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Your estate

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

5. Estate inspections

To ensure that council-managed properties and estates are kept clean and in good condition, inspections are carried out monthly to assess caretaking standards. These are carried out by nominated officers within the service and take into account all areas within a block or within a specified inspection area. The scoring system is based on a traffic light system, green is the standard we aim for, amber means satisfactory and red means poor.

The Rate My Estate guide describes caretaking standards using a combination of text and visuals. These descriptions form a clear framework, against which caretaking standards can be fairly assessed and any area of improvement can be managed.

The traffic light system allows the Council to easily monitor where areas of improvement are required and put plans in place to improve any areas falling below standard.  The below table outlines what the grading means in general sense:

Green rating (good)

This is the standard we aim for. It should look like this after the area has been cleaned.
An area with a score of green will not be completely free of dirt, litter and detritus. However, the extent to which it is present is unlikely to be noticed by most people walking through or past the area or be regarded as having a significant adverse effect on the quality of the local environment.
We aim that no area should fall below this standard in between cleaning cycles. An area graded green will:

  • look clean and in good condition
  • have few signs of litter, debris or visable removable marks and stains
  • look like cleaning is taking place regularly

Amber rating (satisfactory)

An amber area will have only a small amount of dirt, marks, stains, litter or debris present to such an extent that it may be noticeable to most people passing through the area.
An area amber area will:

  • have some visable marks and signs of litter and debris
  • look like cleaning is taking place but maybe could do with an extra clean
  • look like it needs some extra attention to bring it up to green standard

Red rating (poor)

A red area typically has marks, stains, litter, detritus and dirt present to such an extent that it is highly visible and has a serious negative impact on the surrounding environment.
The build-up may present a health and safety issue. This grade also applies to some tasks where a fundamental component of the task has visibly not been completed, e.g. where a security door has been left open or unsecured. An area graded red will:

  • display no sign that cleaning is/has taken place
  • have excessive rubbish/fouling/marks and stands; and/or
  • present health and safety hazards, such as broken glass, faeces, needs or other sharp objects

Housing officers estate inspection

In addition to the monthly caretaking inspections, each estate will receive an estate inspection carried out by the Housing Officer. An estate inspection is an inspection of the exterior and communal parts, facilities and grounds of an estate comprising blocks of flats or a mixture of flats and houses built on land owned and managed by Gravesham Borough Council.

The purpose of these inspections is to review the management of the whole estate in line with the elements set out within this policy. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Health and Safety Issues
  • Tenancy Issues – neglected homes and gardens
  • Condition of hard landscaping (ie. fencing, walls and pavements)
  • Condition of soft landscaping (ie. trees, grass, shrubs)
  • Litter and flytipping
  • Dog fouling
  • Vandalism
  • Graffiti
  • Hot spots for anti-social behaviour (ASB)
  • Pest control
  • Illegally parked vehicles
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Highway Maintenance and street lighting

Estate inspection frequency will be determined by Gravesham Borough Council and will either be monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly depending on the size of your estate. The frequency of estate inspections is as follows:

Less than 20 properties

If the estate has less than 20 properties, then the estate inspection will take place quarterly.

Between 20 and 50 properties

If the estate has less than 50 properties but more than 20, then the estate inspection will take place every other month.

Over 50 properties

For larger estates with more than 50 properties, then estate inspections will take place monthly.

If multiple problems with tenancy, repair, grounds maintenance or other neighbourhood issues are identified during the inspections, we reserve the right to increase the inspections in order to effectively manage and monitor the issues. This may mean that inspections take place weekly or even daily if required. Frequency of inspections may change in line with problems identified or other reasons as determined by the council.

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