Repairs to council homes

Information on what repairs are, reporting a repair, accidental damage, appointments, repairs while buying your council home, the right to repair scheme, reporting repairs out of hours, permission to carry out your own work and works to septic tanks. 

What are repairs?

Responsive repairs is the name given to the service that responds to your reports of problems, such as water leaks, missing roof tiles, faulty light fittings or problems with your heating. It is also sometimes called day-to-day repairs.

Your tenancy agreement sets out which repairs you are responsible for and which we are responsible for. Please check before reporting a repair if you are unsure. If you have submitted a right to buy application we will only carry out works to keep your home wind and water tight, or where they cause a threat to health and safety. There is no charge for repairs unless you, or a person that you are responsible for, cause the damage or you neglect your obligations.

The following pdf document is our tenant's information and repair handbook that will help you identify the exact repair that you need to report. 

Council Tenants Information and Repairs Handbook (pdf 7mb)

How do I report a repair to my council home?

Select the type of repair you want to report from the options below.

The following pdf document is our tenants information and repair handbook that will help you identify the exact repair that you need to report.  

Council Tenants Information and Repairs Handbook (pdf 7mb opens in new window)

The guttering to my council home is frozen/damaged, what can I do?

As a result of adverse weather conditions you may experience frozen or damaged gutters on your property. Whilst the severe weather persists it is unlikely that we will be able to carry out any immediate repair work to your guttering for health and safety reasons. 

In the meantime please take care when entering or exiting your property, and try and avoid parking vehicles directly under guttering. 

Unless it is urgent please wait until the weather improves in your area before you report the repair. We will log and respond to any repair requests when the weather improves and within the repair response time. 

Your patience in the above matter is greatly appreciated.

The central heating in my council home has stopped working, what should I do?

Gas condensing 'combi' boilers

When temperatures drop below freezing we usually experience a high volume of calls regarding boiler breakdowns, in most cases this is due to the condensate pipe coming from the boiler freezing. 

The condensate pipe is usually located outside the property near to where the boiler is installed and is either a white or grey plastic pipe. The condensate pipe can usually be defrosted by pouring warm water over the pipe.  Once the pipe is defrosted you must press the reset button on the front of the boiler and then it should work correctly. 

If after trying to defrost the condensate pipe the boiler does not work, please report the repair.

Air source heat pumps

When temperatures drop below freezing we usually experience a high volume of calls regarding air source heat pumps freezing up.  If this occurs you must report the repair.

However, to help prevent the unit from freezing it is advised that you switch your heating on continuously and leave your thermostat on a low setting overnight. 

If an engineer visited you recently, the level of anti-freeze in your system will have been checked and topped-up if necessary.  This should prevent the unit from freezing and negate the need to run heat pump all the time.

Who pays for repairs if my council home is damaged accidentally?

If you cause damage to your home, whether accidentally or not, or you neglect your repairing obligations, we may carry out the repairs but you will be liable to pay for the cost of the work and the administration costs involved.

For more information contact housing services:

Can I make an appointmentto have repairs done to my council home?

When a repair is reported it will be given a ‘response category’ depending on how urgent it is (some of which are determined by the government) and this will dictate how long we can take to complete it. We will let you know which category your repair is in and how long it will take to complete. We will also make an appointment for morning, afternoon or to avoid school times, wherever possible. For example:

  • Category A (24 hours) for example - total loss of electricity
  • Category B (3 working days) for example - tap not working
  • Category C (14 working days) for example - faulty extractor fan
  • Category D (56 working days) for example - renew internal door.

Some repairs need to be inspected before they can be ordered; we will tell you if this is the case when you report the repair. A housing maintenance officer will contact you to arrange an appointment so please make sure you give us your telephone number.

If we call at your property to carry out a repair and there is no one in, we will leave a card giving our contact details so that you can contact your area maintenance office to arrange another appointment.

I’ve applied to buymy council home, can I still get repairs done?

If you apply to buy your council home, we will only carry out repairs to keep your home wind and water-tight. We will not carry out general repairs, planned maintenance or improvements. If you decide not to buy your home, you must cancel your application with the right to buy team in writing and send it to the address below, then the restriction on repairs will be removed.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Housing Services - Right to Buy team
County Hall
Cross Street
HU17 9BA

What is the right to repairscheme?

