Issuu on Google+

Tamworth's 'Local Offers' Our customer promise to you “Every tenant matters� (mission statement 2012)

Landlord Services


Introduction

We have tough processes in place which looks at our financial viability and regulations. We also work closely with the Tenant Consultative Group (TCG) and ensure we consult with them on any policy change, prior to a decision being made by the borough Council’s Cabinet.

By working closely with our tenants, we have developed a number of ‘customer promises’. These promises – or ‘Local Offers’ – set out how we will work with you. It means we can deliver and tailor our services, in line with what you have told us is important. We have a number of national standards we have to meet, which are set out by the regulator Tenant Services Authority. The TSA is an independent national organisation which aims to ensure access to good quality housing, while improving standards. Our ‘Local offers’ will help us to become more flexible, while addressing local issues in a way to suit you. We will measure how we perform against these standards and let you know. This means that you can see how well we are doing.

In addition to this, a group will meet every three months to look at important areas. This will also include representatives from our active tenant database, independent critical friends along with nominated representatives from the council’s scrutiny committee. The reason we do this? It helps us to continue to improve and develop our services. The Quarterly Landlord Services Project Board, which is chaired by the Portfolio Holder for Quality of Life, also gives you every opportunity to scrutinise performance and raise questions. This is also supported by an external and independent critical friend who advises the group. This ensures services are provided in the best way possible. There is also a wide range of informal opportunities for tenants and leaseholders to be involved in housing management.

We are aiming to make sure our promises to you exceed the TSA’s National Standards by 2011.

National standards

‘Working together’

The new standards simplify how social housing is regulated. The six clear standards are focused on results, rather than the way things are done.

Tamworth Landlord Services shall support co-regulation with their tenants. In simple terms ‘co-regulation’ means working together. Instead of being inspected every three years by the regulator, we now regulate ourselves with the help of tenants and others such as other housing providers. Tenant scrutiny and short notice inspections will help us to identify where we need to improve. The structure below shows what arrangements are in place for you to get involved, influence and scrutinise our policy and services.

Cabinet Performance Chamber (Tripartite Regulation Diary informed by tenants/scrutiny)

Landlord Project Board/HRA & Business Planning Project Board(s)

Tenant Consultative Group (Umbrella group with a report from below)

We have worked with you to come up with the wording to make sure we deliver our services in the way that you want them.

l

Tenant empowerment

l

Home

l

Tenancy

l

Neighbourhood and community

l

Value for money

l

Governance and financial viability*

*This does not apply to local authorities

'Local offers' We want to provide you with the best possible service. We hope that you have taken this opportunity to have your say.

Staffordshire Tenants Forum shared ideas and best Practice across Midlands

As a result, we have developed ‘local offers’ - our customer promise to you. These have been in response to you telling us what is important and us making a commitment to deliver these promises to an agreed standard. Over the past 12 months, more than 800 tenants took part, which helps us to make sure we know what you want to see in our promises to you.

Tenant Involvement Group (Scrutiny Panel)

2

Tamworth's 'local offers'

Seniors United

Tenants Voice

A number of events were held across the borough, targeting the community hubs – or ARCHes - in Belgrave, Amington, Stoneydelph and Glascote Heath.

Our customer promise to you

3


Surveys were also posted to everyone on our involvement database and our young tenant database. We also advertised online. Further consultation was done in the reception area of Marmion House, on Tamworth market, through the formal tenant involvement groups, across the sheltered housing schemes and in our quarterly newsletter, ‘Open House’.

Tamworth's 'local offers' Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard

The overwhelming message was that local should mean ‘borough level’, while standards should be the same in all areas. You also told us there should be some priority projects in Belgrave, Amington, Stoneydelph and Glascote Heath. You told us we needed to respond to people’s different needs and we should tailor services rather than tailor our areas. Recognising that more than 40% of our tenants are over 60 years old has led us to develop a ‘golden ticket’ for the repairs service. Sheltered tenants will receive an enhanced repairs service if they are over 75 years old and in receipt of disability benefits

Priority projects for the four locality areas Amington

Glascote

Contribute to proposals to regenerate the Kerria Centre

Promote welfare benefit take-up and reduce illegal lending

Develop partnership working with other registered providers managing private rented stock in Amington

Review garage sites and agree future options

Belgrave

Stonydelph

Review garage sites and agree future options

Develop local lettings and support arrangements for Eringden

Develop a local lettings plan for Tinkers Green and contribute to the wider regeneration of that area

