An Association will carry out necessary work and raise a recoverable charge against the tenant if the tenant is found to be responsible for the disrepair. (This guidance has been adapted from the NIHE Response Maintenance Manual)
Under the General Conditions of Tenancy all tenants have an obligation to maintain the dwelling in a clean and tidy condition, to make good any damage to the dwelling willfully or negligently caused by the tenant or other persons lawfully living in or lawfully visiting the dwelling and to maintain or keep in repair anything which is a tenancy responsibility.
This is sample guidance and Associations are at liberty to use it at their discretion.
When a tenant vacates a dwelling recoverable repair charges may arise in the following circumstances:
- where an item has failed to reach the end of its expected life and there is evidence of abuse or negligence on the part of the tenant or others - the Association will have the right to repair or replace the item and raise a recoverable charge against the tenant.
- where the dwelling and external areas provided for the use of the tenant and household have not been left in a clean and tidy condition and the Association is required to pay a contractor to clear out and/or clean the dwelling
- where the tenant has made alterations to the dwelling without the prior agreement of the Association and the Association is required to bring the fixtures/fittings to the required standard or restore the dwelling to its original condition
Where the tenant is unwilling or unable to restore the dwelling to an acceptable standard, the Association will carry out necessary work and raise a recoverable charge against the tenant.
Minimum expected life
The Association will permit the replacement of certain items within the dwelling without charge to the tenant when the minimum expected life of those items has been reached and where they are defective and require replacement or repair.
Where items fail to reach their minimum expected life due to what is described as 'fair wear and tear', the Association can take the decision to replace without charge to the tenant.
Indicative examples of minimum expected life
|Item||Minimum life expectancy|
|Baths, wash hand basins, WC bowls||25 years|
|Sink units and sinks||20 years|
|Kitchen units||15 years|
|Medicine cupboard||15 years|
|Fences and gates||10 years|
|Fuel bunker (concrete)||15 years|
|Fuel bunker (glass reinforced plastic)||10 years|
|Internal doors||15 years|
|External doors||10 years|
|Radiant wall heaters||10 years|
Where items fail to reach their expected minimum life due to tenant neglect or abuse and the Association decides to replace or repair on the grounds of health or security or to prevent personal injury, the tenant will be required to make a contribution relative to the portion of the item’s remaining useful life.
Scale of tenant contribution
The contribution to be paid by a tenant in respect of the remaining useful life of any item can be calculated using a simple formula. This is illustrated in the example detailed below.
An item with an expected minimum life of 20 years needs to be replaced after 15 years due to tenant neglect or abuse.
The recoverable charge is:
Expected minimum life = 20 years
Age at replacement = 15 years
Difference = 5 years
% useful life remaining
5 x 100 = 25%
Cost of replacement = £200
Tenant contribution = £50
Where it is not possible or practicable for the Association to determine the minimum expected life of an item, necessitating repair or replacement due to tenant neglect or abuse, the full replacement/repair charge may be raised as a recoverable charge against the tenant.
In cases where the tenant is elderly or is a person with disabilities, the Association can use its discretion in raising a recoverable charge against that tenant is cases where the problem relates to tenant neglect or abuse.
When calculating the recoverable charge of items the Association should apply reasonable costs.