In 2018, utilising the Fusion 21 Framework, Redditch Borough Council chose CLC Contractors as the right partner to help them refurbish their void housing properties.
We were tasked with the job of refurbishing empty council properties so that they could be re-let to those in need of new housing. The works included both small and large scale refurbishments including new kitchens, bathrooms and electrical rewires. Because of our excellent management skills and quality of work, we have been given a 2 year extension, taking the contract up to 2022.
When a tenant moves out of a council property, refurbishment works are usually required to bring them back up to a lettable standard. The works, no matter how big or small, need to be done quickly and efficiently in order to turn an empty property into an important revenue stream for our client.
The extent of the works differ from property to property, with some requiring kitchen and bathroom replacements, plastering and full refurbishments, electrical rewires and roofing works, to those that just need a lick of paint.
Using 10 of our directly employed operatives to complete the majority of the works, we have teamed up with two of our approved local subcontractors to help with any roofing and electrical works.
When alerted of a new void property, our surveyor meets a council representative on site to survey the property and install a key safe outside. Having a key safe means our operatives can go straight to each site, each day, and begin work without having to collect the keys from the council or our branch office.
The biggest challenge we face when working on these properties is removing woodchip. The textured look might be loved by some, but removing it can often be long and not always a straightforward process. Suring removal, the walls behind can get damaged easily and so we often find that we need to replaster the walls before we can decorate. If we find these works are required, we supply extra labour to ensure we meet the original timescale.
The very nature pf the voids means that work can be sporadic. We have a pool of operatives that work on similar contracts allowing us to move resources in and out and maintain a good level of flexibility.
A tenant’s wellbeing is one of our utmost priorities and we often take extra steps to ensure this. During this project, we were given a property where a single mother was moving in with her four children, one of whom was physically disabled. After consultation with the council, we moved the bathroom from the first floor to the ground floor to make it more accessible. We also offered her a brand new washing machine and tumble dryer as a show of goodwill.
Once the works within each of the properties are finished, our dedicated Site Supervisor and Contract Manager completes a final inspection. We then arrange a handover inspection with the council’s Surveyor to ensure complete client satisfaction of the work.
Upon completion, each void is given a new lease of life, along with modern decoration and quality as standard.