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Council house repairs

We are responsible for some of the repairs to your council homes and tenants are responsible for other repairs. We will carry out all the repairs that we are responsible for if they are the result of fair wear and tear.

If you or your visitors have caused the damage, or if you would like us to carry out work to items that you are responsible for, then we will do this and charge you for carrying out the work.

Emergency contacts

To report a gas leak, contact the gas emergency helpline on 0800 111 999

To report an electricity emergency, contact the electricity emergency helpline on 0800 404 090

Power cuts

Call 105 if there is a power cut. Do not call your electricity supplier.

Your responsibilities

Minor faults

During your tenancy, you must report any necessary repairs in your property and shared areas that we are responsible for. You are also responsible for maintaining some minor faults in your home.

These minor faults may include:

  • damage caused by you or anyone living with or visiting you
  • replacing light bulbs and batteries in smoke detectors
  • repairs to improvements you have made to your home
  • fixtures and fittings in the property installed when you became the tenant

If you are not sure who is responsible for a repair, contact us.


If we carry out any urgent repairs that you are responsible for, we will ask you to pay for them.

The repairs you are responsible for include:

  • damage caused by you or anyone living with or visiting you
  • damage not caused by normal fair wear and tear
  • appliances, fixtures and fittings installed by you
  • bath, basin and sink plugs and chains
  • baths - mastic sealing and re-grouting (general maintenance)
  • battery replacements
  • chimney sweeping
  • cooker or other white goods installation or repairs
  • curtain rails
  • damage caused by forced entry by the police
  • decoration (internal, painting and wallpapering)
  • door adjustment to fit floor covering
  • doorbells
  • draught excluders (internal and external doors)
  • door handles (inside)
  • door locks (any other than above)
  • door numbers and nameplates (additional to those provided by us)
  • electricity supply and meter
  • immersion heater (unless installed by us)
  • gaining entry
  • gardening and trees
  • glazing replacement (unless authorised by a council officer)
  • hat and clothes hooks
  • hot water cylinder jacket
  • keys (lost or stolen), including associated lock changes
  • padlocks or similar
  • pest control
  • plaster cracks (minor)
  • plugs and fuses on electrical appliances
  • radiators (bleeding)
  • re-programming control units (heating and hot water)
  • sheds
  • skirting boards (unless part of other works we are doing)
  • smoke alarms (battery-operated)
  • sockets (additional)
  • toilet seat
  • TV aerial or satellite dish (unless part of a communal system)
  • TV sockets (additional)
  • window catches

If you are not sure who is responsible for a repair, contact us.

Rechargeable repairs

We will carry out all repairs that we are responsible for, subject to fair wear and tear. 

If damage has been caused by you or your visitors, or if you would like us to carry out work to items for which you are responsible, we will do this and recharge you the cost of carrying out the work. You will be able to pay for the work in instalments, which you will be able to agree with on receipt of the invoice.

You may be able to claim back the cost of the repair through your personal contents insurance. It is up to you to check your policy details to see if you are covered for accidental damage.

Other recharges will include:

  • £25 plus VAT for any appointments that you make and are not at home to keep
  • £300 plus VAT for gas safety checks that we have to make by court order if you've not allowed us access or refused to make an appointment for your gas safety check


Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for maintaining most of the items we provided with the property when your tenancy started, but only if they need to be repaired or replaced as a result of fair wear and tear.

If we carry out any urgent repairs that you are responsible for, we will ask you to pay for the cost.

