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FAQ Repairs to your council home

What do you mean by ‘general repairs’?

If you are a council tenant, we are obliged to carry out repairs to your property to fix damage caused by general wear and tear.

These Frequently Asked Questions explain how you can access our repairs service.

I have recently left my previous home and have received a letter advising me I owe money for rechargeable repairs and rubbish. What should I do?
Aren’t you responsible for all repairs to my property?
My property needs a repair. Who do I report this to?
How long will my repair take to complete?
Do you offer an appointment system as I am not always at home?
What can I do if my repair is not completed on time?
What rights do I have to have my request for repairs completed?
I worry about letting strangers into my home. How will I be able to identify your repairs workers?
What can I do if I have a gas leak?
Can I become more involved in helping to monitor the repairs service?
How can I share my views on the repairs service?
Who do I ask if I have any more questions about this service?

I have recently left my previous home and have received a letter advising me I owe money for rechargeable repairs and rubbish. What should I do?
When you end your tenancy, we ask you to leave your property in good repair and remove all rubbish. We will explain the steps you need to take to ensure that this is done.

When you give notice, we will provide you with details of our Leave it Clean scheme. This explains that you can claim £100 if you leave your property completely clean; however, we will recharge you if your property is not cleared.

Tenants leaving their property will also be recharged for any repairs resulting from damage over and above general wear and tear, such as missing or damaged internal doors or unauthorised improvements.

If you receive a letter asking you to repay a recharge after ending your tenancy, please do not ignore it. If you agree with the charges, you will need to make the payment. The letter will explain how you can do this.

However, if you feel that the charges are not correct, you need to send an appeal letter to us along with any evidence explaining why you should not pay. Details of how to do this will be contained within our original letter to you. You will be advised of the appeal decision within ten working days. If your appeal is unsuccessful, you will need to make the payment. The letter giving the outcome of your appeal will explain how you can do this.

Please also see our Ending Your Council Tenancy FAQs.


Aren’t you responsible for all repairs to my property?
We are responsible for maintaining:

  • the structure of the property you live in and the outside of the building (including the roof, drains, gutters and pipes)
  • the entrance doors, halls, stairways, lifts, rubbish chutes, lighting or other parts that are shared by tenants and leaseholders in blocks of flats and maisonettes
  • most of the inside fixtures and fittings we originally provided and all pipes, wiring, heating systems, drainage, power and light fittings
  • boundary fences/walls, outbuildings, sheds, porches or garages that we originally put up
  • steps and paths that lead from the gate or boundary to the front and back doors that are an essential means of access.

Please note: we reserve the right to remove boundary walls and fences or outbuildings, sheds, porches or garages if they are beyond economic repair. If they are replaced, this may not be on a ‘like-for-like’ basis – for example, a fence might be replaced with a railing.

However, if you or anyone in your home (including visitors and children) causes damage to your home, we expect you to arrange for it to be repaired. If the repairs required involve your gas, electricity, water supplies or the security of your home, we must complete these for safety reasons, but you will be charged a reasonable cost for the work done.

The following items that are provided when we let the property then become the tenants’ responsibility to repair or replace: door handles, sealant around baths/basins/sinks/work surfaces, cylinder jackets, toilet chains/handles, drawer handles, door numbers and letter plates, glazed tiles around bath/basin/sink, curtain battens, battery-operated smoke alarms, fuses, cupboard catches, keys to doors and windows, plugs and chains to baths/basins/sinks, television aerials (unless they’re communal and were provided by Birmingham City Council), surface damage to internal plasterwork, pelmets, curtain and picture rails, gate and shed latches, catches and bolts and lagging and other insulation material.

For further details of the repairs you are responsible for, please refer to your tenants handbook and conditions of tenancy.


My property needs a repair. Who do I report this to?
Repairs to council properties, including gas repairs, are managed by different providers depending on which part of the city you live in.

Call 0800 073 3333 at any time of the day or night, all year round, to order a repair to your property. If you call during a busy period you can leave a message for someone from the contact centre to telephone you back, rather than queuing.

You can also visit your nearest customer service centre and use their telephone to request your repairs. If you need help, you can also ask someone from the neighbourhood office to telephone the contact centre for you.

You can also request non-urgent repairs using our online form.

How long will my repair take to complete?
We will respond to emergency repairs within two hours. Offensive graffiti will be responded to within 24 hours.

