HILLCREST HOUSING ASSOCIATION LIMITED MAINTENANCE POLICY

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1 HILLCREST HOUSING ASSOCIATION LIMITED POLICY NO. AM14 MAINTENANCE POLICY 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 This policy describes our arrangements for ensuring that our properties are well maintained and kept in good and safe repair, both for the benefit of existing tenants and to maximise the long term life of each property. 1.2 In implementing this policy our objectives will be to: comply at all times with all current legal responsibilities and codes of good practice. This will include the Scottish Housing Quality Standards (SHQS) and any later similar mandatory compliance standard provide a prompt, economic and efficient day-to-day repairs (reactive maintenance) service, including an out of hours emergency service, for all of our tenants; achieve high standards of customer care and satisfaction by monitoring our contractors performance regularly enable tenants to have reasonable choices about when work is done and to comment on every repair undertaken; establish and maintain a comprehensive and systematic programme of cyclical painting, planned maintenance, servicing contracts, major repairs and property improvements; assess tenders on a cost and quality basis where quality has a significant part to play in the works; install replacement components and undertake enhancements that improve the energy efficiency of our properties, maximising the take-up of external funding for eligible works deliver value for money through procurement methods that demonstrate selective market testing and benchmarking set and monitor Key Performance Indicators as a platform for delivering a constantly improving service provide opportunities for tenants to be involved in the decision making process, in accordance with our tenant participation policy; ensure that all our tenants are given clear information on the division of responsibility for repair and maintenance between ourselves as landlord and themselves as tenants; 1

2 ensure that all internal procedures supporting this policy are clear, comprehensive and available to all staff, to ensure a consistent approach to managing, implementing and budgeting for all aspects of our repairs and maintenance service. undertake regular reviews with the Hillcrest Maintenance Service (HMS) and other partners to identify and implement improvements to the service provided. 1.3 This policy complies with the Scottish Government s Scottish Social Housing Charter (2012) Standards Sections 4 and 5: Charter Outcome 4: Quality of Housing Tenants homes, as a minimum, meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) by April 2015 and continue to meet it thereafter, and when they are allocated, are always clean, tidy and in a good state of repair. Charter Outcome 5: Repairs, Maintenance and Improvements Tenants homes are well maintained, with repairs and improvements carried out when required, and tenants are given reasonable choices about when work is done 2.0 AUTHORITY AND CONTROL 2.1 The Committee of Management approves the overall budget for repairs, maintenance and improvements as part of the annual budget-setting process. 2.2 Responsibility for approving the Maintenance Policy is with the Committee of Management. 2.3 The Director of Asset Management has responsibility for submitting policy reviews when material changes are proposed or the review date below is reached. 2.4 The Director of Asset Management has responsibility for initiating and maintaining the list of supporting procedures attached as Appendix 3. Note that those not yet in place will be introduced over time. 2.5 The Director of Asset Management has responsibility for submitting a quarterly report to the Committee of Management showing expenditure against budget for all maintenance programmes and Key Performance Indicators of contractor performance and tenant satisfaction. 2.6 The implementation of policy together with the management and administration of the maintenance service is delegated to the Director of Asset Management. Further details regarding delegation to other managers are contained in the procedures which support this policy. 2.7 Authorisation of Expenditure: Authorisation of expenditure on individual repair or maintenance items, within overall annual budgets, is delegated to individual members of staff. The primary source of these are the Financial Regulations (Policy F01). These levels are regularly reviewed. 2

3 2.8 Estimates, Quotations and Tenders: The cost levels per item of work above which either an estimate, quotation or tender must be obtained are detailed in the General Regulations (Policy G02). More detailed procedures can be found in Quotations and Tenders (Procedure G17A). These levels are reviewed regularly, both to take account of inflation and also to take into account the results of any review of our policy and procedures on placing orders for goods and services. 3.0 DEFINITIONS 3.1 The maintenance service consists of the following main areas of expenditure: Day to Day Repairs (Reactive Maintenance) This category covers all routine repairs reported by a tenant, a member of staff, or identified during estate management or void inspections. These repairs are categorised according to their urgency, with a set response time for each category including voids. Voids are subject to the quality standards contained in Hillcrest s Letting Standard for Voids. Full details are contained in the procedure entitled Letting Standard for Voids The repairs are carried out by our subsidiary company, Hillcrest Maintenance Service, or a contractor from our approved list within the set response time. Categories of response times are set out in Appendix Cyclical Painting This category covers the external painting of windows and doors, the internal painting of communal areas in blocks of flats, and the repair and painting of external rainwater gutters and downpipes. This work is carried out under a planned programme covering every property over a six year period. Factored mutual owners pay their proportioned share of the mutual costs at their block. 3.3 Planned Maintenance This category covers the replacement of items subject to routine repair which are at the end of their useful life, where the replacement can be predicted and planned for. Such items will include windows, kitchens, boilers and bathroom suites. These items are inspected on a rolling programme to identify the level of deterioration. Our compliance programme to meet the SHQS is covered by our planned maintenance programme. 3.4 Following inspection, the planned maintenance year is either confirmed or amended and programmed accordingly. 3.5 Major Repairs This category covers major work that is required to bring a property up to an acceptable standard, due to an unforeseen failure. 3.6 Improvements This category covers work which upgrades a property or scheme which falls out with the Planned Maintenance programme. This will include various energy efficiency projects for which external funding is available. 3

