COUNCIL house tenants say the communal areas around their homes are getting dirtier, according to an annual survey in the city.

The results of the City of York Council's tenant satisfaction survey for 2013, which collected the opinions of almost 800 council tenants from across the city, show that while tenants are happier with their ability to influence their landlord's decisions they are less pleased with the state of their neighbourhoods.

The number of tenants happy with the environment around their homes has dropped by five points to 81 percent since the previous year's results.

A report on the results which went to cabinet member for homes Cllr Tracy Simpson-Laing said: "Customers have delivered a clear message that their estate services require attention.

"As well as a decrease in those very satisfied or fairly satisfied, there has a five percent increase in those very dissatisfied or fairly dissatisfied."

But the council's head of housing Tom Brittain has welcomed the results, saying they show improvements in 14 areas while the remaining four areas - which relate to neighbourhoods - are already being tackled by pilot schemes in the estates teams.

However the survey has led to criticism from the council's Liberal Democrat group. Housing spokesman Cllr Ann Reid said they have been contacted by several residents concerned neglected communal areas, dog mess and litter.

She added: "This survey confirms that these problems are citywide and urgent action is needed. The Liberal Democrat Group has consistently called for Labour to end their neglect and under-investment in the city’s estates. We hope that this report will now force a u-turn before these results get worse.”

Cllr Simpson-Laing has rebutted the criticism, pointing out the improved satisfaction levels in the vast majority of the results.

She added: "The cleanliness of our neighbourhoods is important to the council and for those few indicators where satisfaction has dropped slightly, we will do our utmost to turn this around so we are performing equally well across all indicators. Our investment through solar panel, window replacement and insulation programmes shows our strong commitment to council housing and to council tenants.”