Transforming council housing services

The Housing Promise

We aim to provide you with the best customer service possible every time you contact us.

The Brent Customer Promise  sets out our commitment to all customers.

The Housing Management service also has specific quality standards to measure performance, so you can expect an increasingly high quality and consistent service from all of our teams.

This is a ‘quick reference’ guide summarising these standards so that you always know what to expect.

Quality Standards

OUR STAFF WILL BE CUSTOMER FOCUSED AND CREATE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE FOR YOU

  • We will ensure our staff are given the tools to deliver excellent customer service 
  • We will always look for solutions and focus on what we ‘can do’
  • We will explain what’s your responsibility, and what’s ours 
  • We will apologise and put things right when we get it wrong.

HERE’S HOW EASY IT IS FOR YOU TO USE OUR SERVICES

  • You can easily contact us by phone, email or online
  • Our self-service customer portal is available to tenants 24-hours a day to manage their account online (e.g. check your balance and make payments), whenever it’s convenient.

HERE’S WHAT WE WILL ALWAYS DO

  • We will provide a consistent service, whoever you speak to, however you contact us
  • We will keep all systems and information accurate, reliable and up-to-date
  • We will have simple, efficient processes which are easy for customers to follow
  • We will use language which is easy to understand
  • We will deal with your calls there and then wherever possible
  • We aim to keep you informed so you won’t have to chase us
  • If we, or our contractors, visit you at home, we’ll always show ID and we’ll aim to bring everything we need with us to deal with your issues on the spot.

WE WILL BE CLEAR ABOUT WHEN WE’LL DO IT

  • We aim to answer all calls presented from 8am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • We will respond to voicemails within 1 working day
  • We will acknowledge emails within 2 working days and where we can, we will respond there and then or respond fully within 10 working days
  • We will respond to all correspondence within 10 working days as per our corporate standards and promise to tell you when we can fully resolve your enquiry
  • We will respond to your initial complaint within 20 working days. And to any follow-on complaints within 30 working days as per the council’s Corporate Complaints

WE WILL LISTEN TO YOUR FEEDBACK

  • Surveys
  • Feedback after a service
  • Focus groups
  • Online portal and social media
  • Compliment, complaint and general comments.

Housing Management Standards

WE WILL MEET THE STANDARDS FOR EACH OF OUR SERVICES:

REPAIRS

  • We will book an appointment there and then, when you report a repair
  • We will let you know if a repair is urgent
  • We will attend to emergency repairs and make your property safe within 4 hours. Emergency means when there is risk to life or limb
  • We aim to carry out routine repairs within 28 days. More complicated repairs may take longer
  • We will let you know if the issue can be fixed there and then when our repairs person visits, or if more than one appointment is needed
  • We will keep you informed of the appointment
  • We will give you the opportunity to feedback on all repairs.

FIRE & GAS SAFETY

  • We will carry out annual fire safety checks on all high rise blocks, and 3 yearly checks on low and medium blocks. This will be reviewed regularly to ensure all necessary works are completed promptly
  • We will provide information and plan for an emergency for fire safety on all our blocks
  • We will carry out a landlords gas safety check every year
  • We will carry out routine checks of communal water services.

LETTINGS

  • We will provide you with a Welcome Pack explaining your tenancy conditions when you sign up
  • We will contact you after 6 weeks to see how you have settled into your new home
  • We will attend a check-out meeting with you up to 1 week before you move out.

TENANCY MANAGEMENT

  • We will investigate any suspected abandoned properties and any suspected sub-let properties within 5 working days of being notified
  • We will give you a written decision on any mutual exchange application within 42 working days
  • We will make a decision on succession applications within 10 working days when all the information required is provided
  • We will inform you if your application for Right to Buy has been accepted or denied within 4 weeks of receiving the application or 56 days if your tenancy has been with another landlord to meet the qualifying period
  • We will issue the Right to Buy Offer Notice (Section 125) in accordance with the Right to Buy Legislation. For a house – 8 weeks after the Notice has been issued.  For a flat – 12 weeks after the Notice has been issued.

RENT OR SERVICE CHARGES

  • We will write to you and let you know 4 weeks before we make any changes to your rent or service charge
  • We will give you a choice of ways to pay your rent or service charge
  • We will inform you if your rent account falls into arrears, in order to help sustain your tenancy
  • We will support you if you are finding it difficult to pay your rent or service charge and signpost you to the relevant agencies for assistance with your finances.

ESTATE SERVICES

  • We will agree an annual programme of neighbourhood inspections with you for estates
  • We will provide a weekly cleaning service both outside and inside any blocks where this is included in your service charge
  • We will ensure 100% of all playgrounds are inspected weekly
  • We will remove any dumped items within 5 working days of being notified and any hazardous material within 1 working day
  • We will remove offensive graffiti within 1 working day of being notified, and non-offensive graffiti within 3 working days
  • We will notify the relevant teams of any vehicle that has been abandoned in order for them to take the appropriate action
  • We don’t provide regular communal services for our street properties but rest assured that you can always get in touch with the Customer Response Team if you have an issue you need to discuss.  Our staff and contractors who visit are also always on the lookout for anything that needs doing.

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

  • We will respond to reports of domestic abuse and hate crime within 1 working day
  • We will respond to all other ASB cases within 3 working days
  • 100% of ASB cases reported by residents will have an agreed action plan (agreed with ASB reporter).

LEASEHOLD MANAGEMENT

  • We will send an estimated service charge for the coming year and an actual bill for the previous year with any adjustments in July
  • We will include you in any relevant consultation process before carrying out any long term or planned improvement works
  • We will ensure that we consult you within the required time frame.