4 3.7 Gas Servicing To comply with our legal obligations as a registered social landlord we will arrange for the annual inspection of all gas appliances installed in our properties, including all gas supply pipework and any open redundant flues which could be utilised for gas appliances in the future. 3.8 Common Areas This category covers the internal cleaning of halls, stairs and landings and external landscape maintenance. The costs of this work are met by tenants and mutual owners through a service charge. 3.9 Generally Wherever possible we will use HMS to carry out our work regularly benchmarking costs and other KPIs 3.10 Servicing Contracts This covers the annual servicing of plant and equipment by specialist companies. Plant and equipment can be located either in common areas or individual properties. Depending on the item concerned, servicing may be on a more, or less, than annual basis. We will group together items such as lifts, fire alarms and other components repeated across our stock into single contracts to rationalise the number of servicing companies we deal with and gain volume cost economies Energy Efficiency Measures Improvement measures will be taken to comply with the energy efficiency thresholds required under the SHQS. Enhanced measures will also be taken where individual assessments justify this. Funding will always be sought for qualifying measures where external funding streams are available. At the time of this review, the formal publication of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing is awaited. This will introduce new carbon emission thresholds that will have an impact on Hillcrest s older stock and for which new compliance programmes will be needed, with work completed by FUNDING 4.1 We will fund the maintenance service from the following sources: our annual repairs budget, which is financed from our rental income; contributions from the income we receive from owner/occupiers and commercial tenants for mutual repairs; payments received from our insurers as a result of claims we have submitted on insurable items which have been damaged. external funding for energy efficiency measures our budget in some years may be partially funded from designated reserves, which are the accumulation of revenue surpluses set aside from previous years private borrowing, when required 4

5 5.0 DAY TO DAY REPAIRS 5.1 Response Times Response target times are contained in Appendix 2 to this policy. They are published in the Tenants Handbook with performance reported quarterly to the Committee of Management. Performance will also be included at least annually in Hillcrest News, our Tenants Newsletter. The performance bands used will be those included in the Annual Performance and Statistical Return (APSR) issued by the Scottish Housing Regulator with two additional Hillcrest categories which provide a better service to our tenants. The current response times are detailed in Appendix 2. From April 2014 the APSR will be replaced by the Annual Return on the Charter (ARC). Ordering of Repairs 5.2 Day to day repairs will be instructed to the Hillcrest Maintenance Service (HMS) using an official works order. In an emergency, repairs may be ordered verbally, with the official order following. 5.3 At the time of this review HMS cover day to day repairs (including voids) in Dundee, Angus and Fife. Perthshire is due to be covered from 1 October Hillcrest will maintain a list of approved contractors to cover all trades in all areas. 5.4 Full details of the ordering process are contained in the procedure entitled QL Procedures. 5.5 Where emergency work is required, repairs may be ordered immediately by any authorised member of staff. 5.6 Tenants will be able to report repairs by using the Freephone telephone number or by Emergency Repairs 5.7 We define an emergency as a problem which is a threat either to life or to property, i.e. it is a problem which may pose a serious threat to the health, safety or security of the tenant and their household, or to the security or integrity of the property (see Appendix 2). 5.8 During office hours staff will contact the necessary contractor and arrange for the work required to be carried out within the set response time. 5.9 Out with office hours tenants can report emergency repairs by using the Freephone number This number auto-dials to our Out of Hours emergency service Full details of our emergency service are contained in the procedure entitled Emergency Repairs. Inspections 5.11 We will inspect a repair prior to arranging for work to be carried out where clarification of the problem is required or where the estimated cost is above the limit currently set in the procedures We will inspect a proportion of completed Day to Day repairs prior to the payment of invoices. This will include inspection of any repair where the cost is above a limit periodically set in the procedures 5

