Changes to the service
We are now delivering our own housing property and construction services, following the end of our 10 year contract with Kier North Tyneside.
The change took full effect on 1st April 2019. Tenants can look forward to an improved service with better value for money; more flexibility, including improved appointment times; and you'll no longer need an appointment for external repairs.
When reporting a repair we want to make sure that you are offered an appointment to suit your needs. We will:
- Offer you a suitable AM / PM / Non-School Run appointment to carry out your repair
- Carry out external repairs to your property without an appointment, unless requested
We understand that you want a repair to be completed within a suitable timescale. We will:
- Offer three repair priorities (emergency, urgent, and routine) to ensure your home is safe, secure and fit to live in
- Strive to complete all appointed repairs within 30 working days once it is reported
There's no change to how tenants report repairs; continue to do so by calling 0345 2000 102, using the form below or at a Customer First Centre.
A guide to the repairs service
We are pleased to announce we have a brand new guidance document to help answer any queries you may have regarding the repairs service. The attached guide covers many aspects such as how to report repairs, our commitment to you and repairs responsibilities.
Request a repair
Call 0345 2000 102 or use this form.
Gas Safety Inspections
By law we must ensure all our homes with a gas supply have a gas safety check each year. Your gas safety inspection is very important, as it will ensure that the fixtures and fittings in your home that use gas are safe. We want to ensure that you and your family are safe in your home.
Please keep the appointment
Once an appointment has been made, it is important that you keep your appointment and allow us access to your home. If you cannot keep your appointment, please let us know in advance. If you do not, our costs increase and our time is wasted. If you are out, we will leave a visiting card with our contact details advising that we called and could not carry out your gas safety check. Please contact as soon as possible, to arrange another appointment. Each year a few people make it very difficult for us to get into their home to do this essential work. This results in us having to take legal action. Please don’t be one of them.
If you regularly miss appointments or won’t let us in, we will have no option but to take legal action in order to gain entry to your property. Should this be required, we will seek to recover our costs from you.
What will happen during the gas safety check?
We will service and repair all the gas appliances that we own. We will also check your own appliances, such as your cooker and list any faults. Should any of your own appliances be deemed as unsafe, we are legally bound to disconnect and isolate them so they are no longer a hazard. Repair or replacement of these appliances and subsequent reconnection are your own responsibility.
We will also check that all of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working and give them a clean. If any of your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms are defective then we will replace them for you.
We will explain the gas safety certificate, send you a copy and tell you what we will do next if any extra work is needed. Appliances that are serviced regularly are less likely to break down. Just think how inconvenient it would be if your heating system breaks down unexpectedly – no heating and no hot water!
The gas safety check takes on average around one hour to complete.
What are the dangers of carbon monoxide?
Every year 30-40 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly fitted or maintained. When gas does not burn properly, it produces poisonous carbon monoxide.
You can’t see it. You can’t taste it. You can’t even smell it. Carbon monoxide can kill without warning in just a matter of hours. You are most at risk when you are asleep.
The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include tiredness, drowsiness, headache and pains in the chest and stomach. You are at risk of this if:
- Your gas appliance is not working properly.
- Your gas appliance has not been checked for safety or maintained regularly.
- There is not enough fresh air in your room (do not block air bricks or other vents).
- Your chimney or flue is blocked.
- You have allowed unqualified people to install or maintain your gas appliances.
If you believe you may have suffered from any symptoms related to carbon monoxide poisoning visit your GP or the hospital at the earliest opportunity.
What should I do if I smell gas?
Turn off your gas supply immediately. Find the lever next to your meter and move it one quarter of the way round, either right or left, until the gas stops.
Once the gas has been turned off, open the windows and doors to let in plenty of fresh air.
Do not turn any electrical switches on or off, light matches or lighters, or smoke.
Go outside and ring the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. They will come to your home and make it safe.
If the engineer from the National Gas Emergency Service tells you something in your home needs to be repaired, call our contact centre on 0845 2000 102.
Level Access Showers
- If a tenant moves, any level access shower fitted by the council is to remain at the property.
- A level access shower fitted by the tenant is to be removed unless agreed otherwise by the council.
- A level access shower will only be replaced with a bath where there is a specific medical need, as assessed by an Occupational Therapist.
Kitchen unit, drawer or door replacements
The council will look to replace the damaged front with the existing colour and style or nearest possible match.
If we cannot source a close match and the Kitchen is not due to be replaced within the next 5 years, all drawer and door fronts will be replaced.
A storm door is a type of door which is installed in addition to the main access door, normally at the rear or side of the property (see photo below). It protects from harsh weather conditions and provides proper ventilation.
Storm doors will be removed by the council if they are in poor condition when a property is vacant. If the storm door is in good condition, it will be left in place and will become the tenant’s responsibility to maintain and repair.
The main path to the front and rear of property including 1m around the perimeter will be the council’s responsibility to maintain. All other paved areas will be the responsibility of the tenant.
