Looking after your neighbourhood

Looking After Your Neighbourhood

Our dedicated Neighbourhood Teams and estate services staff are responsible for making sure your neighbourhoods are safe, clean and attractive places to live.

To ensure that all of our neighbourhoods are safe, clean and attractive places to live we will:

  • Maintain our estates to an excellent standard using early intervention, support and enforcement tools where appropriate.
  • Adopt an ‘Eyes Wide Open’ approach to ensure all issues affecting the neighbourhood are identified and responded to.
  • Work with a range of partners and local stakeholders to develop local plans to ensure that our properties and the surrounding environment are maintained to a good standard.
  • Continue to engage with you to help us maintain our neighbourhoods through a range of involvement activities.
  • Develop, monitor and promote clear service standards for effective neighbourhood management.

Responsibilities

Gentoo is responsible for the maintenance and management of open spaces on land owned by us. Feedback has indicated that it isn’t clear what is our responsibly and what is the responsibility of your Local Council. We are only responsible for the maintenance and management of open spaces on land owned by Gentoo.

There are also issues that are not the responsibility of Gentoo, regardless of who owns the land, including;

  • Uneven pavements
  • Street lighting
  • Dog Fouling
  • Dog waste bins
  • Litter Bins
  • Street  furniture i.e. bollards, crash barriers, benches etc
  • Stray dogs
  • Allotment sites
  • Roads (pot holes, cracked surfaces)
  • Street Name Plates
  • Untaxed/Abandoned vehicles

Any of these issues should be reported to Sunderland City Council via their website at sunderland.gov.uk or by contacting them on 0191 520 5550.

Grounds Maintenance

We’ve set up a dedicated Grounds Maintenance Team that’s responsible for maintaining and managing all open spaces both within our neighbourhoods and on the land surrounding the blocks of properties we own.

As part of our commitment to our customers, we ensure that the team will:

  • Inspect grassed areas and remove all litter and other items before mowing
  • Make sure that no grassed areas are left uncut between rows, so that the grass is an even height across the area.
  • Mow as closely as possible to fixed obstacles such as walls and fences
  • Mow any areas that were initially overlooked to the same standard as the main area before leaving the site
  • Cut path edges vertically and edge them once a year
  • Leave grass clippings where they fall, except those that fall onto hard surfaces (these will be removed)
  • Respond to any requests we receive for tree pruning or felling by arranging for a member of our Arboricultural Team to assess the work
  • Shape hedges, where appropriate, during the spring and summer (all work will be timed to make sure that nesting birds are not disturbed).

Our service standards apply to the land we own and ensure that we will:

  • Cut grass during the period April to September. Grass to be kept to a height of between 25mm to 50mm April to September (weather permitting)
  • Carry out weed management on shrub beds and hedge bases April to September (weather permitting)
  • Plant flower beds twice a year - in spring and in summer (before each planting, we will prepare the bed and remove any rubbish)
  • Prune rose bushes twice a year - in spring and again in autumn
  • Where necessary, prune any shrubs that are encroaching on paths, windows, doors, car parking bays, etc between April and September.
  • Where appropriate, prune shrubs once a year between October and March, preparing the soil surface and removing any weeds or litter at the same time.