Skip to main content

Our service standards

Communication

Website

If you use the forms on our website to contact us, we will:

  • respond to you within one hour (during working hours - Mon-Fri, 9am-4.30pm) if you have:
    • ordered a repair
    • asked a question about a repair
    • applied for compensation after a repair
    • used the 'Send us a message' form
  • respond to you within 24 hours if you have:
    • reported ASB or abuse
    • given notice of ending your tenancy
    • made an agreement to pay off rent arrears
    • reported an empty home (unless the property is insecure, in which case we will respond within three hours)
    • reported graffiti
  • respond within five working days if you have:
    • applied for help with your garden
    • booked the 'Helping Hands' service
    • made a complaint
    • reported a problem with a nearby garden
    • reported a problem with a tree

Web chat

When you contact us via web chat, we wil:

  • reply to you within a minute of your first message
  • if we need to investigate a query, we will advise you that it may take a few minutes and will update you every three minutes while we are investigating

Social media & text

When you contact us via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or text, we will:

  • reply within 15 minutes of your first message (during working hours - Mon-Fri, 9am-4.30pm) to acknowledge that we've received it
  • if we cannot answer your query immediately, we will investigate and provide a further response within a mimimum of four hours of reading the message, unless:
    • the four-hour time period would push the response into the next day, in which case we will post a response before 4.30pm at the latest, or
    • your message was posted between 4 and 4.30pm, in which case we will post any further responses before 12noon the next working day

Telephone

When you phone us, we will:

  • answer your call within 20 seconds (target 80%)
  • introduce ourselves in a friendly and polite manner
  • deal with your query or transfer you to/email the relevant person for a response
  • ring you back within three hours if necessary

Written communications

When you write to us, we will:

  • answer your letter within 10 working days (target 80%)
  • use plain language and no jargon
  • write to you in a language you understand if your preferred language isn’t English and you are unable to ask someone to translate for you
  • include the writer’s full contact details
  • send an interim reply if a detailed answer cannot be provided within 10 days

Visiting our offices

When you visit us, we will ensure that:

  • you are treated fairly and sensitively
  • staff dress smartly and wear a name badge
  • you are seen within 10 minutes of the appointed time
  • if the officer you need to see is unavailable, you will be seen by the duty officer
  • if there is a delay in seeing you, we will make you aware of this and let you know how long you may have to wait
  • you are given a private interview if you want
  • a signer, or an interpreter, is arranged if you tell us you need one in advance

Home visits

When we visit you, we will ensure that:

  • we pre-arrange an appointment at your convenience
  • we notify you of the officer’s name, and the date and time we will be visiting you
  • we show photographic identification
  • we notify you in advance if we are unable to keep an appointment and re-arrange it
  • if you are not at home when we visit, we leave a card asking you to make further contact with us
  • we respect your home

Home visits are usually carried out Monday to Friday, 8.45am to 4.30pm.

Complaints
Rent and arrears collection

If you fall into arrears we will:

  • treat you fairly and sensitively
  • contact you within 10 days of missing a payment
  • set up and agree a repayment agreement that you can afford
  • monitor your rent account weekly
  • provide you with accurate benefit and debt advice
  • if appropriate, complete a change of circumstances form with you for the Manchester Benefits Service
  • offer you various ways to pay your rent that suit your circumstances
  • give you four weeks' notice of any rent increases
Tackling anti-social behaviour

We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour or hate incidents by tenants or their visitors on or around our estates. Where anti-social behaviour is reported we will:

  • investigate every case
  • interview the complainant within five working days
  • take preventative action to avoid complaints becoming more serious
  • see you within 24 hours if there are threats of (or actual) violence, or hate incidents
  • take action against identified perpetrators
  • support complainants and witnesses until the case is resolved
Rehousing

Registering for a home

When you contact us because you want to be rehoused, we will:

