Repairs policy

 

Introduction

This document sets out in detail Bassetlaw District Council Housing’s policy for the delivery of a high quality and value for money repairs service.

It covers all areas with respect to the repair and maintenance of Bassetlaw District Council’s housing stock (excluding void properties).

The development of this policy was undertaken in consultation with tenant representatives of the Bassetlaw District Council Housing One Hundred Club, Be Heard from Home group, and all other stakeholders with an interest in the delivery of the repairs service.

This document has been written to work in conjunction with the Tenancy Agreement.

Aims and Objectives

The success of this policy is determined through the application of Bassetlaw District Council Housing’s four main aims, which are to:

  • Provide quality homes and neighbourhoods to increase the supply, standards and affordability of housing in Bassetlaw.
  • Work closely with partners, tenants and local communities to meet local challenges and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Support local growth and improve living standards through our position in the local economy.
  • Be an organisation that is well run, open and transparent to ensure the continuing confidence of our tenants and our long term future.

Scope

To ensure all properties in the ownership of Bassetlaw District Council are:

  • Well maintained
  • Kept in a structurally sound condition
  • Warm and dry
  • Meeting all legal requirements
  • Complying with obligations outlined in the tenancy agreement

This policy only applies to tenanted properties and does not include any that are void. Repairs to void properties are covered separately within our lettable standard.

This policy covers Bassetlaw District Council Housing and tenant responsibility for the completion of repairs in the following areas:

  • Emergency repairs
  • Urgent repairs
  • Non urgent repairs
  • Planned repairs
  • Major programmed works
  • Out of hours repairs
  • Tenant responsibility
  • Rechargeable repairs

External Agencies

Bassetlaw District Council Housing may also manage properties owned by other social landlords and private landlords.

Repairs to these properties shall be carried out in accordance with the specific particulars of the signed agreement with the Landlord.

Reporting Repairs

To report repairs, customers should call Bassetlaw District Council Housing’s Contact Centre on 0800 590 542 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The same number is also used to report emergency repairs outside of these hours. Non-urgent repairs can be reported online or by texting 07860 021511.

Once a repair has been reported, appointments are offered on a morning or afternoon basis. Time slots are also available between 9.30am and 2.30pm to avoid the school run.

Out of hours appointments can be offered on a weekday evening (last appointment being 6.30pm) or on a Saturday morning (last appointment being 10.30am).

Where a customer fails to provide access on the appointed date and time, a cancellation card will be left giving the date, time, the reason why the repairs operative could not access the property, and what to do to re-arrange the appointment. This will also be followed up with an acknowledgement letter.

Repair Categories

Emergency (E) - Same Working Day Response

Where a situation poses a danger to either the occupants or public, or if left unattended could cause serious damage to the building, a same working day response will be initiated.

This may involve either making the situation safe or carrying out a repair. However, a judgement will be made after assessing the circumstances at the time of the visit.

Our target is to complete all emergency repairs within four hours of acknowledgement of the repair by our Repairs Contact Centre.

Very Urgent Response (VU)

Where there is a risk to health and safety (but no immediate danger to the occupants, public or property) our target is to complete all very urgent repairs within one working day of acknowledgement of the repair by our Repairs Contact Centre.

Urgent Response (UR)

These are works that need to be carried out quickly in order to overcome serious inconvenience and damage to the property. Our target is to complete all urgent repairs within three working days of acknowledgement of the repair by our Repairs Contact Centre.

Non Urgent (R15)

These are non-urgent repairs that will not cause damage to the property. Some of these repairs may require items to be measured and materials ordered. Our target is to complete all non-urgent repairs within 15 working days of acknowledgement of the repair by our Repairs Contact Centre.

Planned (R3)

This category is for individual items which through assessment have been identified as a risk to Health and Safety or Security if not repaired or replaced in the short term. Usually of a higher cost and in many cases requiring specialist contractors or materials to be manufactured, these works require planning. Our target is to complete all planned repairs within 13 weeks of acknowledgement of the repair.

Major Programmed (CP)

This category is for replacement of larger items that are of a non-urgent nature and pose no short term health and safety or security concerns. Through planning into areas and batching items of similar works together, greater value for money and use of resources can be achieved. Our target is to complete all Major Programmed works within 52 weeks.

Tenants ‘Right to Repair’

The ‘Right to Repair’ scheme covers small urgent repairs costing a maximum of £250 where, if not attended to within agreed timescale, could put at risk the security or health and safety of the tenant.

How long do repairs take under the scheme?

This depends on the urgency of the repair, however, times are set by law and not by Bassetlaw District Council Housing. All work has to be carried out within one, three or seven working days.

Repairs should be carried out within one working day if:

  • You have no water or electricity
  • You have no gas, or the supply is reduced
  • Windows or doors are not secure (e.g. following a burglary)
  • There is a leak from a pipe, tank or cistern
  • The flue to an open fire or boiler is blocked
  • The heating or hot water is not working between 30th September and 30th April
  • The sewage drain or soil stack is blocked (or you only have one toilet and it cannot be flushed)
  • Electrical lighting or other fittings are unsafe

Repairs should be carried out within three working days if:

  • There is a partial loss of water or electricity
  • The heating or hot water is not working between 30th April and 30th September
  • A sink bath or basin is blocked
  • A tap cannot be turned
  • You have a loose banister or handrail, or rotten wood on the floor or stair treads

Repairs should be carried out within seven working days if:

  • The roof is leaking
  • A door entry phone is not working
  • An extractor fan is broken

When you report a qualifying repair, Bassetlaw District Council Housing will:

  • Tell you how long it should take to fix the problem
  • Explain your rights under the right to repair scheme
  • Give you the contact details of the in-house team who will complete the repair

What if I’m not at home when the contractor arrives?

If you are not home at the arranged time to let in the in-house team in, the repair work will be cancelled and you will need to start the procedure again.

What if the repairs are not done in time?

If the in-house team does not turn up to complete the work by the last day of the agreed time limit, please call Bassetlaw District Council Housing who will arrange for another approved contractor to complete the work.

As a tenant you are not permitted to use a contractor who is not approved by Bassetlaw District Council Housing.

Am I entitled to compensation for any delays?

If the second contractor does not complete the repairs by the agreed time limit, you will normally be entitled to £10 in compensation. For every extra day you wait, you will get another £2, up to a maximum of £50.
If you have any rent arrears, the amount will be deducted from your arrears rather than being paid directly to you.

Vulnerable Tenants

Bassetlaw District Council Housing ensures equality of access for all its tenants, especially those tenants who are at most risk (vulnerable) due to their or their household’s circumstances.

For the application of this policy the following definition of vulnerable will be applied, should any tenant require repair works carrying out outside the normal category time targets or should Bassetlaw District Council Housing waive any charges should the works be of a rechargeable nature.

“An individual or household experiencing difficulties with everyday living on account of financial, educational, health, employment, learning, language, behavioural, family, social or other circumstances, issues or any combination of these while lacking abilities and/or resources to cope with these difficulties.”

In certain instances and in accordance with individual or group needs, Bassetlaw District Council may:

  • Routinely adjust the urgency of a repair to the needs of particular user groups and individual customers if health and safety or security is an issue.
  • Provide appropriate assistance or guidance for customers in carrying out repairs that are the customer’s responsibility.
  • Ensure that the Tenant Liaison Officer (TLO) is present when repairs are carried out, where this is necessary.
  • Provide appropriate assistance for customers in carrying out repairs that are of a rechargeable nature.

Mutual Exchange

Before any exchange takes place the Housing Officer will visit the property to check for any repairs that are the tenant’s responsibility.

Any identified repairs that are the tenant’s responsibility must be completed by the tenant before the exchange is granted.

Both Gas and Electric checks, where applicable will be carried out. Any faults identified during these checks and giving concern on health and safety grounds will be repaired by Bassetlaw District Council Housing.

However, if they are found to be through tenant abuse, this will activate a recharge which must be paid by the outgoing tenant.

Properties are accepted as seen. Any large scale works such as full kitchen and bathroom replacements will not be completed following a mutual exchange. Responsive repairs will be carried out using normal processes as outlined in this policy.

Compensation

Bassetlaw District Council Housing tenants may receive compensation, regardless of whether they are introductory or secure tenants. In some cases Leaseholders may also be entitled to compensation.

In some cases compensation may be offset against rent arrears or be paid in the form of decoration or Love2Shop vouchers. Compensation may be paid in the following circumstances:

  • Failure to complete works within the right to repair criteria
  • Service failure
  • Disturbance allowance
  • Improvement works

Please note that Bassetlaw District Council Housing will not pay for damage caused in the following circumstances:

  • Unavoidable disturbance to decoration while undertaking emergency or responsive repairs.
  • Damage caused by lifting floor coverings, e.g. laminate, linoleum or foam-backed carpets.

Bassetlaw District Council Housing cannot be held responsible for the replacement of tenants’ personal belongings and furnishings. Tenants must ensure they have adequate contents insurance. For more information, please see Bassetlaw District Council Housing’s Policy for Compensation and Disturbance.

Repairs by category

Emergency - To be repaired within four hours of report (Repairs in yellow fall within the ‘Right to Repair’ scheme.)

  • Cistern leak
  • Door (boarding up of door)
  • Drain ‘foul drain’ (where there is no other working WC in the dwelling)
  • Electrical fitting unsafe. Includes for any electrical fitting e.g. sockets, light fitting or switch, fused spur
  • External door insecure – including communal areas
  • Flue blocked to heating appliance or open fire
  • Gas leak – Phone TRANSCO on 0800 111 999 immediately then;
    • Open all doors and windows to ventilate the property
    • Do not turn on/off any electrical switches
    • Extinguish all naked flames, do not smoke, strike matches or do anything which could cause ignition
    • If there are any electrical security entry phones/locks, please open door manually
    • Vacate the property
  • Light (no light to stairs, WC, kitchen, bathroom or communal stairwells)
  • Lock (Insecure. Only where the door cannot be locked from the inside and there is no lockable second entrance)
  • Pipe leak
  • Power (total loss of electrical power to any or all circuits)
  • Roof leak - make safe only (for health and safety reasons, where bad weather prevents access to the roof to carry out a repair then the surrounding area at ground level will be cordoned off until conditions ease. Where future renewal is identified following make safe, this will be referred to the 13 week ‘Planned’ category to allow arrangements for scaffold, planning in of works etc.)
  • Smoke detectors (repair or replace as necessary) hard wired only. Battery type detectors are tenant’s own responsibility
  • Soil-stack (blocked only where there is no second working WC in dwelling)
  • Tank leak
  • Water supply (total loss; does not include internal pipes freezing, excludes solid fuel heating systems)
  • WC not flushing (only if there is no second working WC in dwelling)
  • Window insecure (any level)
  • Window (boarding up of window, ground floor only)
  • Wires (where not insulated; damaged; broken)

Very Urgent - To be repaired within one working day

  • Bath leak (if the leak only occurs whilst showering and the bath can be used independently for bathing, this is not classed as Very Urgent)
  • Bannister, grab rail or handrail where health and safety concern –otherwise 3 working day repair (re-secure loose banister, handrail or grab rail internally or externally)
  • Boiler (back boiler leak, containable)
  • Brickwork unsafe (make safe only). Where there is a danger of injury or damage to property if not made safe. Once deemed to be safe any future works identified unless for health and safety reasons will be assessed for completion on 13 week category.
  • Cooker (Gas) if unsafe or not working at all (Sheltered Schemes only)
  • Cylinder (leaking hot water cylinder)
  • Fire appliance (glass only)
  • Flood (damage caused by flooding – make safe only)
  • Fumes (fumes, smoke, gas or solid-fuel boiler)
  • Fuse (main) consumer unit. (Tenant to be advised to check trips first. reference repairs handbook)
  • Gale (damage caused by gales – make safe only). Once deemed to be safe any future works identified unless for health and safety reasons will be assessed and referred to either the 13 week category or annual major category.
  • Garage door insecure (make safe only). Applies only if a vehicle is kept in the garage. Not for storage purposes.
  • Heating (total or partial loss of space or water heating between 1st November and 30th April).
  • Key (lost) if only means of entry and locked out (recharge all category of tenants)
  • Lift (not working, make safe only)
  • Manhole cover (repair or replace broken cover where Bassetlaw District Council Housing responsibility only)
  • Overflow (at any time if uncontainable)
  • Paved concreted / tarmac areas deemed dangerous if left unattended (main access route to entrance doors only). Where the tenant has created their own paved, concrete or tarmacadam area then this will be their own responsibility to make safe and repair.
  • Pipes (leaking supply or heating pipes that cannot be isolated or controlled. Heating pipe work: make safe if uncontainable leak; 15-working days if renewal required)
  • Radiator leak (if uncontainable make safe; 15-working days allowed if renewal required)
  • Stair tread (replace rotten stair tread to tenanted property or Communal Stairwell)
  • Stop tap (leak, if uncontainable; if dripping and containable 15-working days allowed)
  • Valve leak (make safe, if uncontainable; if renewal required 15-working days allowed)
  • WC cistern leak (uncontainable only)
  • WC pan leak

Urgent Response - To be repaired within three working days

  • Bannister, grab rail or handrail (re-secure loose banister, handrail or grab rail internally or externally)
  • Cylinder (renewal)
  • Door entry system (communal) not working
  • Power (partial loss of power to electrical circuit)
  • Fan (repair mechanical extractor fan in bathroom or kitchen). Does not include external grill as this does not affect the usability of the fan.
  • Feed tank (renewal)
  • Fire parts: grates, bricks fire-backs etc. (3-working days for medical reason only, otherwise 15-working days)
  • Floorboard (replacement of rotten floorboard)
  • Flooring (replacement of unsafe timber flooring)
  • Gate - Where access for public right of way or open space (repair if possible otherwise make safe)
  • Heating (total or partial loss of heating space or water between 1st May and 31st October)

Non Urgent – To be repaired within 15 working days

  • Bath (repair or renew)
  • Brickwork (repointing, isolated areas only [less than 2 square metres], otherwise 13-weeks)
  • Chimney-stack (repair following make safe, weather conditions permitting)
  • Cooker repair gas-electric replacement or repair (Sheltered Schemes only, repairs not to exceed £50) *Refer to information on cooker/refrigeration responsibility
  • Chimney pot or cowl (re-fix)
  • Clothes post (re-fix or renew existing only)
  • Coalbunker (repair or renew existing only)
  • Door (external repair)
  • Fan (renewal of extractor fan to kitchen or bathroom)
  • Fan (repair or replace external grill only)
  • Fireplace surround & hearth (repair or replacement)
  • Fire parts: grates, glasses, bricks fire-backs etc. (If medical reason 3 working days)
  • Floor tiles (repair or replacement where no health and safety risk – only if supplied by Bassetlaw District Council or Bassetlaw District Council Housing)
  • Flooring (repair or replacement where no health and safety risk)
  • Garage door (repair)
  • Garage roof (repair). Only where health and safety concern, otherwise work will be carried out on the 13 week category
  • Gulley (unblock - tenant responsible for keeping gulley grate clear of leaves and debris)
  • Gulley grates (renewal)
  • Gutter and downpipes (repair or re-fix [renewal 1st November – 30th April])
  • Heating (space or water partial loss with alternate supply between 30th April - 1st November)
  • Heating system (repair where system can still be used or there is other means of heating or hot water)
  • Immersion heater (where alternative form of heating water available)
  • Immersion heater (repair where there is a secondary form of heating the water)
  • Kitchen unit (repair)
  • Leak (investigate underground leak and make temporary repair, where Bassetlaw District Council Housing responsibility only)
  • Light (repair/renewal of bulkhead / security light to exterior of property)
  • Lock (outbuilding renewal)
  • Overflow (if containable)
  • Pipe-boxing (repair or renewal)
  • Pipe work renewal (following make safe)
  • Programmer (renewal of heating programmer) where system is working
  • Radiator renewal (after possible make safe)
  • Refrigerator repair (or in sheltered scheme only, replacement) *see note
  • Re-glazing (cracked window or door caused through vandalism. Work will only commence once a police crime number has been provided specific to the repair. All other occasions will be recharged.)
  • Rendering (repair or renewal to isolated patches only, otherwise 13-weeks)
  • Roof tile (renewal or re-fix any type) where there is no ingress of water to the property, then works will be completed as a 13 week repair
  • Shower (repair or renewal)
  • Sill (repair where window secure) where there is no danger to health and safety, then works will be completed as a 13 week repair
  • Sink (repair or replacement of sink waste, fittings or brackets)
  • Sink unit top (re-fix)
  • Skirting board (re-fix or renewal)
  • Soakaway – unblock where no water ingress to property
  • Soil stack (leak where other WC available)
  • Soil stack (renewal if health and safety hazard)
  • Stair tread (replacement where no health and safety hazard)
  • Stop tap (renewal/leak)
  • Tap (repair. does not include mixer taps fitted by tenant)
  • Tile (see floor tile, roof tile, sill tile, wall tile)
  • Valve renewal (following make safe to leak)
  • Wall tile (re-fix or renewal, including splash-back tiles)
  • Wash-basin (re-fix or renewal)
  • WC cistern (re-fix)
  • WC cistern (renewal)
  • WC door will not close or stay closed
  • WC flush (repair when other working WC)
  • WC flush pipe (repair of leak)
  • WC handle (loose [excludes pull chains and cords to high-level cisterns])
  • WC pan (re-fix loose WC pan)
  • WC pan (renewal)
  • WC seat (re-fix or renewal [only where tenant is senior citizen or vulnerable])
  • Window (repair where window secure)
  • Worktop (renewal for health and safety reasons)
  • Tap (re-washer)
  • TV points (Sheltered Schemes and communal areas only). Does not include repairs to aerial.

*Cookers - Where Bassetlaw District Council has provided a cooker or refrigerator in a property, which is not part of a Sheltered Scheme, the cooker shall be repaired until it is no longer economical to do so (where the cost of the repair will exceed £50).

In such cases a tenant may take over ownership of the cooker by signing the relevant document provided by Bassetlaw District Council Housing. The tenant shall agree to be responsible for arranging the future maintenance of the cooker.

In Sheltered Schemes (warden controlled) cookers shall, where necessary be replaced by Bassetlaw District Council Housing. (Sheltered Schemes comprise of individual flats within a communal building, which has a dedicated warden on site.)

*Note: A warden-controlled bungalow is not a sheltered scheme property.

Planned Repairs – To be repaired within 13 weeks

  • Brickwork (repointing, major areas only [above 2 square metres], isolated areas 15-days)
  • Bricks (replacement of missing bricks)
  • Canopy (repair to concrete canopy / porch where not erected by tenant)

Last Updated on Monday, February 24, 2020