Estate and garden maintenance
We believe that clean, tidy and safe communal areas are as important as the homes we provide. Our caretaking and gardening teams work hard to improve and maintain your housing estates and communal areas.
What do caretakers do?
We have a team of Estate Caretakers who keep the communal areas and grounds of the estates clean and tidy. Their responsibilities include:
- cleaning communal areas in and around flats and maisonettes
- checking and dealing with any issues that affect the environment of estates, such as rubbish and recycling
- carrying out site inspections
- removing rubbish and health hazards such as syringes, as quickly as possible
- arranging the removal of graffiti: if graffiti is racist, it will be removed within 24 hours of being reported
- reporting unauthorised, badly parked, abandoned or untaxed vehicles
- reporting communal repairs and following up until completion
- working with the Tenancy Services team and residents to reduce and tackle anti-social behaviour
- developing the service to make sure we're meeting the needs of all our tenants - we welcome views and suggestions on how we can improve
- testing communal lighting (block communal lighting and where applicable emergency lighting) and fire alarms
Support your estate caretaker
Blocks of flats often have corridors, landings, balconies, entrances and stairs that are shared by more than one home. We are responsible for keeping these areas well maintained. However, we ask you to help your caretaker keep the areas safe and clean. Please:
- do not drop litter
- clear away your rubbish properly and make the best use of recycling facilities
- clear up any spillages
- do not leave items in the communal areas
- make sure communal doors are kept closed
- report any issues to your caretaker or use the Love Clean Streets app
- identify any improvements with your area and talk to your caretaker about it
The communal areas are also escape routes in case of an emergency, so they must always be kept clear. Please do not leave prams, mobility scooters, rubbish bags, bikes or other items in these areas.
Please put your rubbish out at the right times and if you need any large items removed, do not leave them in shared areas or bin stores. The Council can arrange a collection for a fee, otherwise you can take these items to your nearest rubbish and recycling facility.
If your neighbourhood has a play area for younger children, please keep these areas as safe as possible. Make sure your children are supervised if they are playing in them. Please report any damage or faults to us through the Love Clean Streets app.
Enjoy your open green spaces but please ensure that any items taken out, for example play equipment and sun chairs, are cleared and stored away when finished with and not left unattended.
Other services that are not the responsibility of the caretakers, but that you may find useful are listed below:
What do we do to keep areas clean and safe?
Where appropriate we will act against environmental crime using Community Protection Warnings and Community Protection Notices (CPWs/CPNs).
A CPN is issued to stop persistent, unreasonable behaviour that is detrimental to the community or is having a negative impact on the local community's quality of life. It can be served on individuals or on an organisation/business. A CPN is administered by the Council and will usually contain details of works to be completed or actions to be taken. Where works are to be completed, the Council can carry these works out in default and recharge the costs. A CPN includes the power in some circumstances for forfeiture or seizure of items used in the commission of an offence.
Examples of where we have issued a CPN:
- persistent fly tipping
- persistent stairwell breaches (leaving items on stairwells)
- littering of cigarette ends
- persistent dog fouling and not clearing up
Any breach of a CPN may be dealt with by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.
What grounds maintenance work do we undertake in the estates?
We carry out the following work to maintain the grounds on our estates.
From March to October the gardeners will visit every three weeks to:
- mow grass areas
- prevent weed growth in paved areas
- remove leaves and detritus from paved areas
- prune hedges, shrubs and trees to prevent safety/structural issues (subject to bird nesting)
From November to February they will visit once to:
- edge up grass areas
- remove leaves and detritus from paved areas
- prune shrubs
If you see a problem in a communal area please email our Estates Services Team or raise a report using the Love Clean Streets app. You can find out more information on our Report a street problem page.
Monitoring our work and communal spaces
We regularly check that the performance of our gardening and cleaning contractors is as expected. We also complete quality assurance checks on services carried out on estates, including making sure that all the shared areas are well maintained and free from litter and bulky items.
Can I get help with my garden?
We offer a garden maintenance service to our tenants and keep estates clean and tidy throughout the year.
You can join our garden maintenance scheme (subject to conditions) for a small weekly charge by completing our garden maintenance scheme application form. The weekly charges are as follows and will be added to your rent account:
- Small garden (average maintenance up to 30 minutes) - £5.35 inc VAT per week
- Large garden (average maintenance over 30 minutes) - £8.56 inc VAT per week
Our gardeners (GYB Services) will visit your home every three weeks between March and November subject to weather conditions and:
- Mow your grass
- Prune your hedges and shrubs (in keeping with good practice)
Can I help improve my estate?
Ways in which you can help improve your estate:
- let us know what you think of work carried out on your estate using our community representative inspection form
- plant and maintain an area up to one metre in depth from the outside of your home
- apply for a Small Community Grant (through the Love Clean Streets App under the Improve where you live category) to make your area cleaner, greener or safer - all you need to do is tell us your idea, confirm that your community supports this, give an idea of what you think is needed and what the cost might be for improvements such as:
- installing a light to make somewhere safer
- creating a wildflower garden
- using communal spaces for local gardening
- simply tidying up a space
- join or form a tenants and residents group to think about how your area could be improved or to organise social activities
- become a area voice to help us improve communal areas and identify improvements in your area