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Repair Responsibilities

Repair Responsibilities

Background

We look after our properties in three ways:-

  1. Responding to repairs reported by tenants.
  2. Inspecting properties on a regular basis.
  3. Carrying out cyclical/planned maintenance works.

     

You are expected to look after your flat and be responsible for its security while resident. The Association is expected to ensure that at the beginning of the tenancy, and during the tenancy, your home is wind and watertight and reasonably fit for human habitation.

Respective obligations and responsibilities are detailed in the tenancy agreement and can be summarised as follows:

What Are The Association’s Repair Responsibilities?

Throughout your tenancy the Association will carry out repairs or other work to your home to keep it in good condition. This responsibility includes:

  1. Keeping the buildings wind and watertight by maintaining the roof, the windows, the outside doors and the floors.
  2. Repairs to gutters, downpipes and some drains.
  3. Repairs, caused by normal wear and tear, to sinks, baths, toilets and kitchen units.
  4. Repairs to electrical wiring, internal gas pipes and fires, central heating and immersion heating systems.
  5. Repairs to door entry systems and communal TV systems.

Will I Have To Pay For Repair Work Carried Out By The Association?

Under normal circumstances the Association will arrange for the work to be done and pay for it except if the repair is due to damage caused by a tenant, lodger or visitor. In these cases we will carry out the repair and recharge the costs to you. Alternatively you could arrange for a tradesman to carry out the work and a Housing/Maintenance Officer will then check the repair to make sure that it has been carried out to our satisfaction.

What Repairs Am I Responsible For?

As a tenant of the Association you are responsible for certain repairs in and around your home, which are as follows:-

  1. Your own fitments.
  2. Internal decoration.
  3. Door Bells (except if provided by the Association).
  4. Door locks and replacement keys where you have lost or broken keys.
  5. Door Name plates on flat entrance door (not door entry panels).
  6. Connections to washing machines and cookers.
  7. Light bulbs and electric fuses in plugs.
  8. Fluorescent tubes and starters.
  9. Garden Huts/Greenhouses/Pigeon lofts.
  10. Rotary driers and Ropes for drying clothes.
  11. Shower unit (except if provided by the Association).
  12. Waste Plugs & Chains to wash basin/bath/sink.
  13. Blocked waste and soil pipes where these have been caused by tenant misuse. (e.g. fat, cotton wool etc.)
  14. All floor coverings (e.g. carpets, tiles, laminate etc.)
  15. For the above, you are expected to take action yourself, however, if you are unable to carry out any of these tasks, for example if you are elderly or suffer from a disability, please discuss this with us. We may be able to suggest special arrangements. Contact the office if in doubt.

What If The Damage Is Caused By The Tenant?

As detailed earlier, tenants will be charged for any repairs caused by damage or misuse by themselves, members of their family, lodgers or visitors.

How Do I Get Replacement Keys?

Please note that we do not have a spare set of keys for your flat. Try and take sensible precautions against being locked out of your flat by, for example, leaving a spare set with someone you trust. The costs of repairing damage caused by someone having to break into your flat due to lost keys will be charged to you.

How do I Report a Repair?

You can report repairs to the Association in the following ways:-

  • Calling into the office.
  • Phoning the office during working hours
  • Phoning the office outside working hours and leaving a message on the answering machine. Please note the answering machine is not checked regularly outside working hours if you have an emergency.
  • Logging onto the Association’s web site at http://www.clochhousing.org.uk/ and, using the drop down menu in the title bar, select Report a Repair from the repair section of the menu.
  • Writing a letter to the Association
  • Faxing a Repair to the office
  • In an emergency see Section below.

What Information Will I Have To Provide When Reporting A Repair?

When you report a repair, please provide the following details:-

  1. Your name, address, flat position (where applicable) and contact telephone number(s).
  2. Details of the repair required.
  3. Information relating to the cause of the damage or need for repair.
  4. Details of access dates and times to allow our contractors to carry out the repair.
  5. Try and arrange a time for access, either weekday morning or afternoon, or leave a key with a neighbour or relative who will be required to accompany tradesmen into the house. If there is no one in when a tradesman calls he will leave a card. It is then up to you to contact us and arrange a new time. If thereafter access is not gained, you may be charged for the tradesman's wasted time.

