Repairs information for tenants life

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1 Repairs information for tenants Together we are Metropolitan Housing Partnership H o u s i n g S o c i e t y S u p p o r t T r u s t H o m e O w n e r s h i p H o u s i n g T r u s t L o n d o n Improving life together

2 This leaflet explains who is responsible for repairs to your home. It also provides detailed information about our repair service and useful tips on how to stay safe in your home. Contents A quick guide to the repair process A step by step guide to reporting a repair and how we carry out a repair Who is responsible for repairs to your home? A quick-reference checklist to help you identify when you should contact us to request a repair Repairs in depth Inspecting a repair Repair priorities Other repairs and miscellaneous work Statutory requirements Satisfaction surveys Complaints and compensation Useful tips Some advice on how to prevent damage and stay safe if things go wrong How to contact us If you need to report a repair during the day (including emergency repairs) or have a question about the contents of this leaflet, you can contact your local customer services team. If you do not know which local office to contact, call The numbers for the local offices are: MHT London (24 hours, 7 days a week) To report a repair online (except emergency repairs) visit repairs.html Spirita (24 hours, 7 days a week) To report a repair online (except emergency repairs) visit repairs.html Granta Housing Society (9am-5pm, Mon-Thurs; 9am pm, Friday) (For use outside office hours, on weekends and Bank Holidays) Clapham Park Homes (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri) (For use outside office hours, on weekends and Bank Holidays) 2 3

3 How to report a repair To report a repair online (except emergency repairs) visit reportarepair.html Outside office hours or at any time on Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holidays, all our calls will be managed by Mears (who work on behalf of MHP). A quick guide to the repair process 1. Find out who is responsible for the repair The first thing you should do is look at the checklist that starts on page 8 to see who is responsible for carrying out the repair. If you are unsure, please contact your local customer services team for advice. 2. After referring to the checklist, you can report a repair to us: by telephone in person at your local or estate-based office by letter to customer services to your local caretaker or scheme manager through our websites (but not emergencies). 3. When you contact us, please tell us: your name, address and telephone and/or mobile number(s) as much detail about the repair as you can and where it is when someone will be at home to let the repair person in (this person must be 18 years of age or older). What we will do How you can help us If a repair is needed, a customer services officer will place an order for the works. We will: tell you what we intend to do tell you how soon we will do the repair send you a repair receipt. Our customer services team will monitor your repair from report to completion. They will follow up any outstanding repairs where necessary and answer any of your questions. After your repair is complete, you may be contacted and asked to complete a repairs completion survey. We will use this information to monitor our and our contractor s performance and to improve our customer service to you. As a resident, you are responsible for keeping your home in a reasonable condition. This includes: the upkeep of your home which includes carrying out some small repairs (such as replacing plugs and chains for sinks and basins) keeping your property clean, tidy and reasonably decorated clearing all unwanted belongings (including from lofts or gardens) taking positive action to avoid damage (for 4 5

4 example, regular airing of the property to avoid condensation caused by cooking, heating etc). What you can expect from us Please remember that someone else will be moving into your home should you decide to leave. We aim to carry out repairs quickly and efficiently, and to provide you with a quality repairs service at all times. You can expect our staff or suppliers working on our behalf to meet our service standards as listed below. Service Standards To carry out work to a good standard that gives value for money. To be quick and reliable. To keep you informed. To behave sensitively to the fact that we are working in your home. To be clear about what you can expect from us. If you feel we have not met these standards, please contact your local customer services team. Who is responsible for repairs to your home? As your landlord, we have a responsibility to carry out certain repairs to your property. There are also repairs that you will have to carry out yourself. So before you report a repair to us, please use the checklist overleaf to see whose responsibility it is. 6 7

5 Repair Landlord Tenant Repair Landlord Tenant Baths repair/replacement Brickwork waste pipe blockages garden walls (may be replaced with close board fencing) Carpentry except any locks Doors (internal) Door furniture (external) including door frame and hinges (but excluding door handles) including bells, knockers, letter boxes, door numbers and door handles Chains and plugs on basins, baths and sinks Door furniture (internal) including door handles, locks and latches Chimneys Drains not including waste pipes Communal areas Central heating including storage heaters and fitted electric fires Electrical wiring, sockets and switches Entry doors communal, external (usually repaired periodically) and timber (prior to painting) Decoration (external) Front door lock except communal locks Decoration (internal) Domestic appliances Doors (external) except when the damage is caused by other repairs that we have carried out if they belong to you if they are provided by us including door step Fences Fire grates and surrounds Fixtures and fittings Floorboards such as coat hooks, curtains and curtain rails 8 9

