Responsive Repairs & Maintenance Policy

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This policy sets out our commitment to deliver an efficient and effective responsive repairs service that meets the needs of our customers and enables us to fulfil our statutory, regulatory, and contractual obligations.

Carrying out repairs is one of the most important services we deliver to our customers. We want Oak homes to be maintained in an affordable manner and ensure all our homes provide our customers with a safe, warm, and dry home, where everything is in working order.



This policy covers repairs services to customers who rent their home under a tenancy agreement, customers who rent under a license, and those who own them as a leaseholder (whether through shared ownership or outright). Both our repairing obligations and those of our customers vary between those tenures, and this is reflected in the policy. The policy covers responsive repairs within customers’ homes (including their gardens and garages, subject to terms of the tenancy, license, or lease agreement), in communal areas, and to communal assets for example, shared gardens, shared spaces including lifts and corridors.

Oak Housing defines a Responsive Repair as unplanned work that is reported by our customers about their homes, or which arise from damage or wear and tear to communal areas and common parts. It rectifies, and makes good, a component, installation or part of a Oak property for which we are responsible, when it is faulty or needs repairing.

This policy does not cover planned investment works or Aids and Adaptions works (A&A) conducted on a case-by-case basis either through local authorities funding grants for A&A or consultation with funding partners for items such as roof replacements. Oak Housing is committed to undertaking these works as and when required or legislated.

In addition to this policy local offers may vary and where we have an estate manager/local presence repairs maybe reported directly and then the standard process followed for logging repairs on Arthur – if any doubt consult with the Director of Operations Oak Housing.



To ensure we meet and exceed expected standards in property maintenance within this contract we have allocated overall responsibility for managing our Repair & Maintenance (R&M) offer to the Housing and Repairs Manager. It will be their responsibility to ensure that all properties managed under the contract are maintained in accordance with standards laid down in the terms of reference as well as meeting our own internal controls / Industry Codes of practice.

We have an in-house R&M team and currently manage the; responsive repair service (including out of hours), void reinstatement and planned maintenance service Key to delivering a consistent and high-quality service is clarity around expected performance standards. Our maintenance teams have undertaken a range of training surrounding standards of maintenance including H&S requirements and the Decent Home Standard (DHS). 

Our R&M Offer

We have a track record of delivering an efficient and effective housing maintenance service for several Local Authority and RSL clients and are proud of our R&M offer, which includes.

  • A 24/7 365 days a year responsive repair service.
  • An emergency repair facility that priorities specialist support to vulnerable households.
  • A dedicated repair call centre, staffed by multilingual officers.
  • A performance management framework for recording and monitoring repairs as well as capturing tenant satisfaction with our service.
  • A comprehensive Planned Maintenance service capable of delivering Decent Homes Standard works.
  • A comprehensive void turnaround facility dedicated to the reinstatement of empty properties.


Our policy is to:

  • Ensure we meet our repair obligations so that Oak homes are well maintained, throughout the duration of the tenancy.
  • Comply with all legislative, regulatory, and contractual (including tenancy) obligations.
  • Deliver an effective repairs service which responds to the needs of customers, and which aims to complete repairs at the first visit, within the priority times outlined within the policy.
  • Ensure our customers are aware of their repair responsibilities and our repair responsibilities, and that these are met.
  • Always communicate effectively to our customers in relation to the delivery of our responsive repairs service and enable Customers to communicate effectively with us.
  • Offer our customers suitable and convenient choice in booking appointments for repairs.


The following standards are the minimum that must be achieved.

  • Complete an inspection where this is required to determine the nature of the repair.
  • Resolve the fault at the first repair visit, wherever possible.
  • Meet the repair obligations that are contained within the tenancy agreement/lease and as set within law.
  • Delivers a customer focussed service in their homes.
  • Use a range of communications tools to deliver an efficient service to our customers during and after booking a repair with us such as via phone, email or via our website.
  • Deliver quality work in a courteous manner.
  • Be cost effective and provide a value for money service to customers and demonstrate VFM to other stakeholders.
  • Proactively consult with customers when required.
  • Flexibility to cover all types of contractual arrangements.


As a landlord or where we are instructing Landlords (Landlord obligations for PLA homes) we are required to meet certain obligations that are set out in law. Additionally, our tenancy (or leasehold) agreements set out the responsibilities for both Oak Housing and our customers. Appendix 1 provides a breakdown of the responsibilities for Oak Housing and our customers.


Not all repairs will require an inspection. If an inspection is required, this will be ideally completed within 7 calendar days.


