Repair responsibility: it's not you, it's me

Published , updated

Do you find yourself looking at a broken shower head and wondering if you should call our repairs team? How about when a fence in the back garden blows over?

Your repairs responsibilities are outlined in your original tenancy agreement. However, it’s always helpful to refresh your knowledge of what you’re supposed to fix.

So here’s our quick guide: YOU or Derwent Living (DL)?

Lost or stolen keys – YOU

You’ll need to get the locks changed on your door. If you live in a flat and have a communal door key, we can replace this for a charge.

Boiler fault – DL

Only Gas Safe Registered engineers should fix your boiler, which is why our contractors are responsible for this.

Smoke detector batteries – YOU

If you’ve changed the batteries in your smoke detector but the fault continues, we will send an engineer to your property. Retirement Living customers should contact us if the low battery alert sounds as these units are slightly different.

Leak through ceiling – DL

This can be quite serious, as it could cause structural issues. It’s likely to have happened due to existing problems with the property that need to be fixed or, if you live in flats, could be caused by a forgetful neighbour running a bath.

Pests – YOU

This includes mice, rats, ants and bees, and is your responsibility to resolve if in your home. Pest control services are offered by your local council.

Bathroom light bulb replacements – YOU

Replacing light bulbs in bathrooms or kitchens can cause an issue because the cover needs to be unscrewed and the bulbs are not standard light bulbs. However, the bulbs are available from most hardware stores. Retirement living customers should contact us for assistance if having difficulty with this.

If Derwent Living send an engineer out to a bathroom light and just a replacement bulb is required you may be charged.

Insecure door – DL

We will always send an engineer to fix an insecure door or ground-floor window, unless faults or damage occurred due to misuse, abuse or neglect by you, your family or visitors to your home. However, if the door is on a communal corridor and deemed a fire risk, we will replace your door to ensure the safety of the building. This will be recharged to you, where appropriate. If you are the victim of a crime involving a broken door, you can get a crime reference number from the Police and on receipt of this we’ll replace or repair the door.

Fencing, boundary walls and gates – YOU

Unless the fence or wall is between your home and a public space, for example a car park, then it is usually your responsibility to maintain or fix it. Please refer to your tenancy agreement for further information.

Extractor fan fault – DL

Electric extractor fans are wired and built into the wall, which is why they are Derwent Living’s responsibility to repair.

Garages and outbuildings – YOU

Any sheds or other structures separate to your home are your responsibility to repair and maintain, unless it is an integral garage, a garage adjoining a house or is under a separate rental agreement.

Cracked or broken plug socket – DL

Again, this is electrical and could be dangerous if you tried to fix this yourself. It’s important that anybody that fixes faults has the knowledge to do so safely and correctly.

Gardens – YOU

Derwent Living provides grounds maintenance services for communal gardens, but if you have a private garden you are expected to keep this under control. In situations where we feel there is a safety threat or the security of the premises seems to be compromised, or where you are deemed to be too vulnerable to carry out any maintenance of the garden yourself, we may agree to do this for a charge.