Wealden District Council
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Scrutiny of our services

What is scrutiny?

Scrutiny aims to give tenants and Retirement Living leaseholders more power in holding their landlord to account for their decisions, performance and conduct. 

Our Communication when Ending a Tenancy 

In 2023 our Scrutiny Group worked on a project that focussed on the stage when a tenant decides to end their tenancy up until the pre-void inspection (an inspection of the property carried out by a housing officer after a tenant has decided to end their tenancy and before they move out of the property).  The group looked at ways in which Wealden communicated to its tenants, mainly through the Wealden website and via telephone conversation.  The project’s aim was to find out whether this stage of the process is easy, simple and understandable.  In short, does the tenant understand what they need to do when terminating a tenancy.   The group carried out mystery shopping calls to our contact centre, researched other similar sized local authorities and also carried out surveys to with our customers. 

The group completed a report and made 7 recommendations for improvements.  The majority of these recommendations have already been implemented on our website.  You can visit our Moving On page https://www.wealden.gov.uk/housing/council-housing/moving-on-housing/ for further information.  We would like to thank the members of the Scrutiny Panel for their time and input into this project.

The Role of the Retirement Court Manager

In 2019/20 the Housing Scrutiny Panel carried out a review on the role of the Retirement Living Court Managers.  This project included interviewing members of the Retirement Living Team, shadowing Court Managers, and conducting surveys and interviews with Retirement Living tenants about the service.

Overall, residents reported that they were happy with the service provided by the Retirement Living Team and that they felt reassured by the Manager’s presence and being able to contact them during working hours, even during lockdown.  Residents also said that their Court Managers had an ‘open-door’ policy and were pro-active in raising and following up repairs.

Tenants reported that before the COVID-19 restrictions the Court Managers supported a variety of social events and activities to take place. However, some residents said that they would like more support for activities and formation of Resident’s Groups in their Court.  The Scrutiny Panel agreed with this and have also recommend a pilot project to investigate if Court Managers could support other vulnerable people within the local community.

As a result of the Scrutiny review, once COVID restrictions are eased the Retirement Living Team will be investigating the need for support in the wider community and how it could be delivered. The Team will also be working with Tenant Involvement staff and Retirement Living residents to support more activities, and develop more Residents Groups within the Courts. We would like to thank the members of the Scrutiny Panel for their time and input into this project.

If you are interested in becoming involved in our next scrutiny project please get in touch with us at tenant.participation@wealden.gov.uk