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LANDLORD SERVICES TAMWORTH BOROUGH COUNCIL
T R O P E R L A ANNU 2012 - 2013
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This report has been agreed in consultation with the Tenant Consultive Group who told us what information they wanted included in the report to help scrutinise our performance.
Our thanks go to all tenants who were involved in the development of the report and the members of Tenants Voice who commented on the draft to ensure that the report is clear and meaningful. We hope you will find the information useful in holding Tamworth Borough Council Landlord Service to account.
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4 Welcome & introduction 6 Who we are 7 A year in pictures 8 National standards Tenant involvement and empowerment This section tells you about the different ways in which you have been involved in decision making Home This section gives information about the quality of our accommodation and our repairs and maintenance service Tenancy This part of the report tells you how we are performing with allocations of our homes, rent arrears and types of tenure we are able to offer Neighbourhood and community You will find information in this part of the report on anti-social behaviour, as well as achievements in neighbourhood management and local area co-operation Value for money This section looks at how we have achieved greater value for money
24 Evaluation of Annual Report
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Welcome & Introduction Welcome to our 2013 Annual Report to tenants. Many thanks to the tenant representatives involved in preparing this report, which covers the financial year 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013. The Government’s welfare reforms have driven much of our work this year. Welfare reform has been, and continues to be, a cause of concern for many customers, so we have invested time and resources in doing what we can to help. As we look to the coming year, our goal is to support all tenants with the changes while ensuring that we maintain the ﬁnancial stability we need to sustain high quality services to all Tamworth Borough Council tenants. This year also saw the start of the Tinkers Green and Kerria redevelopment. Tamworth Borough Council will invest around £21.5 million over the next six years in the redevelopment of the two estates. This has been exciting news for Tamworth, and particularly for these two areas of the town. This will massively regenerate those areas of Wilnecote and Amington, designing out crime and anti-social behaviour, giving residents the sort of areas they are proud to live in, as well as stimulating economic growth. We also told you last year that we were committed to meeting the Government’s ‘RESPECT’ standard on anti-social behaviour. We are pleased to inform you that HouseMark, an independent body that inspects housing providers, awarded Tamworth Borough Council the Chartered Institute of Housing Accreditation for RESPECT, the ﬁrst local authority in the UK to achieve this award. Another major achievement this year has been in the wide range of environmental works carried our across the borough. This has included the start of the garage refurbishment programme across Tamworth estates, a wide selection of improvement and disability compliant works undertaken at many of the council’s sheltered schemes and other general estate works, including improved paving and street lighting.
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Customer inﬂuence continues to make a difference to our work this year, and we are grateful for the amount of time and hard work that the tenant working groups have given us and the feedback you give us in different ways. We welcome new members to the groups and hope to see and engage with more of you over the next ﬁnancial year. This report is designed to show how we are performing in the different areas of Landlord Service, what we have done in the past year to maintain and where possible improve our services to tenants and what we need to do in the future to tailor services to meet needs and preferences of customers. 2013-14 is already proving to be an exciting challenge, and this report tells you about some of the work we are already carrying out to continuously improve and provide you with the right quality services. As Portfolio Holder for Housing, “I am familiar with the challenges that we are facing-not just our tenants but the wider community as well. Working closely with our tenants, ofﬁcers and other partners, we aim to provide a service within landlord services that not only meets the needs of our tenants but also delivers value for money. While there are always improvements that can be made, I am conﬁdent that we are heading in the right direction and look forward to seeing the results of some of the planned changes in the future.” Councillor Michael Greatorex
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WHO WE ARE
Borough Road Coton Green
Gillway Leyfields Amington
The Leys Town Centre Bolehall Lower Park Kettlebrook
Stonydelph Two Gates Wilnecote
Total number of properties: 4,472 Number of tenancies â€“ 4,472 as at 31 March 2013 Property type
4 Bed +
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A YEAR IN PICTURES Christmas Rent Campaign – 2012
Estate Walkabout in Leyfields – August 2012
Estate Walkabout in Glascote – July 2012
Plant a Bulb – Nov 2012
Litter pick with Mears - June 2012
Plant a Pot at Oakendale – May 2012
Tenant Inspectors – Oct 2012
Estate Walkabout at Stonydelph – Sept 2012
Grow your own event – April 2012
Regeneration Drop-in Event – Feb 2013
Plant a Pot at Oakendale – May 2012
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TENANT INVOLVEMENT AND EMPOWERMENT Tenants play a very important role in helping us to improve our standards and performance. We work closely with our active tenants to ensure that we are always improving services, which helps us to improve the quality of life for all customers. over recent months we have began to undertake a review of tenant regulation and involvement. The review has included the development of a far more meaningful involvement publication showing different involvement activities and their time commitment. In addition, we have also started to review the website and recently launched our new Tenant Involvement and Consultation Strategy 2013-16.
