Home maintenance and investment standards

Here are details of how we will look after your home and your neighbourhood.

We’ll make sure:

  • we conduct an annual gas safety check by appointment in rented homes with a gas supply
  • all our homes meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard by 2010
  • aids and adaptation work worth under £1,000 is completed within 31 days of request or report (by an occupational therapist). Work over £1,000 will be passed to the relevant authority
  • you’re consulted on all major work schemes where you live
  • we advertise our major works programme, giving details and timescales for all planned repairs
  • you’re given at least two weeks’ notice before any major work starts in your home
  • the outside of your home is decorated and maintained every seven years.

Empty properties

We will re-let our empty properties within 25 days on average and commit to:

  • accompanying you when you view the property to see if it is suitable for you
  • changing the locks and giving you three sets of keys
  • providing a decoration allowance if the property needs decorating
  • giving you a list of any work that has been done and any non-essential work that may be need to be done once you have moved into the property
  • ensuring your new home is safe, clean, fit for living in and in a good state of repair.

Caretaking and the cleanliness of estates

We promise to:

  • inspect the services provided on our large estates every month and have full advertised estate inspections every three months
  • ensure a high standard of cleanliness in the services provided on estates
  • make sure all properties with grounds maintenance or a cleaning service are maintained to a good standard
  • provide services that are good value for money by maintaining and occasionally re-advertising contracts and involving residents in this
  • have neighbourhood managers that support tenants and promote their concerns on the estates
  • make sure caretaking staff are well trained
  • remove all offensive graffiti is removed from estates within 24 hours of receiving a report and that other graffiti is removed within seven working days, or as soon as possible if specialist treatment is needed
  • regularly inspect play equipment we provide

Moving home

We will:

  • run our lettings and allocations schemes fairly, explaining all stages of the process
  • give transfer applicants a guide to the transfer scheme
  • give you information about all your housing options
  • give you a copy of our re-let standards when you sign up
  • give you appropriate support and help through the re-housing process
  • approach other housing organisations to help with your re-housing if we don’t have property in the area you need to move to
  • help you if you need to complete a Housing Benefit claim form
  • give you a welcome pack about your new home and your rights and responsibilities as a resident
  • provide useful information about services available in your local area
  • visit you at home within 10 working days of your request for a transfer, if this is necessary to properly assess your circumstances
  • pass the information you provide on a medical assessment form to our independent medical expert to assess the number of points you will be awarded and the type of accommodation that is suitable for you
  • process your transfer application within ten working days of receiving all the information we need to register it, and let you know the number of points you’ve been awarded
  • give you a written decision within six weeks when you apply to swap your home with another resident
  • inform you of your position on the transfer list, on request
  • review the details of tenants on the transfer list at least every two years

Rent and service charges

We promise to:

  • send you rent statements every three months
  • give you accurate and timely information
  • give advice and help from the start of your tenancy to prevent you getting into arrears
  • publish a wide variety of payment methods so that you can pay in a way that suits you
  • provide advice and help to keep your payments up to date
  • offer settlement terms to help you bring your account up to date in a reasonable time, if you’re in arrears
  • help you stay up to date with your rent and service charge payments by referring you to debt advisory services, benefits advisory services and other sources of helpful information
  • tell you in advance if we plan to take legal action to recover the debt, if you don’t pay your rent or service charges
  • try to make an agreement with you to pay the money you owe before taking court action
  • seek possession of your home for rent arrears only as a last resort.

Homeownership services

We’ll make sure you receive final accounts by the end of September. And we’ll send you your rent and service charge estimates at least a month before making any changes to your rent and service charge.

We promise to:

  • consult you before we do any major work or repair or improvement to your building, as the law specifies
  • give you, on request, details of services or repairs to your block
  • ensure our staff are fully trained on housing and home-ownership issues
  • develop opportunities for you to be involved and consulted