Repairs Our Responsibility and Your Responsibility

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1 Repairs Repairs Repairs Your tenancy agreement explains what repairs we are for doing and what repairs you are for doing or paying for. This leaflet is a summary of the information in your tenancy agreement. This leaflet also explains how to report a repair and gives examples of which repairs are classed as emergencies. Repairs Our Responsibility and Your Responsibility Your responsibilities Your responsibilities as a tenant are listed in your tenancy agreement. Your main responsibilities for looking after your home are: keeping your home in a good condition keeping your garden tidy looking after your own fixtures, fittings and appliances (for example, curtains, cookers and so on) getting your locks changed or getting new keys cut if you lose your keys or if they are stolen telling us if you lose your fob (to get into your building) and buying a new one plumbing in washing machines and dishwashers adjusting doors if you are fitting carpets repairing any alterations you have made yourself. We are for keeping the structure and outside of your home in good condition. We are also for the main services such as plumbing, heating and electricity. In flats and maisonettes we are for repairing shared entrances, halls, stairways, lighting in shared areas, shared aerials and any fire-safety equipment.

2 Our and your responsibilities We (Solihull Community Housing) manage your home on behalf of Solihull Council. The following table shows you what you are for and what we are for. We are You are Bath panels Baths, hand basins and toilets (if we fitted them) Bath seals and two rows of splashback tiles Bathroom repairing cracks or chips in sinks, baths and so on Bleeding the radiators (unless you have a combi-boiler) Blocked sinks and basins Cavity-wall insulation (we will give you advice about grants for this) Concrete floors (not including floor tiles) Cupboard drawers Cupboard-door catches, handles and hinges, and drawer handles Deliberate damage that you, or people living with you, have caused Disconnecting and reconnecting cookers (unless Solihull Council own them) although when we turn on your gas supply after you move in we will also reconnect your cooker (as long as it is safe) 2

3 We are Door-entry systems for shared areas You are Doors inside doors, door handles, door frames and carpet strips Doors outside doors (if the damage was caused by fair wear and tear) Doors outside doors (if you, or people living with you, caused the damage or it happened because of a lack of care) Draught proofing outside doors (we will give you advice about grants for this) Dustbins and removing household rubbish Electrical consumer unit (fuse box) Energy-efficiency advice for your home and getting energy-efficiency grants Extractor fans (if Solihull Council own them) Electricity meter and the electricity supply Electric shower units (if we fitted them) Electric storage heaters (if Solihull Council own them) Electrics standard electrical wiring, sockets and light fittings 3

4 We are You are Fences repairing boundary fencing owned by Solihull Council Fences repairing or adding new fencing that divides gardens Foundations Garages and outbuildings owned by Solihull Council Garden your own garden Gas fires (but only if we fitted them) Gas meter and the gas supply Gas pipework inside your home Gas servicing appliances every year (if Solihull Council own them) Gas warm-air units Gas cleaning the filters in warm-air units (if this is possible) Gates, including catches and hinges Glass Hot-water-cylinder jackets (we will supply the first jacket) Immersion heaters (if Solihull Council own them)

5 We are You are Keys replacing (or getting extra) keys to your home Keys replacing (or getting extra) keys or fobs for shared doors in low-rise blocks Kitchen cupboards (we will replace cupboards that are beyond repair but the new cupboards may not match your existing cupboards) Letterbox replacing letterbox plates Lightbulbs and fluorescent lighting Locks extra locks for doors or windows Locks and hinges on outside doors Locks repairing faulty locks Locks and keys the cost of replacing locks or keys for homes, garages or alley gates Paths, steps and other access to the property that Solihull Council own Pest control treating the property to get rid of ants, woodlice, flies, silverfish and fleas Pest control treating the property to get rid of wasps and mice Plasterwork for patches and cracks, plaster air vents Plumbing in washing machines 5

6 We are You are Radiators, valves, timers and thermostats Security chains for doors Shared areas such as lifts and stairs, rubbish chutes and shared TV aerials Shared gardens Shared washing lines and posts Shower curtain and rails, shower hose and shower head Shower trays (if we fitted them) Sink plugs and chains Sink seal and one row of splashback tiles Smoke alarm (mains operated) Soil and vent pipes (if the main pipe is blocked) Spyholes for doors if fitted by you Staircase, banisters and handrails Structural walls inside your home Structure and covering of the roof, the chimney, gutters, drainpipes and their clips, and wood or plastic boards on the outside of the building 6

7 We are You are Taps and stopcocks Tap Washers Toilet-flushing systems Toilet seats Vinyl floor tiles replacing floor tiles in your bathroom and kitchen (we will match your existing tiles if possible) Walls outside walls and rendering Washing lines and posts shared Washing lines and posts your own Water pipes, overflow pipes and water tanks Window catches and handles Window frames and outside window sills Window vents Worktops (we will replace worktops that are beyond repair but the new worktops may not match your existing units) 7

