Birmingham City Council

Repairs and improvements

The lease states who is responsible for repairing the estate, building and flat or maisonette.

Leaseholder repairs

The leaseholder is responsible for arranging repairs to their part of the building and gardens (if they own the garden)

The repairs which leaseholders are responsible for may include:

  • internal washers/main stopvalve (to your fixtures/appliances)
  • repairs to burst or leaking pipes inside the property
  • repairs or replacement to the water tank inside the property
  • repair or replacement of baths, sinks, taps, basins or WC’s
  • leaks or repairs to waste pipes, traps and fittings
  • flooring inside the flat and internal walls
  • staircases inside the property
  • decoration inside the property including the interior window frames and sills
  • glazing to the windows
  • internal doors including the front door and back door to the property, frames fittings and locks
  • repairs to fitted cupboards
  • electrics inside the property
  • individual heating systems inside the wall
  • boundaries and fences to leaseholder’s own gardens.

The council’s repairs

The council is responsible for arranging repairs if the problem affects the structure of the building or shared areas but leaseholders have to pay some of the costs involved.

The council’s repairs may include:

  • washers/main stopvalves to the block
  • repairs to burst or leaking pipes outside the property
  • clear blockage or repair leaks to the main soil stack, rain water pipes and gutters
  • joists/wall plates to flooring, damp-proof membrane or concrete floor slab
  • exterior ie roof, walls, window frames etc
  • communal staircases
  • internal and external window frames
  • glazing to communal windows
  • communal electrics
  • communal decoration
  • communal doors and entrances
  • shared service pipes.

There are two types of repair that the council must do - Day-to-Day Repairs or Major Repairs. If a leaseholder’s share of the cost of a repair is more than £250 the repair is called a Major Repair. Leaseholders may also have to pay towards improvements.

Day- to-day repairs
The leaseholder’s share of the cost of Day to Day Repairs is included in the annual service charge bill.

Major works
Costs for major works are also shown on the annual service charge bill but when the work is completed we will send you a separate invoice.

How to pay

The lease says Service Charges, including Major Works, must be paid within 28 days of receiving the bill unless leaseholders make an arrangement to pay by instalments.

The council offers leaseholders facing large Major Works bills a number of payment options. Leaseholders can get more information about the Extended Payment Scheme by contacting the Leasehold Team.

How to report repairs

Call our repairs helpline, open 24 hours each day of the week. If you call out of normal working hours, we may only be able to respond to emergencies in order to make them safe until a permanent repair can be carried out.

Permission to carry out repairs

Leaseholders do not need permission to carry out repairs to the inside of their flat or maisonette as long as they do not remove structural walls or cause damage to the outside or shared parts of the building.

If leaseholders want to remove walls or change the structure they must request permission first. Major changes to the structure, ie extensions, will require planning permission and a “Licence for Alterations”.

Permission to Replace Windows

Leaseholders must also request permission to renew or replace windows. This is because the lease says the window frames are the council’s responsibility. The council will normally give permission but the lease has to be changed first. The change to the lease is called a Deed of Variation and there is a fee for preparing it.

Vandalism

If the communal areas of your block are damaged through vandalism you should report this to your local housing team and to your local police station for a crime reference number. If it is proven that a repair was needed because of vandalism, leaseholders will not normally have to contribute towards this cost.

Contact the Leasehold Team
Postal Address Mole Street
Sparkbrook
Birmingham
B11 1XA
Email Address
Telephone Telephone Number: 0121 303 2147 / 2148
Fax Number Fax Number: 0121 464 4418