Looking after your council property is the responsibility of both you, the tenant, and Portsmouth City Council, the landlord.
Discover here which parts of your home are your responsibility and which the council’s, how to let us know something needs repair, as well as more information about what to do if you want to make improvements to a council property.
For further information, contact us at Housing to find your local area office.
Which parts of a council property is the council responsible for?
Portsmouth City Council is responsible for maintaining the structure of your home and the installations in your home.
The structure includes, for example:
- outside – roof, chimney, foundations, drains, gutters, pipes, and external walls, doors & window frames
- inside – walls, floors, ceilings, doors and door frames
We are not responsible for repairs needed because of misuse, damage or neglect by you or any member of your household, any visitors or pets.
The installations in your home include, for example:
- water pipes and tanks
- electrical installations including wiring, sockets and light fittings
- gas installations including all pipework
- heating installations including appliances, boilers and radiators
- kitchen units, sinks and worktops
- bathroom installations including wash hand basins, baths and toilets.
We are not responsible for repairs to any installations fitted without our written consent.
The council is also responsible for communal areas:
- outside – gardens and pathways
- inside – staircases, corridors and lifts
Which parts of a council property is the tenant responsible for?
As a council tenant or leaseholder, your responsibilities include the inside of your home, any attached structures and any private garden or yard.
Maintenance of your home
Your responsibility to help us maintain your home is:
- To report repairs to your area housing office as soon as possible.
- To keep your home clean, tidy and in reasonable condition. This includes good decorative order. If you have been given a decoration allowance it must be used for the purpose of carrying out decorations.
- To allow Portsmouth City Council or our contractors access into your home to inspect or carry out repairs such as the annual inspection and service of gas supplies and any gas appliances installed. We’ll give you 48 hours written notice. If a repair needs to be carried out immediately because of a risk of personal injury or damage to the property, we reserve the right to enter without giving you notice.
Alterations to your home
You must have the prior written agreement from us before you carry out alterations to your home. We will not withhold agreement without good reason. Alterations that require prior written agreement may include:
- structural alterations to walls or doorways
- erecting sheds, garages or forming hard standings
- decorating the outside of your home
- removing trees or hedges
- erecting TV, satellite or CB aerials
- installing kitchens or bathroom suites
You are responsible for the reinstatement of any unauthorised or unsafe alterations that you have made.
How to report a repair needed to your council property
During office hours 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8:30am to 4pm Friday contact your local area housing office to report a repair to your property or its communal areas. Contact the out of hours team at all other times on 023 9282 4244.
When reporting a repair it will help if you have the following information to hand:
- your address, including your postcode
- your preferred contact phone number (can be a mobile if you have one)
- when it is best to contact you and when not to phone, such as during the school run
- a brief description of what needs repairing and whether the repair relates to something you have already notified us about
- a date and time that you would prefer the repair to be carried out as we aim to carry out repairs when it’s convenient for you
You must let us, or our contractors, into your home to diagnose and carry out repairs if we give you a reasonable notice period. This includes inspecting and servicing the gas supply and any gas appliances, which must happen once a year by law.
If a repair must be carried out immediately because of a risk of personal injury, damage to our property or others’ property, we reserve the right to enter without giving you notice.
It is usual for a leaseholder to contribute a share of any repair costs that relate to the structure of the building, including windows and external doors.
Alternatively, you can request a repair to your housing property online.
When we carry out improvements to your home
Portsmouth City Council is responsible for maintaining and improving all housing properties. We continually assess their condition and have a schedule of maintenance programmes, such as replacing windows on groups of properties.
For information about planned maintenance schemes in your area, contact the property manager at your area office.
We will discuss with you any major changes or issues that affect your home, If we carry out major work to your home, we always try to arrange it so you can stay there while the work is being done. Very occasionally, though, we may to do some work which means you have to move to temporary accommodation (as it’s our property we have the right to do this).
We will do our utmost to arrange temporary accommodation which suits your needs, and will try to offer similar property in an area of your choice. Where choices are limited, we will make a reasonable offer based on what’s available. Whatever happens, you will not be charged any additional rent on top of what you were paying, and you might be entitled to a disturbance allowance.
Once a repair is completed and after any planned maintenance is done, we will ask for your feedback. The contractor or a council representative should invite you to score the service you received, and ask for any improvement suggestions.
If you want to make alterations to your council property
As time moves on, you may wish to make changes to your home, for example altering the layout of your living space. Generally, the council is quite happy to approve any home improvement work that you plan to do.
However, some work needs planning permission or building control approval. So, to make sure you don’t do anything we’d object to, you must first contact us to get written approval before you start.
Here are some examples of home improvements you must contact us about in advance:
- altering windows, doors or doorways
- fitting a satellite dish, CB or TV aerial
- installing central heating, a new kitchen or bathroom suite
- dividing rooms
- removing internal walls or chimney breasts
- decorating the outside of your home
- building an extension
- erecting a garage or car port, or laying a hard standing
- erecting a garden shed or greenhouse
- removing trees or hedges
If inappropriate or unsafe work is carried out without our approval, we can force you to reverse it – so it makes sense to be sure about what you are doing before you start.