Stevenage Borough Council has started a detailed programme that will see tenancy visits to all its council homes.

These visits will enable housing officers to complete tenancy audits, which will include making sure the properties are being looked after to a good standard.

The council says the visits will also provide an opportunity for housing officers to ensure there are no safeguarding concerns or tenancy fraud, as well as ensuring that the local authority is offering the right support to its tenants.

A spokesperson for the council said: "A tenancy visit is required to carry out a tenancy audit, which is a survey that our housing officers need to complete.

"It helps us keep up-to-date information about all our tenants, their families and the property they’re living in.

"It gives us an opportunity to have a look around our council homes across the town, and ensure we’re offering the right support to all our tenants.

"We’ll be carrying these out regularly to ensure the data we hold is current. It also provides a great opportunity to get to know your housing officer."

With more than 8,000 tenants, the council says it is "hoping to visit all of them", and expects this rolling programme to take a few years to fully complete".

Tenants will be contacted by their housing officer to arrange a suitable time for their visit, which will take about one hour to complete.

The council spokesperson said: "Your housing officer will look around your home to check that the property is being looked after to a good standard.

"Tenants are expected to meet the requirements included in their tenancy agreement, and follow the conditions, such as keeping gardens tidy and well-maintained, the property clean, and not breaching tenancy requirements.

"The visits also provide an opportunity to ensure there are no safeguarding concerns, or other issues, where we can offer support and signpost the relevant agencies.

"Tenants will also be asked, at the tenancy visit, if they would like to take part in any tenant engagement that can help us to shape the services we offer."