We categorise repairs with varying timescales as follows:

Reason for change
Emergency (Including cat 1 HHSRS hazards including Damp, Mould and Condensation which may require a temporary decant)
We aim to respond within 4 hours and “attend to and make safe” within 24 hours.
(This includes where there is a total loss of heating, hot water, water, and electricity as well as some other jobs) Any follow up work (if required) will be completed within the appropriate priority time.
Urgent gas repairs
Within 3 calendar days*
Urgent including serious cases of damp and mould
Within 5 calendar days
Routine Repairs
Within 28 calendar days at the customers convenience
Routine Communal repairs
Within 52 days.

(* This will revert to 24 hours from October 1st to March 31st inclusive)


We will seek to offer our customers reasonable choice in making a repairs appointment. If we need to change agreed arrangements, we will contact the customer as far in advance as possible to advise them. Please see below appointment times:

Monday – Friday 8am – 1pm

Monday – Friday 12pm – 5pm (Thursday evening 5pm – 8pm if required to reduce the Work in progress repairs)


Our tenancy, license and leasehold agreements require customers to allow us (including appointed contractors) access to their home to carry out repairs at the agreed appointment time. If we are unable to gain access to carry out the repairs and the integrity of the property, its fabric and/or the safety of the customer or those in the vicinity of the property is compromised, we will take appropriate action to gain access to carry out the repair. This may include but is not limited to obtaining an injunction for access. If we are required to gain access this way, we will consider taking both immediate and retrospective action against the customer for the breach of their tenancy conditions. We may pass on to the customer the costs incurred by us taking this action including an administrative fee.


Anyone working in our customer’s home on our behalf is expected to meet our code of conduct. We will monitor the quality of our contractor’s work and how they behave in our customers’ homes. In return, we expect our customers to always treat our employees and contractors with respect.


Landlord repairs

To ensure that all properties taken on under this contract meet the desired standard, our Maintenance team work closely with our acquisitions team and prospective landlords throughout the procurement phase.  The R&M team will ensure that repair liabilities are clearly defined, and landlords are aware of their responsibilities (Landlord repairs and maintenance timescale). Once a property is taken on the R&M team will work with our Housing Officers and LA allocations teams to prepare properties for letting.

Once allocated our Housing Officers will meet all tenants on site to ensure they are properly orientated around their new homes.  We will explain the heating system and location of all water / gas stop valves. Our Housing Officers take this opportunity to outline what constitutes an eligible repair, a tenant liability repair and all repair reporting methods and numbers. This information is provided in a written form within our tenant’s handbook, which we can make available in a range of languages other than English if needed. Following sign up the Housing Officers will regularly inspect all properties under management to ensure they remain well maintained and safe (property inspection report). In this way we act proactively to support tenants in their homes and address potential disrepair issues before they arise.


Reporting a repair.

We have a dedicated call centre that receives all calls made to our organisation. A team of multilingual staff who are specifically trained on repair diagnosis operate the phones. All repair calls received are logged on our bespoke R&M computer system (Arthur) which generates job sheets containing relevant information to action the works. All R&M requests will, wherever possible, be actioned on the same day as they are received. Works requiring a specialist response are undertaken by fully qualified / specialist trades people as appropriate (i.e., Gas / electrical works).


Out of hours repair line

As well as the call centre we operate an out of hours repair line, which is available between 5.30pm and 9am Monday to Friday, weekends, and holiday periods throughout the year. To strengthen our commitment to a tenant orientated approach and in line with industry best practice standards, we are currently in the process of converting all our repair reporting lines to a free phone 0800 number.


Emergency Procedures

As well as offering a comprehensive routine and out of hours repair service we also provide an emergency repairs service. This service is designed to cater specifically for the reinstatement of heating / hot water systems during periods of cold weather and is tailored to meet repair needs in households, which are deemed to be vulnerable. The emergency service is available 24 / 7 (365 days a year) and all works are attended / actioned within 4 hours of an order being raised. If we are unable to resolve the problem in one visit, we make arrangements to ensure that households are not inconvenienced excessively (i.e., we will supply electrical heaters, temporary cookers etc until the works can be completed).


Online repairs reporting facility.

We have an online repair reporting facility on which tenants can raise and tract a repair ( This is an innovative way of raising a repair notification and provides access to our services around the clock. We have found this particularly popular with working tenants who find it hard to contact the office during work hours.

By utilising our comprehensive range of R&M experience and practical procedures outlined above we will ensure that the properties we manage through this contract are maintained to (and exceed) the standards specified in the ITT documentation.