Hands to Help
The information below explains the Hands to Help service. It gives you advice on how to request a small DIY job and who can use this service.
What is the Hands to Help Service?
The Hands to Help service is run by our repairs team and is designed to carry out small DIY jobs that some elderly or disabled tenants are unable to carry out themselves, or which may place them at risk e.g. of a fall. It helps elderly and disabled people remain independent and safe in their own home by carrying out small jobs as part of our handyperson service.
Am I eligible to use the service?
You can use the service if you are:
- A North Tyneside Council tenant aged over 60, and / or
- A tenant with a disability
If you do not qualify for the Hands to Help service, there are a range of video guides available to assist you.
What kind of small jobs does the Hands to Help service carry out?
The service will carry out small DIY jobs to your home that would normally be your responsibility, and not covered by the repairs service. The maximum time allowed to complete a task will be limited to 2 hours. The labour is free, but you have to supply the materials, such as shelves, cabinets, curtain rails, etc. The handyperson does carry the right tools to do the job and some consumables such as nails, screws, sealants and glue for example. There will be NO CHARGE for these items. We are sorry but we are unable to assist with large work or any electrical, gas jobs or jobs requiring us to work at height.
What small jobs are included in the scheme?
We have some examples below of the small tasks you can get done in your home:
- Hang a pictures / mirrors
- Assembling small furniture such as bedside cabinets or small set of draws
- Fit a toilet roll holder
- Put up a curtain pole / shower pole
- Fit shelves to your walls
- Change a light bulb / fluorescent tube
- Wireless doorbell
- Fit an additional bolt to your garden gate
- Fix a hanging basket externally
- Plumbing in a washing machine
Hands to Help staff are also trained to offer advice on Energy Saving, Gas Safety and Fire Safety.
Does the Hands to Help service carry out decoration work?
No, the service does not carry out decoration work.
Does the Hands to Help service carry out gardening work?
No, the service does not carry out maintenance or up-keep of gardens. However, we may be able to carry out some one-off small work to help you manage your garden such as removing small shrubs and bushes. We have a separate gardening scheme to help tenants who are not able to manage a garden by themselves because of age or disability. We also have a garden tool loan scheme for its customers. The scheme is open to all tenants over 18 and there is no charge for the loan of the equipment. Please contact your local customer service centre or housing office to find out more.
What happens if my small job is not listed in the example?
Don’t worry, if you have a small job that is not listed, still contact us. We will consider your job if:
- The task takes no longer than two hours to finish.
- It is a one-off type of request, for example to install or to fix something.
- It is not included in our landlord repairs responsibilities
- The job does not require a specialist tradesperson, i.e. a gas fitter or electrician or require us to work at height.
How do I request my small job?
It’s simple, you can request a small job by calling:
- The contact centre on 0345 2000 102 and say it is a Hands to Help or small job request
- In person at your customer services centre or local housing office
When you make your request you will be asked for your name and address, your age, whether you have a disability and what your small job is. If we are unsure of what works are required we may arrange an inspection to see what work is needed. We will check our asbestos register prior to doing any jobs that involve drilling or affecting the walls. If we do not hold asbestos information on your home we may be required to arrange an asbestos survey prior to the job being carried out.
How will I know when you are going to call?
We will agree a convenient appointment time with you when you make your small repair request. Once an appointment has been made, it is important that you keep it. If you cannot, please let us know as soon as you can. If we call and you are not in, we will leave a visiting card to tell you that we called. You should contact us immediately to arrange another appointment, or we will cancel your small job request.
How often can I use the service?
You can book a Hands to Help appointment twice a year. An appointment means any job / series of jobs carried out in one visit that does not take longer than 2 hours.
What am I expected to do?
It is your responsibility to provide the materials, i.e. the shelves, fittings or equipment. We can only advise on materials needed and will not supply them.
You should always check a person’s identity before letting them into your home. Our staff carry identity cards. If you are in any doubt about anyone visiting your home, we strongly advise you do not let him or her in.
If you have recently had a repair carried out at your property and would like to provide some feedback on how we performed, please click the link below and submit your comments. We are always interested on how our customers rate the services we provide. We will ensure any positive comments are relayed to the team responsible and any negative feedback is investigated to help us improve our services further.
Moving in to your Council property
The document linked below details the standard to which all Council homes are required to meet prior to them being let. At the viewing the housing officer will go through this standard with you and use a checklist to make sure it has been met. To minimise any delays in the property becoming available for you, some repairs may be completed after you move in. We will however, ensure that the property:
- is safe to move in to
- is secure and watertight
- has received a gas safety check
- has received an electrical safety check
Moving out of your Council property
If you are looking to move out of your home, you must provide us with sufficient notice and ensure you leave the property in a satisfactory condition. The document linked below details your obligations and sets the condition standard required prior to you leaving your home. Failure to comply with this standard will result in you being recharged for any associated repairs and prevent you transferring to an alternative North Tyneside property or may affect any future references when applying to other landlords.