Annual Report 2022-23


The Scottish Social Housing Charter sets the standards and outcomes that all social landlords like Ark should aim to achieve when performing their housing activities. We are accountable to our tenants and other customers for how well we meet these standards and outcomes. We produce an annual report to detail our performance. This year we have compared Arks’ performance to the Scottish Average. Last year we asked tenants and members of the Scrutiny Group what they would like in the Report. The feedback we received was that tenants would like a short 4 page summary. So this year we have the full report on our website and have sent a 4 page summary to all tenants. A copy of this can also be found here.

The report has been broken down into sections:

Customer Service

Tenant Participation & Engagement

Tenant participation gives tenants an opportunity to influence decisions about the services they receive and it allows landlords to better understand the needs of our customers. Ark is committed to developing and supporting participation and engagement

What has Ark done in 2022-23 to engage with tenants?

Continued working with the Tenant Scrutiny Group

In 2021 the Group was formed and established, receiving training on what scrutiny is about, signed off on its' Terms of Reference and agreed a name for the Group - the Ark Rainbow Service Improvement Group. The Tenants Information Service (TIS) continued to support and facilitate the group. The first Scrutiny activity was to look at the landscaping and grounds maintenance contract and this activity was completed in April 2022. The final report can be found here.

Annual Return on Charter Tenant Report Consultation (ARC)

In November 2022, we carried out a tenant consultation on last year’s report. We wanted to understand how useful tenants find the report and how we can improve it. As part of this consultation, we also welcomed volunteers to help shape the final version of this years ARC report. 30 people replied to us, with the majority agreeing that we should produce a digital version and a short summary version. 

of tenants said they found the Tenant Report informative.


Annual House Visits

We carry out annual house visits to all of our tenants. These visits allow us to gather the views and needs of our tenants, which will help inform how we improved the services we deliver in the future.

During 2022-23, We met


(62%) tenants, This was 16% more than last year.



From previous year

Rent Increase Consultation

In December 2022 we consulted tenants on the proposed rent increase for 2023/2024 of 5.0% or 7.0%. We received 63 responses, 19 more than last year.

Even though our costs had increased significantly, with increases in costs of materials/labour, we did everything we could to keep rents as low as possible.

The process of setting rent charges is a complex one with many variables influencing the final decision, such as:

  • Comparing rent charges of peer organisations
  • Affordability to tenants, considering rises in other costs such as energy/food
  • Income generated to cover costs
  • Inflation - Ark applied a rent uplift lower than inflation (10.1% at September 2022)

Service charges (for items like stair cleaning/communal landscaping/furniture provision) were frozen. Overall this equated on an annual increase of 5.3%. The Scottish Average was 5.14%.



Results for tenant satisfaction and engagement are based on tenant satisfaction surveys, which are carried out every three years. Our last survey was carried out in 2020. Therefore, there has been no change to our 2021-22 performance. Your views about the services you receive from Ark are important and we are always looking to get more of our tenants to engage with us. We are currently reviewing the ways we engage with tenants and will tell you more about this soon. If you would like to participate in decision-making, or have ideas about how we might be able to provide more opportunities for tenant participation please contact a member of the housing team.

Tenancy Sustainment

Tenancy sustainment is achieved through the provision of relevant and timely information, advice and support to tenants allowing them to keep to the terms of their tenancy agreements and remain in their homes.

The housing team work to ensure that allocations are made appropriately, rent accounts are kept up to date and anti-social behaviour and estate management issues are dealt with as efficiently as possible to help tenants to undertake their responsibilities as tenants.


Table 2 above shows that 15% of our tenants did not stay in their tenancy for a full 12 months. Whilst this seems high, only 4 tenants ended their tenancy. What the Regulator is looking for here are whether there are specific reasons, such as anti-social behaviour; poor property conditions; high rent levels, which may be causing tenants to end their tenancies. The reasons for these 4 tenancies ending were:

  • I tenant died
  • 2 moved for medical/support reasons
  • 1 transferred to another Ark property.


What is Ark doing to help tenancy sustainment?


Allocating Ark Properties Legally

Before we allocate a property we carry out a number of checks and hold discussions with prospective tenants to make sure the property is suitable for them. 

Where tenants receive care & support, we work closely with the Care & Support provider to ensure that the property is suitable for that individual.


In 2022-23 we rehoused


New Tenants

2 were to tenants who got transferred
2 were to applicants from the housing list
1 was through Edindex as a homeless referral
6 were through Social Work referrals for supported tenancies

In addition there were 2 mutual exchanges.

