Repairs to empty council homes

The voids and disrepairs team takes charge once a tenant leaves a property, making sure it is improved to meet current legislative standards. They also get involved in some major repairs work when it is required, in order to avoid unnecessary litigation.

Minimal lettable standards

In general:

  • first impressions of the property are of high importance. With any properties let by Ealing Council, the property will look in good order and be clean, tidy and secure
  • the property will be in good repair, free from damp, mould, wet and dry rot, timber decay or infestation
  • windows will be clean
  • gullies and grids will be clean, manholes free from obstruction and covers easy to lift
  • fencing and gates (where applicable) will be in sound condition
  • gardens will be tidy with any trees or bushes trimmed so as not to be a security risk
  • gutters and downpipes will be intact and free from leaks
  • roofs should be in a watertight condition

On entering the property:

  • there will be no old mail or papers left behind the entrance door
  • a welcome pack will be available containing essential items
  • details of safety checks on electricity and gas will be provided
  • details on how to find the fuse box and water stop cock will be provided, and they will have tags attached for easy identification 
  • the property will have adequate heating facilities
  • doors and windows will be watertight and will open and close with ease. (There is an ongoing investment plan to install PVC double glazed windows and doors. If the property has not yet had these installed you can find out when this will take place from your housing officer or the asset and investment team)
  • floors and stairs (where applicable) will be in sound condition and have no loose floorboards
  • balustrades and handrails will be secure
  • plaster work will be in a satisfactory condition
  • we will make sure no electrical outlets in any rooms have bare wires before you move in
  • we will fix any leaks in all rooms before you move in
  • we will ensure a gas safety check has been carried out by the gas maintenance contractor at the start of your tenancy. Once you have signed up, you are required to ring the gas contractor to come and decommission your gas boiler
  • we will clean the floors and take away the carpets unless they are in an excellent condition
  • we will decide if improvements made by the previous tenant are safe enough to be kept and maintained by Ealing Council. We will remove any improvements that do not meet these standards
  • we will usually keep disabled adaptations that have been made to the property but, if necessary, they may be removed rather than repaired
  • sound wallpaper will be left in place, damaged wallpaper will be stripped
  • gloss paintwork will be cleaned


  • kitchen units will be clean and in a sound condition
  • worktops will be in a good condition
  • there will be a double wall unit, a sink unit and a single or double base unit dependent on space
  • where possible space will be available for a fridge/freezer, a washer with plumbing and drainage, cooker space with sockets below, also sockets below worktops and switches above. Please note: due to space restrictions, standard white goods may not be suitable – narrow goods are available. Undersized kitchens will be considered for alteration or extension as much as possible
  • an adequate number of sockets should be available above worktop level – with a minimum of two double sockets
  • floor coverings will be in a good condition and washable. In sheltered schemes non-slip flooring will be used
  • where possible we will fit plumbing for automatic washing machines
  • we will clean cupboards and worktops inside and out
  • we will fit extractor fans with humidi-stats if the property has extreme condensation
  • we will replace and repair damaged floor tiles
  • for gas or electricity cookers, if two types of power were originally provided we will maintain them

Boilers and equipment supplied:

  • the specialist heating contractors will ensure that a qualified operative is present at a suitable time, as soon as possible after tenancy starts, to give instruction on how to operate the equipment


  • all fittings will be clean and in a good condition
  • toilet seats will be replaced
  • toilets will be clean and have fresh water in the toilet bowl
  • we will replace any broken windows during the void (empty property) period
  • bathrooms and toilets will have: a toilet, a bath or shower, and a hand wash basin. We will also make sure you have at least two rows of tiles above the hand wash basin and bath
  • tiling and grouting will be clean and sound
  • seals around bath tubs and sinks will be clean and in good condition
  • floor coverings will be in good condition and washable. In sheltered schemes non-slip flooring will be used


  • good decoration will be left in place
  • torn or damaged wallpaper will be stripped
  • gloss paintwork will be cleaned
  • we want you to be able to make your home your own. To help you do this we may provide a decoration voucher dependent upon the condition of the existing decoration

Ealing Council is working in partnership with a decoration supplier (Poores), who will be able to advise on decoration issues and how to obtain the supplies.

Special needs:

  • help with aids and adaptations or decorating services may be available if required. Please discuss this with the property advisor at the time of the viewing
  • we recognise that older and disabled people may not be able to decorate by themselves so, where needed, we will decorate for you before you move in

Repairs after letting:

  • to enable properties to be re-let earlier, we may be willing to complete repairs after you move in, providing they are completed within a reasonable timescale. Please discuss this with the property advisor at the time of the viewing

Quality Assurance Certificate:

  • a signed certificate will be issued to you following the satisfactory completion of the works, to confirm that the property meets this standard

Customer choice:

  • Ealing Council is a customer driven organisation and recognises that our customers have a choice. If you wish to take the tenancy on a property which does not meet this standard, it is possible to enable you to move in quickly, as long as the minimum statutory safety checks have been undertaken

Follow up visits:

  • we will make a follow up visit after your tenancy has started to ensure that you have settled into the property, and to try and resolve any outstanding issues you may have