Tenant DIY scheme ‘will prove a disaster’
Published by Julien Tremblin for 24dash.com in Housing
Tenant DIY scheme ‘will prove a disaster’ warns maintenance expert
The housing minister’s plan to give tenants the power to carry out their own repairs "looks attractive on paper but will prove a disaster", a property maintenance specialist has warned.
Grant Shapps says that maintenance and repairs cost social landlords £4bn a year, but he believes that tenants could do work like decorating and fixing plumbing themselves and save councils and housing associations cash.
However, Will Davies – co-founder of property maintenance company aspect.co.uk – warns that the scheme will rebound and increase costs for tax payers.
He said: "The scheme looks attractive on paper but when you factor in the costs of checking work has been completed correctly or repairs for jobs that have been botched it is unworkable
"aspect.co.uk is called out to hundreds of private addresses to correct problems that have been created by a previous owner’s DIY."
Mr Shapps has re-announced its tenant cashback on Monday which will allow residents to take more control of their repairs budgets for their homes and carry out their own DIY or commissioning, allowing them to pocket any savings made.
Mr Shapps said: "Rather than having to wait for landlords to act, tenants should be able to tackle their own DIY dilemmas — and get paid for it.”
But Mr Davies “If you start to consider the scams that would blossom from this idea it is frightening. What regulation would these ‘third party’ tradesmen operate under? What comeback would council’s have on their spend? Who would be responsible for assessing that all the work tenants claimed for was actually necessary or indeed true?” said Mr Davies.
The Government has launched a pilot scheme with four landlords, including the Home Group and Bromford.
Social landlords will ultimately be responsible for administering the scheme - which can be requested by tenants from next month - managing the costs and guarding against fraud.