Repairs and maintenance
Reporting a repair
If your home needs a repair, please call the 24-hour repairs number on 0800 040 7989. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if the repair is not urgent, or complete the online form here.
If you live in Retirement Housing you can report the repair directly to your Scheme Manager. Please give us plenty of detail about the repair work required.
What repairs are Origin Housing responsible for?
We have responsibility for repairs to the:
Interior of your home
Origin is responsible for internal repairs to the following due to natural wear and tear but not through misuse:
- Walls and plasterwork;
- Skirting boards;
- Floors and ceilings;
- Doors, fittings and door frames.
Exterior of your home
- Drains, gutters and outside walls;
- Roofs and chimneys;
- Doors and windows, paths and steps;
- Walls, fences and gates, erected and owned by Origin.
Systems providing gas, electricity and water in your home, including:
- Water heaters, fitted fires, electric or storage heaters and central heating systems;
- Electrical wires, sockets and switches;
- Internal pipes, baths, sinks, basins, toilets and showers, but only where installed by Origin;
- Other appliances, which we own, and install (such as communal television aerials).
Communal areas and facilities, including:
- Shared entrances, halls, stairs and passages;
- Playgrounds, parking areas and any other outside shared areas;
- Lifts, rubbish chutes and entry phone systems;
- Painting the inside and outside of shared areas.
What repairs are you responsible for?
You are responsible for the following:
- Internal painting and decorating of your home (unless you live in some retirement housing);
- Clearing blocked drains, WC’s and wastepipes that are blocked through negligence, i.e. because of nappies, sanitary towels and other refuse;
- Repairing damage caused by overflows from baths, sinks, basins and appliances;
- Renewing heating appliances (central heating, gas fires etc) installed by you unless otherwise agreed by Origin;
- Setting heating controls and relighting boilers;
- Light bulbs, fuses, starter motors for strip lights, plugs for baths, sinks and basins;
- Keeping airbricks and ventilators clear;
- Sweeping chimneys (if you have a coal fire);
- Treating general household pests (see later information on Household pests);
- Renewing door locks when keys are lost;
- Damage due to forced entry;
- Adding locks for security purposes;
- General maintenance of locks and hinges;
- Reglazing windows or other glass that you have damaged;
- Maintaining private gardens;
- Clearing rubbish from private gardens and balconies.
If any of these jobs are difficult for you to do because of your age or disability and you have no-one to help you, please call the Contact Centre on 0800 783 7903 as we may be able to help.
We receive a very large number of repair requests. To help us deal with repairs in a fair manner, we deal with repairs according to their urgency.
Emergency repairs are repairs that are needed to avoid immediate danger to health, safety or buildings. If a repair is an emergency we will respond and make safe within 4hrs wherever possible and aim to fix minor repairs at this visit.
Emergency repairs include:
- Serious floods and leaks that cannot be turned off;
- Loss of cold water;
- Lifts breaking down;
- Total loss of electricity supply where this relates to services within your property (not blown fuses, tripped circuit breakers or power cuts). General power loss will be the responsibility of electricity company;
- A blocked toilet (if there is only one toilet in your home);
- Total building heating or hot water failure in winter when older people or children under 2 are at risk;
- Serious storm, accident or flood damage;
- Threatened or actual collapse of part of the building;
- Removal of offensive (including racist) graffiti;
- Door and window repairs where there is a security risk (e.g. after a break in). In such cases the matter must be reported to the police and a crime number (CAD number) obtained;
- Door entry systems in retirement housing where security is seriously reduced;
- Fire alarm and emergency call systems.
If we cannot complete an emergency repair within the agreed time we will make sure that your home is safe and that essential services are restored.
If scaffolding is needed, or if weather conditions prevent immediate action, work will be undertaken at the earliest opportunity, and temporary remedial action taken where possible.
All other repairs are classed as routine and will be carried out within 31 calendar days. However, we aim to complete all repairs within an average of 10 days.
This will mean that some repairs will take longer e.g. where parts have to be ordered. Very occasionally repairs may take longer than 31 days because of problems beyond our control. The contractor employed to carry out your repair will advise you if there are likely to be any delays.
What happens after you report a repair?
Our ability to carry out repairs speedily depends on having access to your home. Wherever possible we will arrange an appointment with you. If the contractor employed by Origin Housing breaks that appointment please let us know straight away so that we can deal with the matter.
If you find you can’t keep an allocated appointment please phone the Call Centre staff on the freephone repair number as soon as possible and they will be able to rearrange another suitable time.
Because our contractors may charge us for appointments that you fail to keep, we may have to pass them on to you.
Getting the work done
All Origin Housing staff and contractors carry an identity card including their photograph. Please ask to see it before you let them into your home.
When the contractor has carried out the repair, they will clear up any mess and put back any fixtures and fittings that they have moved. If the contractor cannot finish the work within the time limit, they should tell you when they will return to finish the job. Our contractors will only carry out repairs we have told them to do.
