Maintaining Decent Homes

We successfully achieved the Decent Homes Standard for all our homes in 2010. We are now focused on maintaining this standard with ongoing planned works programmes.

The Decent Homes Standard is set by the Government to make sure all housing association homes meet certain minimum criteria they have laid out.

There are four criteria we consider when planning our Decent Homes Improvement works. These determine whether or not a home is considered ‘non-decent’ and requires work.

These are criteria for your home to meet the Decent Homes Standard:

 

1. Is your home in an unreasonable state of repair?

To fail this means one or more of the key components must be old AND in poor condition, or two or more of the other building components (e.g. kitchen/bathroom) must be old AND in poor condition.

More information, including the definition of 'poor condition' is set out in DCLG A Decent Home June 2006

Component lifetimes (years) used in the disrepair criterion

Building components (key components marked*)

Houses and bungalows

All flats in blocks of below 6 storeys

All flats in blocks of 6 or more storeys

Wall structure*

80

80

80

Lintels*

60

60

60

Brickwork (spalling)*

30

30

30

Wall finish*

60

60

30

Roof structure*

50

30

30

Roof finish*

50

30

30

Chimney*

50

50

N/A

Windows*

40

30

30

External doors*

40

30

30

Kitchen

30

30

30

Bathrooms

40

40

40

Heating central heating gas boiler*

15

15

15

Heating central heating distribution system

40

40

40

Heating other*

30

30

30

Electrical systems*

30

30

30


2. Is your home without reasonably modern facilities or services?

Your home must be without three or more of the following to meet this criteria:

  • a kitchen less than 20 years old
  • a kitchen with adequate space and layout
  • a bathroom less than 30 years old
  • a bathroom and toilet in an appropriate location
  • adequate insulation against external noise
  • adequately sized and well laid out common areas in flats

Note: Kitchens are assumed to require replacing on grounds of repair every 30 years, bathrooms every 40 years. Based on this, the age aspects in the disrepair criterion are set at 30 and 40 years respectively. However, social landlords and tenants prefer kitchens and bathrooms to be replaced more frequently, to enable them to be maintained at a reasonably modern standard. This means different ages are required for kitchens and bathrooms under the reasonably modern facilities and services criterion.

 

3. Is your home without efficient heating and insulation?

For your home to be considered not to have efficient heating and insulation, it would not provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort.

 

4. Does your home fail to meet the statutory minimum standard set out by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)?

The rating system is based upon the calculation of risk of harm to someone using a property. A total of 29 ‘hazards’ which constitute a threat to health and safety are included, from falls through to electrical hazards, damp and mould or overcrowding.

A detailed inspection of the property is required to identify and register any faults which might contribute to these hazards. For each fault, the surveyor identifies what hazard the fault contributes to. For example, a damaged floorboard (fault) could contribute to the hazard of someone falling on the level. A Hazard Score of the perceived risk is calculated based on the probability of an occurrence and the likely range of harm outcomes should an occurrence occur.

HHSRS assessments are carried out as part of our stock condition survey programme. We carry out approximately 1,000 surveys per year to make sure we have the most accurate information possible on our homes.

More detailed information about the HHSRS assessment is available from the government:

Housing Health and Safety Rating System - operating guidance