Responsive Repairs Policy

 

Contents

1. Overview

2. Aims

3. Responsive repairs

4. Legal or regulatory framework

5. Priorities

Appendix 1: Responsibilities

Appendix 2: Emergency definitions

Appendix 3: Right to repair schedule

 

1. Overview

We want our customers to be happy in their homes and with the services we offer, and we know our responsive repairs service is one of the most important of these. A reliable repairs and maintenance service keeps you safe, secure and warm in your home.

This policy sets out our approach to the provision of responsive repair services. Although individual tenancy documents and leases set out contractual responsibilities, this policy outlines general landlord and tenant responsibilities and the time it will take for us to complete responsive repairs.

In this policy, we’re referring to responsive repairs and maintenance activity in all GreenSquare owned or managed homes and properties. It applies to customers living in the rented housing of:

  • GreenSquare Group Limited;
  • Westlea Housing Association; and
  • GreenSquare Community Housing (all trading as GreenSquare).

It also applies to communal area repairs including those in shared ownership and leasehold blocks.

This policy does not apply to defects in new homes within their warranty period; typically the first 12-24 months. The new homes manuals given to customers when they move in give information on these contractual arrangements.

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2. Aims

In the provision of our responsive repairs service we aim to:

  • ensure we meet our statutory and contractual obligations;
  • meet health and safety standards;
  • ensure customers are aware of their responsibilities;
  • provide a reliable and accessible service;
  • meet customer expectations;
  • recognise the diversity of our customers;
  • deliver value for money;
  • consistently deliver high-quality work; and
  • involve customers and learn from feedback.

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3. Responsive repairs

A responsive repair is a repair reported by or on behalf of a customer. It is usually minor and unplanned work carried out to maintain your home or a component in it. It would be a repair to a kitchen drawer rather than the replacement of a kitchen for example.

When customers report a repair we will decide if the repair is our or the customer's responsibility. Appendix 1 includes an extensive, but not an exhaustive list of responsibilities.

Out of scope

The elements detailed below are not within the scope of this policy:

  • Cyclical maintenance – this includes heating servicing, lift servicing, legionella testing, communal lighting testing
  • Property improvement and capital works – this includes non-traditional home regeneration, external cyclical decoration, supported housing modernisation, cavity wall insulation and major component replacements such as kitchens, bathrooms, windows, roofs and external doors
  • Aid and adaptation – carrying out minor aids and major alterations to enhance the customer's quality of life and assist mobility and usability around the home
  • Neighbourhood management work – relating to environmental improvement around GreenSquare's estates such as fly-tipping removal, graffiti removal and vermin removal

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We acknowledge and accept our responsibilities for the provision, management and delivery of repairs and maintenance and will comply with the relevant legislation and regulatory requirements of the following documents:

  • S11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act
  • Defective premises Act 1972
  • Housing Act 2004
  • Secure Tenants of Local Housing Authorities (Right to Repair Regulations 1994
  • Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2018
  • Decent Homes standard 2010
  • Housing Health and Safety Rating System 2005 (HHSRS)
  • Gas Safety Regulations Act 1998
  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended)
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
  • Building Regulations Act 1984
  • Party Wall Act 1996
  • Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
  • Energy Act 2013
  • Equality Act 2010

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5. Priorities

We give all responsive repairs a priority based on urgency and risk. We will always consider a customer’s vulnerability and information given to us at the time of reporting a repair when deciding how quickly we need to respond.

Our priorities are:

PriorityResponse and completion timesPercentage of repairs to be completed within target
Emergency 24 hours to make safe from repair report 100%
Non-emergency 28 calendar days from report. If an inspection is needed, this should be completed in the first 7 days, leaving 21 days for the repair to be completed. 95%

Appendix 2 has information on the type of repair we consider to be an emergency. Other types of repair not included in this list can and will be considered an emergency depending on the circumstances; customer vulnerability for example.

Right to Repair

In accordance with Secure Tenants of Local Housing Authorities (Right to Repair Regulations 1994), if a qualifying repair cannot be completed within the agreed timescale, the resident has the right to request we instruct a second contractor to complete the work and eligible customers with a secure tenancy only are entitled to claim compensation. Compensation will be paid in accordance with the compensation procedure and we will identify the length of time the repair has been outstanding.

Regulations cover specific repairs (see Appendix 3) and there are a set number of days for us to remedy these faults. If we don’t meet these timescales we need to pay compensation. Although the type of repair and speed we do it in is determined by this policy we will always aim to ensure it meets these regulations as well.

