Recharges

This page provides information about the potential recharges you may be responsible for during your tenancy.

On this page:

What could I be charged for?

Out of Hours Emergency Service ( Monday- Friday 4pm-8am, or anytime on Saturday or Sunday)

We will charge you a call out fee of £155.62 including VAT (this charge is reviewed annually) if you use the Out of Hours Emergency Service when:

  • the problem is not a genuine emergency where there is a serious risk to people or the property if action is not taken immediately, this is the case even when the repair is our responsibility if it is not an emergency – check what we consider to be an emergency repair before using this service
  • the problem is a genuine emergency but is not the the council’s repair responsibility

Please note: during an out of hours call out we do not carry out repairs to your property, we just make sure that it is safe and secure, any required repairs will then be carried out in line with the normal repairs timescale.

Regaining entry to your home

If you ask us to help you regain entry to your home because you locked yourself out, or your keys have been lost or stolen, we will charge you for the cost of our time and the new locks if we replace them. You will need to agree to pay a 15% deposit in advance and agree to pay the full cost charged to you before we will carry out the work. We do NOT provide help to regain entry to your home out of hours.

Work that is your responsibility

Your Tenancy Agreement sets out responsibility for repairs. If we have to carry out work that is your responsibility, we will recharge our costs to you. These include us carrying out minor repairs that are your responsibility, work on your garden because you have failed to maintain it, clearing a blockage you have caused and any additional damage that needs to be repaired because of flooding from this. If you make any alterations to your home and we have to carry out work to put them right, we will also recharge you for this.

Antisocial behaviour

You will have to pay for the cost of removing graffiti, putting right wilful damage and removing fly tipping in your neighbourhood where we can show that you or a member of your household is responsible.

Damage caused by a police raid

If the police have forced entry into your property you will be liable for any costs we incur to repair the damage. This may include replacing doors and repairing door frames. The police have no liability to pay these costs if the have obtained a warrant, regardless of who it was for.

Damage caused by a third party

The council is not responsible for repairing damage caused by a third party. If damage is caused by a third party during a crime, you should report this to the police as you may be able to claim the repair costs back through the court if charges are brought against the perpetrator.

Legal and administration costs

If we have to take legal action against you for breach of tenancy, for example you do not pay your rent or cause distress to the people in your community, we will recharge our court and administration costs to you.

If we identify rechargeable work needed in your home

If during a routine visit to your home we identify repairs that are your responsibility, we will give you written confirmation of the work that is needed and an estimate for our costs. Unless the work is urgent you will be given the chance to arrange for the work to be carried out, this must be completed to a high standard and within an agreed time period. If the work is urgent, or you do not do it to an acceptable standard or within an acceptable time period, we will carry it out and recharge you.

Asking us to carry out work that you have to pay for

If you report a repair and it is clear from the information you provide that the repair is your responsibility, we will give you an estimate of the cost and ask you to pay a minimum 15% deposit- we will not start the work until you have paid the deposit.

Once the work is finished, we will send you a bill for the actual cost of the work (this may be more or less than the estimate) minus the deposit already paid by you. You must pay this bill 14 days.

If you cannot afford to pay the amount in full you MUST contact us on 0118 937 2369 or email sundryaccounts@reading.gov.uk before the 14 days is up so we can make arrangements for you to pay in instalments.

If you report a repair that you think is our responsibility we may arrange for a tradesperson to visit your home. If they then find that the damage is not the result of reasonable wear and tear we will do the work and recharge our costs to you.

Additional tenant repair requests

We will only carry out additional rechargeable repairs if:

  • you have paid for any previous chargeable repairs in full or
  • you are sticking to a repayment plan to pay off your previous chargeable repairs and you have paid back at least 50% of the total plus a minimum 15% deposit towards the new repair costs

If you haven’t paid you will have to find your own tradesperson and pay them to carry out the work you need (for example a locksmith if you lock yourself out).

How we recharge our costs to you

We will send you a bill for the money you owe. If you do not understand the charges, do not agree with the amount we have charged or do not believe that the work carried out is your responsibility, you must contact us within 14 days to discuss the situation.

If you cannot afford to pay:

Please contact us as soon as possible and we will work with you to agree an affordable, realistic repayment plan.

If you do not pay:

If you do not contact us or stick to an agreement to pay off your debt we will get a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you which will be enforced using a Court Bailiff, seizing goods, taking money from your wages or freezing your bank account.

While your debt is outstanding:

we will not carry out any non-essential repairs to your home and you will not be able to exchange your home or transfer to another home and you will only be given the lowest priority for rehousing on the Homechoice Register.

How to avoid recharges

Often tenants are shocked when they receive a bill for recharged work. You can avoid these costs by:

  • only using the out of hours emergency repairs service for genuine emergencies
  • leaving a spare key with someone you trust in case you lock yourself out
  • taking good care of your home and arranging any repairs that are your responsibility
  • reporting repairs that are the council’s responsibility as soon as possible and before the problem gets worse
  • keeping your grass cut and hedges trimmed back to an acceptable standard
  • not making alterations to your home without the necessary permissions
  • making sure you clean out your property when you move out
  • sticking to the terms and conditions of your Tenancy Agreement

You may wish to consider taking out a home contents insurance policy which will allow you to claim back against some recharge cost as well as protect the contents of your home (this is not covered as part of your tenancy agreement).

Cost of common recharges

The list below outlines the costs associated with some of the most common recharges during a tenancy. Please note these costs are subject to change.

DescriptionCost
Gas service appointment forced entry (cost of our time and new lock)£103.65
Gas service appointment£46.72
Lock change£73.91
Gain entry£62.18
Unblock sink£32.99
Unblock shower£32.99
Unblock toilet£32.99
Unblock bath£32.99
Make door safe£93.58
Mixer tap (hot and cold water come from the same spout)£116.10
Single tap£51.53
Last updated on 14/06/2024