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Repairs & Improvements

HOW TO RAISE REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS TO YOUR HOME

If you require a repair, either inside or outside, your home, you must first check whose responsibility it is. If it is our responsibility, you will need to  raise this via your 'My Inquilab' App or, in the event of an emergency, by phone on 0208 607 7777.

As your landlord we're responsible for carrying out certain repairs in accordance with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. However, as outlined in your tenancy agreement and contract, you are also responsible for certain repairs and on-going maintenance of your property.

The following covers the most common repair and maintenance issues for which you, as a resident under our tenancy agreement, are responsible. A more detailed document - which comprehensively illustrates whose responsibile for what - can be accessed from our downloads section of this page, along with a copy of our Repairs and Maintenance Policy.


Resident Repair Responsibilities

Condensation, damp and mould

Some homes can experience condensation mould growth, particularly in the winter months. In most cases this can be avoided.

Who is responsible for treating mould and damp?

Mould and damp that occurs periodically, or as a result of lack of due care and attention, is your responsibility under the terms of your tenancy with Inquilab.

Where mould worsens over time despite your attempts to control it, it may be due to a building design or property maintenance malfunction, or one of the following reasons.

  • Penetrating damp: This is caused by leaking roofs, windows, plumbing, drainage, and guttering. Once the problem is identified and fixed, the damp should not reoccur.
  • Rising damp: While extremely rare, this is caused by water soaking up from the ground wall(s). It occurs largely in old properties and where there is no damp course or damp retaining walls.

In these circumstances, please contact us immediately. You can do this via our 'My Inquilab' App or by calling us on 0207 607 7777. Following an initial phone call assessment, we will arrange for a professional to visit your home to fully assess the situation.As an Inquilab resident, under the terms of your tenancy, you are responsible for looking after your home. This includes treating condensation and preventing mould growth in your home, and to help reduce the risk of reoccurance.


Here we explain the causes of mould, how you can spot early signs, what to do in the event of mould in your home, and the treatments available.

Mould Growth will occur if you allow condensation to build up in your home. It is important to ventilate your home when cooking and hanging washing inside.

Mould usually presents itself as green, grey, or black spots on walls and ceilings. It is a sign that you have excessive moisture in the air. Mould can spread quickly, so it is important that if your property starts to show signs of mould, that you vent the area and wash the mould off.

Where does mould grow

Mould grows and breeds in moist areas most commonly around windows, in bathrooms and kitchens, and unvented areas where air is unable to circulate. It can also breed in soft materials too, including carpets, curtains, and even clothes.

Excess condensation that is not dealt with, will lead to mould growth

Causes of condensation

Condensation is water (or a vapour liquid) which collects on a cold surface when humid (warm) air is in contact with it.

It typically comes from steam, such as when cooking, cleaning, bathing, and even breathing.
It forms around windows, in corners, and on external walls. It occurs mainly during cold weather.

Condensation itself does not pose a direct problem, providing the water or liquid droplets are either wiped away daily, or able to naturally dry out (such as in a well-ventilated room).

Applying heat to condensation in an attempt to dry it out won't work unless the room is well-ventilated to allow the steam / liquid vapours to escape and evaporate.

How you can help prevent and treat damp and mould

You will get less mould if you keep your home warm and ventilate it properly as this will minimise the amount of moisture in the air, thereby reducing condensation and mould.

You can help by:

  • Not putting wet clothes on a radiator as they will fill the room with moisture, creating condensation, very quickly. Whenever possible, dry clothes outside or in a room with an open window or with an extractor fan.
  • Keep lids on saucepans while cooking. This reduces the amount of steam that can escape into the room. It is also a lot more energy efficient!
  • Avoid the use paraffin or other bottled gas heaters and if you do have to use them, they must be used in an extremely well-ventilated room. As well as being dangerous, parraffin and bottled gas heaters release large amounts of water vapour.
  • Always use your extractor fan or open a window when cooking or showering
  • When running a bath, put some cold water in first to reduce steam
  • Close doors to stop moist air spreading to other rooms
  • If you have window vents keep them open to allow air to circulate in and out
  • Regularly check behind furniture, including beds, that are placed against an external wall for mould. Wherever possible, place furniture against internal walls or leave a gap between the furniture and external wall to allow air to circulate.
  • Open your curtains during the day as keeping them closed for long periods can trap condensation behind them
  • Never block air bricks or extractor fans; keep them open and clear from obstruction
  • Check extractor fans work properly and that they are free of blockages, such as a build up of dust
  • Do not draught proof kitchen and bathroom windows or rooms which attract damp. This is because you will be stopping air coming in and going out which is essential for good ventilation
  • Minimise cold surfaces by heating your home to a reasonable level of warmth in the winter: 21°C in the living room and 18°C in bedrooms is recommended by the World Health Organisation. You do not have to maintain these temperatures all the time but try to reach them for part of the day.
  • Keep materials, such as your clothes, carpets, towels and rugs, clean and dry.

Easy Tips

Identify the areas in your home that are at risk of breeding mould, and keep these areas clear and ventilated

Open windows or use extractors when cooking, bathing or showering

Dry clothes in ventilated rooms or outside, they will dry twice as fast.

Heat your living room to 20°C and bedrooms to 18°C for at least one hour a day

Check for mould daily and wipe away small patches of mould before they spread

Treating Mould and Damp

Always wipe away signs of mould before it has time to spread. You should use a cloth with an antifungal or antibacterial spray, and you will need to thoroughly dry the area afterwards. You may need to repeat this regularly to prevent a serious outbreak of mould.

After cleaning mould away, and once you are satisfied that it has been treated, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould recurring. Ordinary paint or wallpaper will not solve the problem.

It is important to remember that mould left untreated will spread and can cause harm to your health and to your property.

Who is responsible for treating mould and damp?

Mould and damp that occurs periodically, or as a result of lack of due care and attention, is your responsibility under the terms of your tenancy with Inquilab.

Where mould worsens over time despite your attempts to control it, it may be due to a building design or property maintenance malfunction, or one of the following reasons.

  • Penetrating damp: This is caused by leaking roofs, windows, plumbing, drainage, and guttering. Once the problem is identified and fixed, the damp should not reoccur.
  • Rising damp: While extremely rare, this is caused by water soaking up from the ground wall(s). It occurs largely in old properties and where there is no damp course or damp retaining walls.

In these circumstances, please contact us immediately. You can do this via our 'My Inquilab' App or by calling us on 0207 607 7777. Following an initial phone call assessment, we will arrange for a professional to visit your home to fully assess the situation.

Baths, basins, drains and waste

  • Clearing blocked baths, sinks and basins. If the problem persists and we are called out, you may be recharged if, following the repair being carried out, its cause has been found to be caused by you or a member of / visitor to your home
  • Replacing plugs and chains to baths, basins and sinks.
  • Repairing any items that you or others living in your home have fitted.
  • Keeping gully grids clear of leaves and rubbish.
  • Clearing blockages in washing machines or dishwashers. If you are fitting this as a new appliance you are responsible for this work.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Doors and locks

  • Replacing keys or locks when keys have been lost or a resident has locked themselves out
  • Fitting and repairing any additional locks and latches
  • Replacing glass in any internal or external door
  • Adjusting doors when a new carpet is fitted
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear

Electrics

  • Resetting trip switches and if necessary turning off the mains supply
  • Replacing light bulbs, fluorescent tubes and starters
  • Replacing electrical plugs and plug fuses for your own appliances
  • Testing and cleaning of smoke detectors and replacing batteries
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear

Floors and stairs

  • Repairing and replacing any floor coverings, vinyl tiles sheeting, carpets or laminates that the resident has fitted. Floor covering that have been supplied by Inquilab as part of the Improvement Programme will only be provided once and so when ready for replacement this will be the responsibility of the resident.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Garden and Garages

  • Repairing any fencing, patios, steps, sheds or other garden features, garages or driveways not originally provided by Inquilab.
  • Maintaining and repairing non-public highway / pathway fencing and gates
  • Maintaining garden paths other than those giving main access to the front and back door of the property.
  • Replacing keys or locks to garage or shed doors when the keys have been lost.
  • Renewing broken clothes lines and posts.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Gutters

  • Keeping gully grids and gutters clear from leaves and rubbish.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Heating

  • Checking that heating controls (room thermostat, timer or programmer) are set correctly.
  • Keeping your home properly heated and ventilated to prevent condensation or the build-up of carbon monoxide
  • Keeping your home properly heated to prevent pipes from bursting particularly during cold weather, or whilst residents are away from the property for a period of time.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Kitchen fittings

  • Installation of washing machines, dishwashers or tumble driers including waste, supply pipes and vents if not already provided by Inquilab.
  • Repairing any extra units that you have installed in the property, directly or indirectly
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Pipes and taps

  • Taking steps to prevent pipes from bursting during cold weather, particularly if the resident is to be away from the property for any length of time.
  • Turning off the water supply at the stop tap or sure stop if a water pipe has burst, and then turning all the taps on to allow all remaining water to flow out.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Roof and Chimneys

  • Putting up and securing TV aerials (except communal aerials). You will need permission to put up a satellite dish.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Toilets

  • Cleaning toilet pans.
  • Attempting to clear blocked toilets. If we are called out to repair and it is found that the blockage is caused by you, then you will be charged
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Walls and ceilings

  • Decorating walls and ceilings inside the home.
  • Filling minor cracks and holes in walls and ceilings.
  • Keeping air vents clear and cleaning extractor fan vents.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.

Windows

  • Replacing broken or cracked glass where it is found that the glass has been broken from inside the property.
  • Fitting additional security locks to windows.
  • Keeping window trickle vents clear.
  • Any other repairs which investigations establish are not attributable to fair wear and tear.



Types of Repair

Emergency Repairs

Always report an emergency repair by contacting us on 0208 607 7777. Our out of hour's service will take your call when the office closed.

Examples of an emergency is:

  • A water leak you cannot stop
  • An electrical fault that means you have no lights or power
  • The total loss of an essential service – such as gas, water or electricity
  • Major structural damage
  • A serious security problem, such as a street door that cannot be locked
  • A gas escape, in which case contact the national freephone gas emergency number on 0800 111 999
  • Any incident or damage to your home that puts you or anyone else at serious risk of harm

We aim to carry out emergency repairs within 24 hours.

Routine Repairs

Most repairs fall into the routine category. Before reporting a routine repair please check that it falls within our responsibility. If it does, please raise a repair request via your 'My Inquilab' App. If you do not have access to an app-enabling device, you can email us at customersandcommunities@inquilabha.org.

We aim to carry out routine repairs within 14 calendar days. Depending on the repair request and damage, we may need to make an inspection visit before carrying out repair works.

Home Improvements

Any permanent improvements, or modifications - no matter how small - you make in your home has to be approved by us first.

Before commencing work, you must get written permission from Inquilab Housing Association. Such work would include new kitchen units, shower, or major internal work such as opening two rooms into one. It does not include general decorating or replacing carpets. We also need to ensure that Planning Consent (if required) has been obtained, and that works are carried out by a competent approved contractor.

Planned Maintenance

Inquilab has a planned maintenance programme which includes regular 'cyclical' works, such as repair and redecoration of the external fabric and communal building spaces.

The programme also includes internal improvements and modernisation, such as renewing kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors.

We consider renewing kitchens when they are over 20 years old, bathrooms over 30 years old, and windows and doors over 25 years old. We will tell you when your home is to be included in a planned programme and, depending on what is being renewed, give you a choice of design and colour. The purpose of planned maintenance is to:

  • Make sure you live in a comfortable, modern home which is fit for purpose
  • Keep your home safe and in good condition
  • Reduce the number of repairs needed, as repairs are both inconvenient and expensive
  • Keep your home warm and weather-proof

You can find details of when your home is to be included within our planned works programme by accessing your Resident Portal.