How residents have made a difference

 

As well as showing how residents can get involved, it’s just as important to show where involvement has made a difference. Here we highlight one area where residents have made a significant difference to a very important part of our business – lettings. 

Background

Our published lettable standard for empty properties was out of date and also completely unrealistic. The standard was over and above we were in a position to provide 

Scope of the review

The Residents’ Forum decided to take this on as their first project for the newly formed Scrutiny Task Groups. Their remit was to carry out a review and provide a recommended new standard. It had to meet the needs of residents as well as meet strict Value for Money objectives 

What happened?

The group carried out several activities including:

  • Visiting current empty properties and those deemed ‘ready to let’
  • Comparing other organisation standards
  • Surveying new tenants
  • Trialling a new cleaning contractor
  • Speaking to a local housing organisation about their processes 

After three months of discussions, visits and comparisons the group produced a series of recommendations which were accepted and implemented. 

Main changes made

  • New standard produced with associated checklist
  • An improved procedure to remove the chance of properties not meeting the standard being let
  • Use of key operated window locks to be on a scheme by scheme basis
  • Cleanliness of properties improved
  • Photos evidence of property standard more complete
  • 6-month un-announced visits to be made to make sure the standards are kept

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