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Housing Charter performance report 2022-23

Stephen Gibson - Executive Director of Housing and Technical Resources

I am pleased to present our annual performance report for 2022/23. This report reflects performance during my first year as Director of Housing and Technical Resources and I am delighted that we have been able to continue to deliver high quality services to customers.

Last year, the cost-of-living crisis impacted on many tenants and the council also had to manage the financial impact of rising costs on the services it provides. Although this has been challenging, we have continued to deliver vital front-line services to our customers. Going forward we know there will be some tough choices to be made but with the dedication and commitment shown by Housing and Technical Resources employees, I know that we will all do our best to deliver high quality housing services.

Our annual performance report shows that we have maintained and, in some instances, improved on performance in relation to the services that are delivered to and expected by customers across South Lanarkshire. There is always room for improvement in certain areas and we are working hard to make positive changes to ensure more effective service delivery.

You can read more about 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 2022-23, including:

  • continued to allocate council housing to those who needed it most, such as homeless households and other priority groups
  • continued to relet council homes in just over 27 days, which is well below the Scottish average
  • continued to be one of the most affordable landlords in Scotland with the seventh lowest average weekly rent of £76.43
  • completed 30,627 reactive repairs during the year, with 99.58% carried out right the first time
  • continued to make progress towards ensuring all council homes meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard

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 322,000 and around 145,000 households. We are also the third 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, more demands are placed on housing services.

Our stock provides a range 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 4,660
  • Highrise 1,345
  • Houses 11,977
  • Tenement 5,431
  • Other flats/maisonettes 2,070

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 requiring 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 backgrounds Asian Black Other ethnic background Unknown Overall

Council households (%)

18,172 (74.3%) 24 (0.1%) 72 (0.3%)

68 (0.3%)

201 (0.8%)

5,926 (24.2%)

24,463 (100%)

Age profile of tenants

  • 16-24 years - 4%
  • 25-44 years - 30%
  • 45-64 years - 37%
  • 65 years plus - 6%
  • 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 that are ‘fit for purpose’ and meet the needs and demands of our customers. We carried out a customer satisfaction survey in 2022-23 which received 1,607 responses. The survey showed an increase in satisfaction across all areas, with more than 5% improvement in some areas. Here are the key highlights from this survey

Survey findings - satisfaction %
Performance measure 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Keeping people informed 96% 85% 90% Doing well
Quality of your home 91% 81% 84% Doing well
Overall satisfaction with housing service 92% 82% 87% Doing well
Opportunities to participate  97% 81% 86% 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 1,143 cases of ASB were reported to us and investigated which is a 20.2% decrease from the previous year (1,432 cases).

Performance measure 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Number of cases reported in the last year that were resolved 1106 N/A N/A N/A
% of cases resolved on time 96.8% 91.4% 94.2% Doing well

This decrease follows the national trend and can be attributed to a return to normal life following the pandemic, as well as an increased focus locally on prevention and early intervention measures to address anti-social behaviour.

Survey findings - satisfaction %
Performance measure 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Management of neighbourhoods 90% 82% 84% Doing well

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

Survey findings - satisfaction %

Performance measure 2022/23 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 and have commenced the next phase of the Masterplans to improve the sites. These plans, which were developed jointly by residents and the council, aim to ensure that both sites continue to meet the cultural needs and traditions of the Gypsy/Traveller community.

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

20,318 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 5,165 council homes (20.3% of our stock) which don’t yet meet the SHQS. Our SHQS compliance decreased due to the introduction of Fire Tolerable Standard and Fixed Electrical Testing regulations now part of the SHQS criteria. While we have been working to include these elements, shortages in materials continue to impact our ability to progress with these works. In addition, there continues to be a number of tenants who decline access to carry out the necessary checks and associated works required to bring the property up to standard. In these circumstances, we will continue to pursue access arrangements with tenants allowing necessary works to be completed at the earliest opportunity.

The Scottish Government is currently carrying out a review of the EESSH Milestone target and reporting framework, which means that we are not required to report on EESSH this year. Whilst the review is underway, we will continue to invest in energy efficiency measures to help reduce running costs, and in zero direct emissions heating systems, where appropriate. This will prevent lock-in of poor performance and reduce the risk of additional issues arising in the future.

Our key priority is to ensure the provision of well maintained, appropriate quality housing that meets the needs of existing and future tenants. The 2023-24 Housing Capital Programme reflects the level of investment required to continue to maintain the SHQS and increase the energy efficiency of all existing council homes.

Performance measure  2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How did they do?
SHQS 93.5% 72.3% 79.7% 70.9% 79% Doing well

Gas safety checks were carried out in 21,528 homes 

Each year, we aim to achieve 100% gas safety checks. The council’s approach to gas servicing continues to take account of tenants who may feel anxious about anyone entering their home. This meant that over the course of the last year, we were unable to complete gas safety checks within normal timescales in 20 (0.1%) council properties. However, there were no properties out of service at year end. We continue to monitor performance at a senior management level and take appropriate action to address issues as they arise.

About our repairs service

Our repairs performance during 2022-23 reflects the impact of last winter’s severe weather, which resulted in an increase in the number of heating related repairs. We were unable to respond to all of these within our 24-hour timescale, which meant that our average time to complete emergency repairs increased.

The information below shows the increase in our emergency repairs, whilst our non-emergency repair numbers reduced. However, we still managed to improve our average time to complete non-emergency repairs.

We carried out almost 48,400 emergency repairs well within our target.

