Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we will not be responding to routine repairs at this time.
We will still carry out urgent compliance jobs, emergency repairs and external repairs to communal areas, but to protect you and our staff we will not attend to carry our repairs internally.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you, however we are following government guidance to help prevent the spread of the virus.
There are many methods of communication available for you to report a repair. You can:
- report a repair in person at your local housing office
- in writing
- via My CBH portal
- by telephone, using our freephone number 0800 408 0000
- by emailing us via firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in a sheltered scheme you can also report a repair through your Housing Support Officer.
When you report a repair, please tell us the following details:
- as much information as possible about the repair
- what has happened as a result of the problem
- when we are able to visit you to complete the repair
- your daytime phone number, if you have one
Once you have contacted us, we will prioritise your repair and you will be offered an appointment to suit you, either morning or afternoon.
Our repairs team carries out work in your home between Monday and Friday, 8am to 4pm. You can report a repair through our contact centre, which is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Out of hours repairs
If your repair is an emergency and you require assistance outside normal working hours as shown above please call: 0800 408 0000.
Please remember that you may be charged for the cost of the call out if you misuse this service.
Caller identity cards
All CBH staff carry identification so please ask to see it. If in any doubt at all please do not let them in, contact us on 0800 408 0000 or the police. Gas, electricity and water company representatives carry similar identification. They should also have an official form (or job sheet) with them. If in doubt, do not let them in.
To make sure we carry out your repairs as quickly and as efficiently as possible and that we complete the highest priority repairs first, we place repairs in the following categories:
Category 1 – Emergencies
Category 1: emergency repairs are situations where people are in danger or the home could be seriously damaged. In these cases we aim to get to you as quickly as possible.
Emergency repairs of a serious nature or where the health of elderly, disabled or vulnerable people could be affected will be attended within two hours. Situations may include:
- A pipe leak causing serious damage
- A blockage where raw sewage is overflowing into a home
- Electrical faults where there is a danger of fire or injury
- Blocked toilet pan or a toilet which cannot be used (if there is only one toilet in the property)
- No electricity or water supply
- A heating system that has broken down in winter
- A severe leak through the roof
- An uncontrolled gas leak (if cutting off the supply does not control the leak)
We have an Emergency Repair Service to deal with this type of repair outside normal working hours. If you have an emergency repair, phone the Emergency Service on 0800 408 0000 and give full details of the problem. The Emergency Service only deals with emergency work, not jobs that can safely be left until normal working hours. The teams usually ‘make safe’ or do temporary repairs. Permanent repairs are left for normal working hours, so please do not expect the job to be done fully during emergency hours.
Gas leaks – if you smell gas you should immediately telephone National Grid (formerly Transco). Their number is 0800 11 19 99 and they will deal with any report of a gas escape free of charge.
Category 2 – Follow on emergency work
Category 2: follow on work from emergencies (completed within 2-3 working days) may include;
- No hot water
- No lights in shared areas
- Repairing a faulty cooker panel, if cooking by electric
Category 3 – Urgent work
Category 3: urgent repairs (completed within 5 working days) may include;
- Putting glass in a door or window that has been boarded up
- Unblocking a kitchen sink, bath or hand basin
- Checking the electrics after a water leak
- Repairing a heating system
- Repairing a shared aerial system
Category 4 – routine repairs
Category 4: routine repairs (completed within 10 to 15 working days, if there is no immediate danger)
- Replacing washers
- Repairing electrical sockets in a hall or bedroom
- Repairing rotten timber flooring, stair treads or broken banister rails
- Replacing toilet seats
- Repairs to inside doors, locks and handles
- Repairing or replacing skirting boards
This information is designed to show some examples of likely repairs and categories. For a full list and more information about prioritising repairs, please see the Tenant Handbook.
The responsibility for looking after your home is a joint one. We are responsible for most of the repairs, but you are responsible for the following:
Repairing deliberate or accidental damage: If your home is damaged by your family, including your children and pets, or by visitors you will have to make sure the damage is properly repaired. If Cheltenham Borough Homes does the work you will be charged for it. This is called a Rechargeable Repair.
Internal decoration and minor repairs to woodwork and plasterwork
Chimney Sweeping: We will only sweep chimneys connected to a gas appliance.
TV aerials: We maintain shared systems which serve several homes.
Electrical fuses: Check the appliances you are using before reporting a fault to us.
Garden paths: We will only maintain pathways that give access from public footpaths to your home and existing paths that access your back door.
Garden fences and gates: We will only repair fences and gates that are connected to public land. Intermediate fences between properties will be maintained with posts and strands of wire.
Garden sheds and Greenhouses: We will only carry out routine repairs to existing sheds that belong to Cheltenham Borough Council. We are not responsible for maintaining greenhouses.
Avoiding condensation: Condensation is surface dampness and mainly occurs on cold walls indoors and other cold surfaces such as tiles and cold water supply pipes under sinks and hand basins. There are a number of steps you can take to prevent condensation.
You are responsible for:
- Replacing bath, basin or sink plug
- Dishwasher plumbing
- Removing garden rubbish
- Changing light bulbs
- Changing batteries in smoke alarms
- Replacing mirrors and toilet roll holders
- Replacing fluorescent tubes and starters
- Adapting doors to accommodate carpets
- Supplying washing lines
- Fitting extra electrical sockets
- Internal repairs to leasehold properties
- Rectifying D.I.Y. carried out
This information is designed to show some examples of likely repairs and categories. For a full list and more information about prioritising repairs, please see your Tenants Handbook.
