INCIDENTS of anti-social behaviour (ASB) have been increasing in some areas of Barrhead, according to a new report.

Cases of neighbour nuisance, tenancy disputes and serious or persistent ASB at Barrhead Housing Association (BHA) properties have risen by almost 30 per cent in the last year.

The figures from BHA’s annual performance report for 2018/19 show there were 104 reported complaints, compared to 77 the previous year.

The report stated senior and operational staff have been discussing problematic areas and how to tackle longstanding anti-social and estate management issues across their 934 homes.

BHA’s chief executive, Shirley Robison, told the Barrhead News: “Over one third relate to noise between properties, with tenants not working more shifts having an impact on levels of tolerance. And pet nuisance is an issue.

“We had particular complaints from two developments last year and tenants are approaching us more. These issues can take time to resolve.”

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The report also shows BHA tenants are now less satisfied with repairs than last year, despite almost £400,000 more being spent on the service this term.

Around £1.6million has been spent this year on repairs, voids, adaptations and improvements to homes, compared to just over £1.2m in 2017/18.

But despite the spending spree, only 87.3 per cent of residents said they were content with BHA’s repair service, compared to last year’s approval rating of 93.2 per cent.

Barrhead News: Shirley RobisonShirley Robison

However, Mrs Robison claimed this was due to a lack of responses to their survey, with just 79 returned. She puts this down to the decision to cut costs by conducting the consultation in-house, rather than using an external company like in previous years.

“These fewer returns are providing a less representative sample,” she said.

“We are spending more on properties as they get older, so volume and cost can increase.”

We often see this as components like kitchen and bathroom replacements get closer to their cycle for replacement too.”

BHA said it had experienced “some issues with unsatisfactory repair contractors” but claims the new contract and in-house repairs service are showing improvements.

“We’ve moved on to a new contractor now but there could a bit of a legacy from the previous con-tractors,” warned Mrs Robison. 

Last year, BHA did manage to complete emergency repairs in under two hours, on average, com-pared to the Scottish average of 3.6 hours. Non-emergency repairs were completed within 4.25 days, compared to the national average of 6.6.

“We’re happy with the report,” added Mrs Robison said: “We’re doing well overall.” There’s cause for optimism in these difficult times.”