Consultation on the changes to the repairs and maintenance service | News

Sadeh Lok

Consultation on the changes to the repairs and maintenance service

Building Services on call

Please note this consultation has now ended. Feedback closing date, 5pm Tuesday 3rd November 2020.


For information, consultation details originally posted on Thursday, 24 September 2020, see below;

If you are an Incommunities customer then you can provide your feedback on this consultation.

All your comments and feedback will be reviewed and taken into account. When the final service offer is agreed we will write to you again to confirm the outcome of the consultation. We know that there are some tenants who have very specific needs that may require adjustments to the service standards set out here. As always we will take into account those needs when delivering any of our services.


Consulting our customers

We have written to all our customers to ask their views on our repairs and maintenance service. We would like to be clear what our responsive repair service is and to get their feedback on some proposed changes. 

To help them understand our offer we have produced a Repairs Obligation Booklet. This booklet outlines;

  • Which repairs our team will carry out
  • Which repairs are your responsibilities as a tenant


What is changing?

  • The main changes to the repair offer are:
  • To make clear the obligations of us, the landlord and you the tenant on the responsive repair service.
  • We will no longer replace gas or electric fires where we are unable to get parts to carry out the repair and where the customer has central heating
  • We will no longer replace burglar alarms.
  • We are making clear the circumstance where we will provide fencing repairs. In future fencing replacement works will be carried out on as part of a planned maintenance programme to an estate/street rather than as individual jobs. This is much more cost effective and allows us make better use of your money.
  • We have introduced a new responsive repair appointment system in our organisation. This allows us to plan our operatives’ time more effectively. We want to know what appointment slots would suit you. Enclosed is a document with options about the appointments slots we offer and are considering offering.


Why are we making these changes?

We know that the quality of our repair and maintenance service is extremely important to our customers and the service we provide must be responsive, efficient and cost effective. We spend £25m each year on repairing and maintaining our homes and want to ensure we give them the best value for their money. We spend this money in several ways:

  • Responsive Repairs –routine problems that you experience with your home when things don’t work as they should, such as plumbing leaks, electrical faults and joinery works. These are the repairs you are most likely to report to us and we will carry out these repairs through our new appointment system. The attached document sets out clearly what is our responsibility it also highlights what kind of responsive repair you are responsible for.
  • Cyclical Works – we want to commence a 7 year programme to carry out certain works on a cyclical basis, such as gutter clearances, communal painting, external repairs & fencing repairs. We will deliver these works on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood basis which will enable us to provide a more efficient and effective service. Other forms of cyclical maintenance include your annual gas safety check and your periodic electrical test. It is so important you let us in to do these types of works as they are designed to keep you safe!
  • Planned Repairs –items which can no longer be repaired and are at the end of their useful life. They are usually significant replacement items within your home such as kitchens, bathrooms, roofs and central heating systems. These components have a lifespan for renewal which we monitor closely by carrying out Stock Condition Surveys. We use this information to determine our replacement programmes. Prior to replacing these components we will survey your property and carry out consultation.

Currently we are carrying out a lot of responsive repairs which is not the most cost-effective way of working. We want to ensure that responsive repairs are done in a timely and efficient manner but also to be able to plan ahead & communicate when planned maintenance will happen in your home.

We want to expand our digital offer to those customers who wish to use the internet 24 hours a day to book their repair appointments. This will be in addition to the telephone service that you currently have access to.

What are the benefits of these changes?

  • To provide clarity on what repairs we will carry out on a responsive basis.
  • To ensure that planned maintenance programmes of work, are delivered effectively and efficiently.
  • We have already introduced an appointments system that allows you to pick at a time that suits your lifestyle, including school run slots, evenings and weekends. We want to know if you would prefer us to extend the days and times that we offer to better suit you.
  • We believe by making these changes we will be able to invest in all our homes an additional £1m per year into planned maintenance by being more efficient and using our resources more effectively.

We have shared these proposals with our Tenant Panel and they will look at the feedback we receive from our customers to help shape the final offer. We are consulting with our customers in accordance with their Tenancy Agreement.


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