Twelfth roadshow event at Kilmory
Roadshow number 12, the last in this series of initial consultation events, took place in Kilmory Castle on the outskirts of Lochgilphead on 10 November. The weather was crisp, clear and sunny; the trees were shades of gold and bronze and the coastline glistened. We were lucky to see this beautiful area at its best.
Thank you to our hosts Argyll and Bute Council and to all who took part. In your workshops, you told us that a good landlord should:
- Provide good quality, well maintained houses at affordable rents
- Have a clear allocations policy which reflects the needs of the whole community and its residents
- Ensure that tenants know what their responsibilities are
- Issue clear guidance on the rights and responsibilities of tenants, landlords and also owners in the case of mixed tenure estates
- Assess vulnerable tenants so that support can be arranged to help them sustain their tenancies
- Undertake a welfare check for new tenants, especially for young people leaving care and for first time tenants
- Help tenants to sustain their tenancies by identifying problems early and providing appropriate support, for example rent arrears advice
- Find out what services tenants want and how they want them delivered
- Provide tenants with opportunities to influence investment plans
- Provide a good housing repairs service; repairs should be carried out in good time and be of good quality; no patch ups
- Involve tenants in estate management matters. Someone suggested that "grey housing makes grey lives"
- Ensure it communicates well
- Provide a clear concise information and advice service
- Publish information about the landlord organisation, its services and the area
- Provide information in accessible formats
- Employ friendly, knowledgeable, helpful frontline staff
- Make it easy for tenants to contact staff
- Listen to tenants; tenants should feel that they can comment, make suggestions or complain
- Give feedback
- Provide value for money
- Help less able residents to maintain internal decoration and gardens
- Work in partnership with other landlords and agencies to address anti-social behaviour
- Keep IT systems updated so that accurate information is available to staff and tenants
- Be flexible and adapt or provide homes to suit changing family circumstances
- Be pro-active rather than re-active
- Measure customer satisfaction, contacting all tenure types.
- expressed concern that resources for repairs and maintenance were being used to repair the damage caused by difficult tenants and that ultimately this cost was being met by the remaining tenants
- said that the Scottish Government must ensure that its various policies do not conflict with each other
- suggested that Housing Benefit should be paid direct to landlords.