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.