Repairs and maintenance
As a major provider of housing in the district we spend significant amounts of money repairing and improving our housing stock. We aim to deliver a high quality customer focused repair and maintenance service which carries out repairs quickly and efficiently and keeps our properties in a good state of repair.
More detailed information can be found using the headings below.
- Asbestos in the Home
- Contractor Duties
- Electrical Work
- Gas Safety and Servicing
- Landlords Repair Responsibilities
- Leaseholders' and Freeholders' Responsibilities
- New Bolsover Model Village
- Out of Hours Emergency Repairs
- Rechargable Repairs
- Repair Categories
- Responsibility for Repairs
- Right to Buy Applications
- Tenant Improvements
- Tenants Responsibilties for Repairs
- Tenants 'Right to Repair'
- Void and Welfare
- Vulnerable Tenants
We set ourselves key aims and objectives to do this, by:
- Providing a reliable day-to-day repairs service.
- Repairing empty properties before new tenants move in.
- Consulting customers and shaping the service to meet their needs.
- Developing standards for the service in line with customer’s wishes.
- Carrying out regular servicing of heating systems excluding electric.
- Ensuring our tradesmen are qualfied and trained to a high standard.
- Repairs are carried out under the supervision of the Repairs Manager. The repairs team also includes a number of inspectors and our own team of workers. Some work is carried out by contractors on our behalf.
We follow the Government's Right to Repair scheme that makes sure that certain small urgent repairs which might affect tenants' health, safety or security, are done quickly and easily. More information about the Right to Repair is available from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The following gives advice on what to do if asbestos is found in the home which householders think may be harmful to their health. You can also refer to our Asbestos Policy for more information.
It is not aimed at businesses who have additional duties and responsibilities under health and safety legislation.
Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals. The use of asbestos is now very restricted but it was previously used in many building products, domestic appliances and household goods because of its strength and heat resisting properties.
Asbestos could be found:
- asbestos cement sheeting eg. garage and shed roofs
- lagging for boilers and pipework
- rainwater pipes
- textured wall and ceiling coatings
- insulating boards eg. airing cupboard doors
Asbestos containing materials are safe and will not harm you as long as they are intact and have not been damaged or tampered with in any way. If the asbestos has been damaged or work has been carried out on it, then asbestos dust fibres may have been produced. It is these fibres that may cause health problems such as cancer, if inhaled.
Asbestos materials must be removed and disposed of in the correct manner. The best way to do this is to use a licensed contractor. On no account should you remove asbestos coatings yourself.
Asbestos waste must not be put out with your normal rubbish. This is because waste collection vehicles compact the waste which could lead to the release of asbestos fibres as it is broken up.
If you think you have asbestos within your home please contact a reputable licensed contractor (see your local business telephone directory) or contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for details of licensed contractors on 0845 345 0055 or visit the HSE website.
All contractors employed by us are expected to:
- treat tenants politely and courteously;
- be aware that racist, sexist or any other offensive remarks or behaviour are not acceptable;
- arrange to carry out work at a time which is convenient to the tenant;
- obtain the tenant's permission before starting work;
- carry out work in a manner which respects the privacy of tenants and does not embarrass them in any way;
- take precautions to ensure that there are no dangers to tenants while work is taking place;
- protect tenants' furniture and belongings while they are working;
- clear away rubbish at the end of each day and on completion of the job;
- respond to situations where extra sensitivity may be needed, eg if tenants have very young children, do shift work or are ill when the contractor is due to call;
- refrain from discussing other tenants' personal details;
- refrain from discussing repairs to other tenants' dwellings;
- refrain from playing radios or similar audio equipment while on the landlord's property;
- refrain from smoking while in tenants' property; and
- give due notice to tenants if services are to be interrupted or disconnected.
We expect tenants to treat all out staff and contractors with respect. This includes:
- Not smoking whilst staff or contactors are in your home; and
- Not swearing of using offensive language including sexist, racists or other offensive language.
