An update on your repairs service
Updated: 14 April 2022
A further update – April 2022
When we contacted our customers in November about the challenges we’ve been facing with our repairs service, advising we’d taken the difficult but necessary decision to carry out essential repairs only, we committed to regularly review this situation.
Despite some clear improvements, we’ve decided that further progress needs to be made before we can restart our non-essential repairs service.
We’re pleased that the number of people waiting for appointments has reduced and that more repairs have been completed, but we know that many customers are still waiting for an appointment. This is something we’re working hard to address as a matter of priority.
We’ll be reviewing our approach on a fortnightly basis and will update customers once we’re able to recommence non-essential repairs.
We thank our customers for their ongoing patience and understanding, and for their continued cooperation.
We continue to have a significant number of outstanding repairs that need to be completed.
To help us clear the backlog and focus on the most essential jobs, we’re now only focusing on essential repairs for all new requests we receive.
This means that all new non-essential repairs will be paused for the time being. If you’ve already reported a non-essential repair, this will still go ahead.
We believe this will help us navigate the challenges of recovering from further delays caused during the pandemic, as well as labour shortages and difficulties with sourcing materials.
By focusing on essential repairs, we’re confident that we’ll be able to clear the backlog more quickly and prioritise jobs that have been outstanding the longest and have most impact on customers.
Working closely with our repairs provider, Mears, we’re taking further steps to address this situation. This includes continuing to recruit extra repairs operatives and additional call handlers. We’re also bringing in more contractors to support with the completion of essential repairs.
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the service we deliver to you, we’ve also appointed five additional interim contractors from 1 February 2022.
Their appointment will help tackle the outstanding work and ensure our repairs are delivered to the standards that we’d expect.
The new contractors are:
- Novus Property Solutions LTD
- T.M. Browne LTD
- Morgan Sindall Property Services LTD
- Foster Property Maintenance LTD
- Matt Fearn Property.
These new contractors have been appointed to help improve our performance in preparation for the handover to our new, permanent contractors on 1 July 2022.
They’ll focus predominately on our void properties and communal repairs, but this may change.
Any of these companies could work anywhere across our geographical area. All operatives will carry a letter of authorisation from Longhurst Group, their own company ID and will always adhere to all current Coronavirus guidance.
If you’re ever unsure about an operative’s authenticity or have any concerns, please call us on 0300 123 1745.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we strive to improve the service we deliver to you.
All repairs relating to heating, including work on gas boilers, are classed essential and will continue.
Please report any issues you have to our heating contractor, Mears.
Our heating contract isn’t affected by the issues mentioned on this page.
Please see below for some guidance around which repairs are classed are essential and non-essential.
The following repairs are considered essential:
- Electrical faults
- Leaks or plumbing issues which may affect washing or toilet facilities or may cause further damage to a property
- No heating or hot water or partial heating loss
- Broken showers in properties with no other washing facilities
- Loss of water supplies
- Security issues affecting doors and windows
- Blocked drains
- Storm damage, such as loose roof tiles
- Making properties safe and secure following serious incidents
- Where there’s a risk to health or further damage to the property
- Repairing equipment that a disabled person relies on
- Damp and mould
- Trip hazards.
The following repairs are not considered essential (unless there’s a risk to safety) and, therefore, will be paused:
- External repairs
- Doors and windows (unless insecure)
- Gutters and downpipes
- Gates and fencing
- Garages and outbuildings
So that we have a clear picture of the amount of work that needs doing, we encourage you to continue reporting all repairs, even if they’re non-essential. Everything will be recorded on the system and we’ll get to it as soon as we can.
If you have a repair that’s urgent or an emergency, then we absolutely want to know about it. Essential repairs won’t only be categorised in terms of the work required. We’ll also assess other factors, such as any vulnerabilities or health and safety concerns.
To report an emergency or non-emergency repair, please call 0300 123 1745.
When you report a repair, you’ll be advised whether it’s essential or non-essential. If it’s essential, your repair will be scheduled but you may not be given an appointment straight away. If this happens, you’ll be contacted to advise of when your appointment will take place.
We’ll review our approach to non-essential repairs at the end of February and will contact you again to advise of any further changes.
When reporting a repair to Mears, we’d advise avoiding their busiest times wherever possible. Mears receive the highest number of calls on Mondays and between 9am and 11am from Tuesday to Friday.
If you’re reporting an emergency repair, please get in touch straight away.
Dealing with your enquiries
We’re making good progress in returning to our normal call handling service after resolving some of the challenges we’ve faced.
This means we’re now answering your calls and responding to your enquiries more quickly. If you’ve made a complaint about our repairs service, please be assured that we’ll respond to you.
We really appreciate your continued patience and understanding, and hope that the changes we’re making will help us to improve the service you receive.