Court Service Agreement

The Court Service Agreement (CSA) is a record of all the services at each scheme along with any local agreement reached as to their delivery. Keeping notes from consensus meetings is helpful but the CSA is our way of recording the decisions to inform new and existing residents of the outcome.  

The CSA may be reviewed and revised at any time. There are a number of natural “triggers” for review, plus it should be reviewed at least annually to ensure it still meets residents’ expectations.  

 A template is available for producing the CSA and the Operational Manager, with support from the Local Housing Manager/ Housing and Care Manager, is responsible for producing and keeping the CSA up to date. 

Within the template it is possible to mark certain statements with a “resident agreement” logo to identify that a particular service has been agreed with local consensus.  

The CSA must be made available at all schemes and it replaces all previous Local Information Packs. 

  • Court Service Agreement poster 

    The CSA itself is quite a lengthy document so a poster summarising all the key points should be displayed in prominent locations around the scheme. 

    The posters should be presented professionally, either on card or laminated. The Regional Coordinators should be able to facilitate this for Local Housing Managers/ Housing and Care Managers. 

  • Budget preparations 

    The purpose of the CSA is to deliver services in a way and to a standard that residents want and form part of the budget setting process by including the cost of delivering services in an agreed manner. 

    For example, if the gardening specification and choice of contractor is subject to considerable resident input, then the cost of that contract being delivered must be included in the annual service charge budget. If residents agree the specification includes a number of additional visits by the gardener throughout the season, then this will be reflected within the tendered price for the contact. 

    Reaching agreement with residents about the services to be delivered will produce a more joined up approach to managing expectations, budgets and expenditure. 

    Review of the CSA as part of the annual accounting and budgeting process is a natural “trigger” to update the agreement if there has not been previous update during the year. 

  • Engaging with residents and “triggers” for review 

    The CSA is not a fixed or static document; it should be reviewed at least annually or sooner depending upon any natural “triggers” to prompt review of any element. 

    For example, residents may collectively want to review the provision of satellite television at their scheme, the outcome of which may be recorded within the CSA. 

    A review may be triggered by residents wanting a change of service, such as a change in gardening specification. This may happen ad hoc or could be triggered when the current contract is due for renewal. 

    The Operational Manager may choose to delegate a review to the Local Housing Manager/ Housing and Care Manager to conduct but the Operational Manager/ Extra Care Manager remains responsible for any outcome. 

    It is also important that any changes made through a court-consensus decision have some degree of a “shelf-life” (to avoid continually changing a decision reached at the scheme). 

    Any change in service should be recorded in the CSA and this should be reissued to replace the existing version at the scheme. Every CSA must be dated so it is clear whether it is the most recent version. 

  • Standard of Court Service Agreements 

    The CSA is an important publication and the standard of presentation and content is representative of Housing 21’s overall standards. Great care should be taken to ensure the CSA is of a high standard. 

    The Operational Manager/ Extra Care Manager must report their assurance annually regarding the standard or CSAs in their region to their Head of Service who, in turn, will report their assurance to the Executive Director of Retirement Living or Extra Care. 

  • Storage of Court Service Agreements (and other information) 

    The CSAs must always be available locally but an additional copy must also be saved electronically on SharePoint.  

    Each region must maintain its own records for the CSAs and whenever a new or updated agreement is drafted, the previous CSA must remain in the scheme folder by way of an audit trail. 

    Following a KPMG report (2019) into customer standards, it was recommended that a record of how consensus was achieved is made. It is important for the Local Housing Manager/ Housing and Care Manager to keep a diary record of the method used to reach consensus, the number of meetings and the number of residents taking part. 

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