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Resident consultation feedback

In 2021, Melin consulted its residents on how we could ensure that the
cost of rent is affordable for all of our residents. Here we share the
outcome of this consultation – including the views of our residents and
the actions Melin has taken in response.

May 2022 – Service charges review

Melin has adopted the Joseph Rowntree Living Rents Model, which states that someone’s rent should never be more than 28% of average net income. Over 93% of our residents agreed that this was the right approach to take.

As part of this consultation, we also said that we would look at how we can keep service charges as low as possible. The Rowntree Living Rents Model says that service charges should be no more than 5% of average net income. Over 88% of our residents agreed that this was the right approach to take.

Some of our properties and schemes benefit from additional services and facilities. These include specialist equipment, adaptations, communal areas and scheme management services. This can make it difficult for Melin to keep service charges below 5% of average net income for residents in these properties. Our residents were split 50/50, with half agreeing with this approach and half disagreeing.

Lastly, we asked you how many residents in a particular scheme should agree to a change in, or the introduction of, a service charge. A majority of respondents said that at least 80% of residents should need to agree.

This consultation has led to a number of positive changes. These include:

  • We have produced a new Service Charge Policy that sets out our new approach. It is available to residents on request.
  • We have identified the properties that will be included in our Service Charge Affordability Model whilst committing to keep all of our service charges as low as possible. Approximately 75% of all Melin properties are included.
  • We have now committed that before introducing a new service or changing an existing one, we will usually seek to get agreement from at least 80% of the residents at a scheme.
  • We will reduce the management fee we currently apply to rented properties from 15% to 12.5% from April 2023.
  • We will continue to procure and monitor all our Service Contracts to ensure we get the best value for money for all our residents.

April 2022 – Income Recovery Policy review

We surveyed our residents about our Income Recovery Policy, as a result of the feedback we have:

  • Identified that not all residents were aware of the services that we offer; in order to rectify this we have changed our initial rent recovery letter (which is the one which is sent out the most) to include information on the services our Money Advisors offer.
  • With our marketing team we have developed a cost of living information leaflet and have updated the information on our website.
  • We have met with all the local job centres and arranged spotlight sessions with them to promote our work and support.
  • 76% of residents who responded to the survey advised they would like an app to pay their rent, this has been fed back to Melin’s digital group to see if this can be done.

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