Service standards and policies


Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust is committed to providing the best possible service, treating you fairly, equally, with respect, courtesy and consideration.

We are committed to improving service standards and will regularly review these standards in consultation with you. In particular, we will:

Provide equal access to our housing and services

Diversity and equality is core to our values. We ensure that everyone applying to us for housing and accessing our services is dealt with fairly and without discrimination. This prevents disadvantage and inequality. It ensures the needs of different groups and individuals are met. We will ensure that no resident or applicant receives less or more favourable treatment on the basis of:

  • age
  • gender
  • gender reassignment
  • disability and/mental condition
  • race, ethnic or national origin
  • sexual orientation
  • religious belief
  • marital or civil partnership status
  • political views and/or affiliation
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • poverty.

Our policy means we:

  • Provide clear and easy to understand information in a range of languages and formats including Braille, large print and audio.
  • Design and build new homes to Lifetime Homes standards to meet people’s changing needs over time.
  • Encourage the involvement of all residents in our work, particularly those from under-represented groups. We require residents’ groups to commit to our diversity policy.
  • Take fast and effective action to deal with any form of harassment. Whether it is against or by a resident, employee, committee member or one of our agents.
  • Openly and fairly recruit the people who work for us so there is equality of opportunity for all job applicants.
  • Work to ensure that the people we employ represent a cross-section of the communities we work in. Achieve a broad representation on our Board and Committees.
  • Openly and fairly choose the contractors, consultants and other agents who work for us.
  • Actively work to ensure that contractors, consultants and other agents represent a cross-section of the communities we work in.
  • Expect all contractors, consultants and agents to show they have effective diversity policies. If they don't, they must agree to sign up to our policy before they can work for us.
  • Work with organisations and voluntary groups who have special skills and experience in diversity and the needs of under-represented groups.

Provide efficient and effective housing services

We deliver efficient and effective services by:

  • Offering support where appropriate and working in partnership with other agencies when required.
  • Responding to breaches of lease or tenancy agreements, neighbour disputes and instances of harassment and anti-social behaviour within specific deadlines.
  • Undertaking any emergency repairs or any additional security measures within specified times.
  • Providing additional services within ten working days of a request. For example, installing satellite dishes or enabling residents to see their personal records.

We ensure our homes are maintained to a high standard by:

  • Installing modern facilities.
  • Providing security and comfort for our residents.
  • Ensuring all staff and contractors employed on our behalf are competent and provide a consistently high standard of workmanship.
  • Asking our staff and contractors to provide proof of identity before entering your home.

Read more about repairs and maintenance.

Provide a sheltered housing service that meets the needs of residents

We aim to provide the most fit for purpose sheltered housing possible by:

  • Promoting the independence and security of all residents.
  • Offering a home visiting service to residents. Providing support and working with specialist agencies to enable residents to remain independent.
  • Operating a 24-hour community alarm service.
  • Encouraging and facilitating social activities.
  • Carrying out communal decorations in consultation with residents.

Respond to your enquiry or complaint in published timescales

We respond to resident enquiries within one working day of telephone calls. We respond within five working days of receiving face-to-face enquiries or written correspondence. We respond within two working days if it is more urgent. We will acknowledge receipt of enquiries and advise of action being taken when an answer cannot be given immediately. We ensure visitors to The Garth do not wait longer than five minutes to make an initial enquiry or payment.

We have procedures in place to ensure your complaint is dealt with fairly and promptly. Read more about complaints.

Minimise rent and service charge arrears

As an anti-poverty landlord, we help to ensure residents do not get into debt. We take steps to minimise rent and service charge arrears. We do this by making sure residents are aware of their rent and service charge obligations. We offer appointments with our money and benefits advisers. We also offer an income collection service that gives affordable options to reduce debt if needed.

Encourage your involvement and listen to you

We offer a comprehensive range of resident involvement activities. These include resident groups, surveys, focus groups, residents’ panels and residents’ events. They enable residents to participate and have a say on how their homes and communities are run. We will give feedback and communicate the results from any consultation, focus groups or surveys.

Re-let our rented properties or help you sell your property as quickly as possible

We ensure that we re-let our rented properties as quickly as possible by:

  • Making sure all our properties meet the vacant property standard before they are re-let.
  • Undertaking viewings with prospective residents.
  • Advising new residents about any outstanding repairs.
  • Providing new residents with a gas safety certificate and welcome pack.
  • Contacting new residents within six weeks of the start of tenancy.

If you are selling your property, we help ensure the sale completes as quickly as possible by:

  • Providing full sales advice.
  • Arranging for a valuation of your property if you are not satisfied with the sale price.
  • Providing new residents with a handbook.
  • Contacting new residents within six weeks of the sale.