Cleaning and Grounds Maintenance

GEMS are the main provider of cleaning and grounds maintenance, Hi Spec deliver services to our customers in Clacton and Colchester.

GEMS and Hi Spec are responsible for the cleaning of internal communal areas and the grounds maintenance in our neighbourhoods, while working in your neighbourhoods our teams also report repairs, environmental issues such as fly tipping and communal ASB.

Our FAQ's should answer any questions you have regarding cleaning and grounds maintenance, if you have an enquiry that is not covered under our FAQ's you can email GEMS directly gems@estuary.co.uk or alternatively call 0300 304 5000

GEMS Our Promise

GEMS and Hi Spec Services provide the following services but this may vary dependent on where you live. All staff are easily identifiable while working on site with GEMS and Hi Spec branded uniforms and Identification badges.

 

Regular Cleaning (Weekly)

Buildings with internal communal parts will receive a weekly cleaning service.

All accessible communal areas will be cleaned; the following tasks will be carried out as part of the weekly service.

  • Sweep and mop of shared halls, landings and staircases
  • Clean internal glass on any shared doors, landings and staircases
  • Clean, sweep and mop all lifts (where applicable)
  • Remove litter and empty communal litter bins
  • Empty dog waste bins (where applicable)
  • Sweep and disinfect refuse area (where accessible)

 

Graffiti Removal

Our operatives will remove graffiti from all non-porous surfaces during their weekly visit. If the graffiti is offensive, we will remove within 24 hours of being notified.

 

Fly Tipping

GEMS will remove any reported fly tipping within 5 working days. We do not provide any bulk waste services and it is our customers responsibility to ensure they dispose of household furniture and unwanted items responsibly.

 

Responsive Cleaning (within 24 hours)

It is possible that a situation may occur which requires the attendance of the cleaning operative prior to the next clean, this could include spillages, bodily fluids or hazardous items in the internal communal area that may require urgent attention. Once reported the operative will attend site within 24 hours to address the issue.

 

Annual Services

It maybe necessary in high traffic areas for deep cleaning of the floor coverings to be carried out. This would be carried out annually and the dates will be displayed in your noticeboards.

 

Scheduled Grounds Maintenance

A program of seasonal works is carried out throughout the year to communal grounds in your neighbourhood. Our team will carry out the works at fortnightly intervals throughout the year.

It is your responsibility to maintain any landscaping that is located within the boundary of your property this includes grass, hedges and trees.

 

The following tasks are carried out throughout the year:

  • Grass cutting (March – November)
  • Grass cuttings removed from site (March – November)
  • Herbicide application (March & June)
  • Hedge cutting and removal of cuttings (March & July)
  • Removal of heavy leaf fall (October & November)
  • Litter pick of site (each visit)
  • Shrub bed maintenance.

 

Working together to keep our neighbourhoods clean and tidy

To ensure our operatives can carry out these tasks, please ensure communal areas are free from obstructions, some elements of the service may not be provided if the team are unable to access the area.

Pick up after your pets; please ensure any animal waste is picked up and disposed of. Animal waste can go in any general waste bin.

Please ensure all refuse is placed in the bins provided and only bagged waste is placed in the refuse containers. Failure to place refuse in the bins provided can lead to other issues such as vermin and loss of service.

Report fly tipping. If you notice fly tipping in the communal area report it, we can then ensure it is removed within the next 5 working days.

Services in Your Area

GEMS Frequently Asked Questions

Cleaning

Q: How long are the cleaning operatives supposed to be here for?
A: Operatives do not have a set amount of time to be on site, however they do have to ensure all related tasks are completed.

Q: Who is responsible for cleaning up after communal works?
A: All our contractors are responsible for clearing up after works have taken place.

Q: Why have the cleaners not mopped my floors this week?
A: During certain times of year it is not practical to mop. This is due to freezing temperatures and drying times, in these instances and also when it is raining areas that need attention will be spot mopped and disinfected.

Q: When is my block cleaned?
A: Your block will be cleaned where possible on the same day every week, this information is displayed on your noticeboard in the communal area and on our GEMS page.

