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Longhurst Group Lettable Standard

Purpose of the Lettable Standard

The purpose of this standard is to provide a letting standard for all Longhurst Group (LG) void properties and provide clarity to all staff, contractors and residents to ensure that no offer of a property is reasonably refused on the grounds of condition. This lettable standard does not apply to properties let through a Mutual Exchange.

Any variations to this standard will be jointly agreed between LG and the contractor completing the work.

The lettable standard itemises all essential work that will be carried out to a void property to ensure:

  • The property is habitable and no HHSRS risk is evident (Cat 1 or 2)
  • A Stock Condition Survey is completed on the property.
  • The property has all repairs completed to remove risk of damage to the fabric of the property e.g. leaking pipes

The LG Lettable Standard will also be used as the basis for:

  • The scope of works identifying repairs to be completed to the property whilst void to ensure the lettable standard is met.
  • A quality audit to confirm all work has been completed to meet the lettable standard and associated compliance certification received.

Photographs will be taken during the scoping inspection of the property, and at completion to demonstrate works completed and for auditing purposes.

Statutory Obligations
  • Electric and Gas Meters readings to be taken and free from debt for the incoming resident. A key will be provided to the meter cupboard to the incoming resident.
  • Any meters which have been bypassed must be reported on and cannot be let until the issue has been resolved.
  • All dwellings with fuel burning heating appliances, including renewable heating, will have an up to date heating safety certificate covering all appliances.
  • If the property has a gas supply, a gas safety check and gas supply cap will be completed within 24 hours of the property becoming void to highlight any repairs required prior to re-let. This includes all gas appliances and ancillary systems.
  • Any non-LG or solid fuel appliances which are not the primary heating source will be removed.
  • Once let, a full gas safety check will be completed by appointment with the new resident who will receive a copy of the gas safety certificate. The engineer will explain to the resident how to operate the system. This appointment should be within 24 hours of the new resident moving into the property.
  • A controllable heating system will be installed. (Thermostatic Radiator Valves) TRVs should be installed on all radiators.
  • If accessible (Thermostatic Mixing Valves) TMVs to have a failsafe check and service completed.
  • Between November and March, mains will be turned off at the stop tap and feed tank drained.
  • Where an unvented cylinder is present, this will be serviced, and any faults rectified.
  • A full live electrical test will be carried out by a suitably qualified electrician and once any necessary remedial works are completed, a satisfactory condition certificate will be provided for the incoming resident. The test will involve completing 100% check on all electrical accessories in the property. All electrical accessories should be free of cracking and burn marks and be properly secured. Any sockets, pendants or other electrical accessories which are stained and cannot be cleaned should be replaced. All works to be completed to the current LG electrical specification.
  • All rooms will have a minimum of one ceiling light fitting and two double sockets. If space allows a third double socket should be installed in the kitchen.
  • If an electric immersion is present, this will be connected to an off-peak supply.
  • Any unauthorised electrical/gas alterations will be removed and recharged to previous resident.
  • All electrical heaters will be tested to confirm they produce heat.
  • Fire detection equipment is to be provided and must be hard-wired, interlinked smoke detectors within the escape routes and high-risk areas and a heat detector in the kitchen, also known as Grade D, LD2 protection. All units which are over their renewal date, or this is within the next 12 months should be replaced. All works to be completed to the current LG electrical specification.
