Tenant Satisfaction Survey 2017 - How Did We Do?

07/08/2017

Each year, as a not for profit housing provider, Unipol conducts an independent Tenant Satisfaction Survey to see what our tenants think of our accommodation. This is a really important piece of work and tells us what we are (hopefully) doing well and what we need to do better.

In the survey we either measure satisfaction as a percentage or on a scale of 1 to 8 with 1 as worst and 8 as best.

Summary

Overall satisfaction ratings from our tenants (who rate their service as good or high) remain good and in 2017 it is great that they have increased to 83% (up from 80%)

The 2017 ratings on satisfaction with the management, effective communication, good quality, value for money, recommending Unipol to a friend, overall satisfaction, feeling that the house feels like home and being happy in the accommodation all increased. Value for money also increased to 6.46 from 6.23 in 2016.

Who Responded?

The response rate of the 2016 survey was 34% (easily high enough to be statistically valid). 43% of respondents were from Leeds Beckett University, 29% were from the University of Leeds, 7% from Leeds College of Music and 5% from Leeds College of Art.

84% were home students, the others being international and 84% were also undergraduates with the remainder postgraduates.

The Renting Process and Moving In

All ratings increased in this area and the clarity on the on-line services received a high rating.

83% of shared house tenants viewed their property before renting but only 30% viewed other types of property.

For moving in, respondents’ ratings have increased for the sixth consecutive year.  All comparable ratings scored 6 or more with 5 categories scoring more than 7.

Respondents’ ratings on satisfaction with the moving in experience all increased for the tenth consecutive year with an 86% satisfaction rate.

First Point of Contact, the Unipol Office and the Site Offices

51% of respondents had contact with their Housing Management Officer (HMO) during their first few weeks of residence (up from 41% in 2016) and 47% (up from 43% in 2016) had contact with their Residents’ Assistants in the same period.

Of particular note is the friendliness of staff with a satisfaction rating of 88%-90%.

 

 

Socials

The welcoming social events assumed great importance in 2017 with an increase in students saying that the event helped them meet other students and the appreciation of the social events increased.

The percentage of respondent attending the social event also increased from 56% in 2016 to 61% in 2017.

Satisfaction with Unipol Housing, Facilities, Amenities and Security

All the ratings increased since the 2016. Unipol’s own shared houses all saw satisfaction levels increase.

On fridge/freezer space in 2016 Unipol doubled fridge/freezer capacity at Grayson Heights and Carlton Hill and those ratings increased significantly.

The upgrades at Carlton Hill, Mill Street and in shared houses were all reflected in better across the board ratings.

All security ratings rose.  The lowest satisfaction rating was with the presence of late night security. A new security contract is now in operation which should improve that service.

Mill Street

Ratings for the gym at Mill Street which had fallen consistently from 2013 until 2016 increased considerably from 5.56 to 6.17. 69% of students use the gym with 30% using it at least weekly.

The new lounge at Mill Street was rated at 7.2 in its opening year.

88% of respondents thought the introduction of a free “grab bag” breakfast at Mill Street was a good idea and 40% were regular users with an 85% satisfaction rating

The new sofas saw ratings increase from 5.8 to 7.3 and satisfaction with the new smart TV’s in the lounge was also 7.3.

Maintenance and Repair Satisfaction

75% of tenants used the maintenance and repair service. This was the most disappointing area of the survey in 2016 with some rating declining from 2015. Across all areas the maintenance and repair ratings improved, some (speed of response) significantly.

 

 

 

Transport

12% of respondents in 2016 had a car with them in Leeds (up from 10% last year) and 11% had a bicycle. 47% of tenants now have dedicated secure bike storage and we continue to fit secure bike bins wherever possible.

Energy Awareness

26% of our tenants did not have energy included in their rent (down from 35% in 2016).  Of those 60% would prefer to have their energy included in their rent - and we’re rolling-out more utility-inclusive rents for 2018-2019.

When asked how much they paid for energy the largest group, 41% said they paid between £4-£7 and 18% said the paid between £7-£10. Both these groups are probably accurate and have a real grasp on their energy costs.

So What Have we Learnt?

As we get better and try to keep rents down, significant improvement is harder:

  • we need to continue upgrading our smaller houses to ensure they are modern and warm and this year we have leased a further 30 houses so we can concentrate on doing just that.
  • we still need to improve on undertaking repairs - although the best way of doing this is to reduce the number of repairs necessary by upgrading
  • we need to roll-out more locks on individual doors because that is what our tenants want - and we are doing this over summer 2016
  •  the washer/drier ratings were down and reasons for this will be investigated
  • we need to improve recycling facilities wherever we can - sometimes this depends on how the Local Authority collects the waste, but we can do more by providing in-house recycling bins so rubbish can be easily separated.

A few specific improvements we will make in this next year:

a) light drops and shades at Carlton Hill will be upgraded

b) lighting at New York Buildings will be reviewed

c) Royal Park Flats will be heavily refurbished over the summer together with the addition of a new lounge with free smart TV and printing

d) new curtains will be fitted in Mill Street on the ground floor

e) some kitchens will be improved (the first phase of three phases across the next three years) in Mill Street

f) we are trying out some new, smart (and quite expensive) operator desk chairs at Alexander Court - let’s see how you like them before we commit to buying more

g) in shared housing priority will be given to improving fridge/freezer capacity and continuing our campaign to get rid of woodchip wallpaper wherever we can.

Finally

A big thank you to all of our tenants who gave us their views - we really appreciate that. This has enabled is to focus our resources more precisely on what tenants want and to discover where things need to improve. Next year’s survey takes place in January 2018 - if you are a Unipol tenant, tell us your views and help shape your not for profit housing.