July 2019 Forum Newsletter

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The latest meeting of our customer Forum has taken place, on the hottest day of the year so far! This month we talked income policy and the role of our resident managers.

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The income policy and procedure

We were joined by Heather Willson, Income team manager, Vanessa Butterworth and Sarah Carnwell, two of our seven income officers.

The main topic of this session was the steps taken during income recovery and the support and advice our income officers can provide.

Our income team try and prevent arrears from a very early stages. This will start at as little as £30 – this is not because we want to be extra tough on residents, it's to prevent the situation getting worse. We will make several attempts to contact each person to try and understand the situation – this can also help us to signpost the customer if they need extra help and advice due to their circumstances.

The statistics

  • There is around £888,000 arrears due to Derwent Living by 6,500 customers
  • Our rental income should be £31 million per year
  • 60% of our customers are in credit
  • In 2018 out of 248 court cases, 44  unfortunately ended in eviction
  • In 2018 we sent:
    • 4,300 letters
    • 14,000 texts
    • 13,000 emails
    • made 16,700 phone calls
    • and did 500 house visits.

All of this is done way before the eviction process, and we try our best to make arrangements and help our customers before the situation gets worse.

If we are unsuccessful then we will start formal proceedings which consist of:

  • notice of seeking possession
  • court warning letter
  • court
  • monitor court order
  • threat of warrant
  • eviction.

Each table was given a number of letter templates we use and asked for feedback on:

  • What else should be included?
  • Was there anything that didn't look quite right?
  • And what we could do to improve the letter?

The feedback taken into consideration when the policy is being reviewed.

The Role and responsibilities of the resident manager

Karen Williams, resident manager at The Beeches and Julie Robley, resident manager at Village Court discussed their roles.

A resident manager works solely with their own scheme and their role is different to that of an Estates and Tenancy Officer for our retirement living rental properties.

Their regular routine is:

  • wellbeing checks for all residents who have requested this when they moved in
  • pre-assessments for sales
  • on-going risk assessments - ensuring the property is suitable for the customer and signposting where needed to support services if a customer's health deteriorates
  • site audits and continuous monitoring of who is visiting the scheme
  • fire checks and pull cord testing
  • scheme inspections
  • scheme repairs.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who attended the Forum, it was lovely to see such a good turn out despite it being the hottest day of the year.

The next forum is taking place on 27 September 2019 – you can book your place on the events page, email getinvolved@derwentliving.com or call the customer engagement team on 01332 346477.

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