6 Repair Landlord Tenant Repair Landlord Tenant Floor covering kitchen, WC and bathroom only Garages Gardening maintenance if you have sole use or it is shared with no service charge for maintenance Immersion heaters Keys Kitchen units if you ask us to change a lock, we will charge you Gas communal gardens and grassed areas with service charge for maintenance boilers and central heating systems Glazing communal glazing internal glazing with crime reference number provided Hand basins repair/replacement Hot water cylinder jackets waste pipe blockages Laminate flooring Lifts except when the damage is caused by other repairs we have carried out (you must obtain our written permission before fitting laminate flooring) Lighting communal/estate lighting Light fittings except light bulbs and dimmer switches Locks except communal locks Paths Plastering except minor cracks Infestation by pigeons, rats, insects, etc. Contact your local council unless a separate service charge has been agreed Plumbing repairs and leaks leaks to domestic appliances, (e.g. washing machines) will only be repaired if they were originally provided by us 10 11

7 Repair Landlord Tenant Porches except broken glazing Re-lighting pilot light on gas boiler Roofs and gutters Sanitary fixtures and fittings including re-setting any heating controls or programmers except WC seats Sink units except waste pipe blockages Skirting boards Stairs Switches and sockets except dimmer switches Tap washers fitting and replacement Telephone points TV aerials and sockets unless communal Washing lines unless communal WC repairs WC blockages Repair Landlord Tenant Windows except window locks Waste blockages Worktops including basin, bath and kitchen sink. You will be recharged if the blockage is considered to be caused through neglect by the tenant, a member of the family or another person on the premises Please note: This does not list every repair. In certain circumstances, responsibility for a repair will differ from those listed above. Repairs in depth Inspecting a repair Sometimes repairs will need to be inspected before and/or after they are done. Where this is the case, the customer services team will make arrangements for someone from the maintenance team to carry out an inspection. Inspecting a repair before we place an order (pre-inspection) If we need to inspect a repair before the work is given to a contractor, we will arrange for a surveyor to visit your home. We will try to make this appointment when you first call us

8 If it turns out that the repair is your responsibility, we will tell you. Our policy on rechargeable repairs will be explained to you. Repairs that are large or complex may form part of a programme of works that cannot be carried out straight away (e.g. a kitchen refurbishment). We will let you know when this type of work is likely to take place. All visiting members of staff and suppliers working on our behalf carry ID. You should ask to see this before letting anyone in. Phone customer services if you need to check that a caller is genuine. Checking the quality of your repair (post-inspection) We aim to inspect 15% of all completed repairs to ensure that our suppliers are carrying out work to a high standard and giving us value for money. We may therefore ask to come and inspect the repair after it is completed. If your repair is chosen, a surveyor will contact you to arrange a convenient time to inspect the work. If the contractor has not completed the work to an acceptable standard, we will instruct the contractor to put it right at your earliest convenience. Repair priorities If you are dissatisfied with a repair that has been completed in your home, you should contact your local office immediately. We will arrange for the contractor to return to your home or for a surveyor to visit and inspect the work. How long will your repair take? Minor repairs are usually unplanned and are often called day-to-day repairs. When you contact us to report a minor repair, the officer who takes the details will inform you how long the work should take. Our target times for minor repairs fall into four different categories: Emergency repairs Urgent repairs Non-urgent repairs Routine repairs Major routine repairs within 24 hours 7 calendar days 14 calendar days 28 calendar days within three months or as part of programmed works 14 15

9 Emergency repairs Repairs required to avoid immediate danger to one s health and safety; a risk to the residents or others safety or property; serious damage to the residents home or adjacent buildings. Emergency repairs should be completed within 24 hours. The following items are classified as emergency repairs: fire including make safe structural damage or failure health and safety risk gas leaks and escape of fumes floods total loss of electric power unsafe electrical fittings no lights to kitchens or bathrooms, windows or staircases total loss of power to all sockets total loss of power to kitchen sockets only total loss of heating or hot water burst pipes major water leaks where the leak cannot be contained no cold water supply to property securing entrance doors or windows blocked WC where it is the only one in the property blocked drain causing waste water to surge into basin, bath, sink or WC (health and safety) forced entry and lock changes (if crime reference number is supplied or for vulnerable tenants) offensive or racist graffiti lift fault, when there is only one lift in the block unless other arrangements have been made (i.e. where two lifts need to be operational at all times). Urgent repairs Repairs that materially affect the comfort of residents and may be causing some deterioration to the fabric of the building. If not carried out, these repairs will cause serious inconvenience to the resident. These repairs should be completed within seven calendar days. The following items are classified as urgent repairs: significant plumbing or defects, such as toilet not flushing or where water or waste escape can only be contained with difficulty blocked drains, sinks, basins, bath, and toilet partial loss of heating partial loss of hot water defective cistern or overflow where this is a health and safety risk 16 17