  • A hard-wired carbon monoxide detector must be installed in all properties. All units which are over their renewal date, or this is within the next 12 months should be replaced. All works to be completed to the current LG electrical specification.
  • Extractor fans will be provided in kitchens and bathrooms where they do not contravene gas safety regulations. All works to be completed to the current LG electrical specification.
  • If a whole house ventilation system is installed, this should be serviced and in working order.
  • The internal stop tap should be located, tested, and operate correctly allowing the water supply to the property to be isolated easily. If replacement is needed a Surestop stopcock should be fitted.
  • Any radon gas control units should be checked and in working order.
  • An asbestos management survey will be carried out (where applicable) by an approved contactor and any necessary removals undertaken during the void period by a licensed asbestos removal contractor, and a consignment notice provided to LG. An asbestos pack will be provided to the incoming resident.
  • The management survey must ensure all internal and external areas of the property are covered with no exceptions.
  • Where it is identified that floor files are to be removed due to damage, the whole rooms tiles should be removed.
  • If extensive or intrusive void works are required a targeted plus management asbestos survey will be completed.
  • A valid Energy Performance Certificate will be provided. (For clarification, all EPCs completed prior to September 2012 are now invalid and a new certificate is required). The rating needs to be E or above.
  • For Legionella control, all water outlets will be flushed, and shower heads and hoses replaced. All outlets will be flushed weekly throughout the void period by the contractor.
  • All dead legs in the property should be removed, and cylinder thermostats set to 60 degrees.
  • Cold water storage tanks should be clean and have a lid which securely fits. All tanks, balls cocks, overflows and associated to be checked that they operate correctly and be replaced as required.
  • In agreement with LG, any properties at risk of vandalism will be sitexed/boarded during the void period and glazing reinstalled prior to relet.
  • A lock change will be completed on all properties to ensure security. Where a lock is being changed on a fire door, this will be completed by an accredited operative using fire rated components and appropriate certification supplied to LG.
  • All doors, internal and external doors, windows, and kitchen unit door (including drawers) will be eased and adjusted as required, to ensure they open/close safely and securely
  • The property should be sound and free from rot, infestation, mould, and damp with any appropriate treatment undertaken to remedy identified issues.
  • The property will be free of any pest infestation prior to relet, and all remedial works completed relating to this.
  • All roofing, chimneys, guttering, down pipes, and external walls will be checked and repaired if required to ensure they are structurally sound, secure, clear and watertight. This includes pointing, rendering, and cladding.
  • All cladding must be inspected and confirmed to meet Fire Safety Standards.
  • Associated roof spaces to be clear and checked to ensure firebreaks are intact and that loft insulation is topped up to 300mm.
  • All mobility adaptations to be safe and securely fixed and fit for purpose, including checking all grab rails.
  • The contractor will complete a clean at the end of the void works to the agreed specification.
  • Energy saving LED lightbulbs to be provided in all rooms.
  • Stair banisters should be present and secure.
  • Stairlifts, hoists, through floor lifts and closomat toilets should be retained and serviced. This also includes adapted kitchen units/layouts and bathroom suites. A suitable nomination should be found for the property where applicable. If a nomination cannot be obtained the property will be advertised through Rightmove or equivalent to assist with finding a suitable applicant.
  • Curtain battens should be installed in all rooms.
  • The property will be cleaned to the current LG Lettable Standard Cleaning Specification (Appendix I)

