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					    VOID STANDARDS

Incorporating Supported and
   Sheltered Housing
                                       INTRODUCTION

The purpose of the following procedure guide is to standardise the condition prior to re-let that
is achieved throughout Moat with the objective of reducing the void period to a minimum.

The standard recognises current legislation; minimum standards as set by the Housing
Corporation and includes areas of concern raised by tenant’s representatives.

It is recognised that in order to re-let a difficult property it may be necessary to raise the
standard on specific property elements, for example to give an increased level of security.
However this is to be the exception to the rule and the minimum set standard should not be
departed from without appropriate justification.

This guide also identifies that when a void in a Supported or Sheltered dwelling arises, extra
consideration may need to taken when instructing works to be carried out to provide a
property suitable to the incoming tenants needs.

                                 EXTERNAL SITE DEFECTS

The condition of external site and any potential Health and Safety problems should be
addressed. Any hazards should be made safe by removal or protection as appropriate.
Security of the site should also be brought up to an acceptable standard.

Site Clearance

Remove all identified discarded furniture, builders’ rubble, general debris, garden rubbish,
including items in lofts and external stores.

Ponds

Humanely dispose of livestock, drain and infill with hardcore. Turf / pave as necessary and
appropriate.

Trees

If the height of a tree is greater than distance from property allow for topping or pruning,
where possible arrange for removal of trees for curtiledge of property. Obtain advice from
Property Services if a regular tree management programme is required. This work may be
carried out after re-letting.

Garden

Cut back shrubs from pathways, entrance doors and gates to provide easy access, remove all
wall or climbing growth.

Sheds/Outhouses

Existing sheds and outhouses should be removed if in poor condition. Do not replace unless a
requirement under planning.

In case of Moat installed sheds and outhouses, replace like for like as required. (Special
consideration should be given to this in case of self contained supported properties)

Conservatory
Conservatories should be removed other than in exceptional circumstances. Only consider
leaving in situ where it is in excellent condition with glazing meeting current standards and
can be gifted to the incoming tenant.

Greenhouses

Remove all green house or glass house constructions from site.

Fences

Replace only if in very poor condition and presenting a Health & Safety risk.

To be 900mm high close boarded at front of property; chain link at rear of property with 1 No.
privacy panel to each adjacent side to rear property or to be in keeping with surrounding
environment.

Different Heights - If a sudden change in height (600mm or more over a 45o+ gradient)
could result in a Health and Safety hazard then generally height should be reduced, sloped or
be protected with a 900mm round top palisade fence.

Pathway/Steps/ Ramps

Any cracks that are uneven and present a trip hazard to be cut out, otherwise minor cracking
to remain. Any replacements must comply with current Building Regulations.

Patios

Remove patios unless in excellent condition and gift to incoming tenant. Consider cost
implications for future maintenance, check for any DPC breach and ensure a minimum
clearance of 150mm below DPC. Remove or repair any trip hazards.

                                       ROOF DEFECTS

Roof should be visually inspected from ground floor level for signs of deterioration. Property
should be left weather-tight with all cracked, slipped or missing tiles repaired and replaced.
Repairs that do not constitute a health & safety risk and/or do not require immediate attention
can be carried out after re-letting.

Tiles

Repair or replace cracked, slipped or missing roof tiles or slates.

Flat Roof

If there is evidence of leaking, patch repair prior to re-let. Permanent repair to be undertaken
once occupied.

Pointing

Check mortar pointing. Replace cracked cement fillets with code 4 lead flashings.




                                   RAINWATER DISPOSAL
Rainwater goods should be visually inspected from ground level for evidence of broken
fixings, leaks, distortion and blockages.

Rainwater Goods

Remove vegetation from gutters. Allow for cleaning out as necessary. Check for blocked
gullies. Allow for cleaning out as necessary. Replace all missing gully gratings.

