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Cleaning Counting the cost of littering

What can leaseholders do when faced with a persistent littering problem? Specialist cleaning contractor Beechwood has helped residents in a London block tackle relentless anti-social behaviour

London-based Beechwood Property Services were recently contracted for a weekly clean on a block of flats suffering from a major littering problem. However, the scheduled cleans of the communal areas were rendered virtually useless by non-residents scattering litter and rubbish immediately after the job was completed. This made it a near impossible task to convince the occupiers that the cleaning had been done at all. The problem was made worse by the fact that the contracted hours for weekly cleaning were restricted, as the building’s service charge budget would not allow for any increase in expenditure. This presented a challenge for Beechwood and after discussion with the client, the decision was taken to change the weekly contracted hours to cleaning on a daily basis. This move was implemented and the resulting daily upkeep of the building delivered noticeable improvements, not only in higher levels of cleanliness but in generating greater respect from residents for the upgraded appearance of their block. An added bonus was that the daily presence of a uniformed cleaner made a huge impact on the nuisance visitors, who were put off dropping litter by seeing the cleaning attendants at work.

Litter has now been totally eliminated from the block and the building looks noticeably cleaner. The residents are delighted with the changes that have been implemented which have made a genuine difference to the environment they live in. Cost is a major issue for leaseholders who employ cleaners to

maintain communal areas. The current economic climate has escalated the difficulty in collecting service charges from property owners and, increasingly, owners and tenants are scrutinising all block expenditure. And rightly so: why should residents have to pay for extra cleaning

services to remove rubbish, empty cans and cigarette butts that have been left by visitors or passers-by? By taking a structured approach and recognising the importance

of not impacting unnecessarily on their client’s cleaning budgets, Beechwood has helped residents resolve an issue that is faced all too often.

Beechwood Property Services Ltd Tel: 0845 3833 111 E:

The fight-back five

Fly-tipping and littering are a problem for many leaseholders but here are five ideas from managing agent Aston Rose to help keep the litter louts at bay.

• Increase or improve lighting

• Install secure gates or barriers to restrict access to communal areas.

• Reduce any foliage or hidden areas to keep passers-by in full view. It is also important that the grounds are well kept; any untidy areas may also attract dumping.

• Report fly-tipped rubbish to the managing agents or RMC. If ignored it may attract further dumping.

• Invest in CCTV along with relevant signs, identifying that CCTV is in place and any tipping would bring a maximum penalty of £50,000 if convicted.

Leaseholders should also remember that fly-tipping is a criminal act and so residents are advised not to tackle the issue directly with the culprits. Anyone seen dumping items will not react well to being questioned and will certainly not appreciate photographs being taken or vehicle details being noted. If Flat Living readers have any ideas of their own, or have beaten littering in their block, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at 43

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