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Cambridge City Council

Check the latest coronavirus information, including what support is available and how it has affected our services

Housing repairs for council tenants

We have adapted our repairs service to meet the current government guidance.

  • We will visit your property to fix leaks and broken toilets, and blockages if you have tried to clear it already.
  • We will fix electrical faults but will not carry out any new installations.
  • We will fix insecure ground floor doors and windows, and assess upper floor windows if they are stuck open.
  • We will carry out surveying inspections outside only. You must support any requests for internal inspections with photos.
  • We will not carry out any mutual exchange inspections or electrical tests.

We cannot accept any requests that do not match these new criteria. We will postpone any existing appointments that match them until we are able to return to normal service.

We want to provide you with a safe and comfortable home. It’s in both your interest and ours to deal with issues quickly and efficiently.

Some minor repairs are your responsibility – check who is responsible for what. We will not repair any alterations or extra items that you or previous tenants have fitted.

Ask for a repair

Due to the current circumstances, the best way to request a repair is to phone us on 01223 457060.

If the work will require us to visit your home, you will need to answer the following questions:

If the answer to either of the above is ‘yes’, please call us on 01223 457060 to discuss your repair.

If the answer to either of the above is ‘no’, you can request the repair online – give us as much information as possible about the problem. We’ll need to contact you before we can visit, so include a valid phone number when you submit the form.

Request a repair to your home

If you prefer not to use the online form, you can phone us on 01223 457060, or speak to your caretaker if you have one.

If anything changes between scheduling the appointment and the appointment date, call us on 01223 457060 to let us know.

  • Report out-of-hours emergencies on 0300 303 8389.
  • To arrange repairs for a gas boiler or radiator that was installed more than 12 months ago, call Mears on 0333 207 0766.
  • If you live in Clay Farm and have a heating or hot water enquiry, contact us on 01223 457060.


For routine repairs we will offer you a weekday appointment, either in the morning or the afternoon.

If you choose to specify an appointment time instead of accepting what we offer you, we might not be able to respond within the usual time limit for the job.

Morning appointments take place between 8am and midday, and afternoon appointments take place between midday and 4pm (3.30pm on Fridays). Inspections will take place between 8am and 1pm.

After the repair has been booked we will send you a job sheet in the post, unless the repair is an emergency or urgent.

Repair work

Your repair will fall into one of these categories:


We will deal with these problems within 24 hours:

  • Blocked drains caused by blocked manholes – any other blockage will need to wait until the next working day. Shared drainage is Anglian Water’s responsibility, so contact them first to clear the blockage
  • Serious electrical faults or complete power failure
  • Faulty smoke alarms, if they were installed by us and you cannot turn them off
  • Burst or leaking supply pipes that cannot be contained, major overflows where water is gushing out, and major roof leaks
  • A toilet not flushing – if it is your only toilet
  • Broken heating systems – we will provide temporary heating within eight hours if needed
  • Broken lifts
  • Insecure property – such as a front or back door or ground-floor window that won’t lock – upper-floor windows are not an emergency
  • A stuck exit, such as a fire door in a flat that cannot be opened
  • Smashed windows with both panes broken – we’ll board these up temporarily. Broken glass is your responsibility, so you could be charged for this if you cannot provide a crime number
  • Lost keys, or letting you into the property – keys are your responsibility, so you will be charged for this

Wherever possible we will complete emergency repairs within 24 hours. Sometimes we will only be able to make your home safe at first and we will have to come back later to finish the work - for example if major work is needed or if parts have to be ordered.

In the event of an emergency that is life-threatening or causing major damage to property then we will aim to attend immediately.

If we think your house is not fit for living in, we will provide temporary housing if you need it.

Please do not misuse the emergency service - other people may be put in danger if you do.

If you abuse the emergency service, we may charge you.

Urgent repairs

We will deal with these repairs within three working days after the job is raised as long as you let us into your home.

