Investing in your home
We want our tenants to live in homes that are modern, warm, comfortable and are of a good standard. To achieve this we provide:
- new kitchens
- heating systems.
We have a planned programme of work to ensure every year our properties are being improved.
Specific adaptations may be available if you are:
- of pensionable age
- if a household member has a specific requirement
We will access your needs and may also involve other professionals. (for example, an occupational therapist) for adaptations such as a level access shower.
We will send out letters at the beginning of April. These advise if we included your property in the programme for that financial year. We will still send out further letters to arrange visits to your property.
No, you do not have to move out while the improvements are taking place.
- Rewire - Access to every socket, light switch and light fitting is needed
- Kitchen Cupboards – The contents of your kitchen cupboards must be completely emptied, and worktops cleared. We will move your appliances out of the work area (at your own risk), usually into the living room so please bear this in mind
- Ornaments, Pictures or similar – please ensure that all breakable/fragile items are safely packed away and that you do not leave valuable items around your home (including TV’s for example)
- Window blinds/lampshades should be taken down
- Laminate Flooring – if it is identified that you have laminate flooring on floorboards that must be taken up as part of the works, it is your responsibility to remove/refit any laminate flooring for access and works to be completed. Usually upstairs floorboards need to be lifted to allow access to the lights or heating pipes below. We will not be liable for any damage to any laminate flooring that isn’t removed regardless of location. We will endeavour to protect it at all times
- Bathroom/Toilets - Remove all your toiletries and belongings from the bathroom for example toilet roll holders, mirrors or similar
- General House Condition – please ensure that all rooms (those which you have been advised about) are as clear as possible, especially the floor areas as all carpets may have to be lifted
- Loft spaces - must also be clear to allow electricians safe access to complete the works. We will advise you of the areas required
- Pets - It is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your pets; we will not work in properties where animals have been left either in the property or in the garden
Please contact the Tenant Liaison Officer if you intend to buy any new kitchen appliances before the work starts to ensure this does not affect the design you signed for at the time of the initial visit.
Please be aware that we are not able to fit new freestanding gas cookers or gas hobs.
Central Heating only – We require access to all radiators, the boiler and fuse board - you will be advised which areas need to be cleared at the time of the initial visit.
If you are unable to move furniture or lift laminate due to age, disability or health please contact us as soon as possible.
Should your house contents not be sufficiently packed away, or housekeeping standards not be acceptable, we will possibly have no alternative but to postpone your work and refer the matter to your Management Officer.
There will be damage to your internal decoration. We will issue a decoration grant after you and our surveyor are happy with the completed work. The value is dependent on the amount of decoration disruption and we will issue allowances as a B&Q card. An additional amount to assist with redecoration is payable as a rent credit. To qualify you must meet the following criteria:
- the youngest adult in the household is of pensionable age
- in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
- in receipt of Personal Independence Payment.
The work will normally be completed within 5 to 6 working days. However, if your home requires a heating system or additional works it will take longer. Access to your home will be required throughout this time. We will also need access to carry out a final inspection and complete any remedial work.
By the end of each working day we will provide:
- hot and cold water
- flushing toilet
- television reception
Please note that your cooker will be disconnected on the day we start the work. It will be reconnected/tested as applicable upon completion of the work by our engineers.
When we have completed the works, we will carry out an inspection. We will fix anything that is wrong and ask you to sign a form saying you are happy.
We will ask you to complete a confidential satisfaction survey. We will use this information to make sure we improve our service to you.
Making improvements to your home
If you want to make improvements to your home, you will need to ask permission from us in writing before you carry out any work including:
- alterations to your home such as removing doors; moving walls; installing laminate flooring etc
- putting a greenhouse or shed in the garden
- putting a garage on the property
- fitting a CB aerial or satellite dish
- building a parking space or drive
- building a pigeon cree or aviary
- decorating the outside of your house.
Even if we give our written permission, you may still need planning permission to meet building regulations. We may withdraw our permission if a nuisance is caused.
Planning permission/building regulations
All work done at the property needs to be completed to a high standard. All works involving gas supply must be checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer and all electrical work by an NICEIC approved contractor. Any costs incurred regarding planning should be met by yourself.
You may be entitled to compensation for any improvements that you make.
How to contact us
There are several ways you can contact us:
- Using your Darlington Home Online account. Register for a Darlington Home Online account[external link] or log in to your account[external link]. More information on your Darlington Home Online account.
- Emailing [email protected]
- Calling us on 01325 405333
What if I am not satisfied with the response?
We hope that we can work together with our residents and listen to their voices and resolve any problems, but if you are unhappy with the response from the Housing team we have a complaints procedure you can follow and you can contact our Complaints Team by: