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Housing Charter performance report 2021-22

Stephen Gibson - Executive Director of Housing and Technical Resources

As Executive Director of Housing and Technical Resources, I am pleased to be able to present our annual performance report to you. This report reflects performance during the last year of former Executive Director, Daniel Lowe’s management of the Resource and I would take this opportunity to thank Daniel for his commitment and excellent leadership over the last six years.  I am sure that you will join me in wishing him well in the future.

During the last year, Covid-19 continued to present challenges, however through the commitment shown by Housing and Technical Resources employees and by using new innovative ways of working and improved use of technology, we have continued to deliver vital front line services to our customers.

I am delighted that our annual performance report shows that not only have we been able to continue to effectively deliver essential services throughout the pandemic, we have maintained and in some instances improved on performance in relation to the already high-quality services that are delivered to and expected by customers across South Lanarkshire.  We know there is still room for improvement in certain areas and we are working hard to make positive changes in these areas to ensure more effective service delivery.

You can read further details on how we are performing across the wide range of services in the pages that follow, however I am particularly proud to highlight to you a number of key achievements during 2021-22, including:

  • continued to allocate council housing to those who needed it most, such as homeless households and other priority groups
  • continued to relet our homes in 21 days, which is well below the Scottish average
  • continued to be one of the most affordable landlords in Scotland with the eighth lowest average weekly rent of £74.24.
  • completed 30,465 reactive repairs during the year, with 99.76% carried out right first time
  • continued to make progress towards ensuring all council homes meet Scottish Housing Quality Standards and Energy Efficiency Standards for Social Housing

Now, as we move forward, we continue to face new challenges, such as the cost-of-living crisis caused by the current economic uncertainty. That is why we will strive to improve our performance in all service areas and deliver high-quality services that represent good value for money for all of our customers.

I hope that you find the annual performance report to be interesting and helpful. Your valuable feedback helps us to understand your experience of our services and shows us where we can improve, and I would welcome any views or observations you may have on the report or on specific areas of our performance.

Please email your views and comments to

South Lanarkshire is the fifth largest local authority area in Scotland with a population of 319,000 and around 145,000 households.  We are also the fourth largest council provider of rented housing in Scotland – managing just over 25,000 homes for tenants.  As the population continues to rise year on year, this places demands on housing services.

Our stock provides a balance of house types and sizes to meet the majority of requirements of our tenants alongside specialist housing provision, including amenity and sheltered housing, for older people and tenants with mobility issues.

  • 4 in a block 4,638
  • Highrise 1,345
  • Houses 11,883
  • Tenement 5,381
  • Other flats/maisonettes 2,081

Understanding the information and how we compare to others

This report is based on the Scottish Social Housing Charter. The Charter applies to all social housing landlords in Scotland. It provides a basis for the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) to assess and report on how well landlords are performing and identify areas that might require further regulatory involvement.

This report and information which is available through the SHR’s website helps us to compare our performance with other landlords and enables you to see where we are performing well and where we need to improve.

We gather information about our tenants in order that we can get a better understanding of their needs.  We know that 5.9% of tenants consider themselves to have a disability.  This information helps to ensure that housing services are both accessible and delivered in a way that meets the needs of our customers.

Ethnicity White Mixed or multiple ethnic background Asian Black Other ethnic background Unknown Overall

Council households   %















Age profile of tenants

  • 16-24 years                           4%
  • 25-44 years                          30%
  • 45-64 years                          37%
  • 65 years +                            26%
  • Not known                              3%

Every three years we carry out a customer satisfaction survey to obtain views on a wide range of our services.  The feedback we receive helps to ensure that we deliver services which are ‘fit for purpose’ and meet the needs and demands of our customers.  The last full satisfaction survey was carried out in 2018/19 when we contacted over 4,000 customers and received 1,600 responses.  Here are the key highlights from this survey:

Survey findings - satisfaction %
Performance measure 2018/19 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Keeping people informed 92% 85% 91% Doing well
Quality of your home 86% 81% 85% Doing well
Overall satisfaction with housing service 90% 83% 88% Doing well
Opportunities to participate  91% 81% 87% Doing well

Your opportunity to tell us what you think about our services

Understanding what our tenants think about the broad range of services we provide is extremely important to us. If you are contacted about any services you have recently used, please take the time to tell us how we did.

All feedback is completely confidential and helps us to identify areas for improvement and development. 

We also carry out other routine customer satisfaction surveys throughout the year.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is an issue that can affect individuals and communities across the country. Working with our partners we aim to resolve ASB complaints quickly and effectively to minimise the impact ASB can have on communities. Last year 1,432 cases of ASB were reported to us and investigated which is a 29% decrease on the previous year.

Performance measure 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Number of cases reported in the last year which were resolved 1350 N/A N/A N/A
% of cases resolved on time 94% 93% 95% Doing well

After extensive consultation with the public and our partners. Our new Anti-Social Behaviour Policy was launched in March this year. The new policy aims to enhance the council’s long term partnership approach to preventing and tackling anti-social behaviour by ensuring services can provide the right support to victims.

Survey findings - satisfaction %
Performance measure 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Management of neighbourhoods 86% 82% 85% Doing well

Gypsy/traveller community 100% - All tenants in this category said they were satisfied with management of their site

Survey findings - satisfaction %

Performance measure 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?

Satisfied with the management of their site

100% 73% 76% Doing well

We work closely with the residents of our two Gypsy/Traveller sites at Shawlands Crescent and Springbank Park, to enable key services to be delivered along with a range of improvement projects at both sites.  Recent improvements include the opening of a new community facility, upgraded heating and amenity units, the installation of Wi-Fi, the expansion of pitch sizes and increased parking for residents and visitors.

Meeting the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and Energy Efficiency Standards for Social Housing (EESSH)

18,299 council homes now meet all five elements that make up the SHQS and during the current year we will continue to invest in home improvements which will help us to meet this standard.

There are around 7,029 council homes (27.7% of all homes) that don’t yet meet the SHQS. SHQS compliance decreased due to Fire Tolerable Standard and Fixed Electrical Testing elements now being part of the SHQS. While we have been working to include these elements, shortages in materials have impacted on our ability to progress with these works. In addition, there continues to be a number of tenants and owners who refuse to allow work to be carried out in their homes.  In these circumstances, we will still aim to carry out the necessary works at the earliest opportunity.

In addition, we are also working towards making sure that all council homes meet the second phase of Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) in line with Scottish Government targets and are performing well above the local authority and Scottish averages. 

From 2022-23, we will begin reporting against the second phase of EESSH. This will see the council required to achieve higher levels of energy efficiency standards within its existing and new properties, and work towards a new target by 2032.

Our key priority is to ensure provision of well maintained, appropriate quality housing which meets the need of existing and future tenants. The 2022-23 Housing Capital Programme reflects the level of investment required to continue to maintain the SHQS and increase the proportion of homes that meet the second phase of EESSH.

Performance measure  2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How did they do?
SHQS 93.2% 93.5% 72.3% 65.9% 72% Doing well
EESSH  93.4% 93.9% 98.6% 82.8% 88% Doing well

Gas safety checks carried out in 21,348 homes 

Each year, we aim to achieve 100% gas safety checks. Since the onset of the pandemic, the council revised its approach to gas servicing to take account of the Covid-19 specific guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive and the Gas Safety Register. Our revised approach took account of tenants refusing access because they or another member of their household were self-isolating and/or they were anxious about anyone entering their home. This meant that we were unable to complete gas safety checks within normal timescales in 439 (2%) of our properties over the course of the last year, however we had no properties out of service at year end.  While the pandemic continues to pose challenges, we continue to monitor performance at a senior management level and take appropriate action to address issues as they arise.

About our repairs service

You have told us that the repairs service is one of the most important services we provide. This section sets out the volume and type of repairs carried out each year and how we have been performing over the last three years.

Average time to complete emergency repairs – target 24 hours

Our repairs performance during 2020/21 reflects the impact that COVID-19 restrictions placed on our service.  At the start of the pandemic, we focused on providing emergency repairs to tenants, with all non-emergency repairs suspended.  As restrictions eased, we were able to restart our full repairs service. The information below shows an increase in our emergency repairs, whilst our non-emergency numbers reduced.  However, despite these challenges we have improved our average time to complete non-emergency repairs.

We carried out 46,653 emergency repairs well within our target. 

Emergency repairs
Performance measure  2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Average time to complete emergency repairs – target 24 hours 3.7 hrs 3.4 hrs 4.2 hrs 4.8 hrs 4.1 hrs Doing well

A wide range of work is carried out on a non-emergency or routine basis and last year we completed 32,936 repairs.

  • Repairs by appointment – 20,909
  • Routine repairs – 4,195
  • Planned maintenance – 5,361
  • Other works – 2,471
Non-emergency repairs
Performance measure  2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Average number of days to complete non-emergency repairs - target time 30 days











Doing     OK

While our performance is lower than the LAA or SA, we are well within the 30 day target we agreed with tenants. We focus on completing our repairs ‘right first time’ reducing the need for follow up visits and further disruption to our tenants.

Repairs right first time

We know that when work is needed it is important to tenants that it’s carried out quickly and to a high standard. Last year we were able to plan a high proportion of our reactive repairs (30,465) resulting in 99.76% of these carried out ‘right first time’.

Performance measure  2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Repairs completed right first time 40,410 17,412 30,391 N/A N/A Doing well
% completed right first time 99.91% 99.95% 99.76% 78.8% 88.3% Doing well

Repairs satisfaction

Of the 1,070 tenants who responded to our survey 91% said they were satisfied overall with the repairs service.  This compares well with the landlord and Scottish average.