As a Council tenant you have the right to have repair work carried out as set out in the tenancy agreement. If you feel you are entitled to repair works which have not been carried out, or if your property is in an unsatisfactory condition, you, or your legal representative, may issue a notice to the authority under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
All Domestic property tenant’s/owner’s need to be aware that following the introduction of the governments “Part P” scheme in January 2005, it is now illegal for anyone who is not registered under a government recognised scheme/or who does not notify their intent to carry out electrical work to a property through the Authorities Building Control. Anyone found not following either of the above may be subject to a £5,000 fine and £50 per day until any such work is rectified.
With this in mind it is extremely important that any tenant of a council owned property does not carry out any alterations/additions to the electrical system themselves.
The Authority is a member of an approved scheme (NICEIC) and also ensures that any contractors working on its behalf are also approved contractors.
Any Council Tenant wishing to carry out an addition/alteration to the electrical installation must:
- Apply in writing to the Authority clearly stating what works they wish to carry out before any such work commences.
- The tenant must use the services of an approved electrical contractor for the requested works.
- All costs incurred for the electrical works will be borne by the tenant.
- Upon completion the contractor must issue the relevant certification for the work carried out, and a copy supplied to the authority for its records.
- The Authorities Electrical Department may visit to inspect the works during/after completion.
Failure to follow any of the above may result in any non-specified electrical works to the installation being removed by us, with all costs incurred being charged to the tenant.
All work carried out on gas pipe work or gas appliances, must be carried out by a suitably qualified CORGI registered plumber.
If smell gas, ring TRANSCO immediately on 0800 111999:
It is VITAL that you follow the instructions below:
- DO NOT turn electric switches on or off.
- DO NOT smoke.
- DO NOT use naked flames.
- DO NOT use any intercoms, door entry systems or mobile phones.
- DO turn off the gas at the meter.
- DO open doors and windows.
- If smell of gas persists evacuate the building.
Transco will need some of the following information:
- Full address including post code
- Name of caller / tenant
- Telephone number
- How long has there been a smell of gas / gas leak?
- Where is the smell / leak coming from
- Where is the meter box?
- Has the gas been turned off at the meter?
- Are there any children or old people in property?
- Any special visiting / access requirements?
We will check and service gas appliances such as boilers and fires annually. If you are a leaseholder it is your responsibility to ensure your gas appliances are serviced regularly. It is vital that you give us or one of its contractors access to carry out the service, as faulty appliances can kill. If necessary, we will obtain injunctions to get access to carry out the gas service.
All tenants and leaseholders should ensure that their own appliances (for example gas cookers) are also checked every year by a Corgi-registered contractor.
As landlord, we are responsible for the structure and outside of our properties including:
- drains, gutters and outside pipes;
- roofs and chimneys;
- doors, windows and outside walls;
- external paintwork;
- floors, ceilings and internal walls;
- paths and steps; and *
- walls and gates. *
We are responsible for the gas, electricity and water installations in the home including:
- water heaters, fitted fires and central heating systems; *
- electrical wiring, sockets and switches; *
- internal pipes, baths, sinks, basins, toilets and showers; * and
- other appliances (such as TV aerials) installed and owned by the landlord.
* Unless these are items that you have fitted yourself.
The leaseholder is responsible for:
- all internal repairs;
- glazing to their own flat;
- door and window furniture;
- internal service pipes and wiring;
- front and back doors; and
- sheds sold with the property.
We are responsible (as the freeholder) for certain repairs to leasehold properties, particularly to the exterior and structure of the building, and for maintenance of communal areas.
All repairs to leasehold flats should be recorded to the block. We also maintain and make a service charge for:
- services to supply of water, electric and gas up to the dwelling;
- repairs to the exterior walls, windows and roof;
- external painting;
- balcony doors;
- communal staircases and landings;
- staircase and landing windows and glazing;
- communal entrance doors;
- entry phones;
- communal lighting;
- lifts and lift lobbies;
- drains, communal soil stacks, gutters and down pipes;
- shared cold water storage tanks;
- refuse chutes and bin areas;
- common areas and facilities;
- common aerials;
- lightning conductors;
- common grassed areas;
- paths, walls, fences and drying areas; and
- services that pass through the dwelling.
