At Albyn Housing Society repairs are dealt with by our Customer Services team, supported by our contractors. All our team undergo continued training to ensure that they provide our tenants with the best service available and our contractors are vetted before they join our approved list.
As well as a legal duty to maintain your home in a fit and safe state for you to live in, we are committed to providing good quality housing for our tenants.
About 16% of your rent goes towards the cost of day to day repairs on your home.
Generally, we are responsible for keeping the structure and outside of your home in a good condition, and for keeping sanitary fittings (toilets, sinks, baths and so on) and installations for supplying water, gas and electricity in good repair and proper working order. If the damage is caused by your neglect or misuse, we may carry out the work and will charge you for it.
This list below shows what items within your home we will repair and what exceptions, if any, exist.
While we are committed to providing you with a good quality home, we do ask that you do some things to help us help you.
You are generally responsible for decorating the inside of your home and maintaining the fixtures and fittings. This means that you should make sure your home is well decorated at the end of your tenancy. You are responsible for damage that you have caused either intentionally or through neglect. A full list of responsibilities for repairs is listed here.
- report repairs as soon as you notice them;
- allow us into your home to inspect it or carry out repairs;
- look after any garden or other ground let to you as part of your home; and
- with your neighbours, keep any shared gardens or stairs clean and in good order.
To report a repair:
- Phone Customer Services 0300 323 0990 and select option 1.
We have set target times for completing repairs, depending on the type of work that needs to be done:
Emergency repairs will be carried out as soon as possible after they have been reported, and always within eight hours. If a temporary repair is carried out, you will be told when you can expect the permanent repair to be completed and whether or not you will be charged for the work.
Some urgent repairs will be carried out within one working day. These repairs include the following:
- Blocked sink, bath or drain (if there are no other sinks or baths in the house);
- Dangerous paths and steps;
- Repairs to toilets (if there are no other toilets in the house).
Other urgent repairs will be carried out within two working days. These are repairs where any delay of more than two working days could cause damage to your property. These repairs include the following:
- Floods or leaks causing damage to ceilings or walls;
- Broken glass, doors or locks;
- Faulty immersion heaters (if there is no other hot-water supply);
- Heating repairs in cold weather.
Most other repairs will be routine repairs and will be carried out within 10 working days.
The types of repair quoted above are intended as a guide only. There will be situations where the time it takes us to respond to repairs will be different because of special circumstances. We will tell you about these when you report your repair.
You are entitled to have certain repairs carried out within a timescale set by The Scottish Government. These are called qualifying repairs, and they are listed in our Tenant's Handbook.
- The repair is the tenant’s responsibility but has been carried out by us. These responsibilities are included in your Tenancy Agreement and are also outlined in this Handbook on pages 55 – 64;
- The repair is a result of damage or negligence caused by the tenant or another occupant or visitor to the property;
- The repair is the result of a crime or vandalism which has not been reported to the police;
- Work, which is not as a result of general wear and tear, is needed to bring an empty property up to an acceptable standard for a new tenant, unless arrangements have been made in advance with their Housing Officer. These will include:
- Cleaning out personal items and rubbish left in the house or garden, including loft spaces and store-rooms;
- Cutting grass;
- Lifting and removing floor coverings;
- Removing unauthorised alterations, including panelling, tiles, shelves, shower units and other fixtures that have been badly fitted, and including associated repairs required to plaster, plasterboard and surrounds; and
- Bringing the property up to a reasonable hygienic standard.
What we will charge:
- We will charge the cost of work. You will be provided with a copy of the contractors invoice;
- We will recharge the actual costs of any legal or court costs or fees paid to debt recovery agencies to trace and recover unpaid charges; and
- We will charge a 5% administrative fee on all rechargeable repair costs to former tenants. However we will discount this fee where payment is received in full within 3 months of the end of the tenancy.
When we will not re-charge repairs:
- The repair is necessary to keep the property wind and watertight; and
- We will advise tenants in writing of the details and likely cost of the repair at the earliest opportunity. Where the tenant is still a current tenant, they will be given the opportunity to carry out the repair themselves first unless it is an urgent repair.
Tenants who do not agree with decisions made about any aspect of a repair recharge can complain through our Complaints Procedure.