  • emergency repairs that we have already made safe
  • electrical faults where there is no risk of injury
  • problems with the hot-water supply
  • Leaking waste pipes
  • taps that cannot be turned off completely
  • minor roof leaks
  • faulty entry phones
  • broken heating systems (in summer)

If you prefer, we can make an appointment to suit you, but this may mean waiting longer.

Routine repairs

We will repair these within 20 working days, or we will make an appointment if you prefer.

  • Fireplaces
  • Roofs
  • Gutters and drainpipes
  • Noisy ball valves in toilets
  • Broken vents and air bricks
  • Minor re-pointing and rendering
  • Sinks, baths, kitchen units and fittings
  • Plastering
  • Woodwork and minor fencing work

Long-term planned maintenance work

We plan to do work that doesn't fit into the other categories as part of long-term programmes, as this is the most efficient way of working. Examples include:

  • servicing gas central heating;
  • painting the outside of your home;
  • repairing fencing;
  • replacing kitchen units and bathrooms;
  • fitting plastic windows; and
  • roofing work.

You must allow us into your home to do this work.

Remember, it is your responsibility to tell us when repairs need to be done. If you don't tell us and we have to spend extra money on repairs as a result, we may charge you for them.

We realise that it is not always easy to be at home to let workers in. This is why we offer appointments for either morning or afternoon.

Our workers will not enter your home unless there is someone to let them in - either you or a friend or relative, who must be 18 or over.

Please remember that genuine callers will always be able to show you identification. If you have any doubt at all about a caller, you should phone us (details at top of page) to make sure.

Please tell us if you are not going to be able to keep an appointment. Missed appointments waste our time and your money!

People working in your home

We expect contractors or people who work for us to treat you and your home with respect. We also expect high standards of work.

We expect workers to:

  • show you an identity card;
  • give you at least 48 hours' notice before starting any major work;
  • visit you between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday, unless you have agreed otherwise or there is an emergency;
  • only use the doors, paths and gates they are told to use, and not leave doors and windows open unnecessarily;
  • ask your permission to come into your home and garden, and to use the toilet or sink;
  • protect your furniture and carpets with dust sheets and ask you to move your valuables;
  • agree the safest place to keep materials and equipment;
  • avoid any damage as far as possible and discuss any unavoidable damage to plants;
  • make safe any emergency work;
  • follow health and safety regulations;
  • warn you about any dangers, particularly for children and older people, and make sure that your home is safe and fit for you to live in if work is left unfinished overnight, at weekends or during a public holiday;
  • provide all their own tools and not leave them in dangerous or inconvenient places;
  • clean up their rubbish every day and leave the area completely clean and clear at the end of the job;
  • keep appointments if possible (if this is not possible, they must apologise immediately, explain why and make a new appointment);
  • ask before using your electricity, if they do not have battery-powered tools;
  • pass on any messages they volunteer to take;
  • make certain you are satisfied with the work and that all the services are working when the job is finished;
  • not be rude or overfamiliar, use bad language or argue;
  • not be unnecessarily noisy or play radios; and
  • not smoke.

Contractors will only enter your home if the tenant or a responsible adult over 18 years old is on the premises.


Timescale for housing problems to be fixed
Problem Timescale
Total loss of electrical power 1 day
Partial loss of electrical power 3 days
Unsafe power of lighting socket or electrical fitting 1 day
Total loss of water supply 1 day
Partial loss of water supply 3 days
Total or partial loss of gas supply 1 day
Blocked flue to an open fire or boiler 1 day
Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 31 October and 1 May 1 day
Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 30 April and 1 November 3 days
Blocked or leaking foul drain, soil stack or toilet pan (where there is no other working toilet in the house) 1 day
Toilet not flushing (where there is no other working toilet in the house) 1 day
Blocked sink, bath or basin 3 days
Tap which cannot be turned 3 days
Leaking from water or heating pipe, tank or cistern 1 day
Leaking roof 7 days
Insecure outside window, door or lock 1 day
Loose or detached banister or hand rail 3 days
Rotten timber flooring or stair tread 3 days
Door entry-phone not working 7 days
Mechanical extractor fan in the kitchen or bathroom not working 7 days