Repairs and maintenance

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As someone who rents a property from us, we'll keep the structure and outside of your home in a reasonable state of repair and proper working order.

In return you must not neglect or damage your home and are responsible for keeping it well-decorated and reporting any issues to us. You also have to arrange some repairs yourself.

If you are a leaseholder or shared owner, then you are usually responsible for all internal repairs to their home.

Click here to find out more about the different repair responsiblities of rental tenants, leaseholders and shared owners.

The rest of this page provides further information about our repair timescales, gas safety checks and dealing with pests, asbestos, tree maintenance and damp.

Repairs timescales

Emergency repairs

We'll attend to emergency repairs within 6 hours. If we're unable to complete the repair then it will be made safe. We'll tell you when we'll return to complete the work.

If you need to report emergency repairs please call us immediately on 0800 121 60 60.

An emergency repair is anything that puts the health, safety or security of people or property at immediate risk. 

Examples include:
  • Total loss of water
  • Burst water main
  • Dealing with the effects of flooding
  • Severe storm damage
  • Total loss of electricity supply (not caused by power cuts)
  • Major fault with electricity supply
  • Unsafe electrical fittings
  • Problems with the security of your windows and your front or back door
  • Loss of heating for elderly/vulnerable residents at all times and between 31 October and 1 May for others.

Non emergency repairs

For all other repairs we'll make an appointment at a time and date that's convenient for you. Our contractors may attend to assess the work required and return to complete the repair at a suitable time.

Non emergency repairs include:
  • Minor plumbing leaks or defects
  • Heating faults or breakdown
  • Roof leaks
  • General joinery repairs
  • Repairs to doors, floors and windows
  • Repairs to kitchen fittings
  • Other minor day-to-day repairs or replacements
Report non-emergency repairs here.
 

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Dealing with damp

Keep your home warm, dry and free from damp and condensation with these useful tips.

What is condensation?

condesation-in-house.jpgCondensation happens when moist air contacts a cool surface. It causes tiny water drops to form (e.g. when your bathroom mirror steams up or when mist builds up inside your windows).

It can lead to:

  • Mould on walls, ceilings and window frames
  • Mildew on clothes and furniture.

Here's how you can reduce it:

  • Dry clothes outside (when possible)
  • Vent tumble dryers to the outside
  • Use a clothes horse (instead of a radiator)
  • Close the kitchen door when you're cooking
  • Leave lids on pots and pans when they're boiling
  • Use an extractor fan in the kitchen (if you have one) or have a window open

Heating your home correctly

  • Heat your home on a low temperature all day rather short blasts at a high temperature
  • Use central heating (not bottled gas heaters)

Keep the air moving

  • Open windows slightly
  • Open windows on both sides of your home
  • Use 'trickle vents' on UPVC  windows
  • Keep airbricks clear of obstructions
  • Have a small gap between furniture and walls
  • Space out clothes in your wardrobe (lets air circulate)

Preventing damp in your bathroom

  • Close the bathroom door when you have a bath or shower
  • Run the cold water first when you have a bath
  • Use an extractor fan (if you have one) or leave a window open


Dealing with mould and mildew

If you've had condensation in your property for a while, you may have mould on your walls. To remove it, you can:
  • Wipe it away with a cloth
  • Spray walls with 'fungicidal solution' (follow the manufacturers instructions)
  • Make this part of your cleaning routine.
Further information and detailed advice can be found in our Home and Dry leaflet.

If you follow the advice, you'll reduce condensation in your home. You'll see an improvement within four to six weeks. If you continue to experience problems with mould after following this advice, contact us to arrange for a Technical Inspector to visit.


 

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Asbestos

Find out more about asbestos with our useful FAQ.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos materials are made up of strong fibres which are resistant to heat and chemicals. In the past, these qualities led to asbestos being used in a range of building materials and household products. The use of asbestos was banned in 1999.

Why was asbestos banned?

When asbestos materials age or become damaged, they can release fibres into the air. If these fibres are breathed into the lungs, this could result in asbestos related diseases. It's extremely unlikely the levels of asbestos fibres found in buildings will be harmful. Asbestos does not pose a risk to health if it is undamaged or in a position where it cannot be easily disturbed.

Where is asbestos found?

Building materials containing asbestos started to be used in the early 1900s and were widely used between 1960 and 1980. Houses and flats built or refurbished around that time may contain asbestos.

What should you do if you think there is asbestos in your home?

In the vast majority of cases asbestos found in homes poses a very low risk. Do not disturb or damage asbestos that's in good condition. As long as it has not cracked, split or flaked, then it is best left alone. If you damage asbestos or suspect damaged asbestos is in your home contact us immediately.

Who can you talk to if you have any questions or concerns about asbestos?

If you've any concerns or questions about asbestos, or you believe asbestos may be in your home, then please contact us.


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Gas servicing

If you rent from us and are having problems with your gas central heating system or hot water supply then you can report these repairs directly to our contractors.

By law we must also service any gas appliances in your home every year.

This helps to ensure they're safe and working correctly. It's important for your own safety that you allow us access to carry out the inspection.  

We'll write to you with a gas safety appointment, if it's not convenient, please contact our contractors to rebook (details below).
 

Kent:

Swale Heating

 

London and Surrey

BSW Heating Ltd

 

Sussex

BSW Heating



Gas Safety Video

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Pests

Dealing with infestations in your home.

You're responsible for dealing with bees, wasps, ants, insects, rats and other pests and vermin in your home.

Your local authority can give you advice on dealing with the problem. We'll only treat infestations if they're within the communal areas we're responsible for.
 



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Trees

Who's responsible for tree maintenance?

You may be responsible for trees and shrubs in your garden - please check your tenancy agreement for details.

Please don't plant trees close to buildings as the roots may cause damage or subsidence.

Trees in communal areas

If you feel a tree or bushes in your area are dangerous or need trimming, please let us know. We'll contact your local council if it's not our responsibility.

If there's a fallen tree blocking the road then please contact your local Highways Agency.
 

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Fences & Boundaries

Not sure who is responsible for mending and replacing fences and other boundary markers? Find out more below.

Our responsibilities:

We’re responsible for fences, walls and gates that border public highways and paths.  We’re also responsible for fence lines in common areas of blocks or flats.

We’ll repair these items (which we’re responsible for) when they’re damaged, on a like-for-like basis.  We’ll replace sections of fencing if we’re unable to repair it. Where it would be more cost-effective to replace a damaged brick wall with a wooden fence, we’ll do so.  Where we replace with wooden fencing, we’ll use pressure-treated timber. We do not provide Privacy Panels.

Your Responsibilities:

Residents are responsible for fences, walls and gates that don't join public highways or paths.  This includes fences between gardens, regardless of whether the neighbour or land owner is a private owner.

Normally you share the responsibility for a fence-line with the adjoining property. If you live in an end of terrace (i.e. you don’t share the boundary and don’t border on a public highway), the left-hand boundary (as you look at the house from the front), is usually your responsibility. 

A general rule is that fence posts and rails show on the side of the boundary owner. 

Please note: Most insurers exclude storm damage to fences from their cover. A few include it as an optional extra but you might need to have your main policy with them. It’s always worth asking when you request a quote.
 

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