12 74 WAYS
FoR CUSToMERS To GET InvoLvED AnALySED MoRE THAn
HAvE BEEn oRGAnISED, RAnGInG FRoM PoSTAL SURvEyS To ESTATE BASED EvEnTS
800 11 SURvEyS FRoM
nEW TEnAnT InSPECToRS
348 TEnAnTS on THE
‘PLAnT A PoT’, ‘GRoW yoUR oWn’, STonyDELPH LITTER PICK
DATA BASE FoR
TEnAnTS InTERACTIvE ConFEREnCE – EnGAGED WITH MoRE THAn
54 TEnAnT InSPECTIonS
2 FoCUS GRoUPS, 9 EvEnTS, 1 EnvIRonMEnTAL CARRIED oUT ARoUnD BUS ToUR THE BoRoUGH
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Looking forward 2013/2014 • Complete review of tenant regulation and involvement • Increase overall level of involvement in service improvement groups • Preparations for Landlord Services second Tenants Conference • Tenant inspectors to extend communal cleaning audits to neighbourhood inspections • Develop a training programme to extend the skills and knowledge of involved customers so that the members are equipped to understand, challenge and improve services • Increase the use of social media to promote our work and reach more of our customers • Increase the representation of younger customers among tenants who are shaping our services • Increase what customers can do on our website, such as checking their own accounts, paying rent, reporting repairs and updating their personal details • Investigate funding for ‘Community Cashback’ to allow customers to manage their services.
Feedback Complaints and compliments We welcome all feedback as it helps us improve our services. We aim to resolve all complaints as effectively and quickly as possible. Any complaint, no matter how minor, is recorded on our central database. This year we received a total of initial reports of dissatisfaction compared to the previous year of
oF CoMPLAInTS WERE UPHELD
89% CUSToMER SATISFACTIon WITH CoMPLAInT HAnDLInG
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Customer Satisfaction Customer Satisfaction My new home Handling my complaint Communal cleaning Response Repairs
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HOME £29 million will be invested in Council housing over 2013 – 2016/17 (Capital programme approved 2012/13)
Responsive repairs our tenant surveys tell us that the repairs service is your top priority. you can expect repairs to be carried out within our published timescales and we aim to complete the repair at the ﬁrst visit. ToTAL nUMBER oF REPAIRS CARRIED oUT IS
ToTAL CoST To CARRy oUT REPAIRS
£1,429,360 13,416 £106.54 97.6% 97.9% AvERAGE CoST oF A REPAIR
oF REPAIRS CoMPLETED on TIME CUSToMER SATISFACTIon FoR RESPonSIvE REPAIRS IS
oF APPoInTMEnTS MADE AnD KEPT
85% oF REPAIRS CoMPLETED on FIRST vISIT
ToTAL nUMBER oF REPAIRS CARRIED oUT IS
99.9% Completed Landlord safety checks – Legal action was taken for access into the six remaining properties
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Health & Safety has been made in ﬁre safety £100,000 Investment at the high rise ﬂats
Service Level Agreement with the Fire and Rescue Service to annually check all smoke detection appliances
Planned Maintenance In 2012/13 WE SPEnT APPRoxIMATELy on PLAnnED HoME IMPRovEMEnTS. Improvement Programme
£2,418,000 Total Spend
Replacement of windows
78% AGAInST A TARGET oF 85%
CUSToMER SATISFACTIon FoR PLAnnED REPAIRS IS
Disabled Facilities Adaptations over the past year we have continued to provide much needed alterations to the homes of our disabled tenants
109 DFAs completed of which 105 were level access showers. works completed to include internal 57 minor and external handrails and steps.
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Energy Efficiency A B C D E F G
Ensuring the homes we provide are energy efﬁcient is very important in helping tenants cope with the rising cost of heating.
128 energy efﬁcient gas boiler replacements during 2013/13 398 replacement boilers planned for 2013/14 As part of void works, we ensure that loft insulation meets the minimum requirement of 200mm.
Handy Person Service our new handyperson service for sheltered housing tenants, introduced in 2012 has gone a long way in helping elderly and vulnerable tenants with simple jobs around the house that they have been unable to do for themselves. This service is aimed at promoting independence and enabling tenants to stay in their own home by carrying out simple preventative maintenance.
Looking Forward 2013/2014 • Continue with investment in updating heating systems and replacing inefﬁcient boilers • Continue working with our contractors to ensure services are delivered correctly and identify ways to improve service delivery • Undertake a comprehensive review of customer feedback to determine the reasons behind low satisfaction • Continue to consult on community-based projects and environmental works • Increase the energy efﬁciency of properties to help reduce customers’ energy bills.
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TENANCY We aim to let our properties as fairly and quickly as possible to meet housing need and minimise rent loss. Welfare Reform may have led some tenants to downsize in the year because of the ‘under occupancy subsidy’. To help in these cases, the voids and allocations team has proactively altered its procedures to prevent, as far as possible, tenants moving into properties which could cause them ﬁnancial problems in the future. We have successfully contacted all customers affected by beneﬁts changes such as the ‘under occupation subsidy’ and discussed choices available to them.
86% SATISFACTIon WITH THEIR nEW HoME CoMPARED To
EMPTy PRoPERTIES, APPRoxIMATELy
DAyS TAKEn To LET HoMES HAS REDUCED FRoM An AvERAGE oF
DAYS TO DAYS
ACTIvE HoUSInG APPLICATIonS AS AT 31 MARCH 2013
AvERAGE SPEnD on An EMPTy PRoPERTy
FINDING A GARAGE
FIXED TERM TENANCIES
Looking Forward 2013/2014 • Updating the ‘Find a Home’ website with more speciﬁc details of areas and antisocial behaviour hotspots to assist people in deciding where they would like to live • Making the ‘ﬁnding a home’ site accessible from an iPhone and other handheld devices • Develop an online housing options assessment to provide individual housing options 24 hours a day. 14
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Achieved independent for the third time (2013) demonstrating high levels of service to customers on average
alarm calls were answered 95% ofwithin 60 seconds
pass rate on Staffordshire Fire Service inspection ensuring the health and safety of all residents
Looking Forward 2013/2014 • Re-accreditation for sheltered housing service • Continue to work to deliver on the Health & Inequalities Action Plan to achieve good health and wellbeing outcomes with GPs, partners and the voluntary sector • Review of sheltered housing services to ensure they continue to meet the needs of tenants and allow customers to live independently • Develop extra care to support people living in their own homes.
Supported Housing Successfully achieved level B, Staffordshire County Council’s Contract Compliance Assessment housing - useful information New guide tofortemporary prospective tenants Mainstreaming the Supported Service following reductions in County Council funding to support troubled families and build strong and resilient communities
Looking Forward 2013/2014 • Introduction of THEP programme (Tamworth Homeless Education Programme) • Introducing community-based support to troubled families. 15
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RENT Collecting rent effectively ensures that we have enough money to provide homes, deliver excellent services, carry out repairs and make improvements to your homes, so it is vital that tenants pay their rent on time. If you are having difficulty paying your rent please contact us as soon as possible.
highlight ‘welfare reform’
A of the year was the interactive tenants drop in event. The theme of the event was , which gave us the opportunity to meet with many customers and survey others about their awareness of the changes due to happen to the beneﬁts system.
‘benefits calculator’ on our website so customers can ﬁnd out if
We introduced a they are getting all the beneﬁts they are entitled to.
AS A PERCEnTAGE oF
340 oUT oF 358
TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS CALLS
nEW TEnAnCIES SUSTAInED
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Looking Forward 2013/2014 • Continued preparation for the impact of Welfare Reform • Help our customers face the challenges of changes to the beneﬁts system by expanding our income team with the appointment of two Income Maximisation ofﬁcers who will help and support tenants with debt-related issues and maximising income • Improving information and assistance to customers • Introduction of agile working so that ofﬁcers are more accessible to tenants • Introduce a service that will allow tenants to view their rent accounts online via our website • Introduction of a corporate economic and wellbeing strategy (Debt Policy) • Building new council homes to maximise income.
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NEIGHBOURHOOD AND COMMUNITY Successful annual programme of estate
100% performance for the removal of grafﬁti and ﬂy tipping. Resident engagement at large-scale litter pick events organised as part of the national ‘Big Tidy Up’ and ‘Love where you live’ campaigns. First year of environmental programme which saw enhancements to several garage sites, drying areas and external works to a number of the sheltered schemes. Regeneration plans are currently underway to invest £21.5m in Tinkers Green and Kerria estates. We have recently advertised the recruitment of Marilyn, the Project’s Independent Tenant Friend, who will support and assist all tenants as the project progresses.
Looking forward 2013/2014 • Audit and review of ‘Tamworth’s neighbourhood offers’ to re-deﬁne what local means • Work with tenants to develop a web page for the environmental programme • Complete Phase 1 of the garage refurbishment programme • As part of the landlord service and community development ‘buddy system’ develop an environmental planting and tidy up campaign around the Glascote estate • Continue with the planned works on the estates to include the cleaning and maintenance of drying areas • Develop an annual ongoing maintenance programme for all 156 rear alleyways.
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During the past year we have provided support to people who have reported anti-social behaviour to us. We work closely with partners such as the Police and Community Safety partnerships.
306 Anti-social behaviour cases reported, a slight reduction from 354 Cases reported in 2011/2012 2 Injunctions as a result of anti-social behaviour 2 Suspended evictions 3 Evictions as a result of anti social behaviour Respect accreditation was awarded to Landlord Services for recognition of actions to tackle anti-social behaviour. Tamworth Borough Council is the ﬁrst local authority in the UK to receive this award Areas highlighted by the inspectors as best practise included commitment to reducing ASB, victim and witness support, the use of a support directory, a range of enforcement and preventative measures, a zero tolerance approach to ASB, and encouraging communities to take responsibility. The community safety hub, based at Tamworth police station and acting as a onestop shop where council staff, our newly appointed ASB project ofﬁcer and other organisations work together in partnership to tackle ASB, was singled out for special praise. Tamworth will hold the accreditation until november 2015, however the authority is not resting on its laurels, with an action plan already underway to build on the existing success.
