Tenant Satisfaction Measures, Income Strategy, and Cleaning and Grounds Maintenance

Engagement / Engagement Panel

Update from the Engagement Panel meeting on 4 June 2024.
The next meeting in July is open to observers.
Overview of Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs)

Newly appointed Customer Service Director Jen Griffiths joined the engagement panel to share more about tenant satisfaction measures (TSM). Which help us to understand how we perform. After sharing them with the Board, the Customer Experience Committee (CEC) and various regulators, it is important to tell you more about our end of year position.

Jen provided more information about the national context and levels of customer satisfaction – captured by Acuity for 100 or so housing associations.

We took a deeper dive into a few areas;


Income Strategy

Megan Tavener, Income Manager joined the panel to give an update on the newly proposed Income Strategy. Both delivery and performance have improved within the Income team however, it is clear to see that we need to address tenants’ who are in or at risk of arrears.

A lot of our property stock sits within areas identified as having important levels of deprivation and want to ensure there is adequate resource or agencies in place to help residents.

The migration to Universal Credit brings also added importance to rent & arrears collection.

Our aims as part of this strategy are to reduce debt over a three-year (4% rent arrears); improve engagement when managing customers in arrears, greater customer satisfaction with the Income team; and proactive and positive approach to managing and preventing rent arrears.

Engagement panel were asked to review and feedback on two specific areas.

Section 5 Our vision

  • Is there any initial feedback you would like to share regarding the vision?
  • Does this align with you views and values around paying rent and managing rent arrears?
  • How do they feel about Brighter Places undertaking customer profiling?

Section 6.2 – Best practice and common themes

  • Whilst writing this strategy and looking at best practice, I noticed the re-occurring theme is around early intervention and proactive communication.
  • Is there any feedback, or areas to consider when we look at how we can best contact customers?
  • Is there anything that would help improve engagement with customers in arrears?
Cleaning and Grounds Maintenance

Sara Bennett, Housing Services Manager gave an update about cleaning and grounds maintenance contract.

To remind you, we currently have two contractors: Ambience (taking care of most of our stock for cleaning and grounds maintenance) and GJ Treasure (cleaning services for some of our Solon stock). Contract renewals are due up this year, so we knew we had to go into a formal process. We must talk to our residents to understand their expectations, reflect this into the new service we are setting up and agree with contractors on how we will monitor the delivery. Monitoring is not working as we expect it to now.

People were fairly satisfied at the time. We knew there was room for improvement. The contract renewal is an opportunity to shape the service as we wish. In terms of the consultation we visited 230 homes and spoke to 67 households. We sent a mass email to all the people receiving these services. We talked about frequency and value for money. Thanks to this consultation, we had to focus on two areas:

  • Including tree management
  • Removing window cleaning

Is quality important or cost important? Quality was the most important. We know it will generate an increase in cost. We had to find ways to reduce costs where we could. We removed window cleaning. Most cleaning contractors do not have the kit to take care of higher buildings, blocks. We will get a better rate with local window cleaners.

We have now to engage legally with our residents and allow us to provide any feedback. We will write to our tenants and detail the process. The legal notice will detail where we are at.

If any Brighter Places resident is interested in the panel meetings and would like to attend a meeting as an observer, please contact the Engagement team by emailing engagement@brighterplaces.co.uk
All residents are welcome.

Engagement team