Safe, warm and sheltered: is that how your tenants feel?

The Danes – regularly named as the happiest people in the world – talk about hygge. Roughly translated, hygge means feeling safe, warm and sheltered in a storm, usually with friends or family. The concept of hygge has spread worldwide in the past few years. Since the Grenfell fire two years ago, landlords have started asking more questions about tenants’ safety and security in their regular surveys: so what are they showing?

What are landlords asking about tenants’ safety and security?

These are typical examples of the questions we’re asking when doing these surveys for landlords:

Do you feel safe and secure in…?

  • Your home
  • Your neighbourhood/community/scheme

If you do not feel safe and secure, please can you provide details and what could be improved?

Based on the first 14 landlords to introduce these questions and the results from almost 3,000 residents, the news is encouraging. We found that 93% of residents feel safe in their home and 91% feel safe in their neighbourhood, community or estate.

But not all residents feel safe: 5% said they feel “not very safe” at home and 8% in their neighbourhood. And a further one per cent don’t feel safe at home or in their neighbourhood.

We obtained these results with landlords operating between a hundred and almost 15,000 properties.

What else did we find out about residents feeling safe and secure – or not?

Some landlords went on to ask their tenants to explain why they didn’t feel safe, and how this could be improved. Around 35 residents of one landlord made 54 comments about the issues they perceived. Some are potentially simple to resolve while others would need investment and inter-agency work. Cross-referencing the answers to find problem locations could enable resident and community engagement on identifying problems and possible solutions.

Why tenants do not feel safe in their home or neighbourhood – and what could be improved

Issue or what needs to be done Percentage of tenants
Problems with neighbours, anti-social behaviour 23%
Problem with drugs in area 18%
Improve security, introduce CCTV, improve lighting, door entry system 18%
Area is not safe, feels run down, high crime area 12%
Fences and gates – higher fencing for security, gates missing, overgrown walkways 10%
Property broken into, property damage, car vandalised 8%
Problems related to alcohol 6%
Youths hanging about in the streets 4%
Poor treatment of tenant’s children, can’t play outside 2%
People banging on windows 1%

All the landlords involving are re-contacting the residents who allowed themselves to be identified to discuss what could be done to help them feel safe.

Want to know how safe your residents feel in and around their homes?

Acuity has been providing resident satisfaction surveys for over 20 years, tailoring our service to your needs. We don’t just provide the raw figures: we benchmark your quality and service scores on a national basis so you properly understand how you’re performing and can use that to demonstrate satisfaction levels and raise them still further.
Contact us to find out how we can help you, and make sure more of your tenants sleep soundly at night.

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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