Northward Housing Tenant Inspections Results May 2006 Inspecting Empty Homes The Inspectors visited 12 empty properties on 24 May 2006. Generally the Inspectors found the overall standard of repairs to empty homes was good but there were some areas of improvement identified. The following was highlighted: • • • Make sure all the keys are given to tenants and that they fit the locks. Make sure a plug and chain is provided to all sinks and wash hand basins. Make sure empty properties are cleaned properly. On the 5th June 2006 a new enhanced cleaning specification was introduced for empty properties. The Tenant Inspectors will be reporting on how this has gone at their next inspections. The Tenant Inspectors will be monitoring these issues to make sure there is a continued improvement over the coming months. As well as this, there were specific issues identified at each property inspected and these are reported below. Inspecting Reception Areas in Local Offices The Inspectors visited three local offices on 24 May 2006. The general feedback was that all the offices were clean, tidy, easily accessible and maintained to a high standard with helpful staff on duty. Inspecting Empty Homes Brockton Walk, Cheetham (1 bed bungalow) What the Inspectors Found: When they collected the keys the back door key was missing; there was no door chain on the front door; garden was overgrown; and because the property is being let to an older person decorating was needed. Living Room windows did not open properly. The rest of the property was in a good condition. The cleaning standards on empty homes will be monitored more closely but in this case it was felt decorating was a more appropriate solution and the manager agreed to order the work. Cawston Walk, Cheetham (3 bed terraced house) Inspector could not gain entry as they were given the wrong key. The Local Services Manager agreed to make sure the correct keys are provided in future. What is being done: The Local Services Manager has agreed to make sure all keys are provided at future viewings. Windows opening / closing properly will be checked more closely on future inspections and the necessary repairs will be carried out to this property. Queens Road, Cheetham (2 bed ground floor maisonette) One window in the Living Room and one in the bedroom did not open and close properly. There were no shelves in the kitchen cupboard and no energy efficient light bulbs. The Local Services Manager agreed to order the new shelves and a repair to adjust the windows to make sure they open and close properly was ordered. The tenant will be supplied with light bulbs at the let interview. Sandyhill Court, Blackley (2 bed multi storey flat) There was no plug and chain in the bathroom and the bath looked discoloured. There was no sign to let you know which floor you were on. Floor tiles needed repairing in the hallway. A new sign is being ordered for the communal area. A new plug and chain is being ordered for the bathroom and the Surveyor has been asked to revisit and report on the condition of the bath for possible renewal. Briscoe Lane, Newton Heath (1 bed cottage flat) There was no chain in the kitchen sink and the kitchen and bathroom needed a better clean and it was suggested that decorating might be needed. The grouting on the bathroom tiles needed replacing and the bathroom cupboard had not been cleaned. The property is to be re-inspected by the Surveying Team and the necessary repairs ordered and redecorating to the kitchen. Dobson Court, Newton Heath (1 bedroom multi storey flat) The front door was stiff and the door lock difficult to operate. The living room door needed refitting. The toilet was not very clean. The rest of the property was in a good condition. The property is to be re-inspected by the Surveying Team and the necessary repairs and cleaning ordered. Kesteven Road, Harpurhey (3 bedroom Maisonette) The key fob to access the block did not work. There was some rubbish and weeds in the garden. The bin room was open. A new fob system is being fitted next month to improve the faults with the existing fobs. The local Environment Officer is working with other agencies at the moment to tackle the ongoing problem with people accessing the bin room area. Millway Walk, Newton Heath (2 bedroom terraced house) Could not gain access to the property The Local Services Manager will ensure the correct keys are given out to the property in future. Clifford Lamb Court, New Moston (1 bed multi storey flat) The catch on the kitchen window was awkward to open. The rest of the property was in an excellent condition. Durrington Walk, New Moston (3 bedroom terraced house) There appeared to be a leak from the outhouse roof otherwise the property was in a good condition. East Garth Walk, Blackley (2 bedroom cottage flat) There was no chain on the front door and there was some rubbish on the path leading to the rear garden. Gifford Avenue, Blackley (3 bedroom terraced house) A window was broken in the downstairs toilet and there was a drip from the roof above the bedroom. There was no plug and chain in the kitchen and some plasterwork was required in the bedroom. The wheelie bin outside the property was full of rubbish. The property has been sent back to the surveyors for a further inspection and the repairs have been ordered. Work to fix a chain and remove the rubbish has been ordered. Repair to be ordered to the roof A repair will be ordered to the window catch. Inspecting local office reception areas Cheetham Local Services The reception was clean and tidy and staff were very helpful. Access to information, leaflets and posters was excellent. All posters were up to date; staff wore name badges; children’s toys were available as were newspapers and magazines. The carpet in the reception area has seen better days, it was very worn. Monsall St Local Services The inspectors said the standard was excellent. Opening times were clearly displayed and staff were wearing name badges. They experienced no difficulty getting into the office. The freephone to On Call was not working on the day of the inspection and the manager was aware of this. A repair was already on order. The freephone for disabled tenants has recently been renewed and was fully operational. A number of Anti Social Behaviour posters were in the interviews rooms and it was suggested these might be better in the reception area. White Moss Rd Local Services The reception was found to be clean and tidy and the staff very helpful. The information on display was useful and informative. Access to the reception area was good and the overall appearance was excellent. A new carpet was fitted on 4th June. The repair to the freephone was completed on 25 May 2006. The manager agreed to relocate the Anti Social Behaviour posters to the Residents Noticeboard. No action needed at present.