Is it time to ramp up tenant engagement with contractors? If you think so, then it starts with simply

Tenant and contractor engagement – how important is it? (Agenda Edition 10)

Subjects for Tenant Groups to discuss with their landlord

Some tenant groups have asked us for topical agenda items/subject briefings for their tenant group to discuss with their landlord.  TPAS Cymru have created a briefing series that we call ‘The Agenda’ which provides tenant groups with an overview of a subject and suggestions of questions you might want to ask in your engagement with your landlord.  This briefing will focus on the following:

Contractors will be delivering repairs and maintenance services in tenants’ homes daily and we feel it is important that those contractors are communicating in a meaningful and appropriate way that encourages a positive culture of tenant engagement.  

4 Ways Contractors Can Encourage a Positive Culture of Tenant Engagement

  1. Communicate Timings – We have all been sat at home waiting for someone to come and fix the boiler and sometimes that can be for the whole day. A simple text message or call from a contractor to give an expected time of arrival will, in some cases, completely change the way we feel about that person. That level of respect and accountability will encourage a better relationship
  2. Be Positive – whilst it is important that contractors are trained in their trade and have those specific skills to fix a shower for example, it is equally as important that contractors are maintaining a pleasant attitude towards tenants to ensure tenants feel comfortable in their own homes.
  3. Keep it simple but informative – nobody, regardless of their age or level of education want, or need mounds of information on the work being done. Easy to digest solutions help a people to understand the work being done and leads to less confusion or misunderstanding.
  4. Stay informed – it is important that contractors are aware of any events that the landlord may be holding or any current surveys that may be live. This goes back to the fact that contractors probably spend more time with a tenant that anyone else so they can share up-to-date information when going to a tenants property. A short briefing provided by the tenant engagement team could be provided to a contractor at the beginning of each week/month.

So, do these 4 key points happen within your housing association or local authority? If yes, great! Shout about it and share this practise at our tenants’ networks which we hold every other month. Keep an eye on our social media platforms to register. If not, not to worry. We have collated some questions that you can ask your landlords to encourage a positive culture of tenant engagement.

Questions for tenants to ask:

  1. Do our contractors know about tenant engagement?
  2. Do our contractors have any training around tenant engagement?
  3. Are tenants involved in the recruitment of contractors?
  4. What role can contractors have in tenant engagement
  5. Do contractors feed back anything they hear from talking to tenants?
  6. What are other landlords doing with contractors in terms of encouraging tenant engagement?
  7. Can we map what we currently do with what others are doing and see if we can implement that best practice?

We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition of the Agenda. Contractors are the people who arguably have the most contact with tenants and is therefore an important part of tenant engagement. We hope our 10th Agenda issue encourages you to ask your landlords the questions that need to be asked to ensure tenants are being engaged with in a positive way by contactors. We would love to hear about any conversations you’ve had with your landlord regarding this topic, so please email [email protected] with any feedback or further questions.