Repairs responsibilities for tenants

Our repairs responsibilities

If you have an assured, secure or fixed term tenancy, in general we’re responsible for repairing and maintaining the structure of your home, any communal areas and the fittings we’ve provided. This includes:

  • The structure and exterior of your home. This includes roofs, chimneys, chimney stacks, flues (but not the sweeping of non-functioning/decommissioned chimney stacks flues or previously used decorative openings), walls (except minor internal plasterwork repairs), floors, ceilings, window frames, external doors, drains, gutters and outside walls and paths.
  • Kitchen and bathroom fixtures – basins, sinks, toilets, baths and showers.
  • Electrical wiring and gas and water pipes.
  • Heating equipment and water heating equipment.
  • Any communal areas around your home (including stairs, lifts, parking areas and rubbish chutes).
  • Painting the outside of your home at regular intervals.

Your repairs responsibilities

In general, you’re responsible for taking care of your home, which means doing things like internal decoration, gardening, simple DIY jobs and, of course, looking after any fittings or appliances you install. 

As well as this, it’s really important you let us know quickly if there are any jobs that are our responsibility that need doing.

You need to:

  • Report any defects, faults or damage (to anything listed above) to us immediately, particularly anything that might injure someone or damage property.
  • Keep any communal areas clear and free of rubbish – this is really important, as it’s your escape route if there’s a fire.
  • Carry out small DIY repairs (see below).
  • Take responsibility for any repair or replacement as a result of damage or neglect caused by you, or anyone living with or visiting you. We can sometimes carry out the repair but we’ll re-charge you for the cost of the work.
  • Report burglary or vandalism of your home to the police, make a crime report and get a crime reference number. Then report a repair (log in to MySovereign required) if anything we need to repair has been damaged. 
  • You’ll need to arrange your own home contents insurance for anything belonging to you which is kept in your home. Our insurance only covers the structure of the building, such as the roof, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, along with permanent fixtures (fitted by us), such as bathrooms, kitchens, guttering, service pipes and cables.

Example DIY repairs

  • Keeping the inside of your home tidy and in reasonable condition, including redecorating when necessary.
  • Making sure your home is properly ventilated, to prevent condensation and mould.
  • Unblocking sinks, drains or toilets if you’ve caused the blockage.
  • Replacing bath plugs, sink plugs and toilet seats.
  • Bleeding radiators (but do ask for advice if you're not sure what to do).
  • Taking steps to prevent your water pipes from freezing during the winter period, especially if you intend to be away from your home for more than a couple of days.
  • Replacing light bulbs, including fluorescent strips and starters.
  • Changing fuses and maintaining your own electrical appliances.
  • Changing the outside door locks if you’ve lost your keys, locked yourself out, had your keys stolen or fitted extra locks yourself.
  • Repairing and maintaining your own equipment, such as cookers or washing machines and any fittings you’ve put in yourself.
  • Repairing any plumbing for white goods we’ve not provided (like washing machine or dishwasher).
  • Keeping your boundary fencing in good repair.
  • Maintaining and repairing any garden shed, greenhouses or timber outhouses.

If you’re a leaseholder or shared owner, our leaseholder responsibilities page tells you more about your responsibilities and ours.