10 hot water faults or breakdowns significant electrical repairs to general lighting or sockets (non-emergency), immersion heaters, hard-wired smoke detectors, etc where scaffolding is not required and missing roof tiles or blocked/faulty guttering is causing a serious problem or water penetration/leaks blocked gutters severe dampness breaches of security to internal doors and windows failure of individual door entry phone graffiti faulty extractor fan damaged timber flooring or stair tread (if a health and safety risk) faulty communal aerial loose or detached banister or hand-rail a broken window handle (if a security or health and safety risk). Non-urgent repairs Repairs that are not as important can wait slightly longer before being attended to. These repairs should be completed within 14 calendar days. The following items are classified as non-urgent repairs: tap cannot be turned on (where the tap is not the cold drinking water tap) leaking overflow correctly discharging leaking waste pipe (where the leak is minor) defective power points (minor) defective light switches repairs to immersion heaters (minor) general repairs to heating and hot water systems blocked or faulty guttering. Routine repairs Defects that can be deferred without serious discomfort, inconvenience or nuisance to the resident or third party, without longterm deterioration of the building should be completed within 28 calendar days. The following items are classified as routine repairs: general joinery repairs repairs to doors, windows and floors repairs to external walls, fences and paths repairs to walls, brickwork and slates or tiles repairs or clearing of gutters and down pipes 18 19

11 repairs to kitchen fittings repairs to plaster work dripping or leaking taps or shower units other minor plumbing repairs repairs to tiling easing doors and windows other minor day-to-day repairs or replacements replacement window handles that are not secured or are a health and safety risk repairs to flooring that are a health and safety risk. Major routine repairs These are repairs which are not routine and may need an inspection first. Some routine work may fall into this group on occasions. These works should be completed within three months or to an agreed work programme. The following items are classified as major routine repairs: kitchen replacements planned or programmed boiler replacements (where the existing boiler is beyond reasonable repair, the boiler should be replaced as soon as possible) window replacements cyclical redecoration. Some repairs involving large scale replacement or improvement works may be scheduled outside of the major routine repairs priorities. These will be carried out under a separate programme as annual planned works or major repairs. Vulnerable residents MHP provides an enhanced service for residents assessed as potentially vulnerable for maintenance purposes. The priority of specific repairs will be upgraded to take into account their individual needs: urgent and non-urgent repairs will be upgraded to emergency repairs emergency and routine repairs will not be upgraded. We will also carry out repairs that are usually the resident s responsibility. A resident is considered to be vulnerable if they, or a member of their household, fall into one of the following categories: physical, mental or sensory impairment single person or older person/couple care or medical care leaver. A resident s vulnerability status for maintenance purposes will normally be reviewed by a designated officer at the same time that their support is reviewed

12 Annual planned work Major repairs This is work required by law and will be carried out annually. The following items are classified under annual planned works: gas servicing works lift servicing servicing of appliances. Major repairs involve remedial works which are necessary for the property to remain habitable. These include structural repairs, site works and service installations. This type of work may also involve temporarily re-housing residents. Major repair works include: structural repairs: work that is essential to maintain stability and weather resistance of our homes: i.e. floors, walls and roofs. Major works to these parts will involve substantial reconstruction or replacement. Some costs relating to these works may be recoverable from insurers site works: work to the area around our buildings and homes essential to the safety, security and protection of residents. Examples are the replacement or substantial reconstruction of unstable boundary walls or footpaths service installations: Work to building services, where they are seriously impaired. For example, renewal of installations such as gas, electricity and water supplies, heating and ventilation and lifts Other information consequential and other works: work required as a consequence of major repairs, such as finishes and fittings improvements: any work that significantly improves the dwelling is classed as a major repair planned maintenance, improvements and decorations. We aim for all of our properties to be the same high standard. To achieve this goal, much of our maintenance is planned ahead. For example, we service all gas appliances every year, and we normally decorate external and communal areas every five years. To minimise disruption to residents, we may carry out several repairs at one time. For example, we may replace bathrooms while repairing window frames or roofs. We also look to make continual improvements to properties or blocks e.g. installing entry doors to increase security. Alterations and improvements to your home You must obtain written permission from us before you make any improvements to your home. Defects In newly-built properties, a defect is where work fails to comply with the required standards of 22 23

