Who is responsible for what?

In general, Hightown is responsible for maintaining the shared spaces and fittings on your estate and you are responsible for maintaining your property.

Each property is different and it is always worth checking your own lease if you're not sure who is responsible. 

If you own a house

You are responsible for:

  • All repairs inside and outside of the building (including the garden)

Hightown is responsible for:

  • Shared parts of your estate that Hightown manage - usually this involves any communal pathways or green areas

If you own a flat or maisonette

You are responsible for:

  • All repairs inside the property (please check your lease regarding windows/balconies)

Hightown is responsible for:

  • The outside of the building - including the roof, gutters, communal pipes and drains
  • Communal areas of the building - including doors, lifts, fire alarms
  • Shared parts of your estate that Hightown manage - including pathways, bin stores and fences
  • Any other shared area/equipment on the estate that Hightown manage

If you're not sure about who is responsible for a repair, please contact the Home Ownership team either by emailing homeownership@hightownha.org.uk or calling 01442 292535.

How do I report a repair?

You can report a repair in the following ways:

  • Online via MyHightown
  • By emailing maintenance.services@hightownha.org.uk

Or, if the problem is urgent, please use the numbers below:

9am-5pm - weekdays  01442 292301
Out of hours 0845 160 00 77 (local rate)
or
0203 701 3525 (from a mobile phone)

FAQs

Below we have included some answers to frequently asked questions we often receive about maintenance to your home and estate.

  • 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
    • flooding
    • storm damage
    • loss of electricity (excluding power cuts)
    • offensive or racist graffiti

    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
  • Newly built homes

    A newly built home is a hand-crafted product and there are a few things that are useful to bear in mind when you move in.

    'Defects Period'

    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 and 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. Please see the 'How do I report a repair?' section above for ways to get in touch. 

    After the builder has repaired any defects, repairs within your property will become your responsibility.

    Find out more by reading the two leaflets below:

    1. For more information on defects in your new home, read our leaflet.
    2. Our 'My New Home' leaflet contains full information about what to expect when you move into a newly built property.

    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're not sure about where to find things, or how something works.
  • Grounds and communal areas

    On some estates, Hightown will be responsible for maintaining communal areas and grounds.

    Where Hightown is responsible:

    Managing agents:

    • 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, please contact the Home Ownership team, by emailing homeownership@hightownha.org.uk or calling 01442 292535.

  • Altering your home

    In most cases (besides redecorating) you will need Hightown's permission to make any major changes to your home so that we can check that the work you propose to carry out is safe and is in line with the terms of the lease or any other regulations.

    Please note that Hightown has the following fees for approving home alterations:

    • Minor works fee of £25 plus VAT
    • Major works fee of £150 plus VAT

    Please note: If you carry out alterations without permission, you may be asked to reinstate to the original specification or be charged for retrospective consent.

    If you have any queries about altering your home, please contact the Home Ownership team either by emailing homeownership@hightownha.org.uk or calling 01442 292535.

     

  • Hightown works costing over £250 per household (consultation process)

    If work is going to cost more than £250 per leaseholder, we will carry out a consultation.

    1. We will serve you with a Section 20 Notice of Intent. You will have 30 days to comment in writing before we obtain quote 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. If applicable, all leaseholders will receive a summary of the feedback we received and our responses to the feedback.

    To contact the Home Ownership team, please email homeownership@hightownha.org.uk or call 01442 292535

  • Fire safety in your home

    Visit the 'Fire Safety in your home' page by clicking here

    You'll find out:

    • How Hightown keeps you safe
    • What you can do to keep safe
    • What to do in the event of a fire
    • What to do if you can't easily evacuate
    • The importance of testing smoke alarms