As a resident, knowing what repairs you are accountable for and what repairs we are responsible for is essential.
ccha is responsible for repairing common areas of buildings and estates, external decorations, ensuring installations for supplying services are in proper working order, and more. We also ensure that fire and safety equipment is inspected regularly, and fire risk assessments are completed as needed.
On the other hand, residents are responsible for minor repairs such as internal decorations, replacing flat keys or fobs, and keeping their private gardens tidy and pest-free. It’s important to promptly report any repair or disrepair concerns and provide access for property inspections and repairs.
As a resident, you can improve your home anytime at your own cost. You must make a written request that details your plans. Before and after the work is carried out, we have the right to inspect the property to ensure that it meets an acceptable standard. If the job requires specialist skills, such as gas or electrical work, it must be carried out by a suitably qualified person who can provide the relevant certificates.
There are various types of improvements that you can make, including installing new appliances, light fittings, power sockets, and changing fixtures or fittings. You can also build or change fences and walls, extend the property, or install TV aerials or satellite dishes. We will only refuse your request with good reason and explain our reasoning in response to your written request. However, it is important to note that you must maintain any improvements you make.
However, any non-standard items at the end of your residency must be removed and ccha will not take responsibility for the work or do any repairs to it in the future. For further information, read our Repairs & Planned Maintenance Booklet.
If there is damage caused to the fixtures and fittings in our home by you, your family or any visitors, you will be responsible for repairing the damage yourself or paying us to do so.
Lastly, when your tenancy ends, we will inspect to ensure that your property is in good condition and that any non-standard fixtures have been replaced.
If you need to make any changes to your home or report any damage, you can contact our customer advisors by emailing email@example.com or calling 0800 054 6710. If you prefer to send a physical letter, please mail it to ccha, FAO Property Services Team, 29 Sheldon Street, Croydon, CR0 1SS.29 Sheldon Street, Croydon, CR0 1SS.
By working together, we can ensure your homes are well maintained.
Check out the latest winter edition of our Connections today.
This edition covers topics such as:
- Updates on our new Customer Service Advisors
- Real case stories on those who received Jane’s help
- What we are doing to improve your homes
- Tips on how to reduce and managing stress
- And give our residents a chance to share their stories.
We hope you find this edition of Connections exciting and informative. If you have any feedback, please feel free to get in touch by emailing Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are happy to provide print versions, large print, audiotape, Braille, and translated versions if you require the newsletter in a different format. Please request yours by calling 0800 054 6710 or emailing email@example.com.
When there’s a problem in your home, we understand how important it is to fix it as soon as possible. Our priority is ensuring your home is safe and comfortable, and we always aim to provide an efficient and responsive service. The time it takes to complete repairs can vary from 2 hours to 28 days, depending on the severity of the issue. We prioritise repairs based on their urgency, with the most critical maintenance completed within 24 hours.
Emergency repairs – attend within 2 hours, completed within 24 hours
These include issues such as:
- Uncontainable water leaks
- Heating or hot water loss between 1 Nov and 30 Apr
- Gas leaks
- Severe roof leaks
- Blocked toilets (where there is only one in your home)
- Fire damage or flooding
- For the full list, please visit our website.
Urgent repairs – completed within 5 days
- Faulty showers
- Minor leaks
- Non-flushing toilets (where there is only one in your home)
- Offensive graffiti
- For the full list, please visit our website.
Routine repairs – completed within 28 days
- Broken or leaking guttering or downpipes
- Electrical problems that are not emergency or urgent repairs
- Plumbing problems that are not emergency or urgent repairs
- Repairs to doors, locks and windows that will not pose a security risk
- Roof repairs that are not serious
- All other joinery, building work or specialist services that are not urgent.
Supporting our residents through the Cost of Living crisis
We know that paying bills, buying food, and keeping up with increasing energy costs is hard if you have a low income. We want to help our residents where we can.
ccha has a small fund and can provide vouchers for food, gas or electricity if you are experiencing financial hardship.
You do not need to be on benefits to apply, you can be in work, out of work or on a State Pension.
If you have savings or already received support from our fund in the last 12 months, we may not be able to help and can only help again in exceptional circumstances.
If you are struggling and would like to apply for help, please contact our Welfare, Benefit & Debt Advisor, Jane White by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not have access to email, please call us on 0800 054 6710 and we will arrange for Jane to call you back.
ccha resident –
“Thank you for everything you did for our family. I can’t imagine the kind of 2023 I would’ve had otherwise. There were positives in the latter half of the year for us, and I do not doubt that most of them were only possible because of the help you gave me and my family.”
