Vacant property re-let standard
We have set standards which we measure each void property against before re-letting it as social housing.
The purpose of the void re-let standard is to ensure a consistent minimum standard is applied to all void properties which we let.
The quality of a void let is based on 4 core principles; it must be:
- contain functioning services.
We intend to complete all internal repairs before a property is re-let. However, in some circumstances we may let a property before all repairs have been completed.
These circumstances can include:
- when an applicant has an urgent need to move into the property
- when we are awaiting a specific part for repairs
- where the work is part of an improvement programme.
Tenants will be responsible for providing their own decorations, which include filling small cracks and holes. In cases where existing decoration is badly stained, marked or torn, a decoration allowance in the form of vouchers will be provided to assist the tenant with redecoration costs.
The type of work being carried out to bring void properties to the standard will evolve, as regulatory standards evolve.
All properties will be free from hazards where there is potential for serious harm outcomes (i.e., category 1 hazards as defined by the Housing Health and Safety Ratings System - HHSRS).
- A smoke alarm will be installed and tested, and a carbon monoxide alarm will also be installed where applicable.
- All electrical installations will be safe in accordance with the relevant British electrical standards.
- All gas appliances will be tested in accordance with the relevant British standards.
- Solid fuel installations will be inspected and tested in accordance with the relevant British standards.
- Cold water storage tanks will be drained down to assist in the prevention of Legionella.
The property will be free from damp and mould. Owing to the difficult nature of eradicating mould, if it re-emerges in the property, please visit Damp, mould and condensation in the home for advice on how to tackle mould.
- All external doors will be watertight, and all doors in the property will open and close with ease. A tenant will be provided with 2 sets of keys for front and rear door locks.
- All windows will be fully operational, watertight, and secure. Keys will also be provided for any window with locks fitted.
Inside the property
- All rubbish and waste material in the property will be removed, and all floors will be swept
- Any surfaces, fixtures, and fittings, such as worktops and windowsills will be clean and free from mould and dirt
- Any offensive graffiti will be removed
- Bathroom floors are to be mopped, bathroom surfaces, including basins, toilet seats, pipes etc., will be disinfected, and sealant is to be applied where there are any clear gaps
- Carpeting left by previous tenants will be retained unless judged to be in poor condition
- Kitchen and bathroom flooring which is severely damaged such that it is no longer fit for purpose or cannot be cleaned to a suitable standard will be replaced or removed.
Outside the property
- The garden at the property, its pathways, and any sheds will be cleared of rubbish and waste material. Any visible and dangerous objects will be removed from the garden area
- Boundaries with other properties will be clearly defined, and any gates and fences will be in working order
- Bushes and hedges will be left in a manageable condition. Trees, such as leylandii and other conifers, which are damaging or threatening to damage the property will be assessed, and removed if necessary.
- All wall and ceilings will be free from major defects, such as crumbling plaster
- All loose floor or skirting boards will be fixed or replaced
- All windows including the glazing will be free from hazardous damage
- All kitchens will have storage units, a sink, and counters for food preparation, all of which will be in working order
- Space for a fridge in the kitchen area of the property will be provided
- A gas or electric connection for a cooker will be provided (please check the type of connection for your property before purchasing appliances)
- Where space allows, there will be plumbing for a washing machine
- All taps and showers will be in working order
- All lights and switches will be in working order, and the property will be free from any electrical hazards
- All bathrooms and kitchens will have working functional extractor fans
- All radiators will be in working order, and where fitted, thermostatic valves will be functional
- All boiler and heating systems will be in working order, and operation of these systems will if necessary be explained to the tenants, typically with an instruction leaflet or manual
- All baths and sinks will be in working order and provided with a plug
- Wall space around the sinks and baths will be fitted with clean and durable tiles
- All energy meter cabinets will be accessible.