Disrepair

Where we fail to meet customers’ housing repair obligations, this may lead to a disrepair claim. Please refer to the disrepair procedure around how we will manage these claims.

Appointments

We will always aim to make an appointment to carry out responsive repairs as soon as possible and at a time that suits the customer unless we decide it’s an emergency. If the repair is an emergency, an adult needs to be at the property and be available to give us access to your home as soon as we’re able to attend.

As we deliver our repairs service using a combination of direct labour operatives and contractors it isn’t always possible to make an appointment.

When we can, we offer the following appointments slots:

  • Morning – 8am to 1pm
  • Afternoon – 12pm to 5pm
  • School run – 10am to 2.30pm
  • All-day – 8am to 5pm

If a repair is reported that doesn’t require access an appointment will not be offered.

We confirm and send appointment reminders by email or text message, although we can use a different method if you prefer; we can send you a letter for example.

We will let you know if we need to cancel or postpone a repair or if we are delayed for any reason using the contact details we hold for you.

Rechargeable repairs

The cost of any repairs caused as a result of neglect, wilful damage or misuse by customers, members of their household or any visitor to their home; and urgent or out of hours repairs that are a customer’s responsibility, may be recharged in line with our recharge procedure.

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Appendix 1: Responsibilities

Our responsibilities

Structure, exterior and interior of a property

Whilst tenancy agreements will ultimately set out responsibilities, we are generally responsible for:

  • foundations;
  • roofs;
  • outside walls and doors;
  • window sills, catches, fasteners and locks;
  • sash cords, glazing putty and window frames;
  • glass including necessary painting for instance to frames (we will only replace glass if it is a result of a crime and there is a crime reference number);
  • internal walls;
  • skirting boards;
  • external doors and frames;
  • thresholds;
  • postboxes (in a block of flats);
  • floors (but not floorcovering apart from GreenSquare fitted flooring in kitchens and bathrooms);
  • ceilings and plasterwork not painting and decorating;
  • drains and gutters;
  • overhauling leaking or dripping taps (including mixers) to wash hand basins, bath and kitchen sink;
  • external pipes;
  • chimneys;
  • pathways, steps and other means of access;
  • garages and stores that are part of the property;
  • brick sheds and outhouses;
  • the main routes into and out of the customer's property;
  • gates, hinges and latches to gates serving individual dwellings (if fitted by GreenSquare);
  • brick garden walls;
  • kitchen unit doors, catches, hinges, drawers and runners;
  • fencing: public boundary fences – this is where a public walkway, road or path is on the other side of the fence including garages and parking areas. This includes all properties in supported housing schemes;
  • re-fixing any type of fence panel to existing post; and/or gravel board on a boundary to a private road or highway; and
  • chimney sweeping.

Gas, water and electricity

We are responsible for repairing all leaks. We are responsible for keeping in good repair and working order installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity these include:

  • basins, sinks, bath and toilets;
  • flushing systems and waste pipes;
  • taps and washers;
  • electrical wiring;
  • gas and water pipes and taps;
  • water and space heaters;
  • fireplaces (when fitted by GreenSquare);
  • fitted fires (when fitted by GreenSquare);
  • sockets; and
  • light fittings (when fitted by GreenSquare) - but not lamp shades.

Customer responsibilities

We expect a customer to keep the inside of their homes clean and in good condition; and keep gardens and communal areas clean and tidy. This includes:

  • undertaking minor repairs and avoiding doing anything which may result in blockages to pipes and drains – for example disposing of fat, oil, wipes, nappies etc down toilets or sinks;
  • taking responsibility for pest control – for instance, vermin removal (rats or mice in the dwelling) wasps/bees nests and disinfestations, except where this is due to a design fault within the property or failure of an element in the property; and
  • making simple lifestyle changes to resolve issues such as condensation – where condensation is the cause of any reported dampness the customer will be advised of the action that’s needed to be taken to deal with the problem and prevent further instances;

Interior and exterior of a property

The customer is also responsible for:

