Almost 400 people have been handed £100 by Norwich City Council after making sure their council homes were clean and tidy when they moved out.

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The city council’s Leave It Tidy ‘incentive’ scheme cost the authority £38,000 this year, but council leaders said it was money well spent, with the amount of time it took to get empty council homes ready for the next occupants slashed.

Three hundred and eighty tenants cashed in on the scheme at the end of their tenancy after meeting certain conditions, including that they removed all belongings and rubbish from the property when they moved out.

And council leaders said that had helped slash the average number of days which council houses in the city stood empty between old and new tenants.

In 2010/11 council homes stood empty for an average of about a month-and-a-half - just over 45 days, while this year the average time a home stood empty had been reduced to three weeks - 21 days.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “By giving tenants an incentive to hand back their home in good condition, it takes fewer days for us to get the house ready for new tenants.

“Fast re-letting reduces the potential for costly vandalism and squatting, and helps us to efficiently meet the growing need for good quality affordable housing.”

And Victoria MacDonald, cabinet member for housing, said the success of the scheme meant it would continue next year.

She said: “We are getting homes back in a better condition, which means voids take less time for us to sort out. That’s good for the people on the waiting list as it means the homes can be rented more quickly.

“When you go into homes you can find things you don’t expect and it can be costly to sort it out. This scheme saves us money on having to clear out those homes and, in these austere times, it’s also good for the tenants.”

She added that latest figures for December showed that the average time for getting council homes occupied again had been reduced to 14 days - outstripping the council’s own target of 16 days.

The city council manages almost 16,000 council homes in Norwich and recently agreed to build the first new council homes in two decades at the Three Score site at Bowthorpe.

14 comments

  • When I bought my house it came with a kitchen. 18 years on it's got the same kitchen which must be about 30 years old by now. Why do tenants in rented Council property have to have new kitchens? It's a waste of money.

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    Andy T

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • There is a lot of waste - my elderly house-proud neighbour died recently and the City Council has pretty much gutted a perfectly good kitchen, Axminster carpets etc and replaced with inferior quality. Someone is probably making a packet out of reusing all this good stuff.

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    oldowl

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point. I am sure that the financial reward plays a part in reduction in void times but is mainly due to a change in overall management style. In other words your finally getting a grip and doing something that you should have been doing years a ago, Self praise is no praise. Let me assure you that if this was Mrs Mac Donalds £100 pounds she would not be so keen to give it away. Leaving the house you have rented in a habitable condition is part of the tenants contractual, legally binding agreement with the council, who , let us remind them, are supposed to represent the electorate. Rather than be awarded for compliance there should be a deduction from a deposit obtained at the beginning of the tenancy for non compliance. In the private sector a deposit is usually equivalent to one months rent. If they cannot afford it upfront take it out of the benefits or wages. on the drip over time. Perhaps a tenner a month,the equivalent to a few ciggies and some special brew. You know, some of the non essentials. Why is it that the middle class do gooders always want to do good with O.P.M ... Other Peoples Money. Recently The chief executive of Norfolk’s County Council David White recommended he leaves within months - after it became “crystal clear” he lacks the skills the authority needs. People of Norwich. Is it not crystal clear that many of these sycophantic wanadoos and jobsworths at Norwich City Council should follow his example. Is it not time we had some representatives in the council who were in touch with the feelings and will of the majority of decent honest hard working people,who could exercise a bit of common sense. and not your out of touch political careerists in the pocket of self seeking axe grinding political parties.

    Report this comment

    Solomon

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • cant help but think the council are doing things backwards . if its not clean and tidy charge them ! glad im broadland council and not all my hard earned council tax is wasted on hairbrained schemes ! (just some of it !) lol

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    adinorwich

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • Well said Mr Marris & adinorwich.. These people are just taking the biscuit.

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    marshall

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • So what about Council tenants like us, who work full time, don't claim any benefits, pay full rent and council tax, AND keep our homes and gardens clean and tidy all the time?? When do we get OUR £100!!! They should treat outgoing tenants like families in the armed forces married quarters. When they move out, they are inspected, and if so much as a dusty ledge or a carpet stain is found they are penalised. Clean up or pay up is a much better idea.

    Report this comment

    Carol Bolton

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • This "scheme" is an affront to all self respecting Norwich people,.and yet another drain on Council Tax paid,and the City Council complain of taking out "vital services"

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • Once again, point proven that Norwich city council prefer council tenants to private - are you taking note Julie? I have had this house for 20+ yrs with no help from the council, only nasty council tax reminders - need I say anymore?

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • Read carefully Councils in Norfolk and Norwich as I'm going to help you save some more money at no charge from myself. Firstly stop giving our hard erned money away. Secondly when the people move out of the accommodation and its untidy either charge them to have it cleaned if they are employed and if they are on benefits stop the benefits until the property is clean and tidy.

    Report this comment

    paul marris

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • It may seem a potty idea but when you see the mess council tenants leave their houses in I think the council is to be applauded for their pragmatic approach. I watch in amazement with the effort the council in GYBC have to go to clean up after their tenants leave. Only the week before last I watched as they took three van loads of rubbish out of a two bed flat. Followed by a clean up then by Norse who will bedoing remedial work for the next week or so putting in new kitchens etc for the next tenant. It happens everytime a tenant leaves and if GYBC were serious about saving money they too would be getting a grip of their tenants who see looking after council property as someone else responsibility. After all they paid little or nothing most of them while they were there.

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    BG

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • How about starting with getting the messy tenants that have gardens that look like a council tip to get them to clean them up. There are a lot of tenants that take a great deal pride in there homes only to have some ar****le who don't give a damn living close by.

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    Rorping

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • So what about home owners like me, I work full time, only claim child benefit, pay a mortgage and council tax, and keep my home and garden clean and tidy? When do I get my £100 !

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    Bruce87

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • That's what's wrong with this country - we reward people for wrong-doing. Totally stupid idea. If it's not clean fine them!

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • TYPO= Their homes

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Friday, December 28, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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