Calling all residents of pension age and above
Many people aged 66 or above miss out on hundreds of pounds annually by not claiming their pension credit when they could be eligible.
If you, a friend or a family member are a pensioner and your total income is less than £220 per week, or you are a couple with a combined income of less than £320 per week (which does not include any money you receive for disabilities such as Personal Independence Payment, DLA or Attendance Allowance), please do get in touch with our Welfare Advisor on 0800 054 6710 to see if you could be entitled to pension credit.
If you receive disability benefits, you may be entitled to a pension credit even if your income exceeds this.
Even if you are only entitled to a few pounds of pension credit, receiving pension credit is a gateway to discounts such as free NHS dental care, specific government cost of living payments, etc.
Good news story –
A resident on zero income was referred to our Welfare Advisor before Christmas. We established that his state pension was suspended nearly a decade ago because the DWP could not contact him. After dozens of phone calls and emails, the DWP agreed to backdate his benefits, and he received a nice lump sum in time for Christmas!
Warning to Self-Employed people on Universal Credit
A word of caution for those thinking of starting their own business in regards to Universal Credit and the Minimum Income Floor (MIF).
If you receive specific means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, you may find that the DWP works out your payments based on an assumed income, which could be higher than your actual income.
For example, you may only make a profit of £500 a month, but if the DWP decides you are ‘gainfully self-employed’, they may assume that your income each month is at least £1400, even if you make a loss and your payments will be reduced, possibly to nothing.
Only some self-employed are subject to the Minimum Income Floor. For example, if you are a carer, sick or the primary carer for your children, you could be exempt from these rules. If you are currently self-employed and subject to the MIF, and your circumstances change by being unable to work or reducing your work hours, please contact the DWP immediately to tell them of your change of circumstances. If your MIF is too high, you may be able to get this reduced.
True story – One of our residents had a growing business and was also on Universal Credit as their income was still relatively low. After 12 months on Universal Credit, the DWP applied the MIF and assumed payment of £1450 per month. Our resident became sick and was not making any money at all. Our resident’s Universal Credit payments were reduced to zero as the DWP took income rather than the resident’s actual income, which resulted in a surge of rent arrears. Our Income Team assisted and negotiated with the DWP to get the MIF removed and payments backdated.
If you need to report an essential repair for your property, contact Axis directly on 0800 056 7068 or by email them at email@example.com. Alternatively, you can use the repairs form to submit your request. To learn more about our repairs and planned maintenance responsibilities, refer to our Repairs & Planned Maintenance Booklet.
For heating and gas servicing enquiries, you can contact Smith & Byford on 0800 169 7703 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you suspect that a gas appliance is unsafe, it’s essential to turn it off and contact Smith & Byford right away using the above information. If you smell gas, believe there is a gas leak, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, you should call the gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.
Remember to turn off the gas supply at the meter, open any windows and doors, avoid using any electrical switches, and put out all flames.
12 tips to prevent condensation
One issue that can arise during the colder months is excess condensation, which can lead to problems such as mould growth. While small amounts of condensation are normal and usually not a problem, there are some everyday things we can all to do help prevent it.
What is condensation?
Condensation happens when moisture in the air of your home settles on a cold surface, normally a wall or window. Water will then collect on the surface and is common in our homes, especially during the winter or when cooking, cleaning, and showering. Even breathing can contribute to condensation. You may notice it on your windows when it is cold outside and warm inside. The following tips will help you prevent and manage condensation. If you still have problems after following these tips, get in touch with us to help.
Open your windows
Opening windows when cooking, bathing, showering and drying clothes helps moist air escape and prevent water collecting on surfaces.
Turn on the extractor fan
It’s always a good idea to turn on your extractor fan when cooking, showering, or bathing. This will help remove any excess moisture from the air and prevent mould growth. Next time you’re cooking up a storm or enjoying a hot shower, remember to turn on that switch!
Put lids on pans when cooking
Remember to put a lid on your pan when cooking. It will stop the steam escaping and causing condensation to form on surfaces.
Keep your home heated & set your thermostat
To avoid excess moisture, try keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Setting the thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature, ideally between 18 – 21°C, is a great way to keep your home a steady temperature and keep energy bills down.