Things we repair include:

  • adaptations in the property (items we have installed)
  • anti-mould growth treatment (this will only be applied to the area affected)
  • asbestos management
  • baths
  • boiler and radiator repairs and replacement
  • boilers (communal)
  • ceiling and wall tiles to communal parts
  • central heating repairs
  • chimney stacks (including removal if uneconomical to repair)
  • collapsible bollards (communal)
  • cooker hoods if installed by the council
  • cooker switches or sockets
  • door entry systems
  • doors (external and communal with the exception of bin compounds)
  • doors (internal)
  • door locks (external) and only if due to normal wear and tear
  • door frames
  • door furniture (external and if originally fitted by the council)
  • downpipes
  • drainage repairs and clearance and CCTV surveys
  • dry risers (communal)
  • electric showers (unless installed by the tenant or accepted by tenant through mutual exchange)
  • electrical lateral mains (communal)
  • electrical wiring and fittings (unless installed by the tenant or accepted by tenant through mutual exchange)
  • environmental clearances (pigeons) to communal areas
  • external brickwork/pebbledash
  • extractor fans
  • facia boards and soffits
  • fencing repairs (make safe only to perimeter/boundary to the rear of the property)
  • fire and intruder alarms (communal)
  • flooring removal and replacement for pest control treatments
  • floor tile replacement to bathroom and kitchen (where already existing)
  • gallows gates (communal)
  • garage lighting (communal)
  • gas servicing
  • graffiti removal
  • guttering repair and replacement where damp is occurring
  • handrails
  • kitchen repairs and replacement of single units only (note the replacement will be a standard white unit)
  • lamps and bulbs (communal)
  • lifts Lighting (communal external) repairs
  • lightning conductors (communal) inspection and repairs
  • light pendants (unless installed by tenant or accepted by tenant through mutual exchange)
  • light switches
  • loft access repairs
  • mechanical services (communal) inspection and repair
  • pathways and main route of access to the property (patch repair only)
  • paving (estate) to make safe only
  • plastering repairs (internal)
  • play area maintenance (communal)
  • plumbing repairs (but not to washing machines or other white goods)
  • refuse chutes repair and maintenance (including clearing blockages)
  • roof and roof lights if installed by the council
  • sanitaryware - toilet pan, cistern, and wash basin and mastic sealing
  • shower trays if installed by the council
  • smoke alarms (mains-wired)
  • sockets replacement (unless installed by tenant or accepted by tenant through mutual exchange)
  • stairs and handrails (unless damaged or removed by you)
  • storage heating
  • structure of the building (unless unauthorised alterations have been made by the tenant or accepted by tenant through mutual exchange)
  • taps (kitchen and bathroom)
  • tiling (wall) in kitchens and bathrooms
  • toilets (if blocked)
  • wash hand basin (small) installation, where requested and practicable
  • washing lines (communal) repair/replacement
  • water pumps (communal) repair and replacement
  • water testing and remedial repairs to communal water systems
  • woodwork infestation


Right to repair

The right to repair scheme for council tenants ensures repairs that might affect your health, safety or security are completed within a certain period of time.

If further work or a more permanent repair is required, this will be arranged by appointment after the initial visit. It will always be our intention to complete repairs at the first visit wherever possible, but we cannot guarantee we are able to do this.

The timescales for repairs covered are:

Type of repairHow long it will take
Urgent repairs4 hours
Total loss of water, electricity or gas supply1 working day
Power socket or electrical fitting that is not safe1 working day
Blocked flue to an open fire or boiler1 working day
Leaking foul drains, soil stacks or toilet pans where there is no other toilet in the property1 working day
Total or partial loss of heating or hot water between 31 October and 1 May1 working day
Outside window, door or lock that is not secure1 working day
Partial loss of water or electricity supply3 working days
Total or partial loss of heating or hot water between 30 April and 1 November3 working days
Blocked sink or bath3 working days
Tap that will not turn3 working days
Loose or detached banister or handrail3 working days
Rotten timber flooring or steps3 working days
Leaking roof7 working days
Broken door entry phone7 working days
Broken mechanical extractor fan in the kitchen or bathroom7 working days
All other repairs that are the responsibility of the council20 working days
Repairs to frames and doors20 working days
Repairs to worktops and sink tops20 working days
Repairs to window frames20 working days

Emergency repair service

We operate an emergency repair service to deal with some repairs outside normal working hours.

