Repairs and Maintenance Policy

Approved by the Exec Team: 15th March 2021
Approved by the Board: 14th April 2021
Implemented on: 6th June 2021
Review Date: June 2024
Service Area: Property Services
Policy owner: Assistant Director -Property services

1. Purpose

1.1 Mount Green will endeavour to provide excellent services and work closely with our residents to provide homes, estates, and neighbourhoods that we are all proud of.

1.2 This policy sets out our approach for the delivery of day-to-day responsive repair services. Our repair service is one of the most important functions provided and is linked to our planned and cyclical maintenance program, all of which ensure our stock is well maintained, safe and meets the needs of our residents. In delivering our Responsive Repairs service we will support the aims
of our Asset Management Strategy.

1.3 We will work in partnership with our residents to continuously improve and shape the service to meet your requirements. Resident feedback is highly welcomed and collectively we will find ways to improve.

1.4 This policy applies to all residents. Please refer to your tenancy, lease, or handbook for specific information.

2. Scope and Standards

2.1 In delivering this policy we will aim to:

  • Deliver a value for money responsive repairs service that meets the needs of our residents.
  • Comply with all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements and meet our contractual and legal obligations.
  • Ensure that we maintain a safe and secure environment for our residents to live
  • Maintain high quality homes in a good state of repair.

2.2 Our objectives are to:

  • Provide a reliable responsive service.
  • Ensure the service is easily accessible through a range of different contact points.
  • Deliver repairs at a time to suit our residents.
  • Achieve high standards of customer care and satisfaction.
  • Ensure all are aware of responsibilities for repairs and the costs associated with these
  • Deliver ‘right first time’ repairs.
  • Carry out repairs in one visit where possible.
  • Ensure appointments are maintained at a convenient time for residents.
  • Achieve a high quality of completed work.
  • Offer choice of materials and finishes as appropriate.
  • Undertake only those repairs that are our responsibility.
  • Undertake timely repairs that ensure the upkeep of our assets.

2.3 To meet these standards homes must have modern facilities, be in a reasonable state of repair and be warm and weatherproof. We will therefore seek to replace and/or improve components and implement services to ensure properties continue to meet these standards when we undertake responsive repairs.

3. Legislative Context

3.1 Tenancy Agreement
Lease Agreement
Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
Environmental Protection Act 1990
The Secure Residents of Local Housing Authorities (Right to Repair)
Regulations 1994
Equalities Act 2010
Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
Housing Disrepair Legal Obligations – Good Practice Guide issued by the
Government in 2002.
Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018
Party Wall Act 1996

3.2

Our Repairs and Maintenance Policy should be read in conjunction with the following publications:

  • MGHA Aids and Adaptations Policy
  • MGHA Asbestos Policy
  • MGHA Gas Servicing Policy
  • MGHA Fire Safety Policy
  • MGHA Electrical Safety Policy
  • MGHA Lower (Passenger lifts) Policy
  • MGHA Water monitoring (L8) policy
  • MGHA Asset Management Strategy
  • MGHA Environmental Policy
  • MGHA Health and Safety Policy
  • MGHA Home Standard
  • MGHA Recharge Policy
  • MGHA Safeguarding Policy
  • MGHA Lone working policy
  • MGHA Residents’ Handbook

4. Definitions

4.1 Responsive Repair
‘Responsive repair’ is a term used to describe small scale day-to-day repairs that are reactive in nature, rather than planned or those included in longer term investment programs. It covers repairs that are needed to fix a single or multiple defect that should be carried out within a maximum of 20 working days. If the repair does not fit this description, it may be classed as either cyclical or planned works.

4.2 Cyclical maintenance
This is any maintenance and servicing that is carried out on a regular cycle of between 1 and 10 years. This can include external decorations and gutter clearance.

4.3 Planned Program
This covers any major and/or improvement works that are normally planned. This includes new kitchens, new bathrooms, new heating systems, replacement roofs, rewiring, new windows or any Decent Homes works.

