Harlow Council begins tenancy audit inspection of council homes

Harlow Council / Thu 9th Nov 2023 at 08:54am

HARLOW Council has started a programme of carrying out tenancy audits of council homes from this week.

The tenancy audit is a survey which will be carried out as part of an inspection of council homes across the town. The audit will help to check that the council is providing the right kind of services to its tenants and that the details its hold about households is up to date and accurate. The audit will also enable council staff to provide information on the support available to those who need it. The audits will be carried out by council housing staff.

Tenancy audits can also help to tackle breaches of tenancy and tenancy fraud, as well as identify safeguarding concerns and any other issues before they get worse.  It will ensure tenants are fulfilling their obligations in the tenancy agreement such as keeping gardens tidy and maintained, the property clean and looked after and not breaching tenancy requirements.

In addition, tenants will also be asked about taking part in resident engagement initiatives such as joining one of the council’s Housing Standards Resident Panels, which will enable them to have a say in how housing services are provided by the council.

Tenancy audits are different to the specialist stock conditions surveys which have also started. The stock condition survey is solely about the condition of the inside and outside of the home relating to kitchens, bathrooms, central heating systems, roofs, walls and other external structures.

Councillor David Carter, deputy leader and cabinet portfolio holder for housing, said:

“The tenancy audits are a very important initiative for us and show how serious we are about delivering for our tenants. Our priority to fix council housing isn’t just about repairs and improvements; it ties in with our other priority to improve services, and these tenancy audit inspections are about improving the future planning of housing services that will suit the needs of our tenants.

“Of course, they will also ensure that tenants are complying with the conditions of their tenancy agreement. But this is all aimed at getting to know our tenants and their circumstances better, making sure we are providing the best possible services for our tenants and that, where required, they are receiving all the support they need and are entitled to.

“It’s also a great opportunity for us to find more tenant representatives to join our standards panels – these groups are another highly important aspect of our housing service, as they hold us to account and give both tenants and leaseholders a say in how things are done and how they could be improved.”

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24 Comments for Harlow Council begins tenancy audit inspection of council homes:

Susan Nash
2023-11-09 09:49:11

My neighbour has breached his tenancy agreement by cutting down a tree in our communial area. Told that the council couldn't take action against him as they don't have the money to prosecute.

David Forman
2023-11-09 09:57:04

Nice to see this happening, especially the bit "ensure tenants are fulfilling their obligations in the tenancy agreement such as keeping gardens tidy and maintained." As a gardener I have had a number of jobs to rectify overgrown gardens left by private rented sector tenants. These gardens were left in such a state that they could be described as anti-social. Perhaps David Carter and his Cabinet team could consider toughening up licensing requirements for private sector landlords.

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-09 10:02:16

😂 😂 David Carter knew I had a toilet system problem... I had council come out, and they put new ball cock in... making the flush twice as bad, I told the worker that system has been in since the building was built 70 years ago... I could not get through to David Carter on phone, but he knew of complaint, with no follow-up letter... oh look Mr Carter this tenant has just put a new toilet system in one of your council homes.. I have pictures of this old system if you care to have a look Mr Carter.... you may be repairing council homes, but it's being done on the cheap, and bodging.

2023-11-09 12:55:04

All well and good seeing that the tenants keep Your housing stock in order but maybe you should keep Your hedges and footpaths in some kind of order too.

2023-11-09 13:17:39

Perhaps when the council do there tenancy inspection they will deal with tenants causing damage to the front gardens where tenants are breaching there tenancy by parking there cars turning up the grass plus parking on public footpaths leave in oil and diesel and housing officers dealing with the complaints with regards to illegal parking

James Gamble
2023-11-09 14:22:46

David Foreman do you really think the Council will check tenants are cutting their grass? I agree to tackling subletting, but then there is the ruling on their disposable income will they evict high earners? What about troublesome tenants, how are they going to deal with them? This is a pre-election gimmick. What about house owners are they going to check they are cutting their grass?

Susan Nash
2023-11-09 17:02:32

My complaint (see above) has been going on since September. Passed from pillar to post with no-one from the council responding. I had a pretty view of a lovely tree, ruined by a selfish, irresponsible tenant who has been allowed to breach his tenancy agreement without any action being taken. It's not worth the paper it's written on.

2023-11-09 17:53:04

With regard to Susan Nash's comments about cutting down of trees. We live in a house, but between our house and a block of flats there is a communal area which has grassed areas, and a few trees and shrubs. A year or so ago, the Council gardener's came along and cut down some lovely blossom trees, which looked lovely every spring in full bloom. As far as I could tell there was nothing wrong with them whatsoever, but they cut them completely down. But there are also some of those horrible trees that produce those red berries, which you have to be careful of when walking on the footpaths near them as if you get any on the bottom of your shoes, when the berries drop off, you'll end up making a stain on your carpets if you don't remove your shoes when entering your property. One of the trees has been leaning over the footpaths for years, and yet they leave these trees alone, and get rid of the blossom trees.

