Responsibility for Property Maintenance
Orwell Housing Association has a legal obligation to carry out certain types of repairs where needed.
This section lists the repairing obligations of both Orwell and its tenants.
What Orwell as Landlord is responsible for
Keeping the structure of the properties we manage, including its interior and exterior, in reasonable repair.
- The roof, outside walls, outside doors, window sills, window catches (restrictors), sash cords, glazing putties and window frames including the necessary external painting and decoration.
- Internal walls, skirting boards, doors and door frames, hinges, locks, door jambs, thresholds, letter boxes, door handles, floors (but not actual floor coverings unless we have supplied a water resistant covering, and this has worn out or been damaged by the refitting of your kitchen) ceilings, plasterwork (but not internal painting and decorating, except in some sheltered and supported housing schemes).
- Drains, gutters and external pipes, chimneys, chimney stacks and flues but not including sweeping.
- Pathways, steps or other means of access. Please note that we are not responsible for removing ice or snow during periods of bad weather. Where there is an on-site Caretaker, any blocked paths which are our responsibility will be cleared as much as is practically possible.
- Garages and stores in our ownership.
Keeping in good repair and proper working order the installations we own for the supply of water, gas and electricity, for sanitation and for space and water heating.
These include (but are not limited to):
- basins, sinks, baths, toilets, flushing systems and waste pipes.
- electrical wiring, including sockets and switches, gas and water pipes, and taps.
- starter mechanisms for fluorescent light fittings (but not the tubes).
- water and space heaters, fireplaces, fitted fires and central heating installations.
Maintaining in a safe condition all boundary walls and fences, provided by Orwell, making sure that they do not become a nuisance or annoyance or cause damage or inconvenience to you, members of your household or visitors, or to the tenants or occupiers of neighbouring property.
In the case of flats and maisonettes, taking reasonable care to keep common entrances, halls, stairways, lifts, passage- ways, and any other common parts in reasonable repair and safe and fit for use by the tenant, members of their household or visitors. This includes a duty to take reasonable care to keep the lighting of common parts, door entry systems, and warden call alarm systems in working order.
Keeping the exterior of its properties in a reasonable state of decoration and normally to decorate these areas once every four to six years depending on the rate of deterioration. Decoration of common parts, is carried out on an ‘as and when’ basis.
You should not paint or redecorate the outside of your home without Orwell’s permission. If an incorrect finish is applied this may shorten the lifespan of the woodwork and will only have to be removed.
What you as the Resident are responsible for
You are responsible for the upkeep of your home. This includes:
- Fitting of TV aerials and satellite dishes (where not provided by Orwell). If you are thinking of installing satellite TV, you must first seek written permission from Orwell, and in the cases of flats you may also require planning permission. We will reserve the right to specify the location of satellite dishes on any of our properties. If you erect a dish without permission, we reserve the right to have it removed and re-charge the cost to you.
- Minor cracks to plaster (except in some sheltered and supported housing schemes).
- Adapting doors to accommodate carpets.
- Internal decoration (except in some sheltered and supported housing schemes).
- Fitting extra catches and safety devices except window restrictors (except in sheltered housing schemes).
- Replacing locks or keys which have been lost. If you have a mortice lock we will re-charge you for the cost of replacing it, which at the time of going to press, is approximately £42.00. There is no charge for replacing a core on a lock, but you will be recharged for keys which currently cost £6.92 each. If you require any additional keys, please contact us and we will order them for you upon receipt of payment. However, if your home has been burgled and the lock broken, Orwell will replace the lock without charge. (These costs are correct at the time of going to press. We reserve the right to alter the amounts charged if costs change).
- Minor gaps between skirting and floors which are capable of being filled by you whilst decorating (except in sheltered and supported housing schemes).
- External and internal window cleaning (except sheltered and supported housing schemes, where external window cleaning is covered by service charge.)
- Plumbing-in and maintaining washing machines or dishwashers.
- Plugs and chains on sinks, baths and basins, (except in sheltered housing Schemes).
- Toilet seats (except in sheltered and supported housing schemes).
- Bathroom cabinets, towel rails, toilet roll holders.
- Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes (fluorescent tubes are provided by Orwell in sheltered housing schemes).
- Changing of domestic fuses (except sheltered and supported housing schemes). For advice, please contact Customer Services.
- Maintenance of any fittings and appliances not provided by Orwell.
- The bleeding of radiators (except in sheltered and supported housing schemes) – when you switch the central heating system on for the first time in winter, please check that the radiator valve is fully turned on and that some radiators may contain air that needs discharging using a radiator key to bleed them.
Some systems that are powered by combination boilers require a certain amount of air pressure to remain efficient – therefore in no circumstances should you bleed radiators in these systems. If you’re unsure please contact Customer Services.
You will be forewarned if such a system exists or is installed in your home. If you fail to take heed of this warning and the system is damaged as a result, you may be charged the cost of repair or replacement.
- External and internal glazing (unless landlord’s responsibility under fire regulations, e.g. fire doors).
- Curtain rails.
- Tidy dryers, washing lines and rotary dryers (unless communal or in sheltered and supported housing schemes).
- Shelving, coat and hat rails.
- Provision/replacement of dustbins/wheelie bins, unless otherwise specified by Orwell. Some local Councils supply these to each household and most councils are changing over to a dual or triple bin system for recycling. If you are not sure, contact your local Council for advice.
- Disinfestation within the premises (it is worth contacting the local council to see if they are able to assist).
- Bell batteries and bulbs.
- Smoke & Carbon monoxide detector batteries and testing.
- Hedge/lawn cutting and maintenance of private gardens, including private fences, sheds and garages. Please note that the terms of your tenancy agreement requires you to maintain your garden in reasonable order.
- Rubbish clearance and cleaning of private areas.
- Cleaning of common parts except where specified as part of service charge.
- Floor coverings (except in kitchens and bathrooms where Orwell has supplied a water resistant covering – this will be replaced if your kitchen has been refitted or the floor covering is worn out). Please note damage caused by you is your responsibility, e.g. in moving appliances.
- Filters to extractor fans.
- Telephone and TV connections.
- Blocked WC/waste pipes. We can unblock WCs and pipes for you but we will recover the cost of doing so from you – normally before the work is carried out. Please see the scale of charges for rechargeable items.
- Water butts are gifted to the property during the development. All future repairs and replacements are tenant responsibility.
In addition to the above you are responsible for the cost of any repair required as a result of your neglect or misuse. If we undertake this repair we will recharge you for the work undertaken.
If your home is damaged by a third party you must report it to the Police and request a crime number before reporting it to Repairs at 0345 60 100 30 otherwise we may charge you for the repair.
If a pigeon has fallen down your chimney, here are some steps you can take to remove it:
- Stay calm and avoid creating a disturbance. Pigeons are generally harmless and will try to find their way out on their own.
- Close all the doors in the room to stop the pigeon from entering other areas of your home.
- Create an exit route by opening any windows or doors that lead outside. This will provide the pigeon with an alternative escape route.
- Dim the lights in the room to make it less attractive for the pigeon to stay and encourage it to move towards the open exit.
- If the pigeon does not find its way out on its own, you can try to gently guide it towards the open exit using a broom or a long object. Be careful not to harm the bird or cause it unnecessary stress.
- If the pigeon remains trapped and you are unable to safely remove it, consider contacting a professional wildlife removal service or a local animal control agency for assistance. They will have the necessary expertise and equipment to safely remove the bird from your chimney.
Resident Recharges – Scale of Charges
These were last updated June 2020 – The prices are reviewed regularly.
Out of hours board up £65.75
Office hours board up £40.00
Double glazed unit £90.00
Single glazed unit £42.00
Out of hours £68.00
Office hours £42.00
Blocked toilet £33.00
Blocked sink £22.00
Blocked shower/bath £33.00
Washing machine blocked £22.00
Electric test: tenant damage £75.00
Replace broken basin £88.00
Replace broken WC pan £88.00
Replace internal door £88.00
Replace front door/rear door £520.00
Replace Fire Door £141.00
Replace Composite Timber £140.00
Damage to cables £30.00
Aborted call-out charge £22.00
Insurance claim £150.00
Out of hours charge rates
- Between 1700 - 2300 £46.20 (All additional hours £23.10)
- Between 2300 - 0800 £56.00 (All additional hours £28.00)
Where the actions of the resident, members of their household or their visitor(s) result in the Association considering making a building insurance claim the tenant will be liable for contribution of £150 towards the associations costs.
Please note that we reserve the right to alter the scale of charges. For any re-chargeable repair we will request an up front payment either in cash or paid by credit/debit card, prior to the repair being ordered. In certain circumstances, an arrangement to pay the charge in instalments may be possible, but the tenant must pay something on account.
Where the actions of the tenant, members of their household or their visitor(s) result in the Association considering making a building insurance claim the tenant will be liable for contribution of £150 towards the associations costs.
If you experience power failure you will need to do the following, depending on the type of consumer box that you have:
- Check the consumer unit, the location of which will have been advised by your Housing Officer.
- a) Reset trip switches as necessary. b) Replace cartridge fuse.
If you are unsure of what to do please contact us.
We encourage you to take out Home Contents Insurance for your personal belongings. Our insurance will not cover your personal possessions unless the damage or loss was caused by us.
If you wish to know more, please contact your Housing Officer.