Rechargeable Repairs Policy Procedure
Objectives of the Policy
- To give clear guidance on when repairs will be recharged to the tenant
- To give clear guidance when discretion will be applied and exercised
- To give clear guidance on the process for recharging
- To give clear guidance on payment arrangements
- To give clear guidance regarding action that will be taken if payments are not made.
Aims of the Policy
- To reduce costs borne by the Association that are the result of tenant damage or misuse
- To act and identify at the earliest stage possible to prevent any further damage or disrepair and ensure that charges are apportioned and recharged appropriately.
- To ensure that the process is both robust and clear
- To ensure that jLiving staff are aware of their responsibilities
- To promote and provide an equitable service and to encourage tenant responsibility.
jLiving is committed to providing a repairs and maintenance service that is fair, transparent and above all equitable. The Association is also committed to ensuring that its existing stock is maintained to a high standard and remains fit for purpose. jLiving recognises that all communal areas should be in a good and attractive condition and that all tenants are aware of this policy and how it applies.
What is a Rechargeable Repair?
Repairs that are caused by damage to fixtures and or fittings either internally or externally to the property or scheme, by any tenant or tenants visitor or guest, that cannot be attributable to normal wear and tear or use.
- Wilful damage or neglect caused by a tenant or one of their visitors – e.g damage to doors, windows or locks
- Electrical faults caused by a tenants own appliances
- Blocked drains, sinks, wc’s caused by food waste, excessive build up of grease from cooking, sanitary or incontinence items.
- Broken windows
- Deliberately damaged fixtures and or fittings
- Unauthorised alterations or building works
- Deliberate acts of vandalism or neglect
- Forced entry – should a tenant become locked out of their property and appropriate procedures are not followed for emergency access.
- Lost or stolen keys – unless a crime number is provided.
The Association also reserves the right to charge for any additional abortive costs related to repairs and maintenance requests.
- Failure to permit access to a contractor on an agreed date
- Failure to inform the Association if the repair is no longer required or necessary
- Reporting of non existing repairs – malicious reporting
- Misuse of the out of hours service for repairs reporting
The Association recognises that on occasion repairs can arise as a result of crime and or vandalism by persons unknown. In instances such as these tenants are requested to report any incident to their local Police and obtain a crime reference number. Works will not be carried out until a crime reference number is provided unless the personal safety of the tenant is at risk.
On occasion tenants may transfer from one Association property to another and your attention is drawn to the details contained within the Tenants Handbook.
Any tenant who completes a transfer within the Association is respectfully reminded that it is a requirement that the property being vacated is left empty and newly decorated. In the event that it is not, the Association shall reserve the right to pursue costs for the redecoration of the property. No transfer may take place until the tenant has signed and agreed to either meet the full cost of decorating or has arranged for an approved contractor to carry out the works.
In instances where accidental damage has occurred or has been reported by a tenant the Association will take into account the severity of damage caused and will consider the age of the fixture or fitting before making a decision as to whether a recharge will be levied.
Undertaking Rechargeable Repairs
jLiving is under no obligation to perform any repair or maintenance task that is not their responsibility as a landlord under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement or any other statutory obligation. That notwithstanding in certain circumstances the Association will agree to carry out the repair or task and will recharge the cost to the tenant. Such action may be taken for reasons of Health and Safety, to allow the reletting of a property, prevent further damage to Association property or in the interests of maintaining good landlord / tenant relations. The Association may also carry out works to prevent action being taken under other legislation.
When a repair is identified as being rechargeable, the Association will inform the tenant of the provisional charge. If the tenant accepts the provisional charge and wishes for the Association to arrange for the works to be carried out then arrangements must be made for payment to be made in advance of the works starting.
Any rechargeable repair that presents an immediate risk to the tenant will be carried out immediately and the charge will be levied retrospectively. Tenants will be advised that the charge will be made and recovered retrospectively.
The Association is more than aware that the majority of its tenants rely on state benefits for their income. Therefore there is no expectation for tenants in these circumstances to pay the charge in one amount. The Association will accept payments by instalments and the Housing Manager in conjunction with the relevant Scheme Manager will discuss and advise of this depending on personal circumstances.
The Association has the ability to exercise discretion in certain cases however this discretion will be reliant on the relevant Scheme Manager advising the Housing Manager of the facts surrounding the case.
Additional discretionary circumstances may also be considered if there is no evidence of previous rechargeable repairs and it can be proven that the repair is due to sheer accident.
Each case will be considered and assessed independently and all circumstances will be considered and taken into account. Agreement to waive any charges will rest with the Housing Manager and Development Manager.
In applying this policy and procedure jLiving will ensure that all tenants receive an equal and fair service.
All tenants have the right to appeal against a recharge for a repair. This should be submitted to the Housing Manager or Development Manager in the first instance.
- Tenant makes a request for a repair via their Scheme Manager
- Scheme Manager reports the Repair to the Maintenance Department – detailing insofar as possible the full circumstances if the tenant is thought to be at fault and should be recharged for the repair.
- Where such a repair is identified by the Maintenance Administrator – this will be identified to the Housing Manager and Development Manager.
- Where it is agreed that the repair is rechargeable, the Housing Manager will advise the tenant by letter that the repair will be recharged. Details of the repair will be entered on to the Rechargeable Repairs spreadsheet by the HM. Details of costs will be entered by Finance staff when the invoice is received or cost is known.
- Payment will be requested in advance of the works being carried out.
- In the event of a non emergency – no works will be arranged until an agreement to pay has been signed by the tenant.
- In the event of an emergency – works will be arranged immediately and the tenant will be informed why and the charge that will be levied.
- In circumstances where the tenant does not have the resources to pay for the repair in one payment they will be requested to sign an Agreement to Pay form detailing the repayment plan. Works will not be carried out if the form has not been signed.
- Copies of all agreements will be kept on the tenant file with copies sent to the Finance Dept.
- A spreadsheet of all rechargeable repairs will be maintained and will be accessible to Senior Management, Maintenance Staff and Finance Staff.
Tenants are reminded that transfers will not be permitted should they have an existing or outstanding recharge debt, similarly additional rechargeable repairs will not be carried out if they have an outstanding or existing recharge debt.
Please click below to download the Agreement to Repay document: