Blog posted 25 June 2016
Sanctuary Housing’s Grounds Maintenance Specification
In 2015 I was in a dialogue with Sara Warren, Sanctuary Housing’s National Head of Customer Services, who terminated our correspondence because she could no longer assist me without dropping her dodgy employer in doggy doo. One of the main problems concerned Sanctuary knowingly failing to comply with its own Grounds Maintenance Specification (GMS).
For those tenants who do not know, and let’s be honest Sanctuary will not tell you, the GMS specifies what grounds maintenance Sanctuary is required to do for the weekly Service Charge it demands. Each GMS is tailor made for where you live and should be requested from Sanctuary. If you do request a copy for your area also request to know what day the grounds maintenance member/s will visit and how long visits will last.
Unfortunately for me Sanctuary actually withheld the GMS from me for over a year despite the National Head of Customer Services being personally involved. When I did finally receive a copy of the GMS for the 2015 – 2016 period it specified 5 tasks should be carried out every week and which all involved some form of litter removal, and that the pruning and trimming of shrubs, including Hedges and Bushes, should be done once a month.
Yesterday the grounds maintenance team member visited our scheme and removed litter only which Sanctuary charged us in excess of £40.00. The photo, taken today, shows branches growing up through rotary drier lines despite Sanctuary being paid to maintain the driers and to prevent any interference which would render the driers unfit for purpose. Clearly the pruning and trimming of shrubs or bushes once a month is inadequate. Moreso when one considers Sanctuary has been advised of this problem before and which has been photographed before.
Perhaps even more amazing is that 1 of the 6 rotary driers we have in the communal area was repaired by a Sanctuary maintenance man 3 days earlier who neglected to notice other driers were being interfered with by foliage. Duh.
If any Sanctuary tenant does request a GMS for their location, be sure to request when the grounds maintenance will be done, how many grounds maintenance team members will visit and how long visits will last. Once you have the GMS and the requested information keep a written record of visits and times and keep a photographic record. If you think Sanctuary is failing to comply with the GMS or is engaging in fraud you should contact Sanctuary. If you would rather not then please let me have the information/evidence/photos to assist me build up a national profile.