About repairs

When it comes to repairs and your council property there are some things you are responsible for and some things we're responsible for.

Your responsibilities

In accordance with the tenancy conditions, tenants are responsible for the following:

Maintaining and repairing the inside of the property including:

  • Internal doors and catches, including cupboards
  • Internal glazing
  • Internal fittings, including skirting boards, door and window frames, bath panels, toilet seats, plugs and chains to sinks and baths, curtain rails and pelmets
  • Internal decorations and finishes
  • Plumbing to washing machines, dishwashers and so on, unless these have been fitted by the council
  • Doors and drawers to kitchen units
  • Letter boxes
  • Any items the tenant, their family or visitors have damaged, even those that are the responsibility of the council.
  • Repairs to their own improvements
  • Replacing tap washers where taps are dripping
  • Replacing light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • Lock changes and replacing keys / fobs
  • Damp and mould as a result of lifestyle / poor heating and ventilation

Tenants are also responsible for maintaining and repairing elements relating to the outside of the property including:

  • Their own equipment, such as TV aerials (unless provided by the council), satellite dishes and electrical sockets
  • Repairs to sheds
  • Back garden paths
  • Fencing repairs unless they meet the criteria of the fencing policy found in section 8

We can recover costs if we carry out works at your property that we deem to be the responsibility of the tenant. Details of this can be found in our re-charge policy.

Our duties and repair responsibilities as a landlord

We are responsible for keeping the structure and outside of the property in good repair, including:

  • External walls, external doors, external window frames and sills;
  • Drains, gutters, external pipes;
  • Access paths and steps to individual properties;
  • The roof and chimney (but not sweeping);
  • The internal structure
  • External decoration

Keeping in a good state of repair and proper working order:

  • Installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation. The service up to and including the gas and electrical meter is the responsibility of the service provider, unless the mains supply outside the home is owned by the council
  • Installations for room and water heating fitted by the council
  • Lifts, rubbish chutes and shared lighting serving the building or estate.
  • Disabled adaptations that have been installed by the council (if the person for whom the adaptation was originally fitted no longer resides in the property, or the adaptation is no longer required, the council reserves the right to decide on an appropriate solution)
  • Fences and gates which are the council’s responsibility to maintain and serves a purpose.

The council will not repair or replace a part or item if the tenant has removed it from the property without giving the council the opportunity to repair it, for example a door that needs replacing but has been disposed of.

What we're not responsible for:

  • Faults on cookers or cooker connections – if we inspect and find these faults your appliance will be condemned and capped off.
  • The failure of gas companies to supply gas
  • Faults on domestic electrical appliances, such as kettles and fridges
  • The failure of electricity companies to supply electricity or maintain their equipment
  • We are responsible for the water supply distribution pipe work from the water company main supply pipe to the internal property supply points which you connect to appliances and fittings that use water inside your home
  • Repairs caused by misuse or neglect of the property by residents and residents' visitors to the property.

Fencing repairs

Whilst meeting our responsibility to carry out fencing repairs to our socially rented properties, the need to use more efficient forms of fencing and reduce the cost of fencing works needed to be satisfied. 

It has been decided to withdraw the previous approach of delivering fencing repairs to all tenants and instead, to provide funded fencing repairs only to tenants meeting specific criteria.

The criteria which justify us funding fencing repairs are:

  • tenants over 65 years of age
  • registered disabled tenants
  • tenants whose fence backs onto an alleyway or public footpath where a lack of fencing could compromise tenant safety

All other fencing works will be the responsibility of the tenant, who will be expected to replace the fencing themselves or, they can ask us to undertake the works on their behalf and they will then be recharged the cost of the works.

In order to reduce the cost of fencing works to us, alternative types of fencing, such as galvanized or plastic coated chain link fencing will be used. Where a tenant desires a more expensive type of fencing, they will be at liberty to replace the existing fencing at their own cost, providing that permission has been obtained from us to do so.

Swale Heating

Swale Heating are our approved contractor who carry out all repairs and maintenance to boilers and heating in council properties.

You can book or manage repairs using the Swale Heating Customer Portal. To register, you'll need to provide Swale Heating with your name, email address, phone number and postcode.

Visit the Swale Heating website for more information.