4.4 Decent Homes
The Decent Homes Standard (DHS) is a target set by government for all social housing landlords. To be classed as a decent home, it must pass four tests:

  1. Meet statutory minimum standards for housing, currently defined by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System
  2. Be in a reasonable state of repair.
  3. Have reasonable modern facilities and services.
  4. Provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort.

4.5 Voids
Voids refer to our empty homes. The MGHA Voids Standard will apply to the extent and standard of work within voids. The Void standard can be accessed through the MGHA website

4.6 Defects
For newly built buildings, any repairs and maintenance required in the first year from completion are managed by the developer who constructed the building. This is known as the defect period.

5. Responsibilities

5.1 Mount Green are generally responsible for repairing and maintaining the structure and outside of the property and any shared parts of the building which the property is part of. This includes:

  • Keeping electrical wiring safe and in good working order
  • Maintaining and servicing all gas appliances fitted by us unless gifted to residents.
  • Ensuring your home is structurally sound and weatherproof.
  • Maintaining windows, drains, guttering, roof, and external pipes
  • Maintaining the plumbing of hot and cold water to your home
  • Ensuring and maintaining an adequate heating and ventilation system
  • Maintaining outside walls, outside doors, windowsills, soffits, fascia’s, window catches and window frames (not including internal painting and decoration)
  • Maintaining doors and door frames, door hinges and skirting boards (not including internal painting and decoration)
  • Maintaining garages and car ports
  • Maintaining boundary walls and fences
  • Maintaining installations for heating water
  • Maintaining kitchen fixtures and fittings
  • Plasterwork
  • Maintaining pathways and steps
  • Maintaining basins, sinks, baths, showers, toilets, flushing systems and waste pipes
  • Common entrances lifts, rubbish chutes and any other communal areas.

5.2 Residents’ Responsibilities

  • Our Tenancy Agreement sets out the contractual responsibilities for our residents.
  • Shared owners and leaseholders are responsible for all maintenance, repairs, and servicing within the property, excluding communal areas. (For more details and responsibilities, please refer to your lease)

    We expect our residents to;
  • Keep the inside of your home clean and in good condition.
  • Gardens should be maintained and clear of debris.
  • Communal areas should be clean and tidy and free from all items.
  • Minor repairs should be carried out as should all internal decorations.
  • Report repairs quickly to prevent on-going damage.
  • Meet the cost of repairs that are listed as your responsibility.
  • Providing access to your home for statutory gas and electrical inspections
  • Provide access, in accordance with Tenancy Agreement conditions so that repairs can be undertaken in accordance with priority timescales set.
  • Treat your property with respect and care, avoiding wilful damage and neglect.
  • Seek permission to make improvements and maintain those improvements

5.3 Specific resident repairs responsibility include.

  • Damage to internal doors and catches, including cupboards toilet seats, plugs and chains to sinks and baths, curtain rails and pelmets.
  • Minor repairs to doors and drawers to kitchen units
  • Items the tenant, your family or visitors have damaged.
  • Replacing light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • Lock changes and replacing keys/fobs due to loss of keys etc.
  • Paths and patio repairs (we will maintain paths to communal areas only)
    Repairing any improvements or alterations you have made in your home.
  • Repairing any damage caused by you, a member of your family or visitors to your home.
  • Repairing any damage done as a result of ASB or criminal activity (i.e., doors damaged as a result of police raids)
  • Smoke alarms (unless fitted by Mount Green and connected to the electricity supply)
  • Internal decoration
  • Rectifying blocked sinks, toilets, and drains (where the blockage has been caused by someone living at or visiting your home)
  • Broken windows and external doors (unless as a result of a crime not committed by you, your family, or visitors to your home)
  • Replacing of lost keys or a resultant change of locks to doors and windows
  • Pest control within your home
  • The repair or renewal of timber sheds or greenhouses (if gifted)
  • Removing rubbish from your home and garden
  • Plumbing to washing machines/dishwashers and any damage resulting from leaks
  • Curtain battens, rails, and hooks
  • Ventilating and heating the property, cleaning of mould caused by condensation. You are responsible for maintaining humidity levels in your home.