How Do I Report An Emergency Repair?

During office hours please follow the steps detailed earlier. For out of hours emergency repairs, please refer to the Reporting Repairs Procedure/Emergency Contacts Sheet which is issued to you on a regular basis. Click Here to download a copy.

It is important that you notify the Association of an emergency call-out as soon as possible after you call out one of the contractors noted on the reporting repairs procedure.

The out of hours list of contractors has only to be used in the event of an emergency. It should not be used to have non-emergency repairs carried out. Tenants who call out contractors for non emergency repairs may be recharged the full cost of the call-out.

If you have any queries regarding reporting repairs, please get in touch.

Will My Repair Need To Be Inspected Before The Work Is Done?

In most cases we will arrange for the appropriate tradesman to call and carry out the repair without the need for inspecting it first. However, in some cases the Maintenance Officer will call to your home to fully assess the problem before any repair work is carried out.

Who Will Carry Out My Repair?

Your repair will be carried out by one of the contractors who feature on the Association’s approved list of contractors. These contractors are approved by the Association’s Committee and their performance/quality of work etc. is reviewed by Association staff at regular intervals. In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with the quality of your repair, it is essential that you contact us.

Do You Check The Quality Of The Work After The Repair Has Been Done?

Yes. The Association’s Housing and Maintenance Officers have targets to meet in relation to post-inspections, details of which are available from the office. These inspections not only check the quality of work, but also aim to establish tenants’ views about the quality of service being provided by the Association. This information is used to make sure our repairs service is operating to the standard that you (and we) expect.

How Long Will I Have To Wait To Have My Repair Done?

The length of time you will have to wait will depend on the type of repair you have reported. When you report your repair a notification receipt will be sent to you. This receipt will detail the contractor who will be attending and the expected date the work will be completed by.

The Association operates three standard categories of repairs, which are then done within certain timescales.

These are as follows (in 2007/2008):-

Emergency Repairs (gas leaks, ceiling collapses, burst pipes, flats being broken into etc.) will be made safe within four hours.

Urgent Repairs will normally be attended to within two days.

Routine Repairs ( leaking taps etc.) will normally be fixed within ten working days. The only exception to this is if a part has to be ordered.

These timescales are subject to Annual Review. Tenants will be consulted on and informed of any changes to these targets.

What If My Repair Takes Longer?

If the repair has not been completed by the date on your receipt, please contact the Association and a member of staff will find out what is happening and tell you about any problems being encountered (part on order etc.). If necessary you will be given a new date for the completion of the repair work. If, after the second date the repair remains outstanding please contact us (preferably in writing) giving us details of the repair, when you first reported it and when you contacted us to chase-up the repair. This will allow a senior member of staff to investigate your concerns. If after that problems still remain, please follow our formal complaints procedure. Information on using the Association’s formal complaints procedure can be found in chapter (number) of this handbook.

What Is The Right To Repair?

From the 30th September 2002 , tenants of the Association have the right to have some urgent repairs carried out within a given timescale.

The Right to Repair covers certain repairs known as “Qualifying Repairs” which are estimated to cost up to £350 and are the type of repairs where the failure to repair could jeopardise the health and safety or security of tenants. In total there are 17 “Qualifying Repairs”.

If the association fails to meet these timescales you may be entitled to compensation.

For further information and information leaflets on the Right to Repair please contact the office.

What Are The Qualifying Repairs and Timescales?

