Consultation Documents

Our tenants have a right to be consulted on key Policies and proposals that may have an impact on them.

Section 8.4 of the Scottish Secure Tenancy agreement (SST) that our tenants sign up to states that we will consult our tenants when we propose to make or change: 

  • Policies regarding housing management, repairs and maintenance if the proposal is likely to significantly affect tenants
  • Proposals for changes in rent and service charges
  • Proposals for the sale or transfer of our housing to another landlord
  • Performance standards or targets in relation to housing management repairs and maintenance
  • Our tenant participation strategy

We will take into account any views that tenants have before making a final decision. Any consultation with tenants will include giving tenants comprehensive information in an accessible format and reasonable time to express views.

Latest Consultation News June 2021

The Scottish Government are carrying out the second review of the Scottish Social Housing Charter and will be holding a series of virtual consultation events between 21st June and 15th July, hosted on their behalf by the Tenants Information Service and the Tenant Participation Advisory Service.

These events complement a formal consultation on the Charter which will be launched on 17th of June with a closing date of 9th September.

 The review will cover two broad areas:

1. The Charter document itself to ensure that it is up to date and remains focussed on outcomes that matter to tenants and other customers of social landlords

 2. What the Charter is achieving in delivering improved outcomes and standards for tenants and other customers and the effect it is having on the quality and value of the services social landlords provide.

The Scottish Government wants to hear about your experiences since the Charter was last reviewed in 2017 and invites you to get involved in reviewing the Charter.

 At the events we will discuss; the impact of the current Charter, the current outcomes and standards, and whether anything needs to be changed or added.

For more details on how to book a space please see below

 Charter Review 1

Charter Review 2

Rent Arrears Policy 2021

Fyne Homes recently consulted on its Rent Arrears Policy. The consultation was publicised on the website and social media as well as direct contact with 210 tenants. There was a 4% response rate and while that isn’t as high as some previous consultations, the feedback received was very positive and it is safe to assume that there are no strongly held negative opinions on this draft policy.

Feedback

  •  I have read policy, seems to cover each topic area and is written in such a way every reader will understand - Plain English, the way it ought to me. Not excessively long. I particularly thought the policy aims was written well, in that it states very clearly the purposes and proposed actions of Fyne Homes - Training, Information, intervention and Support along the way.
  •  Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback. I think the draft policy covers the issues quite thoroughly, especially the importance of intercepting problems at an early stage and avoiding eviction except as a last resort. I wasn’t quite sure of the meaning of the first sentence in section 4, outcome 13. But the point is important - not paying rent is unfair on everyone else
  •  I have read through the attached policy and it reads well, is comprehensive and all aspects are understood.
  •  All looks good. I suppose all policy docs at present should be read alongside any Coronvirus statement or implications that may bring at this time.
  •  I have read through the Rent Arrears Prevention, twice and all looks fine. The quick responses/action at the start of arrears is important
  •  Thank you for your email. I have read through your policy. I think everything that is put in place seems enough. I feel, in the most part, these issues are taboo, and tact, kindness and understanding are key in gaining a positive result for both the tenant and for Fyne Homes. With the current climate, I would imagine there are situations people find themselves in, through no fault of there own that lead to hardship. I myself lost half my wage last year as it had been topped up with overtime. I am sure there will be an understanding there. If I remember correctly, a letter was sent out to tenants at the beginning of the pandemic to ask if anyone who may need support could talk to someone from Fyne Homes for advice. I feel these measures are positive, as they preempt the hardship and make it okay to talk about and find a solution early.  I hope this helps!
  •  Have read through your report and I think it is well put and can’t find any reason to change anything
  •  I have looked at the rent arrears papers you sent out to us all. I am happy with the information
  •  Finally got round to reading Fyne Homes policy on rent arrears, everything seems fine, there are a few things that the policy does cover which I feel are most important to all concerned.
  • Universal Credit and DWP delays, an ongoing problem for all as you will be aware and there is no hurrying the DWP as we all know, so it is vital that Fine Homes continues to reassure any new tenants that although initially there will be arrears these will clear when DWP catch up. The stress caused by these delays/debts cannot be over stated

Draft Rent Arrears Policy

Following the consultaion the policies were reviewed/adopted at the Management Committee Meeting on 10th March 2021, thank you to all who took part in the consultation process

Revised Model Complaints Handling Procedure and Unacceptable Actions and Behaviours Policy 2021

Model Complaints Handling Procedure

Fyne Homes adopted the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman’s Model Complaints Handling Procedure in 2012 and Housing Association tenants were widely consulted in the development of the original document.

The purpose of the MCHP for Housing Associations is to provide a standardised approach to dealing with customer complaints across the housing sector in Scotland.  In particular, the aim is to implement a standardised and consistent process for customers to follow which makes it simpler to complain, ensures staff and customer confidence in complaints handling and encourages organisations to make best use of lessons from complaints.

During 2018-2019 the SPSO conducted a review of the MCHP to establish its effectiveness and usability. 

Following our consultation across all sectors, the MCHPs were revised to:

  • standardise the core text across all of Scotland’s public services (to remove minor inconsistencies in how the MCHP operates within different sectors), while retaining individualised sector-specific content and examples in each version
  • update the MCHPs in line with:
    • feedback from organisations under jurisdiction (via a consultation survey and individual feedback from contacts with SPSO)
    • issues identified in casework
    • recent research and good practice in relation to using alternative resolution approaches,promoting positive complaint behaviours and improving access to complaints for vulnerable groups.

The revised MCHP will be implemented from 1st April 2021 and we would like to give you the opportunity for your feedback.

We have “customer facing” Complaints Handling Policy which is supported by a detailed internal procedure for staff to follow when handling complaints.

 There is scope to adapt some aspects of the MCHP to reflect for example our organisational structure, operational processes, language and corporate style. 

However, we are unable to make amendments to the document to the extent that its purpose or substance is changed in a way which does not reflect the MCHP or its key aims.  In particular, we cannot change the following:

  • the definition of a complaint (although further guidance or examples may be included)
  • the number of stages
  • timescales at each stage
  • the requirements to record, report and publicise complaints information

There is flexibility in who can sign off complaints, in how and when performance on complaints is communicated to tenants and the provision of any additional guidance/examples.  However, we cannot introduce an additional internal appeal stage or to develop new timescales.  This is designed to ensure a standardised approach across the sector.

Complaints Handling Policy

Complaint Handling for Staff

Unacceptable Actions and Behaviours Policy

As we were undertaking a review of our Complaints Handling Procedure we have taken the opportunity to revise our Unacceptable Actions and Behaviours Policy.

As we have adopted the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman’ Model Complaints Handling Procedure, we have used their Unacceptable Actions Policy to inform our document.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure the safety of our staff and those who undertake services on our behalf and set out how we will manage actions and behaviour which we consider to be unacceptable.

Unacceptable Actions and Behaviours Policy

Following the consultaion the policies were reviewed/adopted at the Management Committee Meeting on 10th March 2021, thank you to all who took part in the consultation process

August 2020 - Tenant Consultation – Annual Performance Review 

The Annual Performance Review consultation took place with a mixture of email consultations and armchair / phone consultations.

With a response rate of 40%, this result is one of the best participated consultations in recent times.

The feedback is on the whole positive with just few recommendations for changes to the APR.

Comments are as follows:-

1. I think the old review is just fine, so I would say same as. It should be printed professionally, because this is the shop window for Fyne Homes. What you might do is in the up coming issue is to offer to send out a digital (PDF) copy in future, but you will have to keep a good record so people only get what they want. If I remember right you include a copy of rent statements, for tenants. Could this also be sent out digitally, or is there a security concern, if so could people ask for a copy sent to their address?

2. Ok as is. Good information

3. Need a bigger print version and to ensure tenants know this is available. Not all tenants have access to computers of phones to read online.

