East Devon District Council

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Policy Housing Strategy

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5. Meeting our priorities - improving homes as a landlord

We will ensure that we have a repairs service which is forward thinking and meets tenants’ aspirations by:

  • The renewal of our repairs contracts and working with consultants, tenants and councillors to consider various delivery options to ensure we have a modern and efficient repairs service going forward
  • working to our desired aims of ‘right repair, right time’ and ‘fix and stay fixed’
  • introducing the measurement of ‘end to end times’ for repairs to make sure we are addressing problems as quickly and efficiently as possible
  • addressing the issues of greatest importance to tenants (identified during the tenant consultation for the renewal of the repairs contract) particularly better communication with tenants, a more flexible appointment system, calling or texting ahead of appointments, operatives calling when they say they will and requesting tenant feedback after repairs.
  • bringing in new ways to measure customer satisfaction to make sure we collect and act on the views of tenants
  • looking to introduce a new set of key performance indicators which will allow us to more accurately measure how well the repairs service is performing. 

We will continue to improve our existing stock through difficult financial times, constantly demonstrating transparency and value for money

  • Develop planned works programmes which will reduce expenditure and the number of ongoing reactive repairs
  • Thinking more creatively and providing a range of attractive, energy efficient homes
  • continuing to invest in our stock with the completion of a range of improvement programmes          
  • Adapting homes where necessary but also helping people to move to more suitable property where appropriate and possible (in line with our Landlord’s Adaptation Policy)

We will continue to make sure all our properties are safe, meet all health and safety requirements and comply with all relevant legislation by

  • Carrying out an annual gas safety check in properties with a gas supply to ensure they meet current health and safety legislation
  • Carrying out regular testing for legionella in our community centres and making sure our policy on legionella is fully implement across all our housing stock
  • Testing for asbestos when carry out work within our properties and implementing a programme to survey all properties for asbestos in the near future
  • Regularly servicing such items as stair lifts, lifts, track hoists and other equipment installed in communal blocks or tenant’s properties
  • Making sure that we meet all fire regulation standards and work with tenants to educate them on their responsibilities around fire safety 

We will continue to increase our range of digital technology and telecare devices to meet individuals’ needs

  • upgrade the alarm equipment on council schemes across the district, ensuring our sheltered stock is ready for digital advances as they happen
  • provide a full range of telecare devices to customers (tenants and residents) so that our response service can be tailored to the needs of the individual, providing bespoke packages to help people retain their independence
  • in conjunction with the NHS we will provide a ‘show home’ in Cranbrook to publicise what digital technology is available and the help this can give to people. 

We will actively involve tenants in all aspects of the service following the Tenant and Council Partnership Statement & Resident Involvement Strategy

  • This is a commitment between the Council, tenants, leaseholders and staff. It sets out how the Council will help tenants to get involved in influencing and shaping decisions taken to deliver a housing service which meets the needs and priorities of tenants. The key commitments and structure we jointly deliver will enable tenants to be involved in the decision making processes related to Council housing.
  • Our structure for tenant involvement allows us to: give information to our tenants; consult with tenants, listen to their views and act on them;  give tenants the opportunity to influence polices, strategy, procedures, and services;   make sure that all of our tenants are given equal access to get involved.