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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 8393

Council Housing - Repair Works

Request

1. Over the past 2 years in Ingatestone and Fryerning only, how many Council properties have required repairs?
2. What was after inspection from council workers the total price quoted necessary for said repairs?
3. How many of these required after work completed further work done and what was the additional cost?
4. How many work hours have been covered by your Inspectors visiting said properties?
5. What is the criteria for the Council to redecorate said property?
6. What is the criteria for a Family with sick children to be moved to alternative accommodation while said work is carried out?
7. What is your Duty of Care towards said tenants?

Response

1. Over the past 2 years in Ingatestone and Fryerning only, how many Council properties have required repairs?
Brentwood has 508 homes in the area. 246 (48%) have had repairs in the past two years.
There have been a total of 1260 repairs orders. Of these 146 relate to repairs to vacant properties.

2. What was after inspection from council workers the total price quoted necessary for said repairs?
The total cost of these works was £207,000. The void works totaled £18,000 of this.
3. How many of these required after work completed further work done and what was the additional cost?
This is harder to asses. I have taken this as any works with the same (or very similar) description undertaken within one month of the original order.
Using this criterion, there have been 6 recall visits. The additional cost of five of these totalled £158. The other had an additional cost of £950 to renew a roof. The original order cost £50 for an inspection.
Additionally, there have been 34 abortive visits where residents have not provided access for an appointment. These are charged at £14.71 each giving a total of £550.14.
4. How many work hours have been covered by your Inspectors visiting said properties?
This is difficult to quantify. There are two full time surveyors employed to inspect works. This includes pre and post inspections of repairs and voids. They spend part of the time in the office and part on site. They also undertake a range of other inspections – disabled adaptations, mutual exchanges. They usually work on a patch basis so on any particular day they will visit all ranges of work in the area so it is hard to separate out time spent on inspections related to a specific work area.
5. What is the criteria for the Council to redecorate said property?
The council decorates externally approximately every 5 years. This period may be extended if the home does not need immediate redecoration.
Internal redecorations are usually the responsibility of the residents. The council does have a discretionary policy to decorate two rooms every five years for elderly or disabled residents.
The council may redecorate internally if a fault or the resultant consequential repairs result in significant damage. The decision will depend upon the circumstances. For example, if a home was flooded from the flat above and we attended promptly to fix the leak, the council has not been negligent and we would expect the damage to be rectified by the insurers for the two residents.
If the damage resulted from an ongoing structural defect, the council may be willing to redecorate the damaged area. This may be a single wall or ceiling and not necessarily a complete room.

6. What is the criteria for a Family with sick children to be moved to alternative accommodation while said work is carried out?
Residents are not usually decanted while works take place. The home must be considered uninhabitable for a decant to take place. The decision will depend upon the level of disruption, the duration of the remedial works and the ability of the resident to deal with this. It is unlikely that a resident would be decanted during redecoration works. It is also unlikely that a resident will be decanted if a single room is out of action. We renew kitchens and bathrooms with the resident in situ. We restore services at the end of each day, or provide temporary services, to enable the resident to remain within the home. The resident would not remain if it was deemed unsafe for them to do so while the works take place.

The nature of the children’s illnesses would be considered when making a decision. This will depend if it is a temporary illness and if the works could be planned when the child had recovered. The type of work may have no impact upon the illness. If the illness required frequent access to the bathroom, the Council may consider decanting if the bathroom needed refurbishing. If the child had a respiratory illness, the decision to decant would depend if any dust could be contained and the impact upon the child could be managed. If it was deemed that the dust could not be contained we would discuss alternative arrangements with the resident.

7. What is your Duty of Care towards said tenants?
The Council is required to provide a safe and weather tight home that meets statutory landlord requirements. It must also ensure that works are undertaken in an appropriate manner and do not harm the health and safety of residents. The principal requirements are set out in the Brentwood Housing Handbook. The council must make sufficient enquiries to ensure the contractors employed are competent and sufficiently trained to carry out the works in a manner that ensures the resident’s and operatives safety.