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Standards to expect when you move to a council home

The Void Standard sets out what you can expect from your Waverley home when you move into it. We repair and clean all homes before letting, with all work checked by a Waverley officer before you sign your tenancy agreement.

General requirements

All homes for new tenants will be:-

  1. Clean, secure and in a good state of general and structural repair.
  2. Safe for occupation and use.
  3. Wind and weathertight.
  4. Free from infestation from pests.
  5. Free from damp.

And with:-

  1. Adequate provision for lighting, heating and ventilation.
  2. An efficient system for the draining of foul, waste and surface water.
  3. A safe and operational electrical system.
  4. A useable kitchen including a sink with hot and cold water.
  5. A useable toilet.
  6. A useable bathroom with a wash basin and bath or shower with hot and cold water.
  7. Adequate means of escape in the event of fire.

Set out below are the main standards for your new home when you move into it:-

1.  Gas heating system

  • Appliances and all aspects of the gas installation including associated pipework, ducting and ventilation will have been checked for safety.
  • You will be provided with the contact details for our gas servicing contractor when you sign your new tenancy agreement. This will enable you to arrange a gas safety inspection at your convenience and for your gas heating supply to be activated.

2.  Electrical installation

  • All electrical fittings and services will comply with current standards.
  • All existing electrical fittings will be in a sound, serviceable condition with no signs of damage.
  • All door entry system controls will have been tested.
  • Any showers will have been electrically tested to make sure they are working properly.
  • Where there are no windows or mechanical ventilation in the bathroom or kitchen, an extractor fan will have been fitted.
  • Existing extractor fans will have been thoroughly de-greased, cleaned and serviced.
  • One hard wired smoke detector will be provided for each floor of your home.
  • Any installed fire alarm system will have been tested and any defects rectified prior you moving into your new home.
  • A minimum of two double socket outlets will be provided in the living room, dining room and each bedroom.
  • Immersion heaters will have been checked and be functional.
  • Hot water cylinders will have an immersion fitted as back-up water heating.
  • For those residing in Senior Living (formerly sheltered) schemes, emergency call facilities will have been tested and/or a visual inspection test been completed. 

3. Internal decoration

  • All tenants of properties where decoration is required will be provided with a decoration voucher.

4. Internal walls and ceilings

  • Any defective wall or ceiling plaster will have been hacked off and re-plastered with a sealer coat to finish at the same height as adjacent surfaces.
  • Woodwork will be in good condition, properly fixed and free from disrepair.
  • Missing or damaged skirting boards and architrave (i.e. all sides of a frame with mouldings around a door or window) will have been replaced.

5. Windows and glazing

  • All windows will be fully serviceable, with glass in sound and weathertight condition.
  • Double glazed (window) units will be free from internal condensation/misting.
  • Each opening window will be provided with a fully operational fastener.
  • Opening windows above the ground floor will be fitted with restrictors.
  • All windows (with the exception of those in kitchens and doors) will be provided with curtain battens.

6. Doors

  • All internal doors and frames will be fully operational.
  • The front door will be fitted with the following:-

- A functioning secure lock(s).

- Intact glass.

- A letter box.

- A letter plate.

- A door number.

  • External door frames will have draught stripping fitted, if none exists.

7. Floors

  • Solid flooring will be level, sound and free from damp.
  • Timber or pre cast composite suspended flooring will be level, sound and able to accommodate new floor coverings.
  • All broken or damaged sheet or vinyl covering will be repaired.
  • Any missing and badly damaged floor tiles in the kitchen and bathroom will be replaced.

8. Staircases

  • Bannisters, handrails, staircases and all other joinery will be repaired or replaced as necessary.
  • Newel posts (i.e. an upright post that supports the handrail of a stair banister) and balustrades (i.e. a railing to prevent people from falling over the edge of stairs) will be securely fixed and rigid.
  • Stair cases will have a minimum of one hand rail fitted and be between 900mm and 1000mm when measured from the floor or pitch line of the stairs.
  • Openings between timbers/bannisters/balustrades and open stairs should not allow a 100mm sphere to pass through.

9. Kitchens

  • All wall/base units (i.e. cupboards) tiling, floor coverings and appliances (where left in your new home) will be fixed securely and left ready for your use.
  • Unit drawers and doors will open and close securely. Where damaged drawers and doors are beyond repair, these will have been replaced to match the existing type as closely as possible.
  • Worktops and sinks will be free from excessive marks, scoring or staining.
  • Taps, overflows and waste pipes will be free from leaks or blockages, soundly fixed and left in proper working order. Sink plugs and chains will be replaced if missing.
  • A minimum of two rows of wall tiling will be provided around the sink, behind all working surfaces and across the cooker space.
  • Vinyl floor covering will be provided if this required replacing when the property was empty.
  • Hot and cold plumbing connections for a washing machine will be provided, if suitable space exists.
  • Where practical, spaces for a washing machine, fridge and cooker will be provided.
  • A minimum of three double socket outlets will be provided, two of which will be above the kitchen worktop.

