Empty Homes
Between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015:

It has taken more time on average than we would have liked to re-let a home, with the number of days increasing since the last year. We need to make sure that each home meets our lettable standard before a new tenant moves in.

This is an area which we are giving a high priority to and working with our tenants to look at ways of reducing the time taken.

During the year, we created a team of staff to step back and look at the whole process and design a new way of managing our empty homes. The revised approach was implemented at the end of the year (March 2015), results of which will be seen in the next financial year.

The leaflet issued to new tenants that sets out how they need to leave their homes when tenancies end has gone well and is starting to show that there is less work to do before a new tenant moves in

We re-let 389 homes

A new process was re-launched at the tail end of the year where we did work in homes before the tenant moved out. This improved the speed of turn around and delivered several ‘zero day’ voids, meaning there was no time between when a tenant moved out and new tenants moved in

We introduced electronic post inspections (where we send information straight into our system using internet-enabled devices) that are quicker and more efficient

We will be:

Re-letting homes which have been unavailable for a long period of time and bringing them up to a high standard

Looking at redesignating (changing the criteria of people who can live there) our Chartridge House block so that more homes are available for people who need them

Carrying out bedsit conversions in some schemes so that homes are more suitable for people who need them

Looking at new ways of offering support for decorating to reduce the costs, provide you with more choice and have the products delivered directly to your home.

Improving how we market our empty homes so that we have fewer of them (which means more rental income to spend on improvements and services)

Making sure that potential tenants get the best possible information on our homes before they bid for them, to make sure they move into a home that is right for them

Continuing to use the ‘Returning your home to us’ booklet, that helps to make sure you know how we expect our homes to be returned to us when you move out

Re-letting homes in a quicker timescale so that rent loss is reduced.

Janet Roake

“Red Kite has been doing lots of work looking at how we can reduce the time a home is left empty once tenants have moved out. It is important that the home is brought back to a standard that new tenants can move into as soon as possible so that the amount of rental income lost due to a home staying empty is minimised.

As a volunteer I have been part of a team that has been involved in phoning tenants who have recently moved into their new home to make sure that their experience was a good one and to see how we can make it better for new tenants in the future. New welcome packs have now been introduced for new tenants which include a whole bundle of goodies that they will find useful in their new homes such as washing up bowl, toilet roll, duster, rubber gloves, dustpan and brush, washing up liquid, air freshener, tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

It’s really good as a tenant myself to be involved in trying to improve the services that Red Kite is providing – I thoroughly enjoy carrying out the surveys and chatting to other customers. When I call up other tenants I think I get an honest perspective on what things are really like and this information is really helpful to the organisation. I know Red Kite is looking for more volunteers to join the team and I would thoroughly recommend it!

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