The Trust. Compensation Policy. Customer Experience Team. Draft: Final Version. Effective Date: May Affected Teams: All

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1 The Trust Compensation Policy Customer Experience Team Draft: Final Version Effective Date: May 2014 Affected Teams: All Compensation Policy May 2014 Page 1 of 8

2 CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION POLICY STATEMENT IMPLEMENTATION How the Trust will pay compensation When compensation is payable APPEAL... ERROR! BOOKMARK NOT DEFINED. 5. SITUATIONS WHERE THE TRUST WILL NOT PAY COMPENSATION PRIORITIES... ERROR! BOOKMARK NOT DEFINED. 7. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY IMPLICATIONS RESPONSIBILITY REPORTING AND REVIEW ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS POLICY INFORMATION... 8 Compensation Policy May 2014 Page 2 of 8

3 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Peaks & Plains Housing Trust (the Trust) recognises the need to set out a policy and procedure that will ensure that tenants are aware of their rights to claim compensation should the need arise and also the process that they should follow in order to do so. 2. POLICY STATEMENT 2.1 The Trust seeks to provide to the highest possible standards of service to its customers. However, it may be that occasionally these standards are not met and we acknowledge that should this be the case that it could inconvenience tenants, which in turn may result in financial loss. Therefore the Trust would seek to investigate such incidents thoroughly via the official Complaints Procedure and where applicable, offer appropriate compensation deemed. 2.2 The Trust will consider a discretionary payment of compensation under the following circumstances: Where a tenant has been unable to use part of the property they occupy Where there is a reduction or loss of amenities. Where there is a reduction or loss of services to common areas to the agreed standards. When the Trust fails to carry out a qualifying emergency repair within the specified timescale as detailed in the requirements of the Right to Repair When a tenant has carried out authorised improvements to their home and is leaving the property vacant, compensation may be payable. Where loss or damage occurs which affects the tenant and their family due to the actions of the Trust or contractors acting on behalf of the Trust. Contractors will be expected to have their own compensation polices but will be required to at least match the Trusts policy. All loss or damages claims will be subject to investigation by insurers. 2.3 Responsible Managers and the budget holder will be empowered to offer a goodwill gesture to customers that have received a poor service or suffered significant inconvenience. Goodwill gestures can be a gift, for example flowers or chocolates, or gift vouchers. 2.4 The Trust will consider a goodwill gesture under the following circumstances: Failure to notify a customer that an appointment cannot be met. Distress caused to customer due to poor service provision. Time and trouble spent by customer to receive a response to their enquiry or request for service. Delivery of a poor service where the complaint investigation identifies failures in customer care. 3. IMPLEMENTATION Compensation Policy May 2014 Page 3 of 8

4 3.1 How the Trust will pay compensation A claim for compensation must be made as soon as the event is noticed, and within 6 months. The longer a claim is left, the less chance there is of being able to carry out a thorough assessment of the claim which may impact on the decision A claim will be processed as part of the Complaint Policy if it relates to any loss caused by the actions or inactions of the Trust or its contractors Compensation payments will not be made as rent reductions. Tenants are required to continue to maintain their payment of rent to ensure they avoid being in breach of their tenancy. However, if a tenant is in rent arrears or has outstanding recharges on their account, the compensation payment will be made to reduce the arrears rather than given as a cash sum The Trust will determine in each individual case that a valid claim has been made and that compensation is appropriate. The Trust will require sufficient supporting evidence from the tenant to make such a decision Compensation payments or goodwill gestures may be made in conclusion to a complaint investigation and will be calculated in line with the Compensation Procedure. 3.2 When compensation is payable Loss of Facilities In circumstances where a tenant is unable to use some parts of the property they occupy due to reasons which The Trust is responsible, compensation may be payable. If the loss of use of part of the property causes significant inconvenience to the tenant, any agreed compensation will be calculated with reference to the number of rooms affected as a proportion of the rent Loss of Utilities Where the tenant loses the use of utilities due to a factor that The Trust is responsible for, compensation may be paid to tenant. Compensation is not payable in cases where there has been a loss or reduction in utilities beyond the control of The Trust. Where The Trust is responsible for the loss of heating and/or hot water and the loss has been more than 5 days, compensation will be paid as a percentage of the net rent, depending on the season. For utilities covered by a service charge the Trust will calculate the payment due by calculating the number of days the service was not available multiplied by the service charge levied over the period Loss of Services to Common Areas This section applies to services such as door entry systems, gardening, caretaking and lifts. Compensation Policy May 2014 Page 4 of 8

