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Home > My home > Repairs and maintenance > Responsibility for repairs

Responsibility for repairs

Although we repair many items in our rented homes, we do not do everything. As a tenant, you also have some responsibilities to keep your home in a good state of repair, see your tenancy agreement.

Damage to your rented home

We will fix damage due to wear and tear that’s caused by everyday living, but if you or someone you  live with or guests visiting your home accidentally or deliberately cause damage, you are responsible for repairing it.

If you are a tenant find out what you are responsible for:

Kitchens, bathrooms and toilets

Our responsibility

  • Loose or damaged kitchen worktop
  • Loose kitchen sink unit, kitchen cupboards or drawers
  • Loose, cracked or broken bathroom sink or shower basin
  • Leaking tap
  • Tap not turning off
  • Water leaking between bath and wall
  • Electric shower not working
  • Shower heads and hoses for electrical showers
  • Faulty toilet cistern, including flush handle

Your responsibility

  • Blocked basin or sink/shower/bath waste
  • Broken plug and/or chain, including missing ones
  • Appliances
  • Replacing toilet seats

Doors and windows

Our responsibility

  • Stiff or sticking door
  • Water leaking between door and frame
  • Faulty door or window handle
  • Faulty door lock mechanism
  • Loose or dropped window
  • Window broken by vandalism (you must have a crime reference number)

Your responsibility

  • Replacing keys or locks, including if you cannot get in your home because you have lost your keys
  • Adjusting doors to allow for new floor coverings
  • Door bells
  • Window glass broken by accident

Condensation, damp and mould

For information and advice see: Keeping your home free from condensation, damp and mould

Electrics and lighting

Our responsibility

  • Mains-powered smoke detector or battery back-up detectors
  • Loose electric socket
  • Fuse box or consumer unit faults
  • LED fittings in kitchens and bathrooms - if the LED bulb is an integral part of an enclosed light fitting Cottsway is responsible for its replacement. Please do not replace LED bulbs in sealed units yourself.
  • Replacing lightbulbs, starters and motors in communal areas

Your responsibility

  • Replacing lightbulbs, starters and motors (except in communal areas). If these fail, switch off the power, disconnect the bulb/fitting and replace with the same type of bulb/fitting.  
  • Appliances within the home

For street lighting see 'Outside your home' below.

Heating, water and drainage

Heating and hot water

Our responsibility

  • Storage heater not working
  • Gas fire not working (if we cannot fix it and you have alternative heating we will remove the fire)
  • Radiator not heating up
  • Boiler faults
  • No hot water

Water system

Our responsibility

  • Leaking pipe
  • Water tank leak or other fault


Our responsibility

  • Manhole cover loose or broken

Your responsibility

  • Blocked gully or toilet waste, except where pipework is faulty
  • Blocked wastes up to your utility provider's boundary

Floors, walls and ceilings

Our responsibility

  • Loose skirting boards
  • Loose floorboards
  • Loose wall tiles
  • Large repairs to plaster on walls and/or ceilings
  • Loose handrail on stairs
  • Loose stair or tread

Your responsibility

  • Decorating, including after any repairs you or we carry out
  • Small or hairline cracks in plaster on walls and/or ceilings

Outside your home

Please move any special plants, plant pots, garden furniture etc that may be in the way before we start work outside your home.

Roofs and guttering

Our responsibility

  • Broken or loose chimney stack
  • Loose or missing roof tiles
  • Blocked gutter
  • Loose plastic downpipe

Please note: we do not clear moss from roofs.

Your responsibility

  • TV aerials and satellite dishes, except communal services

Gardens and trees 

Our responsibility

  • Gate not opening or closing properly
  • Fence repairs and replacements
  • Loose or broken step
  • Broken concrete path
  • Communal gardens

Your responsibility

  • Garden maintenance including trees
  • Keeping walls clear of ivy

Communal areas

Our responsibility

  • Faulty phone entry system
  • Damaged paths
  • Communal lighting faults
  • Communal bin store maintenance
  • Communal garden maintenance


Our responsibility

  • Loose or faulty garage door
  • Roof leaks

Your responsibility

  • Replacing keys or locks

Bins and recycling

Our responsibility

  • Communal bin areas

Council responsibility

  • Providing and emptying your bins (the name of the council responsible is usually on your bin).

Roads, pavements and street lighting

Our responsibility

  • Lighting and maintenance of Cottsway owned land eg our parking areas

Council responsibility

  • Street lighting
  • Public roads
  • Public pavements and footpaths

You can report a highways issue such as potholes and broken street lights direct to your local council via:


Our responsibility

If there are pests in the communal areas of your building, contact us

Your responsibility

Pests inside your home are your responsibility.

Some local councils can give advice and may also offer households on low incomes discounted treatment options. 

Unfortunately we're unable to provide recommendations for pest control companies, or advise on their quality or suitability. You may find useful advice on pest control companies from: The British Pest Control Association

Planned maintenance

We also carry out planned maintenance work to ensure your rented home is kept in good condition. This includes repainting exterior surfaces, replacing kitchens, bathrooms, central heating, roofs, windows and doors. For more information, see:

Shared owners and leaseholders

If you are a shared owner or leaseholder, find out about your repair responsibilities:

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