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Improving services – repairs service update

Improving services – repairs service update


As part of our ongoing effort to improve and streamline services for all tenants across our three heartlands, we are pleased to announce that now Torus tenants, no matter where they live – Liverpool, St Helens or Warrington – will, as of 29 September 2021, all receive the same repairs service.

Since Torus (formerly Golden Gates Housing Trust and Helena Partnerships) joined forces with Liverpool Mutual Homes in 2019, we have been operating two different service standards for repairs for LMH and Torus tenants.

The new repairs policy was developed following consultation with tenants, who were invited to take part in an online survey in May 2020. The survey, received 36 responses, invited tenants to provide feedback on the options to report a repair, the operating hours, how repairs are prioritised and communication as well as providing feedback on how easy the policy was to understand and if Torus and tenant’s responsibilities were clear.  Five tenants were also involved in a virtual session to review the proposals. 

Following the consultation, the policy was approved by the Landlord Operations Committee (LOC), which comprises of seven tenant volunteers, working alongside the Board, who focus on customer service standards and performance.  The newly approved ‘Torus Responsive Repairs and Maintenance Policy’ sets out the repairs service to all Torus tenants, covering response times, operating hours, responsibilities of the tenant and repairs definitions of what is considered an Emergency, Arrangement (Priority or Routine) and Programmed (Major).

The rollout of the new policy had been delayed due to the impact of Covid-19.

 

What this means for you?

Under the new policy, all repairs are now prioritised as either Emergency, by Arrangement or Programmed Repair:

  • Emergency Repairs – these include repairs affecting the safety or basic security of the property or potentially affecting the health of the household or visitors.
  • By Arrangement (appointable) Repairs - these are repairs that can wait without causing major inconvenience to the customer e.g. a leaking gutter, they are either Priority or Routine repairs:​
    • Priority Appointment Repairs - these are not emergencies, but repairs, which need to be carried out quickly to prevent further damage to the property and improve customer’s quality of life. These are repairs that do not cause immediate risk to the H&S or security to the tenant or 3rd party and therefore not an emergency.
    • Routine Appointable Repairs - these repairs that can wait without causing major inconvenience to the customer e.g. a leaking gutter. These works can be carried out at a scheduled appointment to suit the customer’s availability (excluding Sundays and Bank Holidays). These repairs normally require the organisation of materials to complete the repair. 
  • Programmed Repairs - these are repairs that are non-urgent but that can also be complex in nature (such as structural repairs or those that can be combined to be delivered in a more efficient way).  These repairs may also require a higher degree of customer consultation or planning.

We have also aligned the response times for repairs, as shown below:

Type of Repair Timescale

Emergency (a fault that could seriously damage your health or the property)

Within 4 hours
By Arrangement
  • Priority Repairs
  • Routine Appointable Repairs


Within 48 hours
Up to 20 calendar days

 

Find out more about how repairs are defined on the repairs page.

Margaret Goddard, Group Head of Asset Delivery, commented:

"Torus is committed to keeping its properties in a good condition, ensuring they are safe, warm, energy efficient and secure.

“We understand that our tenants consider the delivery of an excellent repairs service to be very important to them.  As such Torus aims to provide a quality service, on time and with the highest standards of customer care.

“To achieve this, we must ensure that we are flexible, consider impact on individuals and monitoring that the repairs service represents value for money across all heartlands.

“Our tenants are changing, as their expectations and our repairs service must meet the challenge and develop to meet these changing needs.

“The purpose of the new policy is to ensure that Torus provides an efficient and consistent responsive repair

service for all heartlands for all our tenants.”

As a responsible landlord we also need to ensure that we anticipate and respond to that vulnerability to support the tenant to maintain their tenancy successfully.  The new policy also takes in to account vulnerable tenants and how that may impact response times.

Margaret, added;

“We have a diverse range of tenants, some of which have specific needs which may influence response times to specific repairs.  I want to reassure tenants that our staff take these range factors into account when booking repairs.”

Involved, Liverpool tenant and Tenant Inspector, John Farrell, said:

“By involving tenants in decisions, such as this, show that Torus are responsible landlords and area listening to tenants needs.”

In order to make continuous improvements and improve customer satisfaction, the new policy will be reviewed on a quarterly basis with the Scrutiny Group, to look at what is working, not working and what can be improved.

Tenants were at the heart of these decisions, if you are interested in getting involved with Torus and making a difference by having your say on improving services, please contact the Tenant Voice team on 0800 678 1894 or email tenantvoice@torus.co.uk.

If you need to report a repair you can contact the Torus Customer Hub on 0800 678 1894 (Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm), email info@torus.co.uk and emergency repairs only to our out of hours service on 0800 678 1894.

 

Save time, do it online!

Why waste your precious time on the phone, when you can report, book and check repairs online, 27/4 using your online account, as well as:

  • Check your rent account
  • Make payments quickly and easily
  • View and print your rent statements
  • Access your tenancy information & update your details

Register for your account here.

Improving and aligning services for you.


Posted in News on Sep 29, 2021