Offer housing surgeries at the local hub to offer advice and support on issues concerning anti-social behaviour

Promote welfare benefit take-up and reduce illegal lending

Identify options to improve environmental and car parking issues

Involvement and empowerment

l

We will: l

complete an Annual Impact Assessment of all tenant involvement activities

l

undertake an annual review of the Tenant Participation Strategy action plan

l

keep a register of tenants who want to be involved and the ways in which they wish to do so

l

give information to all new tenants on how they can become involved with housing issues

l

regularly communicate how involvement and empowerment is influencing services through ‘Open House’ and the website.

l

continue to provide both a formal and informal framework that sets out a wide range of opportunities on how tenants can get involved in the management of their homes

assist customers when completing forms or when receiving information from staff whose first language is not English

Understanding and responding to the diverse needs of tenants We will: l

continue to collect and analyse information about our current and future customers through our ‘Getting to know you’ form

l

seek to involve a diverse range of customers to ensure that tenants who do not engage with us reflect the diversity of the communities in which we work

Complaints We will: l

accept complaints in a way which suits you best; e.g. in person, in writing, by phone, by email or by using the online complaint form ’Tell us’

Customer service and choice We will: l

provide information in a range of formats

l

respond to complaints within 21 days

l

see customers within 15 minutes of arrival at Marmion House

l

l

offer a private room to discuss confidential issues

learn from complaints and report outcomes through ‘Open House’, on the web and through our formal tenant involvement groups

Equalities and Diversity We will:

4

Tamworth's 'local offers'

l

treat you with respect and courtesy

l

give you enough information to enable you to make informed choices

l

not discriminate unlawfully against anyone

Our customer promise to you

5


Home Standard Repairs and maintenance

Quality of accommodation

Allocations

We will:

We will:

We will:

l

provide a 24-hour, 365 day emergency repair service and respond to all emergency repairs within 24 hours

l

advertise our capital investment plans annually, publishing how we are meeting our Decent Homes Standard

l

respond to all urgent repairs within 6 working days and routine repairs within 26 working days

l

continue to survey our homes on an ongoing basis and plan our investment to ensure that we meet the Decent Home Standard as a minimum in the future

l

Make a morning or afternoon appointment for completion of urgent and routine repairs and complete 90% of jobs with an appointment

l

aim to complete all repairs as a single continuous task

l

provide a choice based lettings service ‘Finding a Home’ including all registered and social landlords to maximise housing options

l

provide online help, guidance and support in accessing the ‘Finding a Home’ website

l

provide assistance to vulnerable people by ensuring our information is accessible, assist in completing application forms and placing expressions of interest on your behalf

l

advertise homes weekly on the website, in Marmion House reception and at other local places

l

contact you within 4 working days of the advertisement being closed if you are successful

l

publish information about the homes that we let, including the band that the successful applicant was in and how long they had waited

Adaptations We will:

l

complete 90% of jobs right first time

l

l

consult with tenants on the introduction of a handyperson service during 2011/2012

provide an assessment through a home visit for major adaptations

l

undertake an annual service and inspection of all landlord owned gas appliances

notify you in writing of our decision on our priority waiting list

l

discuss your housing options in relation to your disability

l

ensure all work is carried out to a good standard

l

ensure your assessment is carried out by an occupational therapist within 21 days

l

undertake and publish an independent annual impact statement on lettings

l

ensure all minor adaptations are carried out within 26 days of the referral being received

l

publish an annual lettings plan that looks at empty property turnaround and develops local lettings plans to ensure community cohesion and stability

l l

l

6

Tenancy Standard

ensure that all health and safety works are fully completed and the property meets our lettable standard when you move into council accommodation continue to improve repairs satisfaction with response and planned works and produce the results through ‘Open House’ and on the website

Tamworth's 'local offers'

Our customer promise to you

7


Tenancy Standard Tenure

Rent

l

support tenants as far as possible to help them sustain their tenancy and avoid rent arrears and evictions aim for no more than 5% of our tenancies to fail within the first 12 months. Where they do fail we will analyse data to understand the reasons why and adapt our services to meet identified needs

l

provide supported housing for at least 15 (tenancies) for up to 2 years

l

carry out 100% of new tenancy visits within the first 6 weeks

Neighbourhood and Estate management

We will:

