Cleaning, Caretaking & Grounds Maintenance

Our Estate Services Team take care of cleaning and caretaking at all the buildings and estates we manage across the City of Southend.

This is the largest team in South Essex Homes and they work hard to keep estates clean, tidy and in a good state of repair.


Caretaking and Cleaning

Caretaking and cleaning staff focus on ensuring that shared areas are kept safe from fire hazards and are cleaned to nationally agreed standards. When visiting sites, we assess them by referring to the HouseMark PhotoBook and we grade each site by comparing how they look, against the photo standards for different areas of a building/estate set out in this document. The grade that is given to each area of the site will dictate how we as an organisation react in terms of any deployment of our Cleaning and Caretaking team.

You can download this Photobook to see the standards against which our estates are measured:  Estate Services Photobook 2020.pdf [pdf] 10MB

cleaning The frequency of visits to your property will be based on the type of building it is, historical data, regular inspections and feedback from residents.

Specific areas will be cleaned as required as opposed to being repeatedly cleaned for the sake of cleaning. This modern system allows us to be cost effective and use the team resources effectively in terms of prioritising fire safety, and carrying out deeper cleans when required.

Caretaking Staff work seven days a week; weekend shifts are generally dedicated to high rise blocks to rotate refuse bins, clean lifts and carry out fire safety block checks. The Caretakers will also be available during these shifts to complete any urgent tasks that may arise.

We also have a dedicated team removing illegally dumped bulk refuse.


Grounds Maintenance 

Gardener Joe As of May 2022, our subsidiary South Essex Property Services has taken over the contract for providing gardening services at properties managed by South Essex Homes. 

This has involved the recruitment of new Gardeners who have now joined our Estate Services team. Please say ‘hello’ if you see them out and about - they are always happy to talk to you about the work they are doing for us!

Our gardeners are working their way across the city through a programme of works to maintain communal lawns and gardens linked to the buildings we manage on behalf of the Council. 

Their work involves cutting the grass (including the removal of grass cuttings) and trimming/shaping trees and shrubs to ensure they remain within the shrub beds and do not encroach over pathways or windows. 


Reporting Issues

If you feel we are not meeting the standards of cleanliness you expect from us or if you wish to report issues with the Cleaning, Caretaking and Grounds Maintenance service, please get in touch.

You can call our Customer Contact Centre on 0800 833 160, email the team on or complete our online form below.

Form to Report an Estate Services issue


Fly Tipping and Bulk Rubbish

Dumped rubbish is unsightly and a nuisance, it can also be a fire safety hazard which could potentially lead to serious injury or loss of life.  Clearing sites of bulky waste and fly-tipping costs us both time and money and when dumped in shared hallways or drying areas can be a significant risk to your or your family member’s lives.

The unscheduled collections have a direct impact on the services we provide and cost around £80,000 a year to deal with.  We removed approximately 800 truckloads of rubbish last year.


We need your help to catch the perpetrators!

If you see people dumping rubbish please record the act on your phone, take a photo or if you can the number plate of the vehicle involved and then report the information to us directly.  Any information you provide will be treated in confidence.  You can report dumped bulky items to us using the online form on our Cleaning, Caretaking and Grounds Maintenance page


Your waste is your responsibility.

You can take rubbish to the Household Waste Recycling Area located at Stock Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 5QF.

You can also arrange for a bulky waste collection, please call 01702 215006 and select option 1 to speak to Veolia who will book you in and take your payment. For more information please visit

If you use a waste removal company please make sure they have a waste carrier registration number.

Keep it Clean

Look after your property, or you could face a bill when you move out.

If a tenant moves out of their property leaving an untidy garden or the property in a generally poor condition, then this constitutes a breach in their tenancy conditions.  

South Essex Homes will need to carry out works to bring the home up to a lettable standard for the next tenants to move in to.  The cost of such works, which are as a result of a breach of tenancy conditions, will need to be paid for by the previous tenant.  This is what is known as a ‘recharge’.

If you are struggling to manage your property and are worried that you might be recharged once you leave your property, then we recommend that you talk to us now so we can advise you on how you can sort out any issues before you move out.  Contact your Tenancy Services Officer on our free phone number 0800 833 160.


  • Keep your garden tidy and grass mowed
  • Keep the inside of your property cleaned regularly and decorated.

And before you move out…

  • Wipe dirty surfaces using a damp cloth and disinfectant or hot soapy water
  • Hoover/sweep your floors
  • If you have removed any doors, you will need to re-hang them before you leave
  • Make sure you take all of your belongings and rubbish with you when you move out 
  • If any item has been damaged in the property, you need to repair or replace this before you move out


Be sure to dispose of your rubbish correctly, whether that is food waste, garden waste, or everyday recycling.

Follow these guides from Veolia for more information: