Our Service Standards
We aim to provide excellent services and we have developed a range of service standards so that residents are aware of the level of service they can expect to receive.
When you contact us we will aim to respond to your enquiry quickly and efficiently by:
- Providing a response to all letters and emails within 10 days of receiving them.
- Aiming to answer incoming telephone calls within an average of 5 rings.
To keep you informed about housing issues and services and our performance, we will issue:
- Twice-yearly newsletters (Orwell News).
- An annual report to tenants.
Dealing with Complaints
If you are dissatisfied with the service that we provide, then you are entitled to complain. If you make a complaint about the service, then we shall aim to:
- The first course of action is to always try and resolve any concerns raised at the first point of contact, we will aim to do this immediately or propose an action plan to your satisfaction.
- If you remain dissatisfied with the initial proposed response/action then you can request the complaint is dealt with via Orwell’s formal complaints.
- On receiving your complaint, we will provide a full written response to your complaint within 10 days of receipt.
- If your complaint cannot be resolved within 10 days, we will let you know how soon you can expect to receive a response.
- Apologise if we get things wrong and put things right where possible.
- Provide an opportunity for your complaint to be considered by a senior officer if you are dissatisfied with our initial response.
- Provide details of the Housing Ombudsman Service if all attempts to resolve the complaint under our Complaints Procedure have failed.
- Pay compensation when necessary.
To ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities and meet the conditions of tenancy we shall;
- Provide you with a Tenancy Agreement and Tenants Handbook containing information about our responsibilities and our responsibilities.
- Respond to all requests to mutually exchange within 5 days.
- Upon receiving a completed application form, make a decision on all mutual exchange requests within 42 days from receipt of a completed application form.
- Acknowledge all breaches of tenancy, neighbour complaints and antisocial behaviour incidents within 2 working days. Undertake to visit you within 5 working days.
- Provide access to a mediation service to help resolve neighbour complaints and antisocial behaviour incidents.
- Work with other agencies to help resolve neighbour complaints and antisocial behaviour incidents.
- Provide a written response to requests to assign a tenancy or those requesting a succession to a tenancy within 10 days.
- Ensure that all homes let have a gas safety certificate (where there is a gas supply) and an energy performance certificate available for the new tenant at ‘sign-up’.
Repairs and Maintenance
To ensure that we undertake a repairs and maintenance as efficiently and effectively as possible we shall:
- Provide you with a Tenants Handbook, containing information about your home and tenancy, including your and our repairing responsibilities.
- Pay compensation for repairs not undertaken within the specified timescale (subject to certain conditions being met).
- Issue a repairs notice for all repairs requested detailing when the work is expected to be completed by and by which contractor.
- Provide an emergency out of hours repairs service.
- Ensure all our staff and contractors carry identification.
- Deal with all requests for residents wishing to undertake improvements to their homes within 10 days.
- Give you the opportunity to make an appointment with you to allow access to undertake the repairs requested.
- Inform you if any repairs requested are rechargeable to you before undertaking the work.
- Provide an annual gas safety check to your home.
- Inform, consult and involve you if we undertake major improvements to your home.
Rents and Rent Recovery
You can expect us to:
- Provide detailed information to you regarding rent changes annually and giving you at least one month's notice of any intended change.
- Make available to you a rent statement showing all payments and charges.
- Write to you to inform you of any rent monies owed to us.
- Take action against those who have serious arrears.
- Take action to recover arrears from former tenants.
- Provide support and advice to you on what to do if you get into difficulties with your rent.
Estate Gardening and Communal Cleaning
To help maintain estates and communal areas we will:
- Ensure all designated communal grassed areas, shrub and flower beds are maintained.
- Ensure trees hedges and bushes are trimmed.
- Ensure all communal areas are kept clean and tidy.
- Organise the clearance of bulk refuse, and monitor rubbish and recycling collections by external authorities.
- Undertake cleaning of communal areas on a fortnightly basis/monthly/quarterly basis depending on where you live and the exposure of windows to the elements.
- Undertake the cleaning of communal windows on a monthly/bi-monthly depending on where you live.
You have the right to be involved in decisions about your home. You can expect us to;
- Consult you on changes or issues that affect the management of your home.
- Ensure that a representative of Orwell attends Resident Association meetings when they are requested to do so.
- Provide guidance support and training to Residents Associations.
- Undertake satisfaction surveys on services that we provide to you.
- Produce, monitor and review on a yearly basis the Tenant Involvement Statement.
Housing Support and Advice
Where appropriate we shall provide extra support and advice to meet the needs of more vulnerable tenants by;
Providing extra advice and support to help promote independence for you to manage your home through your support provider.
Provide information in a plain language and in alternative formats when requested.