Service Charter

This is our Service Charter. It explains what you can expect as a Network Homes tenant or leaseholder.

We’ve put this charter together by working with our residents and it’s been approved by our Customer Service Committee.

Our aim is to provide a reliable service to you every time.

Your tenancy agreement or lease, along with your handbook, explain what our responsibilities are as your landlord, and what your obligations are as a resident.

To make sure we have the right resources to provide you with a reliable service, we will not agree to do things which fall outside of our responsibilities. That’s not because we’re being difficult or don’t care. It’s that our role is to provide you with a home and a great housing management service.

But this means that if ever we fail to provide you with a quality service and fall below the standards we set out; we’ll prioritise putting things right as soon as possible.

We’ll always be friendly, professional and courteous. We’ll listen to you when you get in touch and respond with empathy. And of course, we’ll never discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or any other aspect of who you are.

Always assume good faith when communicating with our staff, and remember they are people with feelings just like you. We won't deal with people who are persistently abusive.

We’ll give you a say on how decisions may affect you. We want to hear the views and experiences of residents to shape the way we deliver our services, so we provide a range of ways for you to get involved.

One way is through our Local Panels for Hertford and London, which monitor our performance and help us improve our service. They are an important and influential part of our decision-making.

We also offer other opportunities to get involved in your community, like helping the Panels with mystery shopping. And we frequently survey residents so we can monitor satisfaction with our service and drive improvement.

Find out more about our involvement opportunities here

Ensuring your home is safe is our top priority. To make our safety compliance as transparent as possible, we publish fire risk assessments for all our blocks on our website and have a programme to implement any recommendations.

If you’re a tenant, we’ll carry out gas safety checks every year and electrical safety checks every five years. And we’ll carry out regular checks on communal structures like water supplies and lifts.

To help us do this, we expect you to allow us into your home when we need to carry out checks.

If you’re a leaseholder, you’re responsible for most aspects of safety for your home. If your lease allows you to rent your home to a sub-tenant and you choose to do so, you need to carry out the same safety checks that we do for our tenants.

We also need you to take your responsibilities for fire safety seriously. As well as carefully following any specific advice for the block in which you live, you should:

  • Ensure you only smoke in a safe place (including making sure you always fully extinguish your cigarette and dispose of it safely).
  • Never use a barbecue or open flame on your balcony.
  • Ensure communal areas are free from obstructions.

In order to keep everyone safe you should also remind any of your neighbours who may not have received these messages or forgotten them of their importance. For more fire safety information, check out the fire safety section on our website.

We’ll ensure your block or estate is secure and maintained to a high standard. We carry out periodic neighbourhood inspections and publish the outcomes, including any actions we take as a result.

If you report anti-social behaviour to us, we’ll take you seriously and take action if it’s appropriate to do so. But this will only be in cases where the person causing the problem has broken the terms of their tenancy agreement.

There may be times when we’ll be unable to resolve neighbourly disputes. We understand there may be matters that cause frustrations, but certain behaviour may not be anti-social. Different people have different lifestyles, and what may seem frustrating or unreasonable to you may just be a neighbour living their life.

But remember we all live in close proximity to our neighbours so be mindful of how your actions may impact on others. This includes being considerate about noise that may affect your neighbours such as putting on a dishwasher or washing machine, especially before 7am or after 11pm.

Civil courts exist to remedy serious disagreements between people, and the police exist to fight crime. As your landlord we can only safeguard residents and enforce the terms of tenancy agreements and leases. We’ll work with you to respond to issues where there has been a breach of tenancy agreement or lease and will signpost you to other organisations who will be able to help you if this is not the case.

Our response and the action we take will vary depending on the behaviour you report. Here’s how you can recognise unwanted behaviour from anti-social behaviour:

  • Is it a crime? You must report it to the police
  • Is it anti-social behaviour? Please see table below
  • Is it inconsiderate behaviour? Please see section entitled “Not anti-social behaviour” on table below. 

Serious anti-social behaviour

Less serious anti-social behaviour

Not anti-social behaviour

Physical violence

 

Threats of physical violence

 

Harassment based on ethnicity, religion or belief, gender identity or reassignment, sexuality, nationality, age, or disability, whether verbal or physical

 

Sexual offences

 

 

Persistent verbal abuse

 

Loud music playing both during the day and late at night on a frequent basis

 

Groups of people meeting together intentionally intimidating other residents

 

Fly tipping

 

Persistent dog barking

 

Misuse of communal areas, including persistent animal fouling

 

Vandalism and graffiti

 

Drug use

Neighbours hosting the occasional noisy party

 

Children playing or crying either within the property or outside area

 

Groups of people meeting together socially

 

Neighbours infrequently using their washing machine late at night

 

Infrequent verbal slurs or impolite behaviour

Residents should report such incidents to the police.

We will contact the person reporting ASB within 24 hours and start our investigation

We will contact the person reporting ASB within 5 working day and start our investigation

We will not take action but may signpost you to the relevant external agency

 

We’re providing a service and would be unable to do this if residents didn’t pay their rent and/or service charge.

We aim to provide you with your account statements four times a year and you can request a statement at any time. We’ll give you at least 28 days’ notice if your rent, service change, or ground rent is going to increase.

If you fall into arrears, we’ll offer repayment terms that are affordable and fair, and signpost you to support agencies that can help you manage your money or offer advice on claiming welfare benefits. We’ll always try to engage with you and agree a repayment plan before taking legal action.

You’re responsible for ensuring your housing costs are paid, even if welfare benefits cover some or all of your rent.

If you’re our tenant, keeping your home in good repair is partly our responsibility and partly yours.

Structural and permanent parts of your home are our responsibility to fix, unless you’ve damaged them, either accidentally or through lack of care. These include the roof, walls, windows, external doors, ceilings, plasterwork, drains, and gas and electricity installation.

Other parts of the home are wholly your responsibility to maintain and repair. These include internal decorations, lighting and electricals like fuses, all fixtures and fittings that we didn’t provide, and all minor repairs to things like floor tiles, internal door handles, toilet seats, blocked sinks, and broken windows.

If you report a repair that is not our responsibility to fix, we’ll advise you to have it fixed yourself.

If you are a leaseholder, communal repairs and major works are our responsibility but will be re-charged to you through service charges. Everything else is your responsibility.

We are your landlord
We will treat each other with respect
We will involve you in decisions that affect your life
We will make sure your home is safe
We will look after your neighbourhood
We will provide an effective rents service
We will maintain your home where we have a responsibility to do so