Agenda item

Tenant and Leaseholder Services Q2 report for 2023/24


Sally O’Sullivan, introduced the report and advised Members that a new look Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) reporting format was introduced by the Service and was used for presenting the Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 performance. Ms O’Sullivan made further comments as follows:


  • As part of the new look KPIs, the Service also developed a dashboard style way of reporting that was hope would be more accessible than our previous reports;
  • The compliance reports would remain the same for now as their requirements were prescribed within policy;
  • Officers had also introduced a new dashboard to show progress on the Tower blocks retrofit and refurbishment programme;
  • Most of our operational Performance Indicators (PIs) were running as was envisaged;
  • In Q2 the team achieved voids target for the first time since the service came back in-house. This had been due to the hard work of the voids team and strong contract management by the Senior Repairs Surveyor;
  • The Council was also continuing to reduce tenant arrears, which had now fallen to under 3.9%. This was a massive achievement as when the service came back in-house, arrears were at around 7%;
  • Where the Council needed to do better was with its capital spend. The Council had struggled to procure contracts over the last six months and finally by the end of Q2 were in a position to award some key contracts. This meant that over the next six months, officers hoped to catch up on much of the capital programme that had fallen behind;
  • For the compliance statistics, the Council was again operating steadily for most workstreams. Worth highlight was he progress made on the electrical safety programme, which had increased to 97.67% and continued to increase to a level where soon officer would feel comfortable to move this service area to a business as usual workstream;
  • Worth pointing out also was that there was one property that did not have a valid gas safety certificate. This was because the resident was a hoarder and officer had been unable to complete all the tests required to obtain a valid certificate;
  • Officers had done everything possible and there was evidence to show the efforts made should the Council be approached by the regulator for social housing. Unfortunately, officers were now having to apply for an injunction to clear the property to allow these works to be completed.


Councillor Whitehead, Cabinet Member for Housing made comments as follows:


  • As evidenced by the thoroughness of these reports, a huge amount of work goes into both collecting and analysing data within Housing, and the comprehensive nature of this work was something that Officers involved deserve significant credit for;
  • Councillor Whitehead made special praise to the new dashboard style reporting, which made information more accessible and very clear to understand, and also welcomed the inclusion of in-depth reporting on the tower block retrofit and refurbishment programme.
  • This was a huge piece of work that had already included an inclusive and comprehensive resident consultation. Inclusion of this as a separate workstream was exceptionally positive, as it was of interest to both residents and Members;
  • The Portfolio Holder was heartened that gas compliance had only one outstanding case and that this was linked solely to very complex access issues. This indicated the level of effort the Council made and was making to ensure that residents were being protected;
  • The drop in tenant arrears was extremely positive considering the level of financial stress that many residents were currently facing;
  • This position reflected a huge amount of support that the TLS team were giving to residents to help them access support that they may be entitled to and supporting them when times were challenging;
  • The work in relation to voids was also very pleasing; faster turnaround times meant more families accommodated more quickly, which was essential to reduce disruption to families and provide secure accommodation as quickly as possible;
  • The performance reports were always very thorough, and this was no exception. The Portfolio Holder to recognise all the work that went into collating and presenting this information, and extend thanks to Ms. O’Sullivan and her team.


Members asked questions and made comments as follows:


  • One Member said that all indices since the service came back in-house were thriving in comparison to when the service was being managed by East Kent Housing;
  • Was there a robust eviction procedure for when a tenant did not pay rent?
  • Were there any plans to lease Millmead Hall as it was empty most of the time?
  • For the resident who was a hoarder had any safeguarding concerns been raised?


Sally O’Sullivan and Councillor Whitehead responded to Member comments and questions as follow:


  • Yes, there was a robust in-house eviction procedure. There was a policy position on evictions;
  • Millmead would continue to be kept in-house and could be hired by communities. Currently the building was being hired the RISE team;
  • The issue of the resident who was a hoarder was a multi-agency matter. Unfortunately, the resident was not engaging with the Council.


Members noted the report.

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