Some minor or non-essential works may be carried out post let in extenuating circumstances. This must be in agreement with LG, the contractor and prospective resident. An appointment date must be made for this work to be completed, which must be within 7 calendar days of the resident moving in.

LG have the right to recall the contractor under the void order within 28 calendar days of the hand back date, to any repairs which fail that were completed as part of the void works. Any works identified will be completed within 7 calendar days.

Windows and Doors
  • All external doors will operate correctly with new locks to each door with a minimum of three keys (whenever possible door locks will be recycled and used elsewhere). This includes external sheds and stores.
  • If a fob/card entry system is installed in communal areas, the incoming resident will be provided with a minimum of one fob (additional fobs shall be provided if required). Keys will be provided for front and rear communal entrance doors, communal meter cupboard or bespoke meter locks, bin stores, gates, and sheds as appropriate.
  • All front entrance doors should have a letterbox with backflap. Where this is not possible a post box should be installed.
  • All glazing below 800mm will be safety glass or alternatively a plywood panel may be used if there are adequate lighting levels.
  • All internal and entrance fire doors to be checked for integrity, including smoke seals, intumescent strips, and door closers. Any fire doors which require replacement, must be replaced prior to re-let. Any repairs or replacements must be completed by a third-party accredited contractor, for example FDIS or BM Trada or equivalent.
  • Internal doors to be in good repair and free of holes and cracks. Door furniture should be serviced and replaced as required, and bathroom / WC doors should be lockable via a thumb turn.
  • Doorstops should be fitted where an opening door encounters a wall/other door.
  • External windows will open and close freely without sticking; all catches and handles to operate correctly.
  • A minimum of two window keys per floor will be provided. If the lock does not have a key or needs to be replaced, a key lockable handle should be fitted for ground and non-lockable for first floor windows.
  • All first floor and above bedroom windows will have casement opener restraints fitted either when the window was manufactured or retrofitted with a suitable product.
  • All windows and doors should have sealant intact and free of mould and be renewed if required.
  • Any cracked, damaged, blown, or missing glazing will be replaced or repaired. If the glass cannot be replaced before the new tenancy starts, then it must be agreed between LG and the prospective resident to be completed post-let. An appointment date must be given to the resident and the works completed within 7 calendar days of the property being re-let.
Flooring and Skirting
  • Floors should be stable, even, and suitable for floor coverings with no trip hazards.
  • Carpets, carpet grippers and laminate flooring that are assessed to be in an adequate and safe condition will remain in situ unless otherwise agreed with LG through the end of tenancy process or void scoping. Flooring remaining in the home will be gifted to the incoming resident and become their responsibility to maintain and replace as detailed in the tenancy agreement.
  • Ceramic or porcelain floor tiles will remain in properties unless cracked or damaged. Where cracked or damaged, they will be replaced with anti-slip vinyl flooring to the current LG specification or equivalent.
  • Kitchen and bathrooms to have anti-slip vinyl flooring to the current LG specification or equivalent. The flooring will be free of stains and tears and replaced if required. All flooring should be sealed around the edges to prevent water leaving the area.
  • Skirting should be complete and secure, and like for like if replacement is needed.
  • Unless a kitchen needs replacing due to disrepair or a health and safety risk, the existing layout will be maintained. All units will be sound with operational doors and drawers.
  • All units should have a secure back panel installed.
  • The units and worktops will be in such a condition that they are fit for the storing and preparing of food hygienically, doors aligned where possible, worktops sealed and shelving within units secure and intact.
  • Draw runners should be checked to ensure they are secure and open and close correctly.
  • All doors in the kitchen should match in colour. Where this is not possible, the closest likeness should be installed.
  • Any cracked wall tiles should be replaced and matched with existing.
  • Taps should be operational and clear of limescale. If replacement is required these should be high arch lever taps with coloured levers
  • A plug and chain should be present and the correct size for the sink waste.
  • Floors and worktops should have sealant renewed, and tiles should be re-grouted if they cannot be cleaned adequately. Tiles should also be re-grouted where this is missing or loose.
  • The layout should have sufficient kitchen unit numbers for the dwelling size and should allow space where possible for a cooker, fridge and washing machine.
  • White goods/cookers/cooker hoods that are the property of LG shall be repaired and serviced at void as required.
  • Both a gas and electric cooker supply should be available where applicable, and a safety chain should be installed in all free-standing cooker spaces.
  • Washing machine/Dishwasher feeds and waste inlets should be present and capped.

Image of kitchens meeting Longhurst Group lettable standard

Bathroom (inc WC)
  • Unless a bathroom needs replacing due to disrepair, the existing layout will be maintained. All sanitary ware will be cleaned, free from discolouration, chips, cracks, leaks.
  • Taps should be operational and clear of limescale. If replacement is required these should be high arch lever taps with coloured levers.
  • The WC should be operational and have a new matching seat fitted for hygiene reasons.
  • Basins and baths will have working taps, plugs, and chains, and have tiled splashbacks.
  • All sealant around sanitary ware and flooring should be renewed and tiles re-grouted if they cannot be cleaned adequately. Tiles should also be re-grouted where this is missing or loose.
  • Any showers provided by LG must be safe and functional and have a shower screen or rail with curtain fitted. The curtain would be a gifted item to the incoming resident. Screens should be checked for leaks and any found rectified.
  • Where a shower is installed the area around the bath should be fully tiled to ceiling height
  • Level access showers should be checked to ensure they drain away as designed and any waste pumps should be in a good, clean serviceable condition and working.
  • All shower heads and hoses should be replaced.
  • Any pull cords should be replaced.
  • Baths/shower trays should be crack free, otherwise they are to be replaced. They may have minor scratching but inside surface should be reasonably smooth to touch and be capable of being cleaned to a reasonable standard.
  • Bath panels to be in place and have no cracks or sharp edges.
  • Pipework under sink and other exposed pipework to be checked for any visible signs of leakage.
  • Wash basin and toilet pan may have minor scratching, but the surface should be capable of being cleaned to a reasonable standard.

