The ongoing housing crisis clearly demonstrates the need for more good quality housing – it is a continuous issue of supply not meeting demand that has lasted decades. Unfortunately, as with all large social issues, there are some landlords who have taken advantage of this need and have sought to capitalise without offering adequate service in return. The effect of this is manifold, with suffering caused to individuals who find themselves in substandard housing.
In April 2023, the government introduced its Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSM) in an attempt to raise standards in the social housing sector. The TSM offers a set of standards, encompassing safety, accessibility, and the handling of complaints and anti-social behaviour, that all social housing providers must meet. Through tenant surveys, data will be collected on how all providers are delivering against these standards, and the results will be fed back in order for any issues to be rectified. The result should be a system where tenants feel respected and listened to, and where housing providers are held accountable for the service they provide.
At Dot Dot Dot, we are delighted to see these measures being implemented and hope that they will increase the quality of housing across the social sector. We have had our own robust ‘tenant’ satisfaction measures in place since the beginning, and are proud of how they serve both guardians and property owners. On average our guardians score their experience 4.28/5.
We put this pleasingly high score down to the joined-up way in which we manage properties and collaborate openly with all parties throughout the process. Before guardians move in, we ensure that the property meets our standards of safety and quality, which means:
- We carry out gas safety checks, fire risk assessments, asbestos safety checks, legionella testing, and ensure any issues are solved.
- We ensure all spaces are clean and clear, there are no major defects to the building and its facilities.
- Where necessary we carry out decoration to walls and flooring to bring the spaces up to a comfortable standard.
For the duration of the guardianship, our proactive, thorough and human approach to repairs and maintenance means that all our accommodation is kept safe and comfortable. All our guardians know that they only have to pick up the phone to report an issue, and that it will be tackled speedily, without fuss, and in a respectful way. There’s no long-winded reporting process, delayed responses or argument, just fast, friendly support.
- We have a clear repairs protocol outlined when guardians move in, which includes two dedicated team members, an out-of-hours phone number, and an array of external contractors on hand to fix any issues.
- In the case of any issue not being resolved, guardians are reassured by our membership of the Property Ombudsman Scheme.
- Our monthly inspections allow us to monitor the condition of the property and ensure they’re safe and in good condition, and pre-emptively fix any problems.
Equally, our property owners enjoy regular positive feedback from Dot Dot Dot guardians on their experience of their buildings and service, and from the wider community on their experience of the guardians. We exclusively house those who are minded towards volunteering and social good, so our guardians bring with them not just their diligence in looking after the property, but looking after their neighbours and the community too.
- Guardians are watchful for any instances of antisocial behaviour in the locality and report any concerns to us directly, after which we take action as necessary.
- By their very presence, guardians living in empty properties reduce the risk of antisocial behaviour, break ins, and squatting, and therefore significantly improve the safety of the area for local residents.
We believe that our diligence and attention to detail when it comes to guardian satisfaction is good news for everyone. Having happy guardians in your buildings means peace of mind for you, and a huge positive impact for the community you serve.