How to report a repair...4 What will happen when you call?...4 Our Standards...5 What happens when we are closed?...6

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1 Repairs

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3 Contents How to report a repair...4 What will happen when you call?...4 Our Standards...5 What happens when we are closed?...6 What repairs are Newlon responsible for?...6 Improvements...7 Important points to note about repairs...9 Decorations allowance...10 Can I get any help from Newlon with repairs that are my responsibility?.10 Our target times for repairs...10 Emergency...11 Urgent...11 Routine...12 Long term...12 Communal areas...12 Our Communal Repair response times...13 Re-charges for repairs...13 What happens if our service fails?...14 Claiming compensation for delays in repairs...15 How do we monitor our service?...15 Your right to make improvements

4 How to report a repair Our Customer Service Centre deals with all repairs. You can contact the Service Centre on or , Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm. This is the quickest way to report repairs and we recommend you use this method. If you call either of these numbers, you will get a call reference number so that your call can be tracked. If you cannot telephone, you can also report repairs by visiting our office at Newlon House, 4 Daneland Walk, Hale Village, N17 9FE. Please note the office has shorter opening hours than the Service Centre. Our office opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. To report a non-urgent repair, you can contact us in any of the following ways: Request that a member of staff visits you in your home. Write a letter to the Customer Service Centre, Newlon Housing Trust, Newlon House, 4 Daneland Walk, Hale Village, London, N17 9FE. Send an to Use our online diagnostic tool on our website, Text us on Remember if your call is urgent, please call us on either or What will happen when you call? When you call the Customer Service Centre we will: 4 Try to answer the phone within five rings. 4 Give our name. 4 Tell you how quickly we will do the repair. 4 Send you a copy of the repair order raised. 4 Arrange for a telephone interpreter in your language if necessary. 4 Try to keep you informed, but you can ring us for progress at any time. 4 Arrange an appointment for a contractor to visit. 4

5 If we have a current mobile number for you, we will text you to remind you of the appointment. We will also text you to ask if you are happy with the repair. We will also phone you to check that the appointment was kept and the repair was completed. When you call us, you will need to give us the following information: q q q q q Name, address and daytime telephone number. As much information as you can about the repair. Any crime reference number where damage has been reported to the police. Details of specific times that you cannot provide access, such as school run times. Whether there are any members of your household who are very young or old or have specific health issues. We may have to ask you lots of detailed questions about your repair. This is to try and ensure that we get the right contractor to attend with the correct parts for the job to help get the repair right first time. If the appointment was not kept or the repair was not completed, we do rely on you to keep us informed about this, this enables us to chase the contractor to ensure the repair gets completed. Our Standards We aim to get the repair right first time but if we can t we will keep you informed about what is happening. Where residents work or have family commitments such as the school run, we will arrange suitable repair appointments such as two hour timeslots or during the middle of the day. If you are working or have similar full time commitments such as studying and we cannot resolve a repair after two visits, we will arrange flexible appointments including times outside our normal hours. 5

6 What happens when we are closed? If you need an emergency repair outside office hours, you can still call us on or Our answerphone will direct you to our emergency repair service. Our contractors will attend all serious emergencies or give you advice if the repair can safely wait until our office reopens. You will need to do what you can to stop further damage, for example turning off the water or the electricity. Contact the Customer Service Centre if you are not sure how to do this. Please don t wait for an emergency. What repairs are Newlon responsible for? We are responsible for most of the repairs to your home. We aim to give an excellent service that meets your needs and maintains the property to a high standard. Your tenancy agreement lists the type of repairs we will do. These include: The structure and outside of your home, for example: 4 Drains, gutters and outside pipes. 4 The roof (weather permitting due to health and safety reasons). 4 Outside walls, doors, window frames, sills and sash cords. 4 Inside walls, floors, major cracks to ceilings and back/front doors. 4 Chimneys, chimney stacks and flues. 4 Pathways and steps. 4 Major plasterwork. 4 Integral garages and stores. 4 Boundary walls and fences. 8 Newlon is not responsible for internal decoration or chimney sweeping. We are responsible for any installations we provide, for example for heating and hot water and for the supply of water, gas and electricity including: 6

