Who is responsible for repairs

For most of our residents, the Repairs Handbook sets out who is responsible for different repairs and provides diagrams to help when reporting a repair.

Below is also a summary of who is responsible if something needs to be repaired in your home.  Repairs that are listed as the tenants’ responsibility will not normally be carried out by Octavia Housing. If they are, residents will be charged for the cost of the repair as this is fairest for all our residents.

For residents over 60, we also run a free handy man service in partnership with Silver Saints.  Silver Saints are a local firm who can carry out some repairs and odd jobs to your home if you are unable to do this yourself. 

Repairs that Octavia Housing are responsible for:

Outside your home

  • Shared areas, including shared gardens.
  • Decorating the outside of the building.
  • Doors and door entry systems.
  • Drains, wastepipes, gutters and gullies.
  • Fences, gates, paths and steps.
  • Garages, stores, and garage doors.
  • Gutters, roofs and chimneys.
  • Manholes.

Inside your home

  • Baths, basins, taps (excluding tap washers), showers (excluding shower heads and hoses, rails and curtains) and toilets (excluding toilet seats).
  • Drains and wastepipes.
  • Electrics, electrical wiring, sockets and switches.
  • Entrance doors, door frames, door locks and fittings (excluding additional security).
  • Fireplaces and smoke detectors that we have fitted.
  • Floors (excluding floor coverings and finishings), ceilings and stairs.
  • Heating and hot water systems.
  • Radiators (excluding bleeding radiators).
  • Shared areas.
  • Skirting boards.
  • Wall tiles, windows (excluding broken glass), window sills and ventilation.
  • Water or gas pipes. Sometimes your electricity, water or gas supplier is responsible for a problem. If this is the case, we will tell you.

Repairs residents are responsible for:

General notes

  • It is important that you get written permission from Octavia Housing before making any improvements, changes or additions to your home.
  • In line with the terms and conditions of your Tenancy Agreement, you are responsible for any damage that has been caused by you, any member of your household or a visitor to your home. Please refer to your Tenancy Agreement if you are in doubt about what your obligations are.
  • If you carry out any repairs to your home, they must be done to a professional standard. For electrical work, the contractor must be NICEIC qualified and for gas-related repairs they must be Gas Safe (formerly CORGI) registered. They will give you a certificate to prove this.
  • If someone else causes the damage, we will make your home safe but we will only do more work if you give us a police crime reference number (not an incident number).
  • If you want to discuss a problem of damage with us, contact us and we will explain what we can or cannot do for you.

Outside your home

  • Your private garden. You are also required to work with other residents to be considerate and keep shared areas clean, tidy and free of obstruction.
  • Replacing clothes lines and posts, unless in a shared area.
  • Keeping gully grids clear.
  • Any fixtures or features in your garden that you have installed, for example decking or sheds.

Inside your home

  • Appliances (for example washing machines and cookers)
  • Installing and repairing all appliances, including their related supply and drainage pipes.


  • Clearing blockages in toilets, basins, baths and your own appliances (see handy hints) .

Bathrooms and kitchens

  • Handles, hinges and catches on kitchen units.
  • Cleaning extractor fan vents.
  • Tap washers and toilet seats.
  • Plugs and chains on baths, basins and sinks.
  • Shower heads and hoses, shower rails and curtains.

Doors, windows and locks

  • Additional security, including extra locks or reinforcement bars.
  • Adjusting doors when you have new floor coverings fitted.
  • Broken glass in windows, unless you have a crime reference number for any vandalism or a break-in.
  • Doors inside your home, including handles, hinges and locks. Many internal doors are designed to be fire doors; you should not remove door closers. If you are unclear whether a door is a fire door, you should contact us before carrying out repairs.
  • Door knockers, handles and bells (excluding any in shared areas of any that are adapted for disabled users).
  • New keys or changing locks when you lose your keys, get locked out or a lock has broken.
  • Oiling of hinges on windows and doors to ease them.


  • Bleeding radiators.
  • Filling in minor cracks or holes (smaller than 3mm) in internal walls.
  • Floor coverings and finishes, including laminate flooring and tiles.
  • Hooks, curtain rails, blinds and shelves.
  • Internal decorating.
  • Replacing light bulbs and fluorescent tubes (excluding ones in sealed light fittings and in any shared areas).
  • Testing and cleaning smoke detectors and changing the back-up battery on stand-alone detectors that you have fitted (we are responsible for ones we have fitted).
  • TV sockets and aerials, except for communal aerials.

Other responsibilities you have

  • Allowing us into your home to carry out repairs, annual safety checks and any necessary inspections.
  • Letting us know as soon as you notice a repair is needed and taking action to prevent it from getting worse.
  • Pest control and prevention within your home and letting us know about pest control issues in shared areas.
  • Setting heating and boiler controls correctly (thermostats, programmers, etc). Please contact us for advice on how to do this if you are not sure.
  • Resetting trip switches (see handy hints).
  • Taking action to prevent and reduce condensation and pipes from freezing or bursting (see handy hints).
  • Keeping your property clean and tidy to a reasonable standard and leaving your home with no outstanding repairs at the end of your tenancy.

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