Identifying signs of abuse of tenants: Examples from practice
Guidance for frontline housing staff and contractors
- In Birmingham the Eyes and Ears adult safeguarding campaign urges people to report their concerns if they fear an adult with care and support needs is being abused.
- In Redcar, Coast and Country Housing has launched an awareness campaign called ‘Something’s not right’.
- Gentoo (a group of housing-related companies) has a ‘Cause for Concern’ initiative. The aim is to identify domestic abuse through customers’ repair reporting. If any of the following repairs are reported on two or more occasions over a 12-month period, an alert is raised by staff and forwarded to the victim support team:
- lock changes (front and back doors)
- lost keys
- broken windows/glazing repairs
- damage to bathroom door/lock
- internal door damage.
Once an alert has been raised the victim support officer will investigate concerns, checking tenancy breach information and speaking to neighbourhood staff before attempting to contact the tenant to discuss concerns. Victim support staff can visit, taking care not to alert potential perpetrators.
Maintenance staff at Gentoo all carry hand-held devices with a button they can press when they feel something is not quite right. They document what they have seen and press the button which alerts safeguarding staff to investigate further. All trade vans carry stickers reminding them to report relevant information.