Estate Management Policy
This policy sets out our approach to managing our estates and neighbourhoods and how we will work with local customers, external agencies, and others involved with the safety security and appearance of the estate environment.
The Estate Management Policy aims to ensure that the local environment and wider neighbourhood are clean, safe, well maintained, and vibrant areas to live in. We will do this by:
- Setting out a proactive approach to estate management
- Ensuring the communal spaces around our homes are well maintained
- Working collaboratively with residents and other parties that have an interest in the safety, security and appearance of the local environment.
This policy covers the planning, monitoring, management and delivery of services relating to but not limited to:
- Communal entrance doorways and windows
- Playgrounds and other Communal facilities, bike stores, drying facilities etc
- Communal Gardens, open spaces and grassed areas
- Communal Stairs, hallways, passages and lifts
- Communal Pathways, roadways and parking areas
- Communal bin stores
- Communal services to estates e.g., lighting, TV aerials, CCTV Equipment etc
Equality & Diversity
At Estuary Housing Association (EHA) we are committed to embedding equality and diversity at the heart of our work. We aim to be an inclusive organisation, where individual differences are respected, where staff, people who use services, as well as their families and carers, are treated with dignity and on the basis of their merits, abilities and needs, and where everyone has a fair opportunity to fulfill their potential without suffering discrimination or disadvantage.
1.1 Estuary Housing Association is committed to improving and maintaining high neighbourhood standards across all its estates in partnership with local residents, other parties and service providers working or operating in the neighbourhood.
1.2 Estuary Housing Association’s ambition is to deliver high quality services across our estates and the support and collaboration of our residents is key to achieving this. Many environmental issues such as dog fouling, inappropriate waste disposal, graffiti, vandalism, fly-tipping, and graffiti are costly to tackle and inconvenient yet are often caused by a minority of local residents and/or their visitors.
1.3 The participation and assistance of residents is key to tackling these issues and in maintaining neighbourhood standards. Residents pay for services through their service charges so we will try to identify the offender. Where we believe that a resident’s actions are the cause of the issue, we may take tenancy enforcement action against them.
1.4 This may include the recharging of costs incurred to resolve and rectify problems or tenancy/lease enforcement action. We will also work with other agencies where appropriate to do so.
1.5 Local resident knowledge and engagement in estate inspections and neighbourhood improvement plans will lead to a more sustainable enhancement in the services provided in the local neighbourhood environment.
1.6 To maintain the level of standards that Estuary Housing Association and its residents expect, this will be achieved through positive estate management and co-operation, strong tenancy/lease enforcement and planned preventative measures. When environmental ASB/crime is impacting our neighbourhoods, Estuary Housing Association will work towards solutions and preventative measures that involve our residents, other agencies and interested parties to find a long-term measure to resolve the causes.
1.7 Estuary Housing Association expects residents to report communal repairs and any other issues that could have an adverse effect on the local environment. We expect residents not to engage in any activities or behaviours that would negatively impact the neighbourhood and environment that all residents use and enjoy, including keeping their own gardens and balconies tidy at all times.
In return Estuary Housing Association will:
- Conduct regular estate inspections and ensure all areas under management are clean, safe, and well maintained
- Regularly cut grassed areas
- Work closely with local police and other services to help keep our estates free from anti-social behaviour and crime
- Inspect internal communal parts regularly to ensure they are clean, well maintained, and kept clear of obstructions
- Commission timely fire risk assessments for communal areas to identify and address fire risks, advise on evacuation procedures and ensure legislative compliance
- Regularly check and maintain shared facilities such as lifts, water tanks, play areas, car parks, bin stores, cycle stores etc to make sure they are safe and fit for purpose
- Ensure void properties are let quickly to help maintain the appearance of the area
- Work closely with resident groups to develop local engagement, community facilities and events to support and develop dynamic, positive communities.
2. Estate Inspection
2.1 Regular inspections of our estates are one of the main ways we can ensure that local neighbourhoods are being looked after and to identify problems that need to be addressed.
The frequency of inspections will be determined on a scheme by scheme basis based on a range of factors, including but not limited to:
- Number of properties
- Property Type
- Anti-Social Behaviour
- Complaints and Volume of repairs
- Communal Facilities
2.2 All estates with communal spaces will be inspected at least once a year. High use areas may be inspected up to once month depending on the range of factors and if there are any issues that compromise the safety and well-being of our residents or the appearance of the estate.
2.3 Areas where there are no communal areas and no services are provided may still be inspected for management purposes.
2.4 Where neighbourhoods are inspected and are unsatisfactory, we will take a planned approach with specific actions for improvement to ensure that any additional services are costed, planned, and monitored.
3. Estate Services
3.1 Estuary Housing Association provides a range of services that ensure our neighbourhoods remain clean, safe, secure, and well maintained these are delivered either directly or through contractors. Services will differ from neighbourhood to neighbourhood depending on local factors and facilities provided.
