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Student residences

'You said', 'We will' 2020-21

In response to the feedback we have received from the Student Accommodation Survey, we will make the following improvements:

Agnes Blackadder Hall

 You said create a more positive and enjoyable experience for first years - it’s a very difficult time and I don’t feel like the accommodation has really understood that..

  • To work with Hall Committee to ensure we make the next year as good an experience as possible. If possible try to have a meeting before end of this academic year.

You said enquire if students are happy in their households..

  • Encourage staff to ask students how they are and how they are enjoying things.

You said the only communication had is through threatening emails to our kitchen..

  • Review working of advisory emails

Andrew Melville Hall

 You said to be available on weekend mornings - Being accessible at all times..

  • A member of RBS (Duty Manager or Porter) is available every weekend – students have access to RBS staff 7 days per week during office hours – Wardenial staff out with office hours – and student support staff as and when required all can be contacted by email on the phone or in person.

You said in one of the kitchens there is only one microwave..

  • Number of Microwaves are provided under HMO guidance.

You said more covered cycle storage, AMH the bike shed is always full..

  • We are currently in discussions with the transition team and are looking into improving cycle storage as well as cycle maintenance services and equipment. .

You said nicer showers that you don't have to push a button to operate..

  • Our showerers have been designed to reduce water waste and are better for the environment.

You said please respond to emails quicker and actually answer the questions in the email (quite often I got a generic response that did not answer my question at all, which resulted in several emails being sent until i got an answer)..

  • We make every effort to respond to all queries/emails in a timely and polite way. We aim to reply to all emails within 2-3 hours of receipt. However, if we are waiting on information from other sources then it could take longer.

You said try to account for everybody's opinions although this is difficult..

  • We hold monthly Residence experience meetings where any issues/opinions can be highlighted and addressed. Talk to your committee and they will bring your ideas/opinions to the table.
DRA and Fife Park

 

You said a bit more of an introduction or explanation of staff and their roles..

  • In normal circumstances staff would be introduced throughout the welcome weekend through PowerPoint presentations and welcome talks, however we will also follow this information through in our introduction emails, so students know more about the team & ensure our pictures and positions are displayed in the facilities building

You said give us information on how heating works..

  • We will investigate providing manuals on how heating works, and appliances work in each flat.

You said give us more information about opening times of the reception, mailroom and laundry..

  • This information is provided at the start of term through the welcome emails and signage within the laundries, reception & outside the mailroom 

You said be more flexible with parcel pickup..

  • In normal circumstances, the mailroom is open all day from 11am, we would have it open earlier however the delivery of mail arrives later and takes longer to process on a larger site such as DRAFP. During COVID 19, the mailroom times had to be reduced. We hope to revert to the regular times as soon as it’s possible. If students are unable to collect parcels within these hrs, we do our upmost to accommodate where possible

You said sometimes staff don’t knock and wait for a response before entering flat ..

  • We will remind all staff and contractors when entering any buildings to adhere to our procedures we have in place for entering any student flat/bedroom.
Deans Court

 

You said issues replying to emails..

  • We aim to reply to all emails within 2-3 hours of receipt, however if we are waiting on information from other sources then it could take longer. We can only apologise if an email was not responded to.

Gannochy Hall

 

You said issues with hot water times..

  • These are set at the same time throughout all of our residences

You said there is water problems..

  • This was a reactive situation and as such we could not give the quantity/quality of information regularly as there were other department/companies involved

You said issues with replying to emails..

  • We aim to reply to all emails within 2-3 hours of receipt, however if we are waiting on information from other sources then it could take longer. We can only apologise if an email was not responded to.



John Burnet Hall

 

You said better heating systems, improve hall kitchens and showers..

  • Heating times in hall this year were extended – any heating issues must be raised via the office at which point we will investigate/make good

You said feedback on when an issue has been fixed/seen by an engineer/technician. ..

  • We make every effort to keep you informed of “any work” taking place in hall if you no longer have an issue then the situation has been rectified.

You said provide more recycling facilities. If facilities are not available people are not encouraged to recycle. This has got better recently but I think the wider provision of glass/ recycling would be good. ..

  • We work very closely with our environmental team and constantly review and monitor our recycling facilities – becoming a committee environment rep helps us to help you.

You said be quicker at responding to queries, especially email ..

  • We make every effort to respond to all queries/emails in a timely and polite way. We aim to reply to all emails within 2-3 hours of receipt, however if we are waiting on information from other sources then it could take longer.

You said whilst it is easy to contact the services, I feel a little hesitation to contact them as I do not know them as well and a little unfamiliar ..

  • We have an open-door policy and welcome any contact whether it be via email in person or over the telephone. The more you engage with us the better you will get to know us.
McIntosh Hall

 

You said staff interactions and emails..

  • We endeavour to respond to all queries in a timely and courteous manner. We aim to reply to all emails within 2-3 hours of receipt, however if we are waiting on information from other sources then it could take longer. We can only apologise if an email was not responded to.

You said issues with kitchen equipment..

  • We bought replacements for the kitchens. If anything is missing then please let us know and we will go looking.

Powell Hall

 

You said change the sewer system of Powell Hall..