Empty Homes

We will aim to turn empty homes around for lettings as quickly as possible to provide a new home as quickly as possible. Our voids combined lettable standard sets out the standards for each of our homes from single rooms to houses.


Temporary decants.

On very rare occasions whereby damage to a home (not Leaseholder as this is claimed through home contents insurance) temporary accommodation maybe offered if a home become temporary unhabitable. The decision to decant a home will be authorised by the Director Operations or out of hours the lead escalation on call. In the first instance customers should seek overnight accommodation with other family members before alternative is provided. It can be very impactful to decant


Home contents insurance

It is an expectation that all Oak Housing customers purchase home contents insurance when they move into their home, it is recognised that those living in short term accommodation may not be able to purchase home contents insurance. In the event of an insurable loss this is to be raised at the first opportunity with Oak Housing staff.


Regulatory guidance

Key legal and regulatory references

  • Building Safety Bill
  • Defective premises Act 1972
  • Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
  • Housing Act 1988
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • Fire Safety Act 2021 Gas safety (installations and use) Regulations 1998
  • Health and Social Care Act 2008
  • Housing Act 2004
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015
  • Home Standard, Regulator of Social Housing, 2015
  • Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
  • Party Wall Act 2016
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
  • Gas Safety Management Regulation 1996
  • Housing Scotland Act 2001
  • Housing Scotland Act 2006

Related policies and procedures

  • Complaints policy
  • Customer Care policy
  • Neighbourhood Policy
  • Damp and Mould Policy
  • Decant procedure.
  • Empty Homes Standard (Lettable standards)
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policy
  • Financial Redress procedure
  • Fire safety policy
  • Gas management policy
  • Health & Safety policy


Role and responsibilities for repairs


What we and our customers are each responsible for is set out in our tenancy/leasehold/licence agreements.


We will publish a list on our website of our and our customers’ responsibilities (See Appendix 1). However, it is always the law and the individual tenancy agreements that govern these responsibilities in each case, not this website list.

In particular:

  • We expect our customers to treat their homes, and carry out repairs and maintenance, in accordance with the responsibilities set out in their tenancy or lease agreement. We will not normally undertake repairs which, under the tenancy or lease agreement, are the customer’s responsibility.
  • We will not normally undertake repairs to fixtures and fittings installed by our customers. If we do attend a customer’s home and it is found to be a customer’s own installed component, we reserve the right to recover the cost of the repair from the customer; if we cannot repair then we will replace it with a component from Oak Housing’ specification.
  • Where damage is caused by customers (or their family or visitors) to their home we will expect the customer to rectify it. If the customer does not do so, or does not do so to the required standard, we may carry out the repair and recover the cost of doing so from the customer with an administrative fee levied.


We know that occasionally our customers believe that we should undertake repairs and maintenance that, under the tenancy, licence, or lease agreements, are not considered to be our responsibility. These most commonly relate to:

  • Trees and bushes. At the start of the tenancy, Oak Housing will ensure they are at a reasonable height and span (taking into account proximity to paths/buildings, blocking light etc.), are not causing damage and are not significantly diseased. We will expect customers to then maintain trees at the height and span during the tenancy. Leaseholders should check their lease agreement to check on where responsibility for trees lies, as there can be variations depending on the agreement and where the tree is situated, for example within communal gardens tree maintenance is usually Oak Housing’s responsibility or the responsibility of a managing agent.
  • Walls, fences, and boundaries. Oak Housing is responsible for boundary fences (this includes fences that lead onto a public right of way such as a road, field, waterway, or car park. This also includes dividing fences that are between two properties unless this is an estate asset managed by a 3rd party.
  • Mould and Condensation. We ask our customers, where they can, to adequately heat rooms – The World Health Organisation recommends 18°c; customers should also ensure that the ventilation units provided are switched on to eradicate the possibility of condensation and mould occurring.  Customers who are concerned about the cost of energy bills can contact Oak Housing or your local authorities Affordable Warmth Team for advice. We advise that our customers clear mould spots as soon as they appear using an antifungal cleaning product. If customers have attempted to clean the area and it continues to come back, it should be reported to us so we can arrange for it to be inspected and assess the underlying cause. This only relates to social and affordable rent properties. Leasehold/Share ownership customers should refer to their individual lease.
  • Decoration. Customers are responsible for decorating and maintaining decorative order within their homes. However, where we have completed a repair and that repair has resulted in damage to existing décor, or an obvious and significant contrast between the repaired area and existing décor, we will make good that area and decorate it. The nature and extent of the decoration will be solely at our discretion. This only relates to social and affordable rent properties. We have no such equivalent responsibilities in respect of leasehold homes.


