About our services

The Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA) standards of service that govern our activities.

Our standards of service aim to provide a polite, open and efficient service for all our customers.

Providing information

We can provide you with information about our activities and requests for information may be made in writing by letter, email or by telephone to any of our offices. Contact details are listed on all HCA printed literature and on our website. Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act must be submitted in writing and cannot be received by telephone.

We are able to provide literature in alternative formats including large print, braille and audio. Please contact us on 0300 1234 500 or by email at mail@homesandcommunities.co.uk for further information.

Targets

We aim to respond to all enquiries within 5 working days. If there are likely to be delays in resolving your enquiry, we will inform you and aim to provide a response within a further 10 working days or if this is not possible we will provide you with an estimated resolution time.

We also aim to reply to voicemails within 24 hours or provide alternative contacts details if the recipient is out of the office. The substantive enquiry will then be handled in accordance with the enquiry service standards, above.

In the case of requests for publications, these will be provided within 5 working days. Requests for publications in alternative format will be discussed with the customer on a case by case basis.

Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will usually be provided within 20 working days. Either the requested information or a decision to withhold information (and the reason for that decision) will be provided to the enquirer within 20 working days, except in certain circumstances where this time frame may be extended (you will be informed in writing if this is to be the case). Please note that fees may be applicable.

Working with others

Meetings

Attendance by HCA staff at meetings arranged at our offices, on site, or at a third party address will take place within 10 minutes of the pre-arranged time. We aim to see speculative callers within the same time if reasonable.

Estate management

Where we own land and buildings we endeavour to keep our properties signposted with either our own, or our managing agent’s contact details.

We will visit and inspect sites regularly to ensure compliance with our statutory duties

Where you bring matters to our attention concerning the conditions of our properties then we will formally acknowledge your communication in line with the service standard above (5 working days).

If another organisation manages our properties then standards of service will be set out in the contract for each location.

Financial management

We adhere to the Better Payment Practice Code. Standards of service to our partners and customers will be no less than what we expect of our suppliers and consultants.

Putting things right

We recognise that, like all organisations, from time to time things can go wrong, and we do not provide the standards of service that we have set ourselves.

We are especially keen to hear about such instances since they provide us with an opportunity to put things right and to learn from our mistakes. That way we can get it right next time.

The member of staff contacted will be expected to deal with the complaint in the first instance and will attempt to resolve the matter on that day. If this is not possible:

  • full information will be given on the action being taken to resolve the complaint and when a full reply may be expected
  • in any event the situation and possible course of action will be identified, within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint

We have adopted a procedure for handling complaints and putting things right.