• Emergencies
  • Responsibility
  • Do it Yourself; work done by Co-op members, Co-op tools
  • Speed of Service
  • Maintenance Co-ordinators
  • Reporting repairs
  • Authorising repairs
  • Paying for repairs
  • Planned Cyclical Maintenance
  • Contractors List
  • Members rights
  • The Right to Repair compensation scheme
  • Monitoring the repairs service
  • The repairs system
  • Procurement
  • What to do in emergencies

    1. Gas:
        If you smell gas, turn the gas off at the mains. Telephone National Grid. Report the matter to the Maintenance Co-ordinator or contact the Co-op office. Do not turn the gas back on until it has been repaired. IF IN ANY DOUBT, OR YOU SUSPECT A GAS LEAK, TELEPHONE THE NATIONAL GRID GAS EMERGENCY SERVICE: 0800 111 999
        If you have a burst pipe, turn the water off at the stop cock. The stop cock controls the water supply to the house and is under the kitchen sink. For any water repair, contact the Maintenance Co-ordinator or Co-op office. If you cannot contact anyone, for repairs inside the house call an emergency plumber on the Co-op's Approved builders list. In Cambridge: Cambridge Water deals with the supply of water and maintains supply pipes up to the stop cock in the street. Anglian Water deals with sewerage and is responsible for maintaining the public sewers in the street. For repairs to water mains outside the house, call Cambridge Water n C. 403000. For repairs to sewerage pipes outside the house call Anglian Water on 0345 145145. For outside pavements and roads flooded because of blocked gullies ask for the Highways Dept of Cambridge City Council on C. 457000 If the water supply fails, telephone Cambridge Water. First, check with your next door neighbour, as the whole area may have been cut off. This will be Cambridge Water’s responsibility.
        If the electricity fails, or if you receive an electric shock from any fitting, turn off the electricity at the mains. To arrange for a repair, contact the Co-op Office or Maintenance Co-ordinator straight away. If no one is available, contact an emergency electrician who is on the Co-op's approved list, and provide a 24 hour service. If all the electricity has gone off, check that it is not a power cut!
    2. A laminated notice giving information on what to do in an emergency will be provided to each house. This information will also be included in the member's handbook.


      The Co-op is responsible for the exterior and the structure of Co-op property, as well as installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity. Basins, sinks, baths, toilets, central heating and fitted heaters are also the responsibility of the Co-op. The Co-op is also responsible for all fittings supplied by the Co-op.

      The Co-op is responsible for ensuring that all repairs are carried out in a professional and safe manner, and that no injury or damage is caused due to the Co-op's negligence.

      It is a condition of membership that individual Co-op members are responsible for reporting repairs to the Co-op. Co-op members should be prepared to help with maintenance work.

      Individual Co-op members are responsible for ensuring that there is no damage to Co-op property due to negligence or abuse. Damage resulting from negligence or abuse should be paid for by the members responsible.

    Do it Yourself, work done by Co-op members, Co-op tools

      The Co-op encourages members to undertake their own repairs, except in the areas of gas, electricity and water, where work must only be done by members with the relevant skills and qualifications.

      In other cases, repairs still have to be reported to an authorised by the Maintenance Co-ordinator. Co-op members will not be paid for work, except in cases of emergency in which case the contractor will be paid, or the member reimbursed for payment to the contractor. N.B. Members are not allowed to be paid for maintenance work done under Co-op rules.

      Co-op tools: are stored by the Maintenance Co-ordinators from whom they must be borrowed. Any member borrowing a Co-op tool must sign for it and return it. Tools must only be borrowed for use on Co-op property.

      All tools must be signed in on return. Tools can be borrowed for a maximum of 72 hours. On return, the Maintenance Co-ordinator will check them for damage etc. It is importance that tools are returned on time. Any member damaging Co-op tools will be charged for repair/replacement. Any member not returning items borrowed from the maintenance group and/or damaging them and not being able to pay for repairs shall not be allowed to use items in the future.

