Reporting a repair
From time to time things may break or stop working in your home, so you'll need to report it as a repair to us so we can hopefully fix it for you as quickly as possible.
How to report a repair
If you believe your repair is an emergency and the health and safety of you and your family is at risk, the fabric of your building has been compromised, or you have no hot water, heating or electricity please telephone us immediately on the number below:
0300 123 2221
Depending on the repair you need to report, it will be allocated a priority. This means the time it takes us to both attend and fix the fault may differ as we need to prioritise customers who have emergencies.
Emergency work to be attended to and made safe within four hours and rectified within 24 hours.
An emergency repair is one that immediately affects your health, safety or security and would endanger life, or, if not repaired or will damage the fabric of the building. Emergency repairs will be completed within 24 hours. On this basis, appointments are not available for
emergency repairs. Often the solution is to make the immediate risk safe with further routine repairs required to fully remedy the issue.
Examples of emergency repairs are:
- Burst pipes
- Blocked drains or toilet (if there is only one toilet)
- Gas leaks
- Broken windows
- Severe roof leaks
- No hot water
- Offensive or discriminatory graffiti
- Fire damage
- Total loss of heating (October – March)
- Total loss of power or lighting
Non emergency repairs work to be completed within 15 working days
Some repairs will need more than one appointment to resolve. Our contractor will arrange the next appointment date if this is required, following the first appointment.
Examples of non-emergency repairs are:
- Blocked drains, sinks, basins, baths and toilets
- Defective cistern or overflow
- Heating faults or breakdowns
- Leaking roofs
- Electrical works
- Blocked gutters
- Failure of entry phone
- Damage to stair treads, handrails or banisters
- Minor plumbing repairs
- Kitchen units and worktops
- Repairs to doors, windows and floors
- External repairs to walls, and pathways
- Dripping or leaking taps or shower units
- Faulty communal TV aerial
- Non offensive graffiti
- Re-glazing (if a crime has been committed and a reference number provided)
- Repairs to windows and external doors
Diagnose and report your repair using My PA
The quickest and easiest way to report a repair - and lots of other things to manage your home - is to use the My PA customer portal. It helps you diagnose your own repairs, book an appointment to suit you, and even check progress after you book.
On average, it takes less than 2 minutes to do and you can upload photos to show the exact problem. That means you don't have to give a long description, and your repair is much more likely to be fixed first time if we can see the problem in advance.
Why not give it a go?
Access to My PA is easy. Simply click the button below and follow the instructions.
If you've not already registered, you will need your Payment Reference number to hand.
Send us an email
You can email you repair requests to us as well by contacting us at email@example.com
We don't fix everything and some of the things in your home will be your responsibility to maintain.
Our repairs responsibilities
- External walls, external doors and window frames.
- Chimneys, chimney stack and flues.
- Pathways, steps and ramps leading to your home, if we provided them.
- Garages and outbuildings, if we provided them.
- Boundary walls and fences separating your home from communal areas, public paths or roads.
- External hinges, handles, letterboxes and locks. Door frames.
- Structural repairs to internal walls and skirting boards.
- Window frames and sills.
- Boarding up broken glass in windows and doors externally.
- Replacing broken glass in windows where a crime reference number has been provided by you.
- Repairs following criminal damage or vandalism. Unless this is caused by you or those you are not responsible for.
- Pipework fed by mains services.
- Hot and cold water pipework.
- Repairing wall tiles and all splash backs unless they are damaged through misuse.
- Repairing sinks and taps (not blocked sinks).
- Providing suitable waterproof flooring in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Maintaining the bathroom suite as required by the Decent Homes Standard.
- Maintaining your kitchen in line with the Government’s Decent Homes Standard.
- Unblocking toilets in blocks of flats, main drains and soil stacks.
- Repairs to sinks, wash hand basins, toilets, baths and showers.
- Unblocking communal waste pipes and drains. Unblocking soil pipes.
- Fixed, controllable heating systems, gas fired boilers, night storage heaters, radiators and gas supply pipework.
- Servicing gas and solid fuel heating systems, and annual gas safety checks for gas boilers and gas installations.
- Electric immersion heaters fitted to hot water storage cylinders.
- Other types of fitted heating, if originally supplied and fitted by us.
