Tenant wellbeing

In 2016/17 we carried out two ‘Tenant Wellbeing’ days, where tenancy advisers and staff from our Income, Supported Housing, Anti-Social Behaviour and Tenancy Support teams visited selected groups of people to set out our services and support. These events gave us the opportunity to meet tenants who may not know about our services and highlight any help that is available to them. We visited tenants affected by the benefit cap and over 65 year-olds who are under occupying their property. After these visits, we made referrals to a number agencies including:

  • 6 to Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
  • 1 to Department of Works & Pensions (DWP)
  • 7 to our debt support worker
  • 12 to our housing repairs team
  • 9 damp and condensation reports to our specialist team
  • 1 to our aids & adaptations team
  • 1 to our supported housing team

Increasing stock

Tenants can swap their homes by mutual exchange - Register at www.houseexchange.org.uk and at exchangelocata.org.uk

Upsize Downsize

A total of 322 requests were received from tenants wishing to mutually exchange homes in 2016/17. 210 households completed the process and moved into the home they chose

Flat block inspections

We visit our flat blocks regularly to ensure your living environment is safe and pleasant. These inspections are important to ensure the communal areas are kept clear of clutter and safe to use.

It’s important to keep communal areas clear in case there is an emergency so residents can get out and the emergency services can get in quickly and easily.

When we inspect flat blocks we also notice and report things such as repairs that are needed, health and safety issues, fly-tipping and graffiti.

Some blocks require more regular inspections:

  • 37 blocks are inspected monthly
  • 88 blocks are inspected bi-monthly
  • 337 blocks are inspected quarterly

We are working hard to prevent tenancy fraud. There are many types of fraud including:

Right to Buy – when a tenant asks to buy their council home but gives false information; or has unlawfully applied for the discount where the property has been subject to tenancy fraud such as sub-letting; or has entered into an agreement with a third party to buy the property for a cash incentive

Subletting – when a tenant lets out the council home to another person who is not eligible to live there and the tenant does not live there themselves

Abandonment – when a tenant abandons the property without giving notice and it takes time for the landlord to prove the case and gain possession of the property

False application – when an applicant provides fake or forged details

Succession – illegal succession is to a person who does not qualify and may have submitted false information

In 2016/17 we dealt with a total of 70 fraud referrals;

We are working hard to crack down on housing cheats.
We are making sure homes are given to those that are entitled to them.

  • 57 were investigated
  • 19 cases are still ongoing
  • 11 properties were returned to the council
  • Fraudulent activities cost the service £283k
  • Through fraud prevention we potentially saved £461k

Please report fraud!

Your details will be kept strictly private and confidential. Contact 0300 123 4033 or go to www.hertsdirect.org/reportfraud
Information that would be useful for our investigations:

  • Contact telephone numbers
  • Full name, full address, date of birth
  • Full description – i.e. hair colour and style, casual wear, height, slim build
  • Car registration, colour and make/model
  • Times the person/people leaves and returns to the property

22 new affordable homes were delivered by the council in 2016/17

The total amount of rent collected was £43.9m, which was 99% of the rent due.

You said
‘Our rent letters were confusing and hard to understand’

We did
‘We reviewed the wording on our letters and included a mini-statement in each letter that we send’