Q. Who are South Essex Homes?
A. South Essex Homes are the Arms Length Management Organisation of Southend Borough Council. We have been set up to manage and maintain the Council’s Housing Stock, and to achieve the Decent Homes Standard.
Q. Where are South Essex Homes based?
A. We have one main office at Cheviot House, 70 Baxter Avenue, Southend, SS2 6HZ . The opening hours and telephone numbers for these offices are shown via our home page.
Q. What is the Decent Homes Standard?
A. All Councils must bring their homes to a certain standard. We have carried out a survey of the majority of the Council’s properties, and the results of this survey will tell us what works we need to do. For example, we might need to renew your windows, or replace your heating. For more information on the Decent Homes Standard, visit the housing section on the Department for Communities and Local Government website, which is www.communities.gov.uk
Q. I am a leaseholder. Will my property also be improved to the Decent Homes Standard?
A. As you are a leaseholder, you are responsible for the inside of your property. We would not automatically include you in the Decent Homes programme, but it might be possible to give you the opportunity to include your property in the programme. A charge would apply, but many leaseholders find that they can make savings, as we might be able to negotiate a reduced cost with our contractors because of the number of properties involved. We would keep you informed, and tell you well in advance if this is the case.
Q. Can I register for housing with South Essex Homes?
A. No, we only manage and maintain the stock. If you need to register for a Council property, you will still need to contact Southend Borough Council on telephone number 01702 215493. This is the number to call if you want to move to a larger or smaller property. If you want to transfer to a Southend Borough Council property from outside our area, you would first need to speak to the Community Housing Department.
Q. How can I pay my rent?
A. You can pay with cash,cheque, by direct debit, in person via a swipe card or at the Civic Centre in Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea. For more information on the range of different ways you can pay your rent please click here.
Q. How can I apply to buy my home?
A. If you are interested in purchasing your Council property, you can telephone our Right To Buy team on 0800 833 160.
Q. How can I arrange a routine repair to my property?
A. Please telephone our Customer Contact Centre on 0800 833 160 during office hours if the repair is not urgent. Calls to this line are usually free of charge, but your mobile service provider may charge you to call this number.
Q. How can I arrange an emergency repair to my property?
A. If you have an emergency in your home which needs urgent attention, please telephone our Customer Contact Centre on 0800 833 160. Your residents guide will tell you what counts as an emergency.
Q. What services can South Essex Homes offer to their older or vulnerable customers?
A. Southend Borough Council has a number of Sheltered Housing units for the elderly throughout the town. If you, or a relative, would like to apply to live in one of these units, you would first need to speak to the Community Housing Department on 01702 215493 or visit our profile page of different schemes.
In partnership with Southend Borough Council, South Essex Homes also offers a support service called Careline. This is a personal home unit with a direct connection to a 24 hour monitoring centre, and it offers a fast, easy and reliable way to call for help in an emergency. For more information on Southend Careline, please call us on 01702 236195 during office hours, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Careline service covers the entire Southend Borough, plus parts of Castle Point, Rayleigh, Benfleet and Rochford. Careline is also available to any vulnerable person living in these areas.
If you consider that you are in need of support please contact us on 0800 833 160 and ask to speak to the Tenancy Sustainment Officer.
Q. Who can I talk to if I am having problems with Anti-Social Behaviour?
A. Anti-Social Behaviour covers any kind of nuisance, unreasonable behaviour or harassment which causes alarm or distress. If you have problems that are being caused by a Southend Borough Council resident or leaseholder, sometimes you might be able to resolve the problem by talking to the other party. But if you would prefer not to do this, then you should first speak to your Neighbourhood Services Officer. They will talk to you and will help you to decide the way forward. If there is serious criminal activity, they might need to refer the matter to the Police. We also have a Tenancy Management Co-ordinator who works with the Police in the Southend Multi Agency Anti-social behaviour Response Team (SMAART) who might be able to help you, please contact us on 0800 833 163 for more information.
Q. How do I make a complaint about South Essex Homes?
A. Please talk to us if you are not happy with any of our services. First, you should contact the member of staff who provided the service, but if you do not wish to do this, or you are still not happy, then you should contact us in one of the following ways:
E-mail us at email@example.com
Fill in the Complaints Form Online.
Pick up a complaints form at our Customer Contact Centre or telephone our Service Improvement Team on 0800 833 160 during office hours.
Or write to our head office at South Essex Homes, PO BOX 5817, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 9EL.
Q. How will South Essex Homes respond to my complaint?
A. We will acknowledge your complaint by post. Then we will investigate the matter, and respond to you, or update you, within 10 working days of receiving your complaint. If you are still not happy, you can ask us to refer the matter to a more senior officer, and again, we will respond to you, or update you, within 10 working days of receiving your complaint. If you are still not satisfied, you will then have a right to appeal, but you must tell us within 15 working days of receiving our reply. We will then arrange for your appeal to be heard at a review panel meeting, which we might ask you to attend.
Q. What if I am still not satisfied with your response to my complaint?
A. If you have followed the first 3 stages of the complaints procedure, you may then contact:
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry CV4 0EH
||0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983
||024 7682 0001
The ombudsman may ask us to provide written evidence. We will take further action if they ask us to, and they will tell you about their decision.