Housing Repairs and Maintenance

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ID: 3592, revised 04/06/2018

Council House Repairs & Maintenance

There are over 5,600 Council Owned properties in Pembrokeshire. These properties achieved the Welsh Housing Quality Standard in 2012. There is an on-going maintenance programme in place to make sure that houses remain at this standard.

What work can I expect to see on my property?

There are two on-going work programmes. 

Cyclical Repairs- Which is a 5 year rolling programme of painting and external maintenance on all properties.

Capital Repairs- The capital repairs programme is set out in the HRA Business Plan, this identifies the councils programme of repairs and budget requirements for the next 30 years. The programme includes replacement and upgrading of the following components when they come to the end of their life cycles.

  • Kitchens
  • Roofs
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Central heating
  • Electrical Rewiring
  • Internal Improvements
  • Damp-proofing
  • Structural Upgrades

Other Capital Funded Work- In addition to the above programmes, capital schemes also take place to improve and maintain council estates, estate car-parking, and undertake disabled adaptation work, upgrade sheltered housing schemes, highway adoptions and sewer works.

In addition we plan to increase housing stock by aquiring / building properties at the WHQS standard.

In 2017-18 £1.5m is earmarked for this purpose.

How will this work be funded?

Cyclical Repairs - In 2016-17 £5.8m was spent on the cyclical and responsive repairs programme, this was funded by Council House rent income. In 2017-18 it is estimated that the programme cost will cost £6.0m.

Void repairs

In 2016-17 £2.0m was spent on bringing void properties back to a lettable standard. In 2017-18 this is estimated to cost £1.8m

Capital Programme - In 2016-17 the capital repairs programme cost £6.7m, this was funded by combination of income streams.

  • Each year Pembrokeshire Council receives a capital grant from the Welsh Government. In 2016-17 the Major Repairs Allowance Grant (MRA) received was £3.98m. 
  • Council House Rent.
  • Income from the sale of Council houses and land.
  • Borrowed money (prudential borrowing) may also be used to fund work programmes.

In 2017-18 the approved capital repairs programme budget is £7.3m. The approved Welsh Government MRA Grant for the year is £3.968m.

 

ID: 1840, revised 04/06/2018

Repairs

1. What can I expect from the Council’s repair service?
2. What is the Council responsible for repairing in my home?
3. What day to day repairs am I responsible for in my home?
4. How do I report a repair to the Council?
5. Is there anything I need to do before reporting a repair?
6. What will happen when I have reported a repair?
7. What happens if I, or a visitor to my home, damage any fixtures or fittings?

Keeping homes in a good state of repair is a two way responsibility between the Council and our customers. Please remember that the property you occupy will be available for future lettings when your tenancy ends.

You have a responsibility to occupy it in such a way as to keep maintenance costs down to a minimum.

Please report repairs to the Council as soon as you find or notice any problems.

1. What can I expect from the Council’s repair service?

Our 10 Promises to you – We will:

  • Ensure that your belongings are removed from the work area before starting work
  • Remove waste materials and tools not in use whilst working to prevent any damage to your property and to ensure your safety
  • Clear up all our tools and equipment when work is finished and clean up the work area
  • Use dust sheets at all times to protect your belongings
  • Not smoke in your home
  • Explain the nature of the repair we have come to address
  • Explain the operating procedure for new or replaced equipment when installed
  • Wear and show our identity badge at all times when working
  • Be polite and courteous at all times and tell you what we are doing and why
  • Work within trade safety standards at all times

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2. What is the Council responsible for repairing in my home?

External

  • Roof
  • Chimney (not including sweeping)
  • Gutters and rainwater goods
  • Walls
  • Outside doors and frames
  • Windows
  • Painting

Internal

  • Fitted cupboards
  • Ceilings
  • Walls (not including decoration)

Other external parts

  • Steps and paths
  • Drainage
  • Boundary walls
  • Garages and outhouses (if constructed by the Council)

The Council is responsible for some services & fittings in your home, these include:-

  • Electrical fittings and wiring (if supplied by the Council)
  • Gas installations (if supplied or agreed to be maintained by the Council)
  • Heating appliances (if supplied by the Council)
  • Plumbing installations (but not blocked sinks)

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3. What day to day repairs am I responsible for in my home?