This service covers:

  • insecure property
  • gaining access to property in an emergency
  • dangerous flooring or stairs
  • total loss of water supply
  • uncontrollable water leaks
  • unusable taps in the on position
  • blocked lavatories or soil and vent pipes (if only one of these is in the property)
  • blocked drains (if backing up)
  • missing inspection chamber covers
  • electrics sparking or smoking, or bare wires
  • total loss of electric power
  • blocked chimney to open fire
  • making safe any dangerous structure, including unsafe glazing

While every effort will be made to fix the problem permanently, this may not be possible straight away. Our operatives will at the very least make the situation safe. For example, we will secure a broken window with a wooden board and, if it is our responsibility, we will return at a later date to re-glaze the window.

The loss of heating or hot water is not an emergency. However, if loss of heating puts either you or a member of the household at risk due to age or illness, please let the operator know and they will try to make arrangements to provide temporary heating.

Annual gas safety checks

As your landlord, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has a legal duty to carry out an annual safety check on all gas appliances installed in your property. This safety check can include pipework, meters, boilers and your cooker.

Ensure access is available to the boiler and any other gas appliances by clearing any belongings away from the appliances to be checked. If you have a card meter for your gas, ensure there is money on the card so that the safety check can be carried out.

Ensuring safety

The safety check is free and will only take a short time. It will reassure you that your gas appliances are safe, and not emitting the poisonous gas carbon monoxide. Once a safety check has been carried out, you will be given a gas safety certificate, which you should keep in a safe place.


A letter will be sent to you with an appointment. If the appointment is not convenient you will need to contact us to re-arrange it. If you deny us have access, we may take action against your tenancy and you could lose your home.

If the engineer cannot gain access for this appointment, a letter will be hand delivered through your door asking you to contact us within seven days to make another appointment. If you do not contact us, another letter will be sent to you asking you to make an appointment within seven days of the date of the letter. We will charge you £25 plus VAT for any appointments that you make and are not at home to keep.

Finally a letter will be sent to you from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham advising you that we will be taking legal action to gain access if you do not make an appointment within 14 days of the date of the letter.

If you do not make an appointment

If you do not contact us to make an appointment following this process, we will ask the court for a warrant to gain access and carry out the gas safety check.

If the gas safety check is carried out using a warrant, you will be recharged £300 plus VAT, which takes into account the following additional costs that have been incurred:

  • London Borough of Barking and Dagenham officer preparation of information for the court and attending court to obtain the warrant
  • the Tenancy Audit Team becoming involved
  • the execution of the warrant involving two gas engineers, a locksmith and other London Borough of Barking and Dagenham officers


Dampness in buildings

Dampness can be divided into three areas or causes: rising damp, penetrating damp or condensation.

Rising damp

Rising damp is water soaked up from the ground and can cause a problem if the damp-proof course or damp-proof membrane is either damaged or bridged.

A typical bridge would be the construction of a new drive or path at a higher level than the damp-proof course. This may cause the damp to get worse.

Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp is where water leaks into the building through a building defect. Sometimes a defect may be obvious, for example, a missing roof tile which allows water to come in. A less obvious example could be a leaking rainwater pipe that may not be apparent until the water soaks completely through the wall.

Penetrating dampness can be caused by many different defects in the external fabric of the building that allow water to get through the fabric of the building.


Condensation is moisture generated in the home. Household activities such as cooking, bathing, washing and drying of clothes, and even breathing are major sources of moisture generation. Other causes of moisture can be from flueless paraffin or bottle gas heaters, and un-vented tumble dryers.

To reduce condensation and to prevent it forming, keep doors closed in rooms are being used. This stops moisture reaching other rooms, especially bedrooms, which are often colder.

Condensation and related problems (such as mould growth) generally occur during the winter months when the outside temperatures are colder than those inside a building. As a result condensation will normally form on external walls and windows.

Guide to condensation (PDF, 575.00 KB)

Housing, Rents and Repairs Service

020 8592 7388

Repairs can be reported Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.

Outside of these hours only emergency repairs can be reported.