As a current provider of property related services, we have established policies and procedures see attached (appendix 2) around repairs and maintenance and clear timescales within which these are to be completed. Our ability to meet these targets across our existing portfolio has been consistently excellent. These policies and procedures do not differ from the ones attached to this tender.
The repair and maintenance of our properties is a vital part of being able to deliver the best possible accommodation for our service users. There are processes and procedures that we already have in place which help us deal with any issues that arise in the quickest and most efficient way possible.
24 Hour Reporting Procedure
During working hours all of our clients are able to report emergencies directly to us on our Emergency Contact number which is displayed on every notice board in every property and is in our welcome pack. Emergency contacts as well as any other relevant contact tenants may need can also be found on the Claremont Living website.
The Out of Hours Reporting Facility is another well-tested system we have in place. After 6pm all emergency calls are directed to our AnswerForU. This is a call centre that takes calls on Claremont’s behalf. The call centre will then send an email to all senior members of staff with the name, contact details and message from the client. The call centre also has the ability to divert calls to Directors/Maintenance Manager at any time. The call centre knows to divert calls directly for leaks, electrical, gas and fire issues.
These issues are always recorded by the Maintenance team and included at the end of month reports. The maintenance is logged on a dedicated system showing the assigned maintenance team member to whom it is allocated and the agreed service times as outlined below. Every property also has a scannable QR code that is linked to the Bright HR system. Our maintenance team along with all Claremont staff are required to clock in and out of each property not only for their own safety but as a time management indicator. Each job has an allotted time frame which we try to stick to as closely as possible. When jobs run over all of this information is picked up through BrightHR.
2 Hour Emergency Repairs
If a repair of this nature comes in during the working day the first person who is informed of this issue is the Maintenance Manager. Our clients will call the emergency help line which is displayed on every notice board in every property, in addition to their Welcome Pack and our website. This will take them directly through to the office where the emergency will be reported. If the Maintenance Manager is in the office the call will be transferred directly to them. If they are not then the message will be taken and a call will be made to the Maintenance Manager to report the issue. The person reporting the emergency will be told they must stay by their phone as they will be receiving a call in the within a maximum of 30 minutes from the Maintenance Manager. We are proud that our average response times for emergency’s are significantly shorter than this, at present.
The Maintenance Manager will then call whoever reported the emergency to find out as much information about the issue as possible. The more detail we have on the issue the quicker it can be rectified. They will also ask for pictures to be uploaded onto to the maintenance system if it’s one of our clients that are reporting the issue we will gain as much information as we can over the phone then attend the job as quickly as possible.
Not all tenants have devices that allow photos to be taken as we do not want to put any more pressure onto our tenants by getting them to take photos. We have found this to be the most suitable way of operating when tenants report issues. Whilst this is happening, the Maintenance Manager will be directing / diverting one of the Maintenance team towards the emergency.
During working hours we are able to attend any emergency like this within 1 hour due to the geographical locations of our properties. Most issues can be resolved on the spot as each team has the correct tools and parts for most emergencies. If we require certain parts or tools which we do not carry in the van, the repair will be made safe, tenants will then be informed of the issue and when it will be fixed and finally told not to use the item/ area until fixed.
Out of Hours 2 Hour Emergency
The ‘Out of Hour’s Reporting Facility’ is used is when we have a 2 hour emergency come through after 6pm. As explained previously calls are taken by the call centre. Calls are then diverted to one of the Directors / Maintenance Manager who will then send a member of staff out to deal with the issue. A different member of the maintenance team is on call each week which is done on a rota system. On weekends we have one member of the team on call which is alternated. If we have staff off for whatever reason we have an out of hour’s contractor who is on call to attend emergencies.
24 Hour Urgent Repairs
A 24 hour repair is categorised as a CAT A repair and is dealt with by one of our maintenance team. The team has been divided so that a different person deals with each level of repair. CAT A is dealt with by Person A, CAT B is dealt with by Person B and so on. As soon as one of these repairs is reported the relevant member of staff is sent out. They will attend the property after being given as much information as possible by the Maintenance Manager picking up the correct parts for the job on the way if required, 70% of the time our vans are stocked with the correct parts for most jobs so they can be fixed on the spot. On occasions where parts have to be ordered, we will make sure the repair is safe, inform all tenants of the repair plan and come back and fix the issue. Most parts we are able to get for same day/next day delivery.
If a CAT A comes in out of hours it will go through to the call centre who will follow usual protocol which for CAT A’s is to send an email to all senior staff for it to be picked up first thing in the morning by the Maintenance Manager. An example of a CAT A repair is a broken down fridge, washing machine or boiler.
14 Day Immediate Repair
A 14 Day repair is categorized as a CAT B repair. We aim to complete all CAT B repairs within 7 days of reporting and these types of repairs are picked up by certain members of the team. The team member who deals with CAT B will drop down and assist on CAT B issues when they are free as these are more common issues. The Maintenance Manager will allocate and schedule each person’s jobs for the week. Once the job is completed it is checked by the Maintenance Manager and a follow-up call is made to the client to ensure they are happy with the quality of work.
An example of a 14 day repair is carpet or bedroom furniture that needs replacing or fixing.
28 Day Routine Repair
28 Day Repairs are classed as CAT C repair. We aim to complete these repairs within 14-28 days of reporting. These repairs tend to be categorised as jobs such as the painting and gardening. We have a team of painters and also a gardening team who move serially from one house to another, ensuring all properties are regularly visited throughout the year. Painting is all year round whereas gardening is done from March-October each year.
Through quarterly property inspections we also are able to keep appraised of all our maintenance issues, without relying solely on tenants to report and raise issues. This provides another regular and robust failsafe to ensure all properties provide a consistent high quality standard of living. This avoids the reliance on tenants who are less able to identify or report repair issues and is part of our Equal Access and Diversity strategy. Tenants where English is not their first language are also able to report repairs easily through various avenues. We have employees within the team who speak Punjabi, Nigerian, Bangladeshi, Urdu, Arabic and we also use the 360 Translate service used by the NHS when needed. This means we always have access to translators as required.
Regardless of the category of repair, if a tenant is without heating our maintenance teams carry portable heaters which are left as a temporary measure until the repair is fixed. Equally if the property has had a burst pipe or water damage we have de-humidifiers which are left running at the property to soak up the moisture in the air to ensure the tenant is kept safe from any health risks.
If the property has become un-ihabitable, which to date we are proud to say has never happened, we would quickly arrange alternative temporary accommodation until the property is made safe and habitable.