3.2 Estate services are provided to ensure communal parts remain clean, safe and well maintained. These services do not include maintenance such as cleaning and grounds maintenance to individual properties that are the resident’s responsibility to keep maintained.
3.3 Services are monitored for quality and effectiveness through regular estate inspections, Estate Block Reps, proof of presence inspections and service evidencing. The Housing Management team also carry out regular Health and Safety inspections and action any issues arising.
3.4 Information relating to local services such as cleaning and grounds maintenance will be displayed in local information boards (where available) and will be available on the Association’s website detailing when and what services are provided.
3.5 Requests for additional services will only be considered after consultation has taken place with residents where the majority of those consulted are in favour of the change and service charges have been assessed to ensure they remain reasonable and affordable.
3.6 All estate service contracts will be procured in accordance with our procurement policy in line with relevant section 20 consultation requirements with an emphasis on value for money.
3.7 Estuary Housing Association reserves the right to implement a service without consultation where our residents’ health, safety, security, or wellbeing would be impacted as a result of delaying the implementation of a service due to consultation.
4. Refuse and Recycling
4.1 Local Authorities are responsible for the collection and disposal of household waste across the Association’s stock. Where missed collections occur, this will be noted, and customers signposted to relevant Local Authority.
4.2 We will work with local authorities and other external agencies to ensure that our estates have the appropriate facilities for disposing of rubbish and recycling.
4.3 Estuary Housing Association has a zero-tolerance approach to fly-tipping and environmental crime. We will take appropriate action against those who are identified, including recharging costs to those responsible and providing evidence to support prosecution.
5. Pest Control
5.1 Where we have evidence of vermin or infestation within the communal parts the Association will arrange for the area to be treated and if necessary, preventative measures put in place.
5.2 If the source of infestation is traced to an individual property that has not been kept in a clean and tidy condition, or where the tenant has done something to cause the problem, we will consider appropriate action for breach of tenancy. Any cost for disinfestation or remedial work in these circumstances will be recharged to the tenant.
6. Vehicles and Parking
6.1 All vehicles parked on the Association’s land must have valid tax and Mot. We do not permit the parking of large commercial vehicles and trailers.
6.2 Where parking is provided it is only for the use of residents unless visitor spaces are provided and marked. Unless stated otherwise, parking spaces are unallocated and are on a first come first serve basis.
6.3 Estuary Housing Association will work with residents and external agencies to address parking disputes, irresponsible parking and access issues for emergency and service vehicles and abandoned vehicles.
6.4 If practical we may introduce parking schemes to minimalise the impact of vehicle related issues, if any costs are incurred by the Association to run these schemes residents will be recharged. Prior to installing any parking schemes, we will undertake a consultation with residents and if the majority of those who participated in the consultation are in favour we will proceed. Estuary Housing Association reserve the right to implement parking schemes where there is a high level of parking nuisance, without consultation.
6.5 We will work with the DVLA to identify abandoned vehicles. We will arrange for the removal, storage, and disposal of the vehicle if we fail to hear from the registered keeper after notice has been issued. Any costs incurred by the Association for the removal, storage, and disposal of the vehicle will be passed on where the registered keeper is identified.
7. Playground Equipment
7.1 Where Estuary Housing Association owns and is responsible for play equipment, we will ensure the equipment is safe to use, properly inspected and fit for purpose. This will be done through regular inspections to ensure the equipment is safe for use and is structurally sound. Annual inspections of play equipment will be carried out by an independent competent authority.
8. Use of Communal areas
8.1 Communal areas and shared spaces will be kept free from all personal items. Items in the communal area are a fire a risk and can cause escape routes to become blocked.
8.2 Any items that are left in internal or external communal spaces that are causing a fire risk or jeopardising the safety of others may be removed immediately and residents will be charged with the costs associated with the removal and disposal of those items.
8.3 Communal grounds are for the enjoyment of all residents who have a right to access these. Measures should not be put in place to prevent other residents from accessing or utilising the areas.
8.4 Residents are not permitted to alter or install planting in any part of the communal grounds without prior consent in writing.
8.5 Estuary Housing Association retains the rights and control of communal areas.
9. Communal Facilities
9.1 The communal facilities at each estate will differ. These facilities are regularly inspected to ensure they safe, fit for purpose, and being appropriately used.
9.2 Bike shelters are for the use of residents only and bikes are left at the resident’s risk. Any other items being stored in bike shelters may be removed and the costs associated with this will be recharged to the owner where possible. Bikes may be removed if they appear to be in a state of disrepair after attempts have been made to identify the owner.
10.1 Services provided under this policy are rechargeable to residents
11. Relevant Legislation
The key legislation relevant to the neighbourhood environment is:
- Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
- Common and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
- Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
- Environmental Protection Act 1990
- Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978
- The removal disposal and storage of vehicles (prescribed Sums and Charges)
- Law of Torts (interference with Goods) Act 1977
- The regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
- Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
- Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
12. Related Documents
- ASB Policy
- Service Charge Policy
- CCTV Policy
- Fire Safety Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Repairs Policy
- Section 20 Consultation procedure