Breakdown of allocations in 2022-23

Sign up and settling in Visits


In addition to the pre-allocation checks, we provide new tenants with a comprehensive sign up pack and carry out face-to-face sign up meetings where we explain the terms and conditions of Ark’s tenancy agreement that they are expected to sign. 

We will carry out a visit within 6 weeks of the new tenant moving into the property. This allows us to check whether they have moved into the property, settled in, are paying their rent on time or claimed any housing costs that they may be entitled to.

Where there is a supported tenant, it can be difficult to carry out a settling in visit for a number of reasons. These include where a Guardian might be in place and it is difficult to arrange a meeting with them; the supported person might not want to speak to us when we arrive; the supported person may not be able to communicate with us.

In 2022-23, we carried out


Settling in Visits

Customer Service

Anti-social Behaviour

We want you to be happy and safe in your home. We work to ensure that any issues of anti-social behaviour are dealt with as quickly as possible and in accordance with our procedures and policies.


There was only 1 case out of the 15 that we did not resolve within the year.  We received it towards the end of the  year, which meant we could not get it resolved in time.

What is Ark doing to help tackle Anti-Social Behaviour?

The Noise App

In 2021-22 Ark introduced the Noise App. This is a very efficient means of taking good quality recordings of noise nuisances such as a dog barking, loud music, parties, anti-social behaviour, machinery, vehicles, construction or industrial noise. This empowers tenants to gather evidence for use by their housing officer. This can be used when taking any action against tenants in cases of anti-social behaviour.

Converting tenancies to Short Scottish Secure Tenancy (SSST)

Tenants usually get given a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement (SST). The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 allows us to convert this to a Short Scottish Secure Tenancy where there is evidence of anti-social behaviour. When a tenant is issued with a SSST, it means that if they continue to act in an anti-social manner Ark can apply to a court to repossess their property more quickly.

We Evicted


Tenant. This is the same as in 2021-22

Complaints & Feedback

Your complaints and feedback provide us with valuable information, which we use to improve how we deliver services to customers.

At Ark we are committed to providing   the highest standard of service to our tenants. However we accept that, despite our best efforts, there may be occasions where our customers are not fully satisfied with the service that we have provided.

Complaints: 2022-23

Our complaints handling process reflects Ark’s commitment to valuing customer complaints, and has been designed to resolve dissatisfaction as close as possible to the point of where our services are being delivered.

Our approach, where we aim to ‘get it right first time’ follows that set out by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Complaints give us valuable information which we can use to improve our service provision. By analysing complaints this will help us prevent the same problem from happening again. For our staff, complaints provide a first-hand account of our customers’ views and experience, and can highlight problems or offer better ways of doing things which we may otherwise miss. 

The complaints procedure has two stages.

  • These are Frontline or Stage 1 complaints which are deemed to be relatively straightforward and can be responded to within five working days or less.
  • Investigations or Stage 2 complaints are considered to be more complex and these will usually be responded to within twenty working days.

The tables below shows our performance for complaints handing for 2022-23.

Breakdown of Complaints


Learning From Complaints - You said, We did.

Here are a couple of examples of how we have used complaints to improve our service delivery.


Complaint received about tenant dissatisfaction with the management of housing issues and Ark’s repairs services.

What We Did:

Appointed an independent Head of Service to lead the investigation of the complaint. Reviewed the outcome of the complaint and developed a specific remedial action plan. Created a revised approach to repairs and maintenance for Ark’ housing and maintenance teams to take forward. Implemented actions to improve communications with customers across all Ark services.


Complaint regarding the lack of consistent cleaning contractor visits, lack of tenant involvement in the appointment of the contractor and over charging for cleaning services.

What We Did

Apologised for the lack of service provision and contract.  Arranged for a Housing Services Officer to conduct regular monitoring visits. Organised a tenant consultation specific to stair and laundry cleaning requirements. Made the laundry area more secure.

Ark's Homes

Quality of Housing

The Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS)


This is the main way the Scottish Government measure housing quality. In order for our properties to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS), they must:

  • be compliant with the Tolerable Standard;
  • be free from serious disrepair;
  • be energy efficient (this has been superseded by the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH));
  • have modern facilities and services; and
  • be healthy, safe and secure.

We have identified what our key investment priorities should be over the next five years.


Our figures reduced considerably compared to 2021-22 as a result of Ark failing to have accurate records and a robust system in place for electrical testing. A considerable piece of work was completed as soon as this was identified and we now have the certificates in place for 97.5% of our properties. We have also reviewed our processes to make them more robust.

EESSH Performance statistics

The Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing or EESSH was introduced in March 2014 by the Scottish Government. The standard sets milestones to encourage landlords to improve on the energy efficiency of social housing. EESSH was reviewed in 2018-2019 and a new EESSH2 milestone was agreed to:

“All social housing meets, or can be treated as meeting, EPC Band B (Energy Efficiency rating), or is as energy efficient as practically possible, by the end of December 2032 and within the limits of cost, technology and necessary consent.”

