Repairs and maintenance

In this section

Staying safe in your home

Important advice

We recommend you familiarise yourself with the location of the gas meter (if you have one) and shut-off valve, cold water stop cock, electricity meter and fuse board in the event of an emergency. We provide smoke detectors in our properties for your safety. Please do not remove them.

Gas safety

If you smell gas you should turn off all gas appliances, open all doors and windows and call the Gas Emergency number 0800 111 9999.

Do not switch on lights, light matches or cigarettes.

We check our gas appliances and pipework annually and will be in contact with you to arrange an appointment to do this. We do this to meet Gas Safety Regulations and to ensure your safety. If you cannot be home for your appointment please let us know so we can arrange an alternative one.

If you have your own gas appliance then you should arrange the annual gas safety check on it yourself.

Fire

If there is a fire in your home you should do the following

  • Get everyone out leaving by the quickest exit
  • Close all windows and doors where possible
  • Telephone the emergency services after you have left the building
  • Alert your neighbours where possible

However, if you live in a flat and the fire is not in your home then please close all doors and windows and remain in your flat. Stay put until told to leave by the emergency services.

Tips on preventing fire in the home

  • Do not smoke in bed
  • Regularly test smoke alarms
  • Do not cook late at night if you are tired
  • It would be useful to get yourself a fire blanket to keep close to hand
  • Avoid using chip pans
  • Internal doors are there for your protection in the event of a fire do not remove them
  • Keep curtains away from heat sources
  • Do not use candles
  • Remember not to block any fire exits with furniture or other items in your home

If you live in a block of flats make sure corridors are free from obstacles and stair wells are clear of pushchairs and bikes.

How to report a repair

The quickest and easiest way to report a repair is online

For those of you who are not online please call 023 8083 3006.

If the repair you are requesting is an emergency that puts you, your family or your property in immediate danger please call:

  • 023 8083 3006 (option 2) between 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
    023 8023 3344 evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays
  • For gas leaks call the National Gas and Emergency Service FREE on 0800 111 999 immediately

Please note these telephone lines are for emergency repairs only, or for tenants who are unable to report online.

Responsibilities for repairs and maintenance

We aim to provide a home for you which is safe and in good condition with repairs done well and within the timescales set. Some repairs are our responsibility to carry out as the landlord and some are your responsibility as the tenant.

We are responsible for

  • the structure and outside of your home, including the floors, walls, stairs, roof, windows, drains and gutters
  • decoration and repairs to the outside of your home and any communal areas in blocks of flats such as staircases, landings and corridors
  • installations for supplying electricity, gas, hot and cold water, room heating and sanitation
  • providing kitchen units for basic food storage and preparation, and bathroom fittings

You are responsible for

  • minor repairs and everyday tasks such as renewing a bath plug or unblocking a kitchen sink
  • the internal decoration of your home including filling minor holes and cracks
  • contacting us when repair work is needed to your property or to a communal area
  • repairing and replacing items which you have installed yourself, such as a kitchen or bathroom fittings.

Charging for repairs

If a repair is needed due to damage or neglect by you, a member of your household or a visitor, then you may be charged for that work.

If the repair needed is due to crime or vandalism you will need to report the incident to the Police and get a crime reference number before reporting the repair to us. You may then not be charged for the repair.

There may be certain exceptional circumstances where we would not charge you for repairs, for example in cases of domestic violence. Please speak to your Local Housing Office for further advice on this. Please refer to your tenancy agreement for more information on repairs and maintenance rights.

Improvements to your home and neighbourhood

We are committed to improving your neighbourhood and outside space through a programme of improvement works called Decent Neighbourhoods.

The work completed as part of a Decent Neighbourhoods project might include re-surfaced pavements and pathways, community gardens and public artwork.

If you would like to find out whether there is a Decent Neighbourhoods Project happening in your area please contact your Local Housing Office.