6 or meets a criteria also included in the procedures. Those repairs carried out by HMS will be subject to different procedures with a presumption against the need for post inspection Full details are contained in the procedure entitled Pre and Post Inspections. 6.0 CYCLICAL PAINTING PROGRAMME 6.1 The purpose of our cyclical painting programme is to ensure that all painting, both external and where appropriate internal, is in good condition. This includes both areas owned by Hillcrest and those owned on a mutual basis with factored owners. 6.2 The major objectives of the programme are to: establish an appropriate and comprehensive information base to enable us to have a detailed knowledge of our properties and previous costs identify future painting requirements for all our properties; establish priorities to ensure maximum value for money and the most effective use of resources; ensure appropriate preparation and that durable materials are used; ensure that the most efficient maintenance practices are utilised, to maximise value for money. 6.3 Our Maintenance Officers will carry out prior inspections of the properties due to be painted, to identify any repair work required before painting commences. This will assist in ensuring that areas painted will remain in good condition and not deteriorate during the six year period of the full programme. 6.4 Full details of the processes involved in the programme are contained in the procedure entitled Cyclical Painting. 7.0 PLANNED MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME 7.1 Planned maintenance deals with the gradual and predictable deterioration of building components and fabric. The purpose of the planned maintenance programme is to obtain full value from our properties by ensuring that the lettable life of each property is maximised. 7.2 The major objectives of the programme are as detailed in paragraph 6.2 above, applied to future demand for maintenance rather than painting. 7.3 The current condition of building components and finishes will be assessed through a system of inspections drawn from the inspection years held on our planned maintenance database. 7.4 The results will be incorporated into an ongoing programme of planned maintenance works, broken down annually into components. Funding proposals will be included in the annual budget and submitted to the Committee of Management for approval. 6

7 7.5 Full details of the process for identifying the work required, estimating costs, approving and monitoring the annual planned maintenance programme, are contained in the procedure entitled Planned Maintenance. 8.0 IMPROVEMENTS (previously known as Re-modernisation and Upgrades) 8.1 Proposals for Improvements will be identified and included in the annual budget and submitted to the Committee of Management for approval. 8.2 Full details of the process for identifying, approving and monitoring the annual programme are contained in the procedure entitled Improvements. 9.0 MAJOR REPAIRS 9.1 The need for major repairs will be identified as a result of significant damage to a property or properties, or following routine inspections as part of other planned maintenance programmes. 9.2 Full details of the processes involved in submitting proposals for approval and funding, undertaking the work and monitoring progress and expenditure are contained in the procedure entitled Major Repairs CONTRACTORS & CONTRACTS Approved Lists 10.1 In addition to HMS, we will maintain lists of Approved Contractors for day-to-day repairs, cyclical painting, planned maintenance, property, improvements and major repairs. We will also maintain lists of Approved Consultants for larger projects which will require design input and the issue of formal tender documents Full details are contained in the procedures entitled Approved Contractors and Approved Consultants Wherever possible, we will use the Hillcrest Maintenance Service (HMS) to undertake our work. We will use other contractors where HMS is unable to cover the area or trade concerned. Contracts 10.4 We will negotiate contracts covering all programmes and servicing For day to day maintenance, cyclical painting, gas servicing, planned maintenance, improvements and major repairs we will use one of the following forms of contract: Internal service negotiation with HMS Term contract documentation; 7

8 Our Minor Works Contract (to be used where no quantities are provided - i.e. where there are drawings and a specification only); The current Scottish Building Contract (with or without quantities) with Scottish Supplement incorporating the JCT standard form. Standards and Specification 10.6 Where required, we will refer in our contract documentation to our Standard Specification and Design Brief. We will ensure that any later Build Standards are applied LANDLORD AND TENANT OBLIGATIONS 11.1 We will ensure that our responsibilities for the maintenance of our properties are clearly detailed in our Tenancy Agreement, reception information sheets and Tenants Handbook, and publicised from time to time in Hillcrest News, on our website and by other appropriate means We will also ensure that the responsibilities of our tenants for specific repairs and the care and maintenance of their property are clearly explained in the Tenancy Agreement and Tenants Handbook, and that tenants are reminded of their responsibilities from time to time through articles in Hillcrest News, the publication of information sheets, on our website and through the various tenants groups established under our Tenant Participation Policy We will undertake surveys and programmes of work covering the safety of our properties for tenants, their visitors and others using common areas. This will include gas safety, asbestos, legionella and fire safety. Full details are contained in the relevant procedures RECHARGEABLE REPAIRS 12.1 We will charge the tenant with the costs of repair work required due to the carelessness, neglect or deliberate damage by a tenant, a member of their household or a visitor Full details are contained in the procedure entitled Recharges RIGHT TO REPAIR 13.1 We will operate the statutory Right to Repair scheme which will enable tenants to arrange for repairs to be carried out where we have not responded within the statutory timescales. The scheme will cover those qualifying repairs set out in regulations governing the scheme and allows tenants to also claim compensation up to specified limits for late repairs Tenants will be given details of the scheme in the Tenants Handbook and in separate information leaflets We will also run a voluntary scheme covering repairs not in the statutory scheme Full details of the scheme are contained in the procedure entitled Right to Repair. 8

