Repairs: frequently asked questionsEverything you need to know about how we deal with repairs
How long do I need to wait for a repair?
When the repair is urgent, we aim to respond within two hours to make the situation safe. We might need to follow up afterwards, which we’ll try to do within 21 days.
For non-emergencies we aim to carry out a repair within 21 days. It might take a bit longer if we discover more work is needed than originally reported, but we’ll keep you updated throughout.
If the work is outside for things like gates and fencing, it could take up to 90 days to complete. A renewal – which is something that needs replacing such as a door – can take longer because special materials will need to be ordered from other suppliers.
How often are my kitchen, bathroom, boiler and windows replaced?
We carefully consider the condition of your existing fixtures and fittings before agreeing to any work, but as a general rule, we estimate:
Your kitchen will be replaced every 15 years.
Your bathrooms will be replaced every 30 years.
Your boiler will be replaced every 15 years.
Your windows will be replaced every 30 years.
You don’t need to contact us about these replacements, we’ll be in touch when it is time to take a look at what work is needed.
Do I have to replace light bulbs?
Yes, it’s your responsibility to replace all light bulbs. If you can, it’s always better to fit LED lightbulbs because they last longer and use much less energy – which can save you money.
If I have a leak that’s not my fault, can I claim my damaged carpets, laminate flooring and belongings back from you?
Unfortunately no, this has to be claimed from your contents insurance, even if the leak is due to a faulty pipe. It’s essential you take out contents insurance so your belongings are protected from damage.
What if I can’t afford contents insurance?
It is so important you have contents insurance. Imagine if there was a leaky pipe, or a fire, and you lost everything. We know money is tight sometimes, if you’re worried about being able to afford insurance please call our Money Matters team right away. They are used to helping people in these situations.
Do I have to clear my blocked toilet/sink/bath or shower?
Yes, this is your responsibility. We recommend using drain/toilet unblocker or a plunger. If it still won’t clear then call us for further advice.
If we have to attend and find the blockage was avoidable and caused by something put into the sink or toilet that shouldn’t have been, then we may have to charge you a call-out fee.
Can I flush wipes down the toilet?
No, not even those that say they are disposable. Wipes stick to the inside of drains and cause blockages. If we have to come out to a drain blockage involving wipes, we may have to charge you.
Can I put fat and food down my sink or drain?
No, this will eventually clog together, harden and block the drain. If this is the reason for the blockage then we would have to charge you a call out fee.
If we do our own home improvements do we have to maintain them?
Yes. For instance, if you change your kitchen tap then you would have to pay for it to be repaired or replaced if it becomes faulty. If you fit tiles or laminate flooring you will also have to remove them if we need to carry out a repair.
You might need our permission to modify your home so it is always best to check first.
I was never given any window keys, can I have some?
Keys for windows are left in the property. Unless it was brought up at the time of moving in, we can’t supply new keys. You could check with a neighbour to see which keys they have, as they are often the same.
I’ve seen a mouse or rat in my garden, can you send pest control out?
If the mouse or rat is inside your house, we will arrange for pest control to come out but there is not much they can do when they are outside.
Rats and mice go where they can shelter and have food. They love gardens where there is decking or things left outside that they can shelter in, especially where food is left out for birds or other animals too.
Overflowing bins, or bins that don’t have lids, also attract rodents.
Do I have to ask permission to make improvements?
Yes, you have to write/email for permission to change anything in the house other than decorating or furniture that isn’t fixed to the walls. Check out our page on home improvements.
I have an overgrown tree in the garden, will you cut it back?
Trees in your garden must looked after by you, along with all the other plants and hedging. It’s your responsibility to have them pruned. We can only maintain trees in communal areas.
I’ve lost my keys and can’t get in, what do I do?
Is there anybody who has a spare key? If not, then it is up to you to call a locksmith. If you are unable to call one, we may be able to send a technician, but will have to charge you for the service.
People throw things and climb over my fence. Can I have a higher fence erected?
We wouldn’t normally provide a higher fence, but if you needed one for security reasons you could erect one yourself, at your own cost. Please check our home improvements page as you might need permission.
I am disabled and need some help to be able to live in my property. Can you help?
Yes, we can help with minor adaptations such as installing grab rails, key safes, staircase rails and lever taps. Major adaptations have to go through the council and their disability grant scheme. You would need to contact Adult Social Care and they will arrange for an occupational therapist to contact you and assess what you need.
Do I have to change the battery in my smoke alarm?
Many of our smoke alarms are wired into your electricity supply, however some homes still have battery-powered alarms fitted. If yours is a battery-powered alarm, it should be tested regularly – we recommend weekly – to ensure it’s still working. If you have changed the battery and it still doesn’t work then please call us and we will repair or replace the alarm. Further advice on fire safety in the home can be found on our website.