Helping you, our customers.

We recognise that some of our customers may need help when it comes to meeting their repair responsibilities. We may, entirely at our discretion, provide a service in addition to the statutory and contractual responsibilities, to assist our customers who may need support to meet the conditions of their tenancy. We will make this assessment based on the individual customer’s needs at the point of the repair request, including whether there is anyone else who might reasonably assist them, and whether there are any immediate risks to their health or safety. This may include an extension to the scope of repairs which we carry out.

Appendix 1

Responsive Repair
This is repair work carried out following a request from a customer, a customer's representative, or an Oak Housing employee. It rectifies, and makes good, a component, element or installation in a Oak Housing property or communal area for which we are responsible, when it is faulty or in a state of repair.
Planned or Cyclical Maintenance
This is work that is carried out on an agreed cycle and as part of our planned investment in our homes. This can be both substantial works carried out over a longer time frame. (E.g., upgrading fire systems, or door entry systems) or the cyclical repair or upgrade of components of a property or scheme (e.g., kitchens, roofing, doors & windows, gas appliance servicing).
Emergency Repairs
Emergency repair requirements have an immediate health and safety risk to our customers, their home, or their neighbours. We will respond to a request within 4 hours (phone call or attend) and complete a repair or carry out a temporary repair to make the situation safe within 24 hours of the repair being reported. If we carry out a temporary repair, we will return within a *reasonable timeframe to complete the repair. They may include:
  • Complete loss of heating, electricity, hot water or water supply.
  • **Gas leaks or faulty carbon monoxide detectors (if you can smell gas or fumes). You should also check any safety label which is provided near to the appliance for further guidance.
  • Blocked drains, or sewage overflowing into your home.
  • Burst plumbing or flood or leak that cannot be contained.
  • Problems flushing the toilet.
  • Burst storage tanks, cylinders, or pipes.
  • Damaged or failing electrical wiring, lighting, or light fittings.
  • Problems with kitchen or bathroom lights.
  • Faulty lifts.
  • Problems with equipment installed as part of an adaptation (that Oak Housing has installed).
  • Any serious security issues, such as a front door that doesn’t lock.
  • Blocked escape route.
  • Window jammed open or shut.
  • Unsafe, insecure, or broken doors and windows, including front, back, communal and fire doors.
  • Faulty external or automatic doors, gates, or warden call systems.
  • Damaged or faulty fire safety equipment, or damaged fire safety signage
  • Exposed/damaged asbestos containing materials.
  • Anything that may present an immediate health and safety risk.
*If a temporary repair is made regarding the loss of heating, water or electricity to a customer’s home, or there is an immediate risk to a customer’s health and safety within their home, the completion of the full repair will revert to our Urgent P2/3 timescales all other repairs will revert to our Routine timescales.
Urgent Repairs (gas) (P2 – 3 calendar days)
Urgent gas repairs will be completed in 24 hours during 31st March to 1st October and in other months will be completed in up to 3 calendar days.
Urgent Repairs (P3 – 5 calendar days)
Problems with general lighting within the property (not kitchen and bathroom which are classed as an emergency) Severe, visible mould on internal plastered surfaces, such as ceilings or walls. Equipment or debris in communal areas and bin chutes, or problems with removing waste materials. Any hazard in communal areas, such as slip, trip and fall hazards, rodent infestations or damaged play equipment. Problems with communal TV aerials. Follow on gas work, for example if a part is required.


Oak Housing will – Our promise to you.

We will keep in repair the structure and exterior of your home including: 

  • Drains, gutters, and external pipes.
  • The roof.
  • External walls and doors of your home, windowsills, sash cords, external window, and door frames, catches and glass, including necessary painting and decoration.
  • Internal walls, skirting boards, doors and door frames, floors, ceilings, and plasterwork, but not including decoration of these.
  • Chimneys and chimney stacks and flues but excluding the sweeping of chimneys.
  • Pathways and steps (where they are the main means of access to your home).
  • Garages and stores (if included in your tenancy);
  • Boundary walls and fences that are present at the start of your tenancy.
  • Faulty locks to windows and doors (but not lost keys)
  • Washing lines (communal areas only)

We will keep in repair and working order the installations for room heating, water heating and sanitation and for the supply of water, gas, and electricity, including:

  • Basins, sinks, baths, toilets (but not the toilet seat), flushing systems and waste pipes.
  • Electrical wiring, gas pipes and water pipes.
  • Water heaters, fitted fires and central heating installations; (if a gas fire or any other fossil fuel appliance is installed as a secondary source, it will not be replaced.)
  • Sockets and light fittings, that were present or installed at the time the tenancy started.
  • Bathroom and Kitchen light bulbs that were present or installed at the time the tenancy started.
  • Smoke alarms which were present in the property at the time the tenancy started.
  • Fire doors within communal premises, entrance doors onto communal walkway, and internal doors (flats only).

