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Repairs and maintenance

How to report a repair

If you want to cancel your repair at this time, call us on 01277 312500. If you or anyone in your household are experiencing any symptoms of COVID, call us as soon as possible to advise, or you can email for your repair needs.

Axis Europe are responsible for conducting all Council property repairs and maintenance.

General Repairs

To report a repair, call 01277 312500. You will need to select the following options:

  • Option 2 for a Council Service
  • Option 2 for Housing
  • Option 1 for Repairs

This will put you through to Axis to report your repair.

You can also email

Out of hours emergencies

For out of hours emergency repairs, call 01277 312500 and select option 2. This will put you through to Axis. It is very costly to send out a trade operative out of hours. It is important that you only request a call out for genuine emergencies.

We define a ‘genuine emergency’ as danger to life or where there is a serious risk of considerable damage to the property.

  • Total loss of electricity
  • Burst water pipes
  • Loss of water supply or hot water
  • Total failure of central heating
  • Restore flush to WC where a tenant is unable to flush with a bucket
  • Roof leaks
  • Dangerous roof slates or chimneys
  • Board up or re-glaze windows for safety or security
  • Blocked sewers

Call outs for repairs which are not considered emergencies will be recharged at the full cost.

Gas leaks

Gas leaks or suspicion of fumes from a gas appliance should be reported immediately to Transco by calling 0800 111 999.

Repair delays

Some repairs may take longer to complete due to ongoing supply issues of various building materials and specialist resources not readily available from the suppliers.

We are still experiencing manufacturing and national distribution delays from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dwindling supplies of key building materials such as roof tiles, cement, aggregates, timber, paints, electrical components and steel have impacted the repairs and maintenance industry on a national level.

We’re working with our strategic repairs partner Axis, in an effort to jointly reduce delivery times where possible and we continue to explore other potential supply lines.

We are also making our residents aware of any delays. Our emergency response is not affected, and remains as a make safe service only.

See some general examples of current trend national delivery times provided by the major national suppliers:

  • ground works - Fencing, cement, sand – 4 to 6 weeks
  • glazing - double glazed units and window frames - 2 to 4 weeks
  • plumbing - specialist taps, sanitary ware, not as readily available off the shelf – 3 to 5 days
  • electrical - extractor fans and certain cable – 2 to 3 weeks
  • general – shortage on certain locks, ironmongery, gypsum products and doors

Some stock lines have now been classed as volatile due to demand outstripping current supply. Where materials are on long term order we will continue to update those affected. Thank you for your patience during these challenging times.  

Useful documents

Axis logo

MOT stock condition surveys

Currently, our partnering contractor Axis are undertaking MOT stock condition surveys of all our properties, blocks and garages to collate information as to the age and condition of all our assets.  This is so we have an up to date database of all our housing stock so when funding streams are available we can plan future projects.

Axis are sending out letters to the areas they will be visiting and their surveyors would have identification.

If in doubt do not allow access and call the Axis repairs line to confirm. 

COVID-19 and gas safety checks

If you are due your annual gas safety check at this time, please see guidance below in relation to this.

  • Brentwood Borough Council (BBC) has a legal duty to ensure the safety of all gas appliances every 12 months. We employ Axis Europe plc as our Gas Safe contractor to carry out this function.  
  • For the safety of all, BBC and Axis respects the importance of self-isolation for those residents who are vulnerable or exhibiting symptoms of Covid 19 infection.
  • Where someone is self-isolating because they have or suspect they have COVID-19, Axis will rearrange safety checks once self-isolation in the household has ended.
  • During the period of lockdown and/or self-isolation, BBC and its contractors will communicate with residents for access to advise them of our responsibility to safety check their appliances, as well as our rights to enforce access as long as it is safe for engineers to access the home.
  • BBC and its engineers will respond to emergencies such as no heating/hot water but may have to put in place additional safety measures to protect staff.
  • In all cases (safety checks or emergency works) it is important that residents keep to the Social Distancing guidance of a minimum of 2 metres from the engineer and avoid being in the same room while work is being carried out.
  • Remember ALL BBC and Axis employees should have an ID card. Do not let anyone in your home unless you are happy that they are who they say they are, and on legitimate business. If in doubt, ask the engineer to wait outside your closed front door while you check by telephoning the number below.

Emergency jobs will still be attended to in their usual manner.

Rescheduled Gas Safety Inspections

Please be advised that some Tenants may be contacted to reschedule their annual gas safety inspection to the Summer months.

This will ensure that your gas appliances are checked and running efficiently.  Plus it will allow engineers to be more responsive in the winter months for residents with gas boiler breakdowns.

Remember that these visits are important to keep your home both comfortable and safe.  Axis will do their best to find a time that is convenient and we ask that you do your best to ensure you are available for the booking.

