Tenant Involvement Agreement
Working in Partnership
Rutland Tenants’ and Leaseholders’ Partnership (RTLP)
Staff of Spire Homes
Tenants of Spire Homes in Rutland
Leaseholders of Spire Homes in Rutland
The Partnership Board
The Tenant Involvement Agreement has been made possible by a number of
people. An important acknowledgement must go to the members of the
RTLP. Thanks must also go to all the tenants who gave their views.
Chair of the Rutland Tenants and Leaseholders Partnership
Managing Director, Spire Homes
Head of Housing & Contracts, Rutland County Council
The RTLP has approved this document
as customer friendly.
Produced September 2007
To be reviewed September 2008
Section 1 Methods of Involvement 4
Section 2 Housing Services 12
Section 3 Resources 15
Section 4 Meetings 18
Section 5 Information 21
Section 6 Monitoring and Measuring 25
Section 7 Contact Details 28
Section 8 Glossary 30
If you would like to receive a summary of this document, please contact
us on 01572 758133. It is also available on tape, in large print or can be
translated on request.
This document is an agreement between Spire Homes and the tenants and
leaseholders of Rutland County Council. The document outlines the many
ways in which tenants and leaseholders can get involved and give their views
to assist in shaping the delivery of services that Spire Homes provide in
Rutland both now and in the future. The opportunities offered in this
agreement aim to ensure that there are ways of getting involved to suit
everyone and that tenants and leaseholders can influence the services which
matter to them the most. Spire Homes will continue to monitor the outputs of
involvement to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of tenants and
leaseholders in Rutland.
Ideally, this document should be viewed alongside the Tenant Involvement
Strategy for Spire Homes, which contains an action plan for continuing to
improve tenant involvement. The Strategy outlines the overall vision for the
organisation moving forwards, whereas the Compact clearly outlines how
things happen on the ground and the standards to which all parties will
operate. There is also a policy for tenant and leaseholder involvement which
links into both the Tenant Involvement Agreement and the Tenant
Spire Homes believes that tenant and leaseholder involvement should be
positive, active and at a level and pace that suits the tenants and leaseholders
concerned. Consulting and involving tenants and leaseholders in the services
we provide is at the heart of everything we do. To be successful, tenant and
leaseholder involvement relies on effective communication between tenants
and leaseholders and Spire Homes and their involvement in the decision-
making process at all levels. Spire Homes acknowledges the importance of
tenant and leaseholder involvement and consultation, and will positively
encourage the implementation of this strategy.
Spire Homes has been managing your home on behalf of Rutland County
Council since 1st February 2006. The decision to form a new partnership with
Spire Homes was taken by the Council following lots of consultation involving
tenants and leaseholders. The aim is to work together to bring about
improvements to your housing service over the 5-year partnership. Spire
Homes deals with any tenancy issues such as repairs, sheltered housing and
housing management. During the 5 year partnership, Rutland County Council
will continue to own your properties and deal with Housing Benefit claims,
waste disposal (including furniture removal), pest control and dog fouling.
To oversee the work of the new partnership, a special Board – the Partnership
Board - has been set up to include Councillors, tenants and independent
people from the community. They will aim to make sure that the partnership is
working well and that service improvements, in line with the needs and
aspirations of tenants, are being made.
If you require any further information about this Agreement or would like to get
more involved, please contact your Tenant Involvement Officer on 01572
Methods of Involvement
Methods of Involvement
Surveys Tenant Involvement
Customer Care Rutland Tenants Sheltered
Working Group and Leaseholders Residents Panel
Policy Working Response Repairs Streets Ahead Individual Scheme
Group Contract meeting Editorial Group Open Meetings & Meetings
The diagram above shows the current ways in which tenants and
leaseholders can get involved with Spire Homes in Rutland, to have their say,
influence service delivery and be involved in decision making. It also shows
how all of the groups and methods interlink and feed into one another to
ensure that information is shared.
