Work content of cyclical maintenance schemes

The following guidance has been adapted from the NIHE Housing & Regeneration, Design Standards documents – External Cyclical Maintenance. [NB: The Work Content information contained in this guidance is not exhaustive]


The main objectives of cyclical maintenance are to:

  • maintain the internal fabric and fixtures of the dwelling in a cost effective manner
  • protect the Association’s built asset by maintaining the fabric of the dwellings
  • identify and rectify health and safety risks
  • maintain an acceptable appearance of Association dwellings
  • maintain all grounds and external areas that are the responsibility of the Association to a satisfactory standard

General principles

Works are essentially of a preventative and restorative nature designed to ensure that the various elements remain fit for purpose, attain optimum life span and require minimum expenditure until the next cycle.  Work should be carried out at appropriate intervals, following a thorough technical survey and appraisal of its condition.

Repair of existing elements is preferable to replacement, where this is consistent with Cyclical Maintenance aims and also Value for Money considerations.  An item should not be repaired if it patently requires replacement.

Where standards can only be achieved through replacement, the materials must comply with standard specification and, as a minimum, all designs must meet the requirements as set out in the Development Guide, where practicable.

For more information see Design Standards


  • include general minor repairs to roofs, porches, chimneys, fascias, barges, soffits and rainwater goods
  • roof cleaning is to be included when severe vegetation growth is present
  • repair existing canopies or porches but exclude major replacement or new provision
  • eaves felt replacement should be included where necessary;
  • major Replacement/ Recovering of roofs should be addressed through other programmed work categories
  • where not already in place, provide roofspace ventilation. 

External walls

  • include general minor repairs and redecoration (external rendered walls may not require redecoration at every cycle)
  • defective panels under windows should be built up in masonry, where possible
  • exclude full storey height panel replacement
  • exclude replacement of timber porches
  • exclude painting to dry dash, other than in exceptional cases of dash failure, when the options for addressing the problem should be assessed, taking into account VFM


Include general repairs, resealing and servicing of windows, frames and ironmongery.  Servicing should be in accordance with the current Code of Practice. 

External doors

Include general repairs, servicing and decoration of doors, frames and ironmongery. 

Oil and gas boilers

Servicing of boilers on an annual basis by an appropriately registered operative in line with the Associations Oil and Gas management policies. 

Solid fuel heating systems

Servicing of solid fuel heating systems on an annual basis, carried out in accordance with relevant health and safety regulations. 

Lift inspection

Inspection and servicing of lifts in accordance with current legislation. 

Fire equipment (where appropriate)

  • carry out a fire risk assessment
  • test fire alarms and emergency lighting on an annual basis in accordance with British Standards
  • inspect/ test/ service fire fighting equipment on an annual basis in accordance with British Standards
  • servicing of hard-wired smoke/ heat alarms in accordance with British Standards

Communal areas

  • include general repairs, maintenance and redecoration;
  • health and safety issues should be identified - minor issues should be addressed under either response maintenance or cyclical maintenance schemes.  More extensive works should be considered under health and safety/planned maintenance schemes
  • Major improvements including privatisation of entrances/staircases/gardens etc should not be considered under cyclical maintenance 

Grounds maintenance

  • cut grass including litter picking, edge trimming, mowing around obstacles as required
  • provide grounds maintenance to shrub beds as required
  • provide an arboricultural service where large trees are creating health and safety hazards or causing actual or potential damage to property, drains or services (this service should not be provided for purely aesthetic reasons)
  • apply selective herbicide to kill weeds to communal paths and paved areas on an annual basis 


Include redecoration to previously decorated surfaces. 

External works

Include minor repairs/ maintenance eg cleaning of gutters. 

Legionella control

Carry out testing and recording in accordance with the current Approved Code of Practice & Guidance – The control of Legionella in water systems L8 

Electrical testing

Carry out complete check of system and maintain service records

  • residential accommodation eg shared dwelling, HMO etc: every five years
  • domestic accommodation: every 10 years 

Portable appliance testing

To be tested annually (where appropriate) 


  • full cyclical maintenance work should only be included to void dwellings where they are planned for occupation in the near future - other reinstatement works to voids should not be included
  • other than where explicitly referred to in this document, exclude internal replacement/ repair work
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