                          ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL SERVICES
Heating

As a minimum, all properties must have an adequate form of heating in at least one main
living area, normally the living room.

In case of sheltered housing further provision should be made for appropriate heating to the
main bedroom and the hallway.

Re-commission all service installations and leave in full working order.
Remove all secondary forms of installed gas fires.
Infill chimney & provide vent.
Check radiator fixing brackets are securely fitted.
Supply electrical power point adjacent to chimney breast.
(This is to be supplied for power use in an emergency situation)

In the case of a Gas Central Heating installation a full gas safety check should be undertaken
by a Corgi registered engineer and a detailed report on the full system will be provided by the
contractor on completion (CP6/CP12). This must be supplied prior to hand over.

If the boiler service certificate is invalid, out of date or due within the forthcoming month, then
a full service is to be instructed to the heating engineer whilst void. Copy of gas servicing
certificate to be supplied to incoming resident upon re-let of dwelling.

In supported schemes, thermostatic cut-out valves set to 43 degrees should be present.

Electrics

An electrical safety check shall be carried out to the whole system with all necessary remedial
works undertaken in order to bring the system up to an acceptable and safe level. The
contractor upon completion shall provide a detailed report on the full system.

Where required in supported and sheltered schemes, portable appliance testing shall be
carried out on all appliances deemed to be supplied. Particular reference should be made to
washing machines, fridges, freezers and cookers.

No upgrading of the electrical system is to be carried out as part of the void works.




                           DAMP & CONDENSATION PROBLEMS
Evidence of damp or severe condensation should be referred to Property Services for advice
in the first instance.

          EXTERNAL WALL DEFECTS / DAMP / CONDENSATION PROBLEMS

Severe problems should be attacked whilst property is void. Remedial works should include
such action as lagging and boxing in cold water supplies and providing humidistat controlled
extract fans to kitchen and bathroom.

Potential problems of damp penetration should be eliminated by removing debris bridging
damp proof courses and freeing air bricks.



Damp Proof Course's

Reduce levels of paths, flowerbeds, & remove shrubs etc. to 150mm (2 bricks) below damp
proof course and to around air bricks.

Render

Allow for cutting out and replacing areas of badly cracked and spalling render as necessary.

                                   DOOR AND WINDOWS

All main entrance doors to general needs and sheltered properties shall have their primary
key mechanisms replaced.

In case of supported schemes (and where required in sheltered schemes) replacements
should be made in accordance with the sequential suited key systems in consultation with the
relevant site based staff.

All windows and doors should be left in full working order, allowing for easing and adjusting.
All furniture shall be complete. Where replacement glazing is required, this must meet current
Building Regulations.

Doors

Where replacement is necessary, use a 5 Lever mortice deadlock to exterior doors or 5 Lever
cylinder mortice deadlock (multipoint) to PVCu doors.

Internal glazed doors to be replaced or in-filled with plywood panel ½ hour fire check doors.
Glazed doors should only be retained where they provide a vision panel for access.

Where existing, all “perko” door closures shall be reinstated.

Windows

Check for working window restrictors to all 1st floor windows & above. Where glazing exists
below 800mm from floor level, replace with safety glass, apply safety film or infill. Provide
window lock keys.




                                        BATHROOMS

All sanitary ware is to be thoroughly cleaned and de-scaled as necessary, only cracked or
chipped sanitary ware, or that beyond cleaning, is to be replaced.
Mastic sealant to be replaced where loose, missing or badly stained, all missing/damaged
miscellaneous items such as bath panels, plugs, chains, etc. to be replaced.

Renew all toilet seats.

Replace defective acrylic tap handles. For supported and sheltered properties, replace with
short arm lever taps as standard.

Remove electric showers over baths (except those fitted by MHG or the local authority as aids
& adaptations) Cap off the water supply and make good affected tiling.

All replacement sanitary ware to be white, all replacement baths to be steel. In case of
supported and sheltered stock, consideration should be given to the installation of shallow
baths and baths supplied with support handles in consultation with site based staff.


