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Looking after your home

Our responsibilities

We repair and maintain the structure of the property you live in, including:

  • all outside parts and any fixtures and fittings inside your home that we provide
  • pipes
  • wiring
  • fittings for your heating system
  • drains
  • power and lighting
  • any smoke detectors we have installed
  • servicing any appliances we own
  • garages
  • any common facilities or open areas

We are also normally responsible for:

  • walls and fences outside your home which separate our land from lanes and public areas
  • steps and paths leading from the property boundary to your entrance doors.

Repair standards

Our own work force carry out most repairs. For certain types of work we use sub-contractors. All operatives must carry identification. Always check this and contact us if you are in any doubt.

We carry out regular quality control visits and random customer satisfaction checks (this may be done by telephone, post, or in person).

View the Council’s Housing Repair Policy (PDF, 305kb) which details the service provided for repair and maintenance. 

Your responsibilities

You must keep the inside of your property clean and properly decorated, heat and ventilate the home and maintain the garden. You must be responsible for certain repairs including:

  • replacing lost keys and changing locks if you are locked out and fitting and/or maintaining any additional door locks
  • replacing bulbs and fluorescent starters
  • repairing doors and fixtures inside your home (including making adjustments for new carpets)
  • trying to clear blocked wastepipes or toilets
  • filling minor cracks or holes in wall plaster
  • putting up TV aerials or satellite dishes (you will need our permission for satellite dishes)
  • replacing the battery in your smoke detector (if battery operated)
  • taking action to prevent pipes freezing
  • maintaining fences you, or a previous tenant, have put up
  • maintaining door bells
  • maintain your own fittings
  • to maintain floor coverings, supplied by the council, in bathrooms and kitchens in accordance with manufacturer guidance.

Gas leaks should be reported directly to Transco on 0800 111 999.

If you decide to withhold rent because of outstanding repairs, it's important that you write to the housing services manager to inform them of this. It is a condition of your tenancy that you pay rent.

Joint responsibilities

By law, we must carry out a gas safety check every year. Under your tenancy agreement, you must allow us access into your home to carry out these checks. Failure to allow access could result in a forced entry to your home which would be a chargeable repair. Your gas system is maintained by our gas contractor. 

If you are elderly or disabled and have no one who can help you we may be able to provide assistance. Contact our Repairs Service on 01294 310000 or further details. 

Chargeable repairs

We expect you to repair, or arrange and pay for, damage caused by you or someone in your home (even a visitor).

We will always carry out emergency work to make your home and family safe but we will charge for this. You will be asked to sign a form agreeing to pay for the work.

If your home is damaged by a break-in or vandalism you must report the problem to us immediately. We will carry out the repair if you get a crime incident number from the police. If you do not have an incident number from the police, you will be charged.

Communal repairs

If your home has been flooded or damaged by another property in your block of flats, this should be reported to us and we will take the appropriate action. For communal repairs, such as a leaky roof or damaged gutters, owner occupiers in the block may be asked to pay their share of the final cost. We will send a housing inspector to look at the damage and arrange for a repair or shared cost as required.

If you live in a house and there is a shared fence between yourself and an owner occupier next door, we will send a housing inspector to assess.

Dealing with Condensation

The only lasting way to avoid severe mould is to try and eliminate condensation in your home by:

  • increasing ventilation
  • allowing air to circulate
  • keeping your home warm

If you deal with the basic problem with condensation, then mould should not appear. To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash and redecorate using good quality paint.

What causes condensation?

There are three main causes of condensation in your home:

  • too much moisture being produced
  • not enough ventilation
  • cool temperatures in certain parts of your home

Everyday activities like cooking, bathing, washing and drying clothes, and even breathing, will add moisture to the air inside your home.

Modern improvements such as wall insulation, draught proofing on doors and double-glazed windows have made it easier to keep homes warm. However, these improvements also prevent moisture from escaping and may cause condensation.

What damage can condensation cause?

Condensation can cause damage to your home in different ways, including the following:

  • mould growth on walls, fabrics and furniture – this will eventually lead to rotting and increased repair and replacement costs
  • wallpaper peeling off and paint blistering – meaning you need to replace items more often
  • if you have a health problem, such as asthma or bronchitis, condensation may make it worse as you may breathe in mould particles that escape into the air

What happens if there is damage to my home?

You are responsible for your belongings, carpets, fittings, and for decorating inside your home. We advise you to take out home contents insurance.

If an employee, or contractor, causes damage to your property which could have been avoided, we will:

  • carry out the repairs
  • pay you compensation for any losses.

If your council property has been damaged by fire, you, as the tenant are responsible for making good any damage. This is normally covered by standard household insurance policies, so you should make sure that you have contents insurance. If you have had a fire in your home you should let us know. We'll arrange for a housing inspector to assess the damage and take an appropriate course of action.

Estate management

View our estate management page for further information on maintaining your council property.

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