Frequently asked questions about repairs

What happens after I order a repair?

Before the repair

Once you've ordered your repair, we will arrange for it to be done or arrange an inspection to check exactly what needs doing.

We will agree a convenient appointment with you and send you written confirmation of the appointment, unless it is to be done within the next two days.

Doing the repair

  • We will send a fully-trained worker at the agreed time
  • The worker will show you official identification, and will be polite and helpful
  • The worker will do the repair or the inspection, as described on the confirmation letter, and will leave the job clean and tidy
  • If the worker cannot do all the work needed on that visit, they will explain why and immediately arrange another appointment with you
  • If the problem is being inspected first, the worker will tell you what needs doing and when it will be done by

After the repair

We will ask you if you are satisfied with the work. If you are not happy, we will investigate the situation. If there is still a problem, we will put it right.

How quickly will you do my repair?

We will offer you an appointment within:

  • Three hours if it’s an emergency you’ve either reported between working hours (8.45am-4.30pm,  Monday-Friday), or which could be made seriously worse by waiting
  • 24 hours if it’s an emergency you’ve reported out of working hours
  • five working days to repair things like a broken window or gas fire
  • ten working days to repair things like a broken toilet part
  • four weeks to repair things like roof slates or a blocked gutter
  • six weeks to do things like fitting a new window frame
What days and times can I book a repair for?

You can book an appointment to get most repairs done:

  • Monday - Friday (four slots from early morning to late afternoon)
  • Wednesday evenings (5 - 8pm) and Saturday mornings (10am-1pm) for smaller general repairs

When you ask for a repair, we give the work a deadline it must be done by - see ‘How quickly will you do my repair?’ above for details. The only repairs you can’t book an appointment for are:

  • Emergencies - because they’re done so quickly
  • Six week repairs - we wait until we have several similar jobs and then do them in one batch. We will contact you within six weeks with an appointment.
What do you consider an emergency repair?

Bath, shower and sink

  • Blocked sink or bath, or no water coming from the taps, but only if a delay would cause severe problems
  • Broken shower, but only if a delay would cause severe problems


Bursts, major leaks and water problems

  • Bursts or major leaks that cannot be controlled by turning off the water at the stop cock and putting a container under the burst overnight
  • Any burst, major leak or water problem that is affecting electrics and hasn’t caused the electricity to go off in the affected area
  • No cold water (but check with neighbours to see if it affects other homes. If it does, please contact United Utilities on 0345 672 3723)


Doors (outside)

  • Broken lock - but only if it makes your home insecure or stops you getting in or out of your home
  • Broken door - but only if it makes your home insecure and you have reported the incident to the police and provided a crime number
  • Broken communal doors to multi-storey blocks, retirement blocks and maisonette blocks
  • Broken communal doors to walk-up flats, but only if it stops you getting in or out of the block


Electricity and lighting

  • Complete power failure (but if nearby homes are affected, contact the electricity company instead)
  • Power off in part of the home, but only if delay would cause severe problems
  • No lighting in all or part of the home, but only if delay would cause severe problems
  • Bare wires, cracked plug socket covers or damaged switches
  • An electrical fitting is smoking or scorching
  • Broken fire alarm or warden call system in block of flats
  • No communal lighting


Heating/hot water

  • No heating or hot water between October 1st and March 31st, depending on the temperature outside
  • However, this won’t be classed as an emergency if:
    • you have a separate gas/electric fire or
    • you can boil water
  • No heating or hot water at any time of the year, but only if a delay would cause severe problems for you
  • Several homes have no heating because of a broken district heating system
  • Taps can’t be turned off and turning off the stop cock doesn’t stop the water (but only if waiting will cause damage or severe problems for you)
  • Heating system is giving off fumes - call the National Grid on 0800 111 999


House fire

  • We will check electricity wiring and gas pipe work if there has been a fire in your home



  • Faulty lifts in multi-storey blocks and retirement schemes
  • Faulty lifts where a tenant is trapped or a delay would cause severe problems



  • Blocked refuse chute in a multi-storey block


Structural damage

  • Dangerous damage to roofs, chimney stacks, walls, floors and ceilings. If there is a lack of daylight or severe weather conditions, repairs may not be possible at that time, but we will do everything we can to make the property safe and prevent more damage



  • Blocked toilet - but only if there isn't another toilet in your home
  • Toilet that won't flush - but only if it’s the only toilet and you are unable to flush it with a bucket of water in the meantime
  • Blocked drains - but only if sewage is coming up in the property or garden



  • Broken window, but only if it makes your home insecure and you have reported the incident to the police and provided a crime number
What repairs do I have to pay for?

Most repairs we will do for you for free, but some you must do yourself or you can pay us to do for you.

Things that we can offer you if you are willing to pay us include:


  • Repairing things like stains or surface cracking to baths, sinks, toilets etc.
  • Repairing small plaster cracks
  • Repairing internal door handles
  • Renewing internal doors
  • Treating mould that’s been caused by condensation


  • Window draughtproofing
  • Fencing, gates and garden walls – except in special circumstances

You should not make any major changes without our permission, especially as there is a chance that you may have asbestos in your home (asbestos is safe so long as it isn’t disturbed). 

For more information on asbestos, see our frequently asked questions about asbestos.

To get our permission, please complete our home improvements application form.

Repairing damage you've caused

You would have to pay for a repair if the damage was your fault or the fault of a visitor/family member, i.e. the damage was caused deliberately or by neglect (including accidental damage).

Damage caused by neglect could include things like:

  • A problem getting much worse because you didn’t report it earlier
  • Your door needing to be repaired after it was broken down (either by you or someone else) e.g. because you lost your key

If there is a doubt about how the damage happened, we will come and check the problem before we make a decision.

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