West Dunbartonshire Council has a clear interest in supporting owner participation in essential repair work and capital investment work, particularly in relation to meeting the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) by 2015.
Since April 2013, the Council has implemented some significant changes to the service it delivers to owners in mixed tenure blocks:
- increased staffing resources, induction and training
- dedicated maintenance officers for sold property; and
- revision of the employee manuals and associated procedures in relation to duties and responsibilities for sold property.
In respect of essential repairs, our promise to owners is that:
- all owner repair enquiries will be responded to on the same day or the owner informed when they can expect an answer to the enquiry - this timeframe will not exceed 10 working days;
- all completed common repairs will be 100% post inspected with 10 days of completion and all invoiced work checked for accuracy;
- all unsatisfactory work immediately raised against the contractor with no recharge to either the HRA or to owners;
- where works are subject to a variation on site, owners will receive a single notification only; and
- a guarantee that the final cost of work will be no more than 10% higher than the estimated cost in 2013/14, with a further reduction in this variance to 5% from April 2014.
The Council also wishes to promote owners participation in capital improvement work. The main objective of our capital investment programmes is to ensure that all our viable housing stock is able to comply with the SHQS by 2015. Much of the work we wish to undertake is in multi tenure ownership and a significant amount of SHQS compliance work is classified as non essential.
Our engagement commitment with owners
- promote participation in capital investment work and to make it as affordable as possible; and
- ensure that owners recognise the value to them in investing in their own homes for the future.
- engage with our residents well in advance of planned work commencing to advise of the scope, scale and likely cost of the work. This will enable owners to save for or seek financial support for future work which is required;
- advise owners of any grant funding which may be available for work which involves energy efficiency improvements and to support them in either making an application or by applying on their behalf
- advise owners of the revised and enhanced provisions of the Scheme of Assistance and the Property Payment Scheme;
- work closely with owners where they may find it physically difficult to have the work undertaken; and
- put into place practical measures which may help.
- ensuring the initial estimated cost is as close as possible to the final invoiced cost; and
- provide a final invoice within 2 months of completion of the work.