The new and revamped “Consultation on Service Standards” has been released and I was invited to attend one of the meetings to input my views on it but unfortunately I am too busy to attend so I have put forward some points on that per e-mail to hopefully being considered.
The service standards are in my view a very simplified document that lack certain detail for example when it deals with appointments for repairs having to be changed, what if you are working and taken the day off? To what agenda will the date be changed?
Leaseholders are to be given the chance to pay for works on an interest free basis, but there is little details of what this agreement entails, both for the leaseholder and for the residents of THH, who is making up for the shortfall if no interest can be charged on a debt? Does this mean increased rent or service charges or rates for all of us? It could also mean that those leaseholders getting an interest free option would have to pay more and or secure against their home.
Also again the promise that all calls will be answered, I have heard a lot of complaints about the call answering and would like to see that all calls get a reference number and that this number will be given to the caller to get some call logging that one can refer to rather than just a verbal promise.
Knowing our customers is an agenda by which the landlord wants to collect information to find out how best to serve the resident. How deep do they dig into our personal lives and how well is that data protected?
Outside repairs are proposed checked regularly but there is no agenda as to how accountable those regular checks are. We used to have log books for outside repairs that were logged and the progress on that repair was also logged and so the record was a true one on paper.
We are told that residents who persistently break the tenancy rules will get legal action taken against them. Again there is very little specific information like how many written warnings or what actually is a breach of rules and how severe that breach has to be. It seems a bit open to abuse that there is just a very open definition that is not hinged on actual standards.
The owing rent agenda has obviously been taken over from Tower Hamlets Council who duly sent out expensive Rent reminders each Christmas because of the prolonged bank holidays the banks as well as the council’s internal departments are slow in processing the payments and that results in bulk rent reminders being sent out to people telling them they have not paid their rent even if they pay by direct debit.
These are a few points I have raised with Tower Hamlets Homes per e-mail and I hope they will be addressed.