There is a 10 year ‘initial repair period’ starting from the lease start date which applies while you own less than a 100% share in the home.

Any work that is covered by a warranty or guarantee must be claimed through the policy by the policyholder.

Repairs which are the landlord's responsibility during the initial repair period will not be recharged through the service charge.

You will not be able to claim for repairs which are caused by deliberate damage or neglect of the home.

External and structural repairs

In the initial repair period, the landlord is responsible for the cost of essential repairs to:

  • the external fabric of the building
  • structural repairs to walls, floors, ceiling and stairs inside the home

These are limited to repairs not covered by the building warranty or any other guarantee. You must notify the landlord that the repair is required.

General repairs and maintenance

In the initial repair period, you'll be able to claim costs up to £500 a year from your landlord to help with essential repairs or replacement (if faulty) of:

  • installations in the home for the supply of water, gas and electricity (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary devices but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity such as ovens or washing machines), pipes and drainage
  • installations in the home for space heating and water heating

The amount you can claim each year and the number of years remaining in the initial repair period is in the ‘Key information about the home’ document.

Repairs and maintenance costs over the allowance amount stated in the ‘Key information about the home’ document, or after the initial repair period ends, are your responsibility.

If you do not claim the full repairs allowance in one year, a maximum of one year's allowance will roll over to the following year. The following example shows how the repairs allowance works if you claim in years 2 and 3.

Year Repairs allowance Allowance claimed for repairs Roll over to next year
1 £500 £0 £500
2 £1,000 (£500 + £500) £750 £250
3 £750 (£500 + £250) £0 £500

Claiming the repairs allowance

Contact your landlord to claim the repairs allowance. The landlord is responsible for deciding whether repairs are essential. They have the right to inspect the home when making this decision and can reject claims if the repairs or maintenance have been caused by a breach of the lease.

When you claim for the cost of essential repairs, the landlord will approve or reject claims in a fair and consistent manner. If the landlord declines a claim, they must:

  • tell you why in writing within 7 days of receiving your information supporting the claim
  • advise you of your right to dispute the decision
  • set out the complaints handling process

To carry out repairs that your landlord agrees are essential, you must use a Trustmark approved tradesperson or professionals approved by your landlord. Find a local tradesperson on the Trustmark website.

The repairs allowance will transfer to a new owner if you sell the home. However, if the new owner buys a 100% share, the repairs allowance will not transfer to them.