Resident Scrutiny Team Report - Home Standard (March 2018)

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The team wanted to review housing regulators ‘Home Standard’. With a view to making recommendations for improvements where needed; the main aim being to determine whether Derwent Living meet this standard.

During the review of the Home Standard, the RST considered various sources of information, and also visited three void properties, that were ready to let, to view whether they felt these properties met the standard. 

The documents and information that the team viewed included: 

  • 2017 Big Customer survey feedback; satisfaction with quality of home, breakdown by age of property
  • Reviewed Home Standard related KPI’s for 2017/18
  • Average repair costs per property, and by age of property
  • Performance against decent homes standard; this was also discussed with staff
  • Example of regulator inspection of landlord; published determinations, consumer standard
  • Maintenance cost per property compared with other landlords using Housemark benchmarking data
  • Reviewed a range of key documents including the Lettable Standard, Electrical Safety Policy, Repairs & maintenance Policy and Adapting your home document
  • Repair priority lists
  • Reviewed the Decent Homes standard

 Visits

The team visited the following properties:

  • 3 Dalness Court, Sinfin
  • 67 Cavendish Court, Derby
  • 28 Greyfriars Place, Mickleover

 The team were impressed by the quality and condition of all of these properties.

 Benchmarking; the team viewed an example of regulator inspection of landlord; published determinations, consumer standard. This included two landlords who were found not to meet the standard. In addition the team looked at the HCA website and considered the governance and viability standards.

 The team also held a useful initial meeting with Andy Nickels to provide information on the home standard and how DL meets this. 

 Conclusions 

  • Having read and considered the Home Standard we have come to the conclusion that Derwent Living more than meets the requirements.
  • The lettable standard document clearly sets out what people can expect and from what we have seen this is generally delivered on in practice. 
  • We note that there is a government ‘Decent Homes Standard’ but we recognise that DL aim higher, for example on electrical safety there appears to be no regulation only a recommendation of 5 year checks but DL automatically use a 5.5 year standard.

 Recommendations 

Based on the ‘Home Standard’ as set out by the government, we have no concerns and therefore make no recommendations other than keep up the good work and maintain the existing standards. 

Good practice points: 

  • The Lettable Standard document is written in plain English and we note that is available in other languages as required.
  • DL’s Repairs and maintenance document clearly sets out what can be expected and how it is delivered, including repair priorities.
  • All three void properties that we viewed were of a very high standard.
  • We noted the excellent supply of power points in the void properties.