Repairs and ImprovementsRepairs and Improvements

How do I report a repair?

Before you report a repair please have as much information as possible about the problem so we can think about what needs to be done and decide which of our contractors will be the best to fix things.

If you have a gas leak turn off the gas supply, open a door or window and call the gas emergency service on 0800 111999 first and then let us know.

From Tuesday 28th November 2017 general repairs will be completed by Wrekin Housing Trust. You should report repairs directly to them on the following number:

 

Wrekin Housing Trust – 0300 1234474

 

This number is available 24 hours a day including weekends and bank holidays.

 

Also from 28th November 2017, you should report boiler and gas appliance repairs direct to :

 

Status Heating -  0345 257 0830 

 

This number is also available 24 hours a day including weekends and bank holidays.

 

Our office will continue to be open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9.00am – 3.30pm and we will continue to pick up urgent messages from the voicemail service outside of usual office hours. Alternatively, you can email us at bcha@bcivic.co.uk .

 

Wrekin Housing Trust (Wrekin) is an experienced service provider in their own right and they also provide a repair services for other small housing associations, although the head office is in Telford, they have operatives working in and around the Birmingham area.

All their operatives will carry ID cards an example of which is attached to this letter.   The benefits of the new service include the following:   

 

  • You will be able to report repairs directly to Wrekin Housing Trust   

  • The repairs reporting service will be available 24/7

  • You will be able to book an appointment when you report the repair

  • The existing 28 day category for routine repairs will be replaced with a 14 day

    category, so, repairs will be completed in a shorter time

  • All operatives will carry identification

  • Once the repair is done, the customer service team will check you are satisfied with the work.   

 

We will need to give Wrekin your name, address and telephone number and/or the name and contact number of any person you have asked us to contact on your behalf. This information will be shared with them through secure means.  If you have any questions about us sharing your details please contact us.

 

Birmingham Civic Housing Association will continue to be responsible for the quality of the service and we will check the performance of Wrekin and our other contractors.  We may contact you to complete a satisfaction survey.

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  Responsibilities

Looking after your home is a two - way deal between you and us. We are responsible for most repairs but you must:

  • keep your home in a clean and tidy good condition
  • let us know as soon as problems occur
  • make sure no one damages your home

Examples of repairs you are responsible for include:

  • cleaning and maintaining internal decorations
  • repairing any damage caused by you, your visitors or pets
  • gaining access when you have lost or forgotten your key
  • keeping your garden and outside areas tidy
  • unblocking sinks and pipes caused by inappropriate waste

We are responsible for the structure and exterior, interior fixtures and fittings including all services and communal areas. Examples of repairs we are responsible for include:

  • Roof and chimneys, drains, gutters and pipes, windows, walls floors and ceilings
  • Kitchens and bathrooms, heating, gas, water and electricity supplies
  • Communal hallways, steps, paving and fencing.

Sometimes repairs will be batched and completed as part of a planned programme, for example, external painting.

 

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  How long will it take?

In most cases we will book an ppointment with you by telephone to agree access arrangements.

Please let us know if you are unable to keep this date and we can rearrange. If you are not in when we arranged, the repair might be cancelled and/ or you might be charged for the wasted visit.

Emergency repairs will be completed within 24 hours but we aim to attend within 4 hours. These are repairs which pose an immediate threat to health or risk to people such as complete heating failure in the winter or a major water leak.

Sometimes we will just make safe and book another appointment with you to complete the repair.

Non-emergency repairs may be treated as Urgent (7 days response) or Routine (14 days response) depending on the circumstances. Examples would include minor water leaks, defective plaster etc.

 

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  Who does the repair?

One of our approved contractors will contact you and carry out the repair. If you have any doubts or concerns, ask for proof of ID or contact us at the office before you let them in to your home.

Contractors must treat you and your home with respect, attend when arranged and clean up after themselves.

 

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  Rechargeable Repairs

You will be charged if we carry out repairs that are your responsibility or for repairs which are necessary due to damage or vandalism.

 

 Good or bad? – let us know

All feedback is welcomed. It helps us put right any problems and to do more of what you like.

Click the button below for our Complaints & Compliments form, you can print the form and post it to us or download it to your computer to complete and email to us. We’ll do our best to sort things out or pass on your praise.

Click the button above to download our complaints form

  Planned Repairs and Improvements

We have long-term plans in place to replace or improve major components in your home such as windows, external doors, kitchens and bathrooms etc. This allows us to undertake the work as efficiently and economically as possible and minimise disturbance in your home.

Each year the Board approves a programme that has been formulated to take account of age, condition and affordability. We will publish this in our Newsletters and make available on this website.

If your property is included we will contact you to explain the arrangements and agree a convenient time.

 

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Right to Improve

As a Birmingham Civic tenant you have the right to make improvements to your home provided you have received approval from us for the work. You can fit a new door, replace your kitchen, fit a shower, put up fencing etc.

Let us know what you want to do and we’ll explain the process. We may require you to use qualified trades people and obtain planning permission and follow building regulations so that your home remains safe.

You don’t need permission for internal decorations but you must not artex walls or ceilings or paint any fixtures such as kitchen unit doors.

If we agree to the proposed work we will provide written approval. If we refuse permission we will tell you why.

You may be entitled to compensation when you leave the property but you must have been granted permission beforehand and kept any receipts for the work done.. The rules are complicated so contact us for advice.

Please do not carry out any work until you have received permission.

 

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  Gas Safety

The Law requires us to service gas appliances, for which we are responsible, and provide you with a Gas Safety Certificate each year. To do this our contractor will contact you about 10 months after we completed the last service to arrange an appointment.

If you are a new resident you will receive a copy with other documents when you sign your tenancy agreement.

You must let the contractor into your home to do the service and safety check. If you don’t we will have to start legal action to enter your home.

 

Cookers and other gas appliances

We do not maintain appliances that belong to you. The gas engineer who visits your home will carry out a visual inspection and give you advice. If your appliances are unsafe they will be isolated.

 

  Gaining Access

Our contractor will be flexible when arranging appointments but you must allow them access to complete the work. We will rearrange if you require.

 

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  Maintaining your home

Many of the jobs that are your responsibility can be completed by following simple advice that is now widely available in the form of ‘How To’ leaflets from DIY outlets or the internet.

The following links might be useful:

www.diy.com

www.wickes.co.uk

www.homebase.co.uk

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  Keeping warm

Just three things are needed for you to be warm and comfortable in your home.

  • It must be reasonably draught proofed (we can help with this)
  • you must provide enough heat to be comfortable and
  • you must ventilate to reduce the risk of condensation

Lack of ventilation is the biggest cause of condensation and this can lead to mould growth on walls and ceiling and, in extreme cases, on furniture and possessions. If you cook in saucepans without lids, dry washing on radiators, use an unvented tumble dryer and bathe with the bathroom door open you will make matters much worse.

You must heat your home and this becomes ever more expensive. Make sure that you check your energy bills and shop around to get the best deal. Sometimes this can save you hundreds of pounds a year.

Try these links for useful advice and information:

www.moneysavingexpert.com

www.ofgem.gov.uk

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

www.nhbc.co.uk

 

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  Pests

Pests are a worldwide problem and there is no magic solution to the problem should an infestation occur in your home. We do not treat these problems but we are able to provide information and signposting to organisations that may help you.. Generally the most important things that you can do to solve the problems are:

  • Ensure food is not available by avoiding cardboard boxes and bags (use plastic storage containers)
  • Ensure good hygiene by cleaning floors and surfaces regularly especially behind cookers and in corners
  • Keep gardens clean and tidy. Don’t allow rubbish to build up outside that will attract vermin
  • Talk to your neighbours and ask them to help. It is very difficult to treat for pests in a single property.

For domestic residents, living in Birmingham, the Council provides a free pest control service for some pests including:

  • Rats
  • Cockroaches

They do not treat for mice but will provide free poison  which can be collected from your local Neighbourhood Office. Detailed advice leaflets are available. Other pests may be treated for at a fixed charge.

Useful links:

www.birmingham.gov.uk/pestcontrol

www.birmingham.gov.uk/neighbourhoodoffices

 

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  Fire Safety

Birmingham Civic Housing takes Fire Safety and its responsibilities to its tenant very seriously.  We provide smoke alarms in all properties and carry out regular checks in communal arrears of flats. We all have a part to play and tenants can assist:

  • Keep all exits and access ways clear and unobstructed with push chairs, bicycles, furniture, rubbish etc
  • Check your smoke alarms regularly and reporting any faults to us
  • Don’t cover or remove your smoke alarms or ‘borrow’ the battery
  • Keep fire doors closed
  • Don’t dry clothes in front of a gas or electric fire
  • Don’t overload electrical sockets with adaptors
  • Don’t store things in meter cupboards
  • Don’t paint or varnish fires, boilers, electrical switches and sockets
  • If you smoke, be extra careful
  • Keep any candles well away from curtains or blinds
  • Don’t leave chip pans unattended

Useful links

www.wmfs.net

 

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