Repairs And Maintenance This section tells you about: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
What the Association will do. What you must do. Reporting a repair. Repairs you must pay for and typical repair charges. What should I do if I think a repair is re-chargeable? Ways to pay your recharges. Emergency repair service. Locked Out? Criminal Damage. Emergencies outside of office hours. Timescales for carrying out repairs. Repairs in a brand new home. Letting us into your home to carry out repairs and servicing. Major repairs. Right to repair. Compensation. Planned improvements and cyclical maintenance. Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS). Your right to carry out improvements to your home. Contractors’ Code of Conduct. Quality of work.
What The Association Will Do We will do the following: • Keep the main structure and exterior of your home in good condition. This includes roofs, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, external doors, drains, gutters, pipes, paths, steps, boundaries and gates and external decorations. • Keep the following in good working order: • Gas, water and electricity systems. • Kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings, such as sinks, toilets and baths. • Heating equipment and water heating equipment provided by us. • Alarms and safety systems. • Keep any shared areas around your home in good condition, this includes stairs, lifts, landings and parking areas.
What You Must Do You must do the following: • Keep the inside of your home clean and decorated to a reasonable standard. • Maintain your garden to a reasonable standard. • Repair any damage caused deliberately or carelessly by you or anyone who lives with you or is visiting you. This includes replacing damaged internal doors, unblocking any drains that have been blocked through misuse, replacing broken toilet seats and replacing broken glass. • Arrange and pay for a locksmith to gain access to the property if you lose your keys. If we arrange for a contractor to gain access, or change the locks, you will be re-charged for this service. • Ensure your home is left in a good condition when you move out. • Maintain your own appliances and white goods, fuses and light bulbs. • Arrange for the treatment of any infestations, e.g. rats, fleas etc. • Install TV aerials (unless you live in a block of flats). • Fill minor cracks before redecoration. • Adapt doors to accommodate carpets or floor covering. • Connect washing machines and dishwashers.
Reporting A Repair • Within a few days of reporting a repair you should receive a Works Order and a Tenant Satisfaction Form through the post. • The contractor should call you to arrange a mutually convenient day (you will be given a morning or afternoon appointment, unfortunately we are unable to guarantee times). • If the contractor does not call and the due-by date is approaching, please feel free to call the contractor on the number provided on the Works Order. Similarly, please call the contractor direct if you have any queries as to when the repair is likely to happen. • Once the repair has been completed, please fill in the ‘Tenant Satisfaction Form’ and send it back to us in the pre-paid envelope provided, with any comments you may have. All returned forms are entered into a monthly draw to win £25.00 of ‘Love to Shop’ vouchers.
Repairs You Must Pay For You may be charged for repairs if: • The repairs were your responsibility (please see ‘What you must do’). • The damage was caused by you, your family or your visitors either deliberately or carelessly. • You have not looked after your home satisfactorily, and the damage is beyond what we consider to be ‘reasonable wear and tear’. • We have to remove any unauthorised alterations, including the making good of any damage caused. • The Association has to put right something you have done, or failed to do. • You call out the emergency repairs service for a non-emergency repair. • You delay reporting a repair and the delay has caused additional damage. • You are not at home for a pre-arranged appointment with our contractor. Typical charges (correct as at September 2011) include: Door Lock Changes Windows Boarding Up And Removal of Boarding
During Office Hours - £70.00 Out of Hours - £140.00 During Office Hours - £50.00 (not including new glazing) Out of Hours - £120.00 (not including new glazing)
Double Glazed During Office Hours - £110.00 Out of Hours call out - £180.00
Single Glazed During Office Hours - £33.00 Out of Hours call out - £83.00
Door Replacements PVCu doors Front door - £900.00 Rear door - £730.00 Wooden doors Front door - £875.00 Rear door - £695.00 Internal doors
Replace internal door - £176.00
Bathroom repairs Replace broken wash-hand basin - £158.00 Replace broken toilet pan - £158.00 Electric fault due During working hours: £80.00 to Tenant’s own Out of hours: £140.00 appliance Miscellaneous
Call out charge if you are not at home for a pre-arranged appointment - £35.00 Replace broken or missing kitchen unit door - £75.00 Replace broken or missing kitchen unit drawer - £70.00
All charges detailed above are inclusive of VAT and administration uplift. Please note that the above charges were correct at the time of going to press and can be used as a guide. However, specification will vary from item to item which may result in additional charges being incurred. The Association reserves the right to recover any and all costs associated with the repair.