8 Repairs you pay for If a repair is needed because of normal wear and tear we won t ask you to pay for it. We will ask you to pay for your repair if: we have to repair something that you have damaged on purpose. You will also have to pay for repairing damage caused by people living with you. we have to repair something that is broken because you have been careless or have failed to do something you should have (for example, if you don t report a leak straight away and the leak damages your home). you report a non-urgent repair out-of-hours as an urgent repair so that we treat it as an emergency out-of-hours repair when we normally wouldn t. We will charge you for using the out-of-hours service for a repair that is not an emergency. If you prefer, you may do the work yourself or employ a contractor approved by the Shipshape scheme. Shipshape is a scheme run by Solihull Council and is a list of traders who have agreed to work to certain standards of service set out by the council s Trading Standards department. You could also order the repair from Solihull Independent Living s handyperson service. (Both Shipshape-approved contractors and the handyperson service will charge you for the work.) In certain circumstances you may not have to pay. If you feel you have a good reason why you shouldn t pay, please tell us about it when we tell you we plan to charge you. How to report a repair If you need us to repair something you can report it to us in several ways. See the back page of this leaflet for all of our contact details. If you think your repair is an emergency, you should phone us to report it. If you phone us to report a repair when the contact centre is closed, you can leave a message. We will contact you the next working day. Or, if you feel that your repair is an emergency which can t wait until the next working day, you can choose to have your call transferred to our out-of-hours service so you can report the repair to them instead of leaving a message. When you report a repair by phone, we will ask you some questions to find out as much as we can about the work that needs doing. 8

9 When we will do your repair If we consider your repair to be an emergency, we will aim to do it within four hours of you reporting it. If you report the repair by phone to the out-of-hours service (when our contact centre is closed), it might take longer than four hours for our contractors to do it. If we don t consider your repair to be an emergency, we will let you know how quickly we will do it and will offer you an appointment. If we don t consider it to be an emergency (and it is out of hours), we will contact you the next working day to arrange an appointment. Repairs we treat as emergencies We don t treat all repairs as emergencies. Below are some examples of emergency repairs. Repairs to central heating between 1 November and 31 March if there are older people, sick people or children under five living in your home. Repairs to hot-water systems if you have very young people, older people or sick people living in your home and you have no other way to heat water. Temporary repairs to burst pipes, leaking tanks or cylinders, and leaks from toilets and soil pipes. Unblocking a toilet (if you only have one working toilet in your home). We may charge you for this type of repair. We are likely to consider your repair to be an emergency if waiting will: put people in danger make your home unsafe damage the property make the existing damage worse create unreasonable risk, suffering or difficulty. 9

10 Repairs we aim to do within three or seven working days If your repair needs to be done fairly quickly to prevent a problem from getting worse or affecting other people, we aim to deal with it within either three or seven working days depending on the type of repair. Repairs that are not urgent If we don t believe your situation is a danger to your health or other people s health, we will aim to deal with it within 15 working days. Some larger jobs may be more involved and will need planning and organisation we will agree arrangements with you for this type of work. Appointments When you report a repair, we normally give you an appointment so that you know roughly when we are coming. We will tell you whether we are coming to do your repair in the morning or the afternoon. We will send you a reminder by text to confirm the appointment. If you need to change the appointment, please let us know as soon as you can. If you don t do this (and don t keep the appointment) we will cancel your repair. This means you will have to report it again before we will deal with it. Property inspections We may contact you from time to time to make an appointment to come and see if there are any small repairs that need doing to your home. If there are, we can often do them on the spot. If not, we will arrange to return and do them at a later date. Visiting your home Please do not smoke when work is being carried out in your home. Before we arrive Please move carpets or furniture away from the area where we ll be doing the repair before we arrive. This task is your responsibility, and if you don t do it, we won t be able to do the repair. If you have a condition or disability that means you can t move furniture or carpets (and you don t have any family or friends that can do it for you) please let us know before we come round. 10

11 Letting us in Your tenancy agreement says that you must let us into your home to do repairs, repairs inspections and to service your gas appliances. Identification cards Name: Bob Smith Company: SCH Post: Plumber ID: 15363G All of our staff and contractors should be wearing or carrying an identification (ID) card so that you know they are who they claim to be. Before letting any of our staff or contractors into your home, always ask to see their ID card (if the person doesn t show it to you). If, after seeing the card, you re still not sure that the person is who they claim to be, phone us. Our staff and contractors don t mind waiting outside your home while you do this. After we have done the repair Checking repairs After we have done a repair we may inspect it so we can check the standard of the work and whether it has been value for money. Faults Most of the repairs we do are covered by a guarantee. We guarantee day-to-day repairs for six months. Some other work, for example replacing windows or a roof, will have a manufacturer s guarantee that lasts for a number of years. We will ask the contractor who did the original repair to put right any faults that develop while the repair is still under guarantee. When you report a repair, please tell us if it is a fault that has developed in a repair we did recently. If you are not happy with the standard of your repair, please tell us. 11