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-09 18:44:43

Charlie, this council love cutting trees down, as you can see all around Harlow..

2023-11-09 19:35:48

All trees dhould be cut to a level. No tree should block light in to any ones living room or bathroom. Or bedrooms. I have just had my soffic and facia done because of the previous homeowners plantation growing up my wall. I have been waiting for the bathroom to be plastered for 4 years absolutely disgusting. Hiw about Dan Swords with all these new houses being built. They will go to people who were not born here. And what about the solar panels going up on the new council houses they are building how about it Dan swords in getting all the existing council homes solar panels and get that done. How about a new kitchen. I had my kitchen fitted 10 years ago and it's no good now. Get all the trees cut down on cycle tracks.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-11-09 19:57:21

I would again have to say credit where credit is due and such a programme of inspections is one that should be carried out. I know from experience that a small percentage of tenants do not look after their council home and hopefully an even smaller percentage sublet it. Speaking to tenants face to face can only be a good thing, helping to improve services both now and in the future.

Steve k
2023-11-09 20:07:56

Maybe the council can go round and re fit all those dodgy kitchens the polish crews fitted. Paint falling off the walls , cupboards falling apart , handles falling apart , taps leaking and more problems due to doing the work in a rush . Bodge it and scarper

Gail feltham
2023-11-09 20:16:30

Trees can the council cut back the sycamores that lead onto the back of our houses..not destroy as they are big hardy trees and can stand pruning.

Mrs Livvy Newbury
2023-11-09 21:12:13

I actually know of the deplorable state she keeps her garden in despite myself clearing it & making it a beautiful place to be after over 30 years of sheer neglect!

Mrs Livvy Newbury
2023-11-09 21:14:13

Should have said a Councillor for harlow!

2023-11-09 22:16:57

Credit where it is due. We had a new Kitchen fitted just over 10 years ago, and it is as good today as it was when fitted. Think it was done by Romanian guys. They would not even let us make them a cup of tea as they said they just wanted to get the job done. No complaints at all about the workmanship.

2023-11-10 01:34:37

Hopefully they will catch the tenants who sub let there places out

2023-11-10 05:09:44

If that was the guy yesterday came to my door I have 2 doorbells normal one and a ring doorbell and a sign saying please ring door bell and he knocks on letter box time I got to the door he was gone in fullers mead

2023-11-10 08:11:43

If the Council managed its stock better it wouldn’t need to do a ‘tenancy audit’. This is essentially what tenancy management staff are employed to do on an ongoing basis, if they spent more time out in the community, meeting tenants and visiting homes they wouldn’t need to do this as a special project. The roles aren’t what they used to be, the officers used to know the tenants on their patches by name but now the officers are faceless, sitting behind computer screens and detached from the communities they work for.

Jill Rainer
2023-11-10 09:35:26

I'm all for these tenants checks of council properties!. Everyone should have some pride of their homes & gardens but Unfortunately some abuse the properties which in return should not be aloud to have them until they learn to respect them. These types all want this that & everything done for them & not lift a finger for themselves. Don't give housing to people who don't appreciate them & think they are above the rules. Chase them out. The new rules state a lot of you can't do & shouldn't do but people still are & they are abusing the system in anyway they can. These checks of tenants houses should be done often & not be given warning of this as they then cover up the wrongs they are acting out. Things last a whole lot longer when looked after. The Council should also start to put some work in on the outside by starting with the hedges, trees, paths etc as they should practice what they preach. In this world you will only get out what you put in & unfortunately that means work at it no matter how hard it becomes. Harlow Council are the ones that make the rules but they fail us on many things with excuses & Words of promises mean nothing let's see it in practice please. The people doing wrong, like drug dealing or selling from council premises should be evicted, the sub letters of council properties also ones that are putting up others for cash. Each year we are asked to put down on the annual voting who resides in these council properties but I bet a good percentage lie!! Harlow Council just can not do it right & they need to show us that they can by working as a team with the people of Harlow.

Gary carey
2023-11-10 15:35:39

Had a hole left in my ceiling after an ongoing leak for well over a year Council dont seem to want to repair it Ive had to batten it to stop it falling down

2023-11-10 17:22:13

Two officers was a couple of bookends they are, supposed to be housing officers, never return calls or e.mails, cannot get to speak to them directly, not fit for purpose in anyway shape or form

Susan Alexandra
2023-11-11 11:04:49

Well every time the council has done work in my home it’s been worse than before they started. I had an electric check and new heat/fire detectors, they had to go up into the loft and moved all insulation but didn’t put it back down :( also broke a ceiling rose and it’s just hanging now above my light shade.

2023-11-11 11:09:03

Oh that’s good to hear that the Council are doing their job ! Let’s hope the money is available for them to carry out all the repairs needing doing. O look a flying pig 🤔

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