In general, Hightown is responsible for maintaining the shared spaces and fittings on your estate and you are responsible for maintaining your property. If you have recently moved into a new-build home, please scroll down for more information.
If the problem is urgent, please use the numbers below to report it:
|Between 9am-5pm on weekedays||01442 292301|
|Out of hours||0845 160 00 77 (local rate)
0203 701 3525 (from a mobile phone)
More information on maintenance
Below we have included some answers on frequently asked questions we receive about maintenance to your home and estate. For more information, please check your lease for the specific arrangements at your property.
Who is responsible for what?
If you own a house
Hightown will be responsible for shared parts of you estate - usually this just involves any communal pathways or green areas.
If you own a flat
Each property is different and it is always worth checking your own lease if you're not sure who is responsible for something. But in general, Hightown is responsible for:
- the roof
- outside walls and external decoration
- sewers and outside drains
- gutters, rainwater and soil pipes
- pathways, bin stores and drying areas
- walls and fences on the outside of the building
- communal stairways and hallways
- shared fixtures - such as lifts, aerials, fire alarms, door entry systems
- any other area or equipment that is shared on the estate
Newly built homes
A newly built home is a hand-crafted product and there are few things that are useful to bear in mind when you move in.
When you move into your new home, you will hear about the 'Defects Period'. In the first year after your home is built, the builder is responsible for fixing any repairs (NOT problems caused by wear & tear or damage).
At the end of that year, the builder will come around to inspect your home. Minor faults may only be fixed after that inspection so the builder can check that your home has fully settled.
You can report defects to our Repairs Team during the first year, and they will get in touch with the builder. For more information on defects in your new home, read our leaflet.
After the builder has repaired any defects, repairs within your property will become your responsibility.
Top 5 important things to know:
- Cracks - you will probably get 'settlement cracks' in the first year after your home is built. Often this is normal but if you notice a crack that's wider than a £1 coin, call our Repairs Team.
- Heating - your home will need to dry out over the next year. To help this, keep your heating on a low, constant temperature. 'Blasting' the heating on & off may encourage cracking or condensation.
- Vents- make sure you use any extractor fans and keep window vents open to help your home dry out.
- Decorating - please DO NOT decorate in your first year or change any fixtures or fittings (e.g. light fittings). If you make changes, the builder will not be responsible for fixing any problems. The builder may have also used a light paint designed to let moisture out and help your home dry out.
- Occupiers' Manual - you would have got an Occupiers' Manual when you signed your tenancy agreement. This booklet is written specifically for your home and is worth a read if you'e not sure about where to find things, or how something works.
Our 'My New Home' leaflet contains full information about what to expect when you move into a newly built property.
Grounds and communal areas
On some estates Hightown will be responsible for maintaining communal areas and grounds. When a developer has built a large estate and sold some of the homes privately, a managing agent is often employed to look after the whole estate.
If you're not sure if there is a managing agent on your estate, you can check with your Homeownership Officer.
Where Hightown is responsible:
We aim to redecorate internal and external communal areas every 5 years. Our Estates Team also visit our estates regularly to check for any repairs that need doing. Click here to read more about estate inspections.
We employ grounds contractors to look after any green areas on your estate. Click here to read more about grounds maintenance.
When will repairs be fixed?
When you report a repair our Repairs team will decide what priority the repair is. Our response times for repairs are linked to their priority so we can get to the most urgent problems first.
You can use MyHightown to check when repairs to communal areas will be fixed.
We have 3 different repair categories:
1. Emergency - within 24 hours
Any problem that puts the health, safety or security of our residents at risk is our first priority. Please call us on the numbers above to report an emergency repair.
Emergency repairs include:
- gas leaks
- storm damage
- loss of electricity (excluding power cuts)
- offensive or racist graffitti
2. Urgent - within 3 working days
Some examples might include:
- Partial loss of electricity
- Failure of the door entry phone
- Loose banister or handrail
- Faulty communal TV aerial
3. Routine - within 20 working days
Some examples might include:
- General joinery repairs
- Repairs to tiling
- Boundary fencing repairs
Altering your home
You may need to ask for permission before you make major changes to your home (this does not include redecorating). It's always worth double checking with your Homeownership Officer before you start any work.
We normally give permission, but need to check that:
- the work will not damage the structure of the property.
- the work will not change the external appearance of the property.
- where necessary, the local authority has approved the work.
Works costing over £250 per household
If work is going to cost more than £250 per leaseholder, we will carry out a consultation.
1. We will serve you with a Notice of Intent. You will have 30 days to comment in writing before we go out to get prices.
2. We will then serve a Notice of Estimates. You will have 30 days to comment on the prices which we will review before we make a decision.
3. All leaseholders will receive a summary of the feedback we received and our responses to the feedback.