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Who is responsible? | Sandwell Council

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Who is responsible?

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You must keep your property clean, tidy and in good condition. This includes fixtures and fittings.

Do not leave items in the communal areas that are flammable or may cause obstruction (E.g. tables, chairs, mobility scooters etc).

When you end a tenancy, you may incur costs if the property is not left in a desired manner.
You can find out more about this in your tenancy conditions.

Below is a guide of responsibilities. This is not an exhaustive list however if you are unsure please contact 0121 569 6000.

Inside your home

The council is responsible for:

  • floorboards, joists, concrete floors, floor tiles, skirting boards and architrave
  • staircases, bannisters and handrails
  • major plastering work
  • plastic vents
  • wall tiles (only if fitted by the council)
  • repairs to an adaptation made to a property for a disabled person

A tenant is responsible for:

  • decorating (including patching artex)
  • floor coverings and carpets
  • chimney sweeping
  • hat and coat hooks

Kitchens

The council is responsible for:

  • kitchen cupboards and cupboard drawers (cupboards beyond repair will be replaced, but not necessarily to match existing units)
  • worktops (worktops beyond repair will be replaced but not necessarily to match existing worktops).

A tenant is responsible for:

  • kitchen cupboard hinges, catches and handles.

Bathrooms and plumbing

The council is responsible for:

  • all hot and cold water pipes, tanks and overflows
  • a blocked toilet, sink or bath
  • all taps, stop taps and valves
  • damage to toilets, baths and hand basins
  • showers and shower trays (only if fitted by the council)
  • bath panels and boxing in pipework (only if fitted by the council).

The tenant is responsible for:

  • toilet seats
  • sink plugs and chains
  • tap washers
  • lagging of tanks and pipes
  • sealant around basins/sinks
  • slatted shelves in an airing cupboard.

Windows and doors

The council is responsible for:

  • doors, locks and handles
  • window frames
  • window sills
  • glass in windows and doors when damaged by criminal damage and reported to the police (you will need to provide a crime reference number)
  • entrance doors and door frames
  • entrance door locks and fittings (wear and tear only)
  • door entry systems
  • fixed draft excluders

A tenant is responsible for:

  • window catches and other window fittings
  • glass broken not through criminal damage
  • extra door or window locks
  • security doors, chains and spyholes

Gas

The council is responsible for:

  • pipework
  • radiators, valves, time clocks and thermostats
  • boilers
  • cooker (only if owned by the council)

A tenant is responsible for:

  • the gas meter and supply
  • disconnection or reconnection of a cooker not owned by the council.

Electrics

The council is responsible for:

  • wiring, sockets, and light fittings (only if fitted by the council)
  • wired in smoke alarms
  • fuse box (also called a consumer unit)
  • storage heaters (only if owned by the council)
  • fires (only if owned by the council)
  • cookers (only if owned by the council)
  • extractor fans
  • immersion heaters

The tenant is responsible for:

  • independent smoke alarms (battery operated)
  • pull cord strings
  • electric meter and supply
  • disconnection or reconnection of a cooker not owned by the council

Outside your home

The council is responsible for:

  • the roof structures, including tiles and slates
  • chimneys
  • guttering and rainwater pipes
  • fascia boards, soffits and barge boards
  • external walls and rendering
  • foundations
  • canopies over doors (only if fitted by the council)
  • security lights (only if fitted by the council)
  • soil pipes and fittings
  • drain pipes and gulleys
  • blocked drains
  • inspection chambers
  • communal areas including foyers, stairs and lifts

Gardens and garages

The council is responsible for:

  • fencing (only if fitted by the council)
  • front or back gates (only if fitted by the council)
  • a garage or outbuilding owned by the council.

A tenant is responsible for:

  • the garden
  • fencing not fitted by the council (unless next to a public footpath)
  • driveways or hardstanding areas for parking
  • replacement padlocks on garage doors

Gaining entry to your property

lf you are locked out, have lost your keys or require a replacement lock (we can help you but a charge will apply). If you are a victim of crime (you will need to provide a crime reference number).