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  • Maintenance Overview
  • Reporting a Repair
  • Adaptations
  • Defects

Maintenance Overview


First Choice is responsible for keeping the structure of your home in a good condition. This includes the inside and outside of your home, drains, repairing gutters, rain water pipes, gas and plumbing systems, baths, toilets, heating and hot water supplies.


The Getting Things Fixed file


In your home there is a file called “Getting Things Fixed”. The file tells you all about the maintenance service you can expect from First Choice.


Types of Repairs


Repairs to your home will be in the following categories:



Emergency repairs are repairs which may cause harm to you or may seriously damage your home. These should be fixed within 24 hours


General Repairs
Appointments for all other routine repairs excluding emergency repairs will be made on a morning or afternoon basis on a day that is convenient to our tenants and a s quickly as possible, First Choice maintenance staff will arrange for the contractor to call and they will confirm all appointments with tenants.


Programmed Major Repairs    

These are the planned replacement of large items in your home like kitchens, boilers and windows and doors.


We plan the renewal of these items in advance to ensure we have the budget to replace the item when needed.


We check the condition of these items in your home every year during our annual maintenance and Asbestos inspections.


Paying for repairs


First Choice will pay for repairs to your home, but if you, your support staff or visitors break something by accident or on purpose, you must pay for that yourself. This is called a Recharge.


Who does the repairs and maintenance?


The people who carry out repairs to your home are called contractors. They will let you know when they are coming to your home, unless it is an emergency repair. If it is an emergency they will try to come within 24 hours.


All contractors sign a “Code of Conduct”. This means that they must be polite and helpful when they are working in your home. They must carry out the work in your home safely. They must produce identification.



At least once every two years, First Choice staff will visit your home to check that it is in a good condition. If any work needs to be done First Choice will arrange it.


First Choice will decorate the outside of your home every five years.


You are responsible for decorating your own bedroom.


Your support provider will make sure that the shared areas of your home are decorated. These are the bathroom, kitchen, hall, lounge and dining room. This is paid for by the service charge you pay in your rent.


Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam



First Choice claims a service charge as part of your rent.


This means that if your garden has a plant called Japanese Knotweed or Himalayan Balsam, First Choice will have this treated and maintained.


Philip our Technical Officer will inspect your garden during his maintenance visit to see if your garden has these plants.



Garden Maintenance


Garden maintenance is our Tenants’ responsibility.


Your Support Provider may be claiming for garden maintenance as part of their Supported Housing Management Service Charge.


The Tenant must:


  • maintain the trees and shrubs
  • cut the grass
  • keep the garden tidy




Giving our Tenants a choice


First Choice makes sure all of our properties are fitted with quality products.


As this is our tenants’ home, we try to give as much choice as possible for our tenants to pick their own fittings.


New Build Properties


If you are moving into a newly built property you will be given choices on:


  • your front and back door
  • kitchen units and worktops
  • kitchen floors
  • bathroom floors
  • flooring for your lounge, dining room and hall



Newly Refurbished properties


If you are moving into an older home that has been refurbished you may be asked for your choice on:


  • your front and back door
  • kitchen units and worktops
  • kitchen floors
  • bathroom floors


These choices depend on the condition of existing fittings in the property. For example, if your new home already has a good standard of kitchen, we would not replace it. It would be added to our major repairs list and replaced at a later date.



Major Repairs


At the end of their useful life, major fittings in your home, such as kitchens and doors, will be replaced as part of First Choice’s major repairs programme.


If the Association is replacing items in your home you may be asked for your choices on:


  • your front and back door
  • kitchen units and worktops
  • kitchen and dining room floor
  • kitchen wall paint / tiles
  • bathroom floors
  • bathroom walls


First Choice has designed a leaflet for you to download, print, complete and return to us when you need to give us your choices.


Please select on the link you need below to download and print your form.


  Tenant Choices  



Please send all forms to First Choice Housing Association, 19 Stanwell Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2EZ.


If you need any help, or would like to request a copy of the forms to be sent to you please call us. We are more than happy to help. 


For new builds and newly refurbished properties please call our development team on: 02920 703758 – select option 2


For major repairs please call our maintenance team on: 02920 703758 – select option 1



Reporting a Repair


If you have a repair:


  • Telephone First Choice on 02920 703758 and choose Option One for the Customer Services Department, or click here to report your repair using our online form.


