Gaining Access

Gaining access to undertake work for non-emergency repairs

We have jointly agreed an 'access to premises protocol' with the tenants' forum. Some of the reasoning behind this protocol was based on privacy and the chance of intrusion if contractors put themselves in a position where they can catch an occupant unaware should they have been unwilling or unable to answer a call at the front door.

This protocol needs to be exercised with common sense and is not intended to prevent works being undertaken that are highly unlikely to cause any intrusion or are of an urgent nature (i.e. works that need to be done to prevent obvious and imminent damage to property or injury to health). 

The protocol is intended to balance the rights of the tenants to privacy, the contractors’ interests, the safety of their employees and the need to undertake repairs.

Gaining access protocol
No. Protocol
1. Access by appointment is always preferable
2. Access by appointment is essential if it has been requested by the tenant
3. Generally 24 hours notice is required although this may be waived by mutual agreement between contractor and tenant
4. Works within a dwelling should preferably be undertaken with the tenant or their nominated representative present. Nominated representatives cannot be persons under the age of 16 years (minors) and contractors should not undertake works inside a dwelling if a minor is present and not accompanied by an adult

Works to the exterior of a dwelling or in its immediate surroundings (known legally as curtilage) are only to be undertaken if an appointment has been made or someone in the property has been made aware of the contractor's presence and permission to proceed is given. The only exceptions are as follows:

  • Works that are highly unlikely to cause any intrusion or are of an urgent nature
  • Works in open plan gardens to fences, drains and the like
6. In all circumstances the contractor should always make, or attempt to make, their presence known to any occupants
7. Works to the building are not to be undertaken if there is ‘no answer at the door’ especially if the works involve the use of ladders against an elevation of the building with windows and/or noisy operations
8. Enclosed gardens with locked or secured gates are not to be entered unless permission has been granted by the tenant (does not apply to emergencies)

Your security - callers from or on behalf of the council

All Ashford Borough Council employees and contractors carry identity cards with their photograph on. You are strongly advised to check this card before allowing anyone who says they are from the council or a contractor into your home.

If you are in any doubt about the identity of a caller do not let them in. Ask them to call again later so that you have time to confirm they are genuine. You can check by calling the housing repairs team by phone on 01233 330366.