Image of bathrooms/WCs meeting Longhurst Group lettable standard

  • All walls and ceilings to be clean, free from flaking paint and grease, damaged coverings and graffiti removed.
  • Plastered walls and ceilings must be in a suitable condition, ready for redecoration by the incoming resident. All holes, aesthetic cracks etc should be filled and left smooth.
  • All wallpaper to be removed unless agreed by LG.
  • Any room showing obvious signs of defective plasterwork (e.g. bulging walls, addled plasterwork) to be re-plastered. An inspection to agree if this should be done in part or full (i.e. complete ceiling, or complete wall as opposed to patching) will take place as soon as this is identified.
  • If it is deemed a property requires decoration, All walls, ceilings and woodwork should be cleaned prior to decoration. If required walls will also be stain blocked prior to redecoration to prevent stains reappearing.
  • Polystyrene tiles will be removed from walls and ceilings.
  • Any mould growth will be treated and cleaned from any surfaces. The growth should be investigated and cause rectified if due to a building defect.

Image of decoration meeting Longhurst Group lettable standard

  • Where overgrown, hedges will be trimmed to the front and rear; the face of the hedge cut back to a manageable standard; all cuttings will be removed. If deemed to be required, they will be removed and replaced with appropriate fencing.
  • Where overgrown, grassed areas will be mown or strimmed. All cuttings will be removed.
  • Trees will be assessed by the Service Contract Team to identify if pruning is required; any trees that need pruning will be pruned to a manageable height and liability will remain with LG. All cuttings to be removed from site. If deemed to be required, the tree will be removed.
  • Consideration needs to be made for the nesting season and protected species which may be living in trees and may result in them not being removed during the void period.
  • Trees which are deemed to be a Health & Safety hazard by the Service Contract Team, for example rotten or dead or are threatening the fabric of the property by their proximity will be cut down and removed from site. All stumps will be grinded.
  • Pathways and patios will be safe and free from trip hazards; any debris and weeds to be removed.
  • Garden ponds and water features with be filled and the area made good. Any fish in ponds will be removed using local RSPCA or fishery.
  • Gates and fencing to be made safe or renewed as required.
  • All rubbish to be removed.
  • Previous customers furniture, planters etc to be removed unless agreed to be left by LG Housing.
  • All supplied bins will be emptied.
  • Any outbuildings installed by the previous customer will be assessed and removed if deemed to be in a state of disrepair or effecting the fabric of the main property. Any structures left (including sheds) will be gifted to the new customer with their agreement to maintain.
  • All external store doors are to be repaired/repainted as required.
  • Access to the property will be safe and unrestricted.
  • Pathways and steps must be level and firmly bedded to meet safety legislation.
  • All artificial grass to removed and area top-soiled and seeded, turfed, or gravelled in agreement with LG.
  • Water butts to left if in good condition and be drained down.

Image of gardens meeting Longhurst Group lettable standard

Accessibility and adaptations
  • Adaptations will be provided to properties where it has been highlighted as a requirement during the void scope including but not limited to:
    • Lever arch sink taps with red and blue levers
    • Grab rails
    • Raised height toilet seat
    • Lever paddle flush handle
    • TM V3 thermostatic mixer valve
    • Sure stop stopcock
    • 24v Overhead door closer connect to fire alarm
    • Ultra-low <15mm door threshold where this does not affect the fire resistance
  • Invisible adaptations will be provided where possible.
  • Customer specific minor adaptations can also be installed when a resident moves into the property through the Independent Living Service Team.
Care and Sheltered Accommodation
  • Suited locks to be used
  • If vinyl flooring is installed throughout the property this should not be removed , unless in poor condition in which case it will be renewed.
  • If new kitchens, bathrooms, or fire doors are required to be replaced as part of the void works then these should be to the enhanced current LG accessibility specification for care, extra care and sheltered properties.
Additional Items
  • The Housing or Care and Support Team have the flexibility to provide additional items beyond this standard based on the following:
    • Customer requirements
    • Hard to let property / competition from private rental sector
  • These could include further decoration beyond kitchen and bathroom, providing carpets, white goods, furniture, and additional soft furnishings. These works will be completed after the property is let and will be managed by the Housing and Care and Support Teams
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