The Scottish Government has confirmed that a further review of the updated EESSH2 is to commence this year for completion in 2023.

Ark currently have:

Properties which meet the requirements


Properties which fail to meet the EESSH milestone requirements


Exemption due to the age of the property


Ark’s approved Asset Management Strategy and investment plan supports the transition to EESSH2 and targets the necessary areas for improvement to ensure by 2032 all our homes will be fully compliant with the 2032 energy standards.

Repairs & Maintenance Investment

The asset team delivered over £300k in component replacements to several of our properties throughout Ark HA stock. This work included: 

  • 5 x Bathrooms

  • 1 x Full Heating System Replacement

  • 15 properties x Window Replacements

  • 21 properties x External Door Replacements

  • 1 x Hot Water System Replacement

  • 1 x Laundry Room Refurbishment

  • 2 x Extensive Roof Works

  • 1 x Commercial Gas Boiler Replacement


During 2022-23 Ark Spent


On delivering repairs and routine cyclical maintenance. The Asset team also completed void inspections and investment in 11 vacant self-contained flats/rooms.

We Invested


into our stock in 2022-23.

In 2022-23 Ark Completed


of Gas Safety Checks within the 12 month timescale, we could not carry out 3 services due to lack of access to the property.



A breakdown of response times are shown in Table 7 below.

In 2022-23 there were


emergency repairs completed in an average of 12.58 hours

In 202-23 there were


non-emergency repairs completed in an average of 12.06 days

The repairs and maintenance measures below show an increase in the length of time taken to complete emergency and non-emergency repairs in 2022-23. This is due to a combination of poor contractors performance, failing to gain access into properties to carry our works and general delays sourcing materials and parts as a consequence of on-going disruptions in the supply chain.

Grant Funded Medical Adaptations

Each year Ark receive grant money from the Scottish Government to adapt Ark owned properties to better suit the needs of its tenants. This can be a ramp, level access shower, grab rails, bannisters, electric opening doors and a variety of other alterations.

This money was sourced from a grant fund of £80k allocated by the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council. 

IN 2022-23 ARK SPENT


Adapting 19 properties for medical needs. A breakdown can be found in Table 8 below.


How we spend tenants' money

How £1 of Rent Is Spent

The pie chart to the right shows how each £1 of rent received from tenants is spent. The majority of spend is on the upkeep of the properties, these include major, reactive, cyclical and void repairs. As at 31st March 2023 this stood at £1,117,179 which equates to 50p of each £1 spent. Staffing costs were 30p of the spend (£674,184). Other running costs were 15p (£328,502) and relate to items like insurance and administration. Loan repayments were 5p (£102,532).

Rent & Service Charges


For the last two years, Ark has not had to take any actions, which resulted in eviction, due to non-payment of rent.

The current arrears percentage of rent due has decreased slightly by 0.36% compared to last year. This is substantially lower than the Scottish  average of 6.86%. The housing team have been working closely with tenants to intervene early to prevent arrears from accumulating and signposting tenants for welfare benefit advice and financial support from a number of external agencies.


Value For Money

The Scottish Housing Charter Outcome 13, Value for Money sets out: “Social landlords manage all aspects of their businesses so that tenants, owners and other customers receive services that provide continually improving value for the rent and other charges they pay.”

As part of the tenant satisfaction survey   that we carried out in between months of October – December 2020 tenants were asked if they thought that the accommodation and services we provide represent value for money. The chart below provides the responses of the 169 tenants that took part in the survey.

Value For Money

As part of the tenant satisfaction survey that we carried out in between months of October – December 2020 tenants were asked if they thought that the accommodation and services we provide represent value for money. The chart below provides the responses of the 169 tenants that took part in the survey.

Tenant Satisfaction Survey

Percentage of tenants who feel rent for property represents good value for money (%)


Last year we compared our rents to some organisations similar to Ark. This year we have compared them against the Scottish Average. Our rents look a lot higher but this is mainly because we apply a number of service charges for services such as communal gardening and cleaning; but also more specialist charges for supported accommodation such as furniture provision; servicing of specialist equipment and licensing charges for Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO's). We have to include all of the charges in our calculations so this increases the overall charge.

Tenant Feedback

We hope that you enjoyed reading our 2022-23 Annual Report. Please let us know what you thought about this year’s report by completing the online survey or by at emailing feedback to I

If you would like to be involved in producing next year’s annual report please contact the Housing Team on 0131 478 8146 or email us on the above email address.