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Tenant Satisfaction Survey 2018

Our Customer Service Centre on Southfield Road is now open for essential enquiries by appointment only. Please be aware that it is mandatory for face coverings to be worn on the premises. More information, including how to make an appointment, can be found in this news story.

The tenant satisfaction survey is a postal survey that was sent out to 2,677 general needs and 272 sheltered homes thoughout the borough.

What follows is a breakdown of the key findings from the report, which saw a response rate of 34% from tenants. You can also view the findings in the infographic below:

Key headline findings – housing services

  • 82% of tenants are satisfied with the housing service provided as opposed to 86% satisfaction reported in the 2016 survey. This decline is confined to general needs tenants: satisfaction from tenants living in sheltered accommodation was unchanged;
  • 84% are satisfied with the overall quality of their home; satisfaction among tenants of sheltered accommodation was significantly higher; this is consistent with results from 2016;
  • 85% are satisfied with the value for money that they believe their rent provides, an increase on 2016 and almost entirely due to an increase in satisfaction among general needs tenants;

Key headline findings – repairs

  • 77% of tenants are satisfied with the council’s repairs and maintenance service, similar to 2016;
  • Satisfaction was greatest over the attitude of workers and the information they received before work started;
  • Levels of dissatisfaction over when workers said they’d call and when they turned up dropped significantly from 17% to 9%
  • Satisfaction was least in the length of time tenants felt it took to complete the work.

Key headline findings – neighbourhood

  • 78% are satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live, broadly consistent with 2016. Tenants of sheltered accommodation are significantly more satisfied (92%);
  • As in 2016, fencing and additional car parking were the top two items that tenants cited as desirable improvements to their neighbourhood.

Key headline findings – tenant involvement

  • Poor response rate overall to this section – similar to 2016;
  • 53% were satisfied with the opportunities available to become in decision-making on matters that may affect them, again, similar to 2016; only 8%, however, are dissatisfied;
  • Only 48% are satisfied that their views are being listened to, seven percentage points lower than 2016; again, satisfaction is lower in general needs tenants and this decline is greater over 2016 than for tenants of sheltered accommodation.

Key headline findings - communication

  • 66% are satisfied with the opportunity the council gives them to make their views known. In 2016 that figure was 69%;
  • 55% are satisfied the council’s housing service listens to their views and acts upon them. While this is a decrease of seven percentage points on 2016, that decrease is due to an increase in respondents expressing a “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” response rather than a decrease in dissatisfaction. Satisfaction from tenants in sheltered accommodation increase;
  • 75% are satisfied that the council keeps them informed; this is a drop of six percentage points from 2016, again driven by general needs rather than sheltered tenants;
  • Despite the drive towards electronic/online communication, only 5% of tenants preferred to be communicated with via social media such as Twitter or Facebook. 71% had a preference for a printed newsletter/magazine and 56% for a letter;
  • 62% of tenants have access to the internet compared with 58% in 2016. 37% of general needs tenants do not have access to the internet compared to 65% of sheltered tenants. Of those tenants having access to the internet, however, there has been an increase in access through a tablet or smartphone – 44% compared to 36% in 2016. There is little difference between general needs and sheltered tenants here.

Key headline findings – anti-social behaviour (‘ASB’)

  • 27% of tenants stated that they had experienced ASB in the past year compared to 26% in 2016. Only 48% said that they had reported it to the council, most explaining that through fear of reprisals or that nothing would be done;
  • Of those who reported their ASB to the council, 33% were satisfied with the time it took to resolve their complaint, along with 35% who said that they were dissatisfied. Although this is consistent with the results in 2016 it is in significant contrast to our own internal satisfaction information which (for example) at the end of October 2018, at a similar point to when the STAR survey was carried out, reported tenant year-to-date satisfaction with the way in which their case was dealt with as 86.36%. These internal satisfaction surveys are sent out to an actual complainant after an actual case of anti-social behaviour has been closed whereas the STAR survey question was different: it asked about satisfaction with the length of time it took to resolve a case of ASB rather than satisfaction with the way in which their case had been handled. There is also no guarantee that the respondent had an open ASB case with the council’s landlord service. Nevertheless, the STAR results do indicate a need to look at the length of time ASB cases are open since this appears to be a clear driver of satisfaction levels.

Key headline findings – shared internal areas

  • 42% of general needs tenants are satisfied with the cleanliness of shared internal areas; 92% of tenants living in sheltered accommodation are satisfied. 43% of general needs tenants are dissatisfied. This is broadly similar to the results in 2016

Conclusions

  • The gap between satisfaction levels between tenants living in general needs homes as opposed to sheltered accommodation has widened since 2016;
  • Changes in satisfaction levels over 2016 have been neither consistently up nor down; many indicators have seen no significant change;

Increases in satisfaction (or decreases in dissatisfaction) were found in:

  • the value for money that rent provides;
  • repairs being carried out when expected;

Decreases in satisfaction (or increases in dissatisfaction) were found in:

  • the housing service overall;
  • tenants feeling that their views are listened to;
  • the opportunities to make their views known;
  • that the council keeps them informed;

Significantly low levels of satisfaction were found in:

  • the cleanliness of shared internal areas (general needs tenants only);
  • the length of time it took to resolve a complaint of ASB

Planned action to address declines in satisfaction or low satisfaction levels

We are already carrying out a number of actions to address the key findings of the STAR survey, including:

  • a review of our customer engagement/tenant involvement strategy, including an expansion of the opportunities tenants have to become involved in decisions that affect them, and service delivery and scrutiny through a new ‘menu of involvement’ is already well advanced and seeks to address the clear findings of the survey that we need to improve the way in which we communicate to our tenants, the opportunities for them to become involved and to influence the services for which they pay us to provide and the extent to which they think we take their views into account when making decisions that affect them;
  • a review of the tenants’ magazine both in its format and its content to make it more appealing to read and to have content that is tenant-focused and tenant-produced. That review will also include the setting-up of an editorial panel involving tenants;
  • a review of how we demonstrate that we have listened to tenants’ views and taken them into account in our decision making;
  • the implementation of a communal cleaning service for [general needs] tenants living in blocks of flats with shared internal areas, the cost of which will be recovered through a service charge;
  • a review of our anti-social behaviour procedures in order to try to improve the time it takes to resolve an ASB case;
  • a review of our approach to the provision of fencing at individual properties.

The infographic showing results from the survey can be viewed below:

Tenant Satisfaction Survey 2018

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