To help make it clear which repairs in your home we look after, and which are your responsibility, we’ve produced this guide. This page also gives you helpful information about the repairs process and timings.
Being nice and clear on responsibilities means you can stay in control of some of the repairs to your home. It also enables us to fix the issues we’re responsible for quickly and get them right first time.
The type of tenancy you have will affect who's responsible for what. If you're not sure what type you have, check your tenancy agreement or lease. This paperwork will give you full details on repairs responsibilities.
Shared ownership and leaseholder homes
If you live in a shared ownership or leasehold home, you’re responsible for all repairs apart from defects and communal areas. Defects are repairs needed when a new home is first built. The defect period usually runs for 1 year after a home is completed, then repairs are your responsibility. Repairs to shared areas include things like the front door into a block of flats and hallways.
If you live in a rented home, we look after some things and you're responsible for others; there's a list below. You’re also responsible for fixing things that are starting to break so they don’t get worse. And if a guest or someone in your family damages something, it’s up to you to fix it.
If something that we look after needs to be repaired, please tell us as soon as you notice it. That way we can fix it as quickly as possible. We’ll try to replace items like-for-like, if we can’t do this we’ll find the closest possible match.
These are the things you need to look after
Things on the outside
- Change the locks if they get damaged, or if the keys are lost or stolen
- Look after any satellite dishes and aerials that weren’t put up by us
- Replace the glass of any smashed or cracked windows
- Dividing walls, fences and hedges you share with other customers (*unless your tenancy agreement states otherwise)
- Cut the grass and look after your garden, flowerbeds and shrubs
- Cut back any overgrown trees, shrubs and hedges in your garden. Please ask us for permission first
- Keep your shed in a good condition
- Fix any doors or windows that are damaged if the police raid your home.
Things on the inside
- Unblock drains, toilets and sinks. Please don’t put fats, oils, nappies or sanitary products in sinks or down the toilet as they cause blockages
- Keep your home in a good and clean condition
- Keep your home well decorated
- Fix minor plaster damage to walls and ceilings, like small cracks
- Replace plugs and chains to sinks, basins, baths, toilet seats and shower fittings
- Replace broken or damaged light bulbs. Test and replace the batteries in any battery-operated smoke alarms.
Things on the inside or outside
- Please ask us for permission if you want to make any changes to your home e.g. handrails
- Look after anything you took responsibility for when you moved in. This could include a shed, water butt, washing lines, curtains and carpets
- Deal with any pest problems in your home or garden.
These are the things we look after
Things on the outside
Unless you cause the damage, we’ll check, fix or replace:
- The drains, gutters and pipes
- Front and back door locks if they break through normal use
- The roof, foundations and outside walls
- Outside doors and windows
- Chimneys, chimney stacks and flues. This includes sweeping the chimney once a year
- Pathways, steps and other entrances into your home
- Garages and stores that we have put in
- Boundary walls and fences (e.g. those that are next to land we don’t own, next to footpaths, public land, rights of way, garage access ways or unadopted highways), or walls and fences where we have stated responsibility (e.g. within tenancy agreements, deeds or leases)
- Solar panels, heat pumps and water pumps
- Meter cupboard doors.
Things on the inside.
Unless you cause the damage, or it’s something you fitted yourself, we’ll check, fix or replace:
- Indoor walls, floors and ceilings
- Inside doors and door frames, skirting boards
- The plaster on the walls. We’ll do the major work needed. We won’t fix minor cracks and marks
- Sinks, baths, showers, toilets, taps and waste pipes
- Electric wiring. This includes plug sockets, light fittings and switches
- Fireplaces and fires that we've fitted
- Central heating systems, gas and water pipes, water heaters
- Staircases. This includes the rails, treads, risers, spindles and newel posts
- Alarms fitted to the mains.
Things on the inside or outside
- Block up holes and mesh vents that pests may be using to get into your home
- Communal areas, including shared washing lines
- Letter boxes
Appointments and priorities
All of the repairs reported to us are given a priority. Each one is assessed based on how serious it is, the potential damage it could cause and the needs of the customer. Here's our priority categories:
- Emergency: this should be completed within 24 hours, we usually attend within a couple of hours and certainly that day
- Urgent: this should be completed within 7 calendar days
- Routine: this should be completed at a time convenient to us both.
