A Guide to Repairs & Maintenance

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1 A Guide to Repairs & Maintenance your local housing provider V 1.1

2 Every home in tip-top condition Keeping your home well maintained and in good repair is as important to us as it is to you. We have developed our repairs service in direct response to feedback from you, our residents, about the kind of service you want. This leaflet explains how that service works and how together we can help keep your home in tip-top condition. Repairs we are responsible for We re responsible for maintaining the structure and fabric of the building, which includes keeping the following in good working order: The structure and fabric of your home and communal areas, including windows, roofs, doors, pipes, gutters. Structural fixtures and fittings of the building, including internal doors, kitchen units, sanitary ware, internal joinery, cupboards and fireplaces All water, gas, electric, sanitation, space and water heating systems installed by us Communal lighting All fire fighting and detection equipment supplied by us. Repairs you are responsible for There are some repairs which you, the resident, are responsible for. These include: All internal decoration, including minor plaster faults and cracks. (except after certain major improvements) Replacing domestic electrical fuses, light bulbs and fluorescent tubes. Sweeping the chimney regularly to prevent fires. Helping to prevent water tanks or pipes freezing. Clearing blockages to wastes, traps and WCs that have been caused as a result of improper use, i.e. grease, nappies etc. Replacing lost keys. Cleaning baths, toilets, wash basins and other bathroom fittings. Repairing showers that you ve installed yourself or any alterations made by you to the property, with or without the Association s permission. Any repair caused by the neglect, misuse, wilful or accidental damage by you or anyone living in or visiting your home. Once your tenancy is over, if we have to carry out any repairs that are your responsibility, we reserve the right to charge you the full cost of these repairs. How to report a repair To report a repair, contact our customer service team on or if calling from a mobile dial You can also visit (NB: Emergency repairs should only ever be reported by phone) Our Property Care team aims to carry out repairs that are our responsibility, quickly and to the highest standard. 2 Contact our team on for any enquiries about your property 3

3 What are Responsive Repairs? Who does the work? How quickly will you do my repairs? Responsive Repairs is the term used for essential repairs which are requested by the resident to existing elements of their property. The Association interprets the term Repair as to put in order and maintain in order or, basically to fix something that is no longer working. This does not include providing something that is not already there, or improving or replacing it unless it cannot be repaired. Typical examples of Responsive Repairs include: Major flooding or burst pipes Total loss of, or major fault with, electricity supply Minor electrical and plumbing faults or unsafe electrical fittings General joinery repairs Roof leaks A more comprehensive list of Responsive Repairs can be seen in the Responsive Repairs Policy on our website: Our own skilled Property Care team will carry out the repairs, but we also work with external contractors. To ensure we maintain a high level of service, all external contractors undergo a stringent vetting process. This includes a meticulous inspection of work they ve completed for other clients, who must be either Councils or Housing Associations, along with their Health and Safety procedures etc. How do I report a repair? Report any problem to us as quickly as possible. We ll arrange a convenient time to come to your home and fix it. If gas, electricity or water is the problem, act quickly. Contact your supplier immediately. When you report a problem, the more information you can give us the better. It makes sure we arrive at the right time, when you are at home, with the right parts to complete the repair. It s quicker and faster for everyone. We can even book appointments for your repair to be carried out when it s best for you. Plus, if you have special needs through disability or illness, let us know, as we may be able to help you more quickly. Emergency Repairs are situations which are uncontrollable and where life, serious injury or damage to persons or property is threatened. Responsive repairs will be prioritised as Emergency or Other Repairs. Emergency Repairs are situations which are uncontrollable and where life, serious injury or damage to persons or property is threatened. Examples include plumbing leaks, gas leaks or blocked mains drains, soil pipe or WC, where there is only one in your property. Daytime Emergency repairs will be attended to within 4 hours. Emergency Repairs can be reported at any time on Calls are free from any landline and there is someone available to help resolve your problem 24 hours a day. If you are calling from a mobile, the number to ring is All other responsive repairs should be reported during normal office hours on either of the above numbers. When you call us, we will ask you about the repair and your circumstances to help us prioritise the repair. This will be determined based on: The impact of the fault on you or those you live with, for example if your health, safety, security or peace of mind are threatened The seriousness of the fault, i.e. whether it is an urgent matter or whether it can wait for a day or two. Access to your property, i.e. if we can only gain access at certain times or on particular days. Personal choice e.g. to allow you to collect children from school, get home from work or fit in caring responsibilities etc. Our operational capacity i.e. the availability of repairs operatives, materials etc. For example; a non-emergency situation where the fault is causing serious inconvenience and the resident is in a vulnerable situation would receive higher priority than where the resident is less vulnerable or where the fault is less severe. Alternatively if the fault is not serious, an appointment may be offered for several days later in accordance with the above criteria. All our staff are fully trained in assessing how urgently a repair needs to be carried out and we maintain records of how decisions are taken in case you feel your situation has not been fairly assessed and wish to complain. This approach to response timing has been arrived at following extensive consultation with residents to design a repairs service that achieves optimum customer service and value for money. Response times for all non-emergency responsive repairs will be discussed with you and we will agree the next suitable appointment slot with you. Appointments Individually agreed appointments will be made with customers for all non emergency responsive repairs to their own property. An appointment time slot will be agreed for when the operative will arrive to commence the repair. Our target is to meet 100% of the appointments we make. While we don t make appointments for repairs to communal areas, if the repair was reported by an individual we will let that person know the work has been attended to by calling or leaving a note. The appointment slot times will be reviewed at least annually in consultation with residents to ensure the service offers a balance between value for money, certainty of arrival and good customer service. If we need to change an appointment we will give you at least two hours notice. If residents need to change an appointment we would request as much notice as possible. 4 Contact our team on for any enquiries about your property 5