  • Keep working on blocked shower problem in PH.

You said the laundry machines are scarce in Powell Hall. There are far too few washing machines (and at least one is always out of order..

  • Check machines are not out of order daily.

You said issues with response times..

  • We aim to reply to all emails/enquiries within 2-3 hours of receipt, however if we are waiting on information from other sources then it could take longer.

St Regulus Hall

 

You said issues with noisy doors..

  • All doors need to be able to shut under their own inertia to comply with fire regulations which can lead to slamming, however if you let us know the problem doors we can try to reduce the tension to stop the noise

St Salvator's Hall

 

You said issues with water and showers..

  • This was a reactive situation and as such we could not give the quantity/quality of information regularly as there were other department/companies involved. We installed temporary showers.

 

University Hall

 

You said better communication with students..

  • We make every effort to respond to all queries/emails in a timely and polite way. We aim to reply to all emails within 2-3 hours of receipt, however if we are waiting on information from other sources then it could take longer. We use resadmin to keep students up to date with-in hall activity that may impact their stay. We hold monthly Residence experience meetings where issues can be highlighted and addressed.

You said we need better lights in the rooms..

  • We are in the process of changing all light fittings to LED which are better for the environment and are brighter.

You said replace/fix kitchen appliances that have broken. The kitchens could be upgraded because some are not nice ..

  • This year we have replaced 3 cooker/hobs and are starting to upgrade fridge/freezers. Kitchen improvements are on a rolling schedule and condition is reviewed annually

You said Provide sufficient heating in Warldlaw....

  • Heating times in hall this year were extended – any heating issues must be raised via the office at which point we will investigate/make good.

University owned and managed properties

 

You said issues with how to get help..

  • Updated information/easy guide on how to get help has been introduced for all residents.

  • Produced new information booklet for inclusion with tenancy folders for University managed properties.

  • University provide an on-call response to any maintenance emergencies that occur out with our normal working hours –Security & Response team. All residents have been advised with contact details.

  • Property Assistants have a daily presence on-site at Angus & Stanley office.
  • Student Accommodation staff are available daily to assist with all enquiries, maintenance requests etc. Emails are and will be issued to residents confirming any access requirements by either University staff or their appointed tradesmen. Residents are also encouraged to contact us for any advice that may be required.

You said issues with recycling and environmental..

  • Outdoor drying facilities for clothing has been provided for the Angus & Stanley site.
  • Environmental, Energy and Sustainability advice and information is provided on the University web pages, and also in the tenancy information packs which are issued to tenants with house keys on arrival for the managed properties.
  • Coloured recycling containers have been provided for each of the University owned properties at A&S. St. Gregory’s and Gregory Place.
  • Food waste recycling is to be reviewed with the Estates Office Environmental team.
  • Estates Office Environmental team have reviewed and improved the current recycling facilities at the A&S and St. Gregory’s/Gregory Place sites.
  • Waste disposal facilities and skip areas are monitored regularly by staff and cleaned as required at each site.
  • Regular referral is made to University Security regarding the problems caused by the school children at break times in relation to littering, broken glass and general nuisance.

You said issues with communication and access to properties by staff and contractors..

  • We aim to ensure that we have good communication channels with our tenants regarding all required access to their accommodation and also if a matter requires further investigation or works. We try to keep them advised of progress and up to date with developments. 
  • We aim to reply to all email enquiries and attend to reported maintenance issues within 24 hours where possible.
  • We expect our staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous, professional and polite at all times. Staff undertake regular customer care training and attend ongoing cultural change workshops to enhance and improve their skills.
  • We aim to carry out as many Estates contactors maintenance visits during vacation periods where possible and when this is not possible to schedule these for dates when our own staff are on site carrying out our own weekly checks thus reducing disturbance to our residents.
  • University staff are required to visit regularly to carry out Health & Safety checks to ensure compliance with current legislation, University accommodation contract terms & conditions and for the welfare of our residents.  All residents are informed by email in advance of these visits.
  • Liaison with University Estates Office to ensure reactive response to maintenance issues that occur in University owned accommodation.
  • Emails have been introduced as a follow up to the tenancy renewal application letters for the University managed properties which are issued in early January, just to remind residents that these are to be completed and returned to us ahead of the requested date and that an email application is also acceptable.

You said issues with marketing and advertising.

  • University Property Management Scheme is promoted on our web pages, using the electronic message board sited in The Students Union, St Marys Place, using the street ‘A board’ Information in North Street, the signage on the Property Services vehicle and in the local press as required.
  • Student Accommodation Services and Residences staff hold an open day and also drop in sessions at various locations, to advise returning students on the application process and the choice of properties available for them.
  • We will continue to provide up to date property information for tenants ahead of the accommodation application stage, following the viewing of the properties that tenants are interested in applying for and then at their lease signing meetings following their successful allocation.

You said issues with cycle storage..

  • Bicycle storage is already available on site at Angus & Stanley. Residents are asked to contact our office for a key should this be required.

 You said issues with laundry..

  • The current University provider of laundry facilities ‘Wash Station’ have been contacted again to review if it is possible to add additional machines at Angus & Stanley Smith Houses for the residents use.