10. Bathroom and toilet

  • All bathroom sanitary ware (e.g. toilets), baths and wash hand basins will be properly fixed and sealed. Plus they will be free from leaks, cracks and chips.
  • A minimum of two rows of wall tiling will be provided around the bath and wash hand basin.
  • All wash hand basins and baths will be fitted with a plug and chain.
  • Taps, overflows and pipe work will be free from leaks or blockages, soundly fixed and be in proper working order.
  • All bathroom light fittings will be enclosed.
  • The toilet cistern will flush as designed and be free from leaks.
  • The toilet seats and cover will have been renewed when the property was empty.
  • Separate toilets will have an individual wash hand basin when they are on a different floor to the bathroom.
  • Vinyl floor covering will be provided if this required replacing when the property was empty.
  • Doors to bathrooms and toilets will have tower bolts or lever lockset furniture fitted.
  • Any shower enclosure will be fully tiled.
  • During the period when the property was empty, the shower will have been electrically tested to ensure it is working properly.
  • Any shower curtain will be replaced when the property was empty prior, to you moving in.
  • Any existing shower head or handset will have been replaced when the property was empty.

11. Roof

  • The roof will be watertight and any missing or damaged slates, tiles or other covering repaired or replaced as necessary when the property was empty.
  • All supply and overflow pipe work, valves and tanks will be properly fixed, free from leaks, free flowing and fully operational.
  • Water storage tanks and cisterns will be insulated and have close fitting lids. The water supply pipework will be insulated.
  • Loft insulation will be provided in accordance with current Building Regulations.
  • When you move into your new home, any roof space will be left free from rubbish or personal belongings (from the previous tenant) with ventilation left unobstructed.

12. External areas (within the boundary of the property)

  • All rainwater goods and gullies including hopper heads and down pipes will be cleared, repaired or replaced.
  • Drains and gullies will run clear and free, plus have sound and secure inspection chamber covers.
  • Mortar joints (i.e. the spaces between bricks) will be in a good condition and fully pointed.
  • Air bricks/vents for sub floor ventilation/chimneys etc. will be free from obstructions and functional.
  • All rendering (i.e. the textured surface of a wall), pointing (i.e. the finish between bricks) and cladding systems (i.e. materials used to provide a degree of thermal insulation and weather resistance) will be of sound construction, securely fixed and free from major visible defects.
  • Boundary walls will be repaired as necessary and left sound and fully pointed. 
  • Fascia boards (i.e. where the roof meets the outer walls) and soffits (i.e. the under side of the roof) will be in a good condition.
  • Flashing (i.e. used to prevent water penetration or seepage into a building) will be secure and in a good condition.
  • Any communal satellite dish, television aerial or associated equipment erected by the previous tenant will be left in situ.
  • All existing paths within the property boundary will be level and free from any visible trip hazards.
  • Dividing fences between properties will be replaced during the period when the property was empty, if they were not in place when the previous tenancy was ended. This will generally be with chain link fencing.
  • Gardens will be clear and tidy. This will include the following:-

- Lawns will be mowed to a length of 15-35mm and any cuttings removed from site.

- Shrub beds will be maintained in a neat, tidy, vigorous and appropriate way.

- Paths and hard surfaces will be maintained in a weed, moss and algae free condition.

- Vegetation will not spread on to paths.

- Ivy will not spread on to property buildings.

13. Cleaning

  • Before you move in, the property will have been cleaned to a standard sufficient to allow you to move in without the need for further cleaning.
  • Two disposable air fresheners will be left in the kitchen and bathroom, when you move in.

14. Documentation/items to be provided when you sign your new tenancy agreement

  • An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
  • A Landlord’s gas safety capping certificate.
  • An electrical safety inspection certificate.
  • An asbestos survey report.
  • All keys to the property.
  • Confirmation the welcome pack has been left by the main contractor.
  • Confirmation of the meter readings.
  • A decoration voucher (if this is considered to be necessary for your new home).
  • Property boundary information.
  • Details of any repairs/works to be undertaken after the commencement of your tenancy.

NB on the rare occasions any of the above documentation is not available when you sign your new tenancy agreement, it will be posted to you at your new address as soon as possible. 

Standards only apply to empty properties 

These standards apply to empty properties only and do not apply to properties where a mutual exchange takes place.

In the case of a mutual exchange the property is taken & accepted 'as seen' by the incoming tenant. 

Key contact numbers

We hope you enjoy your new home. Please don't hesitate to contact us at once if you have any problems. Report repairs using our online form.

You can also contact the Housing Customer Services team on 0330 119 3000.

Page owner: Amy Hardie. Last updated: 21/07/2020 11:24

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