During tenancy, communication is focused on the management of our tenants’ needs and ongoing maintenance of our projects to ensure that tenants get good value for their money. Every Madulammoho building has a house manager who lives on the premises and takes care of the day-to-day business of the building, including collecting rentals, listening to and dealing with tenant issues and undertaking minor maintenance.
Other ways we communicate with our tenants include:
- Weekly floor meetings with the house manager;
- Monthly house meetings with the house manager and any external stakeholders to address general and specific concerns;
- Day-to-day interaction between house managers and tenants;
- Madulammoho’s tenant handbook (can be found at the back of each tenants door as you enter the unit); and
- Madulammoho’s website and social media platforms
Post-tenancy communication is directed at an exit interview to determine satisfaction during tenancy.
Tenant intake and letting policy
When units become available Madulammoho advertises the vacancies and holds an information workshop for prospective tenants. Application forms are then completed and sorted to exclude non-qualifiers (those that fall outside of the target income), those who are not South African citizens (as they would not qualify for social housing), or those who are not permanently employed.
Once prospective tenants have passed the initial assessment, a more detailed assessment of each application is undertaken, which includes affordability and credit checks. Madulammoho then goes through the application form with the prospective tenant, focusing on their budget (income and expenses), and what unit will fit their affordability.
Once successful tenants have been selected, Madulammoho holds another workshop that lays out our rental model and explains the lease agreement and house rules in detail. Rental payments are explained and how utilites are calculated on a monthly consumptin basiss.
Complaints and grievance procedures
It is the responsibility of every house manager to identify and deal with any complaint or grievance from any tenant in his building. From the time that a complaint or grievance is known to the house manager he or she must engage with the tenant to understand the nature of the complaint. The following procedure must be adhered to:
- The house manager must resolve the issue within 24 hours. If the issue cannot be resolved by the house manager he must communicate to the tenant that he is referring the matter to the client services manager.
- The client services manager must resolve the issue with the tenant within 72 hours from receipt of the complaint or grievance.
- If the matter referred to the client services manager cannot be resolved between the parties, then the minutes of such a meeting must reflect the same and reasons why the conflict could not be resolved. The tenant then has the option to take the matter further to the executive management team.
- During this period of conflict resolution both parties must adhere to the conditions of the lease agreement between the two parties as stipulated in the rental act. This means that the tenant must continue paying their rental and Madulammoho must continue fulfilling its obligations in terms of the lease agreement.
- If the tenant stops paying the rent and other charges as per the lease agreement then Madulammoho will give notice of cancellation of the lease agreement after which period it may cancel the lease agreement and proceed with the legal action
We realize that utilities are an important issue with our tenants. That’s why we have attempted to overcome billing problems by installing our own electricity and water meters on each floor and in individual units. It is important to communicate with tenants that Madulammoho is simply recovering utility costs on behalf of the utility provider. The installation of meters in each Madulammoho building is also important for transparency, as tenants can see how much electricity and water they have consumed.
Madulammoho outsources as little work as possible. Cleaning and security, as well as ongoing maintenance are all undertaken in-house. Not only does this create employment for our tenants, it also means people have a vested interest in doing a good job. Two types of maintenance are undertaken at Madulammoho – planned maintenance and reactive maintenance.
Planned maintenance is budgeted for on a cyclical basis. It is predictable and may include electrical upgrading, painting, plumbing upgrading or retrofitting taps, globes and other fittings and fixtures. Complicated maintenance is outsourced while more basic work is undertaken in-house by our maintenace teams
Reactive maintenance is dealt with on an on-going basis. Typically, a tenant lodges a complaint with their house manager and the client services department undertakes a full report. A work order is then created and a maintenance supervisor verifies the problem and instructs a relevant tradesperson to repair it. Once the problem has been resolved, the work order is signed by the house manager, who confirms that the repair has been completed.