Grounds Maintenance

Q: How long are the grounds operatives supposed to be here for?
A: Operatives do not have a set amount of time to be on site, however they do have have to ensure all related tasks are completed.

Q: When will the grounds maintenance team be planting flowers in our area?
A: GEMS do not add to any soft landscaping as the service only covers maintenance to existing landscaping, there is a significant cost associated with planting and the maintenance of flowers which would impact the service charges you pay.

Q: I am struggling with my garden can the GEMS Team help me?
A: Unfortunately GEMS do not provide services to residents properties, we maybe able to provide you with some information on local charities that maybe able to assist you.

Q: The grounds operative came and didn't cut the hedges?
A: Our grounds maintenance team provides a program of works throughout the year as some of the tasks are seasonal. Hedges are cut at least twice per year but the time of year they are cut may vary dependent on hedge type and species.

Q: Our car park looks untidy when will it be done?
A:  It can be difficult for the grounds operatives to access areas of the car park while cars are parked, in areas where car parks are in constant use we will notify customers before we intend on carrying out works to the area to ensure the area is clear.

Q: When will grounds operatives cut the trees?
A: Our grounds operatives do not provide tree cutting services due to the specialist nature of the work. If you have a concern that a tree is diseased, damaged or unsafe, please report this to us on 0300 304 5000.

Refuse

Q: There has been a washing machine in my car park for 3 weeks.
A: When you identify that an item has been fly tipped this needs to be reported to GEMS, you can do this by calling us on 0300 304 5000. Once we have received a report of fly tipping the item will be removed in 5 working days.

Q: Our refuse area is full and never clean when will it be cleaned?
A: If  rubbish is disposed correctly it will enable the area to be cleaned each visit. Misuse of these areas may result in delays in getting the area cleaned. It is our customer's responsibility to ensure that rubbish is placed in the bins provided

Q: I pay for bulk waste removal in my service charge so will you remove my sofa?
A: The bulk refuse element of the service charge is for the removal of fly tipping from the communal areas. Customers are not permitted to dispose of household items or furniture and if identified will be recharged for there removal and action maybe taken against their tenancy.

Recycling and Bulk Waste

Recycling

The majority of our neighbourhoods have recycling facilities, however if these refuse containers are not used correctly they may be removed by your Local Authority. Often we find that people like to recycle but they are unaware of what is required. The websites listed below will be able to provide you with information and guidance and provide you with alternative locations to recycle in your area.

If you require recycling bags, food waste bags, food caddies or any other items to enable you to start recycling, get in contact with your Local Authority and they will be able to provide with information on how to get them.

Useful Links

Bulk Waste & Green Waste

We do not provide a bulk waste collection, the service charge covers the removal of illegally disposed of waste. We understand it can be challenging to find ways to dispose of household items or green waste.

There are a number of ways you can dispose of your unwanted items, including:

  • Donate them - a number of charities will collect furniture and other household items if they are in a reasonable condition
  • Freecycle - there are a number of online market places where people will pick up your unwanted items
  • Bulk Waste Collection - most Local Authorities provide a bulk waste collection for a fee. It may not be as much as you think!
  • Local Tip - in some areas local amenity sites will allow to take household items and furniture and dispose of them free of charge.

You can also use the gov.uk to find your local provider of bulky waste collections

Local Authority Waste Collections

Missed Collections

If you have had a missed collection this needs to be reported to the Local Authority as soon as possible, they will make the arrangements for the waste containers to be emptied.

Missed collections can occur for a number of reasons and can cause a number of issues where you live, to reduce the likelihood of a missed collection, please ensure all bags are placed in the waste containers provided as obstructions in front of the waste containers can lead to missed collections. Only place household bagged waste in the containers, disposing of household items and furniture may result in a missed collection, it also means there is less space for people to dispose of their waste. Do not park or obstruct the entrance to the refuse areas and ensure only recycling is placed is the recycling waste containers it is common for a recycling bin not to be collected due to contamination with general waste.

Report a Missed Collection

You can usually report missed collections via Local Authority Websites