We may ask you about the performance of our contractors so that we can monitor and improve the service we provide.
Code of conduct of repairs for staff and contractors
We have a code of conduct, which requires anybody working in your home to respect you, the property and your possessions.
Unhappy with the work?
If you are unhappy with a repair carried out on your home, speak to the Call Centre staff who will investigate your complaint. If you have access to the Internet, there are also forms which you can fill in and e mail regarding any complaint or compliment.
Damage to your home and repairs recharged to tenants
If you, your family, visitors or pets damage any part of your home through accident, neglect, carelessness or misuse, you must repair it at your own expense.
If Origin carries out any repair for which you as a tenant are liable, we will charge for the cost of that work plus an administration charge. The minimum charge will be £100 plus VAT. It may be cheaper for you to arrange the repair yourself, except gas appliances, which must only be repaired by Origin’s qualified contractors.
It is very important that you have household contents insurance. Origin Housing cannot claim on their policy for damage to your possessions unless the Association has been negligent.
Damage through flooding from another property, or a blocked drain for example will not be paid by the Association and should be claimed on your own policy. The Association can assist with information about affordable household insurance providers and details are available from the Call Centre on 0800 040 7989.
If your home is broken into and suffers damage to its structure which we are responsible for (as above) we will repair it. You must first report this criminal damage to the police and obtain a police crime report number (CAD number).
The Right to Repair
The Right to Repair is a scheme for social housing tenants. It will make sure that certain small urgent repairs which might affect your health, safety or security, are done quickly and easily. Origin Housing are bound by law to carry out these repairs within a certain time.
If Origin Housing doesn't do your repair in time, you can request us to use another contractor instead. If the second contractor doesn't do the repair in time, Origin Housing will pay you compensation and tell you what repairs come under the new scheme and how long it has to carry them out. Repair times depend on the type of repair.
If your home is connected to a cable or satellite television system, any repairs or reception problems should be reported directly to the company supplying the service.
Caretakers and Communal Areas
If you have a caretaker, they are responsible for things like:
- Cleaning estate roads, bin areas and courtyards on a regular basis;
- Cleaning out surface gullies and gutters;
- Replacing easily accessible broken light bulbs;
- Delivering rubbish sacks (except where paladin bins are provided).
Caretakers’ responsibilities vary from estate to estate. Call the Estate Officer on 0800 040 to find out what the caretaking services are where you live.
If the service charge for your home includes the cost of cleaning communal areas, it is still your responsibility to dispose of your rubbish in the bins provided.
Disposing of large unwanted items
Please keep communal areas tidy. Most local authorities will arrange to remove any bulky items you may have and their phone numbers are available from our staff. If you dump rubbish on your estate and we have to pay for its removal please bear in mind that this cost will increase your service charge.
We are responsible for the treatment of pests such as rats, mice and cockroaches where more than one property is affected. It is your responsibility to treat infestations e.g. moths, ants, carpet beetles.
Condensation occurs when moisture in the air meets a cold surface and is deposited on that surface. It sometimes results in the growth of mould or a musty smell and can cause damage to walls, clothing, bedding and decorated surfaces. You can treat the mould by washing affected surfaces and materials with an appropriate cleaning solution.
The following precautions should be taken to prevent condensation and mould from returning:
- Keep all rooms well ventilated;
- Keep bathrooms and kitchen doors shut;
- Keep lids on pans when cooking;
- Do not use Calor Gas or paraffin heaters;
- Do not dry clothes on radiators;
- If you have a tumble dryer make sure it is vented to the outside.
If you are taking these precautions but can’t get rid of condensation, contact the Call Centre for advice.
Long Term Maintenance and Improvements
Origin Housing has a number of maintenance and improvement programmes, including lift servicing and communal area decorations.
It is a legal requirement to carry out this check on an annual basis, under Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1998.
- Failure to allow access to our Gas Contractors may result in legal action.
- The annual gas safety check is a service that we carry out as part of our annual service, to make sure your home is safe to live in.
- If you smell gas you must contact National Grid immediately on 0800 111 999.
Planned Maintenance and major repairs
Works and repairs are usually planned well in advance or on annual contract.
Planned maintenance and major repairs includes things like:
- Lift servicing, refurbishment or replacement;
- Fire safety;
- Cyclical decoration – such as painting;
- Rain water goods repair/replacement;
- Window replacement programmes;
- Kitchen and bathroom replacement programmes;
- Roof covering renewal.
If your block is included in a programme of work, a consultation will be carried out to inform you well in advance about our plans and give you plenty of notice before our contractors begin work.
Health & Safety
Please contact Customer Services on 0800 040 7989 if you discover in your block or neighbourhood:
- An act of arson;
- Unauthorised building work;
- Spillage of materials or liquids in the communal area;
- Any serious health and safety matter which may affect you and others in your block / estate.
Origin’s Health and Safety officer will investigate these reports.