1. Supporting our purpose

1. Supporting our purpose

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We work to create homes and neighbourhoods we can all be proud of.  

To achieve this goal, we have four objectives:

  • Provide safe and secure homes to meet the housing needs of our current and future customers.
  • Support our customers and communities.
  • Grow our business and continue to be well run, responsible and financially secure.
  • Offer a great employee experience through a People Strategy that drives a ‘Bring Your Best Self to Work’ culture.  

This policy supports these objectives and guides us as we work hard to keep homes in good condition, prioritise repair needs and use resources efficiently.

2. The main reasons for this policy

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We will follow this policy to:

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Ensure we meet the homes standards set by the Regulator of Social Housing.

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Deliver a repair and maintenance service that keeps properties in good condition.

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Keep to relevant legislation regarding repair and maintenance.

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Provide a service that satisfies customers.

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Offer a fair, culturally sensitive service that meets individual needs.

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Achieve value for money by completing repairs correctly the first time, carrying out planned and cyclical maintenance, and continuously improving the repairs service.

3. Repairs Policy (web): Who this policy is for

3. Who is this policy for?

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This policy is for Bolton at Home tenants.

It explains our repair responsibilities and your repair responsibilities.

If you are a leaseholder or shared ownership customer, please check your specific information for repair responsibilities.

4. Definitions

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  • You:
    The tenant(s) of the property.
  • We, us:
    Bolton at Home Limited, your landlord.
  • Property:
    Your home and any private yard, garden, garage or attached outhouse.
  • Communal area:
    A part of a building or estate that may be used by any tenant, occupant, or visitor.

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Emergency repairs:

Repairs that need immediate attention due to potential health and safety risks or the risk of significant property damage. For example, an uncontainable leak, or no heating or hot water.

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Urgent repairs:

Repairs that are urgent, but do not pose an immediate risk. For example, a containable leak, or the toilet not flushing.

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Responsive repairs:

Straightforward, non-urgent repairs. For example, patch plastering or replacement of a kitchen unit.

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Routine repairs:

Complex, non-urgent repairs that cannot be left until a planned capital investment. For example, a full replacement kitchen or a replacement front door.

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Planned maintenance and improvements (capital investment):

Major replacements or substantial property or estate improvements.

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Cyclical (repeated) repairs:

Where repeated maintenance or servicing is required. For example, gas servicing, lift servicing, or gutter maintenance.

Tap here to see our repair priorities, timescales, and appointment times (in Appendix A) (opens in a new tab).

Reporting a repair

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Reporting a non-urgent repair:

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If you need to report a repair that is not urgent you can do so in a few different ways:

  • You can call us on 01204 328000 between 8am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours only emergency repairs can be reported on this number.
  • You can use our online webchat service by tapping the 'Chat with us' button in the bottom-right of your screen. If you can't see the webchat button on this page, tap here to visit our website homepage (opens in a new tab).
  • You can email us using  info@boltonathome.org.uk.
  • Alternatively, you can visit us in person at our reception. The address is listed here:  www.boltonathome.org.uk/contact-us (opens in a new tab).

If you have a query relating to Gas Servicing, please call us on: 01204 327999. If you smell gas, please call the National Grid emergency line on 0800 111 999. When you call, you'll be asked to leave a voicemail with your name, phone number, email address, and reference number (if you have one at this stage). We'll then look to call you back during the same working day - or the following working day at the latest.

Reporting issues related to damp, condensation, and mould:

We're committed to resolving damp and condensation in properties as these issues can cause problems for both the buildings and tenants’ health. You can report these issues in the usual way using the contact details listed above.

For more information on how we'll respond when you report issues relating to damp, condensation, and mould, tap here to jump to Section 9 of our Repairs Policy, which covers damp, condensation, and mould (opens in a new tab).

Our website  www.boltonathome.org.uk/damp-condensation-mould (opens in a new tab) also includes tips and advice on how you can deal with issues relating to damp, condensation, and mould yourself - but please remember to speak to us if you’re concerned and need our support.

Reporting an emergency repair:

You must report all emergency repairs to us by phone or in person. You can phone through an emergency repair at any time.

6. Repairs Policy (web): Completing your repair

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6. Completing your repair

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When you report your repair, it will be prioritised and given a timescale based on urgency. Tap here to see our repair priorities, timescales, and appointment times (in Appendix A) (opens in a new tab).

We will usually arrange an appointment with you to visit the property when you report the repair. Appointment times are listed in Appendix A.

For external work, you may be given a timescale for completion instead of an appointment.

If we receive many repair requests at one time or if additional materials are needed, we may not be able to complete your repair within the listed timescales. In such cases, we will let you know the reason for the delay and the expected completion date.

Sometimes it might not be possible for us to complete a repair on our first visit. In these cases, we will ensure the property is safe and secure and arrange another appointment to complete the repair at your convenience.

