Building Better Tenant Experience

exterior of 9 flats in Black and White. Colur has been added to one of the units.
Home Sweet Home photo by Mikael Korhonen is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Moving the tenant experience up a notch.

Moving to new housing is a very big deal. This is something that community based agencies, non-profits and charities understand well. As the housing market has changed, community agencies have changed the programs they offer to help people with very low and no incomes who move. Researchers from the Glasgow Centre For Population Health and University of Stirling studied three agencies in Glasgow to find out how the changes were, or weren’t, helping tenants.

The three agencies provide different services. One is a housing provider, the second is a letting agent and the third provides financial assistance. The researchers interviewed tenants who had used a service during their move to understand the effectiveness of the new programs. The tenants reported on their health and housing situation before they moved, shortly after move in and a year later.

On the whole, tenant satisfaction with their housing increased over time. This came as a bit of a surprise. Existing research theorizes that tenants will be very happy with new housing initially and that this happiness will decline over time. The group of tenants in this study were generally happy with their new housing when they moved in and they were even more satisfied at the one year mark.

The research findings translated to a number of recommendations for building managers (both non-profit and in the private market) and for housing policies. Building managers are strongly encouraged to ensure that every tenant has a named point of contact who represents the landlord. Policy makers and decision makers are encouraged to develop and provide tenant engagement standards to assist landlord (again, both non-profit and in the private market). Training is also recommended.

For more on this project, see at commonhealth.uk: Housing through Social Enterprise – Implications For Tenants, Housing Providers And Wider Society