4 Inspections Planned and regular maintenance When a solution to a repair fault cannot be clearly defined by our customer contact staff over the phone, they will arrange an inspection appointment with you to diagnose the fault within 10 working days from the date of your request. If for any reason we need to change an inspection appointment time, you will be kept fully informed This inspection visit will result in either a repair order to resolve the fault or we may give you advice to enable you to resolve it yourself. In certain circumstances, subject to inspection, improvement works to the part of the property that is causing the problem may be included in a planned improvement programme. This kind of work is not classed as a responsive repair and arrangements for the work to be carried out will be agreed with you for a future date and will be confirmed in writing. A proportion of our maintenance work is done on a planned and scheduled basis so that a group of properties can conveniently undergo the same work at the same time. This approach is more cost effective and efficient. It may include substantial home improvements, refurbishment of kitchens or bathrooms, major external works or external redecoration. In addition it includes servicing heating systems, electrical testing and major roofing works. A repair request may be referred for inspection if it is identified as a fault requiring replacement or improvement. Following an inspection some works required at your property such as fencing or path works may be added to future improvement programmes. In this case you will be given an approximate date for when this work will be carried out. Closer to the time an appointment will be arranged to suit you. When a solution to a repair fault cannot be clearly defined by our customer contact staff over the phone, they will arrange an inspection appointment with you to diagnose the fault within 10 working days from the date of your request. 6 7

