From Monday, 20 January a new repairs policy is being introduced for all believe housing customers.
The new policy has been designed to prioritise repairs work that makes the biggest difference to customers and ensure appointments are more convenient at every stage.
It replaces the three separate policies inherited from Dale & Valley Homes, Durham City Homes and East Durham Homes when believe housing was created. From its introduction the new policy will ensure that customers receive the same high standards of customer experience for their repairs whether they live in Wingate or West Auckland
The reprioritising of repairs tasks was carried out after extensive consultation with customers. The views of more than 2,000 customers were taken into account in the final policy. Repairs that customers considered to be of the greatest importance will be responded to within 24 hours as an emergency.
There are also two further categories of repair. Jobs that are important but not an emergency will be handled with an appointment at the next convenient opportunity for the customer with a target for completion within 20 working days. Bigger repair jobs which require extensive work, specialist materials or replacement components will now be dealt with as a planned repair within 40 working days.
While believe housing are responsible for the majority of property repairs, a very small number of additional minor repairs around the home will now be the responsibility of tenants, these include things like changing shower curtains, bath or sink plugs and chains or toilet seats. The change means customers no longer have to wait for a repair appointment to carry out tasks that the majority of customers could carry out themselves.
Where customers have individual circumstances or specific requirements in their home, the repairs service will be adjusted to their needs.
Director of Property Repairs at believe housing, Rachel Cox, said: “This new policy has been designed from the outset with the customer at the forefront. It reduces complexity and makes the whole repairs process easier to understand for customers. It provides extra clarity about the services we provide and what we’re committed to do. And it should reduce the length of time for repairs to be completed; we are continually striving to reduce the time it takes to complete repairs.
“Where we used to have three separate policies, now we have a single repairs service working together for all customers.”
There are no changes to how customers report a repair; believe housing has already made it easier to request repairs using the customer app, website or phone. All contact details remain the same.
A full version of the new repairs policy is available here