Looking forward 2013/2014 • A new training programme is to be delivered to the team in relation to current and proposed tools and powers for estate management • System upgrade to improve performance on dealing with anti-social behaviour, to more efﬁciently record and monitor incidents of ASB • More efﬁcient budgeting providing value for money for customers • The ASB Project ofﬁcer will continue to work through the action plan for the accreditation, in order for the re-application in 2015 to be successful. 19
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VALUE FOR MONEY Our mission is to provide quality homes and services for people in need. We base our assessment of value for money (VfM) on our performance against our key corporate objectives. In summary, during the year we have driven VfM through the business and made good progress with all our Corporate Objectives. Some examples of how we have achieved value for money: • Money we spend on tenant involvement brings changes that enhance services and the quality of life for many tenants • Landlord Service restructure to help deliver service improvements and efﬁciencies for the future • More competitive repairs contract through procurement in 2012 • Savings of nearly £80,000 reducing rent loss on re-letting empty properties.
Compare Our Performance April 2012 – March 2013 Landlord Service continues to review key performance indicators, with tenants, to ensure they remain customer focused and are meaningful. We will still continue with the live updating of the customer dashboard online as reporting performance builds credibility and satisfaction. But the intention has been to reduce indicators and the following have been agreed with tenants.
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2012/2013 Top Quartle
This is a bi-annual survey and will be carried out again in 2014
Will be carried out in 2013/14
number of tenants on the database of involvement
% appointments made and kept
Gas servicing – CP12
Urgent repairs completed on time
overall satisfaction with Landlord Services
Average time between lettings Walkabouts Satisfaction with cleaning
Arrears as a % of gross debit Evictions
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You said, we listened
We have been told that we need to respond to complaints more promptly within the timescales stated in our complaints policy and procedure.
As a result of this feedback we are providing brieﬁngs to staff to make sure we improve the speed in which we respond to complaints. The Tenant Regulatory & Involvement Team ensure a fortnightly report is distributed to service area managers to ensure response dates are met.
Improve the standard of empty properties before letting to new tenants.
over the next few months our tenant inspectors and Tenant Consultative Group will be working with staff to develop a new standard.
It’s not always convenient for us to attend estate walkabouts due to other commitments.
We now send out a pre-walkabout survey to enable residents who are not able to attend on the day an opportunity to have a say about their local environment and improvements they would like to see in their area.
Kitchen and bathroom refurbishments are taking over a week to complete.
In reality kitchen refurbishments are being completed within agreed timescales. It is simply that the agreed timescales are longer than some tenants would like. This is further compounded by the fact that work operatives are not on site constantly throughout the course of the works, which again gives tenants the view that the work could be completed quicker.
Residents would like more regular updates on their anti-social behaviour complaints.
An action plan is agreed between the customer and case ofﬁcer. If a customer feels that they need more regular contact then this can be requested at any time and their action plan can be amended accordingly. We also monitor our ASB procedure by way of a quarterly telephone survey. We share the results through ‘open House’ and on the web.
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Residents believe that the time taken to try to resolve their damp and condensation issues takes far too long.
Sometimes the issue of damp and condensation comes down to individual lifestyle. When this is not the cause we will endeavour to work with oaks Preservation to reduce the time taken to diagnose a damp/condensation issue.
Early in the financial year, customers complained of broken and failed gas service appointments.
Morrison (now part of the Mears Group) has worked closely with Tamworth Borough Council to overcome initial teething problems following the mobilisation of the new contract. Morrison recruited additional engineers and administration support to ensure an improved and enhanced service to customers.
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FEEDBACK FORM Your feedback is very important to us. We want to hear your views so that next year’s Annual Report to tenants can give you more of what you want. 1. Did you ﬁnd the content of the report useful to you?
2. Was the report clear and easy to read?
3. Would you read future Annual Reports?
n n n
no no no
n n n
If answered ‘no’ to either questions 1, 2 and 3 we would be interested to know why? ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 4. In the future, how would you prefer to receive the report?
Hard copy in the post Prefer not to receive the report
Download from the website Available on request
5. Is there any other information you would like us to include in the future or do you have any additional comments to make about the Annual Report to Tenants 2013? yes
If yes, what?
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