Current ways to become involved and influence the service provided by Spire Homes in Rutland
Spire Homes believes in promoting involvement from the earliest stages of your tenancy. Our staff therefore visit all new tenants
within 6 weeks of them moving in, one of the reasons being to promote the ways in which tenants can get involved. The table below
highlights the current ways in which you, the tenants and leaseholders can get involved and have a say. For each way in which you
can get involved, there is also a description, and estimate of the time you would need to give and an idea of the level of influence
which this method gives you.
Method of Involvement and description Time commitment Frequency
Make a comment, complaint or suggestion 5 minutes At your leisure
Comment cards are available in the reception at the Pinewood office
and we welcome any views that tenants and leaseholders have to give
whether they are good or bad. Good feedback is always nice to hear
and any negative experiences can be used to improve the future
Complete a repairs satisfaction survey 5 minutes On completion of a
Whenever you order a repair, you will be asked to complete a short repair to your home
survey to say whether you were happy with various aspects of the Is a repair satisfaction
repair. The responses Spire Homes receives are monitored and survey sent out for all
improvements are made to the service as a result jobs completed?
Read Streets Ahead newsletter 30 minutes Quarterly/ every 3
The Streets Ahead newsletter is sent to all tenants and leaseholders on months
a quarterly basis. The newsletter contains articles on local interest
stories, proposed changes within Spire Homes, information on services
we provide and opportunities for tenants and leaseholders to get
involved. It also contains quizzes and competitions and useful telephone
Attend the annual fun day/ open event 1 – 5 hours Annually
Each summer Spire Homes holds a fun day/ open event for its tenant
and leaseholders in Rutland. This is fun event with activities for all ages.
There is also an opportunity to learn more about Spire Homes, the
services it provides and how you can get more involved, and for Spire
Homes to get your views on a range of issues.
Attend an RTLP open meeting 2 hours 6 meetings are held
The RTLP works in partnership with the Tenant Involvement Officer to each year around the
hold open meetings around the Rutland area. The venue for the meeting Rutland area
changes each time to allow all tenants and leaseholders to attend a
meeting within their local area. These meetings are an opportunity for
Spire Homes to provide tenants and leaseholders with information about
service updates and to introduce any new members of staff. The
meetings are also useful for tenants and leaseholders to learn more, ask
questions, meet other residents and raise local issues
Join the Tenant Involvement database 10 minutes – 2 hours Ad hoc dependent
The tenant involvement database is a list of tenants and leaseholders per time upon your preferences
who have indicated that they would be willing to take part in consultation
events occasionally. They have each indicated what areas of service
they are interested in and how they would like to be consulted. This
allows Spire Homes to tailor consultation to suit the needs of the tenants
and leaseholders in Rutland. Examples of the ways in which members
of the database can be involved are:
Receive documents and give feedback
Take part in a telephone survey
Attend a discussion group
Complete a postal survey
Complete regular postal surveys 10 minutes – 1 hour Every 3- 6 months
Spire Homes regularly sends out short postal surveys to tenants on a
range of issues and services including repairs, planned works, customer
care and gas servicing. The responses received from tenants allows
them to improve the service and aim for higher satisfaction levels
Attend a sheltered scheme meeting 1 hour Every 6 weeks
Regular meetings are held in each of the sheltered schemes, often tied
in with a social event such as a coffee morning. These meetings are
attended by the warden of the scheme and other staff as required, and
scheme related issues are discussed
Only open to tenants living in sheltered housing.
Join the Editorial Group for Streets Ahead 2 hours Quarterly
The Editorial Group is made up of tenants and leaseholders, and the
Tenant Involvement Officer and is responsible for agreeing the content
of the Streets Ahead newsletter including housing information, articles,
competitions, photographs and the general layout. Group members can
also contribute ideas and articles. Support is offered to the group from
the Marketing Team as required.
Become a representative on the Sheltered Residents Panel (SRP) 2 hours Once every 2 months
The SRP has been set up to provide a collective voice for tenants in
sheltered accommodation. The main aim of the SRP is to share ideas,
get involved in how the sheltered housing service is delivered and have
a say on how it can be improved. Tenants at individual schemes meet
up and feed their views into the SRP via their elected representatives.
