Repairs to Council homes

Please note: Services currently previously delivered by Kier Harlow Ltd are now being provided by HTS (Property & Environment) Limited. More information on HTS ​(Property & Environment) Limited

How do I ask for a repair to my Council home?

Some repairs to Council properties are the tenant's responsibility. You can ask for a repair, which is not the tenant's responsibility by:

  • Telephoning: Repairs Centre on 01279 446666 Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm, please also use this number to report emergency repairs on a 24 hour basis
  • Visiting: the Civic Centre, where a free phone service is available direct to the Repairs Call Centre
  • Emailing: repairs@htsgroupltd.co.uk
  • Writing to: HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd, The Repairs Centre, Mead Park Depot, River Way, Harlow CM20 2SE​

When reporting your repair, please give as much information as possible to help us get the correct materials and book enough time to complete the job first time, including information on any special requirements you have, or if you or anyone in your household is disabled or receiving a state pension.

Can I get the repair done when I want?

When you call the Repairs Centre to report a fault, you will be given a repair reference number, and for most repairs a date and time for HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd to visit your home. Some repairs will be carried out under planned works, and you will be contacted at a later date to be advise you of when the work will be carried out.

Appointments may be made for Monday to Friday between the following times:

  • 8.00am to 10.00am
  • 10.00am to 12.00pm
  • 2.00pm to 4.00pm

You must notify HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd​ immediately if you are not able to keep an appointment by calling the Repairs Centre.

If HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd are due to be late for your appointment, due to other jobs overrunning, they will endeavour to notify you in advance.

If the appointment cannot be kept HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd​ will try to advise you as much in advance as possible, at least one day in advance and will arrange a new appointment to carry out the repair. If HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd​ fail to do this you have a right to complain. If HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd miss the appointment completely and have not given you sufficient notice (after investigation your claim is proven) they will pay you £10 for the missed appointment, If you are in Council rent arrears the £10 compensation will be credited to your account.

HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd will always try to complete the work in one visit. If this is not possible they will give you a time and date when they will return to complete the work.

When will the job be done?

For responsive repairs (not emergencies) you will be offered an appointment time for when the work can be carried out, in two-hour time slots as noted above. This will also be confirmed with a letter sent to your home if the appointment is more than four days away. For repairs under planned works, you will be contacted at a later date to be advise you of when the work will be carried out.

Your repair will be assessed as being one of the following class of repair:

Emergency repairs

If you smell gas you should immediately phone the National Gas Emergency Service (Transco) on 0800 111 999. More information on gas, electrical and fire safety

When assessing if the repair is an emergency, HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd will take into account the circumstances of vulnerable tenants (the very old, very young or medical circumstances) and will exercise discretion.

Examples of emergencies are:

  • Dangerous structures
  • Dangerous wiring
  • Burst supply pipes

If your repair is an emergency, HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd will aim to attend within two hours to make the situation safe. This will exclude severe weather when it may be dangerous for HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd to make safe. If the work can be completed at this time it will be, otherwise HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd shall aim to complete the works within 24 hours where possible. There are some circumstances when HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd will only be able to make your home safe and a repair cannot be completed within the 24 hour time scale. In this case an appointment will be made in the normal way to complete the follow up work that is necessary.

Please do not misuse the emergency service – other peoples lives may be at risk!

Urgent repairs

If your repair is urgent, HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd will aim to attend within five working days of the report, depending upon the repair.

Standard repairs

If your responsive repair is not deemed an emergency or an urgent repair, it will be normally be classed as a standard repair. HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd aim to complete these works within 20 working days.

Examples of a standard repair are:

  • An electrical socket or light fitting not working.
  • A radiator not working.
  • Minor leaks to pipe work.
  • Door and window repairs.

Programmed maintenance work - planned works

Harlow Council look to carry out work in the most cost effective way we can. Some work does not fit into the responsive repair categories therefore we programme some work to be done as planned works. Some examples of programmed maintenance work are:

  • Servicing your gas or oil fired boiler
  • External redecoration of your home
  • Window/door renewal
  • Guttering repairs
  • Fencing repairs

What if a repair goes wrong?

Whilst we all try to avoid mishaps, things do go wrong now and again. If you complain that we failed to carry out a repair properly or you experience severe delays in getting your repairs carried out (allowing for material orders etc.), and your complaint is upheld we will compensate you with £10.00 plus £2.00 for each days delay up to a maximum of £50.00. This will be credited to your Council rent account.