- We’ll give you an appointment when you report a repair. Communal repairs in shared areas are different. If it’s a communal repair, you can ask to be kept up to date on the progress.
- If you can’t make the agreed appointment, please let us know so we can give your slot to someone else.
- Make sure the area around the repair is easy to get to and safe for us to work in. Remember to leave your loft area clear at all times.
Emergency repair (attend within 24 hours)
We will attend emergencies within 24 hours but may only be able to do a temporary repair or "make safe"
- These are repairs that threaten serious harm to people or properties.
- This includes (this list is not exhaustive)
- no heating or hot water between 1 October and 31 March where a member of the household has a vulnerability that is severely impacted by not having these services
- Where a home is insecure due to a damaged dwelling door or ground floor window (communal doors that are insecure will be raised on an urgent)
- a severe leak or burst pipe that cannot be contained
- a leak that is affecting the electrics
- an unsafe electrical fitting that is sparking or smoking, or bare wiring
- leaking roof or unsafe structure
- Losing your entire supply of electricity, water or gas, where we have checked there are no issues with the local supplier
- Leak of sewerage
- Complete failure of communal lighting
- Lift outages are attended in 4 hours. Where someone is stuck in the lift, we will attend within 1 hour.
Sometimes we may only be able to make safe within the 24-hour time period. Where we attend an emergency and the customer is not home, or if we decide it is not an emergency the customer may be charged a call out fee
Out of hours repairs
These are repairs reported when our offices are closed. We employ a specialist out of hours company to answer calls during this time. They issue works to our staff and to specialist contractors where needed.
We’ll assess the impact of the repair on your safety and the safety of your home.
If the repairs are a significant health and safety risk then they will be responded to as soon as possible, usually that same day. Sometimes we may talk you through how to make the problem safe before we come to see you the next day.
If we decide that you are safe, but the repair still needs to be done as a priority, we will come and do the repair the next day. Sometimes this will be during the day over the weekend or on our next working day, depending on how serious the emergency is.
Other repairs reported to our of hours that do not meet our emergency criteria will need to be reported as urgent or routine repairs when our offices re-open.
Out of hours heating repairs
If your heating breaks when our offices are closed, we define vulnerability as someone who has a disability that leaves them at risk if they have no heating. For example:
- A serious medical condition where they're less able to stay warm
- Customers with severely impaired mobility
- An illness or disability that leads to suppressed immune system
- Very young children (under 6 months)
We may provide temporary heaters for customers in these categories.
Urgent repair (Attend within 7 calendar days)
These are repairs that could cause harm to health and safety if the repair gets worse or is not looked at promptly. In certain cases, we may attend sooner if a household member is vulnerable. This includes (this list is not exhaustive):
- No hot water or/and heating (if emergency criteria are not met). We may provide emergency heaters if the heating won’t be working for an extended period of time.
- Partial loss of hot water (where the heating is still working). If you or a household member has a medical need to bathe frequently and this is not possible, this may be upgraded to an emergency.
- Partial loss of heating if you or a household member is vulnerable or where it is having a significant welfare impact. If you don’t have vulnerabilities, partial loss of heating is a routine repair.
- Partial loss of water supply as long as there are no problems with the local suppliers.
- Removal of offensive graffiti
- Rotten timber flooring or stair tread
- Blocked drain outside of dwelling (blocked sinks are tenant’s own responsibility).
- Door entry system
- Communal TV aerials
- Partial communal lighting repairs
Other repairs in your home
For most other repairs, we will agree an appointment date with you when you report the repair.
There are some larger or more difficult repairs where we may have to plan the work in a different way. For example, if a repair requires specialist equipment or lots of time, we may plan to do these at a date in the future. Where this happens, we will keep you updated with timescales.
We’ll also complete some minor adaptations for customers with disabilities to make it easier for them to live in their homes. We will do these works at agreed appointment dates.
Where we attend an emergency and you are not home, or if we decide it is not an emergency you may be charged a call out fee