Empty Homes Standards
Our empty homes standard is reviewed annually and may be updated due to changes in legislation, demand or other influencing factors.
We will let you know if any adaptations have been made to your property. Adaptations include grab rails, stair rails, level access showers, ramps and other changes. Where possible, we will try to match properties with adaptations to residents who need them. If you find day to day living in your property difficult, please contact us so we can help.
Alterations include any changes to the structure of the property or fittings within it, such as laminate flooring, fitted kitchens and external improvements. Any alterations made by previous residents will be assessed to make sure they meet health and safety standards and building regulations. If you want to make alterations please contact us for written permission.
Architraves and skirting boards will be fixed to the wall and free from loose nails and screws.
Appliances such as central heating systems, electric showers, storage heaters and electric heaters will be tested to ensure they are safe to use and given an assessment to check the appliance complies with legal requirements.
All bathrooms (space permitting) will have a minimum of the following units:
- A toilet and new seat.
- A hand wash basin.
- A bath that is enclosed with a panel or a shower cubicle.
- A two course tile splashback to bath and hand wash basin.
- Any missing or defective wall tiles will have been replaced, grouted and sealed.
- If a shower has been installed, the walls will be tiled to ensure they are protected from spray; in addition, a shower curtain or screen will have been put in place.
- All bathroom fittings will be free from cracks and holes and have plugs and chains attached as necessary.
- All fittings will be securely fixed and sealed where they join the floor and walls using silicone sealant.
All properties will be thoroughly cleaned after work has been completed, including:
- All surfaces cleaned.
- All floors swept and mopped.
- Woodwork washed down.
- Windows cleaned internally.
- Kitchen units, work surfaces, cupboards, drawers and sinks cleaned.
- Baths, basins, toilets and bathroom fittings cleaned and free from lime scale.
- Shower curtains replaced.
- Electrical sockets, light fittings and switches cleaned.
- Any items left by the previous tenant will be cleared.
Properties will be free from damp and mould and any sources of damp will have been thoroughly investigated and treated before you move in.
We appreciate everyone has different tastes and prefer to decorate themselves. Therefore we leave the property undecorated, ready for you to make your own.
- All internal doors will be free from holes and in good working order.
- All doors will have working door handles and will open and close without sticking.
All drains and gutters will be:
- Free from blockages and leaks and have adequate falls.
- Gulley covers will be provided to all drain heads.
- Manhole covers will be in good condition and secure.
- Electrical points will meet regulations.
- Sockets and light fittings will be securely fixed and in good working condition.
- Extractor fans and similar units will in good working condition.
External work will usually be carried out as part of our planned maintenance programmes (see page 8). The property inspector will assess whether external work can wait until the next cyclical programme or if more urgent attention is required.
Where we are responsible for a fence or wall that forms a boundary to your property, we will make sure it is stable and in good condition. If any work is needed, the property inspector will assess whether repairs can wait until the next cyclical programme or if more urgent remedial work is required.
- We will have removed any poor quality carpets and all laminate flooring fitted by the previous resident.
- All floor coverings will be in good condition and any missing or broken vinyl tiles or floorboards will be replaced.
- Floors will be even and free from trip hazards.
- Carpet grippers will be removed.
- Kitchens and bathrooms will have waterproof floor coverings.
- All ceramic floor tiles will be removed.
Garages and outhouses will be checked and if there are any defects these will have been recorded by the property inspector for our future planned maintenance programme.
Gardens will be clear of rubbish and overgrown gardens will be cut back to a reasonable level.
- All roof spaces will be inspected before you move in.
- Tanks and pipes in roof space (or exposed areas) will be lagged.
- Insulation will not prevent ventilation of any roof space.
- Hot water cylinders will be adequately insulated.
All kitchens (space permitting) will have a minimum of the following units:
- Sink unit.
- Base unit.
- Wall unit.
- Washing machine point.
- Gas and/or electric cooker point.
- Two course tile splashback.
- All worktops will be securely fixed, free from major cracks and burns and safe for the use of preparation of food.
- Any missing or defective wall tiles will be replaced, grouted and sealed.
- Tiling will be fitted behind the cooker space to finish in line with splashback tiling.
- Layout and design will meet the Decent Homes Standard set by the government.
Any walls that have major cracks or holes will be plastered and any polystyrene ceiling tiles will have been removed. Hairline cracks are considered to be the responsibility of the resident and can be repaired with decoration.
Paths and driveways will be level with no trip hazards.
The roof will be in good condition, structurally sound, weather tight and flashings will be in good condition and properly dressed.
- Gas and electrical services will have been checked and comply with relevant standards.
- Taps, wastes and overflows will be clean, securely fixed, free from blockages and leaks and in full working order.
- A 10 year battery operated smoke alarm(s) will have been put in the property.
If the property uses gas, we will ensure that:
- The gas supply will have been temporarily disconnected. To have the gas supply turned on, your neighbourhood officer will arrange for a gas engineer to reconnect the supply and carry out a gas safety check – this is called a ‘turn on and test’.
Locks to external doors and outhouses will have been changed.
- Any broken or cracked glass will have been replaced.
- Any misted double glazed units will have been renewed.
- Window locks will be in good condition and have a key where required.