Tenants and occupiers of properties on New Bolsover Model Village should refer to our specific planning guidelines before deciding to:
- alter or extend any house at New Bolsover
- make any changes to:
- external doors or windows
- gutters or down pipes
- chimneys or roofs
- yard walls or boundary fences
- paint external brickwork
- a satellite dish
- a CB Radio aerial
- security lamps or sensors
- security grills or boards
- a shed or greenhouse to the yard or gardenEnding your tenancy
Emergency repairs are those needed to avoid serious health, safety or security risks to tenants or to prevent major damage to the home.
- serious flooding and leaks;
- loss of cold water supply;
- lift breakdowns;
- complete loss of electricity supply;
- damage to doors or windows that make the home insecure;
- blocked toilet, if there is only one toilet in the home;
- dangerous walls and other elements;
- gas leaks and smell of fumes;
- burst pipes; and
- dangerous electrical fittings.
Work carried out as an emergency will be to make the property safe and secure. Any additional works not completed at the time will be treated as urgent or routine repairs.
An emergency repair can be reported at any time, day or night. The out-of-hours emergency number is 01246 242424.
We are not responsible for general power cuts and losses of water supply.
Misuse of Emergency and Out of Hours Repair Service
A charge will be made against any tenant who falsely gives information which leads to us or one of our contractors attending a repair which subsequently is identifies as being of a non-urgent nature.
There are some cases where the Council will seek to recover the costs of repairs from the tenant. These include:
- Willful damage - e.g. replace smashed door;
- Neglect - e.g. clear blocked sink, drain or bath. Damage caused by fire when a pan has been left on, or items placed too close to a fire; (note damage that is accidental usually falls under this category)
- Misuse - e.g. damage to fire grates from using the wrong fuel; and
- Abuse - e.g. graffiti to walls, unauthorised alterations. (when property becomes void)
Tenants should be advised that a repair may be rechargeable when reporting, however, a recharge may be raised after this time if appropriate. Please see the Recharge Policy for further information.
You will be asked to sign a copy of a rechargeable form which outlines the works carried out. You may be asked to pay in advance for these works, or at our discretion sent an invoice.
Repairs are carried out in one of the following categories and are raised and prioritised by using repair diagnostic software.
- ED's Emergencies within 24hrs
- OOH's Out of hours emergencies within 4hrs
- RA's Appointments within 15 working days
- RN's Non Urgent Repairs within 30 working days
- RR's Routine Repairs within 60 working days
- PW Planned Works within 244
- WE Welfare works within 244
Some repairs are our responsibility and some are yours. Basically, if you, your family or a visitor damages the property, the repair would be your responsibility. You are also responsible for the upkeep of items such as showers or patios that belong to you, were installed by you, or were in the property if you completed a mutual exchange. Please refer to our Rechargeable Repairs Policy for more information.
The tenant is responsible for repairs that result from damage, misuse or negligence, in accordance with our Recharge Policy.
We will not normally be responsible for repairs where damage has been caused accidentally by tenants, e.g. broken window glass.
If a tenant is reporting damage caused by others we will look at each case individually. You must report any such incident to the police first and pass this information to us together with a crime number.
If you are elderly or disabled a local voluntary organisation may be able to help with repairs, internal decoration or gardening, for more information contact your local Volunteer Bureau.
There are occasions when tenants identify repairs that are necessary that are not to their own home.
This could include things like the communal lighting in a block of flats, or the communal drainpipes to a block of garages. We will always urge tenants to report these requests for repairs as soon as possible.
Where a tenant has submitted an application under the Right To Buy only essential repairs will be carried out.
Work will only be carried out on the property if there is danger to health, life or limb, to make the property secure, and wind and weatherproof. For example:
- structural damage;
- roof leaks;
- blocked drains (rechargeable);
- broken glass (rechargeable);
- burst pipes and other essential plumbing repairs;
- electrical and gas faults;
- dangerous floor boards; or
- insecure entrance doors (rechargeable).
If a tenant has submitted but withdraws a right to buy application the council will only carry out these essential works for a period of 12 months after the withdrawal date. Other more extensive works can only be authorised by the Repairs Manager.
Tenants may carry out improvements to their home provided they obtain written permission from us first. We will only refuse permission for specific reasons of safety or detriment to the property. If we grant permission this will always be in writing and may be conditional on certain conditions (for example, work being carried out by a qualified contractor)
Tenants are responsible for obtaining any planning permission and building regulations approval. They must submit full details (and plans if appropriate), together with the name(s) of those who will carry out the work, to us for approval. Wherever possible, an Inspector will arrange to visit to discuss the proposals.
Tenants must not start work before they have permission in writing.
Work that requires permission includes any additions or alterations to the Council's fixtures and fittings such as:
- replacing a fireplace and/or surround;
- building a porch;
- putting up extra kitchen cupboards;
- putting in a driveway or car port;
- decorating the outside of the building;
- putting up a TV or radio aerial or satellite dish;
- installing central heating;
- changes to structure or layout;
- Electrical installations or alterations;
- Changing the bathroom suite or other sanitary fittings;
- Changing internal or external doors; and
- Light fittings, sockets and switches.
Permission is not needed for internal decorations, but you should be aware that if you install decorative features such as ceiling roses or dado railings you may be asked to remove these and repair any damage if you leave the house.
We may refuse permission for proposals if the improvements:
- cause the authority expense;
- will make the property difficult to let in future; or
- are ones that we expect to carry out under our planned works scheme.
A condition may be made that all improvements should be left if the tenant vacates the property.
Maintenance of tenant improvements
Tenants are responsible for maintaining any fixtures and fittings they have installed, eg fitted wardrobes, kitchen cupboards. They may also be required to reinstate the property to its original condition, should they remove their fittings on vacating the property. We may otherwise charge the tenant for the costs of reinstatement.
We will accept the responsibility for maintaining central heating and installations for supplying gas, water and electricity provided that:
- the tenant has obtained our permission first
- the work is properly carried out by a contractor approved by us
- the installation only requires maintenance that would normally be carried out
- the tenant agrees to leave the installation intact at the end of the tenancy
- the tenant signs an agreement to this effect.
All such cases should be approved prior to any work commencing.
Tenants are responsible for:
- telling us promptly when a repair is needed;
- letting us into the property to carry out repair work;
- contacting us promptly if a repair worker calls while they are out and leaves a card; and
- looking after any furnishings provided by the Council.
The tenant is responsible for any repair which arises as the result of action or inaction, wilful negligence or abuse by the tenant, members of their household or their visitors.
In the lists of specific repair responsibilities below, the repairs marked with a * may be carried out by the Council if there is no able-bodied person in the household. This is at the discretion of the Responsive Repairs Team.
Tenants are responsible for:
- electrical plugs and fuses to their own appliances;
- repairing or replacing smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, unless installed by the Council (tenants are responsible for regular testing of alarms);
- burglar alarms, unless installed by the Council;
- aerials (other than Council-provided communal aerials);
- replacement of non-communal light bulbs;
- repairing or replacing door bells, unless installed by the Council;
- cooking facilities, unless supplied by the Council; and
- resetting trip switches. *
Tenants are responsible for:
- paths, other than those that serve a front or rear entrance to the property;
- installing and maintaining fencing, unless adjacent to the public highway;
- garden maintenance, other than those tenants eligible for the assisted garden scheme; and
- replacing clothes lines between posts (except in communal drying areas).