These meetings are attended by staff from the tenant involvement team,
sheltered housing and technical services.
Only open to tenants living in sheltered housing.
Join the Customer Care Working Panel 2 hours Every 6 weeks
The new CCWG currently has 4 tenant members and 1 Partnership
Board member with staff attending from the Customer Services and
Tenant Involvement Team.
The aim of the group is to work in Partnership with Spire Homes to set
up projects to improve the service and to monitor customer services
within Spire Homes.
The first project the group is looking at is developing a customer care
training programme for contractors and helping us to deliver the training
day. They have also been working with us to produce information to be
sent to tenants regarding the improvement programme, such as letters,
leaflets and handbooks.
Join by contacting the Tenant Involvement Officer on 01572 758133 or
the Customer Services Team Leader on 01572 758124 - or by email to
Join the Rutland Tenants and Leaseholders Partnership (RTLP) 2 hours attending 6 times per year +
The RTLP is the ‘umbrella group’ for tenant involvement in Spire Homes meetings AGM
in Rutland. This means that this is the group, which all other consultation 2 hours support work
feeds through. The RTLP operate through a formally constituted Weekly
committee and the group helps to set the agenda for consultation across
Rutland. Being a member of the RTLP involves attending meetings and
carrying out other activities and organising events each month.
The committee is elected at an Annual General Meeting and the
group is formally constituted.
Committee members will be expected to undertake certain training
recommended by Spire Homes to ensure that they can effectively
contribute to decision making within Spire Homes.
Join the Policy Working Group 2 hours attending In line with the Rutland
The policy working group is a sub group of the RTLP which is meetings Policy production
responsible for reviewing policies with Spire Homes and introducing new 2 hours background timetable
policies. This involves attending regular meetings, and also reading reading
documents at home.
This group is open to tenants involved in active groups or who
have expressed an interest via the Tenant Involvement database.
Attend the Responsive Repairs Contract Meetings 2 hours Monthly
These meetings are attended by tenants, Spire Homes staff and
representatives of the repairs contractors. The performance of the
contractors on repairs and voids is assessed at these meetings in terms
of time taken, quality of work and tenant satisfaction.
This group is open to tenants involved in active groups or who
have expressed an interest via the Tenant Involvement database.
Become a member of the Partnership Board 2 hours attending
The Partnership Board deals with the contract between Rutland County meetings
Council (who own the Council properties in Rutland) and Spire Homes 2 hours back ground
(who manage the Housing Service to the homes). The Board is work
responsible for approving service standards, monitoring performance
against the contract and considering forward policies and plans. The
Board is made up of 3 tenants / leaseholders, 3 elected members and 3
Tenants wishing to become a member of the Partnership Board
must go through a selection process when vacancies arise.
All Partnership Board members must attend training courses.
The list above is of course not exhaustive. We are always looking for ways to improve our services and for new ways to involve
tenants and leaseholders in this. Some of the ways in which we plan to try to involve tenant and leaseholders in the future are:
Estate inspections – these are currently being trialled in two areas. Estate inspections are carried out by the Tenancy Services
and Tenant Involvement Teams along with a small number of locally based tenants. This involves walking round an area and
logging any issues which need to be addressed. These issues are then actioned and checked upon at the next inspection.
Mystery shopping – this involves tenants receiving full training to then test out that certain areas of the service to ensure that
they are delivered to the agreed standards.
Regular meetings at Sheltered Scheme coffee mornings – tenants living in sheltered schemes hold regular coffee mornings and
afternoon teas. Spire staff based in Rutland will, if permitted, attend these events every few months to provide service updates.
Young People’s Panel – this will operate on a similar basis to the Sheltered Housing Panel , but for younger tenants, for
example those under the age of 30
Drop in Sessions – this involves a Housing Officer holding a ‘surgery’ once a week in specific towns and villages to provide a
local service to tenants and leaseholders
Each of these will be trialled and if they are successful they will be introduced more widely. However, if they are unsuccessful,
alternative methods will be trialled.
In order to ensure that we are delivering a full service that suits the needs and
aspirations of tenants, we welcome input from tenants and leaseholders
across all areas of our service. We therefore try to ensure that we are
consulting tenants and leaseholders in a range of ways across all service
areas. Clearly, particular front line services such as repairs and improvements
may be of interest to more tenants than areas such as Finance and Business
Planning, and we therefore try to offer more ways to get involved in popular
service areas. Below there is a list of service areas and the ways in which
tenants and leaseholders have been involved since Spire Homes started
managing the service.
Service Area and Method of Involvement Tasks/ role
Customer Care working group Agree Customer Care
Charter, repairs guide
Postal Surveys – using tenants identified Proof read Customer Care
through the Tenant Involvement database charter
RTLP Customer Care Charter
Policy Working Group Customer Care policy
RTLP Open meetings Customer Care Charter
Partnership Board Customer Care policy and
Repairs & Planned Works
Responsive Repairs Working Group
RTLP Performance reports &
Policy Working Group Repair priorities
Partnership Board Budgets and performance
Rutland Tenants and Leaseholders Partnership Tenant and Customer
(RTLP) Involvement Strategy, TP
Postal surveys and focus groups – using Tenant Involvement survey
tenants identified through the tenant
Sheltered scheme coffee mornings TP Compact
Partnership Board Tenant and Customer
Tenancy Services (Anti Social Behaviour, Rent
Collection, Estate Management, Allocations &
Policy Working Group Policy reviews
RTLP Changes to rent collection
Estate inspections (introduction & format) Tenants in flats
Partnership Board Performance report
Sheltered and supported housing
Individual scheme meetings Warden hours and
recruitment & cleaning
Sheltered Residents Working Panel
Finance and Business Planning
RTLP Discuss TP budget &
Partnership Board Agree all budget priorities
and review end of year
Spire Homes promises to undertake the following consultation when major
changes are being proposed.
When a service is being reviewed such as during a Best Value review, Spire
Homes will agree with the RTLP which two consultation methods from the
tenant involvement database will be used.
When a policy is being reviewed, Spire Homes will use a policy review
checklist to ensure consultation is carried out before the Partnership Board
approves the policy. (A copy of this checklist can be found at Appendix 1).
When consideration is being given to removing or changing a service, every
tenant directly affected by the proposed changes will receive a personal letter
or briefing outlining the proposed changes and providing clear information as
to how they will be consulted and how they can give their views.
Resources for Tenant Participation
Spire Homes recognises the need to make funds and staffing available to
support and encourage you, the tenants and leaseholders to get involved in
the Rutland area. There is a dedicated full time Tenant Involvement Officer
who works exclusively for Spire Homes in Rutland. In addition, support is
provided from the Team Leader whose role covers both Oakham and
Rushden offices. As well as the dedicated staff, all staff working for Spire
Homes contribute to Tenant Involvement as part of their day to day role.
Spire Homes and Rutland County Council have agreed an Annual budget of
£15,000 per year to be spent specifically on tenant involvement. This budget
is available to cover:
the production and distribution of four editions of the Streets Ahead
newsletter each year
travel, childcare and carers expenses for any tenant wishing to take
part and get involved
training for tenants, leaseholders and staff on a range of topics (see
appendix 2 which lists the current training available)
the annual fun day for all tenants and leaseholders
attendance at events and conferences
This budget and the priorities for spending will be discussed and agreed with
tenants annually with the RTLP and other active groups
Rutland County Council sets aside £20,000 per year (as of 2007-08) for the
Tenants Initiative Scheme. The aim of the scheme is to fund projects which
Spire Homes and the council would not usually undertake, to make
improvements to your neighbourhood. Successful applications must benefit at
least 6 tenants and/or leaseholders.
Any group of tenants and/or leaseholders can apply. Application forms are
available from reception or you can request an application to be posted to you
by contacting the Tenant Involvement Officer on 01572 758133. The Tenants
Liaison Forum decides which applications are approved. The forum is made
up of tenants, a councillor and staff from Spire Homes.
