Social tenants “could be encouraged to take on more DIY”

Tenants in social housing could be encouraged to do more DIY projects on their rented homes, according to housing minister Grant Shapps.

The BBC is reporting that government is considering rewarding tenants who look after their homes by giving them control over their repairs budget through a tenant cashback scheme.

It says the government believes housing associations and councils could save up to £1,000 per property a year on repairs by permitting tenants to do the work themselves. The idea has found some favour with the National Housing Federation which says it welcomes pilot schemes that will test the idea.

Here’s an excerpt and a link to the full story:

Social tenants could get paid to carry out own DIY

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said maintenance and repairs cost social landlords £4bn a year, but often work was something tenants could do themselves, which would save councils and housing associations money.

He told the BBC the kind of repairs he was talking about were “routine” maintenance like leaky taps or replacing locks but responsibility for “big items” would remain with the landlord.

The “tenant cashback” scheme would allow people to ask their landlords for the chance to carry out DIY themselves, or pay someone locally to do the work, and keep any savings made.

The government said no tenant would be obliged to take on more responsibility than they wanted to and there would be no new cap on maintenance budgets. Read the full story here…

However, some commenters have been critical, saying that tenants are already liable for minor repairs, of the kind that lie within most people’s scope, under existing agreements. Other commenters expressed views that the scheme does not seem to reflect a clear understanding of how leases currently work and that it could be open to abuse.