7 4 Basins, sinks, baths, toilets, flushing systems and waste pipes. 4 Electric wiring including sockets and switches, gas pipes and water pipes. 4 Water heaters, fireplaces, fitted fires and central heating installations. You are responsible for reporting these repairs to us. We try to carry out the repairs efficiently and courteously within our target times (see pages 10 12). Our contractors should use dust sheets where appropriate and clear up any rubbish after them. For advice on how to report repairs, see pages 4 5. We try to decorate the outside of your home every five years. We will let you know in advance when this will be done and you can have say about the work (e.g. choice of paint colour). If your home is managed by an agency on behalf of Newlon, some repairs will be carried out by the agency. Your tenancy agreement should give details of this. Improvements We plan to improve the condition of all our properties. This currently includes upgrading heating systems, new windows and kitchens where these are needed. You can choose whether or not you have these improvements and we will work closely with you to make sure you are pleased with the work. Our contractors will speak to you about what choices you are able to make on these works. We have a programme of improvement works for all Newlon properties. If you think you have works that need to be carried out sooner please call our Service Centre on to let us know. We will arrange for our surveyor to evaluate this and then we will inform you if your improvement works will be brought forward. What repairs are your responsibility? We aim to provide an efficient and effective repairs service. In order to do so, we need to ensure our money is directed at repairs we must carry out rather than repairs that are not necessary or are the resident s responsibility. 7

8 We are not saying that you must carry out these minor repairs yourself but we are not responsible for doing these for you. Our Handy Hints booklet shows you how to carry out minor repairs, but if you do not feel confident to carry out these things then you will need to find and pay for your own contractor to do the work. If you do not have a Handy Hints booklet, you can request one by calling the Customer Service Centre on You are expected to carry out minor, day to day repairs including: 8 Decorating the inside of your home, including making good after a leak. Taking down/hanging curtains or curtain rails. Moving furniture or carpets/laminated flooring so that repairs can be done. Removing refuse or unwanted furniture. Replacing lost or stolen keys, renewing locks and repairing damage done as a result of locking yourself out. Unblocking sinks or toilets. Loose kitchen or bathroom tiles, sealant or cracks to basins, sinks, toilet and toilet seats. Television aerials (unless you pay a Service Charge for a shared aerial). Putting up shelves and repair of anything you have put in yourself (e.g. your own light fittings) or connections for your own washing machine or cooker etc. Replacement, repair of electrical fuses, changing fuses to electric metres, doorbells, light bulbs (except in shared hallways) or kitchen light strips and broken light fitments. We will only attend to these where you have confirmed that you have already changed the bulb and the starter motor (where appropriate). In these cases, we may also ask for a deposit to be paid in advance of any operative calling to cover any potential re-charge costs. This will be refunded where Newlon is responsible for the repair. Broken windows (unless as a result of a crime reported to the police). Kitchen units (including drawers).

9 Installing or maintaining extra locks or other security on windows and doors (we will maintain night latches). Gardening (unless you pay a Service Charge for a shared garden), the removal of garden rubbish and maintenance of garden sheds and gates. Holes in internal walls and cracks to ceilings. Adjusting internal doors or repairing internal door latches, catches, locks or handles. External door furniture on individual doors including door bells, knockers and letter boxes (not communal). Maintaining internal smoke alarms unless you can confirm that the batteries have been changed in the unit. If we do attend and find out that the batteries have not been changed we will re-charge you for the call out. Pest infestation mice, wasp nests, cockroaches, unless it affects more than one property and you pay a Service Charge. Dripping/running taps this would generally require the replacement of the tap washer. Detached garages and garden buildings. Damaged items that are not normal wear and tear. If you cannot provide an acceptable reason for the item becoming damaged then Newlon will not attend to carry out the repair and you will be expected to carry out this repair yourself. Important points to note about repairs If you have a flood, we will not pay for damage to your possessions, carpets or decorations unless it was our fault (for example, you reported it and we didn t repair it when we said we would). You should arrange your own contents insurance to cover this. You can speak to Customer Service Centre staff who will be able to give you information on this. If pest infestation is from neighbouring properties or due to an outstanding repair that is Newlon s responsibility (e.g. broken drains) then Newlon will do the work and make sure all affected properties are treated. In this case we will investigate the source of infestation and re-charge any households responsible. 9