Plumbing and heating
Tenants are responsible for:
- draining down water systems before periods of absence in the winter months;
- adjustments to central heating clocks;
- sweeping chimneys and replacing ash pans, fire grates, fire bars and operating tools for solid fuel appliances (in addition to the annual sweep/service carried out by the Council or replacement once per year as a result of fair wear and tear);
- plugs and chains to sinks, bath and wash hand basins; *
- pipe work to washing machines; *
- cleaning and descaling sinks, baths, wash hand basins and external gulleys;
- replacing toilet seats; and *
- blocked wastes/toilets as the result of misuse. *
Doors and windows
Tenants are responsible for:
- locks, padlocks and latches to sheds, unless supplied by us;
- replacing lost keys, and gaining access and replacing locks if they get locked out;
- replacing window keys;
- additional security measures, such as bolts and safety chains;
- additional door furniture including house numbers, door knockers, pull handles and letter plates, unless these have been provided by the Council;
- adjusting internal doors after they have fitted floor coverings;
- window cleaning; and
- replacing cracked or broken glass. *
Tenants are responsible for:
- repairing or replacing any installation or fitting that they have undertaken themselves, unless adopted by the Council;
- repairing or replacing any installation or fitting that the previous tenant made without Council permission (undaunted alteration), following an exchange;
- all internal decoration, including minor cracks or superficial damage to interior surfaces such as plasterwork; and
decorative items such as curtain rails, picture rails, hangers and shelves.
Tenants are responsible for any repairs that can be funded from their own insurance cover, including damage to the structure of the building.
The Tenants' Right to Repair was introduced by the Government on 1st April 1994 as part of the Citizens' Charter Scheme. This applies to a number of small urgent repairs which might affect the health, safety or security of tenants and which the Council must carry out within a certain timescale by law.
The legislation says that tenants with qualifying repairs (repairs up to the value of £250) are issued with a notice, in writing, giving details of the repair, who will be carrying it out, when the repair should be completed by and what they are entitled to do if the repair is not carried out in time.
If the contractor does not carry out the work within the specified timescale, the tenant can ask the council to send a second contractor. If the second contractor does not carry out the work, the tenant may be entitled to some compensation.
The amount of compensation to which the tenant is entitled to claim if the second appointed contractor does not carry out the work by the due date is £10 plus £2 for each day after the second completion date that the repair is not carried out, up to a maximum of £50.
The repairs covered by the Right to Repair are listed below with their timescales. However, it must be remembered that the timescales are in working days, not calendar days, and that the scheme only applies to repairs which, in the opinion of the landlord, would cost less than £250 to carry out. Therefore, for example, the timescale for loss of heating does not apply if a new boiler is required as the cost of this would exceed £250.
The timescale for the work to be carried out commences on the first working day after the day on which the repair notice is issued to the contractor.
Examples of typical timescales and the type of jobs they relate to can be seen in the table below:
Total loss of electric power
Partial loss of electric power
Unsafe power or lighting socket or electrical fitting
Total loss of water supply
Partial loss of water supply
Total or partial loss of gas supply
Blocked flue to open fire or boiler
Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 31 October and 1 May
Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 30 April and 1 November
Blocked or leaking foul drain, soil stack, or toilet pan (where there is no other working toilet in the dwelling house)
Toilet not flushing (where there is no other working toilet in the home)
Blocked sink, bath or basin
Tap which cannot be turned
Leaking from water or heating pipe, tank or cistern
Insecure external window, door or lock
Loose or detached banister or hand rail
Rotten timber flooring or stair tread
Door entry phone not working
Mechanical extractor fan in internal kitchen or bathroom (i.e. no external window) not working
We carry out all void or empty property repairs to council owned dwellings which become vacant. We currently repair between 400-600 properties per year. Each property is completed to a void standard that has been agreed with our tenants. A copy of the void standard can be found in your tenant pack, or by calling in to your local Contact Centre.
We carry out welfare adaptations to council properties based on Social Services referrals, works include shower trays, concrete ramps and handrails, through to the building or extensions to existing properties.
Tenants who are elderly, disabled or otherwise vulnerable may ask us to carry out repairs that are normally the tenant's responsibility. All applications will be determined by the Repairs Manager.
In general, those eligible are tenants who live alone or have no other able bodied relative living with them or nearby and who are:
- 70 or over;
- in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Attendance Allowance;
- in sheltered accommodation or supported housing; or
- judged by the Tenancy Management Officer to require special assistance due to their vulnerability.
For further information please telephone 01246 242424 or submit an enquiry form
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 09:08