5 In circumstances where the Trust or one of its contractors has failed to deliver a service in accordance with the agreed specification, we will re-instate the service as quickly as possible and review the reasons for the failure via the Complaints Procedure. Compensation will only be paid where the customer has received a lesser service than the service agreed to be charged for Right to Repair The Trust will comply with the requirements of The Right to Repair scheme, which specifies that certain essential repairs, which could affect the health, safety or security of the tenant, which cost up to 250, are carried out within a specific time scale. The list of qualifying repairs and time scales are detailed in the Tenants Handbook. If the Trust has failed to complete a qualifying repair that has been reported and this subsequently causes damage to the tenants personal property, providing reasonable access has been given, the Trust will pay compensation up to a maximum of 50. Qualifying repairs include: Unsafe power or lighting sockets or electrical fittings Blocked flue to open fire or boiler Leaking roof Toilets that don t flush Blocked sink, bath or basin Leaking from a water or heating pipe, tank or cistern Loose or broken banisters or handrails Improvements Compensation may be payable for an authorised improvement carried out by the tenant to a satisfactory standard and where proof of installation costs can be provided. For full details of authorised improvements, please refer to the Tenant s Handbook or the Repairs Procedure. The Trust has an authorisation process in place detailing how improvements requested by customers are authorised. Compensation for qualifying improvements is paid at the end of the tenancy depending on the age and quality of those improvements at the time. If any money is owed to the Trust in respect of rent arrears or rechargeable repairs for example, it will be offset against any compensation due. The claim for compensation must be received in writing by the Trust within the period starting 28 days before the end of the tenancy i.e. the date of commencement of the termination notice and no later than 14 days after the tenancy has ended. A full list of qualifying improvements and how compensation can be calculated can be found in the Tenants Handbook Loss or damage affecting the tenant Compensation Policy May 2014 Page 5 of 8

6 The Trust will consider making a payment to tenants if loss or damage occurs due to an act or omission by the Trust or one of its agents. Tenants should provide details in writing of the loss or damage and the sum they wish to claim in compensation. The Trust may wish to have an independent valuation of the damaged item or to obtain quotations for the cost of cleaning, repairing or replacing the item. Tenants should keep any item that is damaged until the claim has been settled to their satisfaction. The details will be sent to the Trust s insurers who will look into the claim. The amount payable will take into account the full circumstances of the case and the age and condition of the tenants property. In the event a contractor has caused damage through insufficient care the Trust will pass on details to the Contractors Insurers and monitor to a satisfactory conclusion. The Trust s tenants are encouraged to take out comprehensive household contents insurance to ensure that they are covered for any loss or damage where the Trust is not liable. Where the Trust or its contractors have excessively used the tenant s heating, lighting, water or power supply to effect substantial repairs or improvements, the additional costs of the utilities will be considered for reimbursement. The tenant must provide actual bills covering the period of the claim and actual comparison bills to evidence above normal usage Home Loss Home loss payments may be made to tenants or owner-occupiers who have lived in their property for a minimum of twelve months and are required to move home permanently as a result of redevelopment or demolition of their home. The law covering home loss payments is contained in the Land Compensation Act 1973 and entitles a customer to a lump sum payment Disturbance Disturbance payments may be made to people who are required to move to and from another property temporarily or to people who have lived at a property less than twelve months and are required to move home permanently. This is for reasonable moving costs such as refitting carpets and curtains, disconnection and connection of utilities, redirection of mail and moving furniture. 4. APPEALS 4.1 Any appeal about the decision to pay compensation or the amount paid, must be made to the Trust within 28 days of the offer date. The appeal will require further evidence to support the claim where a decision has been made to make no payment. 4.2 If the original claim was handled as part of the Complaint Policy, then the appeal would be dealt with as part of the next stage of the Complaint Policy Compensation Policy May 2014 Page 6 of 8

7 5. SITUATIONS WHERE THE TRUST WILL NOT PAY COMPENSATION 5.1 The Trust will not pay compensation for any loss or damage that has not resulted from the Trusts actions of inactions. Tenants are expected to claim on their home contents insurance 5.2 The Trust will not pay compensation if: Evidence of the loss cannot be provided as part of the assessment or investigation or the timescale for reporting the loss has been exceeded. The loss has been caused by other tenants, neighbouring occupiers, or anyone from or within the community. The loss has been caused by events beyond the control of the Trust, such as bad weather, water bursts and leaks, fires, etc. General wear and tear of fixtures, fittings, furniture or personal belongings. Other agencies outside our control have caused the loss, such as utility companies., If the claim is for personal injury. 6. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY IMPLICATIONS 6.1 No person or groups of persons will be treated less favourably than another because of race, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age or other grounds set out in our Equality and Diversity Policy. 7. RESPONSIBILITY 7.1 The Director of Operations is responsible for the effective implementation of this policy. 7.2 The Director of Operations is also be responsible for ensuring that all staff involved in the implementation of this policy are aware of and trained in the Trust policy and procedures as the success of the Compensation Policy and accompanying procedures depend on the knowledge and confidence of the staff implementing them. 8. REPORTING AND REVIEW 8.1 A report detailing the following information will be provided to Challenge Group: Expenditure to date from the set budget Circumstances of compensation paid out 8.2 A quarterly report will be provided to the Senior Management Team highlighting complaints received by the Trust and any compensation paid. 8.3 The Trust will review this Policy every 3 years. 9. ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS Equality and Diversity Policy Customer Experience Policy The Trust s Tenants' Handbook Compensation Policy May 2014 Page 7 of 8

8 Complaints Policy Repairs and Maintenance Policy 10. POLICY INFORMATION Policy Name: Status: Approved by: Drafted By: Compensation Policy Final EMT Customer Experience Manager Date approved: May 2014 Next Review Date: May 2017 Compensation Policy May 2014 Page 8 of 8

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