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Circle housing are known for being terrible when it comes to repairs.

 

I've just moved into a new flat a couple of days ago, I found 7 faults, 2 of which I fixed myself (loose waste pipes / light starter). but the other 5, are a bit more complicated. Window very loose and doesn't close properly, leaking copper pipes (only when water is flowing), toilet doesn't stop filling up (I turn this off at the valve when not needed), outside light turns on and off, and a heater doesn't work.

 

I have reported the faults, and listed the issues, explaining that the water doesn't leak when the taps are off and I turn the toilet off with the valve. How ever I came home yesterday and found that they turned the water off for the entire flat. No notes or calls or anything. I tried to call but got the out of office hours message.

 

The trouble is, that the repairs are only done mon-fri between 9am and 5pm. The exact hours I work. I was only given the flat because I am in full time employment! I have no idea how I can ever get the faults fixed. No one can tell me when they will turn up. I literally have to take two weeks off work as they can turn up any time. Not to mention my boss is being difficult and will only let me have half a day to sort out everything.

 

I am stuck in this situation. I have no idea what to do about it.

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Hi

 

I can fully appreciate your concern with all these repairs and I would be questioning why these repairs were not carried out before you moved into the property and were they picked up on on a pre-inspection by the HA.

 

Just also checked there website: http://www.circle.org.uk/report-it/Repairs_and_maintenance/Repairs_and_maintenance_FAQs

 

Have a good read but specifically:

 

3 How to contact us

 

We will book an appointment for a skilled operative from one of our partner contractors to visit you. We will do our best to find a date and time that is convenient for you so we can resolve your problem.

 

So get onto them and explain your situation with work etc and ask them to book a specific day and time for the repairs.

 

You also need to know:

 

1. What priorities they have classed your different repairs as (i.e. Emergency - 4hrs, Urgent - 72hrs, Routine - 28 days)

 

2. Why was the Water to your property switched off without your knowledge and who authorised this. Also the HA left their service user with NO water.

 

3. You require a copy of the properties Pre-Inspection report before handed over to yourself. (you want this to see if the repairs were noted on this inspection report).


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Thanks. I have a pre-inspection report and everything was marked as "ok". I had a reply back finally and they have said they can arrange 6-8pm for special circumstances. I told them about them turning off my water and they just said "sorry".

 

I have got a day off today so will head to their offices.

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I sent an email, to which they have replied and said they have no record of the faults reported, they asked me to send them the list again.

 

I have listed the 5 faults, and now an additional 2 faults, Central heating doesn't work at all, and the radiator in the bathroom is leaking.

 

I spoke briefly to an employee who said that 4 out of 5 flats have reported issues. As well as two tenants that have similar faults.

 

I arranged for my poor mother to sit in all day Tuesday for the repairs people. This is her only full day off that she gets, so if they're not able to fix all of the faults, where do I stand in regards to withholding rent?

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They have no record of the faults isnt that very convenient to suit them.

 

Well dont accept this you have dpne the correct thing in re-reporting these faults but you should not have to do this due to their maladministration so please make it a formal complaint in writing. (remember they have to log all complaints and these are open to scrutiny by the regulator when they do an inspection or when the HA hands its annual return to the regulator).

 

Follow their complaints procedure and if you exhaust this and are still unhappy you can complain to the Housing Ombudsman. (Remember you must exhaust Circle Housing Complaint procedure before approaching the Housing Ombudsman).


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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My poor mother waited in all this morning on her only full day off in the week (she does shift work), and surprise surprise, no one turns up. Just got off the phone with them, and again they told me there was no record of the repairs being raised. The guy I spoke to did go out of his way to find out, but said no one logged anything. He said he will send me an email with the repair reference number, and also said the contractors will call me back.

 

I'm making a complaint now.

 

Can I withhold rent without them being able to kick me out? Seems that they have very little interest in helping me actually live in the property.

 

Oh, and another fault, no hot water from the bath tap. Spoke to the person downstairs that also has no heating and hot water from the tap.

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By withholding rent you will be in arrears and could face court action for it, this is not advisable, list the repairs in a letter send it recorded delivery then start with a formal complaint, get a resolution letter then escalate this to official complaint get a resolution letter then fast track to the Housing ombudsman. A landlord must repair a water system as urgent and certainly a heating repair is a emergency repair.

 

 

When reporting a repair always ask for the works reference number and the name date and time of the person you spoke to, if you have a smart phone download the app to record the call. See the information from CAG regarding recording calls...


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Please Please DO NOT withhold your Rent under any circumstances as you will be in Breach of your Tenancy Agreement which will weaken your position and as pointed out could face court action.

 

Get that Formal Complaint in to them and see what they have to say.


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Thanks, I won't withhold rent. I thought you could if they didn't fix the issues as I was told this previously when I was private renting a maisonette. (Although I can't remember now where I heard this from).

 

I sent a complaint using their online form, Had a missed call from them and then an email to say someone from the repairs team will be in contact with me. If I don't hear anything back, then I will submit the complaint in writing.

 

Unsurprisingly the person I spoke to yesterday that said I will receive confirmation of the repairs I logged via email, never actually sent the email.

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They came today for inspection. Couldn't fix any issues even though he apparently was a bit of a know it all, especially when it came to the central heating, acted as if we didn't know how to use it, then 30 minutes later, couldn't get it to heat up. Turns out the whole building has the same issue as it's due to the water pressure. Plumber booked for Tuesday PM.

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At least they came out but with attitude, still keep your complaint in and anyone you talk to get their full name and job title (i.e. housing officer, caretaker, etc).

 

Also check their website or ask them for a copy of their 'Customer Care Standards' and just ask yourself are they doing that and if not add it to your complaint.


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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