Performance measure  2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
% satisfied overall with repairs service 92.8% 90.1% 91.0% 87.2% 88% Doing well

We are committed to making it as simple as possible for customers to access our services.  Working in partnership with a number of housing associations, we operate HomeFinder, the South Lanarkshire Common Housing Register.  Before applying for housing, applicants must complete the HomeOptions self-assessment tool, on the council’s website.  The tool provides a range of information and advice to help applicants consider the housing options which best suit their circumstances.  Applicants can then complete an on-line HomeFinder housing application form, to apply for housing with any of the HomeFinder landlords.  

At the end of March 2022, there were 17,376 applicants on the housing register, wishing to be housed within South Lanarkshire. The housing needs of these applicants are assessed in line with the HomeFinder assessment of housing need and placed on the appropriate list.

  • Waiting List – 12,754
  • Transfer List – 3,598
  • Urgent Housing Need – 1,024

Homes let

We continue to be committed to letting homes to those in most housing need, including homeless households and other priority groups, e.g., H.M Forces and Urgent Medical need ensuring that we respond to local needs and make best use of our available housing stock.

Last year, we let 2,163 homes. 2003 of these homes were ‘general needs’, while the remaining 160 were sheltered and amenity homes.

Performance measure 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Number of homes let 2,006 1,687 2,163 N/A N/A Doing well
Average number of days to let a home 21.7 days 20.9 days 21.5 days 59.4 days 51.6 days Doing well
% of lets to homeless households 51.4% 61.1% 53.4% N/A N/A Doing well
% of new tenants who remained in their home for more than 12 months 90.1% 91.9% 93.4% 90.9% 90.8% Doing well

Last year we managed to let our homes more quickly than the majority of other landlords.

Rent Loss from empty homes

Even when we perform very well in turning around empty homes, there will always be an element of rent loss. At the end of March, we had 254 homes which were empty while we carried out essential repairs and found the next tenant.  The total rent loss during the year for homes available to let was £580,309.

Performance measure  2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
% of rent loss 0.5% 0.4% 0.6% 1.6% 1.4% Doing well

Annette Finnan - Interim Executive Director “As we look forward, we will continue to focus on those who are in most housing need.  It is satisfying to see that we have continued to perform well against the local authority and Scottish averages in turning around empty homes, minimising rent loss and sustaining tenancies.  This position reflects the commitment shown by our employees within Housing and Technical Resources.”

We continue to be one of the most affordable landlords in Scotland with the eighth lowest average weekly rent. The rent a tenant is required to pay depends on the type and size of their home. The table below shows the average rental charge for a council home over the last three years and provides a comparison against the local authority and Scottish average last year.

Average rents
No of bedrooms No of properties SLC average 2019/20 SLC average 2020/21 SLC average 2021/22 Local Authority average Scottish average
Bedsit 99 £59.62 £61.95 £63.32 £65.90 £75.95
1 6,348 £63.02 £65.52 £67.12 £74.24 £81.32
2 12,510 £69.71 £72.51 £74.32 £79.37 £84.18
3 5,286 £78.60 £81.79 £83.87 £85.37 £91.48
4+ 769 £82.70 £86.31 £88.57 £92.11 £100.74

Rent increase

Every effort is made to keep rent increases to a minimum and to keep rents affordable, while at the same time ensuring a high standard of service delivery and investment. This allows us to continue to build new affordable homes, improve existing homes and meet quality and energy efficiency standards.

As part of the annual rent setting process, we consult widely with tenants across all areas of South Lanarkshire to get their views on proposed rent levels. For 2022-23, tenants were supportive of setting the rent level for another single year, with a view to considering a multi-year approach when it is appropriate to do so, taking into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the second year in a row, a rent increase of 2.2% was proposed and approved for 2022-23 and took into consideration the financial uncertainty facing many of our tenants.

Performance measure 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average
Rent increase 3.95% 2.2% 2.2% 1.46% 2.98%

The total amount of rental income (and service charges) we were due to collect during 2021-22 was £96,540,465 and we successfully collected 98.28% (£94,884,692).  This amount also includes income that was due in previous years.

Performance measure 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
% of rent collected 99.70% 97.37% 98.28% 98.6% 99.3% Doing well
Performance measure 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Local Authority Average Scottish Average
Gross rent arrears £6,343,399 £7,757,756 £8,599,537 N/A N/A
% of rent arrears 7.0% 8.3% 8.9% 8.7% 6.7%

Annette Finnan - Interim Executive Director - "The agreed rent increase of 2.2% for 2022-23 means that we can continue to invest in our existing housing stock and also build new homes, to meet the needs of our tenants.  We understand the financial pressure that many tenants are experiencing in these uncertain times, which is why we always strive to ensure that our rents remain affordable. We will continue to provide help and support to tenants throughout this challenging time.  Any tenant experiencing financial difficulties can contact their local housing team for advice and assistance."

2021/22 - £104 m total spend

How every £1 is spent 
Housing repairs including adaptations 31p
Staffing and management costs 29p 
Capital investment 19p
Debt repayment costs 15p
Grounds and garden maintenance 4p
Rent loss from empty properties 2p