What Should I Do If I Think A Repair Is Re-Chargeable? If you are not sure whether a repair will be re-chargeable, please contact the Maintenance team for advice. If the repair is re-chargeable we can let you know how much we will charge you. You may be able to do it cheaper yourself. In some circumstances we can allow you to pay your recharges in installments. Please speak to the Maintenance team for advice on this option. If you receive an invoice from us, please do not ignore it. If you do not pay, we will take legal action against you. This could include registering a County Court Judgment against you. This may affect your ability to obtain credit in the future. Please note that you will not be eligible for a transfer if you have any debts outstanding. It is also unlikely that any other organisations will re-house you if you owe us any money. If you continue to fail to pay your outstanding re-chargeable debt we may refuse to carry out any non-essential repairs to your home until an agreement is made and kept to.
Ways To Pay Your Recharges Cash
Cash payments can be made at the reception area of our offices at 307 – 315 Cowbridge Road East, Canton, Cardiff, CF5 1JD.
Credit or Debit card
Paying with your debit or credit card using our ‘Chip and pin’ facility in our reception area of our offices.
Standing Order – this is an instruction you give to your bank to pay us on a regular basis.
By cheque, made payable to ‘Taff Housing Association’. You can send or bring your cheque to our offices. Please remember to put your name and address on the back of the cheque.
If paying by cash, cheque, credit or debit card please state that you are paying recharges. This is to prevent the money being put onto your rent account.
Emergency Repair Service Locked Out? We do not keep spare keys to your home. If you lose your key and the lock has to be forced, you will be charged for the damage caused, and for any replacement locks and keys. It is therefore a good idea to leave a spare set of keys with a relative or friend. â€˘ If you are locked out during office hours, you can either arrange to have the lock changed yourself or contact our offices and we will arrange the works. The invoice will be sent to you for the works carried out. â€˘ If you are locked outside your home out of office hours, and you would like us to arrange a lock change, then please contact us on 029 2025 9100. Your details will be taken by our out of hours services and the information will be passed to our contractor, who will attend as soon as possible. The invoice will be sent to your home for the works carried out.
Criminal Damage If you have a break-in or someone damages your home, please do the following: â€˘ Report the incident to the police and obtain a crime reference number. If you do not do this, you will be liable for the cost of any repairs to the property. â€˘ If you discover a break-in during office hours, contact us immediately on 029 2025 9100. â€˘ If you discover a break in outside of office hours and you need to secure your property, please contact our offices on 029 2025 9100. Your repair will be taken and your details will be passed to our contractor who will attend and make the property safe.
Emergencies Outside Of Office Hours In the event of a gas leak, contact National Grid on 0800 111 999. For any other emergencies that occur OUTSIDE OFFICE HOURS, i.e., between 5pm and 9am Monday – Thursday, after 4pm on Fridays, at the weekend or on Bank Holidays, please contact us as follows: • For all heating, plumbing, building, glazing and electrical repairs please contact our offices on 029 2025 9100. • For problems with Fire Alarm Systems, contact Tremorfa Ltd on 029 2033 0030. • For lift problems i.e. people trapped in lifts, contact Schindler on 0800 335566. You should only use this service in an emergency. If the repair is not an emergency, we will re-charge you for the cost of the call out. The definition of emergency repairs is in the section – “Timescales for carrying out repairs”.
Timescales For Carrying Out Repairs We aim to get your repairs completed within the following timescales:
Emergencies These are repairs where there are immediate health, safety and security risks to persons or a risk of serious damage to property. They are split into 2 priorities depending upon the risk. Emergency – Priority 0 To be attended to within 3 hours and completed or made safe within 8 hours.
Examples are: • • • • • • • •
Gas leaks or fumes from boiler. Serious water leaks which cannot be turned off. Dangerous electrical fault. Where tenant is elderly, disabled or has young children. Property insecure following break-in or vandalism. Fault with fire alarm system. Structural danger to the Association’s tenants or the public. Broken glazing – where danger exists or the property cannot be secured.
