Grounds maintenance update
From 1 March 2024, grounds maintenance in BCP, Dorset, Andover and some sites in Wiltshire and South Hampshire have been insourced.
Grounds maintenance and communal areas
We’re responsible for keeping any grounds around your home that we own, as well as any communal areas, clean and well-maintained.
Sovereign has a legal responsibility to keep these areas safe and can’t do this if play equipment or pools have been installed. We wouldn’t be able to confirm if it’s been correctly installed or undertake regular inspections or maintenance.
- Please do not install any large play equipment in a communal garden. This includes trampolines, slides and swings.
- If we consider that any play equipment placed in communal areas is unsuitable, we will serve a tort notice and remove it if the owner has not done so within the period stated. Sovereign will not be held liable for any compensation claimed as a result of removing such items.
Swimming and paddling pools
- Swimming and paddling pools, including hot tubs, are not allowed in communal areas due to the risk of accidental drowning and water borne viruses.
- If any pools are found in communal areas, we will serve a tort notice and remove it if the owner has not done so within the period stated. Sovereign will not be held liable for any compensation claimed as a result of removing such items.
- Fireworks are not permitted on any of our communal land or on balconies.
Improving grounds and communal areas
- Repairing and maintaining our homes, grounds and communal areas.
- Working in partnership with you and other agencies to make sure our neighbourhoods are safe, completing repairs outside the home quickly.
- Checking contractors are doing a good job.
- Publicising our cleaning and grounds maintenance specification of works.
- Working with you to understand and respond to concerns and priorities in your community.
- Encouraging and supporting you to get involved in improving your community.
- Keep you informed of our activities in your community.
- Looking after your home and garden (if you have one).
- Reporting any repairs in your home, communal areas or neighbourhood quickly.
- Keeping communal areas tidy and clear of things like bikes, buggies or scooters – to make sure escape routes are clear, in the event of a fire.
- Letting us know if maintenance is needed in your neighbourhood – especially if we need to deal with anything that might cause an accident.
- We expect you to keep your garden tidy and not dump rubbish.
We want to encourage and support residents to get involved and to influence how we deliver services and make improvements. To do this, the Scrutiny Coordination Group will scrutinise how we deliver services and achieve value for money, and we will:
- Make sure that you’re consulted on key changes to services.
- Tell you what we’ve done in response to your feedback and what we’ve changed as a result.
- Keep you informed of any progress, but also expect you to keep in contact with us until it’s resolved.
Where we’ve successfully taken action and resolved a case of anti-social behaviour, we may publicise the results.
If you live in one of our supported housing schemes for disabled or older people, we'll grit your communal areas in icy conditions. Contact us if there’s an area you think should be gritted, and our contractors will come out and do it for you.
We’re not responsible for public footpaths and roads though, so you’ll need to contact your local authority to ask about gritting in these areas.
We’ve listened to your feedback and are continuing to bring grounds maintenance in-house. In March 2024, we insourced the service in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Dorset and Andover. We also insourced a limited number of sites in Wiltshire and South Hampshire.
This follows our move over the last couple of years to bring grounds maintenance in-house in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and parts of Basingstoke (customers who receive a grounds maintenance service from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council will continue to do so). This means that you’ll see SNG operatives looking after the areas of land that we’re responsible for, instead of contractors. We already do grounds maintenance in-house on the Isle of Wight.