Housing standards for tenants

Our promise to you is to ensure that your new council home comes at a high standard of safety, functionality and cleanliness - ready for you to move in.

This is our ‘Void Lettable Standard’ and we have developed this in consultation with our tenants. It explains the standard of accommodation that you can expect when taking a new tenancy with us. It also highlights the condition that we expect the property to be in when it is handed back at the end of the tenancy.

What can you expect from us as landlords?

General work to the property

  • Carry out a gas check to ensure compliance with the gas installation and use regulations, and then issue a 'Landlords Safety Certificate' to you as the new tenant
  • Carry out an electrical safety test in accordance with the current edition of the IEE regulations and then issue a safety certificate to you
  • Remove all loose cables and wires, including alarm, phone extensions and former tenant’s fittings
  • Check all stop taps to ensure they are accessible and operational
  • Take meter readings for gas, electricity and water
  • Ensure a smoke detector is fitted and working
  • Undertake an asbestos survey
  • Undertake an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) survey and then issue a copy of the certificate to you.

External work to the property

  • All external walls will be free of major defects, graffiti or holes. If there are areas of walls which require pointing this will generally be undertaken on the cyclical maintenance programme
  • Doors will be operational, correctly fitting and have a minimum of two keys per lock
  • Windows will be operational, opening sashes will operate correctly and have locking window handles where required
  • The roof will be wind and watertight. Fascias, gutters, rain water pipes will be clean and free from obvious defects
  • Manhole covers will be level and securely fixed. Gullies will have grid covers fitted
  • Gates and fences will be provided to the front gardens if required. Rear fencing is not provided or maintained unless the garden adjoins open land, road, waterway or footpath
  • Gardens will be cut down to a manageable level and any overgrown trees or bushes pruned. Some trees may be subject to a Tree Preservation Order. In these circumstances advice will be sought and permission obtained before any works are undertaken
  • All ponds will be filled in
  • Former tenants’ sheds and features may be left if they are sound and free from defect. It will become your responsibility, as the new tenant, to maintain them
  • Debris and rubbish will be removed, including builder’s rubble and surplus soil.

Internal work to the property

  • The loft space will be clear of rubbish and fire breaks between adjoining properties will be intact
  • The loft space will have the correct amount of insulation fitted across the whole of the loft area
  • All water tanks, cylinders and pipework in the loft will be insulated
  • Ceilings and walls will be free from visible major defects and will be free from graffiti
  • Wall and ceiling coverings (wallpaper) will only be removed if extensive plastering works are required
  • Internal doors and the door furniture will be operational
  • Architraves and skirtings will be complete
  • Floors will be sound and secure; floorboards will be free of major defect
  • Staircases and handrails will be securely fitted; treads will be free of splits and cracks
  • Sanitary ware will be clean and fit for purpose. Taps and plugs will be checked for function
  • Kitchen worktops and units will be functional with inset sinks and pillar taps. Gas and or electric points will be provided to the cooker space where possible
  • Washing machine points will be provided where possible
  • It is the tenant’s responsibility to connect cookers and washing machines to the supply provided. Gas connections must be undertaken by a registered Gas Safe engineer
  • The property will be inspected for dampness and condensation related mould growth. Areas of mould growth will be treated
  • Polystyrene ceiling tiles and covings will be removed
  • Adaptations will be checked to ensure they are operational.

Will the property be cleaned?

Yes. On completion of the re-let repairs, the property will be cleaned by the builder to remove any obvious stains or residue caused by the works. The cleaning will include:

  • Sweep or mop all floors as appropriate
  • Wipe down all internal woodwork
  • Clean the glazing internally including the window frames
  • Wash down all kitchen surfaces and units
  • Clean and disinfect all sanitary ware - baths, showers, wash hand basins and toilets
  • Clean all electrical sockets, switches and fittings
  • Wipe down and clean behind radiators
  • Remove any mail, packaging or rubbish and check the refuse bin is empty
  • Sweep the front path or communal entrance.

Former tenants’ improvements or alterations

Any alterations will be checked and if in good condition and free from defect will be left in place. Repairs will be carried out on these items, however should this be uneconomical or they will require replacement at some future time, the item will be removed.

On sign up you will be informed of what items are being left in the property. Curtains and carpets may also be left in the property if they are in good condition and you wish to keep them.

Please note, some works considered not to be detrimental to you moving into your new home will be completed by appointment when the tenancy starts e.g. garden clearance and external repairs. Some works may only be identified when you have moved into your new home e.g. plastering. These works will be undertaken by appointment when the tenancy begins.

Standards that YOU must maintain

  • You will arrange utility suppliers and pre-paid meter cards, if appropriate, when you move into your new home. You will be informed when you sign up for the tenancy the type of meters in the property and who to contact
  • You will maintain your home to this lettable standard - see the repairs that are the council’s responsibility and the repairs that are your responsibility
  • If you want to make any improvements or alterations to your home, then you will need to get consent from us before you carry out any works
  • If you end your tenancy, the property will be returned to us in a condition that meets the lettable standard. We have a recharge policy and if it is not this standard and a repair is needed because you, your family or a visitor to your home has caused damage or if you have neglected your home, we will charge you for the cost of the repair, plus VAT at the current rate and an administration fee.

© Wigan Council