Emergency – Priority 1 To be completed or made safe within 24 hours. Examples are: • • • • • • • • •
Total failure of heating system between October 1st and May 1st. Water supply failure (where the Association is responsible). Total failure of lighting or power supply. Failure of water heating system. Entrance door or essential internal door cannot be opened. Damage caused by fire – initial inspection and repairs to make safe. Blocked or broken WC (if only one in the building). Blocked manhole or drain. Failure of communal staircase lighting where there is no natural light or other light sources.
• • • •
Failure of smoke alarm. Damage to fire extinguishers, emergency lighting. Failure of lift. Removal of offensive graffiti in line with Taff’s Harassment Policy.
To be completed within 7 working days. These are repairs which inconvenience tenants but do not cause danger.
Examples are: • Complete failure of heating system between May 1st and October 1st. • Failure of isolated electric fitting – cooker socket, power outlet, ceiling rose, switches where there is no immediate danger. • Minor leaks to plumbing that can be contained. • Partial failure of heating system, e.g. radiator not working, gas fire automatic igniter not working. • External overflow running (will be emergency repair in winter). • Minor roof leaks, waste pipes leaking outside the property. • Doors sticking. • Loose handrail to stairs and loose stair treads. • Loose paving. • Failure of second WC in property. • Blocked waste pipe. • Loose wash-hand basin or toilets. • Doorbell/door entry not working in flats. • Blocked gulley.
To be completed within 30 calendar days. These are defects which may cause damage to the building if not dealt with promptly, but which do not seriously inconvenience the tenant.
Examples are: • • • • • • • • • •
Blocked or leaking gutters or rainwater pipe. Repairs to kitchen units. Poorly fitting doors or windows. Repairs to gates and fences. Carpentry repairs. Repairs to extractor fans. Loose wall tiles. Doorbell not working in houses. Cracked glazing where no danger exists. Damaged or leaking drains.
Repairs In A Brand New Home If your home has just been built, the arrangements for repairs are different. The contractor who built the property will be responsible for repairs during the first 12 months. If you need to report a repair, please use the contact telephone numbers provided in your New Home Pack, or contact the office on 029 2025 9100.
Letting Us Into Your Home To Carry Out Repairs And Servicing & Reporting A Repair You must report any repairs that are our responsibility as soon as you become aware of them. If you do not, we will charge you for the cost of repairing any additional damage that has been caused. During office hours, 9am - 5pm Monday – Thursday, and 9am - 4pm on Fridays, please contact us as follows: • For all repairs please contact us on 029 2025 9100, and ask to speak to a Maintenance Customer Service Advisor. When you report a repair, we will take your details and raise a Works Order for the contractor. They are required to contact you to arrange a mutually convenient appointment (you will be given a morning or afternoon appointment, unfortunately our contractors are unable to guarantee times). We will send you a letter with the details of: • The description of the work to be carried out. • The name of the contractor with their telephone number. • The target completion date for the repair. Attached to the letter is a questionnaire. Please fill it in and return it to us in the envelope provided. This helps us monitor the standard of our repair service, and you will also have a chance of winning shopping vouchers in our prize draw. Please always try to keep these appointments. If you are unable to keep an appointment, please telephone either us or our contractor, and arrange an alternative time. If you are not at home at the time of the appointment, we will re-charge you for the cost of calling the contractor out.
If the contractor does not pre-arrange a time with you, and you are not at home when they call, they will leave a calling card. You will then need to call the contractor to arrange a convenient date and time. It is a condition of your tenancy that you allow us, or anyone acting for us, access to your property to carry out inspections, repairs or servicing of appliances (such as boilers or smoke detectors) at your home. If you do not let us in, you could be putting yourself and your neighbours at risk. If we need to take legal action to enter your home, you will be liable for the cost of this action. We will normally give you 48 hoursâ€™ notice that we need access to your home, except in the case of an emergency. We may force entry to your home if we consider that an emergency situation exists, or that it is necessary to do so to ensure the health and safety of you or any other person. If we cause damage by gaining entry, we will put that damage right. If a repair has not been carried out, or if there are any problems which you want to discuss, please speak to your Building Surveyor.
