Who is responsible for improving and repairing your home?

23rd January 2018

A house ceases to feel like a home, when its features are in need of repair, or it lacks the personal touch of the person who is living there. You may be wondering about your rights when it comes to altering housing association owned accommodation, but we’re here to help.

If you’re looking to make your home reflect your personal tastes, then whether or not you will get permission to do this from your housing association, depends on how long you’ve been living in the house. Those who have been in supported living for just short while, may find that their request to make changes will be denied, until they are more secure in their tenancy.

Even secure tenants, who have been residing in the house for years must get permission before making any changes. Your landlord will want to assess your query in order to ensure any changes you make won’t:

  • Be permanent and unalterable
  • Reduce the property’s value
  • Make the house less safe
  • Make it difficult, or even impossible, for the house to be let to a new tenant

Bear in mind that once you have been granted permission to make changes to the property, those changes may well become your responsibility. If the paint you buy looks terrible, it’s your responsibility to change it. If you install a new tap and it leaks, or won’t work properly, you’ll need to fix it, or get it fixed.

When it comes to essential repairs, on items that you have not introduced to the property, your landlord is responsible. This is the case, regardless of how long you’ve been living in the property. There may be some repairs for which you are responsible.

In order to find out if the repair that needs to be made is your responsibility, or the responsibility of the Housing Association, please refer to the tenancy handbook you were given when you first embarked upon supported living. If you’re still unsure, your landlord, or Housing Association contact will be able to answer the question for you.

Also make yourself aware of the repair reporting procedure that must be followed. If you follow the correct procedure, then your landlord will have no reason to complain about getting repairs made in a timely fashion.