    Response Times

    1. There are four categories of repairs:
        • Any damage to a property that affects the health or security of the occupants (e.g. dangerous electrical fittings, blocked drains etc.).
        • Any repairs resulting from a burglary which affect the security of the occupants.
        • Any damage arising from incidents of harassment (racial, sexual or other).
        • Any part of the external structure which is a danger to the public.
      • ESSENTIAL REPAIRS: Problems that cause serious inconvenience and/or damage, such as leaking pipes, damaged guttering etc.
      • PRIORITY ONE OR PRIORITY TWO REPAIRS: Defects and problems not causing undue inconvenience, such as cracked floor tiles, faulty cupboard doors etc.
      • EMERGENCY REPAIRS: Will be dealt with within 24 hours
      • ESSENTIAL REPAIRS: Will be dealt with within 5 working days.
      • PRIORITY ONE REPAIRS: Will be dealt with within 15 working days.
      • PRIORITY TWO REPAIRS: will be dealt with within 30 working days.
    2. A general guide to different repairs shall be as follows:
      • EMERGENCY:
      • No lights/power
      • Exposed wires or dangerous electrical fittings, e.g. water penetration to mains head.
      • Serious roof leak or damage through water penetration
      • Badly leaking water or central heating pipes
      • Gas leaks
      • Glazing where security or danger to life is involved
      • All external doors that cannot be made secure
      • ESSENTIAL:
      • No staircase lighting
      • Over heating of switches or socket outlets or flickering lights
      • Broken or cracked WC pan
      • Leaking flush pipe
      • Clear blocked drain or waste pipe
      • Remake joint of WC pan or soil pipe
      • Repair soil pipe
      • Replacement of faulty ball valves
      • Non emergency roof leaks
      • Replace or repair broken or missing sections of guttering or rain water pipes
      • Repair cookers.
      • Repair loose banisters, balustrades or stair treads
      • Non emergency glazing
      • Repair or replace external waste pipes
      • Replace water storage tank
      • Refit or replace wash basin
      • Replace waste trap
      • Attend to faulty stop valve or drain off cock or tap
      • Extraction or ventilation system
      • Replace sash fasteners or cords
      • Replace hinges on internal doors
      • Replace rotten or defective flooring
      • Clear blocked gutters
      • Fix or repair bath panel or framework
      • Fix or repair loose kitchen units or worktop
      • Replace WC seat
      • Replace wash basin, bath or sink unit
      • Repair tiles or surround including making good silicone sealant
      • Pointing to reveals of door or window frame
      • Fixing of air bricks or air vents
      • General flooring repairs
      • Ease or adjust external doors and repair or replace frame
      • Replace or renew zinc \lead roof fittings
      • Patch repair plasterwork to internal walls & ceilings
      • Rebed and point joints to ridge tiles
      • Repair flashings
      • Repoint brickwork

    Maintenance Co-ordinators

    1. The Co-op will elect a Maintenance Co-ordinator (s), at the appropriate GM. They shall implement the Co-op's maintenance policy. They shall report regularly to the Co-op.
    2. The Co-op shall also have Maintenance Group, to provide support for the Maintenance Co-ordinator(s). The Group shall meet on a regular basis.
    3. The Maintenance Group shall also organise work done by Co-op members, particularly in the area of carpentry and joinery, glazing, painting and decorating.
    4. Work such as gas, electrical and plumbing work shall not be done by volunteers unless they have appropriate qualifications, as this could invalidate the Co-op's insurance.

    Reporting Repairs

    1. All repairs shall be reported immediately to the Co-op Maintenance Co-ordinator(s) or to the office worker’s in writing preferably by the Member concerned. Repairs must be reported on the Co-op's Repairs Report form and/or entered directly onto the maintenance database.
    2. The Maintenance Co-ordinator and the office workers should work jointly to track repairs and keep the database up to date after each action.