10 You may be charged if you don t keep specific appointments made for repairs to be done unless you let us know beforehand. You can get compensation from us if we don t turn up when we have said we will. Decorations allowance Newlon is not responsible for internal decorations. In the event of a leak from another property, your contents insurance should cover this. Where the leak is within your property and Newlon has responded within our target timescales (see Our target times for repairs section on pages 10 12), we would not be responsible for the decorations. However if we fail to act within the published timescales we will give you a decorations allowance. Decorations allowances are expected to cover the cost of materials for painting, they are not intended to cover the use of contractors for this. Can I get any help from Newlon with repairs that are my responsibility? If your home is damaged by vandalism, burglary or harassment (e.g. broken windows or graffiti), we will do the repairs providing you have reported it to the police and have a crime reference number. If you need rubbish or old furniture removed, most councils will do this for free. Please contact your local authority to arrange this. We have a small amount of money in our Tenant Welfare Fund to help in cases of extreme hardship. For vulnerable residents, such as the elderly or those with disabilities, we will take individual circumstances into consideration when dealing with repairs requests. For example if you are elderly or you have a young baby we will respond to your heating repairs within 24 hours rather than seven days. Our target times for repairs We set targets for doing repairs that are our responsibility and these are listed under the headings below. 10

11 When you report a repair we will tell you how soon we will visit and record this on the copy of the repair order sent to you. Emergency We visit within 24 hours for any situation that is either dangerous or likely to become so, or a serious health risk. The timescale given is for a first visit, to make safe and reduce the urgency of the repair. We may need to call back to finish the work. Emergency repairs include: Total loss of water supply (where it is not a problem with the supplier). Total loss of electricity and where electrics are damaged by water leaks (where it is not a problem with the supplier). Major plumbing leaks or taps which cannot be turned off and is causing damage. Gas leaks. Dangerous structures (i.e. ceiling collapsing). If you can t use your toilet and it is the only toilet in your home (where the toilet is not blocked or you are still able to use a bucket of water to flush the toilet). Total loss of heating and hot water where household members are disabled, elderly or vulnerable (October to May). Make safe and board up after break-ins/attempted break-in or broken windows. Blocked main drains causing back-surge of sewage. Persons locked out due to defective locks or broken keys (not lost keys). Urgent We visit within seven calendar days for repairs that need urgent attention to stop further damage and/or seriously affect your comfort, health or safety. For example: Loss of heating or hot water supply for households, where it is not deemed an emergency. When you call we will be able to tell you whether it is an emergency or not. 11

12 Partial loss of water or gas supply. Structural repairs (e.g. roof, banisters or handrails). Plumbing repairs (e.g. toilet not flushing or taps which cannot be turned on). Rotten floor boards or stairs if a significant health and safety risk. Routine We visit within 28 calendar days for non-urgent repairs, which do not substantially affect your comfort in your home, for example: Gutters. Repairs to doors, window frames and floors. Repairs to plaster on walls or ceilings. Repairs to fences and gates. Door entryphone. Mechanical extractor fan in bathrooms or kitchens without a window. Electrical work. In the case of some repairs it may take more than one visit to complete the repair, but this should not affect the timescale in which we have said we will carry out the repair. Long term Some repairs need specialist contractors or we need to find extra money to do the work for example: Rising damp. Roof replacement. If this is the case, we try to visit within 14 calendar days and finish the work within three months. Communal areas If you share an entrance, hall, stairway, lift, passageway or any other common part with other tenants, we are responsible for all repairs and decorating. In that area we will also provide any lighting needed and make sure shared areas are fit for you to use. 12