For a full list and more information about rechargeable repairs, please see the Tenant Handbook.
What happens if I can’t afford to pay for the repair?
If having received an invoice for repair works you are unable to make full payment within the Council’s corporate payment terms of 14 days then you must immediately contact us. We are here to help and will make every effort to set up a repayment plan if necessary based on your individual circumstances. Non payment is treated very seriously and could result in a County Court Judgment (CCJ) being made against you and affect your credit rating. In addition you may be refused further repairs to your home.
What if it wasn’t my fault?
Should any visitor to your premises cause damage to any parts of your home, or communal areas if you live in a block of flats, then as the tenant you are still responsible for paying for repairs. You are responsible for the conduct of any other persons visiting or staying at your home. If you are aggrieved at having to pay for any deliberate damage caused by any other persons then you should report the matter to the Police.
For more information contact your Housing Revenues Officer.
Dealing with condensation
Be sure it is condensation!
Dampness in your home may not be caused by condensation at all. It could be caused by leaking pipes, a leaking roof or rising damp. Leaks often result in patches of damp coming through the plaster and wallpaper near where the leak is.
Rising damp can be identified by a damp ‘tidemark’ low down on the walls indoors. Condensation, on the other hand, is surface dampness. It mainly occurs on cold walls indoors and other cold surfaces such as tiles and cold water supply pipes under sinks and hand basins. It is usually at its worst during the winter and often results in black mould growing on walls and other surfaces.
Condensation is formed when air laden with water vapour is cooled by contact with a cold surface.
The air we breathe can hold varying amounts of water vapour, depending on its temperature. If warm moist air is cooled by a cold surface, such as a window or external wall, it is then no longer able to hold the same amount of water vapour. The air-borne moisture turns into droplets of water and collects on the cold surface. This is called condensation.
Every home gets condensation at some time – usually when lots of moisture and steam are being produced – for example, at bath times, when a main meal is being cooked or when clothes are being washed. It is quite normal to find your bedroom windows misted up in the morning after a cold night. There is nothing much you can do to stop this.
There are four key approaches. To deal with a condensation problem effectively, you will probably need to do all four, though the first three are the most important and can be done at no cost.
1. Produce less water vapour or steam in your home: The amount of condensation depends on how much water vapour is in the air. Many everyday activities add to the water vapour level in your home, but their effect can be kept to a minimum.
- Cooking: Cover pans when you’re cooking. Don’t leave kettles and pans boiling longer than necessary.
- Drying clothes: Hang washing outside to dry whenever you can. If you have to use a tumble dryer make sure it’s vented to the outside. If you have to dry washing indoors use the bathroom and keep the door shut and the room well ventilated. Do not hang wet washing on radiators all round your home – doing so is very likely to cause condensation problems.
- Bathing: Keep the bathroom door shut and the room well ventilated.
- Heaters: Paraffin heaters, portable bottled gas heaters and fixed flueless gas heaters all produce heat, but at the same time they also put a lot of water vapour into the air. One gallon of water is produced by one gallon of gas or paraffin burning. Paraffin and portable bottled gas heaters can also be dangerous and very expensive to run. They can cost as much as, or even more than, heating using peak rate electricity.
2. Restrict the spread of the water vapour and steam around the house: Confine wet air to just a few rooms. Your bathroom and kitchen are ‘wet rooms’ – keep these doors shut so the wet air can’t spread to the rest of your home. Especially when you’re washing, cooking or taking a shower or bath, keep the door shut to stop the moist air spreading into the rest of your home. At the same time make sure your bathroom and kitchen are well ventilated so the water vapour can escape outside. This is even more important if some of the other rooms are very cold. If rooms are not being used and are unheated it’s a good idea to keep their doors shut. Don’t completely draught-proof kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms where condensation is already a problem – you could make it far worse.
3. Ventilate your home: The best way to remove water vapour is by providing adequate ventilation to let the wet air out. Nobody likes draughts, but some ventilation is vital. Keep a small window ajar, or a trickle ventilator open, in each occupied room to give background ventilation, (but make sure your home is still secure). Open the windows to let the water vapour out, especially when you’re doing the washing or cooking. Windows near the ceiling are more effective at letting water vapour out than ones lower down. Heat recovery fans are very good for ventilating ‘wet rooms’ such as bathrooms and kitchens. They are more effective than ordinary fans, since they get rid of the moisture from the air and let fresh air in, and also recycle the heat back into your home.
BUT DON’T FORGET – keep your home secure! If you open windows, make sure you shut them again when you go out. If you leave small windows open for background ventilation, make sure they’re not accessible from the outside, for example, from a garage or shed roof.
4.Warm your home: Heating your home can help solve a condensation problem, but only if it’s used in addition to the other three steps already described. The heat used to warm your home needs to be ‘dry heat’, such as central heating or gas fires, not paraffin or portable gas heaters. The best approach to heating in order to reduce condensation, assuming you have taken the other three steps, is to heat your home at a low level for a long time. Keep the heating on, but set it to provide just a minimum of background heating. This will warm the whole building up and keep it warm, so there are no cold surfaces.