Training and development is a key part of tenant involvement as it allows
individuals and groups to develop and become more effective. Training will be
available for any tenant who chooses to get involved either as an individual or
as a member of a group. A training plan will be produced annually and
updated quarterly listing training available to tenants. (A copy of the current
training plan is attached at Appendix 2). Copies of the training plan are also
available in the Spire office at Pinewood or by contacting the TI Officer. We
will also advertise in house training in Streets Ahead. In addition, in house
training will be offered where there are a number of tenants requiring the
same training. We will also work in partnership with Spire Homes Tenants
Forum and other neighbouring organisations through the EMTPF and
Leicestershire & Rutland TP Forum to arrange joint training, which often works
out to be more cost effective
Any tenant who wishes to attend a training course or seminar must complete
a request form and submit it to the TI Officer at least 10 working days in
advance of the course or event. They must also complete an evaluation form
after the event. (A copy of both forms is attached at Appendix 3). This will help
the Tenant Involvement Officer to monitor the level of spend on training
courses and also how good the training is.
Any tenant who wishes to be involved at the highest level of decision making
within Spire Homes will be expected to undertake training to help them to do
this effectively, for example if they wish to be involved in business planning.
Upon request, Spire Homes can arrange for computer access, printing
facilities and photocopying. Staff are also available to provide advice and
assistance on the ways in which tenants and leaseholders can get involved
and make a difference.
Meetings are one way in which Spire Homes and tenants and leaseholders
can share information and work together in the decision making process. In
order to make sure that meetings are well run and effective, the following
standards have been agreed:
Invites to meetings and posters advertising meetings will be circulated
at least 2 weeks in advance of the meeting date. This may be via
adverts in Streets Ahead, individual invites, posters in sheltered
schemes or in the Spire office at Pinewood.
Agendas for meetings will be circulated at least 1 week in advance of
formal meetings (e.g. RTLP, Sheltered Residents Working Panel)
produced in consultation with the Chair of the relevant group.
Minutes will be circulated to all attendees within 14 days of any
meetings. The secretary for each group (if applicable) is responsible for
ensuring the minutes are distributed to the members of their particular
group or be responsible for returning them to the Tenant Involvement
Officer for distribution if this agreed in advance.
Meetings will not last longer than 2.5 hours unless agreed in advance
and a comfort break of at least 5 minutes will be offered after 1.5 hours
Travel, childcare and carers expenses will be paid for attendance at
meetings. Transport will be arranged by the TI officer upon request.
Refreshments (tea, coffee, cold drinks and biscuits) will be provided at
If a meeting takes place over lunchtime (12noon – 2pm), a buffet/
sandwiches will be provided
Guest speakers will be given at least 14 days notice to request their
attendance at any meeting. This will be done in writing (by letter or
email) and the invitation will include details of why the speaker has
been requested and what they have been asked to speak about/
RTLP Open meetings will rotate around the County using local
community buildings to attract other tenants, in order that all tenants
and leaseholders have the opportunity to attend a meeting in their local
Spire Homes staff will attend meetings upon request or upon invite
from the tenants and leaseholders involved. At least one week’s notice
should be given to staff as well as a brief about what is expected of
them at the meeting (e.g. a presentation, to answer questions on a
particular topic etc). This does not apply to the Tenant Involvement
All meetings facilitated by Spire Homes or Rutland County Council will
be held in venues with full disabled access where possible
We want to ensure that all tenants and leaseholders in Rutland have equal
access to information. We aim to make our information easy to read and
understand. We will try to avoid jargon and will use plain language.
Please let us know if you have difficulty understanding any of the information
we provide or if you need it in another format such as:
A spoken interpretation
A written translation
This service is free for tenants in Rutland by simply contacting the Tenant
Involvement Officer on 01572 758133.
