Alterations and improvements to your home and block – the services you can expect

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under About us - our Service Standards, Owning your home - leaseholders.

In addition to day-to-day responsive repairs there will be times when we need to carry out improvement work to the exterior of your home or your block. These improvements could involve work to the walls or roof.

Where improvements are going to cost more than £250 per leasehold flat, you have a legal right to be consulted about the work before it begins. You would be expected to pay towards the cost of any work carried out to the external structure or internal common areas of the block, in keeping with the requirements of your lease.

We will contact you if your home is part of an improvement scheme and explain how the work will be delivered and when it is likely to commence. We will give at least of 30 days’ notice but will contact you at an earlier stage wherever possible.

We will also provide you with an estimate of how much you are likely to pay towards the scheme and when you will be invoiced for the work.

We know it is not always easy to pay for major works bills all at once. Therefore, we have developed, in partnership with Gateshead Council and customers, a package of payment options to suit your circumstances.

Improvement work will be delivered, on site, by one of our contractors. They will treat your home with respect and courtesy at all times and will clear up at the end of each working day.

We will have an Investment Team managing the work to ensure that all improvements are delivered safely and to a high standard. A tenant liaison assistant will work with you and will be a named point of contact for any queries or concerns about the improvements.

At the end of the work we will inspect your home to ensure all the improvements have been completed correctly. If any minor unfinished work is found we will tell you about it and complete it within one week.

At the end of the improvements we will contact you to complete a satisfaction survey. We will ask you about your experience of the work and ask you to score the services that you have received from us and our contractors.

Once work is completed on an estate we will publish the overall satisfaction results so you can see how we have performed.

Leasehold properties are excluded from the internal Decent Homes programme such as kitchens and bathrooms. However, you can buy in to the improvements by contacting your Leasehold Service Team who will provide you with a quote for the works.

Our service standards
We will:

  • Treat your home with respect and courtesy at all times
  • Work with our partners to minimise the disruption to your home and keep you informed of progress during the work
  • Consult you at least 30 days before we carry out any major works to your home and will provide you with details of financial assistance available
  • Provide you with information about the works and how it will affect you
  • Give you at least two weeks’ notice before work starts on your home and tell you which tenant liaison assistant will support you
  • Ensure we clear up following the work
  • Complete any minor items of work within one week of the work being completed on your home
  • Collect major works charges within 21 days of the date of the invoice, or in line with any agreed repayment package
  • Provide you with a HomeStyle Discount Card on completion of the works.

How we measure them
We will:

  • Ask you if you are satisfied with the improvements made to your home and the assistance and information you were given
  • Carry out mystery shopping exercises with customers
  • Monitor the percentage and amount of major works income collected on a monthly basis
  • Report back to customers through our Service Improvement Group, in our newspaper and on our website.