Social tenants could get paid to carry out own DIY

 
Housing estate Mr Shapps said people should be rewarded when they save their landlords money

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Social housing tenants in England could be given money to maintain their homes.

The government says it wants to reward tenants who take pride in looking after their homes, by giving them control over their repairs budget

It says housing associations and councils spend £1,000 per property a year on repairs - and often tenants could do the work themselves.

The National Housing Federation said the idea was worth testing and welcomed pilot schemes with two landlords.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said maintenance and repairs cost social landlords £4bn a year, but often work was something tenants could do themselves, which would save councils and housing associations money.

He told the BBC the kind of repairs he was talking about were "routine" maintenance like leaky taps or replacing locks but responsibility for "big items" would remain with the landlord.

The "tenant cashback" scheme would allow people to ask their landlords for the chance to carry out DIY themselves, or pay someone locally to do the work, and keep any savings made.

The government said no tenant would be obliged to take on more responsibility than they wanted to and there would be no new cap on maintenance budgets.

'House-proud'

Mr Shapps said tenants would probably do a better job of finding people to do the repairs, or do it themselves, and the scheme would give people an incentive to look after properties even better.

Mr Shapps said: "When residents take pride in their homes it saves their landlords cash, so I think it's right that tenants should benefit too."

The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations in England, told the BBC: "We think it's an idea which is well worth testing and we welcome the fact that there will be a rigorous pilot before the plan is introduced across the board."

The idea will be tested by two housing associations - Home Group and Hastoe Housing Association which manage properties in various areas - and the government plans to change the regulations to spread the scheme across England later this year.

Landlords will be responsible for administering the scheme, including agreeing with tenants how much cash is to be shared, and ways to ensure it does not lead to fraud.

For Labour, Shadow Housing Minister Alison Seabeck said: "This scheme needs to show that it isn't another poorly thought-through idea to prevent any misuse of public funds and to protect social housing tenants and housing stock from shoddy work."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 62.

    No reason this can't work. Have a friend already doing this in the Private Sector.

    He's a tenant for a landlord who owns the whole block of flats, and he's pretty handy with plumbing, carpentry, etc. Landlord puts him on simple jobs; pays him for them; and gives him a reduction on his rent.

    Much cheaper - by far - than hiring somebody privately. Plus, my friend benefits as well. Win-Win.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 46.

    This may open the market up and end the unfairness of only council appointed contractors carrying out repairs to council properties. To prevent abuse the tenant must pay upfront and provide an invoice from the contractor used to claim the money back. If the government really wants to save money on social housing, look at fixing the bigger picture: house price inflation & inability to get mortgage.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 24.

    In principal its not a bad idea especially when bad landlords refuse to carry out repairs and make any excuse not to do them however does anyone want to see incompetent tenants carrying out repairs which could prove dangerous?If I were a landlord I would be a little worried.If its simple repairs its fine but I have images of DIY boiler or electric repairs with all the horror stories that follow..

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    I cant see this working reliably. Whats to stop a resident deliberately breaking a window & then getting cash to repair it ? Are all payments going to be checked to ensure they are not falsely inflated ? The whole idea is prime for abuse.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 9.

    This only goes to prove how out of touch and ignorant of social housing this government is.All council housing have got tenants agreements.Which states all such minor repairs as stated on here like locks ect internal doors/ glass for broken windows done by tenant or company of tenant/ tap washers ect: the list goes on are the sole responcability of the tenant to repair.

 

Comments 5 of 9

 

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