Tenants in line for poorer service if they breach contracts
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government, Sustainability, Tenure
Tenants in line for poorer service if they breach tenancies
From next year, the tenants of a south east-based housing association might well find themselves on the end of a poorer service from their landlord if they are found to be in breach of their tenancy agreement.
Moat, which owns and manages over 20,000 homes, is consulting on plans to offer a “tiered service” to residents based on how well they comply with their tenancy.
The move echoes the customer incentive and reward scheme in place at North West-based Irwell Valley whose chief executive Tom Manion launched the ‘Gold Service’ 14 years ago.
Mr Manion has recently published a book, the Reward Society, based on his experiences working in America, Europe and China.
Under Moat's plans, the current service residents enjoy will be renamed the four-star service – and will be available to those who comply with all aspects of their tenancy – e.g. ensuring a clean rent account and maintaining clean and tidy gardens.
However, those that go beyond the general compliance will be in line for a five-star service, while those who breach their tenancy conditions will see their service reduced to a three-star level.
The five-star service will see residents qualify for evening and Saturday morning repair time slots, the option to use Moat’s handyman service – with the first two hours offered at a subsidised rate – and a wider choice of bathroom suites and kitchen features made available to residents eligible for ‘planned works’ to their property. Other additional benefits include a high street discount card and entrance into a quarterly draw to win a £1,000 home makeover.
In order to qualify for the five-star service, residents will need to have a direct debit set up for their rent, have had a clean rent account for a year and will need to complete a “tenancy profile” form annually.
Tenants demoted to the three-star service – for rent arrears, anti-social behaviour or for untidy gardens – will not receive ‘planned works’ replacements to kitchens, bathrooms and windows, and will see reduced access to booking repairs and an increase in contact from neighbourhood housing officers and Moat staff to discuss tenancy breaches.
Should the proposal be adopted by Moat, following consultation, the new services will be phased across its regions in early 2013.
Residents will see their star level change after 14 days of being notified, in which time they can request a review of the decision. Moat has set up an appeals process for those that wish to challenge the decision.
The consultation period runs until the end of September. Moat will then decide whether to implement the proposals.