We, and our contractors, will always have identification badges to confirm our identity when we visit you.

Major repairs may require temporary relocation, which we will arrange with you and give you advance notice of unless it is an emergency.

We may refuse to do a repair if the property is unhygienic, cluttered, unsafe, or if staff are treated abusively or aggressively.

7. Repairs Policy (web): Responsibilities

7. Repair responsibilities

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We and you are both responsible for maintaining your home.

You must keep to the repair and maintenance conditions set out in your Tenancy Agreement and carry out the responsibilities set out in Appendix B (www.boltonathome.org.uk/repairs-appendix-b) (opens in a new tab).

A summary of who is responsible for different repairs is set out in the Table of Repair Responsibilities in Appendix C (www.boltonathome.org.uk/repairs-appendix-c) (opens in a new tab).

8. Repairs Policy (web): individual circumstances

8. Individual circumstances

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We recognise that you may have specific needs requiring repairs to be completed more quickly than this policy defines, due to individual circumstances including health issues or disabilities.

In such cases, we encourage you to tell us of any factors that may make your repair more urgent when reporting a repair.

We will take these into consideration as appropriate when prioritising the repair.

9. Damp, condensation, and mould

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We are committed to resolving damp and condensation in properties as these issues can cause problems for both the buildings and tenants’ health.

Dampness and condensation can arise from various causes. Depending on the information provided by you, we may raise a repair or inspect the property first to better understand the cause of the problem.

If we carry out an inspection, our inspector will let you know of the findings and next steps.

If a repair is required, it will have a 21-day timescale for completion.

Damp and condensation can also lead to mould growth.

If you report mould, we will assess its seriousness based on its location, size, and health risks to you and other members of your household.

Our website www.boltonathome.org.uk/damp-condensation-mould (opens in a new tab) includes tips and advice on how you can deal with issues relating to damp, condensation, and mould yourself - but please remember to speak to us if you’re concerned and need our support.

Response timescales for mould reports are:

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Immediate risk to health:

Response within seven days to clean the mould and remove hazards.

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Potential risk to health:

Response within 21 days to clean the mould and remove any hazards.

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After treating mould, we will stay in contact with you and monitor for any further issues for 12 months.

If the mould reoccurs, we will respond according to the timescales above. We will also offer guidance to help you reduce the risk of condensation and mould in your home.

10. Repairs Policy (web): Disrepair

10. Disrepair

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We will deal with disrepair claims according to the Housing Disrepair Protocol under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

Existing repairs will not be put on hold or cancelled due to a disrepair claim, and we will work with solicitors to resolve any claim in a timely manner.

11. Our cyclical checks for your safety at home

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Properties with gas appliances

We do annual gas checks of appliances and pipes that we have installed in occupied properties.

You must allow us access to your home for these checks, which are essential for your health and safety and required by law.

Failure to keep to this may result in legal action and against you and charges for any associated costs.

During your annual service, we will also do safety checks of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. We will also do any water safety checks required.

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Properties with electrical appliances only

If you only have electrical appliances in your home, we will do an annual electrical service of these appliances.

During your annual service we will also do safety checks of your smoke alarms. We will also do any water safety checks required.

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Properties with communal heating

We do annual gas checks of your communal boiler.

We will also visit your home annually to do safety checks of your smoke alarms. We will also do any water safety checks required.

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All properties

We do a full check of your fixed electrical appliances every five years.

You must allow us access to your home for these checks, which are essential for your health and safety and required by law.

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Installed your own fire?

If you have installed your own fire, you are responsible for any repairs. We will, however, do a regular safety check. You must provide the manufacturer’s instructions for the fire, as we will need to remove the fire to inspect your chimney and carry out a visual safety check of the appliance before we refit it. Without the manufacturer’s instructions, we will disconnect the fire.

Where a gas fire is beyond repair, we will brick up the fireplace and supply a hard-wired electric fire.

If you no longer require your fire, we will remove it and provide an electrical point and fit an electric fire.

12. Empty properties

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When you move into a property, it will meet our Lettable Standard, which you can find on our website (www.boltonathome.org.uk/empty-properties) (opens in a new tab) and the property will be clean, safe, and secure.

Your acceptance of the property will be based on the advertised features and a viewing, if required.

Extra work or alterations will not be carried out after the start of the tenancy (e.g., replacing a bath with a shower or vice versa). You can request our permission to carry out extra work at your own expense. In exceptional circumstances, we may agree to fund the extra works.

Adapted properties will be advertised with details of the adaptations (e.g., level access shower or wet room) and will be allocated to applicants requiring these adaptations first. If allocated to an applicant not requiring the adaptation, the adaptations will not be removed. You can apply to alter or remove adaptations at your own expense. In exceptional circumstances, we may agree to fund the removal of adaptations.

