We are on target to prepare the 2018/19 service charge and major works invoices for March 2018, which will give homeowners the maximum possible time to plan their finances for the coming year. We’ve continued to work hard to make costs as accurate as possible. We have begun a major project to look at historic major works records to clear up discrepancies on service charge accounts, and have already investigated accounts for over 100 schemes.
We are preparing for our move to the new Civic Centre in Brixton and will be using a new appointment booking system that will allow us to match enquiries to the relevant specialist staff. Automated notifications will be sent to the customer by email confirming the appointment details and any documents they are required to bring with them. We are also exploring the use of online appointments for homeowners that want to schedule their own appointments and expect to be able to offer this service before we move.
We continue to strive for excellent performance in both major works and service charge collections. We collected £707k of major works income during December 2017, giving a total of £5m+ collected during the financial year to date, and are on course to exceed the target we set at the start of the year. We have collected £10m+ in day-to-day service charges during the year to date. Both figures reflect a very substantial improvement since last year, and will help ensure that the council’s housing budgets and services are protected.
We are continuing to work on improving the website and making as much information as possible accessible online. Use of our website continues to increase. During the third quarter, there were 7,638 unique page views. As in the previous quarter, the pages relating to pre-assignment information and on getting permission for alterations were the most popular.
Lambeth has recently invested in new technologies to develop its digital communications and allow its customers to subscribe to news updates and information, and we’ll be taking full advantage of these to ensure that we’re able to get information to homeowners quickly and effectively.
We have started a programme of weekly text surveys to make it easier for homeowners to rate the service they get from us. Anyone who contacts us by mobile phone will have the opportunity to submit feedback by answering a short series of questions. We’ll use the responses to help improve our service.