  • First Choice will decide whether the repair is an emergency, general repair or planned repair.


  • In the event of an emergency we will arrange for a contractor to call as quickly as possible, you will be requested to remain at the property until the contractor can arrive and make safe the emergency.


  • For all other works we will request three convenient am or pm dates from you, we will then arrange one of these times with our contractor. We will call you back to confirm the appointment.


  • We will then send a work order to a contractor. A copy of the work order will be sent to your home so that you know when the repair will be completed.


  • When the work is completed you should ask the contractor to fill in the tear off slip on the bottom of the work order. You should then sign and date this slip if you are happy with the work.


  • You should send the tear off slip together with the completed tenant satisfaction questionnaire, then send them both back to First Choice in the freepost envelope provided.


  • This helps us to ensure that the contractors do a good job at your home, and that we pay the correct amount of money for the work.


  • We will telephone you the next working day to find out if the works have been completed and what was your experience of our contractors.


  • If our offices are not open and you have an emergency repair, there is a list of emergency contractors you can contact in your Getting Things Fixed file in your home.


  • If none of our contractors can help in an emergency, you can use any contractor, for example, from the Yellow Pages.


  • Please ring First Choice as soon as possible to let us know if you have called a contractor in an emergency.

  • Why not report a repair using Skype. This way you can show the maintenance team the problem. Our Skype address for reporting faults is




First Choice knows that changes may have to be made to a house so that it is suitable for a new tenant to move into or because people already living in the house may want changes made because their needs have changed.

Requests for making changes should be put in a letter to First Choice. We will then reply within 14 days. Whenever possible, we will say “Yes”.

First Choice will work together with tenants, tenants' Support Providers and Social Services departments to get the money to pay for these changes.


If the changes can be made to the house, First Choice can ask for money from 5 different places :-


1) Welsh Government
2) Local Authority Social Services Department

3) Your Support Providers

4) You may be able to pay

5) First Choice may be able to pay


Wherever the money comes from to pay for the changes, the work must be carried out to a good standard that First Choice is happy with.


First Choice will tell the tenant and the tenants' Support Provider who is responsible in the future for looking after the part of the house which has been changed. First Choice may have to do the maintenance or it might be the tenant or the tenants' Support Provider.


If “Planning Permission” is needed then it must be agreed before any work starts on making the changes. First Choice must be given copies of this paperwork to keep in the office.


When the tenant who needed the changes leaves the house to live somewhere else, they can remove the adaptation if they paid for it. But, they must make sure that the part of the house is changed back to how it was before.





What is a defect?


When you first move into your First Choice home, your home will be under a period called ‘defects’.


This means the original contractor who completed the work at your home will be responsible for any 'defects' in your home.



Defects are when any products or work carried out by a contractor before you move in either breaks or becomes faulty.


Defects are when any products or work carried out by a contractor before you move in either breaks or becomes faulty.


If you live in a new build home (a property that was built by First Choice) the defects period is 12 months.  


If you live in a refurbished property (an older property that was bought and adapted) the defects period is 6 months.


Please note that the defects period does not apply if you are moving into an empty room in an existing property. This is called a re-let.



An example of a defect is if a door closer stops working.
A defect would not be if you break a door by slamming it.


Defect work includes building work, electrics, central heating and landscaping.


If a tenant or member of staff damages the property or any equipment inside the property, this will not be viewed as a defect.



Any repairs carried out because they have been damaged will be

re-charged to the property.



How do I report a defect?


If you think you have a defect at your home, you need to contact the Development Officer that is responsible for your home. You can reach these on 02920 703758 and press option 2.


Our Development Officer will report your defect to get it fixed. A contractor will be instructed to carry out the repair within a set timescale.


The contractor will contact your home to agree a date for repair. It is important that someone is available at your home to let the contractor in.

Once the work has been completed our Development Officer will contact your home to check you are happy with the work.


What happens when the defects period ends?


Once the defect period has finished (either 6 months or 12 months), our Development Officer will inspect the property with the Employers Agent and a contractor. This is to check if there are any defects outstanding.


The visit will be arranged at an agreed time and the tenants and their support staff will be invited to discuss any issues.



When all outstanding defects are completed, repairs at the property will be dealt with by the Association's maintenance department.


You will be issued with a Getting Things Fixed file which will tell you about our maintenance service.


You can read more about how to report a repair in our repairs section.