One thorny issue that seems certain to generate a few headlines in 2012 is the introduction of the government’s ‘cashback’ scheme for tenants in England who carry out their own repairs.
Can we fix it?
As we report this week, the three landlords piloting this idea have all struggled with insurance and health and safety requirements. Despite this, housing minister Grant Shapps has instructed the Tenant Services Authority to require social landlords to offer repairs cashback schemes from April - so can it be done?
The approach being taken by Together Housing Group shows that it can, but at a modest level. Together rewards tenants for maintaining their homes - covering low-level maintenance such as gardening and decorating. This circumvents the problem of the landlord being liable for botched repairs as tenants are not being required to do anything different - they are simply being paid a maximum of £60 over six months to adhere to their tenancy agreement. Job done.