Target Response Time to Start & Qualifying Repairs Finish Job (No. of Working Days)

Heating

  • Blocked flue to open fire or boiler 1
  • Loss or partial loss of heating and/or hot water, where no alternative heating is available 1

Electricity

  • Complete loss of electrical power 1
  • Partial loss of electrical power 3
  • Unsafe power or lighting socket or electrical fitting 1

Gas

  • Loss or partial loss of gas supply 1

Water

  • Complete loss of water supply 1
  • Partial loss of water supply 3
  • Toilet not flushing where there is no other toilet in the house 1
  • Blocked sink, bath or drain 1
  • Blocked or leaking foul drains or soil stacks, or toilets where there is no other toilet in the house 1
  • Leaks or flooding from water or heating pipes, tanks or cisterns 1

General

  • Insecure external window, door or lock 1
  • Loose or detached banister or handrail 3
  • Unsafe timber flooring or stair treads 3
  • Mechanical extractor fan in kitchen or bathroom not working 7

If a qualifying repair is not completed within the stated time, you may be entitled to some compensation. However, if we are to meet our target times we must have access as required to your home. If you fail to give reasonable access affecting our ability to meet the target for completion you will not be eligible for compensation.

Please note:-

Communal repairs are not covered under the legislation and that Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays aren't considered working days.

What Is Cyclical Maintenance?

This is work we carry out from time to time to prevent our property from deteriorating. This ranges from the annual clearing of gutters to the repainting of window frames and closes on a regular basis.

The Association is legally obliged to ensure that any gas systems in your house are checked annually. It is your responsibility as a tenant to give access to allow this important item of work to proceed. The Association’s contractor will notify you at the beginning of the process. Failure to gain access could lead to legal action being taken to gain access and for breach of conditions of tenancy.

What Is Planned Maintenance?

Planned maintenance related to the type of work the Association has to plan for its properties over a period of time. Examples of planned maintenance works are:

  • Re-Wiring
  • Renewing or installing central heating programmes
  • Roughcasting programmes
  • Kitchen replacement programmes
  • Window replacement programmes

The Association will consult you on the planned maintenance programme and will inform and discuss with you in advance any programmes that may involve your home.

What About Repairs In New Build Properties?

In the case of flats or houses that are newly built or improved, the builder is responsible for any defects in the first year. This is the Defects Liability Period. Report repairs to us as usual. To protect the guarantee the builder provides, you must not bring in workmen to carry out any work without our permission within this first year. Emergency phone numbers particular to your new development will be provided. Do not use our standard emergency contact list until the end of the Defects Liability Period; unless you have difficulty contacting the defects contractors.

It is best not to decorate the walls for the first year of a new development; due to plaster drying out.

If you have moved into a new build property a separate Property Handbook will have been issued to you. If you did not receive a manual please contact the office.

What About My Water Supply?

Find out the positions of the stopcocks in your property for turning the water off. There should be at least one under the kitchen sink and another near the hot water cylinder. If in doubt contact the Association for advice.

Should you have a burst pipe it is important to turn off the water supply as quickly as possible to avoid damage to your own property and (perhaps) to those living below.

If you intend going away, even for a couple of days, over winter, contact the Association for advice.

Applying for Alterations or Improvements

Can I Make Alterations To My Home?

If you are considering altering or improving your flat, such as fitting a shower, putting in a new fireplace etc you must apply for and receive our written permission. This also applies to the erection of Satellite Dishes and TV Aerials.

Alteration request forms are available from our office.

The Association can only refuse consent if there are reasonable grounds.

Will I Have To Restore The Property Back If I Move Out?

At the end of your tenancy Association property must not be damaged by the removal of tenant installed fitments. Before you leave your home we will inspect the overall condition of the property including any alterations/improvements you have made. If the alterations fail to meet our standards you will be asked to rectify the problem or restore the property back to its original condition. If we have to carry out the reinstatement works you will be recharged with the costs.

Can I Get Compensation For Any Improvements I Make To My Home?

At the end of your tenancy you may be entitled to claim for compensation for certain “qualifying improvements” that you have made whilst living in your home.

To qualify for compensation you must have obtained our written permission to carry out the improvement or alteration works and your tenancy must have ended.

For further information and an information leaflet on the Right to Compensation for Improvements please contact the office.