13 workmanship, quality, performance or design. The defect liability period usually lasts for one year after a property has been handed over to MHP, after which the day-to-day repair service will apply. For more details, contact customer services. Right to compensation for improvements You have the right to claim compensation at the end of your tenancy for certain improvements that you have made to your home, providing you had our written consent before you carried out the work. Aids and adaptations If you, or a person living with you, require any adaptation to your home to assist with independent living, you may be able to obtain assistance from us. Right to repair You are entitled to use the Right to Repair scheme to carry out work if our repair service has not reached the required standard. Provided you follow the procedure, you could be entitled to compensation if we do not complete a repair within a specified time limit. Satellite and cable Please contact your local office or customer services if you would like to install a satellite dish. You may need to obtain planning permission from the local council before you put up a dish. Infestation and pest control If you find rats, mice, cockroaches or any other pest in your home, please contact your local council. They may charge you for the services they provide. If you live in a block or on an estate, we will carry out pest control where it has been agreed that all residents will share the cost of this service through a separate service charge (itemised on your rent bill). Rubbish If you need to dispose of any bulky items such as furniture, cookers and mattresses, contact your local council. Statutory requirements Planned maintenance includes maintenance activities that we have to carry out by law usually on a yearly basis. Gas servicing The law requires that all landlords carry out safety checks on gas appliances every 12 months. It also states that if a person knowingly uses an unsafe gas appliance or carries out any work on a gas appliance without the required qualifications, then an offence has been committed. If your home has a gas appliance, we will appoint a Gas Safe registered engineer to visit 24 25

14 you every year. They will carry out a safety check on your gas installation(s) and fully service all the gas appliances owned by us. No charge will be made for this work. We will write to tell you when the engineers are working in your area. The visiting engineer will leave you with a copy of the Landlord s Gas Safety Certificate (LGSR). This will inform you that your gas installation and appliances have been tested. If any appliances are found to be unsafe, we will arrange for the necessary repairs to be carried out. If a repair cannot be carried out, we will arrange for a replacement item to be installed. Important: You are required by law to allow access for a Gas Safe registered engineer, appointed by us, to carry out work at a reasonable time and after reasonable notice. We take our legal responsibility very seriously and your co-operation in this important matter is essential. If we do not get access after reasonable attempts have been made, we will not hesitate to take legal steps to gain entry and check your gas appliances. This could result in the loss of your home and will result in the cost of all legal proceedings being recharged to you. Asbestos If materials containing asbestos have been identified in your home (excluding leaseholders), we are required to make an annual inspection (more frequently if the material is in a position where it is likely to be damaged), to ensure it remains in a safe condition. This process is for your protection against risk from inhaling loose asbestos fibres. It is also required to ensure the safety of any contractors who may attend your home to carry out repairs. We will write or telephone to arrange access for these inspections if there is a record of asbestos in your home. For more information, see our Asbestos leaflet or contact customer services. Electrical checks We carry out safety checks on installations according to British Standards and building regulations guidelines. This ensures we remain in line with standards as they improve. Again, we will write to or telephone you to arrange access when your home is due for inspection

15 Fire regulations We will maintain fire safety equipment in communal areas serving flats. We will also complete an annual fire risk assessment of these areas. Where we have installed a hard-wired smoke alarm in your home we will check this as part of the annual gas safety check. We will periodically contact you for access to test that it is functioning correctly. Your home may have self-closing doors designed to contain smoke and fire in a room so that you can safely escape the property. They have spring closers or special hinges that cause the door to close itself. You should ensure that these doors are closing correctly and always close them when you go to bed at night. If they are not closing on their own, please report this to customer services. Repairs satistaction survey When you report a repair you will receive a repair receipt. This includes a brief description of the repair, the appointment date and the contractor s details. When the repair is complete, you may be contacted by telephone so we can learn what you think about: the quality of the work how we responded to your call about the repair the behaviour of the contractor while working in your home the time taken for the repair to be completed. If you tell us you are not satisfied with your repair, we will: speak to you on the phone or write to you about the repair get the contractor to call back when necessary get a surveyor to inspect the work. The information you provide will be used to monitor the performance of our repairs service. We value your views and will use them to shape our service