This document is also available on tape, in large print or can be translated
In order to ensure that all information is clear, simple and available for
everyone to understand, the following standards have been agreed:
All written information will be in at least size 12 font to ensure that it is
of a size that most people can read easily
Any written information will also be available in large print upon request
Any leaflets, newsletters and written information will be made available
on audio tape and in Braille
Spire Homes is committed to providing a range of information to tenants and
leaseholders in Rutland. The following information is currently available to all
tenants in Rutland whose property is managed by Spire Homes:
Information Description When it is received
Tenants Handbook The tenant hand book When you first move
contains lots of useful into your home.
information about who you In addition, all tenants
should contact to report will receive a new
repairs, your rights and Tenant Handbook by
responsibilities, how you January 2008. This
can become involved and has been produced in
much more conjunction with
Streets Ahead The newsletter provides 4 times per year
newsletter information on activities,
meetings, changes to
services, service updates,
information on staff roles,
Notice Boards Many sheltered schemes Updated on a regular
have a notice board in the basis
communal area which
contains information on
upcoming activities and
meetings and feedback
from any consultation.
Personal letter Spire Homes will send you Annually
a personal letter providing
details of your new weekly
rent or charges for your When required
home in March each year.
They may also contact you
by personal letter for a
number of other reasons
for example, to provide
you with details on any
planned work to your
Information leaflets There are a range of Available in sheltered
information leaflets for you schemes, the reception
to take away and read area of the Pinewood
including: office or upon request
Starting a Residents
The Lifeline Service
Date Protection –
Adult Abuse – help
us to help you
How to make a
Our commitment to
Information on Spire’s This information will tell 6 monthly performance
performance in key you where Spire Homes is reports will be sent to
service areas performing well and where all tenants and the
they need to improve. RTLP will receive
updates at meetings.
Annual Tenant To be produced May 2008 Annually
Involvement Statement in consultation with the
Customer Charter The Charter was A summary was sent
developed in consultation to all tenants in July
with tenants and in 2007 and is also
partnership with the RTLP included in sign up
and it outlines the packs.
standards of service that A copy of the
you can expect when you 6 monthly performance
contact Spire Homes. update reports will be
sent to all tenants.
Monitoring and Measuring
Monitoring and Measuring Performance
We recognise that in order to make sure that we keep improving and providing
services which respond to the changing needs and aspirations of our tenants,
we need to regularly monitor what we do. We have a number of systems and
procedures in place to this, which are listed below.
Spire Homes will work with active tenants and leaseholders to carry out a
review of the TP Compact every year. This will ensure that we are complying
with the content of the document. We will carry out a full review of the TP
Compact with consultation every 2 years
Whenever a new way of involving tenants is trialled, an Impact Assessment
monitoring form will be completed by staff. This will help staff to monitor how
successful each method of involvement is, which tenants take part and when
it would be useful to use that method again. An example of the Impact
Assessment monitoring form is attached at Appendix 4.
The Customer Care Working Group monitor the Customer Charter to
ensure that all of the standards are met, this will include Mystery Shopping
tests. The group will also agree any consultation on the charter should
changes be proposed.
Each year, Spire Homes will produce an Annual Tenant Involvement
Statement providing details of how tenants have been involved over the
previous year, and what changes and improvements have been made as a
Spire Homes staff will implement an annual Service Improvement Plan
which has been approved by the Partnership Board.
A STATUS Tenant Satisfaction Survey will be carried out every three years
to assess how tenants and leaseholders feel that Spire Homes is performing
across a whole range of services. The last STATUS survey was carried out in
the summer of 2006. The results for tenant involvement in that survey are
shown below as are the targets for the next survey:
Measure 2006 result 2009 target
Satisfaction with services provided by the 80% +7%
Satisfaction with opportunities 68% +7%
However, we do not want to only get feedback on tenant satisfaction every 3
years, and will therefore be carrying out quarterly telephone surveys to
assess tenant satisfaction with a selection of services.
Spire Homes wishes to ensure that involvement opportunities are open to
everyone and will therefore ask all active tenants to complete a Diversity
Monitoring Form (appendix 5) to ensure that the age, ethnicity and
geographical location of those tenants who get involved reflects that of the
general tenant and leaseholder population in Rutland.