  • Glass - All glazing is the responsibility of the tenant. If any glass is broken, even if it is by accident, it is your responsibility to get it replaced. The Council will only replace glass if the damage was caused by criminal activity, the matter has been reported to the Police and a crime reference obtained.
  • Security - Key and locks, unless the Council agrees to replace due to fair wear and tear
  • Sanitary installations
  • Plugs and Chains to sinks, baths & basins*
  • Blocked internal pipes and traps
  • Toilet seats and covers*
  • Electrical installations
  • Sockets, switches, fuses, all fittings and appliances if not provided as standard by the Council
  • Renewal of fuses
  • Solid fuel fires
  • Cleaning ash pans and throat plates
  • Internal fittings e.g. easing internal doors, curtain rails, light bulbs, fluorescent tubes and starters, roller blinds, shelving, locks, hinges, hooks, etc
  • Internal Decoration
  • Wall and Floor Tiles*
  • External fittings  e.g. rotary driers and clothes lines
  • Fencing between gardens*
  • Garden paths and garden sheds

*materials may be available for the identified items at the discretion of the Council.

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4. How do I report a repair to the Council?

• Phone Housing Repairs on 0800 085 6622 or our Contact Centre on 01437 764551 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

• Call in at a Customer Services Centre located at Haverfordwest, Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven and Fishguard, or Neyland

• E-mail building.maintenance@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

• Write to Pembrokeshire County Council, Maintenance Department, Unit 23, Thornton Industrial Trading Estate, Milford Haven, SA73 2RR

Out of hours emergencies can be reported by phoning 01437 775522

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5. Is there anything I need to do before reporting a repair?

Please follow these guidelines:

  • Check the table above (what day to day repairs am I responsible for?) to make sure that you are not responsible for carrying out the repair.
  • Make sure that you have your contact details before calling
  • Know when you will be available for us to call and carry out the repair
  • Have as much detail as possible about the repair – the more we know about the problem the quicker we can order it – we may not even have to inspect it first.

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6. What will happen when I have reported a repair?

After finding out when you are available to carry out the repair, the Council will place it into one of the following three categories.

Category

Example

Target Time


Emergency Repairs

These are initial repairs to make safe and repair where there is a risk of danger to persons and/or serious damage to the property


Burst water pipes, total electrical failure, gas faults, severe roof leak.
Note: Tenants are expected to know the location of the Water Stopcock, Gas Meter and Electrical Fuse Box so that in an emergency you can isolate these services.


24 hours


Urgent Repairs

There are essential/urgent works which do NOT cause an immediate risk to persons or property.



Faulty hot water, electrical faults, storm damage, leaking pipes.


9 days


Routine Repairs

General day to day repair work which is NOT Emergency or Urgent.


Renewing a skirting board, fitting new doors on a kitchen unit, repairing faulty water taps.


35 days


The Repair procedure

If a repair is straightforward an order will be placed immediately.

In some cases it will be necessary for an inspection to be carried out to gather more detail about what is needed before an order is placed.

If you are out when either a housing officer or a workman calls, a card will be left advising when a further visit will be made or giving instructions on how to arrange a date to suit yourself. If no response is received within 7 days the repair request will be cancelled.

If a call is made and the problem is found to be as a result of work carried out by persons other than the Council or its representatives, e.g. defective plumbing or washing machines, a charge will be made for the work.

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7. What happens if I, or a visitor to my home, damage any fixtures or fittings?

Repairs which are needed in your home because of deliberate or persistent accidental damage, caused by yourself, a member of your household or a visitor to your home may be designated as a ‘re-chargeable repair’. This includes replacing locks if you loose your keys or repairing damage to fixtures or fittings like doors or windows. You will either need to carry out these repairs yourself at your own cost or you can ask the Council to carry out the work at your expense. The Council will ask for this payment before any work is carried out.

Damage caused as a result of vandalism

If damage is caused to your property as a result of vandalism please contact the police and get an incident number before you report the repair to the Council.

ID: 1841, revised 16/01/2018

Planned Maintenance

In order to provide the most effective and economic service, the Council deals with the majority of housing repairs on a 'planned maintenance' basis. This means that certain repairs will be carried out on a 5 year cyclical programme, at periods decided by the Council without the need for you to report them. The aim is to replace or renew elements of your home, which are coming to the end of their useful life.

