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Maintaining your council property

We want our estates to be pleasant places to live and our residents to enjoy the environment around their homes. By working together, we aim to provide a pleasant environment and a better quality of life for everyone.

Service standards

Estate Management covers:

  • untidy gardens
  • abandoned vehicles
  • problem pets
  • tackling graffiti and illegal dumping/fly-tipping
  • communal areas
  • antisocial behaviour in our estates

We have a number of Estate Management Service Standards:

  • the Estate Caretaker Service will carry out checks and visits to make sure we are maintaining the estates to a high standard
  • we will remove racist graffiti within 24 hours, and all other graffiti within 7 days
  • we will reply to complaints and reports of antisocial behaviour within 3 days and, where appropriate, contact other agencies to provide help or support
  • if we know, or are told, about an abandoned property we will investigate within 1 working day and, where appropriate, secure the property
  • we will consult tenants' groups, and other interested people, about the services we provide

Making changes to your property

Permission is required for anything that changes or adds to the structure,
fixtures or fittings of a property. For example:

  • installing or removing gas or electric fires
  • replacing or removing internal doors or light fittings    
  • building a garage in your garden    
  • putting up, or changing, a wall or fence    
  • cutting down or removing bushes, hedges or trees, unless you planted them    
  • putting up a hut if it is exceptionally large, you want to put it closer than 5 metres to the house or in a shared garden

To request permission, please telephone 01294 324970

Your garden

You must take reasonable steps to make sure that your garden doesn’t become overgrown, untidy, or causing a nuisance. 

You are responsible for:

  • keeping your garden tidy, cultivated and free of rubbish or scrap materials
  • trimming or lopping shrubs, hedges or trees so they are not a nuisance
  • maintaining garden paths or patios
  • providing and maintaining fencing between gardens

If you fail to do this, we may (after speaking to you first) arrange to tidy the garden. We may charge you for this. If the garden is still in an unsatisfactory condition, we may take legal action against you.

If you are elderly or disabled and unable to cut your grass, we offer a grass cutting service during the summer.


Please note the following rules around pets:

  • you may keep 1 domestic animal but must get our permission to keep more, or to keep any exotic or unusual pets
  • please make sure that your pets cannot escape
  • your pets must not annoy your neighbours (for example fouling, noise or smells)
  • you must clean up your animal's faeces
  • you can be fined or taken to court if you allow your dog to foul public areas or roam
  • do not allow your dog to bark continually
  • we can stop you having pets if you are not a responsible owner 

Common areas

Cleaning is the joint responsibility of the tenants and other residents in flats and maisonettes (but not in sheltered schemes). This includes staircases, corridors, hallways, landings and windows. 

You and other residents in your block must organise a cleaning rota. When it is your turn you must clean the stairs, windows and banisters. You are responsible for cleaning your landing and any stairs down to the next level.

If you and the other residents cannot agree on a rota, we will organise one so that everyone takes their turn. If you do not take your turn on the rota we will (after speaking to you first) arrange for the work to be done and we may charge you for this.

Garden, stairs and shared areas

The garden, stairs and shared areas are part of your home. If you keep them in a good condition, you and your neighbours can enjoy them and your neighbourhood will look better.

What if I live in a block of flats and there is a shared garden?

You must take your turn at keeping the garden tidy. You and every resident of the block are responsible for taking a turn to look after, for example, a shared drying area. If you and the other residents cannot agree on a rota we will organise one so that everyone takes their turn. If you do not take your turn on the rota we will (after speaking to you first) arrange for the work to be done and we may charge you for this.

Door entry systems

Door entry systems should be used properly:

  • always keep the main door of your close secure
  • if you have a door viewer (spy hole), check to see who is calling before opening the door
  • if you are expecting a caller, always ask to see some form of identification and check it carefully
  • if you are unsure, ask the caller to wait outside while you telephone the organisation they claim to represent

Key entry fobs are issued to each household living in a block where there is a controlled entry system. The number of fobs issued depends on the size of your household:

  • single tenant: 2 x fobs
  • couple: 2 x fobs
  • children and other household members 14 years or over: 1 x fob per person
  • children under 14: no fob issued

If you have lost your fob, please request a replacement from your Housing Office. There is a charge for replacement fobs. 

Health and safety

You must not leave or store anything such as prams, bikes, or plants on landings or stairs. These are used all the time and are the main escape route for residents in case of a fire.

More information

For more information, please speak to your local housing office.

For other help and support, please contact:

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