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REFURBISHMENT CONTRACTS: GUIDELINES URGE MORE TENANT INVOLVEMENT

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Landlords are encouraged to involve their tenants fully when major refurbishment of their homes or estates is plann...
Landlords are encouraged to involve their tenants fully when major refurbishment of their homes or estates is planned, in guidelines issued today by the Department of Environment.

Welcoming publication of the guidelines, Environment Minister Baroness Denton said: 'The guidelines booklet, 'Refurbishment Contracts: Guidelines for the more effective involvement of tenants in the repair and improvement of their homes', provides a reference of good practice for all landlords to follow.

'These guidelines, which are part of the Government's Citizen's Charter programme, show how both public and private sector landlords can safeguard the interests of their tenants when work is carried out to their homes.

'Local authorities alone currently spend more than £2 billion each year on housing repairs and renovation. More than 90% of these works are carried out while tenants remain in their homes, with over half a million families experiencing some level of disruption while work is in progress in any one year.'

The Council Tenant's Charter for England, published in 1992, sets out specific proposals designed to ensure that tenants receive a high quality of service from their landlords.

Individual landlords have taken a variety of initiatives in recent years to ensure that tenants' interests are taken into account when major refurbishment of their estates is planned.

Most landlords already have in place arrangements to consult tenants on the planning of refurbishment work and to compensate them for any disturbance.

The new guidelines, which mainly draw on the experience of local authorities and housing associations, are intended to provide practical advice, including a checklist of issues for consideration on a case by case basis, which will minimise disruption for tenants and their families when refurbishment programmes are carried out.

Copies of the booklet, 'Refurbishment Contracts: Guidelines for the more effective involvement of tenants in the repair and improvement of their homes', have been sent to local authorities and major housing associations.

Further copies are available from the Department of the Environment, P3/173, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3EB.

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