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Housing service standards

All council and housing association landlords are required to meet the National Standards for housing services.

  • The involvement and empowerment standard involves you in decisions about your home, neighbourhood and community, how we deal with and learn from your complaints and customer care 
  • The home standard looks after your home including day to day repairs and the quality of accommodation
  • The tenancy standard manages your tenancies including allocating empty homes and collecting rent
  • The neighbourhood and community standard manages your estate and community including neighbourhood management, local area co-operation and anti-social behaviour
  • The value for money standard makes sure that the service we provide is effective and cost efficient

We have also agreed some local standards with tenants which reflect the housing services that you think are most important. These standards are called local offers. 

Involvement and empowerment: local offers

This includes customer services, giving you choice, dealing with complaints, involving tenants in decisions about your homes and responding to the needs of individual tenants. You can expect us to:

  • Encourage tenants to make comments, complaints and compliments
  • Review aspects of our services according to feedback and let tenants know if we change the way we deliver services as a result of a complaint (where possible)
  • Keep you up to date about what we are doing, how we are doing it and what you have told us ('You Said, We Did') using a variety of methods (housing news, the website, local newsletters and community events)
  • Ensure tenants are aware of the opportunities to get involved so that they can influence the services they receive
  • Enable you to check and challenge our performance and value for money by supporting tenant led involvement activities
  • Offer training to individual tenants and tenants groups so they have the skills and confidence to challenge our performance
  • Ensure housing information is clear, free of jargon and easy to understand
  • Provide a variety of methods to get involved which are appropriate to the diverse needs of tenants in the delivery of all National Standards
  • Provide support to make it easier for tenants to get involved and influence decisions about housing services
  • Continue to collect and analyse information about our current and future customers to help us design and deliver services which match customers' needs and expectations.

Tenancy standard: local offers

This includes how we allocate empty properties to people on the waiting list, the things we do to
help build stable communities and supporting tenants to maintain their tenancies. You can expect
us to:

  • Offer advice on benefits, debt and money management to all tenants
  • Ensure vacant properties are clean, tidy and meet the councils relet standard before new tenants move in
  • Explain our relet standard and offer you the chance to view the property before asking you to sign your new Tenancy Agreement when you make a successful bid
  • Provide advice, including financial advice, to encourage tenants to move to a smaller home if their current home has become larger than they need
  • Provide clear and relevant information about rent, service charges and benefit changes
  • Continue to offer a range of up to date payment methods (including direct debit, standing orders, internet payments and PayPoint) to make it easier for you to pay your rent on time
  • Contact you within three weeks if you fall into arrears to offer you advice and assistance

Home standard: local offers

This looks at things like the quality of your home and the effectiveness and efficiency of our repairs and maintenance service. You can expect us to:

  • Ensure our staff take a customer focused and proactive approach
  • Offer appointments for all work where possible
  • Keep our appointment s and complete repairs on the first visit whenever possible
  • Keep you up to date on our progress if your repair can't be completed at the first visit
  • Give you a minimum of 3 weeks' notice of any planned maintenance to your home
  • Maintain your home to an enhanced decent homes standard agreed with tenant reps
  • Maintain the outside of you home regularly (typically every 7 years)
  • Carry out necessary works so empty properties can be relet quickly and efficiently
  • Service any gas appliances (fires, boilers, water heaters and cookers) we installed in your home every year and carry out regular electrical checks

Neighbourhood and community standard: local offers

This includes the things we are doing to manage and improve your neighbourhood and how we
deal with anti-social behaviour. You can expect us to:

  • Encourage and support events, projects and improvements that benefit your neighbourhood and community
  • Inspect estate areas every three months and work with other Council departments to ensure your neighbourhood is clean and well maintained
  • Work with other Council departments to remove fly tipping within five days of it being reported to us
  • Display the cleaning schedule in your block so you know what should be done and when
  • Respond to concerns reported about the standard of cleaning in the blocks within three working days
  • Keep you informed on the progress of your anti-social behaviour complaint at least monthly for less serious cases and at least fortnightly for more serious cases
  • Provide a mediation service to help resolve neighbourhood disputes
  • Offer advice and support to the victims and witnesses of anti-social behaviour hours of it being reported to us.

Monitoring performance

We check we meet these standards by carrying out spot checks & regular inspections, asking for your feedback through interviews or questionnaires and monitoring the complaints we receive.

We report our performance against the standards in our annual report to tenants.

We also have three tenant quality panels who monitor us against these standards and TACT, the
Tenant Scrutiny Panel, who review and challenge our performance.

If you are interested in joining any of our panels please contact the Tenant Participation Team.

Helping us to help you

We aim to provide the best possible housing services to you but to do this we need help from you. The main thing that you can do is to meet the conditions of your Tenancy Agreement. This includes:

  • Paying your rent on time
  • Carrying out the repairs you are responsible for
  • Not creating a nuisance or harassing anybody

You can also help us by:

  • Giving our trades people access to carry out the annual gas safety check and/or other essential repairs
  • Keeping your appointments or letting us know if you have to cancel
  • Being polite to our staff
  • Telling us if you are unhappy with our service

Tell us what you think

If you aren't happy with the service we provide, or you have ideas about how we can do better, or you are particularly pleased with something we have done please tell us as soon as possible. Your feedback helps us improve our services to you.

The easiest way to tell us what you think is talk to your Neighbourhood Officer or the Area Housing Manager or you can contact the Customer Relations Team.

Useful contacts

Tenant Participation Team - 0118 937 2730 / tenant.participation@reading.gov.uk
Tenant Services - 0118 937 2161 / neighbourhood.services@reading.gov.uk
Housing Services - 0118 937 3757
Customer Relations - 0118 937 2905 / complaints@reading.gov.uk
Housing repairs - 0800 318 296 / 0118 373757

This information can be provided in alternative formats (pdf, Braille, audio, large print) and languages on request.

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