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I was at a conference a few weeks ago, where the conversation with a group of very repairs orientated people, turned to repairs encountered within the first few weeks of a new tenant moving in to a new home.
In socialhousing speak, this would be after a 'void' and its associated stages, inspection and repairs. Why we use technical and opaque language such as 'void' escapes me. Many reading this might have listened to Barry Marlow & I railing against such a thing, at various events & conference.
Most registered social landlords recognise a certain 'lettable standard' and pretty much have a stage or a status of the empty property, of 'available to let', after achieving the former.
Typically this ensures that the property is safe, and meets the 'Decent Homes' standard. Asset managers will be very familiar with this. To the general public, it ensures that where practical, components are reasonably modern, not in poor condition, there is a good level of thermal comfort and there are no risks or hazards. Google this on line if interested to read further.
In theory if a new resident is adequately informed about heating and other controls, importance of adequate ventilation etc, after a property is repaired to the 'lettable standard' (your landlord may provide info on this, via their website), early repairs should be minimal.
So often I see reporting and measurement of voids effectiveness, as related around the days taken to 'turn them around' and reduce void loss. Surely, putting ourselves in the tenants shoes, effective new let's are ones where no initial additional repairs are required?
|Extractor fans, a common fault to be logged|
post void, lack of them or noisy ones
Analyse and tackle that and I would guess that new resident satisfaction would go up and reactive repair costs would come down. Part of that analysis should also be around us anticipating issues with the new resident on sign up and making them aware of what the local 'lettable standard' looks like and what is considered a reasonable repair to expect the socialhousing landlord to attend to.
During discussions, anecdotally, it was mentioned that they had noticed a recent generational shift in expectations, between younger & more mature new residents. Users of social housing need to fully understand the lower cost homes that are provided, what that offer and 'contract' is and where limitations need to be understood.
Related Post: Why are handovers from application solution sale, to implementation is like crossing a border into a third world country?
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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