All baths to have a minimum of 3 rows, of wall tiles and hand basins a minimum of 2 rows of
tiled splash back where no tiles were previously present (White tiles). Where existing tiles
cannot be colour matched, then consideration is to be given to remove non standard wall
tiling and replace with new white splash-back tiles.

Where possible a condensation control fan should be fitted to all bathrooms where no
alternative form of extraction exists.

                                          KITCHENS

Each kitchen will be assessed with the aim of repairing wherever possible to a hygienic and
serviceable standard and with full compliance with the Decent Homes 2010 Standard.

Where individual units are damaged beyond economic repair, the individual unit alone is to be
replaced where this is necessary to meet the minimum kitchen void standard. Unserviceable
units in excess of the kitchen void standard should be removed and the area made good.

In case of physical disability schemes, replacement should be like for like.

Void standard kitchens should provide where practicable:

 Kitchen standards for space and           Depth x
                                                                               Dwelling size
             storage                       length

                                                          1p      2p       3p        4p        5p    6p    7p

                                                                                                           100
Sink top/drainer storage               600 x 1000       1000    1000    1000       1000   1000      1000
                                                                                                           0

Cooker space                           600 x600         600     600     600        600    600       600    600

Washing machine/worktop                600 x 630        630     630     630        630    630       630    630

                                                                                                           270
Other base units storage               600 x length     1200    1200    1600       1600   1600      2700
                                                                                                           0

                                                                                                           120
Ancillary equipment space              600 x length                                       600       600
                                                                                                           0

Total usable worktop length 600 x                                                                          453
                                  600 x length          1830    1830    2230       2230   2830      3930
length                                                                                                     0
Fridge/freezer space                    600 x600        600      600    600    600    600        600    600

Broom cupboard                          600 x600        600      600    600    600    600        600    600

Tray space                              600 x 150       150      150    150    150    150        150    150

                                                                                                        748
Total length of fitments                                4700     4780   5180   5180   5780       6880
                                                                                                        0

Minimum volume capacity (m3)                            1.3      1.5    2.0    2.1    2.2        2.4    2.6


Two rows of white 150 x 150mm ceramic wall tiles around all fixed worktop and sink top, all
mastic sealed around edges.

Spaces for fridge, washing machine and cooker with a single 13amp wall socket positioned
beneath worktop in suitable position for fridge and washing machine.

Provide electric supply for cooker and gas point if available.

Plumbing for washing machine.

600mm wide rolled edge worktop over base units, fridge and washing machine positions
Pillar taps (not mixer taps). As standard, short lever taps to be installed in Sheltered and
Supported schemes.

Provide two rows of high white tiled splash-back to wet areas where no tiles were previously
present.

Where possible an extractor fan should be installed to the kitchen area where a window is not
present or where present but can not be opened.

In the case of supported properties, white goods should be replaced when a fault is identified
following the electric check.

                                           FLOORS

In general needs properties, existing floor finishes should be removed or gifted to incoming
tenant depending on condition as appropriate.

In case of supported housing, Moat supplied carpet finishes should be cleaned as required.
Cleaning of the carpets should be carried out with an approved and suitable cleaner that
leaves no damage to the surface.

If the carpets can not be cleaned to a suitable standard then they should be replaced with a
plain, short pile, dark carpet which is suitable to the scheme. Under no circumstances should
carpet tiles be installed. Where carpet tiles are present, these should be replaced.

Where gripper rod is left after carpet removal, it should be retained. Similarly, where it has
been removed, the floor should not be made good as future replacement will further damage
the floor.

Damaged vinyl tiled floors should be patch repaired in a similar colour, if tiles cannot be
matched; the whole floor covering is to be replaced.

In supported and sheltered schemes only, provide anti-slip sheet flooring to bathrooms and
kitchens where none present. Lay on new latex self levelling screed over existing concrete
screed or on new oil tempered hardboard over existing floorboards.