9 13.5 A flat rate of compensation will be set from time to time for our voluntary scheme TENANT PARTICIPATION & FEEDBACK 14.1 We will give all our tenants the opportunity to comment on the standard of all types maintenance works carried out to their property. We will look at different methods of recording and collecting this feedback to help us to continually improve our service. Feedback received will be used to improve our service. Maintenance Officers will be passed returns with negative comments to follow up with the tenant and contractor. Any service failures of this nature need to fed back by the Maintenance Officer to the Customer Services Coordinator with recommendations for improvement We will conduct sample tenant surveys following completion of planned maintenance or property improvement works Whenever possible we will involve the tenants concerned in choices, e.g. fascias of kitchen units and worktops and when planned maintenance or property improvement works take place The views of our tenants on the overall standards of our repairs and maintenance service will be obtained as part of the main Tenant Satisfaction Surveys carried out at regular intervals Any tenants forums or representative groups established under our Tenant Participation Policy will be invited at regular intervals to comment on the standards of our service, or on specific aspects of our policy or procedures In accordance with our Tenant Participation and Consultation Policy we will consult with tenants on any significant change to this policy ALTERATIONS & IMPROVEMENTS General 15.1 Tenants may apply for our written permission to carry out alterations or improvements to their property. Permission will be granted subject to the tenant agreeing to any appropriate terms and conditions A tenant who has carried out an alteration or improvement may, when giving notice that they wish to terminate their tenancy, apply for a compensatory payment where the work carried out is to be left Full details are contained in the procedures entitled Alterations and Improvements and Right to Compensation for Tenant Improvements. Medical Adaptations 9

10 15.4 On receipt of an Occupational Therapist s recommendation we will respond positively, wherever possible, to requests to undertake specialised medical adaptations for tenants with specific mobility or housing needs Full details are contained in the Procedure entitled Stage 3 Adaptations OWNERS General 16.1 We will consult with mutual owners who are likely to be affected by any substantial work we plan to our tenanted properties. We will not include any owner s property in a contract unless there are shared or mutual areas for which an owner is partly responsible. Mutual Owners 16.2 In the case of day-to day repairs, mutual owners will be invited to a meeting to discuss the plans where the expected cost exceeds the level set out in the Title Deeds. Owners will be asked to sign a mandate agreeing to the work going ahead and to paying their share of the costs For all planned maintenance or other work for which an owner will be required to pay a share we will: carry out work only to the items specified in the owner s Title Deeds (unless there is mutual agreement to extend the work); consult and inform all owners liable for a share of the work and advise them of their payment options, including holding an Owners meeting where the estimated total costs exceed the current limit set in the Title Deeds. always call a meeting where the work constitutes an improvement Full details are contained in the Procedures entitled Factoring and Owners Meetings Sharing Owners 16.5 Sharing owners will be responsible for arranging and paying for all their day-to-day repairs (following completion of any defects liability period) and where we factor, for paying their share of all repairs carried out to common areas For details of our repair responsibilities during the first year following completion of construction of a new property, see the procedure entitled Defects Liability Period. Invoicing of Costs 16.7 Full details of the arrangements for invoicing repair costs to owners are contained in procedures maintained by the Finance department COMMENTS, COMPLAINTS AND COMPLIMENTS 10

11 17.1 All comments and complaints concerning our repairs and maintenance service will be dealt with in accordance with our policy and procedure entitled Customer Comments, Complaints and Complements REVIEW 18.1 The Director of Asset Management will ensure that this policy is reviewed by the Committee of Management at least every five years. Policy reference number AM14 Current version approved April 2013 Policy approved by Committee of Management Date of next review April 2018 Policy complies with Scottish Government s Scottish Social Housing Charter (2012) Sections 4 and 5 Housing Quality and Maintenance, Section 4: Quality of Housing and Section 5: Repairs, Maintenance and Improvements 11

