We ask you to tell us as soon as you are aware of any repairs that need doing to your home or the communal areas for which we are responsible.
You should always call to report an emergency repair (see below for contact numbers). If you're calling outside of office hours, you'll be direct to our out-of-hours service.
Repairs can also be reported at any time by email, or through our website. Our contact details are listed below.
As part of our Responsive Repairs service, we will:
- - Confirm an appointment with you for as soon as possible, and, where possible, at a time that suits you
- - Aim to complete the repair in one visit
- - If it's an emergency, we'll visit to make things safe within six hours
- - Remove offensive graffiti from estates within 24 hours
- - Carry out a gas safety check to your home every year
- - Give you a decision within 20 working days when you ask for permission to improve your home.
When working in your home, we will:
- - Carry an ID card
- - Take care with your possessions
- - Be polite and treat you with respect
- - Protect all surfaces near the work
- - Clean up afterwards
- - Leave your home secure and weather-tight, with the gas, electricity and plumbing all working at the end of each day, wherever possible
- - ‘make good’ the area we've been working on if the works have affected the decoration of your home. If you prefer to re-decorate yourself, we may offer you a voucher or payment contribution.
We’re making improvements to our services
We know some of our services aren’t yet reaching the levels we’d like, or our residents expect.
Following our merger, we’ve been working hard to integrate our teams and IT systems to improve our services.
You can find out more about the specific improvements we’re making to our services here.
There a different types of repair: responsive and emergency. Read on to find out more.
Responsive (reactive) repairs
A ‘responsive repair’ is day-to-day maintenance work to your home or a component in it.
If your repair is not an emergency, we’ll arrange an appointment as soon as possible and at a time that suits you.
We aim to complete all repairs in one visit and certainly want it to take as little time as possible.
An emergency repair is anything causing immediate risk to the health, safety, and security of any occupants and/or visitors to your home. Or causing immediate damage to a property’s structure, fixtures and/or fittings.
We will carry out works to make it safe within six hours of you reporting the
Typical emergency repairs include (but are not limited to):
- - Water leaks to a water pipe or riser on the landlord side of the stopcock
- - Making safe immediately after a flood. e.g., checking electrics
- - Dealing with the effect of severe storm damage on your home’s structure (after the storm has passed)
- - Risk of falling masonry or structural collapse
- - Total loss of your electricity supply (excluding those caused by a Power
- - Unsafe electrical fittings (excluding resident owned appliances)
- - Breaches of security to outside doors and windows (Broken glazing will be boarded; replacing glazed units is your responsibility)
- - Gas Leak within our property
- - Blocked mains drains, soil pipes or your only toilet
- - Heating loss for elderly/vulnerable residents at all times and during the period 31 October to 30 April for others
- - Passenger Lift breakdowns
- - Personal Mobility Lift breakdowns where we remain responsible for
- - Insecure communal door access.
If you rent your home from us you are responsible for minor running repairs and the replacement of minor items in relation to the property. You should always check your tenancy agreement in the first instance.
Please note, you’re responsible for insuring the contents of your home and garden. The responsibilities of leaseholders and Shared Owners are different - please see question and answer in this FAQ list.
Your repair responsibilities include (but are not limited to):
- Repairing damage caused by you, members of your household or visitors, including broken glass
- Replacing locks and lost keys
- Replacing doorknobs, letter boxes etc.
- Replacing broken toilet seats
- Unblocking sinks, baths and toilets
- Replacing sink and bath plugs and chains
- Replacing electrical plugs and fuses
- Replacing light bulbs and fluorescent strips (except in shared areas like stairwells in blocks of flats)
- Filling minor cracks in plaster
- Repairing paths in back gardens, excluding access paths that are our responsibility
- Repairing existing fences which are shared with neighbours
- Replacing shared fences with an appropriate alternative when they cannot be repaired
- Testing smoke alarms in line with manufacturers’ instructions, and replacing their batteries where needed
- Replacing clothes lines (unless they are shared)
- Repairing items you have installed yourself
- Repairing your own electrical appliances
- Telephone points or individual TV aerials – (repairs to communal aerial connection points should be reported to us)
- Internal doors, handles, hinges, cupboard catches
- Trimming and/or re-hanging doors when you’ve put in new carpets
- Minor fixtures such as coat hooks, curtains, curtain rails, shower heads and hoses
- Repairs to your own cooker, fridge and other white goods (including those that we have gifted to you)
- Floor coverings (unless we’ve provided, or those in communal areas)
- Fixtures or fittings provided by yourself, including additional security measures, alterations
- Maintaining your home in a good decorative order and not allowing it to fall into disrepair by deliberate damage or neglect
- Taking reasonable care of all specialist adaptation equipment.