4. The report layout in general doesn't look very contemporary or like a professional graphic designer was used. It could be much sharper and better designed to make for easy reading and to make people want to read it.My other feedback is that Fyne Homes should be reporting against the Paris climate agreements in terms of progress made on the organisation's overall carbon footprint, the carbon footprint of the housing stock, insulation levels of the homes, shifting to heat pumps and Enerphit or PassivHaus criteria, use of environmentally friendly building materials, switching to an electric transport fleet, tree planting, re-wiliding of common areas, abandoning use of harmful chemicals in maintenance of common green areas etc. In 2020 it is a given that these targets should have been clearly identified and then progress against them highlighted as a vital centrepiece of the organisation's core business. Many organisations are already reporting in this way. Fyne Homes as a prominent social enterprise needs to ensure it doesn't get left behind in responding robustly to the climate crisis. In this way, Fyne Homes can ensure that it becomes known as one of Scotland's most environmentally responsible organisations. Of course, FyneFutures and Fyne Energy are both achieving amazing things but this needs to be reported on at Fyne Homes executive level as an overall key ambition, so that adequately responding to the climate crisis is front and centre and not just a tick box item.

5. Layout is good no change. More advertising of events - maybe local radio more (think there is confusion over the APR and the newsletter) Photos - new builds should have more of area pics not just houses. Graphics – good job. Quality - good. Annual Report size of Newsletter is a preference.

6. Report is ok – would like to see in a size same as Newsletter. More photos of area. Scenic  pictures to sell area and Fyne Homes

7. Needs to be more plain English, easier to understand would be better. Needs  more people photos, too business like, make it a cosier feel . Step by step comic strip type to get message across. More like newsletter size.

8. It's nice that the text is delivered in small ' bites' overall. I w ould have chosen a different font for the cover and maybe for the body and would have made a slight adjustment to the photo placement/text on the cover. Well done, though! 

These comments were taken on board by the committee and relevant changes made where possible.

This is an annual consultation s if you have any ideas for the next Annual Performance Review then feel free to contact Craig Baxter on 0345 6077117 or email cbaxter@fynehomes.co.uk

The input of tenants into Fyne Homes policies and decision making is of paramount importance and your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and efforts in assisting Fyne Homes aspire to be the landlord of choice in Argyll & Bute.

Updated New Tenancy Questionnaire Consultation May 2020

Following internal discussions it was decided to update the New Tenancy Questionnaire.This document was sent out to members of the consultation group of comment.

A 25% response rate was received which is fantatstic.

The feedback was positive as can be seen by the comments:-

‘I'm happy with Fyne Homes, I have no complaints or issues’

‘The questionnaire is clear and understandable’

‘Personally I am not keen on paper letters (such as the ones we get after some maintenance is done). I would be much more likely to complete something online. it might be good to allow tenants to choose how they would like to give feedback’

‘I think the whole document is very precise and in my opinion needs very little change, the layout is easy to follow and the questions asked are all pertinent to what the new tenant would have experienced prior to signing up and during the prevailing 6 week period since they moved in’

‘Have read through the questionnaire, and all makes sense and couldn’t think of anything else to ad’.

‘I have looked at the draft paper work you sent me , I am happy  with the forms in question’

Following the consultation it was decided that the updated version of the New Tenancy Questionnaire will be adopted by staff and also in the current climate and moving forward the questionnaire will also be available electronically on Fyne Homes website.

Common Factoring Policy Consultation May 2020 

In line with legislation the Common Factoring Policy was sent out for consultation. In total the Policy was sent to tenants and factored owners

Feedback was received from an 11% response rate, which for a consultation is above average.

Comments included:-

‘it seems to be all in order’

‘Looks good to me’

‘I’m happy with policy content’

‘Read and understood no feedback to add, all is well’ 

‘I have had a look over the document and all seems well laid out, concise and is formatted well’ 

‘This document reads clearly’

Satisfied with the way in which maintenance in general is dealt with’

 ‘We feel house owners should be consulted on proposed works and costs (estimates) to their building prior to any work proceeding’

In answer to the last point raised:-

"As stated in the policy we consult with owners when works are in the excess of the maximum amount set out in our Written Statement of Factoring Services/Deed of Conditions.  At present this is works over £500.00.  It would be impractical and have an adverse impact on our service delivery if we were  to consult with owners for all works.  It would also require much greater resources and have the knock on effect of increasing our management fee"

These comments have been passed on to Management and Committee for consideration and feedback will be given to the group once the policy is finalised.

If you would like to be consulted on any Fyne Homes Policy changes and wish to be part of the Consultation Register contact Craig Baxter on 0345 6077117 or cbaxter@fynehomes.co.uk

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