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Building a Successful Business

We are committed to enabling long term business sustainability by increasing our financial capacity, optimising return on assets and excellence in governance. This is underpinned by enabling our employees to flourish and providing a great customer service

Optimising return on assets

Through the Active Asset Management Strategy, we continually improve our assets using financial, market and sustainability indicators. To ensure a focus on the return on investment of both commercial assets and homes, we have adopted a rigorous appraisal based approach to managing assets, ensuring a good understanding of the return on assets and driving action to mitigate the impact of negative assets over time.

Asset Management Performance and Achievements 2015/16

  • £20.8m projected savings on capital expenditure by extending the life of certain component replacements in homes
  • 90.10% of our properties had a positive NPV (Net Present Value)
  • 100% of homes met the Decent Homes Standard
  • Saved an average £300 - £400 a year for tenants on their heating bills as a result of targeted home insulation improvements
  • Achieved the SHIFT Silver Award 2015

2016/17 Look Forward

Moving forward to 16/17, we will aim to achieve:

  • 90% of homes to have a positive NPV (Net Present Value)
  • 80% of homes to have a 6% minimum yield (income on assets)
  • 1.28% maximum voids rent loss

Enabling employees to flourish

Our people are key to achieving business success. As such, we recognise the importance of creating an environment in which employees believe in the part they play in making a real difference to livin and its tenants.

We recognise that our staff are key to providing excellent services to our customers. We are committed to continuously improving our employment practices and to maintain the positive recognition we have received including Employer of Choice status and “Positive About Disabled People”.  Through our Workforce Strategy, we use proactive human resource management practices to ensure we attract and retain the best talent to meet the changing needs of our customers, communities and our business.

In order to meet the increasing challenges in the business environment, it is essential that we provide an operating environment that effectively engages employees and enables them to flourish through offering continuous learning, development and challenge.

livin People Performance and Achievements 2015/16


  • 82% staff would recommend working at livin to others
  • 75% staff satisfied with their terms and conditions
  • 78% staff positive about a career at livin
  • 94% staff had zero days of sickness
  • Achieved upper quartile in our benchmarking peer group for days lost due to sickness absence
  • £528 per employee was invested in employee training
  • 521 days of training provided to employees (an average of 3.2 days per employee)
  • Awarded Bronze for the North East Better Health at Work Award 

2016/17 Look Forward

For 16/17, we will aim to achieve:

  • 80% staff satisfaction with livin as an employer
  • 70% Best Companies Index Score
  • 82% staff agreeing that their job is good for their growth/career

Offering great customer service

Our customer service team provides an excellent service at first point of contact by various means. This includes accessing our services and providing feedback on their views and suggestions on how to improve the services we provide.

During 2015/16 the customer service team has diversified to become multi-channel in response to our customer expectations, to provide a choice of channels through which they can access our services. Previously a traditional call centre, we now offer various digital customer service channels including web chat, social media and an online tenants self-serve portal. Our customer service advisers offer a high standard of customer service regardless of  the contact channel, and enhance the customer experience through use of digital. Where necessary, tenants receive assistance to use our digital services. The changes have resulted in an increase in customer uptake of all livin digital services.

Offering Great Customer Service Performance and Acheivements 2015/16

  • Became a multi-channel contact centre with improved choice of customer access channels
  • Online advisors available for extended hours
  • Increased our Customer to Business transactions undertaken via digital means by 16%
  • Increased the number of homes accessing services via ‘my livin space’ by 3.5%.
  • 83% of customer service calls dealt with at first point of contact
  • 100% of complaints dealt with in accordance with livin’s Customer Complaints and Feedback Policy

2016/17 Look Forward

Moving forward to 2016/17, we will aim to achieve:

  • 92% overall customer satisfaction
  • 80% of customer contacts dealt with effectively at the first point of contact (including digital contact)

Increasing financial capacity to enable growth

We are committed to reinvesting money back into our communities through effective money management. We closely monitor our income and expenditure to ensure our investment back into our communities will benefit tenants and residents, while retaining the sustainability of our business. We continuously drive efficient and effective management of financial resources to maximise the financial health of the organisation.

Increasing Financial Capacity Performance and Achievements 2015/16

  • 99% of rent collected
  • Improved our void rent loss performance by £103,000 during 15/16
  • £92,109 of former tenant arrears collected
  • Enabled 44% of tenants to pay their rent by Direct Debit
  • £150,981 of savings were achieved through effective procurement practices (purchasing of goods and services)
  • Procured a new Grounds Maintenance contract which will deliver 25% efficiency savings
  • Invested £203,000 in our communities and enabled a further £360,764 of match funding

2016/17 Look Forward

Moving forward to 2016/17, we aim to achieve:

  • 26.7% operating margin
  • 0.5% growth in turnover
  • 13.5% net profit
  • £0.5 million efficiency savings
  • 99.5% rent collected as a percentage of the rent roll

Excellence in Governance

livin is committed to continuously improving our governance arrangements, to ensure that these remain fit for purpose in the challenging external environment we face, and to maintain strong systems of internal control. We seek to ensure that our governance is effective and transparent, through clear accountabilities, robust decision making and strong risk management. Decision making processes are efficient, timely and sound, and that they result in the best outcomes for our tenants. To drive excellence in governance, we undertake an annual assessment of the effectiveness of our governance arrangements.

Excellence in Governance Performance and Achievements 2015/16

  • 13 service improvements were identified by our Scrutiny Group to improve the complaints and feedback service
  • Retained our V1/G1 status in February 2016

2016/17 Look Forward

Moving forward to 2016/17, we will aim to:

  • Retain our V1, G1 status
  • Undertake at least two scrutiny reviews of our services

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