12 APPENDIX 1 AUTHORISATION OF EXPENDITURE Expenditure arising from budgets previously approved by the Committee of Management may be authorised by the Contracts Manager or Director of Asset Management in so far as the expenditure does not exceed that previously approved. Where a planned maintenance or service contract has been subject to a tender or approved as part of a negotiated price with HMS and approved by the Committee of Management, delegated authority has been given to approve the contract valuation certificates as long as the value on the contract is within the tendered sum: Authorisation of expenditure on individual items, in so far as it falls within overall annual budgets is delegated to staff as per the Financial Regulations which are regularly reviewed. Tenders Tenders cover all expenditure where anticipated costs will exceed 10,000. At least three tenderers must be invited to tender. Where it is not possible to invite three tenderers due to the specialist nature of the work, this can be reduced with the approval of the Group Chief Executive or a Director. Where there are mutual works required, reference must be made to the Deed of Conditions to ensure that the threshold amount for quotes or tenders is not lower. Detailed guidance on this is contained with the procedures for Quotations and Tenders and Factoring. Stage 3 Adaptations Instructions and pricing needs to be in accordance with CSGN 2001/02. A single quotation from an approved contractor can be accepted so long as this is either in line with costs previously received as a result of a competitive tender process carried out within the last two years or an alternative benchmarking exercise submitted to the funder. Generally For work costing over 10,000 a formal contract will be executed. A formal contract will also be executed for work of a lesser cost where this is considered appropriate by the Contracts Manager. The appropriate contract will be the current version of the Scottish Minor Works Contract. For works where the anticipated cost is over 10,000, a minimum of three companies will be invited to tender. Where this is not possible due to the specialist nature of the work, this number can be reduced with the approval of the Director of Asset Management. 12

13 The opening, recording, approval and acceptance of quotations or tenders will be carried out in accordance with our Procedure No. G17A Quotations and Tenders which incorporates the requirements of Policy G02 General Regulations. Special note should be taken of the provisions applying to works affecting mutual owners. Reference to the applicable title deeds must always be made to ensure the cost thresholds and meeting procedures set out are followed. The contents of Appendix 1 comply with both the General and Financial Regulations agreed by the Committee of Management on 16 October They will be subject to any subsequent revision to these Regulations. 13

14 APPENDIX 2 REPAIR CATEGORIES & RESPONSE TIMES Repair Category Response Time Examples EMERGENCY 4 hours Repairs necessary to prevent serious damage to building, immediate danger to health, risk to safety or risk of serious loss or damage Eg. fire/flood/gas leak/break in/insecure property ESSENTIAL 24 hours Repairs which are vital but do not seriously affect your health E.g. water leaks/blockages/no heat/no hot water URGENT 3 working days Repairs which will seriously affect your comfort or convenience E.g. roof leaks/faulty locks/electrical repairs/plumbing repairs/security measures STANDARD 7 working days Repairs which will not seriously interfere with your comfort and convenience E.g. internal joinery works/plasterwork/building work/roof repairs ROUTINE 10 working days Repairs which do not need to be repaired as a matter of urgency E.g. external repairs 14

15 APPENDIX 3 Maintenance Policy Supporting Procedures Procedures Approved Contractors Approved Consultants Asbestos Budget Classification of Repairs Commercial Properties Communal Cleaning Contractors Health & Safety Checklist Contractors Method Statements Contractors Pack Control of Keys Customer Comments, Complaints and Compliments Cyclical Painting Day to Day Repairs Energy Efficiency Policy Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Defects Liability Period Emergency Repairs Energy Performance Certificates Factoring Fire Risk Assessments Gas Servicing Handover Hillcrest Maintenance Service Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) Improvements Insurance and SEPA Renewals Landscaping Leased Properties Legionella Letting Standard for Voids Major Repairs Out of Hours and On-call arrangements Owners Meetings Pre and Post-Inspection of Repairs Planned Maintenance Planned Maintenance Database Updates Procurement Project Plant, Equipment and Furniture Renewals Provisions QL Procedures Record Keeping and Placing of Orders Quotations and Tenders Repair Responsibilities Re-charges Tenants and Owners Redecoration Allowances 15

16 Repairing Standard for Mid-Market and Open Market Rent Right to Buy Right to Compensation for Tenant Improvements Right to Repair Scale of Tenant Contribution Scottish Housing Quality Standards Security Service Charges Servicing Contracts Shared Ownership Repairs Stage 3 Adaptations Stock Condition Surveys Tenant Alterations and Improvements Tenant Compensation Tenant Satisfaction and Complaints Void Management Void Sales Waste Transfer Winter Service Plan 16

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