  • ask you to register online at www.manchestermove.co.uk
  • write to you to confirm what priority you have been awarded based on your circumstances
  • send you a letter every six months asking if you want to stay on the list
  • treat your application with respect and seek your permission before discussing it with anyone else
  • ask you to provide references on your history as a tenant from your current/previous landlord

Empty properties

When a property becomes empty, we will:

  • clear any items left behind, including floor coverings, and survey the property within three working days
  • offer the home to a new tenant on the same day whenever possible
  • make it secure if necessary to reduce the risk of crime
  • make sure it is in a fit state to move into
  • make sure abandoned properties are visited within 24 hours of being reported and usually the same day

Preparing a home for new tenants

Outside the home, we will:

  • roofs & gutters – repair visibly damaged tiles and slates, replace missing soffits and facias or repair holes. Replace or repair damaged or leaking gutter sections
  • waste pipes & overflows – replace missing or damaged sections and repair leaks
  • paths – repair trip hazards of more than 25mm (one inch). Repair gully problems or pools of water at front and back doors
  • gardens – cut back overgrown grass, hedges and other vegetation where necessary. Remove damaged outhouses and sheds. Remove all rubbish. Provide rotary clothes dryer or other drying facility
  • front & back doors – replace if missing, badly damaged or badly rotten. We will repair minor defects. Ensure the doors open and close properly and lock securely. We also change locks to front and back doors to give you piece of mind that no one else has access to the property and you will receive a full set of keys. We will fit a chain, spy hole and door numbers to the front door if missing. External security lights will be left working or removed if beyond economic repair

Inside the home, we will:

  • internal doors – fill small holes and dents. Make sure they open and close properly and catches, handles, stops etc work. Replace if missing or badly damaged
  • window frames – repair minor damage or replace if missing or badly damaged. Ensure that all window handles, hinges and locks are in working order
  • floors – renew damaged floorboards where necessary. Repair small gaps to floorboards or chipboards on landings or in the centre of rooms. Ensure solid floors are free from large holes and cracks. Remove all carpet grips. Excluding kitchens and bathrooms, badly stained floor tiles will be left as a base for your new floor coverings
  • staircases – ensure the handrail is secure and replaced if missing. Where fitted, spindles to balustrades not to be more than 100mm apart. Edges to stairs to be free from splits and excessive wear
  • walls and ceilings – replace missing or moving plaster. Remove all nails, screws and the like from walls but do not fill. Fill holes greater than screw holes, dents and cracks with decorating filler. Replace skirting boards if missing or badly damaged. Remove all polystyrene tiles and repair any damage to ceilings. Polystyrene coving and ceiling roses not fitted in conjunction with ceiling tiles, will not be removed if they are in a good state of repair except on staircases and escape routes
  • boxed in pipe work – repair any damage. Replace or remove if cheaper, but we don’t box in. You are of course free to ask permission to do this yourself
  • electrics – replace visibly broken fittings. Energy efficient light bulbs will be fitted in every room with a suitable light fitting. A full or partial test of the system will be carried out while the property is empty. A full test can only be carried out when the supply is on, so if there is no power on whilst empty, we will do the full test when you have arranged for the electricity to be connected once you have the keys to your new home. We will agree a time with you to carry out this test
  • gas installation – ensure the system is partially tested while the property is empty. The full test can only be done when the supply is on, so we will do this at a suitable time for you, once you have the keys to your new home and you have had the gas connected
  • decoration – we do not normally decorate but will remove badly hanging paper from walls and ceilings. We will emulsion over or strip wallpaper if there is racist or offensive graffiti. Where we believe it is needed we will offer you a choice of decorating materials or Johnstones vouchers
  • cleaning – remove and dispose of all belongings left behind including those from the loft and outbuildings, unless there is an agreement not to do so. We will clean the property to a good standard and leave air fresheners
  • tenants improvements - where the previous tenant has left a fixture or fitting or carried out any alterations or installed laminate flooring, we will leave it in the property if it is in good condition or if it is more cost effective to repair than to restore to its original condition. If it is unsafe however, we will remove and restore

In the kitchen, we will check whether a new kitchen is to be fitted under our major improvement programme.

