Should responsible tenants be rewarded with a Christmas gift, ALMO asks
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
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Tenants of an East Midlands ALMO are being consulted on proposals to bring in a scheme that rewards responsible residents.
The move would mean that tenants classed as being ‘responsible’ would receive a £100 credit to their rent account at Christmas from landlord Nottingham City Homes.
The ALMO - which manages 29,000 homes on behalf of Nottingham City Council - says more resources are spent on the minority of tenants who do not act responsibly, so the new scheme would reward the majority of its 27,500 tenants and encourage better behaviour from those who cause problems.
Responsible tenants are defined as those who:
• Look after their home and garden.
• Pay their rent on time or stick to agreed arrangements to pay rent arrears.
• Do not commit crime or anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood.
The consultation is part of the annual rent setting process. Tenants are being asked to let the ALMO and the council know which of two options they prefer:
• Option 1: 4.68% increase for ‘responsible tenants’ / otherwise a 7.5% increase. Average rents would increase by £5.11 a week and responsible tenants will be rewarded with a £100 credit on their rent account at Christmas. This reduces the average cost of the rent increase to £3.19 a week for responsible tenants.
• Option 2: 5.48% increase – average rents would rise by £3.74 a week.
Councillor Dave Liversidge, the council’s executive councillor for commissioning and the voluntary sector, said: “A reward scheme makes good business sense. The majority of our tenants are responsible, yet a lot of our resources are directed at those tenants who are not.
“We want to encourage and reward responsible behaviour – and help change the behaviour of those who aren’t. Those tenants that aren’t will miss out on this potential reward and may also find themselves subject to robust enforcement action.
“There are a minority of tenants who regrettably cause additional work, don’t pay their rent or cause a nuisance. We want to encourage our tenants to be responsible and this option rewards those who are.”
Nottingham City Homes’ chief executive, Nick Murphy, added: “More than 80% of our tenants tell us the rent they pay represents good value for the services they receive. The money we receive from rents goes towards investing in, maintaining and repairing our 27,500 homes, making sure they are secure, warm and modern, and energy efficient.
“We have learnt from some other housing organisations which run similar incentive schemes and have proved very popular with their tenants. We have been talking to them to make sure we have a practical and robust reward system for Nottingham’s council tenants.
“Responsibly run tenancies cost us less to manage. For example, 25% of tenants miss their initial gas safety appointment. If we can reduce the number of missed appointments we can save our tenants a lot of money.”