Satisfaction surveys

No matter how good we think the contract is, it will only work well with your help. You will be receiving the service, so it’s important that we get your views on how well the contractors are doing.  

We will be ringing residents who had a job completed by Axis on a monthly basis, to ask you how it went. On the rare occasions that things have not gone well, we want to put things right quickly. It would be great if you could take a few minutes when we ring, to tell us how it went.

Top tips - minor repairs resolution and general advice

Damp and condensation


There will always be some moisture in the air. When the air gets cold, moisture can no longer be held and will appear as water droplets on cold surfaces like walls, windows and mirrors. This is normally not a fault with the building or structure of your home. Condensation can be caused by:

  • Cooking with no lids and doors being left open
  • Bathing and doors being left open
  • Clothes washing/ drying indoors
  • Poor ventilation or lack of ventilation
  • Poor heating / not turned on

If condensation is left unchecked, it can lead to mould growth.

Reducing condensation

Try to reduce the problems caused by condensation by:

  • using lids on boiling pans,
  • keeping furniture at least 50mm away from surrounding walls
  • hanging washing outside, or keeping the windows open when drying inside,
  • keeping internal kitchen and bathroom doors shut when cooking and bathing,
  • keeping kitchen and bathrooms well ventilated,
  • wiping condensation from windows and mirrors,
  • If using a tumble dryer, ensure it is adequately vented to the outside of the property
  • keeping your home at a minimum of 17 degrees,
  • opening the doors of unused or under heated rooms to allow warm air to circulate.


  • If mould has developed you must clean it away as soon as you can. Use an anti-mould remover (which carries a HSE approved number) on the area, and shampoo any affected carpets. Washing clothes should remove mould or mildew, however it may leave a stain.
  • When using any anti-mould products, please ensure you follow the instructions for safe use.
  • If this fails please report to Axis via the call centre on 01277 312500 option 2 option 2 or alternatively email

Please refrain from flushing the following items down your WC:

  • Wet wipes
  • Nappies
  • Toilet duck disposable cleaning heads
  • Kitchen roll
  • Dental floss

Did you know that you can unblock a toilet with mop? Simply insert into the bottom of the wc in a circular action and then plunge gently a number of times.

To help elevate blockages to kitchen sinks, please refrain from disposing of the following items:

  • Fat and grease, please dispose of this via the refuse collection
  • Rice
  • Food waste


  • Where possible alternate the windows you open and close. This will help alleviate wear and tear to the locking mechanisms
  • Please ensure that trickle vents at the top of the window are in the open position to allow for air replacement


  • Please ensure that if you have a shower attachment off your bath, that you only use it to shower if there is a screen or curtain in place. As well as a fully tiled wall area from bath to ceiling
  • Should you develop a sealant leak around the bath, using a plastic bag or bin liner please tape to the wall so that the potential leak point is stopped
  • Please be vigilant when removing items from under the kitchen sink, to ensure no leaks have occurred
  • Most taps, baths, sinks and WC’s all have isolation valves inline. These are either a stopcock/gate valve or a ball o fix valve. To close a stop cock/ gate valve simply turn clockwise until resistance is felt and the water has stopped. In the case of a ball o fix valve you will need a small flat head screw driver. Simply insert into the valve and quarter turn to close so it is in the horizontal position


  • Loss of power supply, first ensure you meter has credit
  • Loss of light, check the bulb hasn’t blown
  • Ensure that the MCB’s (small switches on fuse board) are all in the up position. If the power trips again then plug out all appliances reset the MCB. When plugging appliances back in do this one at a time, likely hood is that the washing machine of kettle may have tripped the MCB
  • Never overload plug points
  • Never daisy chain extension leads e.g. do not plug an extension lead into an extension lead
  • If you have a water penetration issue from the property above, you can isolate lighting and power circuits separately by moving the MCB’s to the off position. The circuits will be identified on the fuse board


  • If door handles are sticking give them a spray of WD40 into the working parts
  • If a door handle comes off, you can open the door by inserting a large screwdriver into the mechanism and quarter turn to open

Permission for works in your property

As a Council Tenant you have a number of rights as part of your tenancy agreement. If you are a secure tenant one of them is to carry out improvements and alterations to your home.

You will need to seek written permission to carry out improvements and alterations in your home. We can refuse permission if we consider the works to be dangerous, that they reduce the value of the property, they restrict the property or we would have an obligation to repair any fixtures.

If you carry out works without permission we may give you notice to put the property back to how the property was on the day you took over the tenancy, or if you refuse we may carry out the works and counter charge you directly.

If you carry out works in your property you would then be liable for all future repairs and maintenance such as fitting a shower, front door, patio, electrical fittings, kitchen or fence.

If we have to attend to carry out a repair on your improvement or fitting due to a health and safety risk then you would be recharged.

If your tenancy finishes you would be expected to return the property and fixtures to how the property was on the day you took over the tenancy.  You would also be counter charged for any reinstatement works bringing the property back to the Councils lettable standard.

If a proposed project involved building works then we would require a copy of all details including granted permission from building and planning control, and party wall notices.

Any window or door replacements would have to be undertaken via a reputable accredited Fensa contractor while matching the existing profile in the block or street.

Any electrical works completed we would require a copy of your minor works certification.

Any external excavation we would expect a CAT scan or GPR survey to have been undertaken to ensure no cables, drains or supplies have been disturbed.

Permission must be sought for the follows items:

  • Fish ponds, outside taps, garages, sheds, greenhouses and outhouses
  • External hardstanding, addition or removal of fencing, paving, pathways, excavations, drop kerbs, driveways
  • All heating including radiators, towel rails, gas fires, fireplaces
  • Electrical, fittings / sockets, spot lights, external PIR lighting, removal or disturbing of heat, smoke or co detectors
  • Porches, car port, extensions, windows, internal and external doors including patio doors, conservatories, fireplaces, knock-throughs or blocking off openings
  • Loft conversions, boarding of lofts, false ceilings, note lofts spaces and cellars are not to be used for storage or habitation due to health and safety risks
  • Flooring (timber or laminate), removal of spindles or newel posts
  • Kitchen, bathroom or wc upgrades, water meters, additions including showers, mixer taps, pipework, tiling or bathroom fixtures.
  • Satellite dishes, tv aerials and CB satellites or antennas

You can contact our housing team on explaining in details what you plan to do.

Await your approval or set details of any conditions that are to be met.

Inform us when works are completed as we may need to check works are undertaken satisfactory.

For technical advise please contact the repairs team on

Details of both building control and planning contact details are outlined on our website.

Rechargeable repairs - deliberate, accidental or negligent damage

Recharges can be imposed due to deliberate, accidental or negligent damage while you are living in the property, when you leave a property or mutual exchange.

Where a tenant or leaseholders damages another resident’s property, this will be dealt with in the normal way by the Repairs Team, but a recharge invoice will be sent to the Tenant or Leaseholder responsible for the damage caused.

Decisions will be at the discretion of the Housing Repairs Manager, Housing Manager, Corporate Managers for Repairs and Estates or such other officer which the Director of Housing may from time to time nominate for that purpose.

Recharges may apply for the following, but is not limited to:

  • malicious damage which has not been reported to the Police, or has not been classed as a crime by the Police, such as wilful damage caused by Tenants or Leaseholders, their visitors, or pets to any part of the property or communal areas through an act of violence or mistreatment
  • malicious damage (whether the perpetrator is known or not) must be reported promptly to the police and a crime reference number obtained. Police incident numbers will be accepted in certain circumstances at the discretion of the Council and may not be deemed chargeable.
  • accidental damage, where each case will be considered on its merits, and discretion may be used depending on the circumstances, for example, where vulnerable people are involved
  • replacement of lost or broken door entry key fobs, lost or stolen keys, gaining entry to change the locks and any damage to internal or external door or window
  • removing graffiti and rectifying damage where this has been done by the tenant, leaseholder or visitors to the property
  • leaks into the properties below due to incorrect plumbing, misuse of an appliance, such as a washing machine, spillage or plumbing done by an uncertified plumber
  • blockages where misuse has been identified by our Repairs and Maintenance providers, such as wet wipes, foreign objects, nappies, over use of paper, fat or grease
  • making good or reinstating any DIY undertaken by the tenant unless agreed by the Housing Team in writing
  • damaged or original missing electrical fittings
  • broken or cracked glazing, unless a Crime reference number is provided
  • missing items (such as fire doors), property alterations, damage other than fair wear and tear, clearance of rubbish, floor finishes, clearing out of lofts
  • clearing gardens including removal of sheds (sheds in good condition may be left if agreed at pre-tenancy inspection by a Housing Officer)
  • removal or lopping of trees where it is tenant’s responsibility and it hasn’t been maintained
  • repairs to pathways, fencing, outbuildings or property where damage has resulted from unmaintained trees which are deemed tenant responsibility
  • removal or making good tenant fixtures
  • removal of trees or hedges – tidying gardens that have been neglected or left overgrown by tenants. Also, where a Tenant has requested the removal of a tree, hedge or other natural item, which is not the responsibility of the Council, this must be in line with the Tree Conservation and Maintenance Policy and any necessary consents first obtained.

Some of these are day to day charges, and others apply when a tenant leaves the property.