5.4 Residents are also responsible for maintaining and repairing certain elements to the outside of the property including:

  • Your own equipment, such as TV aerials (unless communal system), satellite dishes and telephones and cabling and supply.
  • Repairs to sheds and structures you have installed.

5.5 Wherever possible we will replace items with like for like but this is not always achievable where a fixture or fitting is non-standard or no longer available. In these circumstances we will try and find the closest match available, but we will not undertake unnecessary works or full replacements simply for aesthetic reasons.

5.6 We will accommodate resident choices wherever we can. Where this may have implications on the cost, on future repairs or replacement obligations this may not always be possible. If a resident has replaced fixtures or fittings themselves (such as tiling, flooring etc.), we are not responsible for any repair or replacement.

6. Recharges

6.1 Whilst residents are responsible for the repairs outlined in 5.3, in some cases we may undertake the works on your behalf. We will recharge residents in line with our Recharge Policy for any repair work which is the residents’ responsibility and is undertaken by Mount Green.

6.2 Any repairs or maintenance works carried out by residents must be to our standard and in the event that they are not, we may rectify the works and recharge residents for the costs incurred.

6.3 In the event of a missed appointment by either a resident or contractor, we will follow our Recharge or Compensation Policy as appropriate.

6.4 For residents who have 8 weeks or more of rent arrears, planned improvements (i.e., new kitchens/bathrooms) or non-urgent responsive repairs may be postponed.

6.5 It is resident’s responsibility to insure the contents of your home. You are responsible for any loss or damage to the contents of your home due to theft, flooding, fire, or accidental damage.

6.6 Resident’s may also be held responsible for damage caused to other properties as a result of flooding or fire.

7. Responsive Repairs

7.1 We have target times for different types of repairs orders. These timescales may change dependent on the nature of the repair, the vulnerability of the resident and any health and safety concerns. These will be agreed with the resident according to the nature of the repair at the time.

7.2 Emergency
These repairs will be attended to within two hours and made safe if a full repair cannot be completed:

Emergency repairs are those that need to be done to avoid danger to health and safety or extensive damage/security to buildings or properties.

Repairs that will be considered as emergencies are:

  • Total loss of water supply (other than by water supplier)
  • Total loss of electricity (other than power cut)
  • Serious water leak or flood inside your home that you cannot contain.
  • Blocked toilet (where there is only one in your home)
  • Broken external doors or windows where there is a threat to security.
  • Serious structural damage e.g., loose or falling brickwork, tiles, etc.
  • Lift breakdowns
  • Making safe collapsed ceilings and floors
  • Blocked flue to an open fire or boiler
  • Major health and safety repairs to communal parts Stair-lifts in communal areas (not within dwellings) and ceiling track hoist breakdowns

7.3 Urgent
These repairs will be attended to within 24 hours and made safe if a full repair cannot be completed:

  • Blocked toilet, soil stacks and sewers
  • Insecure windows and doors
  • Unsafe electrical fitting
  • Blocked or leaking foul drains.
  • Total loss of heating and hot water. Where this cannot be done because there is a need to obtain parts, an alternative source of heating will be provided.
  • Offensive or racist graffiti
  • Door entry systems in Independent Living schemes
  • Minor health and safety repairs to communal parts

7.4 Routine Orders
All other repairs will be carried out within one to 28 working days.

7.5 Repairs appointments
We will aim to make appointments for all repairs in each of the above categories except for those relating to communal areas. Appointments will generally be made at the first point of contact with the customer and for a time and date that is convenient. We will offer appointments for pre- and post inspections that may be required.

7.5.1 The following appointment time slots will be offered:

  • Morning – between 8am and 12pm
  • Afternoon – between 12pm and 5pm
  • Avoiding school run appointments 9.30am -2.30pm.
  • Saturday mornings (9am- 1pm) and twilight appointments (5pm -8pm).