The right to repair scheme covers certain small urgent jobs (costing less than £250), which may be a threat to health, safety or security. By law we must carry out these repairs within a certain time, if we don’t you can request a second contractor. Should the second contractor fail to complete the work on time, you may be entitled to compensation of £10.00 plus £2.00 per day for every day the job remains outstanding (to a maximum of £50.00). We will tell you if the repair you report qualifies for the right to repair scheme.

The following government publication provides further information on the scheme.

'A better deal for tenants: Your Right to Repair' (external website) 

If you believe you have a claim under the right to repair please contact housing services on (01482) 396301. 

How do I report an emergency repair to my council home out of office hours?

We operate a ‘make safe’ service for out-of-hours emergencies. This service should only be contacted to report repairs that are emergencies. 

If you need to report an emergency repair out of office hours for yourself or someone else please use the appropriate number below depending on the day or time that the emergency occurred.

For the following days/times:

  • Monday to Friday 7.30am-8am/5pm-11pm
  • Saturdays from 10am-2pm please telephone (01482) 393939 
  • At all other times out-of-hours please telephone (01377) 256264. 

Please make sure you know the name, address and telephone number of the tenant, and give as much detail as possible about the problem.

This service is only available for council tenants and council leaseholders (where the property was originally bought from us under the Right to Buy scheme). 

Please note: it is only available to council leaseholders (where the property was originally bought from us under the Right to Buy scheme) for repairs that are the council’s responsibility, and if you call it for any other reason you will be charged.

Do I need permission to carry out work on my council home?

If you are a secure council tenant you have the right to improve your home, but for some improvements it is a condition of your tenancy that you obtain written permission from us before you start work. We will not refuse permission unless we have a good reason. If we refuse permission we will inform you of the reasons why, and if you think this is unreasonable you can challenge the decision by appealing to the housing appeals sub-committee or by taking us to the county court. The courts service website provides information on county courts.

The Courts Service (external website)

As a council tenant you must not do anything which is likely to damage the structure of the building or cause damage to shared services, such as plumbing, water supply pipes, electricity, or gas supplies, or sewerage.

You may also need to obtain planning permission and building regulations consent before starting work. We do not need to know about minor work such as internal decorating, but we do need to know about any alterations which affect walls, windows, doorframes, plumbing, heating, gas and electrical services.

If you are not sure if you need permission you should check with your area housing office.

Email: housing.services@eastriding.gov.uk 
Tel: (01482) 396301.

The kind of things that you will need permission for are:

  • any addition or change to the structure or services in your home, including fixtures and fittings such as heating, plumbing and kitchen units
  • aerials and satellite dishes
  • external decoration
  • installation of new windows/doors
  • loft conversions
  • erection of sheds/greenhouses
  • installation of a patio or driveway/hardstanding.

A lot of repairs are our responsibility and you do not need to do them, these repairs are specified in your tenancy agreement.

You can apply for permission to carry out works to your council home by completing the following form.

Council tenant request for permission to carry out works form (pdf 97kb opens in new window)

Do you deal with septic tanksto council properties? 

Septic tanks to council properties are emptied as required, and billed annually. 

Requests for service and charge information should be made to the flood risk management team:

Tel: (01482) 395404.

What should I do if I have a gas leak?


If you have a gas leak, a smell of gas, a suspected carbon monoxide or a carbon monoxide detector is sounding you should:

Report it to Northern Gas Networks on 0800 111 999.

Please take note of the receipt number from Northern Gas Networks.

They will ask you for the following information:

  • Name 
  • Address 
  • Post code
  • Telephone number
  • Location of the gas meter 
  • Where can they smell gas? Inside or outside? Which room?
  • How long have you been able to smell gas?
  • Which appliance is the smell coming from? 

Northern Gas Networks will give you the following instructions:

  • Extinguish all sources of ignition
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not operate any electrical equipment, including mobile phones, light switches and door intercoms etc
  • Lock all pets away for the engineers’ safe access.