13 Our Communal Repair response times Emergency for example we will respond within 24 hours where there is no lighting in a communal stairwell and no natural light there; Urgent an example is a new lock on a gate/door other than the main door, where there is a health and safety or security concern; Routine such as loose guttering and downpipes. You will have to pay a separate Service Charge to cover things like cleaning in shared areas and lift maintenance. This will be explained when you move in and you will be given full details of the charges. If you claim housing benefit, this will cover all services in communal areas. We will tell you if there is any part of the charge not covered by housing benefit. If we need to change the services that affect you, we will ask you first. You can also request an annual account of the actual costs so you can check what we are doing with your money. If the service fails, we will refund you any amount charged after a qualifying period (see our Compensation leaflet for full details). You are responsible for keeping these areas tidy and free from any obstruction (e.g. prams or bikes). In some shared houses we supply electrical goods such as washing machines and cookers. Specific repairing arrangements exist for these. Please contact the Customer Service Centre on or agency for more details. Re-charges for repairs There may be a number of reasons for re-charging you for the cost of carrying out repairs. The most common reason for this is if you call the Out of Hours emergency service and they attend for something that is not an emergency. You will also be re-charged for the cost of repairs or attendance of our contractors if we attend to a repair that is not within Newlon s repairing responsibilities such as: 13

14 Damage as a result of overflowing baths, sinks or washing machines. If we attend for loss of electricity and it is a result of a faulty appliance that you own. If it is necessary to re-charge you for a repair we will send you an invoice together with the invoice we have received from our contractor. What happens if our service fails? Getting repairs done quickly and efficiently is important to us and to you. If we don t give you a good service, you can take the following action: Contact the Customer Service Centre immediately on If you are not happy about any aspect of the repair work being done to your home, we want to resolve things as soon as possible. Complain to any officer of the Trust in any of the following ways: Visit the office at Newlon House, 4 Daneland Walk, Hale Village, London, N17 9FE. Call the Complaints Hotline on Fill in the complaint form on our website: An information leaflet on our complaints procedure is available at our office. We can send you a leaflet in any other language or format such as large print or audio if you ask a member of staff. The leaflet includes a form you can use to give us full details of the complaint. We will then make a full investigation in order to put things right. 14

15 Claiming compensation for delays in repairs With all repairs we want to make sure that we solve the problem and get it fixed as soon as possible. If you have suffered an unreasonable delay you may be entitled to compensation. Please see our Compensation leaflet for details or speak with a member of staff. How do we monitor our service? Our contractors are closely checked to make sure they give a quality service and value for money for our residents. We work regularly with our residents to improve our repairs service, for example on completion of works we will call you to check what you think of the service you have just received. We discuss repairs regularly at residents meetings. We display information about our repair performance in our reception areas, our newsletter and in our annual report sent to all tenants. Our surveyors will inspect at least 10% of all repair work done. We have set up a Scrutiny Panel, which is made up of residents who scrutinise our contractors performance and meet with them to look at how they can improve. Your right to make improvements You can make improvements, alterations or additions to your home as long as we have agreed in writing before you start work. This includes external decorations and work to the Trust s installations, fixtures and fittings. If we agree to certain improvements, you may be given compensation when you leave your tenancy. If we do not agree beforehand we may take action for you breaking your tenancy agreement. For example you may have to remove the improvement and return the property to its original condition. More details are available from our office at Newlon House, 4 Daneland Walk, Hale Village, London, N17 9FE or from the Customer Service Centre, which you can call on

16 Arabic Bengali French Gujarati Somali Sorani Spanish Turkish Vietnamese Urdu If you would like this information in large print, audio, Braille, any other language or format, please ask a member of staff. Newlon Housing Trust Newlon House, 4 Daneland Walk, Hale Village, London, N17 9FE. Tel: Phone calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes. Newlon Housing Trust is a charitable housing association. Last printed November 2013

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