- Repairing mechanical air extraction systems such as extractor fans.
- Repairing the structure of the property to eradicate penetrating damp.
- External decoration, periodically assessed.
- Maintaining fixed electrical installations.
- Maintaining communal door and intercom systems.
- Repairing or replacing faulty locks to external doors.
- Maintaining mains operated fire or smoke alarms installed by us.
- Building and structure cover.
- Repairing communal washing lines.
- Maintaining appliances we have installed, which have not been gifted to you.
Customer repairs responsibilities
- Cleaning the inside and outside of windows.
- Sweeping chimney flues where we have solid fuel fire installations.
- Keeping external areas and pathways clean and free from rubbish. Any rubbish clearance required in your home.
- Any temporary structure erected (subject to the necessary permission being granted by us)
- Fencing between neighbouring properties.
- Repairing internal doors including replacing locks and handles. Fitting or replacing any spyhole and door chain. Repairs to doorbells (electric or battery operated).
- Filling minor cracks.
- Installing or replacing draught excluders.
- Replacing broken glass or glazing to any doors, windows or fixed panes where a crime reference number has not been provided by the police.
- Damage caused by the police or any other enforcement agency as a result of forced access. Any damage to your home as a result of you or those you are responsible for.
- Any damage caused to properties by sink or washing machine overflowing or flooding.
- Damage to plumbing installation within your home if caused by misuse.
- Providing additional tiling/splashbacks if required in order to keep your home free from damp and water penetration. Subject to written permission.
- De-scaling sinks and taps. Replacing chains and plugs.
- Keeping all surfaces clean and free from moisture.
- De-scaling and cleaning the toilet, bath, shower head and shower tray. Replacing or repairing flexible shower hose and shower head. Replacing baths, basins or sinks if damaged by misuse or neglect.
- Ensuring worktops and cupboards are not damaged. Keeping surfaces free from water. Repairing or replacing kitchen units if damaged by misuse or neglect.
- Unblocking toilets in self-contained houses. Replacement of toilet seats.
- Unblocking sinks, wash hand basins, baths, and showers.
- Unblocking drains where the blockage is as a result of anything which would not usually be flushed or emptied in them.
- Maintaining and repairing any portable heating appliances.
- Bleeding radiators and operating the central heating system. Letting gas engineers in to carry out annual safety checks and gas servicing, which is a legal requirement. Please see the gas servicing leaflet.
- Any heating appliance that has been given to you by us.
- Any connection to your appliances. Regular cleaning of mechanical extraction systems.
- Taking action to prevent and control condensation. Keeping your home properly ventilated and free from moisture.
- All internal decoration.
- Replacing three pin plug cartridge fuses, fluorescent tubes and starters, any type of light bulbs and lamp shades.
- Repairs following misuse of communal doors and intercom systems. Keeping doors closed and secure.
- Replacing door and window keys. Obtaining additional keys. Replacing locks where the key has broken in it.
- Regular test of domestic smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Replacement of batteries.
- Obtaining your own household contents insurance cover for your belongings.
Accidental damage. We recommend taking out an insurance policy to cover your personal belongings against fire, flood, accidental damage and theft. The National Housing Federation offers a ‘My Home’ policy which may be suitable: call 0345 450 7288 for details.
- Installing or repairing washing lines and washing line pole.
- Repairing anything you have installed, also including any damage as a result of installed items.
- Installing any additional security items (once you have obtained written permission).
- Fitting or dismantling satellite dishes (you will need to obtain written permission first).
- Fitting and/or dismantling TV aerials, telephone points, connections and sockets.
You can find out more about which repairs are your responsibility by reading our Maintenance policy
Where something is your responsibility to fix you can follow some simple 'how to' guides to get you up and running again as quickly as possible. Some common repairs are in the links below:
Tap washer replacement
To start, turn off the mains water supply by turning the main stopcock until your tap runs dry. If you are changing the washer on hot taps, you must also turn the immersion heater and boiler off.
Put the plug into the plug-hole of the sink to prevent losing the washer or any tap components when dismantling it. Unscrew the top plate of the tap. If you can’t do this by hand, use a wrench and protect the tap with a cloth first.