  • customer floor coverings, to include laminated flooring – where laminate flooring needs to be removed to allow access for repairs to be undertaken, the customer must arrange for this to be removed, lifted and relayed;
  • provision of additional electrical sockets;
  • maintenance of customer installed smoke detectors;
  • fitting extra locks and latches;
  • replacement door keys;
  • replacing lost locks and keys;
  • house numbers, letterboxes (to individual properties) and door knockers;
  • cupboard and wardrobe catches, hinges and doors;
  • fitting extra catches and safety devices;
  • bath panels – unless our operative damages existing during a repair;
  • wall tiles that we have not installed;
  • shower heads;
  • clear blockage located on the customer’s side of the waste pipe before entry to stack;
  • renewal of sealant around the bath, wash hand basin, kitchen sink and shower;
  • bath and basin plugs, chains and handles;
  • bathroom cabinets, towel rails, toilet roll holders, mirrors;
  • toilet seats and lids;
  • clotheslines, posts, tidy dryers and rotary dryers;
  • curtain rails;
  • provision/replacement of dustbins;
  • minor cracks to plaster;
  • clearing blocked sinks, basins, bath or shower waste pipes - unless a shared pipe;
  • cleaning and descaling of toilets, washbasins, baths, taps and showers;
  • maintenance of any fixtures and appliances not fitted by GreenSquare;
  • maintenance of any gas appliances and white goods not fitted by GreenSquare;
  • setting heater controls;
  • bleeding radiators;
  • internal painting and decorating (not communal);
  • draught exclusion, provided doors/windows fit reasonably;
  • fitting TV aerials;
  • adapting doors to accommodate carpets;
  • easing and adjusting internal doors;
  • plumbing in customer-owned washing machines or dishwashers;
  • installation of cooking appliances by a qualified installer;
  • plugs, lamps and customer's own light fittings;
  • changing light bulbs, tubes and fuses;
  • shelving, coat and hat rails;
  • doorbells, batteries and bulbs (except in communal areas and entry phones);
  • rubbish clearance;
  • wooden sheds;
  • cleaning basements and front areas;
  • garden maintenance including hedge and lawn cutting (for individual properties); and
  • cleaning of communal parts, except where specified as part of a service charge.

Regulation 35 of the Gas Regulations places a duty on us to ensure that any gas appliance, installation pipework or flue installed at any property is maintained in a safe condition so as not to constitute a risk of injury to any person. In respect of this regulation, we do not repair customer-owned gas appliances however we may well condemn them during an annual service.

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Appendix 2: Emergency definitions

Before classifying a repair as an emergency, we will assess the work against the following criteria:

  • Are there particular needs of the customer? Are they vulnerable or wheelchair-bound for example?
  • Is there a risk of serious injury?
  • Is there a risk of a major health hazard?
  • Is there a risk of extensive damage to property?

Serious injury

  • Escape of gas or fumes
  • The collapse of walls, floors or ceilings
  • Electrical fittings in contact with water
  • Live, bare wires in accessible places
  • The total failure of lighting in an area where the risk of fall or injury is high
  • Repairs to communal stairs and bannister
  • Public/communal pathways damaged or obstructed
  • Broken windows

Major health hazard

  • External sewage overflowing or backing up into the dwelling
  • Internal blockages to toilets or soil pipes causing sewage to back up and spill into the property
  • Smoke alarms faulty
  • Lifeline pull cord
  • Failure of water supply
  • Inability to use a toilet where there is only one in the property

Extensive property damage

  • Faults which may lead to a fire
  • Securing properties when they are empty, have been vandalised or entry has been forced
  • External doors and ground floor windows which cannot be secured
  • Burst tanks, pipes or cylinders
  • Water penetration through the roof or another property

Major inconvenience

  • Doors – resident locked in or locked out
  • Failure of all lights or all power
  • Failure of the heating system in severe weather where no back up is available
  • Failure of communal door entry system
  • Failure of all communal lights
  • Lift not working where there is only one lift

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Appendix 3: Right to Repair schedule

RepairPrescribed period (in working days)
Total loss of electric power 1
Partial loss of electric power 3
Unsafe power or lighting socket, or electrical fitting 1
Total loss of water supply 1
Partial loss of water supply 3
Total or partial loss of gas supply 1
Blocked flue to open fire or boiler 1
Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 1st November and 30th April 1
Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 1st May and 31st October 3
Blocked or leaking foul drain, soil stack, or (where there is no other working toilet in the dwelling-house) toilet pan 1
Toilet not flushing (where there is no other working toilet in the dwelling-house) 1
Blocked sink, bath or basin 3
Tap which cannot be turned 3
Leaking from water or heating pipe, tank or cistern 1
Leaking roof 7
Insecure external window, door or lock 1
Loose or detached bannister or handrail 3
Rotten timber flooring or stair tread 3
Door Entryphone not working 7
Mechanical extractor fan in internal kitchen or bathroom not working 7

This policy was updated in July 2019.

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