                                           CEILINGS
All potential fire hazards are to be removed from ceilings.

Generally, remove all suspended ceilings, remove all polystyrene tiles (allow for plaster
repairs). Remove all polystyrene covings.

                                      INTERNAL WALLS

Generally repair any damaged plasterboard panels. All walls are to be left suitable for
redecoration, including the making good of holes within a wall following removal of shelving,
or picture fixtures.

Remove any built- in cupboards considered to be a safety hazard e.g. mirrored wardrobe
doors etc.

Remove all polystyrene wall coverings.

                                        DECORATIONS

Decorations should only be carried out where this is essential to let the property.

In exceptional circumstances, for example the incoming tenant is elderly and/or has special
needs, decorations may be necessary. In these circumstances, consideration of the budget is
essential.

Were a void is located within a supported or sheltered scheme, consideration is to be made
for full or part redecoration as appropriate, prior to re-letting. (Decoration vouchers should not
be issued).

In case of hard to let property, consideration again should be given to the full or part
redecoration in the worse affected areas. Decoration vouchers should be made use of in
addition to or in place of the above regardless of tenure.


The following criteria should be used to assess the required works and any decoration
allowance

Good Decorations

Defect free wall coverings and paintwork; Minor marks, scuffs and discoloration to wall
coverings and paintwork.

NO DECORATION ALLOWANCE

Fair Decorations

Minor tears to wallpaper (less than 15cm); minor isolated chips to paintwork; Minor isolated
missing, damaged or stained areas to wall coverings (maximum 3 per wall and each less than
25cm2); numerous but minor chips to paintwork

CONSIDERATION TO BE GIVEN FOR DECORATION ALLOWANCE
(In case of supported or sheltered schemes, consideration to redecoration of all affected
areas –Decoration vouchers should not be issued).

Poor Decorations

Large tears exceeding 15cm; missing, damaged or stained areas to wall coverings exceeding
25cm2 or exceeding 3 tears per wall; medium/large sized areas of damaged, loose or flaking
paintwork; large damaged, missing or stained wall areas.

CONSIDERATION TO BE GIVEN FOR DECORATION ALLOWANCE
(In case of supported or sheltered schemes, redecorate all affected areas – Decoration
vouchers should not be issued)

Stairs

Stairs should be checked for loose and uneven treads, missing handrails, and generally for
any health and safety hazards.

Fill in open risers where over 100mm gap, or considered a hazard.

Handrail position @ 900 -1000mm and miss only last 2 steps.

Staircase spindles or horizontal staircase rails to comply with 100mm gap rule (i.e. to limit a
100mm diameter sphere).

                                     CHIMNEY STACKS

Generally Provide vents to blocked-in chimneys.
Check cracking to render around stack and pots and re-point as necessary.

                                        CLEANLINESS

The property shall be fully cleared and cleaned throughout from top to bottom. All washable
surfaces shall be fully washed, sanitised, disinfected and left clean and polished, including the
removal of any condensation mould growth and treatment with anti-fungal agent.

In some cases it may be necessary to fumigate the property prior to a full inspection,
particularly in summer months.

All windows are to be cleaned internally and externally with approved cleaning agent where
accessible.

All floor areas to be swept and either vacuumed or washed / mopped as suitable with
approved cleaning agent.

All hard surfaces to be cleaned with anti bacterial cleaning agent, including sockets, switches,
fittings and fixtures.

                                    TENANT'S FITTINGS

Where tenants have left fixtures and fittings or improvements, they should be removed unless
they are of benefit to the property and do not present an ongoing maintenance liability to the
Group.

All fixings should be removed and made good ready to receive decorations.

Net curtains and blinds should be retained whilst the property is void as a deterrent to
intruders.

In supported and sheltered schemes, consideration to supplying curtains and blinds should be
given.

				
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