Some taps have a body cover, which you will need to remove before you can unscrew the top section (or stem) of the tap to access the washer underneath. Secure the tap with another wrench while you remove this section.
The washer is underneath this and it will either be pressed into place or held in position with a nut. Use a screwdriver to release it then clean the stem before fitting the new washer.
Reassemble the tap, take the plug out of the sink and turn on the water supply to test the tap.
Unblocking a basin or sink
Step 1: Plunger
Place the plunger over the plughole, and ensure a seal is formed, then drive the handle down and up in a pumping action. You’ll know the blockage is clear when you fill the sink up and it drains quickly.
Step 2: Blast it out
Sometimes a hard burst of water can push out whatever is blocking your sink. Take a plastic milk bottle or 2-litre drink bottle, fill it with hot water, tip it upside down with the bottle hole against the plughole, and squeeze as hard as you can. The fast, directed flow of water may well fix the problem.
Step 3: Down the drain
Sometimes a plunger can’t unblock the sink so you need to do something to break down the blockage. There are a lot of hardcore drain unblocking products on the market, and though they will often get the job done they’re pretty harsh, and can linger in the drain and around your sink too. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 4: Baking Soda and Vinegar
A more friendly solution to unblocking a sink uses a simple mix of baking soda and vinegar. First, pour a load of baking powder down your plughole. Then tip in the vinegar. You’ll hear a lot of fizzing, and may even get some froth coming back up the plughole. Once the chemical reaction subsides tip some hot water down to flush the pipe through.
Step 5: Bleach
If that doesn’t work you can also use bleach to dissolve blockages. The best approach with bleach is to pour some through the plughole last thing at night and then flush with hot water in the morning.
Step 6: U Bend Clearing
Most blocked sinks happen because the U bend gets clogged up, and sometimes the only solution is to remove the U bend and clear it out by hand. To do this you’ll need:
- Small bucket or dish
- Plumber’s tape (PTFE Tape)
- Wire coat hanger
Look under your sink and find the U bend, it’s the first bend in the pipe immediately below the plughole. Put your bucket or dish under the U bend and carefully unscrew the section of pipe. The U bend has two sets of threads, one at either end. As you loosen them any backed up water will drain out, so take your time. Once the flow of water has stopped, remove the U bend and use the wire coat hanger to clean out the inside of the pipe, you can also use a dishcloth and warm water to help clean everything out.
Once it’s all clean, fix the U bend back into place, using plumber’s tape to make it watertight if needed. Run the tap to make sure the U bend is watertight.
Resetting a trip switch
Modern electric circuits are fitted with circuit breakers called trip switches. If there’s a problem with your electrics, a switch is tripped and the circuit is broken.
All of the fuses or trip switches are found in the consumer unit or fuse box.
A trip switch or button usually operates because:
- There are too many appliances on a circuit and it’s overloaded
- an appliance is faulty or hasn’t been used properly, for example a kettle has been over-filled or a toaster not cleaned
- water has leaked into a circuit
- a light bulb has blown
- there’s a problem with your immersion heater
Always have a torch handy in case you have a power failure.
If there’s a problem with one of your electrical appliances, leave it unplugged and get a qualified electrician or service engineer to check it.
If there’s a problem with your wall or ceiling light, keep it switched off (even put some tape over the switch) and let us know straight away.
Make sure your hands are dry when you touch electrical fittings.
Resetting the trip switch
Open the cover on the consumer unit so that you can get to the trip switches.
Check which switches have tripped to the OFF position and which rooms (circuits) have problems.
Put these switches back to the ON position.
Stop tap location
Your internal stop tap is usually found near to where your water supply pipe enters into your home.
Most common places to find your inside stop tap are:
- Under the kitchen sink
- Kitchen cupboard
- WC or cloakroom
- Garage or utility room
- Under the stairs
It is important that you are aware of where your internal stop tap is in case there is an emergency and you need to turn off the water.
Internal stop taps aren’t used very often so it is worth checking regularly to make sure it's working properly.
Replacing a toilet seat
Wearing gloves, remove the old seat and any old fittings. Every seat is different, but the release screws are usually found at the back of the seat or on the underside of the bowl rim.
Unscrew the old fittings (you may need a wrench and screwdriver to do this) and then remove the seat
Assemble the fittings for the new toilet seat. Because every seat is different, take time to read the manufacturer’s instructions.
