The Challenge and Change Group’s latest review

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The Two Rivers Housing Challenge and Change Group has just finished an in-depth review of what happens when a tenant says they wish to leave our property.

Everything about the process has come under the microscope, from the inspections we carry out prior to the tenant leaving, to when they actually leave and the work we do to get the property ready for the next tenant following our ‘What to expect in your new home’ lettable standard.

The group’s recommendations have been pulled together into a report that was considered by the Two Rivers Housing Group Board in March 2020.

What the group did

Over the last six months, a group of 10 tenants who are members of our Challenge and Change Group, have been working with the Two Rivers team to look at the void standard and the process from the point the property becomes empty to when it is ready for letting.

They visited nine homes just after the tenants left, and re-visited when the keys were ready to be handed over to the new tenants. They also looked at one newly-built home to compare the condition.

  • They met the Centigen repairs team staff who prepare empty properties for the next tenants, and heard their experiences.
  • They met the lettings team leader to review the process and the current home quality standards and compare them with other housing associations.
  • They reviewed the information given to tenants explaining what is expected of them when they leave their property, and what new tenants can expect of their new home.
  • They learned how and when out-going tenants are recharged for repairs, rubbish removal and cleaning.
  • New tenants were also interviewed to find out what they thought of their new home.

The Challenge and Change Group’s findings…

  • They found it really interesting to see the condition some people leave their homes in – some are absolutely spotless and some are left in a very poor state.
  • They learned about the financial incentives for tenants leaving their property in good condition, and the decorating vouchers for new tenants.
  • They discussed how often Two Rivers review the condition of all its properties, and discussed if this should be carried out more regularly.
  • They had lively discussions about whether or not things like carpets and wallpaper should be left for the next tenant or if they should be removed, and what should happen to window and meter box keys. They also talked about responsibility for local authority bins.
  • They reviewed the information available for tenants and discussed whether this could be improved.
  • They also considered the recharging policy and the scale of costs some tenants may face, including for cleaning.

What happens next?

All the recommendations  were considered by the Group Board in March 2020.  The Group Board  requested the relevant managers pick up their actions, which will be monitored by the Challenge and Change Group going forward.

Find out more

Click here to find out more about the Two Rivers Challenge and Change Group, including how you can get involved.