Maintaining the spaces around your home
From 1 November 2016 two companies, Just Ask and Mears, are
responsible for managing cleaning and ground maintenance services
at Genesis properties across London. Before Just Ask and Mears
managed these services there were over 50 contractors carrying out
estate services such as pest control, communal cleaning and
landscape maintenance. This meant that there was a great deal of
inconsistency in the quality of service provided to customers. Some
work was not being carried out on a regular basis which led to
complaints from customers.
If you would like to understand more about the services Just Ask
and Mears provide, below you can find a series of FAQs.
We are also keen to hear about your experiences of the service,
or answer any of your questions, please email email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
What is happening?
Genesis has appointed Just Ask and Mears to act as its estates services providers, replacing the 50+ contractors that used to carry out its estate services. The new contracts will see the two companies managing communal cleaning and grounds maintenance at properties across the Genesis portfolio.
Who are Mears and Just Ask?
In partnership with social housing providers and local authorities, Mears maintains, repairs and upgrades the homes of hundreds of thousands of people. It delivers in excess of 6,000 repairs every day to a portfolio of over 1,000,000 homes nationwide, and employs over 20,000 people in every region of the UK.
Just Ask Estate Services is an award winning service provider. Established in 2006, Just Ask has partnerships with a number of Registered Social Landlords, some of which include The Hyde Group, A2dominion, Notting Hill Housing Group and Thames Valley Housing Association. Just Ask specialises in cleaning, grounds maintenance, security, concierge and environmental services to over 60,000 homes in London and the South of England.
Why were they appointed?
Genesis had over 50 contractors carrying out estate services such as pest control, communal cleaning and landscape maintenance across all of its regions. This meant that there was a great deal of inconsistency in the quality of service provided to customers. Some work was not being carried out on a regular basis which led to complaints from customers, and having such a high number of contractors for what was already a £20m contract, was not only expensive but also it was not always clear which contractor was dealing with what and in which location.
In order to reduce the number of contractors involved and provide more streamlined estate services, Genesis invited contractors to tender for one or more of the following four Lots:
- Lot A (Counties)
- Lot B (Essex)
- Lot C (West - South London & Surrey)
- Lot D (North - East London)
Just Ask and Mears both demonstrated throughout the procurement process that they had a clear understanding of our requirements and those of our customers. They also impressed with their strong commitment to ensuring that social value runs through their work, which chimes really well with our mission to create and sustain thriving communities.
Recruiting Just Ask and Mears has also created £450,000 in social value. This will go towards a number of Apprenticeships, Progression into Employment schemes, Job Fairs and community projects in the area.
How many suppliers tendered for contracts?
Over 22 submissions were received and contractors were evaluated in areas including social value, financial strength and policies and procedures.
How were residents involved with the procurement process?
Residents were involved at every stage of the tendering process. Genesis held two customer focus groups to gather initial feedback in the New Year, and residents’ questions were built into the Invitation to Tender (ITT) documents.
Which regions will be covered by which contractor?
If you live in East London, Camden, Islington or Haringey then your contractor will be Mears. If you live anywhere else, then your contractor will be Just Ask Ltd.
What services will Mears /Just Ask provide?
Mears and Just Ask Ltd will carry out the following services:
- Window cleaning
- Grounds maintenance
- Internal/external cleaning
- Communal cleaning (including windows)
- Bulk rubbish / fly tipping removal
- Environmental waste removal
- Paladin bin cleaning
- Tree maintenance (including at height)
- Japanese Knotweed management
- Lamp replacement
- Playground equipment maintenance
When do they start?
The new contract commenced on 1 November 2016, however some services (such as pest control) will not be carried out from day one of the new contract, but will be gradually taken over from the incumbent contractors.
Are Mears / Just Ask more expensive? Will my service charge go up?
We undertook this exercise to ensure best value for money for our customers, and to provide consistent pricing for the main cleaning and gardening and any additional services that will be offered. We do not anticipate any increase in service charges outside of normal inflationary increases, and we are hoping to pass on efficiency savings and be able to provide clearer and more transparent billing.
How will I recognise the new contractors?
Both Mears and Just Ask will have vehicles, uniforms and name badges bearing the Genesis logo alongside their own. There will also be information about this on communal noticeboards where available. Please ask to see a contractor’s ID if you are unsure of who they are.
How can I give my feedback on my new contractor?
We believe strongly that Mears and Just Ask can offer an even better service than the one you were previously receiving. We have been working closely with both companies to ensure as smooth a transition as possible as they take on the responsibility for delivering estates services at all of our properties.
We worked closely with our residents throughout the procurement process and want to keep you involved and able to have your say as the new contracts bed in. With this in mind, we are keen to hear what you think of the new service and we invite you to give us your feedback on 033 3000 3000 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org