We must carry out annual inspections of gas appliances, pipework and flues and all properties must have a valid electrical safety inspection certificate (EICR) every 5 years.

We must take care to keep in repair the communal entrances, hallways, stairways, lifts, passageways, rubbish chutes and any, and all communal parts and areas, including electric lighting and septic tanks.

We will keep in repair and working order any adaptations that we have provided in the customers home, including stair lifts and hoists. We will not be responsible for anything installed by the customer or a third party (including any person or organisation that provides support to the customer.)

*We will not be liable for the repair of any of the items listed above, if the repair is necessary because of damage to, or neglect of the customers home by the customer (including any failure to comply with their tenancy agreement), or members of their household or visitors. We may undertake the repair and recharge the full cost including an administrative fee.


Our customers

The customer will tell us about any repairs that need to be done that are our responsibility as soon as they become aware of them. The customer will allow our staff, agents, and contractors access to their home. 

The customer will carry out any minor repairs to their home that are not Oak Housings responsibility. This includes, but not limited to:

  • Replacing or repairing any fixtures or fittings (such as locks and keys, hinges, glass in doors and windows, baths, toilets, sinks, and basins) which require attention due to misuse by the customer, or members of their household or visitors to their home.
  • Decorating the inside of their home and keeping it in a reasonable state of decoration.
  • Keeping all baths, sinks and cisterns, sanitary fittings and drains clean and unblocked.
  • Renewing chains and plugs for sinks, baths and basins.
  • Replacing light bulbs.
  • Repairing and, if necessary, replacing, gate catches, fireplace tiles and locks.
  • Maintaining in a good state of repair any fixtures and fittings that the customer installs in their home (including cookers and electrical appliances);
  • Maintaining in a good state of repair all toilet seats.
  • Replacing lost keys.
  • Checking and (if required) replacing batteries in any smoke or carbon monoxide detector in their home.
  • Cleaning any mould caused by condensation.
  • Altering doors for carpets (unless flats within communal blocks)
  • Filling small plaster cracks.
  • Clothes posts and lines (unless communal)
  • TV aerials (unless communal)
  • All “making good” and repairs when vacating a property.

The customer must keep their private garden tidy by cutting any grass regularly, keeping trees and shrubs trimmed and maintaining any beds.

N.B Please be aware that repair responsibilities for those in some temporary accommodation or Supported Housing customers will be covered by our “Assisting our customers”


Treating you and our colleagues/contractors well.

Our Colleagues and contractors agree to meet our code of conduct. We expect them to: 

  • Keep their appointments or, if it is necessary to change them, do so and advise customers of this in good time.
  • Carry and show an identification card bearing their name, the name of their employer, and a recent photograph of themselves.
  • Work efficiently and tidily
  • Treat the customer and their home with respect.
  • Always be polite.
  • Clear up after themselves.
  • If a repair cannot be resolved on first contact, a follow-on appointment will be agreed upon on site between Oak Housing colleagues/contractor and customer.

Our contractors/colleagues have a right to feel safe while at work and may remove themselves from any situation if they determine it to be necessary.

In return, we ask our customers to:

  • Provide Oak Housing and our contractors access to their home at the agreed appointment time – or change it as soon as possible if the customer is not going to be at home at the agreed time.
  • Treat our staff and contractors with respect.
  • Check the contractor’s identification card and if there are any concerns about the authenticity of the identity to call our customer service centre immediately on 0800 040 8481.
  • Take children with them if they must leave the property whilst the contractor is in their home. We will be unable to continue work if this is not possible.
  • Refrain from smoking inside while the repair is carried out in their home.
  • We ask that all non-contained pets (e.g dogs, cats) are removed from the area of repair.

Period of review

Our policy review programme is driven by service improvement initiatives, changes to legislation, regulation, evolving good practice or feedback from customers and other stakeholders. We aim to review all policies on a 3-year cycle.

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