AHS Ltd is very proud to have been part of the steering group that developed the Sutherland and Ross-Shire Handy Person Services.
This service, run by ILM Highland, was initially established in Sutherland after our application for Wider Role Funding for the project and has recently been extended to Ross and Cromarty. Communities Scotland has provided a grant of £107,868 over three years towards the running costs.
The Handy Person Scheme is available to people over 60 or with a disability who live in either Sutherland or Ross-Shire. The handy person can do a variety of odd jobs and small repairs around the home and can also make minor adaptations for you, such as fitting grab rails. Labour and travel costs are covered by the scheme and the householder is asked to pay for or provide materials.
Each handy person is vetted through disclosure Scotland and carries personal identification. They will have all the equipment and experience to carry out the job for you.
If you wish to find out more you can contact them through this link or at either of the addresses below:
Ross and Cromarty Handy Person Service
Teaninich Industrial Park
Tel: 01349 884774
Fax: 01349 884660
If you live in Wester Ross you can contact the Handy Person Service on:
Tel: 01445 781312
Fax: 01445 781483
Sutherland Handy Person Scheme
Lairg Industrial Estate
Tel: 01549 402798
Fax: 01549 402679
In short, the answer is no. Unless you are a qualified tradesman, for your own safety we do not allow any tenants to make repairs to our properties, however, there are situations where you may be responsible for repairs or where you may wish to make improvements to your home.
Damage where you are responsible
If you have damaged your property through negligence or misuse we will carry out the repair and recharge you or you may wish to organise a reputable, qualified tradesman to carry out the work for you at your own cost.
Improving your home
You may wish, for example, to put up shelves or hang curtain rails to make your home more individual or more in keeping with your own tastes. These minor DIY jobs are your own responsibility and done at your own risk. As with all DIY jobs, you must ensure that you are safe and able to carry out the project. If you are unsure, you should seek professional advice or employ a reputable tradesman.
We also realise that a tenant may wish, for example, to put in a new kitchen, build a shed, install Sky or a shower, and wherever possible we are happy for our tenants to carry out improvements within their homes. There are however, circumstances which would prevent these improvements from being done and therefore we ask that you request permission in writing before you carry out any work. We also ask that you employ a reputable, qualified tradesman to carry out the work. If you are unsure who to use you can contact our Customer Services team and they can offer advice.
For permission to make improvements, please either contact your Housing Services Officer or our Customer Services Team.
As a provider of social housing we are required to meet the standards which the Scottish Government has laid down. If you would like to know more about Scottish Housing Quality Standard please follow this link to the Scottish Government website.
In order to ensure that your property meets these standards we will require to make periodic inspections of your home. We may also inspect your home if you have reported an on going fault or problem, or to ensure that our contractors have completed a repair to the standards we expect.
If you are unhappy with the state of repair within your home you can request a visit from your Housing Services Officer who will advise on the necessary steps to remedy the situation.
When we need to carry out an inspection we will contact you to arrange access. Access will always be during office hours, except during emergencies. On arrival, our Housing Services Officer will show you identification and, if you wish, you can contact the office on: 01349 852978.
From time to time we will need to carry out planned maintenance to your home. We understand that this can cause disruption and inconvenience to you and your family and we do aim to minimise this by combining works where possible, for example we may fit new doors and windows at the same time or upgrade your insulation while we are fitting a new heating system.
At AHS Ltd, we carry out two types of planned maintenance, Estate Investment Works and Cyclical Works. You can find out what is happening in your area on our “What’s happening in my area” page.
Estate Investment Works
Estate Investment Works are one off projects, which are carried out to improve the standard of living within our properties and/or to raise our properties to Scottish Housing Quality Standard. If you would like to know more please see the Scottish Government website.
There may be occasions where you have carried out the work yourself, for example you have fitted a kitchen or extra insulation, which we have included in our Estate Investment Plan. In this situation we will need to inspect your property to confirm that the work meets the Society's standards and is SHQS compliant, therefore we ask that when we contact you about proposed works you let us know if you have already carried out the work.
Cyclical Works are repeat maintenance projects which are carried out to maintain the standard and/or safety of your home and your family. They are usually carried out every year or every few years and include gas servicing, external painting and gutter cleaning among others.
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