7.5.2 Residents will be informed about progress with their repairs through various channels including telephone, text messaging and email. You will also be able to log in to our website to track repair progress. We will communicate with residents and keep you informed of progress with repairs to your home as required.

7.5.3 If an appointment cannot be kept, residents are asked to inform us at the earliest opportunity. If there is no access and no contact from the customer, the job order will be cancelled after our access procedure has been complied with and residents may be charged for a missed appointment. Residents may seek recompense from the contractor if an appointment is not kept.

7.6 Any gas leaks should be reported to National Grid immediately by calling the National Gas emergency number 0800 111 999.

7.6.1 Any power cuts should be reported by calling UK Power Networks on 0800 31
63 105 (free to call from a landline or mobile phone).

7.7 Performance
We aim to consistently achieve the following performance levels.

  • The number of jobs completed first time – 90% +
  • The number of appointments kept -95%+
  • Customer satisfaction in day-to-day repairs – 90%+

8. Planned Programs

8.1 Cyclical Maintenance
These works will be carried out based on need and cost. We will publish the cyclical program on the website. Timescales for any agreed works will be communicated with those residents that will be impacted by the works.

8.2 Planned Works
We will undertake planned works to reduce the ongoing spend on responsive repairs and deliver home improvements for residents. We will create a planned program which will be publicised on our website. This program will be reliant on available funding, informed by our stock condition survey and therefore subject to change.

8.2.1 We will consult with residents on all planned works, explain how the works will be carried out and be clear about the impact of the works.

8.2.2 Wherever possible we will give residents some choice in the selection of certain design aspects of your homes for the purpose of upgrade, replacement, or improvements – for example, kitchen and bathroom replacements.

9. Voids

9.1 We aim to maintain a consistent, cost effective letting standard (Home Standard) for all our void properties. All voids (empty homes) should be turned around within the set timescales. Voids we let will be safe, secure, clean, in sound condition and with services in working order.

10. Defects

10.1 During the initial 12-month defect period of a newly built home, residents should report repairs directly to Mount Green and we will ensure that they are resolved with the contractor. Defects which come to light following the initial 12-month period must also be reported directly to Mount Green.

11. Aids and Adaptations

11.1 Mount Green can help facilitate and support independent living, by carrying out minor alterations to meet the needs of vulnerable residents to enhance your quality of life and, where appropriate, enable you to remain in your current home. MGHA Aids and Adaptations Policy will apply.

11.2 We will assist eligible residents to secure more significant adaptations to your homes by assisting you to apply for a Disabled Facility Grant (DFG) from your Local Authority.

12. Contractors

12.1 All Contractors working with Mount Green will be required to adhere to our Contractor’s Code of Conduct (Appendix A). Our Code of Conduct outlines the standard of service that all contractors are expected to deliver to our residents.

12.2 All our contractors will be made aware of this policy and any other relevant policies such as our Health and Safety and Environmental policies.

12.3 All our contractors will be required to undertake training and adhere to our Safeguarding Policy.

13. Equality, Diversity & inclusion (ED&I)

13.1 For Mount Green, diversity is about respecting people’s individual differences and ensuring that all people that come into contact with us have access to the same high standards of behaviour and service.

13.2 We are committed to ensuring that no resident will be treated less favourably because of your age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

14. Consultation and Communication

14.1 Mount Green aims to ensure that all residents are consulted prior to any major decision being taken planned or major works that affect their home. A range of approaches to consultation will be used regarding repairs and maintenance:

  • Residents Matters – this quarterly newsletter is issued to all residents and other interested parties. This is our key method of communicating information to our residents.
  • Website – we will publish our planned and cyclical program.
  • Local/Individual meetings and workshops
  • Resident Repair Satisfaction Surveys – We will call residents on a random basis who have a repair carried out and conduct a brief satisfaction survey. This provides us with vital information to ensure that a high-quality repairs service is being delivered.