12 Giving us feedback After we have done the repair we might contact you to check whether you are happy with the service you have received. Even if we don t contact you to do a satisfaction survey, we would still welcome your feedback it is important as it helps us to improve our services. Whether you are happy or unhappy with the service you have received, please get in touch and tell us. Insurance We strongly recommend that you take out home contents insurance. We insure the building, but you are for insuring your belongings, decorations and furniture. We make it easy for you to insure your belongings by providing a special home-contents insurance scheme. You can pay for the insurance each week with your rent. You can get more information about this from our website or by contacting us. Home improvements You don t need our permission to do small repairs, but you must get our permission if you want to make improvements or alterations to your home (for example, if you want to fit a shower). To ask for permission please: fill in the request form on our website write to us phone us. We won t refuse permission if we think the improvements are reasonable, but the work must meet our standards. We will inspect the work when it s finished to check that it meets our standards. When you move out of your home you may have the right to get compensation for any improvements you have made (as long as we gave our permission for the improvements in writing). 12

13 Adaptations If you have a disability or need extra help getting round your home, you may need to have equipment, such as ramps and handrails, fitted in your home. They are known as adaptations. With adaptations, people can often live independently in their own home and avoid going into a residential home. Solihull Independent Living is a not-for-profit organisation that offers people who are older, disabled, or on a low income an affordable way to repair, improve or adapt their homes. They also aim to help people carry on living comfortably at home and stay independent, rather than moving into residential care. Asbestos Asbestos is a natural mineral that was used a lot in the building trade for many years, so it can be found in most homes. Asbestos is not a risk to health if it is in good condition and is not disturbed, for example by drilling or sawing. Most materials containing asbestos in Solihull Council properties are in good repair and do not contain much asbestos. You can now download a report from our website, which tells you where there might be asbestos in your property. If you do not have access to the internet, you can use the computers at Solihull Connect offices or ask us to send you a copy by phoning You will find this information particularly useful if you are doing DIY. We have produced a separate leaflet that explains all you need to know about asbestos. You can get a copy on our website or by phoning If you are planning to do anything (for example, repairs or decorating) and you think this may disturb asbestos, please let us know. We can arrange to have the asbestos inspected, have it analysed and carry out a risk assessment for you. However, you may need to cover the cost of removing any asbestos. Do not repair or remove any material that you believe may contain asbestos. If you do disturb asbestos or notice that it has been damaged, phone us on immediately. 13

14 Gas If you think you have a gas leak in your home, do not use a phone inside your home to report it. Not even a mobile phone or your intercom system. It could make a spark that could cause an explosion. If you can, you should: turn off the gas at the meter by putting the lever in the horizontal position open the windows and doors to let fresh air in get out of the building if you can still smell gas. Do not: smoke or use a lighter switch anything electrical on or off (including lights) until the problem is fixed. If you smell gas, phone National Grid, the gas-leak emergency service, on Then phone us on and we will also send our gas contractor. Gas contractors will aim to respond to your call within two hours. Gas servicing Our contractor will make an appointment to visit your home once a year to service your gas appliances, such as boilers and fires. You must let the contractor into your home to do the service or contact them to rearrange the appointment. Faulty gas appliances can be dangerous and if you do not have them serviced every year, you may be putting your life, and your neighbours lives, at risk. If you don t let our contractor service your gas appliances, we will get permission from the court so we can enter your home to carry out the gas service. We will charge you if we have to do this. If we have struggled to get into your home to do a service, when we fit a new boiler we will also fit an interrupter. The interrupter will give you an alarm that you can hear and see when your yearly gas service is due. If you don t let us into your property to do a service, the interrupter will reduce the heating to a safe but uncomfortable level. Gas quality control We employ an independent company to carry out quality checks on our gas contractors. They inspect between 3% and 5% of all work our gas contractors do in connection with servicing, repairing or installing gas appliances and systems. 1

15 Your right to repairs The Government s Right to Repair scheme is a list of repairs the Government say must be done within a time limit. These repairs are called qualifying repairs. The law says that you can claim compensation if we do not carry out a qualifying repair within the time limit. This doesn t mean you can do the repair yourself and then claim compensation. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, if you are a council tenant, you have a right to expect repairs to be done. If you think you have the right to a repair that has not been done, or if your home is not in good condition, you (or your legal representative, such as a solicitor) can write to Solihull Council to tell them about the condition of your home. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 If you believe we have not carried out repairs you are entitled to under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, you (or your legal representative, such as a solicitor) can write to Solihull Council. You should tell them in your letter that you are going to claim compensation for repairs that have not been done. Before you write to the council, you must tell us about the repairs to give us a chance to sort them out. 15

16 To get in touch: Freepost RLSS-UEBA-RTUZ Solihull Community Housing Endeavour House Meriden Drive Solihull B37 6B Typetalk: Phone: Text: Website: Protecting your personal information: We promise only to use your information strictly within the Data Protection Act If you supply your address we will use it to contact you in the future. If you would like this leaflet in another language or format please contact us. Resource Housing Reg. No Date of publication: March 2015

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