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What is an estate inspection?

You, our residents who are our customers, have told us how important local engagement is – meeting with our local teams to come up with local solutions to local problems. This is reflected in our Resident Engagement Strategy “Shaping Our Future” that we published in September 2022. Estate Inspections are a great example of local engagement in action.

Sanctuary Housing wants all our residents to live in well-managed and well-maintained housing, in an environment that is attractive, safe, and secure where our customers can live free from nuisance, intimidation and harassment. That is why we routinely check the quality of the estates we are responsible for; this process is called an Estate Inspection. You’ll see we do the equivalent of one inspection somewhere in the country every working day.

Sanctuary Housing Officer gathering feedback from a resident

Estate Inspections are carried out by a Housing Officer, sometimes accompanied by other teams. Wherever possible, we want to involve you in helping us to complete these inspections. You bring a crucial, and different, perspective than our teams. We support residents who want to get involved on what to look out for and then can take part in helping us to maintain and improve our estates. If you would like to be involved in future Estate Inspections, then please contact us at

Sanctuary staff member sweeping up debris

When we complete an Estate Inspection, we collect information using the same process for all our estates, this means we can easily compare results and understand what we are doing well, and where we need to do better. Where we find we need to make improvements, we agree actions with residents who have taken part and a time when a re-inspection should take place.

When we look at an estate, we also make sure our residents are aware of and accept their responsibilities in relation to the upkeep of their property and the surrounding environment and we give them the opportunity to influence and participate in decision making relating to estate management. Keeping our estates in good order creates environments where people choose to live:

Sanctuary’s mission is to build affordable homes and sustainable communities where people choose to live.

When we are completing Estate Inspections, we monitor the condition of the estate and we are looking out for the following:

  • outstanding repairs to communal areas
  • poorly maintained gardens and boundaries
  • abandoned vehicles on communal land
  • unauthorised parking
  • poor performance of grounds maintenance contractors
  • vandalism and graffiti
  • work required to trees on communal land
  • the condition of the garage areas, allotments and play areas
  • the condition of lighting on estates
  • the existence of pest infestations on communal land; and
  • the cleanliness and condition of bin stores and refuse collection points

Before we start an Estate Inspection, we make sure residents are told about the date and the time well in advance so they can take part. We will tell you about when we are carrying out an Estate Inspection in your newsletter or on your local community noticeboard. We will always try and give you at least two weeks’ notice of an Estate Inspection date.


We grade each Estate Inspection into one of three categories as described below:

  • Green – The majority of the checks were good, and no poor standards were found during the inspection.
  • Amber – The majority of the items checked were fair, and no poor standards were found during the inspection.
  • Red – One or more items checked was poor.

The ratings for each Estate Inspection are summarised in the checklist below:

Estate Check Green Amber Red


Litter and internal communal areas

No litter or few items of litter for example sweet, crisp wrappers. Internal communal areas (for example, floors and walls) tidy and clean. Some litter or dirt in external and or internal communal areas. Significant litter across the site or scheme. Significantly unclean communal area or Health and Safety Issues found. For example, damaged handrails or broken glass.


Individual properties

Individual gardens free of rubbish, well maintained. Minor issues with gardens for example, untidy lawn, toys, fencing intact but broken slats. Significantly untidy garden for example, large amount of rubbish, hazardous items in garden.


Communal areas

Grass, shrubs, trees maintained and grass cut. Grass and shrubs not fully maintained for example, unsightly appearance. Grass, shrubs not maintained and causing obstruction.



Good external appearance for example, windows or doors clean roof in good order. Tired appearance, windows dirty, unsightly paint work, minor stains to walls, damaged meter cupboard doors. Significant issues requiring repair for example, damaged window frame, glass panels, guttering or roof.


Bulky rubbish and provision of bins

No bulky rubbish. Bins stored in accessible and tidy way. Bin store in good condition. Bulky rubbish in designated area. Appropriate number of bins provided but untidy appearance. Bin store is untidy or unclean. Dumped bulky rubbish on scheme or communal area in non-designated area and or appears to have been left for some time. Inadequate number of bins provided or overflowing. Bin store not environmentally safe.



No abandoned or untaxed vehicles. No cars parked on verges or on pavements, and no disruption caused. Isolated incidents of cars parked on verges and or causing unsightly appearance. Abandoned or un-roadworthy vehicle. Cars irresponsibly parked on verges causing damage or obstruction. Evidence of property used for purpose of repairing vehicles.

Look and Feel

Evidence of vandalism or antisocial behaviour (ASB)

No graffiti. No animal related nuisance. No evidence of ASB. Isolated incidents of minor graffiti or efforts have been made to remove graffiti. Individual occurrence of pet fouling and noise. Minor incident of ASB for example, youths gathered. Offensive or large-scale graffiti. Significant incidents of animal related nuisance for example, considerable noise, number of pet fouling incidents. Significant ASB issues for example, aggressive behaviour, loud music, ball games played in prohibitive areas.


Pathways, stairwells and signage

Pathways and stairwells in good condition, free from obstruction, well-lit and handrails in good working order, lighting working. Signage in good and clean condition. Minor damage to pathway and stairwells, communal walls and fencing, and handrails (not posing Health and Safety risk). Signage has untidy appearance or is partially damaged. Broken slabs and stones; broken glass; manhole covers insecure or missing; drain covers not in place; potholes; moss; ramp surfaces damaged or soiled; faulty night lighting, handrails, fencing or walls. Obstruction (for example, storage of prams or bicycles.


The following information provides a summary of our Estate Inspections we have carried out since April 2022, using the Red (R), Amber (A) and Green (G) ratings. Every three months we will update this information providing you with a summary of our performance over time.

Estate Inspections from 1 April - 30 June 2024

Region Red Amber Green Totals
















London / SE

























Grand Total





There were 10 reported Estate inspections that were identified as Red, some with multiple actions. These will be re-inspected within the next three months. The actions are summarised as follows:

External communal areas

Damp and staining to paintwork at front of building.

Unsuitable lighting at rear of the building.

Missing bricks on rear wall.

Raised grid (Councils responsibility).

Stained brickwork due to historical leak.

Internal communal areas

Paintwork to skirting board needed.

Mould on ceiling.

Communal vinyl flooring lifted.

Gap in rear communal door.


Uneven/cracked footpaths x4.

Loose paving slabs and raised areas.

Fly tipping and bulky rubbish

Bulky rubbish to be removed x3.

Fly tipping.

Litter to be removed.

Gardening, car park and bin area

Fencing to be fixed x2.

Untidy garden.

Potholes leading to the car park.

Void property has rubbish to be removed and wall to be fixed.

Unknown vehicle with flat tyre.

Grass to be cut.

Uncovered drain near bin store.

Blocked drain on car park.

Lines need remarking.

Weeds to be removed.

Wooden border collapsed.

Roofing, guttering and fascia’s.

Broken guttering x3.

Vegetation in guttering to be removed x2.

Fascia’s need replacing.

Vandalism and Graffiti

Damaged electric meter box.

Graffiti on BT Box.


Previous Inspections


69 Estate inspections were carried out and data recorded between 1 January 2024 and 31 March 2024, of these 68 per cent were found to be green, four per cent amber and 28 per cent red.