Tenant survey reveals grim cat discovery

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A COUNCIL tenant complained to their landlord about a dead cat which they found underneath their bedroom floor.

The uncommon complaint has come to light as Kirklees Federation of Tenants and Residents’ Association (KFTRA) releases its New Tenants’ Survey for 2011.

The survey was sent out to all council tenants who moved into their new homes in July and August last year.

Of 422 surveys sent out, 29 per cent (around 122) were returned.

One contained the grim complaint under the heading ‘if your home was not cleaned properly, what was the problem?’

The tenant wrote: “Floorboard rotten and dead cat underneath boards in bedroom.”

The survey, which looks at how well council landlord Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) is doing in meeting its Quality Guarantee Standards, also showed tenants were unhappy with the state of their garden when they moved in.

One commented: “The grass in the rear garden was overgrown and not cut. They said it was my responsibility.”

The survey asks tenants how easy it was finding and getting their council home using the choice-based lettings system, where tenants bid for the homes they want.

It also looks at the condition of council houses and how easy KNH staff made the transition for tenants.

Of the tenants who responded, 85 per cent said their new home had been cleaned to the Quality Guarantee Standard, which KFTRA said was an improvement on last year’s result and the best since the first survey in 2003. The survey also shows fewer homes require repairs by a new tenant than they did last year, and when repairs are needed most are carried out quickly.

Just over half of the people who responded to the survey said they were happy with their garden when they moved in, with 44 per cent of tenants complaining work needed to be done. Of those complaining, 80 per cent asked for help in bringing the garden up to standard, but just 78 per cent actually received it.

KFTRA said this was a significant fall in performance from last year and one which needed improvement to help boost the appearances of local estates.

A KNH spokeswoman said the service was pleased with the results which showed ‘generally improved’ tenant satisfaction. She said KNH was aware there was still work to do.