Emergency repairs
Performance measure  2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Average time to complete emergency repairs – target 24 hours 3.4 hrs 4.2 hrs 5.36 hrs 4.7 hrs 4.2 hrs Doing well

A wide range of work is carried out on a non-emergency or routine basis and last year we completed 32,500 repairs.

  • Repairs by appointment – 21,533
  • Routine repairs – 4,121
  • Planned maintenance – 5,101
  • Other works – 1,827
Non-emergency repairs
Performance measure  2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Average number of days to complete non-emergency repairs - target time 30 days

13.1 days

11.8 days

11.63 days

9.7 days

8.7 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 (30,627) resulting in 99.58% of these carried out ‘right first time’.

Performance measure  2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Repairs completed right first time 17,412 30,391 30,627 N/A N/A Doing well
% completed right first time 99.95% 99.76% 99.58% 88.19% 87.80% Doing well

Repairs satisfaction

Of the 1,106 tenants who responded to our survey 88.97% said they were satisfied overall with the repairs service. This compares well with the Local Authority and Scottish average.

Performance measure  2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
% satisfied overall with repairs service 90.1% 91.0% 88.97% 88.5% 88.01% 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 that best suit their circumstances. Applicants can then complete an online HomeFinder housing application form, to apply for housing with any of the HomeFinder landlords.

At the end of March 2023, there were 15,280 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.

…just over 15,000 people on the housing register

  • Waiting list – 10,518
  • Transfer list – 3,266
  • Urgent housing need – 1,496

Homes let

We continue to be committed to letting homes to those in most housing need, including homeless households and other priority groups, for example, 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 1,854 homes. 1,705 of these homes were ‘general needs’, while the remaining 149 were sheltered.

Performance measure 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
Number of homes let 1,687 2,163 1,854 N/A N/A Doing well
Average number of days to let a home 20.9 days 21.5 days 27.76 days 66.94 days 55.61 days Doing well
% of lets to homeless households 61.1% 53.4% 58.1% N/A N/A Doing well
% of new tenants who remained in their home for more than 12 months 91.9% 93.4% 92.0% 91.4% 91.2% 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 2023, we had 251 homes that were empty while we carried out essential repairs and identified the next tenant. The total rent loss during the year for homes available to let was £626,291.

Performance measure  2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
% of rent loss 0.4% 0.6% 0.62% 1.7% 1.4% Doing well

Stephen Gibson - Executive Director “We will continue to focus on those who are vulnerable and in most housing need within our communities. Once again, we have performed well against the local authority and Scottish averages in turning around empty homes, minimising rent loss and sustaining tenancies.”

We continue to be one of the most affordable landlords in Scotland with the seventh 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 2020/21 SLC average 2021/22 SLC average 2022/23 Local Authority average Scottish average
Bedsit 99 £61.95 £63.32 £64.58 £66.46 £78.26
1 6,466 £65.52 £67.12 £68.49 £75.21 £83.46
2 12,726 £72.51 £74.32 £75.83 £80.59 £86.27
3 5,393 £81.79 £83.87 £85.45 £87.16 £93.95
4+ 799 £86.31 £88.57 £90.61 £94.24 £103.72

Rent increase

Every effort is made to keep rent increases to a minimum and ensure rents remain affordable, while at the same time maintaining 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 South Lanarkshire. Last year, the introduction of a temporary rent freeze meant that our consultation programme required us to take a different approach as we awaited the Scottish Government’s decision on whether Scottish local authorities could increase rents. With the decision to end the rent freeze announced in February 2023, a rent increase of 3.5%, which equated to £2.67 p/w based on the average rent, was agreed. This increase took into account the financial impact of the ongoing economic uncertainty and the cost-of-living crisis, on both the council and tenants.

Performance measure 2021/22 2022/23 2023/24 Local Authority Average Scottish Average
Rent increase 2.2% 2.2% 3.5% 3.89% 5.14%

The total amount of rental income (and service charges) we were due to collect during 2022-23 was £100,155,288 and we successfully collected 99.1% (£99,254,745). This amount also includes income that was due in previous years.

Performance measure 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average How are we doing?
% of rent collected 97.37% 98.28% 99.10% 98.8% 99.0% Doing well
Performance measure 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 Local Authority Average Scottish Average
Gross rent arrears £7,757,756 £8,599,537 £8,727,749 N/A N/A
% of rent arrears 8.3% 8.9% 8.7% 9.6% 6.9%

Sharon Egan - Head of Housing Services - “The agreed rent increase of 3.5% for 2023-24 took into consideration the continued economic uncertainty faced by both the council and its tenants and our commitment to invest in our existing housing stock, which we know is important to tenants. Many tenants have been financially impacted by the cost-of-living crisis which is why we strive to remain one of the most affordable landlords in Scotland. Any tenant experiencing financial difficulties should contact their local housing team for advice and assistance"

Satisfaction - good value for money

Good value for money
Performance Measure 2022-23 LAA SA
Good value for money 94.8% 81.3% 81.8%

We work hard to ensure that our housing services provide good value for money. As part of our tenant survey, 94.8% of tenants told us that they felt our services represented good value for money.

The information below provides a breakdown of the key areas of expenditure within the Housing Revenue Account (which is the total of the rent and other income received) during 2022-23 and how this was used for the benefit of tenants.

2022/23 - £116 m total spend

How every £1 is spent 
Performance Measure 2022-23
Housing repairs including adaptations 33p
Staffing and management costs 25p 
Capital investment 23p
Debt repayment costs 13p
Grounds and garden maintenance 4p
Rent loss from empty properties 2p