Repairs to Your Home

When you move in

Sovereign Housing Association sets a minimum standard that our homes will meet when we relet them. Some repairs will be carried out before you move in, others afterwards. The following table lists the checks we will make and when we will undertake any maintenance works.

Minimum Standards Checklist Before you move in After you move in
Good structural stability. tick  
Gas safety checks completed - to include smoke detectors and CO2 detectors (where fitted) tick  
Electric safety checks completed. tick  
  All ponds to be filled in. tick  
  Grass to be no longer than 15cms long. tick  
  All down-pipes, drains and gutters to be free from leaks/blockages and be secure.   tick
  All gas and electric meter cupboards to be secure.   tick
  All footpaths, steps, handrails etc to be in safe condition.   tick
  All gates to open and close correctly and be in sound condition.   tick
  Fencing (supplied by SHG) to be intact and secure.   tick
  All free-standing sheds or stores, left at the property, to be in a sound condition (prior to gifting to incoming tenant).   tick
Windows and Doors (internal)    
  All fire doors to have an appropriate self closing mechanism. tick  
  Any glazing below 800mm to be safety glass. tick  
  Any glazing in doors or side-lights to doors at any height should be safety glass. tick  
  Door furniture to be in good order. tick  
  Window locks will have an adequate supply of keys. tick  
  All locks to be in working order tick  
  All glazing to be free from defects and cracks. tick  
  Trickle vents should operate with ease.   tick
  Ground floor and basement flats should have window locks.   tick
  Windows and doors should open and close with ease and catches should be fully operational.   tick
Walls and Ceilings    
  All polystyrene ceiling tiles removed - fire hazard. tick  
  No major cracks or loose plaster.   tick
Floors and Stairs    
  Floorboards to be free from holes and cracks and be stable. tick  
  Handrails in good order and secure. tick  
  Taps, ball valves & waste pipes to be in good working order and free from leaks. tick  
  Hot water cylinder jacket to be in good effective order.   tick
  Sinks and basins to have a plug and chain provided. tick  
  Sink to be free from damage tick  
  Worktops to be free from major scratches. tick  
  All abutments/ junctions to be sealed with silicon mastic. tick  
  All tiles to be in sound condition, secure and grouted. tick  
  All units, drawers & doors, to be secure and in good order.   tick
  All fittings and plumbing to be free from leaks and sealed with silicon mastic. tick  
  W.C seat to be replaced. tick  
  Sufficient tiling around bath, basin and shower that is sound, secure and grouted. tick  
  Incorrectly installed showers to be removed. tick  
  A fully working extractor fan to be fitted in bathrooms with no windows.   tick
  The property, including the loft space and garden to be free from rubbish or debris. tick  
  All worktops, walls and base units to be free from grease and dirt. tick  
  All walls to be free from graffiti and excessive marks. tick  
  Floors to be free from excessive marks. tick  
  All sanitary fittings to be hygienically clean. tick  
  All tiling to be free from dirt. tick  
  All elements of property to be free from mould growth. tick  
  Property to be free from pest infestation. tick  
  Wallpapered areas to be intact and free from tears or peeling paper. tick  
  Painted surfaces to be generally clean, free from excessive marks and chips. tick  


Account will be taken of acceptable/normal wear and tear that would occur when assessing your home against the above standard.


After you have moved in

Customer Responsibilities

The sort of repairs that you are responsible for:


  • Blocked sinks, basins and toilets
  • Shower hoses, heads, curtains, rails, fittings
  • The bleeding of radiators
  • Toilet seats
  • Tap washers


  • Light bulbs, starters, & fluorescent tubes
  • Fuses & circuit breakers
  • Batteries in smoke detectors
  • Doorbells


  • Internal decorations
  • Draft proofing
  • Oiling of locks & hinges
  • Replacement or damage to locks
  • Lost or stolen keys
  • Replacement of broken glazing
  • Pests
  • Removal of rubbish
  • Intentional or negligent damage by you
  • Items provided or installed by you


Sovereign Housing Association Responsibilities

The following are examples of our repair responsibilities:

Emergency – make safe within 24 hours. ‘Genuine danger to life and limb, or likelihood of major damage to the property’. Examples are:

  • Gas leaks – always contact TRANSCO immediately 0800 111999
  • Burst pipes
  • Complete loss of electric supply (contact your electricity supplier first)
  • Complete loss of water supply (contact your water supplier first)
  • Failure of warden call system
  • Electrical faults where there is risk of injury
  • Heating failure between 1 November and 30 April (unless alternative heating is available)
  • Serious roof leaks
  • Broken main entrance door
  • Blocked main underground drains
  • Smoke detector not working, (does not include changing batteries)
  • Removal of racist or offensive graffiti
  • Breakdown of combination boilers
  • Complete loss of hot water supply (no alternative)
  • Broken glass in communal areas
  • Complete failure of lighting in communal areas (e.g. staircases)

Routine – Completed repair within 28 days. Examples are:

  • Plumbing leaks
  • Electrical faults
  • Heating failure between 1 May and 31 October
  • Lift breakdown
  • Non-flushing toilet
  • Lack of hot water (where an alternative is available)
  • Minor roof leaks
  • Dripping tap or ball valve
  • Carpentry repairs
  • Light pendants or other electrical fittings
  • Repairs to external fittings


Gas Safety Inspections

Each year around 40 people die and a further 200 suffer carbon monoxide poisoning because of faulty gas appliances. In many of these cases the problem could have been avoided if an annual safety check had been made.

Annual gas safety checks

As responsible landlords, the Group takes its obligations to health and safety seriously. This is particularly the case with performing annual gas safety checks on the appliances we provide in our homes.

Gas appliance servicing is an important safety aspect of our standard service to all customers. For a very small inconvenience we can help secure the safety of you and your family at no extra cost to yourself.

Each year our contractors check the gas appliances in all of our homes. They undertake repair and maintenance works if required to ensure the safe operation of the appliances. At the end of this they issue a safety certificate (CP12) and give you a copy. This is our record of the check. Sovereign Housing Association retains these certificates on file for 12 years.

How you can help

Sovereign Housing Association takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the gas safety checks take place. To do these checks we need access to your home. They do not take long. You can help us by making sure that:

  • You report any faults with the appliances we have provided to our freephone Helpline as soon as they occur.
  • Responding to our contractors when they call to arrange an appointment to do the gas safety check or when you receive a letter from us about this.
  • Being at home at the time arranged for the appointment.
  • You report any faults with the appliances we have provided to our freephone Helpline as soon as they occur.

Under your Tenancy Agreement, Sovereign has the right to gain access to your home to undertake these works. If you consistently refuse to co-operate with us or refuse access we will escalate the request for access as follows

  • The contractor will contact you to arrange the inspection 10 days beforehand.
  • If this is unsuccessful we will write to you asking you to call the Contractor or our Helpline to make an appointment within 10 days.
  • If this is unsuccessful we will write to you again. We will ask you to call the Contractor or our Helpline to set the appointment within 7 days. We will also outline the legal course of action that we may take.
  • If this is unsuccessful we will use any one of a number of legal options to gain access to your home (e.g. an injunction, a Notice Seeking Possession).


When something goes wrong

The fastest way to get the repairs tackled is to call the Contact Centre. Make sure you have all of the details about the repair needed – the more information you can give us the more quickly we will be able to arrange the repair work.

The Contact Centre Advisor will tell you which category the repair falls into and will make the arrangements with our maintenance partners to get the job done.


  • Spectrum House, Grange Road,
    Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 4GE
  • 0300 777 7837
  • contact@sovereign.org.uk
Great homes • Strong communites • Residents at the Heart