Repairs and maintenance

Repairs and maintenance

Asking for ID

You should always ask for identification of anyone who calls to your home. Anyone from Gentoo, including contractors, will carry photographic ID and will have no objectification if you ask to see ID, ask their name and job title and the reason they have called.

We have a responsibility to maintain your home to a safe and suitable standard. In order to do this, it is vital that we deliver both a planned and responsive approach to Repairs and Maintenance.

To ensure your home is repaired and maintained, giving you a safe place to live. We will:

  • Diagnose your repair and respond within an appropriate timescale
  • Provide you with advice, support and guidance to enable you to maintain your home
  • We will carry out the safety checks required by law to keep you and your home safe

To provide a good quality home that meets your needs and ensures your neighbourhood has a long-term sustainable future, we will:

  • Ensure your home has no health and safety hazards
  • Strive to ensure your home meets the Decent Homes Standard
  • Replace major components - kitchens, bathrooms, roofs etc. which are old and in poor condition

We are working towards:

  • Completing all repairs right first time
  • Keeping you informed of the progress of your repair and your repair appointments using all available technology
  • Publishing our Investment Plan on our website.

Prioritising repairs helps us to respond within an appropriate timescale depending on the nature or urgency of your repair. We prioritise repairs taking in to consideration any customer vulnerabilities if the nature of your vulnerability means the repair has serious implications on the health safety and wellbeing of our customers.

Emergency Repairs – 24 hours
This is repair work that presents an immediate risk to your health and safety or the fabric of your property. The service is designed to ‘make safe’ so we may not fully complete the repair out of hours unless it is cost effective to do so.

If you need to report an emergency repair outside of office opening times call your local office. Please note this service is strictly for emergency repairs.

Urgent Repairs – 7 calendar days

This is repair work that is not an emergency, but needs completing in order to prevent damage to your property. This type of repair will help overcome serious inconvenience and prevent possible health and safety risks.

Routine Repairs – 28 calendar days

This is repair work that needs attention, but can be carried out at a mutually agreed time. These types of repairs do not pose a threat to your health, safety or risk to the fabric of your home.

Planned Repairs – 180 Calendar days

These are larger and more complicated repairs that are batched by area and carried out in a planned way. For example roofing, brickwork, guttering or kitchen replacements. Doing these repairs in this way ensures we achieve value for money. These type of repairs pose no immediate risk to health and safety or the fabric of your home.

In addition, as a landlord we have a legal responsibility to carry out certain checks in our properties and buildings. For example annual gas safety checks, electrical safety checks or quarterly fire alarm testing. You must allow us access to your home to carry out these important checks. If you need to book your gas service or electrical testing appointment please contact 0800 5877 809.

Right to Repair Scheme

Some tenants have the Right to Repair

The Tenant’s Right to Repair Scheme ensures that repairs are carried out quickly if they affect your health, safety and security.

If qualifying repairs are not carried out within the time periods we have set, you can ask us to give the work to another contractor.  If the second contractor fails to complete the repair within the second time period we have set, you may be entitled to compensation of £10.  We will then pay further amounts of £2 a day for each day the repair is not completed. The most we will pay as compensation under the Tenant’s Right to Repair scheme is £50.

You must not employ your own contractor to carry out the work and then send the bill to us.  We carry out all repairs to properties.

If you have an enquiry regarding your potential Right to Repair, contact your Neighbourhood Coordinator. 

 

Chargeable repairs

Whilst most of our customers take great pride in their homes,  there are occasions when we are asked to carry out repairs that have been caused either deliberately or through lack of care. Responsible customers should not have to pay for the cost of these repairs through the rent they pay. Our Chargeable Repairs Policy means the vast majority of customers who look after their homes are not penalised by paying an inflated rent that includes the cost of other customers’ chargeable repairs.

Customers will be charged for any damage to their home which has not been caused by fair wear and tear, but where it has occurred through wilful neglect, misuse, malicious damage, lack of care, or repetitive damage by the customer. This will also include if other household members or legitimate visitors to the property have caused the damage and applies where the customer has not taken reasonable steps to prevent the damage being caused.

We will also charge for certain repair items which fall outside our responsibility as a landlord. In addition, we will charge customers who misuse the Out of Hours Emergency Repairs Service or leave refuse, furniture or personal belongings in our properties when they leave.

Examples of when we will charge for a repair are when:

  • Damage is due to willful neglect or misuse
  • Damage is malicious or accidental
  • Damage is due to a lack of care, or is repetitive damage caused by you, other household members, or visitors to the property
  • You leave your home in an unacceptable condition when you end your tenancy
  • Misuse of the emergency/out of hours repairs service

You are also responsible for replacement locks, electronic fobs, communal keys and extra keys for your home. We will tell you if you have to pay for a repair when you report it or when the trades person does the repair.

We will let you know how much it will cost and in some cases you will be asked to pay in advance.

A chargeable repair is defined as repairs that have been caused by misuse or willful damage rather than
general wear or tear.

You will be charged for the following repairs:
• Damage resulting from malicious damage or vandalism
• The removal of refuse, furniture or personal belongings
• The misuse of the emergency out-of-hours service
• Lost or accidental damage to keys and/or fobs

We recommend that you take out home contents insurance which will cover you for accidental damage.

Leaseholders

What repairs will we carry out?

As part of our commitment to you, we will repair and maintain the structure, outside and shared areas of your building. This includes the roof, gutters, fascias, shared doors and walls.

What repairs are you responsible for?

It is up to you to do your bit, too. So we ask that you take responsibility for maintaining and repairing the inside of your property. This may also include window frames, front doors and door frames depending on your individual lease.  You’ll also need to check pipes, cables and any water tanks that serve your flat.

Documents 

Residential Management Policy 

Leaseholder handbook

 

It is your responsibility to take steps to deal with condensation. Condensation occurs when warm air meets a cold
surface. You can reduce the problems caused by condensation and dampness by following the advice below:
• Wipe down the windows and cills every morning
• Never block air bricks or vents in your walls, doors and windows
• When taking a bath or shower provide ventilation by opening a window or make use of an extractor fan if fitted
• When cooking in the kitchen keep the door closed but open a window for the steam to escape. If you have
no windows the extractor fan should be left to run for a while
• Ensure radiators are free from obstructions such as beds and other furniture
• Reduce the amount of moisture in the air by not drying clothes directly on radiators or storage heaters
• If you have an extractor fan fitted then please use it
• To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash that carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number

Damp happens when a fault in the basic structure of the building lets in water from the outside. The usual signs are mould, a musty smell and wet patches on the walls or ceilings after rain. If you think your home may have damp, please contact our Repairs Team who will arrange for a Technical Inspector to call at your home, look at the problem and arrange any necessary repair work.

If you have an infestation of pests in your home such as mice, rats, wasps, you must contact Sunderland City Council who have the expertise and equipment to deal with such issues. Please note there is a cost for this service.