Major improvement programmes
To ensure that our homes are maintained in good condition, we run a series of planned maintenance programmes every year so that we can bring every one of our properties up to the Decent Homes Standard.
The Decent Homes Standard
This standard – set down by the Government – requires us to provide all our tenants with homes that are:
- Safe and warm
- In a reasonable state of repair and
- With reasonably modern facilities
This is where we renew or replace components in your home as they come to the end of their useful life. These could include items such as windows, doors, central heating, kitchens, bathrooms, rendering, roofs and some communal components if you live in a block of flats.
Where we undertake major repairs or works of improvement we will offer you a choice in selecting finishes. This will apply to the:
- colour of internal plaster work
- door and worktop finishes of kitchen units
- colour of tiles in the bathroom and kitchen
- type of floor covering
- style of external door (choice will be limited if this is a fire/security door)
- colour of external walls
This covers checking of essential equipment each year to ensure that they are safe, such as:
- gas servicing
- electrical circuit testing
- portable fire equipment
- fire systems
- water storage systems
- safety equipment
- door entry systems
It also includes a seven year cyclical repainting programme.
The work is based on the information gathered property surveys. This information determines our improvement work schedules for the coming years.
Do you have to have the work done?
Some of the repairs have to be done, though we’ll try to be as flexible as we can when arranging times to carry out the work.
Essential jobs include:
- health and safety maintenance, such as rewiring your home or carrying out fire safety works
- refurbishing the outside of a block of flats or cladding a pair of houses where we’re unable to exclude single homes
- work that’s needed to prevent further damage to your home, such as roof repairs
Central heating and kitchen improvements aren’t essential. You can choose not to have them although you'll be asked to sign a disclaimer form. However, we would advise that you agree to improvement work as this keeps you home up to the appropriate (decent home) standard. If you change your mind in the future, it may take time to rearrange the work.
We will publish information about the planned and cyclical maintenance programme each year. This will include details of the works to be undertaken and the properties which will benefit from the work. Alternatively, you can contact our Assets data team on 01453 754536 for information.
We will write and let you know if work is planned for your home but please be aware that usually work does not start immediately - it may take up to a year or even eighteen months. We'll usually visit your home first to carry out a survey before any work begins.
Depending on the type of work, we’ll need access to your home from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. If we need access outside of these times we’ll agree this with you.
Sometimes your gas, water or electricity might need to be turned off for long periods of time. We’ll always turn it back on at the end of the day or temporary services will be provided. If this is likely to cause any difficulties, for example if you have any medical conditions, then you must let us know.
All tenants who receive maintenance works will be encouraged to complete a resident satisfaction survey to help us improve our service. The purpose of this is to see whether they felt the work was done properly and to their satisfaction.
We will ensure that all works are inspected once they have been completed. Any issues with quality and standard of work arising from these inspections or, where a tenant has recorded dissatisfaction with the contractor's procedures and conduct will be referred to the relevant officer for investigation.
We will ensure that any necessary remedial work is carried out within a mutually agreed timescale.
If you have applied to buy your home, we will suspend future planned maintenance to your home. Where emergency works are required however, these will be carried out and costs will be accounted for in the purchase valuation.
If a property is included in a block of flats where planned work will potentially go ahead, the costs of that work will be reflected in the purchase valuation. See 'Consultation and Having your Say' web page for more details about our consultation obligations.
Right to Buy applicants who receive notice of planned works should contact the Right to Buy team on 01453 754074.