The council is committed to raising the standard and quality of residents’ homes throughout the borough; and the cleanliness in communal areas such as stairs, landings and internal bin stores in blocks has been a concern for some time.
There are over 260 blocks in the borough that have communal entrances, stairs and landings. Some of those have internal bin stores as well. In the two tenant satisfaction surveys carried out in 2016 and 2018 less than 50% of tenants were satisfied with the cleanliness of their blocks.
Although the tenancy agreement is clear that tenants are responsible for keeping these areas clean, only a small minority actual did so. Eager to ensure that the levels of cleanliness improved we decided, therefore, that we would have to introduce a cleaning service and that the cost of this would be paid for by tenants and leaseholders through a service charge.
This approach was agreed by tenants groups and our tenant-led Housing Management Advisory Board.
In 2019 we consulted everyone affected by this decision on how often they would like their blocks cleaned. Most said that they wanted either a fortnightly or a monthly clean; and so, with the service having started in late December 2019, over 1,300 tenants and 200 leaseholders are now having their blocks cleaned either monthly or fortnightly.
The weekly service charge added to tenants’ rent accounts will be just 90p for monthly cleans and £1.96 for fortnightly ones from 4 April 2022. Other than occasional changes because of things like bank holidays, all blocks are cleaned on the same day every fortnight or month.
We hold regular meetings with our contractor where feedback from residents, all of which is welcome, is discussed.
Cleaning schedule for 2023
The communal cleaning schedule for 2023 can be found below:
- Communal Cleaning Schedule 2023 - Fortnightly (PDF Document, 0.1 Mb)
- Communal Cleaning Schedule 2023 - Monthly (PDF Document, 0.13 Mb)
- Communal Cleaning Specification (PDF Document, 0.1 Mb)
Become a tenant inspector
One member of our housing services team is now carrying out planned inspections of the blocks after they have been cleaned to check that they have been cleaned according to the contract specification; but the number of blocks that can be inspected by one person is relatively few.
That’s where our growing team of tenant inspectors comes in. We have already trained a number of tenants to inspect their own blocks after they have been cleaned but we are keen to recruit many more.
This is an excellent opportunity for tenants to become involved in influencing directly a service that the council provides.
If you would like to become a tenant inspector or would like to have more information about what that involves, please contact the customer engagement team on 01509 634955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: Fri 3rd February, 2023 @ 10:10