    Authorising Repairs

    1. The Maintenance Co-ordinator(s) shall take responsibility for ordering all repairs. They can delegate this responsibility and the following authority to place orders to a Co-op worker. The worker with this delegated authority must liase closely with the Maintenance Co-ordinator.
    2. For works costing up to £1,000, the Maintenance Co-ordinator shall have authority to place orders. A written estimate must be obtained before work starts.
    3. For works costing £1,000 to £2,000, the Maintenance Co-ordinator shall have authority to place orders. At least two written estimates shall be obtained.
    4. Works costing over £2.000 shall be agreed at a General Meeting. At least two estimates shall be obtained for works up to £2,000; and three estimates for works over £2,000. The authorisation for such works shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
    5. Using outside consultants (surveyors etc.) must be authorised by a General Meeting.
    6. Emergency Repairs: If an emergency arises that requires an immediate response to render the problem safe or secure, the obligation to receive written estimates in advance of work beginning may be waived. In certain such situations the Maintenance Co-ordinators may authorise contractors to effect emergency repairs on the basis of a verbal estimate. An estimate for further work to resolve the problem permanently should be obtained and presented by the next GM if possible.

    Paying for Repairs

    1. The Maintenance Co-ordinator and Treasurer shall be responsible for paying invoices, this work may be delegated to the office workers. Works costing under £50 may be paid on the authorisation of the member that the work has been satisfactorily completed. For a job costing over £50, the appropriate Maintenance Co-ordinator shall inspect and authorise payment.
    2. The Co-op member who reported the work should sign the Repairs Report on completion of the work, and return it promptly to the Office, but only if they are satisfied with the standard of work.
    3. The invoice from the builder and the original estimate (where appropriate) shall be passed to the Treasurer or office workers. The Treasurer or office workers shall check these against the original work order, and will authorise payment of the invoice when satisfied that all the paperwork is correct.
    4. The Co-op shall receive a report each quarter on the maintenance budget.

    Planned and Cyclical Maintenance

    1. The Maintenance Co-ordinator shall annually inspect all the houses and flats. Repairs arising from the inspection (unless urgent or emergency) shall be ordered as part of the cyclical maintenance work to be done to that property during that year.
    2. The following work shall be done on an annual basis:
      • Checking and cleaning of gutters
      • Maintenance of fences and boundary walls
      • Inspection and cleaning of drains
      • Servicing of gas boilers and cookers.
      • Inspection and repair of windows and doors
      • Exterior cleaning of windows
      • Oiling of window parts
    3. The following work shall be organised on a 5 yearly basis:
      • External inspection of wood repainting/replacing as required.
      • Repainting of internal communal areas. The Co-op will supply paint, and the work shall be done by the members of each house.
      • All void rooms shall be inspected when a member moves out, and repairs organised if possible before the room is re-let.
      • The Co-op shall not be responsible for the decoration of members' rooms. These must be kept in good condition. The Co-op has a trade account with a local supplier and will provide free silk or matt emulsion and gloss paint to decorate a room. The Co-op’s Paint Co-ordinator or Maintenance Co-ordinator organises getting the paint, tinting etc. The work shall be done by members living in the house. (See the Co-op’s paint policy)

    Contractors List

    1. The Co-op will keep a list of reputable contractors, and review it regularly. Any builder who fails to provide a good service or fails to abide by the Co-op's policies will be taken off the list. However before this is done the problems experienced with the builder should be discussed with them and they should be given a chance to remedy the faults the Co-op is concerned about.
    2. All builders will receive a copy of this repairs and maintenance policy. They should also be issued with an anti-discrimination statement by the Co-op, which they should be asked to sign and abide by. Breaches of this policy will result in removal from the Co-op's contractors list.
    3. All contractors should be able to produce on request from the Co-op:
      • A Tax exemption certificate (if appropriate)
      • Public liability insurance
      • References (trade and bank)
      • VAT registration number (if appropriate)
      • NIC\EIC membership for electrical work
      • Gas Safe membership for gas work
    4. For contractors with over 5 staff: A health and safety policy An equal opportunities policy
    5. All contractors should be sympathetic to trade and should avoid employing casual labour.