We will:

l

Neighbourhood and Community Standard

(continued)

l

provide you with a variety of ways on how and where to pay your rent

l

notify you in writing at least four weeks ahead of any rent increase

l

ensure all new tenants receive an accurate welfare benefits check at the start of their tenancy and advice on debt management where appropriate

l

l

contact tenants who fall in to arrears within seven working days and ensure that every effort is made to assist you before the debt becomes unmanageable ensure we visit you within six weeks of the start of your tenancy to establish if you have any problems, including rent payments

l

signpost customers to other agencies that can maximise their income, whether they are in arrears or not

l

provide advice and assistance on debt management

l

provide you with a rent statement on a quarterly basis and send out copies upon request

l

We will:

l

carry out 3 annual estate inspections

l

carry out 4 annual estate walkabouts with partners and publish ‘you said, we did’ outcomes

l

remove 100% of offensive graffiti within 48 hours

l

remove 100% of fly tipping on housing land within 3 days after investigation

l

carry out 2 surveys a year to determine customer satisfaction with internal communal cleaning achieving at least 80% satisfaction

l

Local area co-operation We will: l

recover all debts using a variety of recovery methods including payment arrangements, deductions from income and pursuing legal action to repossess homes

l

8

Tamworth's 'local offers'

recruit tenant inspectors to audit areas in accordance with the cleaning service standards already published and agreed by our tenants

work in partnership with local agencies and, where appropriate, invite them to meet with customers so we work together to deal with social, environmental and economic issues in the areas where we provide housing review each year the outcomes we have achieved through local area co-operation and its value for money

Anti-social behaviour We will:

l

acknowledge all ASB reports within 24 hours

l

agree a customer action plan within 10 working days

l

arrange a mutually acceptable time for interview with a complainant, within 10 working days

l

contact you within one working day for serious allegations such as hate crimes or physical assault

l

keep in contact with the complainant on an individually agreed basis

l

keep the identity of victims/witnesses confidential when requested

l

work with the Police, Tamworth Borough Council Community Safety Team and other support agencies to reduce nuisance within the borough

l

offer a range of solutions to help solve your complaint (eg. advice and support, mediation or legal action)

l

be accredited with the Respect Standard 2012/13 reflecting our commitment to preventing, enforcing and educating against anti-social behaviour

l

offer and publicise surgeries in the ARCHes to discuss solutions to anti-social behaviour

l

support the corporate community safety hub to offer an integrated approach to resolving anti-social behaviour issues

l

carry out an annual telephone satisfaction survey achieving at least 80% satisfaction

Our customer promise to you

9


Tamworth’s ‘local offers’ Value for money

l

introduce service charges by 2012 to maximise resources available to the rest of our tenants

l

produce an annual customer satisfaction calendar and produce the results from all surveys through ‘Open House’ and the website

We will:

l

l

provide an annual account and value for money summary showing how tenants have benefited from investment decisions throughout the year look at ways of improving how we work with our suppliers so we achieve greater value for money for the benefits of our tenants

How we will monitor From April 2011 we will: l

Publish our performance against the ‘local offers’ through the Landlord Services Annual Report

l

Publish the results from all customer satisfaction surveys for services we provide through our tenant involvement groups, in Open House and on the website

l

Publish how we have used customer information we gather to improve services, increase customer satisfaction and increase the opportunities available to customers to have their say

l

Keep you informed about performance through articles in ‘Open House’ and by making reports and action plans available on our website and on request from your Tenant Participation Team

l

Continue to develop and advertise the customer dashboard, where tenants have selected performance they would most like to see in housing

l

Publish performance and related outcomes through a programme of customer audits which will be determined by the scrutiny panel

l

Ensure performance is scrutinised by our established tenant groups who will monitor the progress of all the ‘local offers’. The Scrutiny Panel will independently assess whether we are meeting the commitments we have made

Involving you The new regulation requires us to work with tenants. We already do this through our tenant involvement groups, Tenant Consultative Group, through surveys, Open House and the web. We will continue to review and develop new ways of working together to make sure we reach as many customers as possible. We also respond to the diverse needs of our tenants by organising estate-based events and going out to the ARCHes around the borough. If you would like more information about anything in this document or would like to know how you can get involved please contact us.

Contact us Tenant Participation Team Call: 0800 183 0454 Email: tenantparticipation@tamworth.gov.uk Write to: Tenant Participation, Tamworth Borough Council, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 7BZ

10

Tamworth's 'local offers'

Our customer promise to you

11


If you would like this document in a different language or format, for example audio cassette, large print or Braille, please contact the Tenant Participation team on 0800 1830454. Designed and produced by Tamworth Borough Council, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 7BZ www.tamworth.gov.uk


Tamworth's Local Offers