The Tenant Involvement Officer and tenant and leaseholder representatives
attend regular meetings, conferences and training events held by the East
Midlands Tenant Participation Forum and the Leicestershire and Rutland
Tenant Forum. This will allow opportunities to benchmark and compare the
performance of Spire Homes in Rutland with other organisations in the same
Quarterly reports on performance indicators and targets will be prepared
and regular reports presented to the RTLP. This will give Spire Homes an
opportunity to address any potential problems at an early stage and will allow
tenants to make suggestions for improvements to the service.
If you require any further information about any information contained within
this Compact or would like to speak to someone about the many ways in
which you can get more involved, please contact:
Tenant Involvement Officer 01572 758133
Tenant Involvement Team Leader 0845 603 5399
Pinewood Customer Services 01572 755465
Also, if you have any suggestions about different ways that we could get more
tenants and leaseholders involved, please feel free to get in touch.
A home visit by the Tenant Involvement Officer and/ or a tenant representative
can be arranged for anyone who would like to know more about tenant
involvement in Rutland.
Annual General Meeting (AGM) - An Annual General Meeting is held by an
organisation at about the same time every year. At the Meeting they report on
the organisation’s work over the last year, present the accounts to their
members and elect a new committee.
Allocations - This is the term used by social landlords to describe the
process of identifying properties and letting them to people, who then become
Best Value Reviews - Local authorities and housing associations must show
that they have applied the four Cs of Best Value (challenge, compare,
compete, consult) by carrying out reviews of their various housing services.
This is meant to show service users, inspectors etc., how they are achieving
continuous improvement year on year.
Committee - A Committee is a group of people elected by an organisation’s
members to carry out the work of the organisation. The Committee organises
group meetings, and the group’s Annual General Meeting and is responsible
for carrying forward any decisions made at these meetings. Committees
should always have a Chair, Secretary and a Treasurer.
Focus Group - Draws together people for a discussion on a specific topic and
aims to find out what people think, feel, believe and their reasons for doing so,
but not to reach any agreement. Mainly used as a research technique.
Homeless/ Homelessness - Someone who does not have any permanent
accommodation is described as being Homeless. All local authorities have an
obligation to house the Homeless.
Housing Association - A non-profit making organisation which provides
homes either for people who cannot afford to buy their own or who need
special types of housing, for example elderly people. Associations usually
have paid workers and are managed by a voluntary Management Committee.
Housing Benefit - Extra money paid to the landlord people on income
support or low incomes to cover housing costs.
Leaseholder - A person who does not own the land their home is built on,
and pays a ground rent for a fixed number of years. Tenants who live in flats
and buy them from their landlord are called leaseholders.
Monitoring - The checking of a system or process to make sure it is working
properly and achieving its goals.
Mystery Shopping - A form of market research which uses customers to
assess service standards. This involves training individuals to pose as
customers and undertake a series of agreed tasks, which are aimed
monitoring service delivery. Mystery shopping can be carried out in person, by
telephone, by letter, by e-mail, over the Internet or in any way that customers
interact with an organisation.
Performance Indicators - The Government requires local authorities to
publish Performance Indicators which is a report on (amongst other things)
how effectively it is managing and repairing its properties.
Rent - Money paid to a landlord by a tenant in exchange for occupying a
Repairs - Mending something that is broken, inside or outside of your home
e.g. a blocked drainpipe or a dripping tap. A tenant should refer to their
tenancy agreement to see whether they or their landlord is responsible for
carrying out a particular repair.
Service Delivery - The way a service, such as repairs, is provided to the
people who receive it.
Social Landlord - Provider of Social Housing such as a Local Authority or
Registered Social Landlord.
Tenant - A person, or persons, who agree to occupy a property owned by
someone else in exchange for payment (i.e. rent).
Tenant Involvement Agreement - “Locally-negotiated agreements between
a local authority landlord and its tenants, setting out how tenants will be
involved collectively in taking local decisions on housing issues which affect
Warden / Warden controlled - Someone employed by the landlord to look
after elderly or disabled tenants in blocks or small estates of flats or houses.