13. Repairs Policy (web): Chargeable repairs

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13. Chargeable repairs

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You may be charged for a repair when:

  • The repair is your responsibility as stated in this policy or your Tenancy Agreement.
  • We decide that the repair was not caused by fair wear and tear.
  • The repair is needed due to removal or damage caused by you, other occupants, your visitors, or your pets.
  • False information was provided when reporting the repair.
  • You repeatedly deny access to the property for a repair.
  • You delay reporting a repair, causing further damage to the property.
  • The repair is needed because you altered the property without permission.

For more information on the repairs we charge for, please visit www.boltonathome.org.uk/repairs-we-charge-for (opens in a new tab).

14. Repairs Policy (web): Permissions and improvements

14. Permissions and improvements

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Assured tenants can request permission to carry out improvements or alterations to their property. Starter tenants (in the first 12 months of their tenancy and before becoming an assured tenant) don’t have this right.

You must get written permission from us before starting any work, and a qualified tradesperson must carry out the work. You are responsible for the repair and maintenance of any improvements or alterations that you have made.

If you make an adaptation without getting our written permission first, we may complete a repair to make safe or return the property back to our Lettable Standard and potentially charge you as explained in section 13 of this policy.

Permission will not be granted for gas fires, solid fuel, or wood burners for safety reasons.

Tap here to download our permission form for repairs/alterations/improvements (opens in a new tab).

15. Repairs Policy (web): Right to buy/acquire

15. Right to buy/acquire

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When a Right to Buy/Right to Acquire application is accepted, we will maintain the necessary services (e.g., water, heating, electricity, gas) to ensure their availability and your safety.

We will make sure the property is wind and watertight, and secure; carry out repairs with health and safety implications; treat any mould; and address any issues with damp and condensation.

Your property will be excluded from any improvement work, and any repairs previously reported that do not meet the explained criteria will be cancelled.

16. Repairs Policy (web): Complaints, compensation, and redress

16. Complaints, compensation, and redress

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If you feel we have done something wrong, you can make a complaint and may want to request compensation or other action to correct a problem.

We have a Customer Feedback Policy and a Compensation and Redress Policy, which you can find on our website at:  www.boltonathome.org.uk/our-policies-and-strategies (opens in a new tab).

These policies cover your legal rights and our discretionary awards scheme.

17. Repairs Policy (web): Insurance

17. Insurance

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We have buildings insurance for our properties, but this does not cover your belongings. We recommend you take out your own contents’ insurance.

You can find information on home contents insurance on our website at: www.boltonathome.org.uk/home-contents-insurance (opens in a new tab).

18. Repairs Policy (web): Equality analysis

18. Equality analysis

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In July 2023, we completed an equality analysis for this policy with members of our Equality Impact Analysis Panel, who help to ensure our policies work for everyone.

19. Repairs Policy (web): Responsibility

19. Responsibility

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Our Director of Property Maintenance is responsible for ensuring we follow this policy.

Staff within within each service area have individual and collective responsibility for implementing the contents of this policy.

20. Repairs Policy (web): consultation

20. Consultation

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We involved customers and relevant services in our review of this policy.

We held staff focus groups, consulted with our trade unions, and considered feedback from customer complaints and surveys.

The consultation influenced the updates we have made in this latest version of the policy.

21. Repairs Policy (web): General Data Protection Regulation

21. General Data Protection Regulation

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We completed a Data Protection Impact Assessment Screening Checklist and decided that a Data Protection Impact Assessment is not necessary, as this policy does not involve processing of customer data.

22. Repairs Policy (web): Related policies and strategies

22. Related policies and strategies

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  • Asset Management Strategy
  • Compensation and Redress Policy
  • Customer Feedback Policy
  • Voids Lettable Standard

You can find our policies and strategies on our website at: www.boltonathome.org.uk/our-policies-and-strategies (opens in a new tab).

23. Repairs Policy (web): Monitoring, review, and evaluation

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23. Monitoring, review, and evaluation

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We want to make our repairs service better and make you happier as a tenant.

Our Board and Operations Committee regularly check the performance of our repairs service.

Our Scrutiny Group, made up of our customers like you, reviews our service and can suggest ways we can do better.

After we fix something for you, we will ask for your thoughts on how we did. We will pay extra attention to your feedback where it relates to changes that we have made in the ways we do some things.

When we ask you for your feedback about repairs, we are following the guidelines given to us by the Regulator of Social Housing.

We use what you say in surveys and complaints to make our service better. If you want to know more, please check our Customer Feedback Policy (available at: www.boltonathome.org.uk/our-policies-and-strategies) (opens in a new tab).

We will tell you about the changes we make, based on what you say, through updates on our website. We will review this policy every three years and update it every year with any changes in the law.