16 Complaints and compensation If you have a complaint about a repair you should follow our complaints procedure, which is available from customer services. If you have exhausted our formal complaints procedure and are not happy with our response, you can contact: Housing Ombudsman Service 81 Aldwych London WC2B 4HN Tel: Lo-call: If something goes wrong with any of our services, including repairs, you may be entitled to compensation. Ask customer services for more details

17 Useful tips Gas Electricity If you smell gas in your home: turn off your gas supply at the meter. Contact your caretaker (if you have one) open all doors and windows to get rid of the gas do not turn any electrical switches on or off do not use door bells do not light a match or cigarette lighter check to see if an appliance has been left on, but is unlit. If so, do not turn your gas back on or try to re-light until the smell of gas has cleared. If the leak cannot be stopped by turning off appliances, phone National Grid, the gas emergency service, immediately on This service is free. The gas emergency service will attend as soon as possible to make sure your appliances are safe to use. They will advise you if the problem requires your gas to be shut off until a repair can be carried out. If you are suffering only a partial electrical failure (e.g. your lights won t come on but your TV is working), then you should check your fuse box. If you are unable to resolve the problem, contact customer services. If the mains supply in your home fails completely, contact your electricity supply company. There will be a contact number on your electricity bill. The electricity company will be able to advise you when power will be restored. Be safe: some safety tips on electricity around the home Always use good quality, undamaged plugs with shielded pins. Wire these correctly and only use one appliance per plug. Never overload sockets with adapters. Never plug an appliance into a light fitting. Never run flexes under carpets or lino or where they can touch something hot. Make sure they are not damaged. Never use any electrical appliance other than a shaver in a bathroom and only use it if it is plugged into a proper shaver socket. Never put clothes near a heater even a convector or storage heater. Never adapt or extend cables to storage heaters and do not fit time switches or delays to radiant fires. Never cover or block extractor fans or fan heaters. Never touch anything electrical with wet hands. Never connect appliances to the landlord s supply it is dangerous and is against the law

18 Water Fire If your mains water supply is not working (if the cold water tap on your kitchen sink isn t working), contact the emergency number on your water bill. The water supply company will advise you when the supply is likely to be restored. If you have a burst or leaking pipe: turn off the stopcock (or contact your caretaker, if you have one) if the leak has affected your electrical supply, turn off the power at the fuse box contact customer services. They will send a contractor to your home to carry out the repair as soon as possible. In case of fire in your home, however small: get everybody out of your home (if you are in a block, try to make sure the door to your flat is fully closed on the way out) get to a safe place dial 999 and ask for the fire brigade raise the alarm or warn your neighbours do not go back inside your home for whatever reason. In case of a fire in your block of flats: make sure you familiarise yourself with the emergency plan for your block and follow it. Asbestos Damp and condensation You may need to contact customer services after the emergency services have attended. For further advice and tips on preventing fire in the first place, visit There is a register of all asbestos found in communal areas providing access to flats. If we have advised you that some elements in your home contain asbestos, take care to ensure these materials are not disturbed. If they do become disturbed or damaged, do not sweep or vacuum any of the debris as this will lift dust into the air, causing a risk to your health. Call customer services immediately for further advice. If you suspect materials in your home may contain asbestos, please contact customer services and ask for an asbestos survey to be carried out. Refer to our Asbestos leaflet for more information. Everyday things like cooking, washing and bathing release moisture into the air. When this moisture settles on a surface, such as a wall or window, it causes condensation. This can lead to mould growth which can damage your home and your health

19 Condensation can usually be prevented by ensuring any affected room is adequately ventilated. Opening windows when cooking or bathing and using extractor fans (where provided) will allow water vapour to escape. Please contact customer services if you discover damp or mould growth in your home. More information For more information on our repairs service, contact your local office. Contact details can be found on page

20 This leaflet explains what repairs you are responsible for as a tenant, and what repairs are our responsibility. If you need this information in your own language, or in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio disc), please contact your local office reception and we will take reasonable steps to arrange this for you. Chinese simplified Somali Polish Spanish Portuguese Turkish Punjabi Urdu 38 39

21 Metropolitan Housing Partnership is a unique network of locally focused member organisations working together to provide housing, community, regeneration, care and support services. Metropolitan Housing Partnership is the brand name for Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited. Metropolitan Housing Trust Limited Registered Office: Cambridge House 109 Mayes Road Wood Green London N22 6UR. Charitable, registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965, No R and registered with the Tenant Services Authority, the regulator of social housing, No. LO726. Metropolitan Housing Partnership. Published November Correct at time of going to print. Printed on paper from sustainable sources. MHP044/1110

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