Issue - meetings

Housing Repairs Policy

Meeting: 03/12/2019 - Cabinet (Item 59)

59 Housing Repairs and Fitness for Habitation Policy pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To seek approval for adoption of the Housing Repairs and Fitness for Habitation Policy (report of the Portfolio Holder Housing and Health enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health which sought approval for adoption of the Housing Repairs and Fitness for Habitation Policy.

 

DECISION:

 

a)    That the Housing Repairs and Fitness for Habitation Policy be approved; and

 

b)    That amendments to the appendices of the Policy be delegated to the Housing Landlord Services Manager, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health.

 

(Other options considered:

·         Do nothing, and continue to operate with the existing policy.  However, this would not provide a mechanism for recharging repairs, as outlined in the Housing Income Policy.

Reasons for decision:

·         The Policy clearly sets out the responsibilities of both the Council as a Landlord, and those of the tenant.  It gave the tenant clear expectations that could be managed whilst ensuring there was no ambiguity as to what they were responsible for and what was expected of them as a tenant of the Council;

·         Adopting the policy would enable the Council to clearly state when a recharge for a repair caused by damage or neglect was applicable, thus allowing recuperation of costs where applicable).


Meeting: 06/11/2019 - Policy Development Panel (Item 37)

37 Housing Repairs Policy pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To seek approval for adoption of the Housing Repairs and Fitness for Habitation Policy (report of the Portfolio Holder, Housing and Health enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health which sought approval for adoption of the Housing Repairs and Fitness for Habitation Policy.

 

Once approved, the policy would give a clear understanding, in terms of repairs and maintenance, as to what was expected of the Council as a landlord, and equally what was expected of the tenant in terms of looking after their home.  The policy stated clearly the tenant’s responsibilities and rights, and enabled the Council to have a fair and consistent approach to repairing its stock.

 

Members considered the report, and the following issues arose:

 

·         Where emergency accommodation was required, was it the Authority’s responsibility to find alternative housing whilst work was undertaken on the tenant’s home?

o   Officers responded that if the property was uninhabitable, the tenant would be housed elsewhere. The responsibility lay with the Authority as landlord, not the insurance company.

 

·         Was it the Authority’s policy to remove all carpets when a tenant left a property?

o   Officers advised that if carpets were still in good order, the new tenant would be given the option to keep them.

 

·         With regard to voids, would this policy and the tenancy handbook assist in preventing properties falling into a poor state in the first place, and thus affecting turnaround?

o   Officers confirmed that the Housing Repairs Policy was supported by the tenancy handbook.  The Authority was now in a strong position, with regard to recharges, to manage tenancies.  It was anticipated that the new policy and the handbook would make tenancies easier to manage, and improve the position on voids.  It was also stated that officers were working on a suite of policies around tenancies and estates which would assist with other tenancy issues.  It was important that policies were in place so that the Authority would be in a strong position where there were legal challenges.

 

·         Were there staff in place to monitor tenancies, to ensure that they did not deteriorate in the first place?

o   Regular inspections of properties were now being undertaken, and contractors were being worked with.  Whilst tougher action was being taken against those tenants that simply would not pay, the authority was also ensuring that those who were vulnerable and could not pay were being  assisted where necessary.

 

·         Members asked whether photographs were taken of the property when a tenancy ended.

o   Officers confirmed that photographs were taken of properties when keys were handed back, and after any void work was undertaken.

 

·         Members asked whether access could be gained when an officer presented at a property and there was no response.

o   Most tenants would be aware of pre-arranged appointments.  If they were not at home when officers called, a card would be posted through the door and the onus would be on the tenant to re-arrange an appointment.  Currently, missed appointments were not charged for, but the new policy would be introducing charges in this respect.  If there was a real emergency (e.g a gas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37