Dissatisfied residents – digging deeper

STAR survey revealed lower levels of satisfaction for younger residents

Satisfaction surveyOver the summer we worked with a high performing Trust to explore the results from a recent STAR survey which revealed that residents under 35 years old are less satisfied than older tenants. It’s a familiar pattern found at most landlords.

With overall satisfaction with landlord services sitting at an impressive 92%, or even higher for residents over 60 years old, ratings of less than 80% for the two-fifths of residents aged below 40 years old needed exploring.

STAR results reviewed

The results from the STAR survey were re-examined to identify which areas in particular received the lowest ratings from younger residents. It was found that many areas had lower levels of satisfaction for residents under 40 years old including quality and condition of the home, repairs service, neighbourhood and customer contact.

Over a fifth or more of the Trust’s younger tenants are dissatisfied with the value for money of the rent and the repairs service, while a quarter are dissatisfied with the quality and condition of their home. One in six residents are also dissatisfied with the neighbourhood, the final outcome of contact and listening to views. By far the top priority for younger tenants is improving the home, followed by improving the neighbourhood and help getting local people back into work.

Follow up telephone surveys

The new fieldwork used telephone surveys to maximise participation from the group. The survey confirmed that the Trust’s younger residents are struggling to make a home either as a single person or in the process of bringing up their children on a very low income base. This age group are reluctant to engage in community activities, or with their landlord, until they are under less pressure from either family commitments or the challenges of seeking secure employment and trying to budget running a home, perhaps for the first time, and often without local or family support networks.

Encouragingly, we found that younger residents are happy to complete telephone surveys of this nature and were happy for the Trust to know what their individual responses were and for follow up contacts to be made.

At this stage in their lives this group of residents may inevitably be creating more wear and tear on their property and consequently making more requests for repairs. Certainly from the comments made during the survey and the satisfaction ratings recorded, the repairs service features very highly as a key source of dissatisfaction.

When asked questions about listening to views many residents connected this to views expressed about repairs, particularly rechargeable ones. Both these areas – listening to views and the repairs and maintenance service – received the lowest satisfaction ratings. Repairs and maintenance also had the highest dissatisfaction rating.

The real value of this survey is in the open comments received from residents, which give a real flavour of the influence the Trust’s services has on this age group.

About Denise Raine

Denise Raine is a Director of Acuity Ltd, and has specialised in tenant satisfaction and feedback research for more than 20 years.
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