    Members rights

    1. The Maintenance Co-ordinator shall inspect work done before authorising payment. Should a member be unhappy with repairs they must report this to the Maintenance Co-ordinator before payment.
    2. Once a repair has been reported, should the Co-op fail to organise the repair as outlined in this document, the member should raise the matter with the Maintenance Co-ordinator who should ensure that the matter is remedied. Section 12 below covers member's contractual "Right to repair" under their Tenancy Agreement.
    3. The Co-op will not take responsibility for repairs ordered outside this system, except in cases of extreme urgency, where the immediate ordering of the repair prevents further damage to Co-op property.
    4. The Maintenance Policy is a document of the Co-op, and as such can be added to or changed only through the democratic process of the Co-op.

    The Right to Repair compensation scheme

    1. This scheme is a contractual right that the Tenant Services Authority expects Registered Social Landlords to grant to tenants. The scheme is referred to in the Co-op's current tenancy agreement.
    2. The maximum cost for a repair eligible for this scheme will be £200.
    3. If a member reports an emergency or essential repair to the Maintenance Co-ordinator or Co-op worker, the Co-op will issue a work order describing the repair and naming the contractor who will be doing the work and by when it will be finished. The member should co-operate with the contractor in providing access.
    4. If the Co-op fails to carry out the repair within the set time scale, i.e. 24 hours for an emergency and 5 working days for an essential repair, the member should inform the Co-op that the repair has not been done. The Co-op should then issue a further work order and give a copy to the tenant.
    5. If the repair remains outstanding after the end of this second period, then the member shall be entitled to compensation. The compensation will be £10 plus £2 per day (up to a maximum of £50) for every day the repair remains outstanding after the end of the second period.
    6. A Maintenance Co-ordinator, or, in the absence of a Maintenance Co-ordinator a General Meeting, must authorise all payments under this scheme.

    Monitoring the Repairs Service

    1. The Maintenance Co-ordinator shall report every quarter to the General Meeting about the Repairs Service. The Committee shall be responsible for monitoring the Repairs service.
    2. If less than 90% of the repairs are not being done within the target times, the Co-op Co-ordinators will investigate, and report back to a General Meeting.

    The Repairs system

    1. Once a repair request has been received in the Co-op Office, the Maintenance Co-ordinator or office worker issue a work order, having inspected the repair if necessary, and established that it is the Co-op's responsibility.
    2. A copy of the work order shall be given to the house, and a copy kept on file. Once the invoice has been passed for payment, the office copy of the repair order shall be put on the property file.
    3. A record shall be kept of all orders placed on each property, to include expenditure, and expenditure committed.
    4. In the case of major works, such as roofs, damp proofing, etc., copies of guarantees relating to the work shall be kept on the property file.
    5. All repairs must be entered into the maintenance database; this is the responsibility of the Maintenance Group and their agents


    1. Wherever possible the Co-op shall endeavour to procure its own items for installation on repair.
    2. The Co-op is currently a member of the Procurement for Housing Scheme and has accounts with various members of this scheme.
    3. It is the Maintenance Co-ordinator’s or office worker’s duty to ensure that all accounts are active on the procurement for housing scheme.
    4. If the Coop holds or maintains an account card for the Procurement for Housing scheme then the card should be kept in the office at all times unless it is being used for the purchase of items from one of our suppliers.
    5. It is the Maintenance Co-ordinator or office worker’s duty to keep a close eye on purchases from this scheme, using the centralised billing website provided by CEL.
    6. In the event that the Maintenance Co-ordinator, office worker or Co-op member are unable to make the purchasing then they may delegate this part of the contract to the contractor, in doing so a surcharge of no more than 30% of the total cost of the item under the Procurement for Housing scheme or other such agreements shall be liable to the contractor by the Co-op
    7. In the event that the Maintenance Co-ordinator, worker or other Co-op member are able to make the purchasing then a surcharge of no more than 10% of materials cost shall be paid to the contractor for materials on the agreed materials list.