Landlords and Tenants Working Together
Earlier this month, Osborne Property Services started work on its £236 million Total Asset Management contract for Dacorum Borough Council, Hertfordshire that includes housing repairs, planned refurbishment works, call centre services, technical services and strategic asset planning. Andrea Maloney is vice chair of the housing maintenance and environment committee at Dacorum Borough Council. In her own words, she gives Inside Housing’ her views on working together:
“I have been a tenant of Dacorum Borough Council in Hemel Hempstead for 44 years, but it was only five years ago that I became more involved.I am aware that many tenants don’t give up their time, as I have, for free, but it has been one of the best things I have done.
I am the vice chair of the council’s tenant-led Housing Maintenance and Environment Committee. The committee has played a key role in procuring the new repairs and maintenance and asset management contract with Osborne Property Services which started on 1 July.
This was an excellent opportunity to have a say about the service I receive. There is no point moaning at home and then expecting the council to do something about it. You need to tell them.I wasn’t on a fault-finding mission with the previous repairs service, which was split between two contractors, but I wanted to improve things.
Osborne was keen to work with us to ensure work is done right the first time and is of a good quality. As part of its ‘total asset management’ plan, it also promised to maintain a profile of each property to avoid unnecessary works that waste tenants’ time and rent money.
Tenants were involved at an early stage of the discussions. Although this was time-consuming – some meetings did take all day – our ideas were incorporated and we can now ask the right questions to work with Osborne. I am retired, so it is easier for me to give up time, but I don’t see any reason to be paid for this. My fellow Dacorum tenants and I now receive a better repairs service and improved value for our rents.”