If you report that you are not happy with the service you have received we will investigate and provide you with a written reply to your concerns within 10 days. In the first instance please raise your concerns to the Repairs Centre. If you consider that the matter has not been resolved to your satisfaction, the Council’s complaint procedure should be used.

Right to repair

The right to repair scheme

Council tenants can use the right to repair schemes for small repair jobs. The repair must cost less than £250 to carry out. There is a statutory right for secure tenants to have some urgent minor repairs carried out that may affect your health, safety or security to be completed by law, within a set period of time. See table below.

Description of right to repair defect Target in working days
Total loss of electrical power one
Partial loss of electric power three
Unsafe power lighting socket or electrical fitting one
Total loss of water supply one
Partial loss of water supply three
Total or partial loss of gas supply one
Blocked flue to open fire or boiler one
Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 31 October and 1 May one
Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 30 April and 1 November three
Blocked or leaking foul drain, soil stack, or (where there is no other working toilet in the dwelling-house) toilet pan one
Toilet not flushing (where there is no other working toilet in the dwelling-house)  one
Blocked sink, bath or basin three
Tap which cannot be turned three
Leaking from water or heating pipe, tank or cistern one
Leaking roof seven
Insecure external window, door or lock one
Loose or detached bannister or hand rail three
Rotten timber flooring or stair tread three
Door entry phone not working seven
Mechanical extractor fan in internal kitchen or bathroom not working seven

Tenant responsibilities

In addition to the information contained within Tenancy Agreement on repairs and maintenance, the following repairs are the responsibility of the tenant. The table below outlines the repairs that are tenant’s responsibility and any exceptions to these, where the Council will carry out the repair.

Some repairs in the table are carried out by the Council on behalf of tenants in receipt of a State Pension or a person who is disabled. For the purposes of repairs the criteria used to assess whether a person is exempt from carrying out a repair that is tenants responsibility, due to a disability is:

  • that the tenant is in receipt of any Social Security disability benefit/allowance.
  • that the tenant’s household does not contain another adult who is not in receipt of a Social Security disability benefit/allowance. The reason being that another adult in the household, who is not disabled will be able to deal with the repair.

Before vacating their property, tenants will be expected to ensure that all items in the below table, where applicable, are in good order.

Tenant responsible for repair Exception Repair by HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd on behalf of person in receipt of state pension or person who is disabled
Any fixtures or fittings tenants have put in themselves or that were put in by previous tenants, such as a new bathroom suite.    
Renewal of tap washers Now carried out by HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd  

Glass – accidental damage

Now carried out by HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd  
The removal of radiators for decorating purposes    
Supply and fix chains and plugs for all sinks and basins    
Toilet pull chains   Yes
Bleeding and venting of radiators   Yes
Supply and fixing of toilet seats   Yes
All door furniture, locks, handles, bolts and loss of keys Unless where your home cannot be secured, for example a faulty lock on an external door constitutes an emergency under the Right to Repair Yes
Window catches and window locks Unless window is on the ground floor and your home cannot be secured  
Draught excluders   Yes
Floor tiles We will remove damaged floor tiles that contain asbestos.  
Gates, hinges and catches   Yes
Clothes posts, lines and fittings Unless a communal facilities. For communal facilities we provide posts only, you will need to provide the line. Yes
Rear garden paths    
Internal decorations including minor cracks Unless the Council has carried out major works repairs and damaged the decorations then we will redecorate to an emulsion standard  
Changing of all fuses (fuse box and plugs) and light bulbs/fluorescent tubes    
Supplying of 13 Amp plugs    
All internal woodwork Except a detached banister or hand rail, or defects caused through rot of structural movement.  
Clearing all surface water gullies within the boundary or your home   Yes
Blocked toilet, where there is more than one toilet in the property Unless you live in a flat block. If we find the tenant has caused this, for example, flushing disposable nappies, we will charge for this service.  
Blockages to sink, bath or wash hand basin. We are only responsible for clearing total blockages. If we find the tenant has caused this, for example, flushing disposable nappies, we will charge for this service.  
Curtain rails and pelmet boards    
Damage to up and over garage doors left open    
Splash back/wall tiles   Yes
Sweeping of chimneys for an open fire