You will be advised individually when planned repairs are due to take place in your home.

What do programmed repairs include?

  • repairs prior to external painting e.g. fascias, external doors and windows
  • external painting
  • chimney rebuilding
  • window replacements, boundary wall rebuilding

For further information please contact:

Peter Nicholas, Operations Manager
Tel: 01437 775921
Email: peter.nicholas@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

ID: 1852, revised 19/01/2018

Home Improvements

What if I want to carry out improvements to my home?

Your tenancy agreement gives you the right to make your own improvements to your Council home as long as you get our written agreement first.

We welcome people making their own improvements, and only say ‘no’ if there is a good reason – if the work would affect your neighbours, or be unsafe for example.

Do I need permission to carry out improvements from the Council?

Should the Council discover that work has been carried out to a home without permission; the Council has the authority to ask you to change the premises back to its original condition. Alternatively the Council may ask you to carry out further work until it meets the required standard. If you are unable to carry out this work the Council will carry it out and charge you the cost of doing so.

So please don’t start work until you have got the permission you need – you could end up having to put it all back again!

If you would like to carry out any home improvements please complete an application to undertake alterations/improvements to a Council property form, or phone the Contact Centre on 01437 764551 to request a copy

Compensation for improvements carried out by you

At the end of your tenancy, you may be able to get compensation for certain improvements you may have made to your home. A list of qualifying improvements can be provided by Pembrokeshire County Council Housing Department.

Compensation is only payable at the end of a tenancy. The amount will be based on the original cost and expected “life” of the improvement. However, certain conditions apply and you should contact Pembrokeshire County Council Housing Department for further information 01437 764551.

Improvements carried out by the Council

When improvements are due to take place adequate notice will be given by the Council before we begin work on your home. If any work damages decoration inside, you will be compensated accordingly or the Council will repair the damage.

In some instances the Council may have to move you out of your home for a short while if a large amount of work needs doing i.e. modernisation and refurbishment of homes. We will provide you and your household with another suitable property until the work is complete and you will be compensated for the disturbance caused.

Throughout major works, we will consult with you and keep you informed on progress and work carried out.

Further information on this document can be received from Pembrokeshire County Council Housing Department.

For further information please contact:

Andrew Hugman
Tel: 01437 775609
Email: tenants.alterations@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

ID: 1830, revised 16/01/2018

Welsh Housing Quality Standard

Major Works – Capital Programme

Each year Pembrokeshire County Council carries out major works for improvement of Council homes. In recent years some of our improvements have included:

  • Full external modernisation and refurbishment to houses
  • Window replacements
  • Kitchen refurbishment’s / upgrades
  • Upgrading of existing central heating systems and boilers
  • Electrical rewiring

Pembrokeshire County Council is dedicated to continuing to improve the condition of Council homes.

Work carried out through planned repairs and the capital programme now follow requirements set out by the Welsh Assembly Government. These requirements are called the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS).

What is the Welsh Housing Quality Standard?

The Welsh Housing Quality Standards are guidelines laid out by the Welsh Assembly Government. The WHQS states that all Council properties must be:

  • In a good state of repair
  • Safe and secure
  • Adequately heated, fuel efficient and well insulated
  • Contain up to date kitchen and bathrooms
  • Located in an attractive environment
  • Suit the specific needs of the household

The Council is committed to continuing to ensure all of its houses meet the required standard.

What has the Council done towards achieving the Welsh Housing Quality Standard?

The Welsh Assembly Government asked all Local Authorities in Wales to put together a programme of work to show how they are planning on meeting the standard. They also asked for business plans which show how the Council will budget for carrying out the work asked for by the standard.

In 2002, independent surveyors carried out a condition survey of our houses. Following this a business plan was put together to confirm how the Council was to bring its homes up to the required standard by 2012.

The Council has carried out the work required to meet the standard, such as fitting gas central heating, showers, new kitchens to properties and external improvements. Homes are continually being improved with those in the highest need being given priority.

Visit Welsh Housing Quality Standard to find out more about the Welsh Housing Quality Standard

For further information please contact:

Peter Nicholas
Tel: 01437 775921
Email: peter.nicholas@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

ID: 1842, revised 16/01/2018