Repairs and maintenance
Repairs and maintenance of your home is a joint responsibility between you as our tenant and us as your landlord.
We are committed to keeping all of our homes in excellent condition, both now and in the future. We do this by:
- Planning long-term programmes to repair and modernise homes
- Repairing empty homes to a high standard ready for the new tenant; and
- Providing a fast and effective day-to-day repairs service for all our tenants, backed up with advice and help from our technical services advisors and maintenance inspectors
We ask that you provide the same level of commitment to maintaining the areas for which you are responsible. Examples of these are listed separately on this page.
We maintain the structure and outside of your home and the installations such as central heating, water heating, sanitary ware (in other words, toilet bowls, cisterns and other fittings) and those supplying gas, water and electricity. In certain blocks of flats and other properties, we are also responsible for repairing or replacing shared installations such as lifts, rubbish chutes and shared lighting.
How to report a repair
We put each repair that is reported to us in order of priority, based on how urgent it is. The following are examples of these priorities and how you can report a repair to us. Please note that emergency repairs will just make a problem safe in the short term, and that you will probably need extra work doing at a later date.
Routine repair & service standard
We will generally respond to the following faults or repairs within 20 working days, although we may set aside certain work that we will do in the future as part of our planned work.
What is covered?
- Aerials and sockets on certain blocks of flats that have shared aerials
- Paths and drives that are part of the original property
- Brickwork repairs
- Extractor fan broken in a kitchen or bathroom
- Fences and gates to certain blocks of flats where the gardens are shared
Urgent repair and service standard
We will inspect, and complete if possible, the following faults or repairs within five working days of you reporting them.
What is covered?
- Partial loss of electrical power
- Faulty electrical smoke detectors, if we fitted them
- Total or partial loss of heating or hot water in the summer months (between 30 April and 1 November)
- Toilet not flushing - where an adult over 60 or a vulnerable person lives, and there is only one toilet in the property, it will be classed as an urgent priority. If there is more than one toilet, this will dealt with as a routine repair
- Partial loss of heating or hot water in the winter months (between 1 November and 30 April)
- Tap that you cannot turn on or off
- Minor leak
- Leaking roof
- Constantly running overflow pipes
- Faulty window or shared outside door lock
- Door-entry phone not working
- Loose or detached banister or handrail
- Rotten wooden flooring or stairs
Emergency repair & service standard
We will ‘make safe’ or complete the following faults or repairs within 24 hours of you asking.
What is covered?
- Total loss of electrical power
- Unsafe power, lighting, sockets or electrical fittings
- Total loss of water supply (this is normally the water company’s responsibility)
- Total loss of gas supply (this is normally the gas company’s responsibility)
- Blocked flue to open fire or boiler
- Total loss of heating or hot water in winter months (between 1 November and 30 April)
- Total loss of heating or hot water in summer months (between 30 April and 1 November) where a child under five, an adult over 60 or a vulnerable person lives
- Blocked or leaking foul drain, soil stack or toilet (if this is the only toilet in the property)
- Making the home secure after a break-in or vandalism
- Serious burst or leak
- Dangerous structural fault
When you report a repair
When you report a repair, you will need to:
- Tell us your name, full address and contact phone number
- Give us as much information as possible about the problem as this will help us to make sure that we order the technician, parts and so on. Many boilers have a display panel which will show a fault code if the boiler has a problem. Please make a note of the code before reporting the problem to us; it will make arranging a repair easier and quicker
It is more cost-effective and efficient for us to do some larger repairs, such as replacing windows or boilers, on a whole block or estate at a time, or street by street, rather than in one or two houses. This may sometimes cause a delay in us dealing with a fault you have reported, for example if you have a broken window but we are due to replace all the windows in your block soon, you may have to wait a bit longer than usual. When you report the problem, we will tell you if there will be any delay.
Our planned improvements
We have a programme for refurbishing kitchens and bathrooms. To see if you are on the list please visit our website for our planned maintenance programme.
What repairs am I responsible for?
Although we are responsible for repairing many items within the home, the following items are your responsibility.
- Keys, including keys to meter boxes and cupboards, radiators and window locks
- Internal doors
- Handles on doors inside your home
- Cupboard handles and catches
- Hinges on doors, cupboards or kitchen units inside your home
- Plugs and chains to sinks, hand basins or baths
- Pull chains or handles on toilet cisterns
- Blocked toilets, sinks and drains if you have caused the blockage
- Toilet-roll holders
- Toilet seats
- Doorbells, unless they are attached to a door-entry system
- Replacing cracked or broken glass windows and doors (unless due to a structural fault)
- Battery-operated smoke alarms
- Clothes lines and posts or rotary clothes dryers (except for certain blocks of flats)
- Dust bins and recycling boxes (except for certain blocks of flats)
- Containers used to collect rain water (water butts)
- Garden sheds or greenhouses left by a previous tenant
- Minor cracks to plaster
- Repairing or replacing garden gates and fencing if your property has its own garden that is not shared by other resident
- Aerials and sockets (except on certain blocks of flats that have a shared aerial)
- BT/Phone connections
- Curtain batons
- Any other item not fitted by us (including gifted items)
- Any repairs you have caused by neglect or deliberate damage, including broken windows and outside door locks
Your annual gas safety check and service
We have a legal duty to carry out a safety inspection and service once a year of all gas appliances we have provided in your home. You must allow us access to your home once a year to carry out this safety check and service. If you do not allow us access to carry out the check we will seek a court order and all costs associated with us gaining access will be charged to you; these are currently in the region of £800. Please remember this is for your personal safety. Don’t put your life and the lives of your family and neighbours at unnecessary risk.
Over time you may require information about a number of things, on the following pages is a list of other related information available to you, which can be accessed via our website or by calling Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.
Call our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
If you are a tenant in a property owned by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC)
If you need a major repair or improvement, for example a new kitchen, we cannot simply pass this job on to our contractors as we can with our other customers. We have to refer the repair to Lambert Smith Hampton, the council’s managing agent, for their permission to do the work.