You said issues with heating..

  • All University owned properties are fitted with economical systems and controls which the residents can use to turn on/off the heating provision at any time, therefore having complete control.
  • Managed properties leased by University must have adequate heating provision prior to any tenancy starting.
  • Student Accommodation staff are available to assist with all enquiries and Property Assistants are available to visit the residents to show them how to operate heating systems. University heating engineers and appointed University contractors are also available to show tenants the most economical way for a system to be operated should this be required.
  • Tenants are provided with back up/emergency oil filled heaters as appropriate should there be any breakdown in the heating system which cannot be immediately resolved. 

You said issues with improved facilities..

  • All managed properties are inspected to ensure properties meet statutory requirements with regards to Health & Safety and also compliance with the University’s leasing requirements. Reports are sent to landlords as necessary regarding improvements required. 
  • Constant communication with landlords regarding possible upgrades as required in relation to housing stock. 
  • All properties are checked for cleanliness etc. ahead of new tenancies starting and in readiness for new arrivals. Inventories and accurate meter readings are also taken and provided. Tenants are encouraged to contact us with any issues/concerns that they may have following their arrival.
  • All University owned properties are scheduled for regular improvements and upgrade to the fabric and furnishings in line with annual University budget provision.

You said issues with maintenance and repairs..

  • Prompt reactive response to any maintenance issues and repair requests raised by all tenants occupying all properties to ensure we continue to meet our current service levels and commitments.  Residents are kept informed at all times.
  • Our aim is for any maintenance request to be checked and completed whenever possible on the same day the matter is reported to Student Accommodation Services. 
  • Student Accommodation staff are available to assist with all enquiries, maintenance requests etc.
  • University staff are required to visit regularly to carry out Health & Safety checks to ensure compliance with current legislation and emails are and will be issued to residents confirming any access requirements by either University staff or their appointed tradesmen. Records of these H&S checks are kept for compliance.
  • University Security & Response teams respond to all maintenance emergencies out with our normal working hours. 
  • Liaison with University Estates Office to ensure reactive response to maintenance issues that occur in University Owned Accommodation. 

You said issues with pre-arrivals information and arrivals weekend..

  • Property photographs and tenancy information is regularly reviewed and updated for circulation to new and prospective tenants. 
  • Copies of inventories are provided upon request at application stage, during lease signing interviews and also for information ahead of a tenant’s arrival.
  • Use of University web site for circulation of property information and availability and Student Pad software as appropriate. 
  • Continued preparation of property inventories and information for inclusion with managed properties tenancy information packs/folder which are issued to tenants with keys when tenancy commences.
  • Information, assistance and advice in relation to council tax liability/exemption is provided to all residents on request, on the University web pages, in the Frequently Asked Questions section and is also discussed at the lease signing interviews for the managed properties.
  • Information, assistance and advice in relation to the setting up of utility accounts for the managed properties is provided to all residents on request, in the Frequently Asked Questions section on the web site, in the information folder, on the property inventories. This is also discussed at the lease signing interviews with the residents.
  • Arrivals information is provided along with how and where to collect keys.
  • Maps are available for tenants when keys are collected.
  • Arrangements are already in place for any Out of Hours arrivals for both our University owned and managed properties. Key collection is available at a secure location for out of hours arrivals.
  • Student Accommodation staff are on duty during arrivals weekend to provide trollies, to assist residents with their luggage into their rooms and provide any advice, information and directions.
  • Staff lower the bollard to provide access to the Angus & Stanley car park to allow vehicles to use the very limited space available for dropping off/unloading as close the residence as possible. Street signage is displayed to identify site.
  • University staff are easily identified by uniform and ID cards for assistance.



Whitehorn Hall

 

You said not having the threat of being charged if I forget my key would be nice..

  • Unfortunately, students do from time to time lose their keys or get locked out of their rooms each time this has an impact on service providers - charges are used as a deterrent and to encourage accountability for individual action.

You said the Plumbing of toilets is unsatisfactory..

  • We are aware of issues and our Estates department is working with us to resolve these ongoing issues.

You said laundry prices could be reduced slightly..

  • This year students were offered the opportunity to save money by buying a loaded card this has been well received

You said proactive student support maybe..

  • We hold monthly Residence experience meetings where any issues/opinions can be highlighted and addressed. Talk to your committee and they will bring your ideas/opinions to the table.

You said radiators are noisy..

  • We are aware of issues and our Estates department is working with us to resolve these ongoing issues.

You said timing of response..

  • We make every effort to respond to all queries/emails in a timely and polite way. We aim to reply to all emails within 2-3 hours of receipt, however if we are waiting on information from other sources then it could take longer.

You said when noise complaints come in I wish they were dealt with faster/better ..

  • We believe when noise complaints are raised in the appropriate manner they are dealt with swiftly.

    • You said Whitehorn is very poorly isolated, so it is very difficult to keep rooms and kitchens warm when it is cold outside.

      • Heating times have been extended this year – we do however rely on residents closing windows and doors to keep the warmth in, during winter months it's also beneficial to wear a few extra layers.