Attach the new fittings through the bolt holes in the rim and hand tighten. Do not over tighten, as you will need to adjust them when the seat is on.
Click on the bolt caps and place the new seat in position. Line up with the bolts and ensure the seat is centred on the bowl before tightening.
Hand tighten the bolts or use a wrench if necessary.
Unblocking a toilet
Try pushing a flexible drain cleaning wire down the WC pan.
If possible, ask someone to observe the drain chamber while you are doing this to see if the item causing the blockage emerges. Anything emerging that may have caused the blockage should be removed.
It’s worth using a plunger.
A chemical drain cleaner or caustic soda may help, but you must follow the instructions carefully and remember these products need to be handled safely.
Always use rubber gloves.
Using a Plunger
- Try using a plunger to unblock the toilet. Most people have a cup shaped plunger but this does not always work and can be a bit messy. Toilets bowls benefit from a specialist flange shaped or a ball shaped plunger. Both these types of plunger have a bottom which is shaped to seal the opening in the bottom of the toilet bowl. This seal action as you plunge creates the necessary vacuum and pressure and is more effective.
- Another useful tip is to consider draining water from your toilet pan. If the water level in the pan of your WC is high, try using any old container to bale out the water. You can also try pouring hot or boiling water down the pan as an alternative to using caustic soda. Often this can be helpful and will break down whatever is blocking your waste pipe.
Changing a tube light bulb
Before you start, cut off all power. You cannot ensure your safety by simply turning the switch off at the wall.
The first step in replacing a fluorescent bulb is knowing how to be safe. Fluorescent bulbs are fragile and become very brittle once burnt out, making them easy to break or shatter. If you do happen to break a bulb, be aware that it contains mercury. When cleaning up a broken bulb, use gloves and always wear shoes.
Measure the full length of the bulb from end to end with your measuring tape to determine the correct length of replacement bulb required. Since these bulbs come in many lengths, measuring before you purchase the new bulb can save a return trip to the shop.
Now that you know what length of bulb to buy, you also need to know which type of replacement bulb you need. To determine the type, look at the lamp to confirm if it is a bi-pin lamp or single-pin lamp. A bi-pin or two-pin lamp will have contact pins on each end of the fluorescent bulb. The pins extend from each end of the light bulb and fit into a socket on either end of the lamp. A single-pin lamp will only have one contact pin extending from one end of the bulb.
Installing the new bulb is simply the reverse of removing the old one. If the lamp is a bi-pin lamp, you will need to insert both contact pins to the end sockets and then rotate the fluorescent bulb clockwise to lock it into the lamp. If the lamp is a single-pin lamp, you will need to insert the contact pin into the socket and then push the fluorescent bulb upward to lock it into the lamp. After installation of the new bulb is complete, be sure to dispose of the old bulb properly and safely.
Changing a tube light starter
If the tube light flickers, works intermittently or takes a long time to illuminate, then the issue is caused by faulty / old fluorescent starter and it will need to be replaced.
Determine the correct starter for the light. Check the existing starter wattage (You may need to remove the bulb to access the starter) to ensure the right replacement is purchased to suit the light fitting.
Once you have the correct replacement fluorescent starter, you will need to start by removing the bulb to replace it. The bulb will usually need to be removed because the starter is located directly above it. If your light has more than one bulb, you will find that each one has its own starter to make it work.
Withdraw the bulb by twisting it out of the sockets at either end and descending the ladder to carefully lay it in a safe place.
The existing starter can be twisted to remove it from its socket, which should be to the right, so twist and pull the starter to withdraw it completely.
The fluorescent starter which has been removed can be discarded. Install the new starter by reversing the removal method.
All advice is offered as guidance only. All repairs you carry out at your property are done so at your own risk. We are not liable for any damage or injury incurred as a result of DIY. We reserve the right to charge the cost of any and all rectification work required as a result of poor workmanship. If you are not confident in carrying your own repairs please seek advice and appoint a suitable, competent and insured contractor.
Do you need to make a complaint?
If you receive poor service, then please tell us about it so we have the opportunity to put things right. We greatly appreciate your time and use any feedback as an opportunity to improve our services.