Service Standards

We aim to provide excellent services and we have developed a range of service standards so that tenants are aware of the level of service they can expect to receive.

The general service standards are as follows:

Contacting Orwell

When you contact Orwell we will aim to respond to your enquiries quickly and efficiently.

These are our guidlines

  • Providing a response to all letters within 10 days of receipt
  • Providing a response to all emails received via Orwell’s enquiry line and website within 5 days of receipt
  • Aiming to answer incoming telephone calls within an average of 5 rings

Dealing with complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the service Orwell provides, then you are entitled to complain. If you make a complaint about the service, this is what you should expect from Orwell.

  • 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 if possible.
  • Provide an opportunity for your complaint to be considered by a senior officer if you are unsatisfied with our initial response.
  • Provide details of the Housing Ombudsman Service or designated person/ panel if all attempts to resolve the complaint under our complaints procedure have failed.
  • Pay compensation when necessary.

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 basis depending on where you live.
  • Undertake the cleaning of communal windows on a monthly/ bi monthly basis depending on where you live.

Our Commitment to Improving

You can download a PDF copy of our 2016 Estate Services Satisfaction Survey results below which shows the feedback from our tenants and what we have committed to doing to improve our services.

Download a copy of Estate Services Survey Feedback 2016  - Opens a PDF (4.5Mb) in a new window.

Getting involved

You have the right to be involved in decisions about your home. You can expect us to;

  • Consult you on changes on 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 you manage your home through your support provider.
  • Provide information in a plain language and in alternative formats when requested.  

Providing information

To keep you informed about housing issues and services and Orwell’s performance by;

  • Issuing twice yearly newsletters (Orwell e-News).
  • Issuing an annual report for tenants.

Rents and rent recovery

You can expect us to;

  • Provide detailed information to you regarding rental changes annually, and giving you at least one month’s notice of any intended change.
  • Provide a rent statement showing all payments and charges, accessible through Orwell's website 'My Orwell'
  • Provide a copy of a rent statement on request.
  • 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.

Repairs and maintenance

To ensure that Orwell undertakes repairs and maintenance as 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 contractors carry identification.
  • Deal with all requests for tenants 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 or oil safety check to your home, if your home is provided with these supplies.
  • Inform, consult and involve you if we undertake major improvements to your home.

Tenancy Management

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 your responsibilities. 
  • Respond to all requests to mutually exchange within 5 days. 
  • On receiving a completed application form make a decision on all mutual exchange requests within 42 days.
  • To respond to all incidents of anti-social behaviour and keep you informed at all times on how the reported incident is being managed. 
  • Provide access to a mediation service to help resolve neighbour complaints and anti-social behaviour incidents.
  • Work with other agencies to help resolve neighbour complaints and anti-social 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'.

The Standard for Letting a Property

The service you can expect when moving into an Orwell Housing Association Property.

The Standard for Letting a Property This document is a PDF (350Kb)

Gardening Service Standards

To help maintain communal gardens and areas, some of Orwell's developments are provided with a gardening service provided by the Orwell Gardening Team.

Gardening Service Standards This document is a PDF (300Kb)

Caretaking Standards

To help maintain estates and communal areas some of Orwell's developments are provided with a caretaking service.

Caretaking Service Standards This document is a PDF (200Kb)

Cleaning Service Standards

To help maintain communal areas, some of Orwell's developments are provided with a communal cleaning service provided by the Orwell Clean Team.

Cleaning Service Standards This document is a PDF (200Kb)

Service Standards for Gas Service and Maintenance

Orwell is committed to ensuring that the gas fittings, appliances, pipework and flues in your home are maintained in a safe condition. 

Service Standards for Gas Service and Maintenance This document is a PDF (300Kb)

Property Improvement Programme

When we plan to carryout improvements to your home, we shall aim to:

  • Write specifically to those tenants affected by the 31st January of each year.
  • Providing further details of the work that is planned to be carried out including timescale.
  • Provide contact details of the person at Orwell who will be managing the work.