Did you know that drying clothes outside can help reduce moisture in your home? If you have to dry your clothes indoors, try using a drying rack and opening a window slightly or turn on your extractor fan to reduce condensation.
Move furniture away from walls
Condensation can form on cold external walls, and if furniture is resting against them, it can cause mould to form. Moving your furniture away from radiators or heaters can also help improve heat and air circulation around the room.
Put up curtains and add rugs
Curtains and rugs are essential for keeping your home warm during the colder months. It’s best to have curtains stop between the windowsill and above the radiators which allows for maximum warmth to be kept in. It’s also helpful to open the curtains in the morning and close them at dusk to let in heat from the sun and keep the cold out at night.
Twist the radiator valves
Turning up your radiators in the rooms you use the most and lower in the rooms can make a big difference in your energy bills and keep your home comfortable all year long.
Close your doors
Close internal doors and use draught excluders to help keep the heat in the rooms you use the most. This can be a great way to reduce the heat that moves into the colder areas of your home and keep you warm and comfortable.
Wipe away condensation
If you notice any condensation on a surface, wiping it down with a dry and clean cloth or towel is important. This will help prevent any potential water damage or mould growth.
If you happen to spot any signs of excess condensation, the tips aren’t helping, or you notice damp and mould in your home, please contact us right away. We will arrange for an inspection and provide you with guidance on the next steps to take.
We recently helped a resident who faced financial and emotional struggles due to her son’s condition. Jane, and Welfare, Benefits and Debt Advisor, provided them with the necessary support and resources to alleviate their financial burdens and improve their well-being. Here we share their story and how we were able to assist them in their time of need.
Our resident is a single mum of a young man with autism. The family survives on income support of less than £50 a week and a top-up of carers’ allowance. The young man only gets a disability payment and is not eligible for any benefits in his own right due to changes in Welfare Reform while he is a student. Overall, He is not well enough to work.
What were we able to do?
Jane supported the single mum to apply for a student grant and bursary for her son to help with travel expenses, food and equipment and essential electronic devices. Jane also assisted her in claiming Personal Independence Payment, which should boost income by around £500 per month, increase Housing Benefit by over £100 per month and reduce how much council tax she needs to pay to just £6 per week. We were also able to award a one-off payment to help with the electricity and gas bills.
This is just one of your stories on how we have helped you. If you face similar challenges, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 0800 054 6710 or emailing email@example.com. One of our team will be in touch and let you know how we can help.
As part of our work to help you keep a Healthy Home, here’s a short video that gives you practical advice on how to reduce everyday condensation.
All homes are at risk of condensation, especially in winter, so it is important to know what to look out for and how to prevent it.
The video covers:
- How to spot condensation and what to do if you find it.
- How to prevent condensation.
- What to do if you notice damp and mould.
We hope you will find the video useful and if you are experiencing damp and mould and the tips in the video aren’t helping, please contact us as soon as you can.
A few of our residents in Thornton Heath gathered on Monday 18 December for a coffee morning filled with informative Q&A sessions and a chance to create a festive wreath.
The event saw the attendance of colleagues Donna and Lorraine, including Axis, the Safer Neighbourhood Team and Delores from Extended Hands, who provided information on IT support and its benefits to the residents.
Axis provided an update on all the scheduled repair work at the property, while the Safer Neighbourhood Team discussed how they would tackle anti-social behaviour.
Both Donna and Lorraine provided an excellent opportunity for the residents to discuss their concerns with their guests and gain valuable insights into the various services and support available to them.
In addition to the Q&A sessions, the residents got creative by making their wreaths provided with the support of Chequers. The festive activity was welcomed by a few in attendance, and the results were awe-inspiring.
This coffee morning was a testament to the strength of the residents and the importance of coming together to support one another.
The Christmas holidays are just around the corner and we will be closing our office and phone lines during the holiday period.
If you need to contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we reopen in the new year.
Our holiday timetable is as follows:
- 22 December: open from 9am to 5pm
- 25 December to 1 January: CLOSED
- 2 January: open from 9am to 5pm
Please note that in case of emergencies, you can our contractors through the following numbers:
- For repair emergencies, please call Axis on 0800 056 7068
- For gas boiler emergencies, please call Smith & Byford on 0800 169 7703
We hope you enjoy your holidays to the fullest, and we look forward to hearing from you in the new year!