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 treat you with courtesy and respect at all times  
  • 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

  • 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
  • You can easily contact us by phone, email or online by face to face, either in your home or at our offices.

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 you 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 photo 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 will be available to answer all calls from 8am-5pm Monday to Friday. Any calls outside these times will be answered by our out of hours service
  • We will respond to voicemails within one working day
  • We will acknowledge emails within two 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 Policy

WE WILL LISTEN TO YOUR FEEDBACK

We’re very keen to hear your views about the services we provide. We’ll use your feedback to improve and tailor services to meet your needs. Here are some of the ways we’ll do this:

  • Surveys
  • Feedback after a service
  • Focus groups
  • Online portal and social media
  • Compliment, complaint and general comments
  • Open resident forums including Talkback.

Housing Management Standards

WE WILL MEET THE STANDARDS FOR EACH OF OUR SERVICES:

REPAIRS

We will meet the standards for each of our services:

  • Repairs
  • We will aim to 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 four 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 aim to complete non-urgent repairs within 14 days
  • 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 feed back on all repairs.

FIRE & GAS SAFETY

  • We will carry out annual  fire safety checks on all high rise blocks (six floors and above), and three-yearly checks on low and medium blocks. This will be reviewed regularly to ensure all necessary works are completed promptly
  • We will publish all completed Fire Risk Assessments on our website
  • 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 within six weeks instead of after six weeks to see how you have settled into your new home
  • We will attend a check-out meeting with you up to one week before you move out.

TENANCY MANAGEMENT

  • We will investigate any suspected abandoned properties and any suspected sub-let properties within five 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 four 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 – eight 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 four 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 five working days of being notified and any hazardous material within one working day
  • We will remove offensive graffiti within one working day of being notified, and non-offensive graffiti within three 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 one working day
  • We will respond to all other ASB cases within three working days
  • 100% of ASB cases reported by you 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 statutory timescales.