Urgent repairs are dealt with in one, three or seven working days, depending on the nature of the repair. Routine or non-urgent repairs will be completed within 30 calendar days. You will be given an appointment time for any of these non-emergency repairs.

If you would like a full list of response times, you can refer to your tenants handbook. If for any reason you do not have a copy of the tenants handbook, please ask at your nearest customer service centre.

Do you offer an appointment system as I am not always at home?
Yes, unless it is an emergency repair to be completed within two hours. The contact centre will offer you a choice between:

  • First call – 8am -10am
  • Morning – 8am - 1pm
  • Afternoon – 1pm - 5pm
  • School run – 10am - 2pm



What can I do if my repair is not completed on time?
In the first instance, you should telephone the contact centre. They will chase the repair and advise you when someone will get back in touch with you.

If you are unsatisfied with any aspect of the repairs service, please speak to the customer involvement officer for your area using one of the telephone numbers below:

  • customer Involvement officer, south repairs contract (Edgbaston, Hall Green, Selly Oak and Northfield): 0121 303 6879
  • customer involvement officer, central repairs contract (Hodge Hill, Yardley): 0121 464 4903
  • customer involvement officer, north repairs contract (Ladywood, Erdington, Sutton Coldfield and Perry Barr): 0121 303 1802

What rights do I have to have my request for repairs completed?
You have many rights under law as a secure tenant, and details of these rights can be found in your conditions of tenancy or tenants handbook.

You are also protected by a number of laws, for example:

  • Right to Repair legislation: your landlord (in this case, Birmingham City Council) has to complete certain urgent repairs within a set time. Under the Secure Tenants of Local Housing Authorities (Right to Repair) Regulations 1994, tenants can ask for another contractor to carry out repair work if we have not done so within a reasonable time. This legislation also includes a schedule of ‘qualifying repairs’ that must be done within one, three or seven working-day timescales. For more information, please refer to your tenants handbook.
  • Environmental laws ensure that your landlord keeps your property in a good state of repair.

Tenants also have the right to an annual gas safety check.

If you need any advice regarding your conditions of tenancy, your tenants handbook or your right to repairs, please contact your nearest customer service centre or housing team.

I worry about letting strangers into my home. How will I be able to identify your repairs workers?
All of our repairs operatives carry personal identification badges at all times. Please always ask to see identification before letting anyone into your home.

There is also a number on the back of the identification badge that you can telephone to confirm that the operative is genuine.

What can I do if I have a gas leak?
If you smell gas, please telephone National Grid immediately on 0800 111 999. Their minicom or textphone number is 0800 371 787.

Once you have reported the gas leak to the National Grid, please also notify us via the contact centre - 0800 073 3333.

If you suspect that you have a gas leak, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself:

  • do not smoke or use naked flames.
  • do not touch any electrical switches as they may ignite the gas.
  • open windows and doors to let the gas out.
  • switch off the gas at the meter, unless the meter is in the cellar and the smell of gas is coming from there.
  • turn off all gas appliances.

As soon as a representative from National Grid arrives, they will isolate the gas supply to make sure everything is safe. They will then advise you what to do next. You will also be visited by our gas contractor.

Can I become more involved in helping to monitor the repairs service?
Yes you can – there are lots of ways for tenants to get involved in how the service is delivered. Some examples include:

  • becoming a member of a local Housing Liaison Board (HLB)
  • becoming a Tenant Inspector
  • joining our Service User Panel.

To find out more about joining the Service User Panel, please telephone us on 0121 675 3476. For further information on other ways to get involved, please contact your nearest customer service centre or housing team.

How can I share my views about the repairs service?
We set our repairs partners targets regarding what levels of satisfaction they should be achieving, so we continually monitor their service in various ways.

We will send you a customer satisfaction survey every time we complete a repair to your property. Please return the completed form in the stamped addressed envelope that we send you. We will contact you if you indicate that you are not satisfied with the service we are providing.

We also use the surveys to produce performance reports which we discuss with the Tenants’ Performance Monitoring Group every month. We also share the results of the performance reports with our repairs partners.

In addition, we conduct telephone surveys from the contact centre to check if our repairs partners are keeping the appointments that have been made.

You can make a comment, complaint or compliment by phoning the contact centre or by visiting your nearest customer service centre. You can also make a complaint online at:

.www.birmingham.gov.uk/contactus.

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days and reply within ten working days.

Who do I ask if I have any more questions about this service?
The contact centre should be able to answer any questions you may have. You can contact them on 0800 073 3333.