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Looking after the area where you live

14 December 2021

Last month, (November) over 60 colleagues, as well as four Board members and two residents, volunteered their time to take part in our Big Building Check, which involved inspecting building and reporting areas for improvement.  We visited the blocks of flats we own and manage across London and out of London, as well as our street properties which includes houses and flats within houses.

The purpose of the Big Building Check was to inspect the inside and outside of buildings with a focus on the communal areas. We arranged for communal repairs that were needed and checked the standard of cleaning and ground maintenance.

What did we find when we inspected large blocks of flats?

We visited 256 blocks of flats of which 146 of them were in London.  Here is a summary of what the volunteers found:

  • Overall experience: they would be happy to live in 83% of the buildings they inspected.
  • Maintenance of communal grounds: they were satisfied with the upkeep of the plants and lawns around 87% of the buildings they inspected.
  • Internal communal areas:
    • They were satisfied with the internal cleaning of the walls and floors in 81% of the buildings they checked.
    • 34% of blocks had resident possessions left in communal areas.  It’s important you keep communal areas clear of possessions as it could prevent you leaving the building safely in a fire. We have a zero-tolerance policy to items left in communal areas which means we will remove and throw away any items we find. 
  • External decoration: There were good levels of external decorating in 92% of the buildings they inspected.

What did we find when we inspected street properties (smaller blocks of flats and flats within houses)?

We visited 216 smaller blocks and street properties of which 171 were in London. Here is a summary of what the volunteers found:

  • Overall experience: they would be happy to live in 86% of the buildings they inspected. 
  • Maintenance of communal grounds: they were satisfied with the upkeep of the plants and lawns around 86% of the buildings they inspected. 
  • Internal communal areas:
    • They were satisfied with the cleaning of the walls and the floors in 84% of the buildings they checked.  As most of our street properties complete their own cleaning, we will discuss the small number of buildings where cleaning was not up to standard with the residents who live there.
    • 11% of blocks had resident possessions left in communal areas.  It’s important you keep communal areas clear of possessions as it could prevent you leaving the building safely in a fire. We have a zero-tolerance policy to items left in communal areas which means we will remove and throw away any items we find. 
  • External decoration: There were good levels of external decorating in 84% of the buildings inspected. 

What next?

Our colleagues who took part in the inspections, many of whom do not visit the properties we manage on a day-to-day basis as part of their job, enjoyed the experience. Overall, the checks show us that most of the buildings are in satisfactory condition.

We are already following up and taking appropriate action to make improvements to the buildings which the volunteers rated below standards and where issues were identified. We are also speaking with our contractors regarding the buildings that were rated unsatisfactory for the maintenance of the communal grounds and internal cleaning.

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