Picture of Wolverhampton Homes asbestos removal team

What is Asbestos

Asbestos is a natural material which was commonly used in buildings between the 1950s and 1980s. Almost all buildings built or altered during this period are likely to contain asbestos. Products containing asbestos can look the same as those that do not. Often the difference can only be found under a microscope by a specialist laboratory.

Inhaling Asbestos Fibres Can Cause serious Illness – Are You at Risk?

You will not be at risk if products containing asbestos are undisturbed, undamaged and in good condition. DIY activities such as drilling or sanding may release asbestos fibres.

So that you do not put yourself at risk, please contact us and we will arrange for one of our Technical Officers to discuss your concerns or visit your home.

Where You May Find Asbestos in Your Home

It is not always easy to tell whether a product contains asbestos as modern asbestos - free materials often look similar. The following list gives examples of where asbestos containing materials may be found in your home. 

Inside your home

  • Textured wall and ceiling coatings (e.g. Artex)
  • Floor tiles
  • Bath Panels
  • Boiler flue pipes and pipe lagging
  • Duct and infill panels
  • Underside of stairs
  • Storage heaters
  • Panels behind radiators
  • Fireplace panels

Outside your home

  • Roof sheets and tiles
  • Fascia boards
  • Soffit boards
  • Cladding
  • Guttering
  • Drainpipes
  • Flue pipes
  • Garage/outhouse roof sheets

CAUTION: All these items could contain asbestos and need professional treatment. If you are in any doubt – DO NOT DISTURB IT – contact us

How Wolverhampton Homes deals with Asbestos

We hold a register of homes where asbestos has been found or is believed to exist and is continually updated and consulted before works are carried out. This register will help us let tenants, contractors and people who work in or visit our homes know where there is asbestos.

We have a specialist team to deal with asbestos. They are available for you to discuss any concerns you have on Asbestos or suspected Asbestos. Contact the asbestos team.

Asbestos Report Request

Tenants are able to request information about where asbestos is in their home. This information comes as a report. It is continually updated as repairs are carried out and we learn more about each property. Remember, asbestos is not dangerous if it is undisturbed, undamaged and in good condition.

To request your Asbestos report please fill in our Asbestos Report Request form.

Asbestos Booklet .pdf

When we have bad weather, we often receive a lot of calls reporting problems so it may take you a while to get through to us. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to stay safe and warm. 

Keeping you and your home safe is really important to us. That’s why, every five years, we need to carry out an electrical safety check in your home.

Keeping you and your home safe is really important to us. That’s why, every year, we carry out a gas service safety check on all the gas appliances which we own.

You will be charged for repairs or clearance work carried out by us to your home, if you are responsible for them.

Your tenancy agreement states that you must keep your home clean, tidy and in a good state of repair. If you damage your home or its fittings, we will charge you the cost of repairing it. If you leave your home, garden or garage in a state of disrepair or leave behind any belongings or rubbish, we will carry out the work required and charge you for it. If a repair is misreported to get a quicker response – for example, a pipe leak that can be contained is reported as severe – you may be recharged for part of the repair cost.

Example of Recharge Repairs

  • Removing and disposing of items left by the outgoing tenant, e.g. furniture, white goods, personal belongings, floor coverings the tenant has fitted, rubbish etc
  • Removing/replacing items following unauthorised alterations by the tenant, e.g. removal of electrical dimmer switches/ceiling fans, replacement of walls etc
  • Gaining access and changing locks as a result of lost or stolen keys where the work is necessary for health & safety or security reasons, and the tenant is unable to provide a crime reference number. (If the work is undertaken for health and safety or security reasons the work will be carried out as an emergency repair and the tenant charged.)
  • Carrying out repairs that are your responsibility (see section 36 of the tenancy agreement), we will let you know if a repair is your responsibility before we book it.

How much will I be charged?

The charge is determined by the repair cost (or on a quotation from external contractors), plus a £15 administration charge. A minimum of 50% of the fee must be paid before the repair can be carried out. This can be paid online.

Legal Action

If necessary, legal action will be taken to recover recharge repairs debts. You will be warned before any legal action is taken. This will involve an application to the County Court for a County Court Money Judgement. This will affect your credit rating and your ability to take out loans and enter into hire purchase agreements.

Your ability to transfer or exchange to alternative accommodation may also be affected by identified recharge repairs and/or outstanding recharge repairs debts. You may not be able to complete on the purchase of your home, under your 'Right to Buy', until all housing debts have been cleared.

How can I avoid a recharge for repairs work?

  • Keep your property in a good state of repair
  • Know your responsibilities as explained in the tenancy agreement
  • Ask for written permission from your Tenancy Officer before making any alterations
  • Clean and clear your home, garage or garden before leaving

For further information please download our leaflet:

Recharge_Repairs.pdf

 

If you're one of our tenants, then we carry out most repairs to your home.

You need to report repairs to us straightaway, especially if it involves blocked drains, leaks from pipes or any structural problems. 

You need to tell us about any repairs that are our responsibility straight away.

If a repair is an emergency please contact us by phone or webchat straight away, do not report it online.

You can book most non-emergency repairs online and choose your appointment slot. If you book online you'll be offered the first available appointment - usually within one or two days, if that's not convenient you can choose another one. (Major repairs including slabbing, plastering and brickwork can take up to 90 calendar days.)

Emergency repairs

Emergencies will be responded to within 2, 6 or 24 hours depending on the nature of the problem. These can include:

  • Gas leaks - if you suspect you have a gas leak you should report it immediately to the National Grid emergency 24 hour hotline, Freephone 0800 111 999.
  • Burst pipes, leaking water from pipes, tanks or cisterns - if the leak cannot be contained
  • Total loss of electric power (call 105 first to check if there's a power cut)
  • Unsafe power, lighting, sockets or electrical fittings
  • Blocked or leaking foul drains, soil stacks or (where there is no other working toilet in property) toilet pans
  • Toilets not flushing (where no other working toilet is in the property)
  • Insecure external windows, doors or locks
  • Total or partial loss of the gas supply
  • Blocked flues to an open fire or boiler
  • Total or partial loss of heating or water heating, between 31st October and 1st May.

Repairs which are your responsibility

There are some repairs which are your responsibility, these are listed in your tenancy agreement and include replacing:

  • Standard domestic bulbs and light fitting starters.
  • Electrical fuses and resetting of master circuit boards (fuse boards) and trip switches (fuses).
  • Plugs and chains to waste pipes in sinks or baths.
  • Shower hoses, shower heads, shower curtains and rails.
  • Toilet seats.
  • Clothes lines.

Please check your tenancy agreement for the full list. 

Fencing

If you ask for a repair to rear fencing, we will only replace complete sections of fence if they meet the following criteria:
 
Fencing which:
  • backs on to open land;
  • borders an alleyway;
  • backs onto a garage site/car park;
  • borders a canal or railway embankment;
  • surrounds communal areas to all flats;
  • constitutes a health and safety risk i.e. risk of falling due to a sheer drop;
  • is next to a main highway ‘A’ road;
  • or is needed to help resolve issues of anti-social behaviour (if supported by our ASB team). 

In special circumstances, we will sometimes replace front or rear fencing even if it doesn't meet the above criteria - each case is judged on its own merits. 

Where fencing is replaced, the cost of the work will be levied against the property in the form of a weekly charge added to the rent, subject to it meeting the charging criteria. 

If your fencing does not meet this criteria and doesn't qualify for immediate replacement, it may be replaced as part of the fencing programme.

Your Right to Repair

The Right to Repair is a national scheme for council tenants. It makes sure that certain small urgent repairs which might affect your health, safety or security, are done quickly and easily. We are required by law to carry these out within a certain time. If we don't complete it in time, you can ask us to hire another contractor to do the work. If the second contractor doesn’t do the work in time, we will pay you compensation.

Only certain types of issues are covered under the Right to Repair scheme. These are called qualifying repairs. They include insecure windows and doors, unsafe power sockets or electrical fittings, leaking roofs and broken entry phone systems.

To find out more please visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website.

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