Major improvements

We have a thirty-year plan of major works for improving all of our properties. This plan includes improvements to kitchens, bathrooms and heating as well as roof replacements. To find out what work is needed we carry out regular inspections. We also speak to residents to find out what their priorities are and our programme of works reflects this.

The thirty-year plan is mainly funded from your rent money and can change if we do not collect the rent anticipated. We do also apply for external grant funding and we have been successful in making energy efficient improvements to homes much quicker as a result of this. Our main priority is to ensure that your home remains safe, wind and weather tight, and somewhere that you are happy to live.

For enquiries about major programmed works in your area email: propertydivision.housing@southampton.gov.uk. Updates can also be found on our website.

Special decorating scheme

If you are over 75 years of age you may qualify for our special decoration scheme which means we may decorate two rooms for you. To find out more about this scheme please see our website or call 023 8083 3010.

Disabled adaptations

If you or a member of your household requires an adaptation to your home that will help you to live more independently you can apply for help to do this.

If the adaptation is for an adult please contact the Adult Contact Team on 023 8083 3003. If the adaptation is for a child please contact the Jigsaw Team on 023 8091 5702. These Teams will assess your needs and liaise with the Housing Team to arrange any appropriate alterations.

Gardens and balconies

If you have a garden or balcony it is important that you look after these too.

Grass must be kept cut and hedges kept trimmed to a maximum height of no greater than 2 meters.

You must get permission before you plant a hedge or tree, or remove an existing one.

Some blocks of flats have communal garden areas, especially blocks for older people. There will usually be some agreement locally about who does the gardening. If you would like to get involved then speak to your neighbours, the Local Housing Office, or your Support Worker. We often offer free gardening courses and if you are interested in attending one of these please contact tenant.engagement@southampton.gov.uk

CCTV and video bells

Guidance on the use of CCTV around your home

This guidance is for tenants and leaseholders of Southampton City Council seeking to install a Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) or other video image capturing device at their home such as a video bell.

The simplicity of using modern CCTV and image capturing devices means that the legal requirements for capturing and storing personal data can be overlooked. This guidance sets out the legal requirements that tenants and leaseholders must follow and our expectations as landlord. 

Southampton City Council understands that some of our tenants and leaseholders will feel more secure if they install CCTV in order to deter crime or if they have been experiencing anti-social behaviour. We also recognise that neighbours may find the erection of a CCTV camera or video capturing image on their neighbours’ home a breach of their privacy. Anti-social behaviour can be reported to your Local Housing Office or by contacting the Police on telephone number 101.

Legal information

You must ask for permission in writing before installing CCTV or other video image capturing devices. Please be aware that if you install CCTV without our permission, or do not follow the conditions highlighted regarding its’ installation and use, then this will have legal consequences for you by being a breach of your tenancy or lease agreement and also the law relating to Data Protection

You must not fit anything to your front door, and you must not screw anything through the door or the door frame – this breaches the fire safety of the door. You may be asked to reinstate the door and/or you could be charged for the work to reinstate the door if this is done by Southampton City Council.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights. The ICO tells you that if you’re thinking of using a domestic CCTV system then you need to make sure you do so in a way that respects other people’s privacy. The ICO explains that if you set up your system so it captures only images within the boundary of your private domestic property (including your garden), then the data protection laws will not apply to you. 

If your system captures images of people outside the boundary of your private domestic property – for example, in neighbours’ homes or gardens, shared spaces, or on a public footpath or a street, then the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Human Rights Act 1998 will apply to you. 

Requesting permission

As outlined in your tenancy agreement or your lease agreement (if a leaseholder), you must obtain written permission from Southampton City Council before installing CCTV or other video image capturing devices. Permission will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances. This is because most, if not all, video cameras will capture images of communal areas. We must balance the privacy rights of other residents and the general public whose images would be captured. You will need to complete this form to get permission. Further information on what you need to consider before requesting permission can be found on the ICO’s website here. Please contact your Local Housing Office if you require further detail.