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FAQ Empty Property Repairs

What do you mean by ‘empty property repairs’?
When a property is vacated by a tenant, it may require work to bring it back up to standard for a new occupant. We work with our repairs contractors to make sure that necessary repairs are carried out before you move in so that your home will be clean, safe and fit to live in.

Please note: If you have a question about repairs that need to be carried out to council property that you are currently living in, please see our General Repairs FAQs.

These Frequently Asked Questions describe how we manage repairs to these empty properties.

I am viewing an empty property and I am worried that it will need a lot of work that I can’t afford. How will I know what repairs will be carried out on the property before I move in?
How can I be sure the property will be clean before I move in?
I have an electric cooker but there is only a gas cooker point in the property. Will you provide an electric cooker point?
Will the property be decorated before I move in?
The garden is very overgrown. Will the garden be cut back for me when I move in?
How do I request or arrange further repairs once I have moved in?
Can I become more involved in helping to monitor the empty property repairs service?
How else can I share my views on the empty property repairs service?
Who do I ask if I have any more questions about empty property repairs?


I am viewing an empty property and I am worried that it will need a lot of work that I can’t afford. How will I know what repairs will be carried out on the property before I move in?
We will arrange for and pay for necessary work to make our empty properties suitable for use, up to our Empty Property Repair Standard.

Before you view the property, we will give you a leaflet explaining the level of repairs that are covered under Empty Property Repair Standard. You can expect work to be carried out to ensure that you have cooking facilities, bathroom facilities, gas, electric, heating, hot water, doors that are good working order and windows that are watertight.


How can I be sure the property will be clean before I move in?
As part of our Empty Property Repair Standard, we will ensure that floors, cupboards and wash surfaces are clean. There should also be air fresheners in the kitchen, bathroom and living areas.

I have an electric cooker but there is only a gas cooker point in the property. Will you provide an electric cooker point?
When you move into your property, we guarantee there will be a gas or electric cooker point in the kitchen. If the property already has a gas cooker point, we cannot fit an electric cooker point for you. The viewing officer will advise you of the cooker point facilities available when you are shown the property.

Will the property be decorated before I move in?
No – it is your responsibility to redecorate your new home as you wish. Decoration is not part of the Birmingham Empty Property Repair Standard.

The garden is very overgrown. Will the garden be cut back for me when I move in?
Before you move in, we will remove all rubbish from the garden and fill in any former garden ponds. If the garden is severely overgrown we may arrange to have it cut back, but otherwise garden maintenance will be your responsibility.

How do I request or arrange further repairs once I have moved in?
We have two repairs partners who carry out repairs for tenants in different areas of the city:

Mears Group plc covers the Hodge Hill and Yardley districts.

Willmott Dixon Partnership covers the Sutton Coldfield, Erdington, Perry Barr, Ladywood, Hall Green, Selly Oak, Northfield and Edgbaston districts.

If you require a repair, you should telephone the contact centre on 0800 073 3333.

There are also a number of repairs that tenants are responsible for themselves. These are outlined in our General Repairs FAQs.

If you are unsure who is responsible for the repairs you require, please refer to your Conditions of Tenancy for more information, or contact your local housing team.


Can I become more involved in helping to monitor the empty property repairs service?
Yes you can – we are always looking for council tenants and leaseholders to join us as tenant inspectors to help us to monitor repairs to our empty properties.

If you would like to find out more about this role and other ways you can get involved, such as through Housing Liaison Boards, please telephone your local team on one of the numbers listed below.

Erdington, Perry Barr and Sutton Coldfield: 0121 303 7062
Ladywood: 0121 675 1394
Hodge Hill and Yardley: 0121 303 1561
Hall Green and Selly Oak: 0121 303 7554
Northfield and Edgbaston: 0121 464 5606

How else can I share my views on the empty property repairs service?
You can record your views on your New Tenants Survey form and return it to us in the prepaid envelope or email your comments to HOUVOIDPOLICY@Birmingham.gov.uk.

Who do I ask if I have any more questions about empty property repairs?
Please telephone your local team on one of the numbers listed below.

Erdington, Perry Barr and Sutton Coldfield: 0121 303 7062
Ladywood: 0121 675 1394
Hodge Hill and Yardley: 0121 303 1561
Hall Green and Selly Oak: 0121 303 7554
Northfield and Edgbaston: 0121 464 5606