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Repairs service


Welcome to the section on the repairs service, where you will find information on who is responsible for what type of repair, and how to request improvements.

How to report a repair

To report a repair:

To report an emergency outside our office hours, please contact us on 0808 264 4444. You will be connected to the out-of-hours service.

The out-of-office hours service is in operation for emergency repairs from:

  • 5pm until 9am, Monday to Thursday
  • 5pm Friday evening until 9am Monday morning
  • All bank holidays

When you contact us, we will ask for your contact details and the nature of the repair. This will help us to send the right operative to your home. We will arrange an appointment for the operative to visit you and carry out the repair. In some cases, we may have to carry out an inspection before the repair is done.

Who is responsible for what repairs?

What is the Council responsible for?

The Council is responsible for the fixtures and fittings supplied to your home and for the structure of the building.

The structure includes:  

  • roof
  • walls
  • doors
  • window frames and glazing
  • ceilings and plaster work
  • drains and gutters

The services and main components within your home (installed by the Council or where we have accepted responsibility) includes:

  • water, gas and electricity
  • kitchen units
  • baths, sinks and toilets
  • heating systems and boilers including radiators
  • wiring, sockets and light fittings
  • hardwired smoke alarms

Shared areas that include:

  • communal entrance doors and entry systems
  • entrance halls, stairs and landings
  • lifts
  • communal TV aerials
  • shared gardens and parking areas
  • any adaptations for disabled household members recommended by social services and installed by the Independent Living team

What are you responsible for?

All tenants are responsible for any damage that they cause, in addition to any alterations they have sought permission for. 

These include:

  • any additional fittings (for example toilet roll holders, curtain rails)
  • minor repairs such as:
    • replacing sink and bath plugs
    • replacing light bulbs (except fixed units)
    • internal door handles
    • unblocking sinks
    • cleaning windows (except where part of your service charge)
  • internal decoration (if you move into a new home, we may provide a decoration kit - you are asked to use this within six months)
  • maintenance of your garden
  • deliberate or accidental damage by tenants and other members of the household and their visitors for example broken glass, damage to internal doors; this does not include criminal damage that has been reported to the police for which a crime reference number has been obtained and passed to us
  • lost security entrance door keys including fobs that can only be purchased from the Council
  • your own items including cookers and their connections
  • supply of gas and electricity to your home
  • your own flooring including carpets and lino
  • TV aerials and internet connections except those installed by us in communal areas
  • minor repairs to plaster work and subsequent decoration
  • additional security, for example window locks not supplied by the Council

Repair categories and timescales

Repairs are prioritised depending on the seriousness of the defect, the impact it will have on the household, and the potential damage to the property. The repair categories are explained below:

Emergency Repairs (attend in 4 hours and completed within 24 hours)

Any defect that puts the health, safety or security of the tenant, or a third party, at immediate risk; or that adversely affects the structure of the building.

This includes:

  • total loss of water
  • burst water main
  • flooding
  • severe storm damage
  • total loss of electricity supply
  • major fault with electricity supply
  • unsafe electricity fittings
  • breaches of security to outside doors and windows
  • total loss of gas supply
  • gas leak (please also report to Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999)
  • blocked flue to boiler
  • blocked main drains, soil pipe or sole toilet
  • heating loss during period 31 October - 1 April
  • hot water loss
  • failure of lift
  • failure of warden alarm or call system
  • fire damage
  • offensive or racist graffiti
  • roof leaks - Major

Routine Repairs (completed within 28 days)

A defect/repair that can be arranged at your convenience without serious discomfort, inconvenience or nuisance to you or a third party, or cause long term deterioration of the building including:

  • breaches of security to internal doors and windows        
  • graffiti 
  • repairs to doors, windows and floors    
  • repairs to external walls, fences and paths         
  • repairs to walls, brickwork and slates or tiles     
  • repairs or clearing of gutters and downpipes     
  • repairs to kitchen fittings           
  • repairs to plaster work 
  • dripping or leaking taps or shower units
  • other minor plumbing repairs   
  • repairs to tiling
  • easing doors and windows         
  • other minor day-to-day repairs or replacements
  • faulty extractor fan
  • faulty communal TV aerial
  • entry phone failure        
  • defective flooring          
  • damage to stair treads, handrails or banisters                               
  • minor electrical faults - key lights and sockets          
  • minor plumbing leaks or defects             
  • defective cistern or overflow - running or overflow       
  • blocked gutters              
  • severe dampness (inspection only)        
  • kitchen/bathroom - blocked drains, second sinks, basins, baths, toilets caused by a plumbing failure the Council is responsible for (that are not the main drain soil pipe or sole toilet)         
  • roof leaks - minor         

Planned non-urgent Repairs (completed within 3 months)

Planned non-urgent repairs we are responsible for which require a replacement rather than a repair of a component; these can be internal or external.

These can include:

  • replacement doors
  • replacement kitchen units
  • replacement baths and basins
  • renewal of fencing and gates
  • major plastering

Emergency repairs

These are repairs that affect your health and safety. We will carry out these repairs or make safe within 24 hours, or sooner, depending on the nature of the repair.

Examples of emergency repairs are:

  • losing all electrical power
  • blocked main drain
  • blocked toilet if only one available
  • burst pipes
  • dangerous structures
  • complete heating failure where no back up heating is available (winter months only)
  • gas leaks
  • lack of security to the property

This service provides out of hours emergency repair cover. We may only be able to make safe on the first visit and may need to return to complete any repair. This service is only available where the repair poses a serious health and safety risk or where there is serious danger to people or property.

When reporting an emergency, please provide as much information as possible about the nature of the emergency. Where the repair is your responsibility but qualifies as an emergency, it may still be possible to call out an operative, although we may charge for this service.

What happens if I need to pay for a repair?

Sometimes there may be a charge for carrying out a repair that has been caused by anything other than fair wear and tear, or that is your responsibility.

Repairs that we may charge you for:

  • when we carry out work that is your responsibility, eg replacing lost keys
  • when we undertake additional work at an extra cost, eg additional fencing
  • when we carry out work that is your responsibility but has been caused by your negligence, eg replacing damaged doors
  • out of hours repairs which are not an emergency

We will always tell you about any charge before we carry out the work and try to give you a rough estimate of the cost. For emergency repairs, you will receive the bill after completion. For other types of work, we may ask for payment before the work is undertaken. Please see the How can I pay my rent and service charges? page on ways to make your payment.

Full details relating to recharges including the council's and tenant's responsibilities and what to do if you cannot pay for a recharge can be found in the  Rechargeable Repairs Policy (PDF) [258KB] .

How do I make an improvement to my home?

In line with your tenancy agreement, you have the right to make alterations and improvements to your home. However, you must first get written consent from Great Yarmouth Borough Council or you may be asked to remove any alterations to your property at your own cost and put this back to Great Yarmouth Borough Council standard. While you remain the tenant, you will be responsible for the repairs and maintenance of these items.

Examples of improvements often carried out are:

  • electric showers
  • sheds
  • fire surrounds
  • kitchens
  • bathrooms
  • additional lighting
  • outside tap

Before you make any improvement, you must request permission by completing the Tenant Alteration and Property Improvement application form (PDF) [155KB] (opens new window) .  

Please provide as much information as you can on the application to help us with our decision.

Please submit your completed form either:

Dependent upon the request, we may need to visit your home. There will be occasions where we are not able to grant permission if the alteration impacts upon the structure of your home or may cause a health and safety concern.

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