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Rechargeable Works

At Thanet District Council we will fairly recover the costs of repair work that are a tenant’s responsibility.

Tenants agree not to damage or neglect their home when signing their Tenancy Agreement. Therefore if a repair is needed, and is found to be due to neglect, misuse or abuse, we will charge the cost to the tenant. This is known as a Rechargeable Works Order (RWO).

Examples of works that will be recharged to a tenant are:

  • Damage or neglect due to actions of the tenant, former tenant, household members, family pets, guests or contractors employed by the tenant.
  • Blocked sinks and blocked toilets.  
  • Windows, doors and door frames that are broken.  
  • Kitchen cupboards that are broken.
  • Broken electrical sockets.  
  • Changing a light bulb.
  • Any item that isn’t defective due to fair wear and tear.
  • Removal of items left in communal areas.
  • Clearing properties at any time during a tenancy. Or when the tenancy ends.
  • Clearing gardens at any time during a tenancy. Or when the tenancy ends.
  • Making good any alterations carried out by the tenant, where approval was not given to do them. Or where these alterations have resulted in damage to the property or a neighbouring property.
  • Replacement of a key fob.
  • Cost of an appointment where a tenant does not give access for health and safety inspections. For example, a gas safety or electrical safety inspection.
  • Any court costs that are because of a breach of tenancy conditions. For example incidents of anti-social behaviour, or getting access to a property to carry out a gas service.

If a tenant is responsible for damage, they can have the repair done themselves. But it must meet current health and safety or building regulations. If it doesn’t, we will carry out further works and charge the costs. 

Our Rechargeable Works Policy can be found here.

Tenants who repeatedly damage their home are breaking their tenancy agreement. If this happens, we may take legal action.This could result in going to court, and sometimes eviction. 

Reasons for doing this can include:

  • Intentional damage to the property.
  • Long term neglect.
  • Damage that causes risk to property or people. Including, unauthorised changes made to the mains electrical or gas supply.  
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If a tenant is told that a repair is rechargeable, they will be advised of the likely costs. They will also be made aware that these costs could be bigger if it takes longer than expected or needs more materials.

Non-essential repairs 

We will not usually carry out non essential repairs that are a tenants responsibility.  

Emergency repairs 

Where the repair is an emergency and the tenant is not able to pay before the works start, they will be sent an invoice. The cost of the repair will be seen on a tenants rent account as an outstanding debt and must be paid within 30 days of getting the invoice.

All rechargeable works are subject to an administration fee that is reviewed annually.  Currently the fee is 7.5%

 

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The cost of rechargeable works will be applied to a tenants rent account and will show up as a debt. The charge is recoverable and subject to our income recovery, including our Enforcement and Evictions policy. 

Our Income Recovery, Including Evictions and Enforcement policy can be found here

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There are lots of different ways that rechargeable repairs are reported to us:

  • A tenant reports a repair that they are responsible for.
  • It is identified as part of a Mutual Exchange, Void or Pre-Void inspection.
  • A repair is identified by someone visiting the home for maintenance, an inspection or to carry out another repair.
  • It could be reported by one of our officers during a visit to a tenant. 
  • It could be reported by a third party, like the police.

At the time the report is made, the tenant will be made aware that this is a repair that is their responsibility and could be charged for.

Evidence of rechargeable works carried out will be taken to check that we have fairly applied our Rechargeable Works policy before sending out an invoice.

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As a landlord, by law we must carry out health and safety checks that ensure the safety and well being of our residents.  Health and Safety checks include the annual gas safety inspection, electrical inspections, checks for asbestos and communal water tanks. This also includes any works that the checks identify are needed.

Missed appointments

If a tenant doesn’t allow our contractor into their home to do a health and safety check or associated work, or does not call us to rebook an appointment, we will recharge for the missed appointment. 

Appointments can be booked at a convenient time for the tenant.

Forced access

In some cases, where we decide that the risk of not carrying out a health and safety check or associated work is too great, we can force access into a tenants home without their permission. In this case a recharge will be made for both the appointment and the lock change.     

Legal action

If a tenant refuses to let us into their home for a health and safety check or associated work, we will apply to the courts for an injunction. Once the injunction is granted, we will give further notice of a forced entry to carry out the checks.

The tenant will be charged the costs of getting an injunction, for the appointment and the lock change. 

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When a tenant  leaves their property, the property will be refurbished and repairs will be made to get it ready for a new tenant. A tenant could leave their property because they have terminated their tenancy with us, been evicted or abandoned the property. 

Mutual Exchanges

In the case of Mutual Exchanges, a new tenant will take responsibility for any repairs left by the previous tenant. 

What can charges be made for? 

  • Cleaning and clearance of rubbish or belongings left in the home or garden.  
  • Clearance of an overgrown garden.
  • Renewal of fencing (unless it borders a public right of way.).
  • Carrying out a former tenant’s repair responsibilities to make sure the property is suitable to relet. 
  • Correcting unauthorised alterations to properties.
  • Treatment of insect or rodent infestations.
  • The replacement of any damaged fixtures or fittings.

This list is for guidance only. A comprehensive list can be found in section 3.2 of our Rechargeable Works Policy.

Our Rechargable Works Policy can be found here.

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Other charges we will make to tenants are:

  • Clearing bulky items from communal areas if the tenant responsible can be clearly identified.  
  • Any costs associated with clearing and repairing an unhygienic or verminous property during the course of a tenancy.
  • When a tenant has lost their keys or key fob.  
  • Clearing of gardens where we have had to take enforcement action. 
  • If a tenant asks for a repair that is their responsibility, and we have agreed to do it. 

 

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Tenants must get permission from us (the Landlord) before making any changes to the property. If we give permission for alterations, it might have certain reasonable conditions. This is the law. It is covered by Section 97 of the Housing Act 1985 and 4.1.9 of your tenancy agreement.

If you have an introductory tenancy, you are not permitted to make any alterations. 

Tenants can apply for retrospective authorisation. This will only be granted if the work complies with regulatory requirements. The work must also be done by a competent tradesperson. The tenant must provide evidence that this is the case. 

If tenants make alterations without permission they will be given an agreed timescale to put any faults right, or put it back to the original condition. If the tenant doesn’t do this we will issue a notice to gain entry. We will carry out the work needed and charge the tenant.

If there is a health and safety risk the work must be done immediately. 

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When a tenant leaves a property, if it is left in good repair they will be entitled to a payment of £100.

To get this payment you must make sure of the following:

  • The property and garden must be clear of any personal belongings, including furniture and rubbish.
  • Free of pests or vermin
  • A full set of keys must be returned by 12 midday on the day your tenancy ends.
  • There must not be any outstanding repairs that you are responsible for.

If you owe us any money, the award will be used towards payment of your debt.

To claim the Leave it Clean payment, please contact our Customer Transactions team, who will be happy to send you a copy.

01843 577262 or myhome@thanet.gov.uk 

 

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