You have general responsibilities to:
- keep your property and garden in a reasonable condition
- decorate inside including filling minor cracks, holes or small areas of plaster in walls or ceilings
- redecorate when a repair has been done except where there is a large area of decorative damage
- let us know as soon as you notice a repair is needed and take action to prevent it getting worse
- allow us access to your property to carry out repairs, annual safety checks and any inspections that are necessary
- repair and maintain any fixture, fitting or appliance you have put in, unless we have an agreement to maintain it for you
- take action to prevent and control condensation
- take action to prevent pipes from freezing or bursting
- contact Gas Emergency Service immediately if there is a gas leak - call free on 0800 111999
- check that your heating controls, room thermostat, timer or programmer, are set correctly
- keep your home properly heated to prevent condensation
- keep your home properly heated to prevent pipes from bursting during cold weather, especially if you are going away on holiday or into hospital
- turn off your water supply at the stop tap if a water pipe has burst, and then turning on all taps to allow remaining water to flow out
Damage and charging
You are responsible for any damage caused by yourself, a member of your family or a visitor to your home. We expect you to arrange for all such damages to be repaired, for example:
- electrical problems caused by a faulty appliance you own
- broken windows
- floods from washing machines
- lost keys or getting locked out
If damage is caused by a break-in or vandalism, we will carry out work to make your home safe. We will then investigate the causes before we carry out further work.
If, for reasons of safety or security, we have to carry out repairs that are your responsibility, we will charge you the full cost of getting the work carried out..
Tasks you must do yourself
We expect you to do the following tasks or to arrange and pay to get them done.
- replacing broken or cracked glass in windows or doors unless the damage was outside your control
- replacing keys or locks when keys are lost or when you get locked out
- fitting and repairing additional door locks or latches
- keeping window trickle vents clear
- replacing or repairing catches, locks and latches on internal doors and cupboards
- repairing any extra kitchen units you have installed
- adjusting doors when you have fitted new carpets
- renewing broken clothes lines between poles, except in communal areas
- replacing curtain rails and battens
- replacing coat rails and hooks
- replacing light bulbs, fluorescent tubes and starters
- replacing electrical plugs (not sockets) and plug fuses to your own appliances
- resetting trip switches and, if necessary, turning off the mains supply
- testing your smoke detector regularly
- trying to clear blockages in basins, sinks, baths and toilets
- clearing blockages in washing machines or dishwashers
- replacing plugs and chains on baths, basins and sinks
- installing washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers including wastes and supply pipework and vents, if not already provided
- keeping gully grids clear of leaves or rubbish
- maintaining general garden paths, steps, patios, or other garden features
- repairing all fencing except where it borders a public footpath
- keeping air vents clear
If you are over 60 years old or disabled and have no able-bodied adult to help you, we may be able to put you in touch with organisations that can help.
- Repairing all fencing except where it borders a public footpath.
- Repairing patios, garden steps or other garden features, and any sheds that are not part of the building. Also, maintaining general garden paths although we maintain the paths giving main access to front and back doors.
- Replacing keys or locks to garage or shed doors when keys are lost.
- Renewing broken clothes lines between poles, except in communal areas.
- Repairing any damage caused by you, a member of your family or a visitor to your home.
Advice on common problems
- If a problem is caused by vandalism or a break-in, we will make further investigations into the cause of the damage. We will charge you for the cost of the repair if it is caused by a member of your family.
- If you caused the damage, we expect you to get it repaired.
- If your garage is separate from your home, you need to explain how we can find it and get in.
- If a garage cannot be locked, you are responsible for the security of anything left inside.
Fences and boundaries
From general maintenance and wind damage to boundary issues and responsibilities, this article should tell you what you need to know and clarify what is your responsibility for most situations.
Until a property is sold all boundaries belong to Derby City Council. If a boundary is between two properties managed by Derby Homes, the tenants have a shared responsibility for maintaining the boundary.
Where a boundary lies between a Derby Homes managed property and a private property, we will liaise with the council’s Estates Department who will ascertain who is responsible for which boundary.
Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs?
In most cases, Derby Homes have no responsibility for rear or side fencing (other than making safe if in a dangerous condition) and repairing and replacing fencing is the responsibility of the tenant. To clarify where this is the case, have a read through these general rules and refer to this simplified diagram.
What will Derby Homes do?
To the front of your home, we will maintain:
- Fencing that runs along a public highway
- Driveway gates that have a dropped kerb to allow cars to pass over the public highway
- Hand gates that run along a public highway
To the rear of your home, we will maintain:
- Fencing that provides privacy (usually extending 2m from the property, between two adjoined houses)
- Fencing that separates your front garden to the rear garden
- Hand gates that are attached to fencing separating front and rear gardens
- We will only define the boundary using post and wire (where there is a dispute between two properties)
What do you have to do?
To the front of your home, you are responsible for maintaining:
- Fencing that separates your garden from your neighbour’s
- Driveway gates that only have a standard kerb edging
- Any fencing you have installed yourself
To the rear of your home, you are responsible for maintaining:
- Fencing that separates gardens between your neighbour/s
- Any fencing you have installed yourself
As well as repairs, we also recommend you treat or stain your wooden fencing as required to prolong the life of the wood.
Exceptions to the rules
- Any fence that is deemed dangerous will be made safe, but will not be replaced (unless it falls under our responsibility above)
- Any fence that forms a boundary with a public open space (i.e. parkland) will be replaced
- Any fence that forms a Boundary with a jitty/alleyway will be replaced
- Maintain – Fix broken panels, reset posts, rehang gates, treat/stain wood
- Make Safe – Removing any affected and dangerous panels or posts
- Replace – Fit new panels, individual boards or posts
There will be some situations where the fencing layout or location is not clearly defined enough to fit within the above guidelines. In these cases our staff will work in consultation with you to make that judgement.
How long do fencing repairs take?
Where dangerous fencing has to be made safe, it will be carried out within 24 to 48 hours of being reported.
All other fencing is classed as specialist, non-urgent work and will be completed within 60 working days (approximately three months). Even though the majority of this work is external and may not require an appointment, it’s best to let us know in advance if there are any issues with access as this may delay any work.
Note: Where we experience high levels of reported works, for example due to storms and severe weather, timescales in some circumstances may exceed the stated response times above.