


The extent of the Ombudsman’s legal authority to decide an issue

Learn from Outcomes

Demonstrate a willingness to learn from the issues raised and/or any identified service failure. Feedback to service users, including the complainant, on lessons learnt and actions taken to improve service delivery.


An occupier who owns the property defined in the lease for a fixed number of years

Local Resolution

When a landlord and tenant settle a dispute between themselves


A formal decision by the Ombudsman that a landlord has failed to do something, done something it shouldn’t have or, in the Ombudsman’s opinion has delayed unreasonably

Managing agent

An organisation, other than the landlord, which the landlord has sub-contracted its housing management functions


Outside (the Ombudsman’s) Jurisdiction

Put it Right

Identify what went wrong and why. Acknowledge any landlord responsibility and the outcome sought by the complainant; take appropriate steps to remedy the service failure.

Secure tenancy

The most common form of tenancy granted by Local Housing Authorities (the council) . Some Housing Association tenants may also have a secure tenancy if their occupancy began before 15 January 1989

Shared Owner

A type of leaseholder who buys a share of the property and pays rent on the remainder


Formal contract between a landlord and tenant

The Scheme

The Housing Ombudsman Scheme