We must keep the structure and outside of your home in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
We’re responsible for insuring the structure of your home (excluding any fixtures and fittings) and any shared areas, furniture and laundry equipment we are responsible for.
Our repair responsibilities include:
- Drains, gutters, outside pipes and the roof
- Outside walls, outside doors, windowsills, window catches, sash cords and window frames, including any painting and decorating needed outside
- Inside walls, floors, ceilings, doorframes, but not painting and decorating inside apart from the communal spaces inside a block
- Chimneys, chimney stacks and flues
- Front & rear paths, steps or other access points that are our responsibility
- Brick-built garages and stores that are part of the property (but not sheds in most cases)
- Boundary walls and fences, but not those you share with neighbours.
We will also maintain any installations we have provided for supplying water, gas, or electricity, and for heating, hot water and sanitation.
- Basins, sinks, baths, toilets, flushing systems and waste pipes, but not plugs, chains or toilet seats
- Electric wiring, including sockets and switches
- Central-heating systems, gas and water pipes, water heaters, showers and storage heaters, ventilation fans & ducts, fireplaces and fires we have fitted.
We will take reasonable care to keep shared entrances, hallways, stairways, lifts, passageways, rubbish chutes and other shared areas which are our responsibility, in reasonable repair.
Usually leaseholders and Shared Owners are responsible for all internal repairs to their home at their own expense. This includes items such as the glass in the windows and the window handles and locks.
If you live in a leasehold flat or apartment you’re responsible for all repairs to the inside of your property.
This includes repairs to:
- Central heating, water heaters and fitted fires
- Sockets switches and light fittings
- Baths, sinks, toilets and cisterns
- Drains and waste pipes.
We, or another managing agent, are responsible for:
- Communal doors and entrances, halls, lifts and other communal areas
- External repairs and painting of the exterior of the flat or apartment block and any communal areas on a set cycle
- the cost for the works we or the managing agent will incur in maintaining these common parts will be recovered from leaseholder and shared owners through the service charge.
Under the terms of your Occupancy Agreement or lease, if you're living in a rental property then you'll need our permission to make improvements or alterations to your home.
Apart from decorating, all improvements need our permission. So before you do anything, we ask that you contact us (see details below).
If you're a leaseholder or shared owner, you are also required to inform us of any improvements or amendments to your home.
We are responsible for repairs to communal areas such as entrances, halls, stairways, lifts, passageways, rubbish chutes, paths, grounds, roadways, parking areas, and communal gardens.
If you have a repairs appointment booked and you need to change these plans please let us know in advance with as much notice as possible so we can update our records.
If you aren’t at home when we attend an appointment, we’ll try to reach you by phone. This includes our contractors and any sub-contractors.
If we’re unable to reach you, we’ll leave a card asking you to contact us or the
If we don’t hear from you within seven days, we’ll cancel the repair.
In an emergency, where there is a health and safety issue or there’s likely to be considerable damage to your or your neighbour’s home, we’ll gain access to your home in line with the law.
Where we consider it necessary for you to leave your home temporarily:
- - We’ll provide suitable alternative temporary accommodation and, in return, you’ll leave your home for as long as is necessary for us to carry out the works
- - You’ll leave the temporary accommodation and move back into your home when the work is complete (on a date determined by us).
If your fence borders a public highway or lines a common area in a block of flats, we will make safe and repair at a later date. You are responsible for repairs to all other fences.
How to contact us about repairs?
As Southern Housing is a new housing association (formed following the merger of Optivo and Southern Housing Group), the way in which you report repairs that we are responsible for to us will depend on who used to manage your home; either Optivo or Southern Housing Group. Please select the appropriate option below.
If you need to report a gas leak, please call the National Grid on 0800 111 999.
If you wish to talk to us about your hot water or heating system please read more here.
Southern Housing Group
Here are the contact details you need if Southern Housing Group used to manage your home.
Want to talk to us about your heating or hot water system?
If you're having problems with your heating or hot water system, or you would like to discuss or rearrange your maintenance visits, then we can give you the details on who you need to contact.Find out more