5 Resolving repairs faults Charging for repairs What type of decoration do I need permission for? Although the vast majority of repairs will be resolved within several days and on the first visit, this is not always the case in more complex circumstances. Through listening to our residents we accept that it is unreasonable for any repair fault to remain unresolved for longer than 30 days. Resolving the fault that is requiring a responsive repair may require more than one visit, for example; An emergency repair is made safe and further work is required to fix it e.g. making good a ceiling following a leak. Follow up work may be required where specialised or manufactured items are needed e.g. replacing a non-standard door or window that cannot be repaired. Follow up work maybe required were the initial repair uncovers substantial further work to resolve the fault e.g. clearing a blocked drain uncovers a drain collapse major roofing work is uncovered that cannot wait for an improvement programme. A follow up inspection is required after the initial repair visit to understand or explain the need for further work. e.g. discovery of wear and tear to paths or other external work that may be placed in a future improvement programme, or. making safe a boundary fence may result in an inspection to include the fence in a future replacement programme. In circumstances such as these, we will keep you informed and make additional appointments with you as necessary to inspect or carry out work to resolve the fault. Our aim is to ensure that the cause of the initial repair is resolved within 30 days and / or that you are made aware of any further work that will be carried out in a future improvement programme. The 30 day period will be measured from when the repair is initially diagnosed. This will be at first point of contact with our customer service centre or when a repair order is raised following a diagnostic inspection. The period will end when the area of fault is returned to working order and fit for purpose, or when future plans are explained to you. Gas servicing and maintenance It is the law that all of our gas installations are serviced annually. As a result, we ll visit your home and service your central heating every 11 months. Our specialist gas contractors will write to you when your service is due, letting you know the date of your appointment and whether it s a morning or an afternoon visit. If the appointment is inconvenient you can call them to re-arrange it. It s very important that you keep this appointment for your own safety. If we can t gain access after several attempts we ll be forced to take legal action through the courts to gain access and all the cost of gaining access, including court costs, will be recovered from you. We don t normally charge for repairs which are our responsibility. However, you will be charged for repairs due to damage caused by yourself, your family or visitors to your home. If you use the emergency repairs service and your repair is not a genuine emergency, you may also be charged. Sometimes we may carry out works which are normally your responsibility, like fitting a new lock if you ve lost your key, relighting your pilot light if you ve run out of credit in your prepay meter, or even resetting central heating time clocks after a power cut. These are usually charged at cost, plus a small administrative charge. When the repair has been carried out as an emergency or for health and safety reasons, the repair will be completed and we ll let you know of our intention to charge you and the reason for the charge. If a repair isn t an emergency or dangerous you ll be notified that it s your responsibility and you ll be given an estimate of the cost. You can then choose to carry out the work yourself, or if you d prefer us to do it, we ll need to receive payment in full before any work begins. Who is responsible for decorating my home? You are responsible for decorating the inside of your home. SSHA is responsible for decorating the outside and any communal areas such as staircases, landings and communal rooms in flats. Unfortunately we don t decorate additional items you may have added. If you re thinking about using Artex within your home you must ask for our permission, due to health regulations. You must also ask for permission before you lay any kind of laminated floor. If you already have laminate flooring and we need to carry out work to the floor, or pipes under the floor, the laminate may have to be lifted. We will not be responsible for the cost of any damage to the flooring. If you re elderly or disabled and can t decorate your home, our team may be able to help. Unfortunately, the amount of money available each year determines how many tenants we can assist. Please contact us to discuss your situation and whether we can help. For further information on carrying out your own work and to complete a permission form, please visit our website: Code of conduct for contractors Because we aim to offer an outstanding service, everything we do will be carefully and respectfully carried out. To ensure this is the case every time, we have a Code of Conduct for Contractors and our own Property Care team. It states the standards of care and behaviour that s expected of them. The code is a condition built into repair and improvement contracts and is one of the ways we measure how our contractors are performing. The code covers matters such as making appointments, identity cards, appearance and behaviour as well as preparation of the works, actually carrying out the work and its completion. You ll be given a copy of the code when you have improvements carried out but if you d like a copy please contact us on Contact our team on for any enquiries about your property 9

6 Repair priorities Emergency Repairs 4 hour rapid response Total loss of heating and/or hot water during the period between 1st November and 31st March, or at any time throughout the year for those with medical or health conditions. Major flooding from burst pipes / drainage Total loss of, or major fault with, electricity supply or unsafe electric fittings Gas leak Total loss of water Blocked mains drains, soil pipe or sole WC Failure of lift/warden alarm/call system Roof leaks resulting in serious internal flooding Plumbing leaks that cannot be contained External doors not closing or locking Breaches of security to external doors or windows Failure of fire management system Sole or only accessible WC not flushing Removal of racially or other offensive graffiti Damaged communal floor covering presenting immediate trip hazard Failure of door entry system (where this is the only access for elderly and disabled customers.) Other Repairs Appointment to suit situation Plumbing leaks or defects Blocked drains, sinks, basins, bath or toilet, not caused by inappropriate use. Defective cistern or overflow Minor electrical and plumbing faults Roof leaks Failure of entry phone Removal of graffiti Faulty extractor fan/communal TV aerial Damage to stair treads, hand rails or banister General joinery repairs Repairs to doors, floors, windows, external and internal walls, paths and fences bordering roads and footpaths, slates and tiles and defective flooring Repairs to and unblocking of gutters/down pipes Repairs to kitchen fittings and tiling Easing doors and windows A proportion of our maintenance work is done on a planned and scheduled basis so that a group of properties can conveniently undergo the same work at the same time. 10 Contact our team on for any enquiries about your property 11

7 Acton Court Acton Gate Staffordshire ST18 9AP t: e: This leaflet is also available in: Large Print Braille Audio Other languages Resident checked If you need any help understanding this leaflet please call for help.

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