Major Repairs Sometimes we may have to carry out repairs that are so large that it would be uncomfortable or unsafe for you to stay in your home. If this happens, we will arrange for you to be re-housed while the repairs are carried out. We will pay for any removal and storage costs. For further information, please ask to see a copy of our Decant Policy. In some instances, for example, where it is considered uneconomical to repair a property, we will arrange for you to be transferred permanently to another property. You will be entitled to compensation if this happens. For further information, please ask to see a copy of our Decant Policy.
Right To Repair You have the right to get repairs done on time. If we do not carry out a repair on time you may be able to get the repair done yourself and ask us to pay the cost. To do this, you need to follow the rules under our â€˜Right to Repair Schemeâ€™. For more information on this scheme please contact your Building Surveyor on 029 2025 9100.
Compensation You have a right to request compensation if you have lost an important service (e.g. heating), or the use of a room or rooms as a result of something we have done or failed to do. Please ask to see a copy of our Compensation Policy or ask your Building Surveyor for more information.
Planned Improvements And Cyclical Maintenance Planned maintenance involves the replacement of building components in an organised programme over a number of years. Examples include the installation of replacement windows and doors, new kitchens and bathrooms and new central heating systems. Each year we will undertake work of this nature and we will contact you if your home is included in the programme. Generally, we expect a kitchen to last for around 15 years, and a bathroom to last for around 25 years. If you would like more information about planned improvements in your home, please contact your Building Surveyor. We are responsible for the decoration of the exterior of your property, and any communal areas. This is generally undertaken on a 5-year cycle. If you would like more information on when your home is due to be decorated, please contact your Building Surveyor.
Welsh Housing Quality Standards The Welsh Government has issued a number of property standards which housing associations and councils are required to comply with by 2012. These include standards in relation to safety and security, fuel efficiency, standards of heating, levels of insulation and bathroom and kitchen facilities. Many of our properties already comply with these standards. Where additional improvements are required, these are being included in our Planned Maintenance Programme. If you would like any more information about the Welsh Housing Quality Standards, please ask to speak to our Head of Property.
Your Right To Carry Out Improvements To Your Home You have this right if you are a Secure or Assured tenant. You do not have this right if you are an Assured Shorthold tenant. You can carry out improvements to your home provided that you get written permission from the Association for the work to take place. We will only refuse permission if there is a good reason, for example, if the proposed work would affect the safety, value or size of the building. For some alterations you will need planning permission and building regulation approval. You are responsible for checking whether these are needed and getting the necessary approvals before commencing work. We will inspect the work when it is completed. If it is not satisfactory, we may ask you to carry out additional work. This will be at your own cost. When you leave your home, you may be entitled to compensation for any improvements that you have made. This applies to certain types of improvement and is subject to certain conditions. The amount of compensation will relate to the condition and expected lifespan of the improvement. For more information, please contact the Head of Property Services on 029 2025 9100, or ask for a copy of our Compensation Policy.
How We Check The Standard Of Repairs Carried Out At Your Home When you order a repair we will send you a questionnaire. Please fill it in and return it to us in the envelope provided. This helps us monitor the standard of our repair service, and you will also have a chance of winning a prize in our draw. Our Building Surveyors check around 10% of repairs carried out by our contractors, in order to ensure the quality of work carried out. If a repair has not been carried out, or if there are any problems which you want to discuss, please speak to your Building Surveyor.
Contractors’ Code Of Conduct Our contractors are required to follow our ‘Code of Conduct’ in carrying out repairs. The main requirements are to: • Make appointments and attend on time. • Be courteous and professional. • Not to smoke, be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, play music or use radios, or use the facilities without permission. • Make sure the work they carry out does not put your health or safety at risk. • Take special care when working in a home where there are children, older people or people with disabilities. • Take care of furniture, decorations and floor covering. • Adhere to our Equal Opportunities Policy. • Adhere to our Confidentiality Policy. • Tell you who they are and show you proof of their identity.
Quality Control We control the quality of repairs and the repair service by: • Trying to ensure the problem and the remedy are identified correctly so the job can be done right first time. • Inspecting completed repairs and asking for your views. We inspect around 10% of repairs. • Sending out a questionnaire when repairs are raised asking about the repair. We use this feedback to help us improve our repairs service. • Using good quality components and materials. • Carrying out maintenance programmes. • Consulting tenants on the service. If you have any problems or concerns about the repairs or maintenance service, please contact the Maintenance Team on 029 2025 9100.
tenancy handbook section 11