14.2 This policy was written in consultation with both staff and residents.

14.3 This policy will be publicised to residents through:

  • Residents’ leaflets
  • Our Residents’ Handbook
  • Our website

Appendix A

Our Contractors Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct summary sets out the standards that contractors will deliver to
Mount Green’s residents. All contractors must comply with this Code.

Customer Focus

The contractor must deliver a service at a standard which meets the needs of residents. This will include:

Our contractors represent us and are therefore expected to observe the same standards of conduct as MGHA staff.

  • Our contractors will introduce themselves and show a formal identification badge.
  • Our contractors will behave in a polite and professional manner at all times.
  • Our contractors will endeavour to keep appointments for all repairs and visits.
  • Aim to fix the repair at the first visit.
  • Communicating with residents about the work to your home, in a way that is clearly understood.
  • Communicating with neighbours who may be affected by works.
  • Respecting the homes, contents, and environment of our residents.
  • Respecting our residents and your safety.
  • Keeping residents informed about the status of your repair. In the event of any delay or cancellation, notifying residents as soon as possible.
    Apply the Mount Green Safeguarding policy and report any areas of concern to the relevant Mount Green staff.

Working in Mount Green homes

On arrival the contractor will:

  • Produce a photo identity card which shows the employee’s name, company name, address, and telephone number. Residents are guided to not let anyone in if the contractor does not show relevant identification and report the incident to our customer contact centre.
  • Be dressed appropriately and in branded clothing where applicable.
  • Will normally be using a branded vehicle.
  • Have a copy of the works order (except when the work is an emergency).
  • Advise the resident about the work, how long it will take and any relevant matters.
  • Advise all directly affected residents and neighbours of any works, their impact, and a likely timescale.
  • Be respectful of shared areas such as gardens, car parks and access ways.
  • Speak to residents before crossing or encroaching on a resident’s personal space and/or privacy. For example, when using ladders to work on upper flats, contractors must notify the residents of the flats below that they will be there.

Whilst working at the property the contractor is required at all times to:

  • Be polite and courteous to the resident and others.
  • Liaise with the resident at all times during works.
  • Be considerate of the particular needs of residents who are elderly, disabled or otherwise vulnerable.
  • Take care of resident’s possessions (and replace any items damaged).
  • Use shoe protectors or dust sheets as appropriate.
  • Cause minimum disruption to the resident.
  • Will not use abusive or offensive language.
  • Not move residents’ possessions unless the resident is unable to do so themselves and only with your permission.
  • Confine and protect the area to ensure safety of both residents and the operative/s.
  • Provide their own source of power unless, before work commences and with arrangements for reimbursement, the resident will allow the use of your own power.
  • Make sure all materials and equipment used on site are kept safe and with a minimum of inconvenience to residents.
  • Be careful about security (e.g., not leaving ladders available for burglars).
  • Not leave entrance doors to properties open and unattended.
  • Supervise sharp tools, heavy plant, power tools and toxic substances and keep them out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Regularly clean up all debris generated by the work.
  • Completing repairs to a high standard, within the specified target time, and within one visit wherever possible
  • Advise the residents when the work is complete.
  • Provide residents with easy-to-understand explanations of work completed and guidance on how to use various components.

While at the property the contractor should not:

  • Play music or the radio.
  • Smoke, drink alcohol, take drugs or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    Any contractor found under the influence of alcohol or drugs on site will be removed immediately and will not be employed on Mount Green sites again.
  • Use a resident’s WC, kitchen, phone, or belongings for personal use or for cleaning unless given permission.
  • Work outside of defined areas unless by agreement.

When leaving the property or site the contractor is required to:

  • Leave the site clean, tidy, and secure at the end of each working day.
  • Clean up thoroughly and remove all materials upon completion.
  • Make sure that, wherever possible, supplies of gas, electricity and water are fully restored at the end of each day, or where this is not possible ensure that there is an adequate temporary supply.

If you are at all unhappy with the standard of service delivered by any Mount Green contractor, please contact us immediately so we can resolve the problem straight away. If we do not know there is a problem, we cannot put things right!