If it is:

  • we will arrange for it to be installed after the tenancy starts so that you can choose unit colours etc. We will ensure that the basic facilities of a sink top, double storage unit and 1.2m of worktop are left in place from the old kitchen as a minimum for the first weeks of the tenancy until the new kitchen is fitted

If it is not:

The following standards will apply...

  • kitchen units and worktops will be fully operational
  • missing or broken doors and drawers will be colour matched and replaced
  • units will have shelves, level bottoms and aligned doors.
  • drawers will open and close
  • edgings on doors, drawers and worktops will be repaired
  • worktops will be replaced if badly damaged / stained
  • if damaged kitchen unit doors cannot be colour matched, removal / relocation of units will take place provided adequate facilities are left for the size of the kitchen and number of bedrooms
  • a minimum of one course of glazed tiles will be fitted as a splash back.
  • tiles and grouting will be free from defects and broken or cracked tiles will be replaced with the closest available match
  • wall tile grout will be patch filled as necessary and existing grout will be cleaned
  • sealant will be repaired to worktop tile splashbacks
  • there will be a space available for a cooker with a power supply available and we will connect your cooker for you if you pay in advance for this service
  • all taps, traps, wastes and pipework will be free from defects and a plug and chain will be fitted to the sink bowl
  • floor tiles will be clean and intact and broken tiles will be replaced with the best match available. Sheet vinyl will be replaced where necessary
  • extractor fans, where fitted, will be clean and in working order

In the bathroom:

  • baths, showers, wash hand basins and toilets that are badly stained and cannot be cleaned, chipped or cracked will be replaced. All plumbing is to be free of defects including taps, traps, wastes and pipe work
  • there will be a minimum of two courses of wall tiles to form a splash back around the bath and broken or cracked wall tiles will be replaced with the closest match available. Wall tile grout will be patch filled as necessary and existing grout will be cleaned. New sealant will be installed to the bath, shower and wash hand basin if badly discoloured
  • the toilet seat will be renewed. Plugs and chains will be fitted to both the bath and the wash hand basin
  • showers, where they are fitted will be in working order and have full height tiling to shower and adjacent wall. We will renew shower curtain rails if they are damaged or missing and we will replace the shower curtain if the one in the property is in a poor condition
  • extractor fans, where fitted, will be clean and in working order

New tenants

All new tenants will be:

  • signed up for the tenancy and provided with a tenancy agreement and a Tenant’s Handbook within seven days of the property being ready to let
  • visited by a neighbourhood housing officer within 28 days of them moving into their new home, to be offered advice and assistance with any problems relating to the property
  • provided with an estimate of housing and council tax benefit/working families tax credit and other benefits they may be entitled to at the sign up appointment
  • issued with a rent book and information on how to pay their rent
Repairs
Resident involvement

Keeping residents informed

We are committed to keeping tenants fully informed about what we do and how we do it. We will work with tenants and residents in the monitoring
of our performance across a range of services. We will do this
through surveys, the Northwards Network, Tenants’ View (our scrutiny
panel) and Northwards’ tenants and residents associations.


Tenant participation

We make the following commitment to involve tenants and residents:

  • you have the legal right to be consulted about any plans we have to improve your home or the area around it. We will follow an agreed consultation procedure
  • we will encourage, support and promote involvement by individuals and the community as a whole
  • we will use consultation to find out what concerns tenants
  • you have a right to start or join a local tenants and residents group
  • we will encourage, support and help fund tenants groups so they can play an effective part in consultation
  • we will offer training to tenants groups and respond to requests for training to make them more effective.
  • we will ensure tenant and residents groups have access to our managers
  • area panels will play an active role in reviewing and developing policies and procedures and making recommendations to our Board