We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.

You can find out more about which cookies we're using here. 

Repairs and maintenance

Report an emergency repair

An emergency repair is something that's putting someone’s safety, security, or health at risk.

To report an emergency repair, please ring our Repairs Hotline on 01226 787878.

If you’re not sure whether it’s an emergency, read the information below to help you.

We’ll tell you what to do and if possible, we’ll arrange an appointment for you.

If we can’t work out the nature of your repair when you report it, we may ask an officer to inspect the problem before we can tell you what we’ll do.

To report a non-emergency repair, please download our FREE Berneslai Homes app:

Repairs app for iOS (Apple Store) Repairs app for Android (Play Store)
If you need to report an emergency repair that is putting someone’s safety, security, or health at risk, please ring our Repairs Hotline on 01226 787878

Supporting our customers to report a repair

We ask for and record information about our customers to help us support you in the best way possible. You can tell us your preferences for we visit you, for example if we should use a certain door, wait a bit longer for you to answer, or knock loudly.

You can also let us know if you have a particular communication need. Below are some examples of how we can support you. If you’d like to access any of these services, please let us know by:

Don’t forget to tell us your name and address.  


We aim to subtitle our video content. Some older videos don’t have subtitles, but we are replacing them with ones that do.

Face to face

We can arrange to provide British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters, lip speakers and lip readers, and a range of other help for our Deaf customers. This can be in a customer’s home or at another suitable location. We aim to arrange this service within five working days.


Relay UK is a free service to help people with hearing and speech difficulties communicate with anyone over the phone.

You don't need any special kit – just download the app from the App Store, Google Play or the Microsoft Store onto your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Click here to visit the Relay UK website.

Our website is compatible with screen readers and our images have ALT text descriptions.

Face to face or phone
We’re usually able to communicate verbally either face to face or over the phone. 

In writing
We can send large print letters.

Additional support
If you need it, we can provide information in braille or on audio tape or CD.


Our website is compatible with language translation software.

To translate into another language, we recommend Google Translate’s website service. You’ll need to type the website address www.berneslaihomes.co.uk into the site and press the blue arrow to proceed. It will open in a new window and you can select a language at the top of each page.

Translate this site into other languages using Google Translate


We use a telephone translation service which allows us to communicate with tenants quickly and easily in their own language. The service supports over 230 languages and dialects.

We arrange a three-way telephone conversation where interpreters accurately and securely pass on information between the tenant (using their own language) and Berneslai Homes staff.

This is a service we can arrange either on demand or by appointment.

Face to face

We use a face to face translation service in a customer’s home or at another convenient location.  This sometimes takes us up to five days to arrange.

In writing

Translating into foreign languages takes time, is expensive, and often does not resolve the customer’s enquiry, and so we don’t usually offer written translations. If needed we will translate legal documents, such as a notice to end a tenancy.

Aby przetłumaczyć na inny język, zalecamy skorzystanie z serwisu internetowego Google Translate. Musisz wpisać adres strony internetowej www.berneslaihomes.co.uk na stronie i nacisnąć niebieską strzałkę, aby kontynuować. Otworzy się w nowym oknie i możesz wybrać język u góry każdej strony.

Për të përkthyer në një gjuhë tjetër, ne rekomandojmë shërbimin e internetit të Google Translate. Do t'ju duhet të shkruani adresën e faqes së internetit www.berneslaihomes.co.uk në sajt dhe të shtypni shigjetën blu për të vazhduar. Do të hapet në një dritare të re dhe ju mund të zgjidhni një gjuhë në krye të çdo faqeje.

Для перевода на другой язык мы рекомендуем сервис веб-сайта Google Translate. Вам нужно будет ввести адрес веб-сайта www.berneslaihomes.co.uk на сайте и нажать синюю стрелку, чтобы продолжить. Он откроется в новом окне, и вы сможете выбрать язык в верхней части каждой страницы.

Information about repairs

Legally and contractually, we must maintain and repair your home. We’re responsible for keeping the structure, the outside, and the essential services in good working order.

The priority we give to your repair will depend on how urgent it is. We’ll place the repair into one of these four categories and aim to respond to repairs in the target times listed below.

Emergency Repairs Cat 1
Category 1 - emergency repairs

Problems that put someone’s safety, security, or health at risk – for example, structural damage, broken heating, blocked drains, burst pipes or dangerous electrical or gas fittings. We aim to deal with emergency repairs within 24 hours. We may have to carry out a temporary repair to deal with the situation, and then carry out the full repair at a later date. (*)

Urgent Repairs Cat 2
Category 2 - urgent repairs

Not an emergency but a repair that needs to be done quickly to prevent more damage to your home or discomfort to you and your family – for example, minor leaks or electrical repairs. We aim to carry out these repairs within 3 working days. (*)

Priority Repairs Cat 3
Category 3 - priority repairs

Priority repairs include a leaking roof or a door-entry phone not working. We aim to carry out these repairs within 7 working days. (*)

Non Urgent Repairs Cat 4
Category 4 – non-urgent repairs

Issues that aren’t causing any serious problems or risk – for example, small areas of plastering, guttering, or adjusting windows. We aim to carry out these repairs within 25 working days. (*)

(*) When you report a repair that we're responsible for, we'll come to your home and aim to complete those repairs in the following time scales:

  • 24 hours (emergency)
  • 3 days
  • 7 days
  • 25 days

We'll always try to complete repairs on our first visit, but sometimes when we come to do the repair, we may identify that we can’t do it straight away and the work is placed on a programme of works. We'll always make safe any hazards straight away. This might be because a replacement is needed or the work is more extensive than what we can do on a routine appointment (for example large areas of replastering or kitchen replacements). If on this first visit, we feel your work falls into this category we'll arrange for another inspection by a technical officer. 

They will inspect your home within our target of 28 days and agree with you how we plan to resolve your repair issues. 

Once we’ve done this inspection, we’ll write to you within our target of 14 days so that you have written confirmation of any planned repair or replacement works required.

For more information please visit the planned repairs and replacements page here.

Covid-19 impact

Working safely

Safety is our main priority, and we continue to follow government guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections. We have strict safe working practices and risk assessments in place to keep our customers and staff safe, whilst still being able to deliver our services. Please tell us if anyone in your home has tested positive for Covid-19. We’re following the basics of hands, face, space, and fresh air. This means our operatives wear face masks and maintain social distancing, and we ask you to do the same. We’ll ask you to move into a different room from the area we’re working in and to open windows for ventilation where possible.

Frequently asked questions about repairs

If we don’t carry out your repair within the timescales above, please contact our Repairs Hotline on 01226 787878. We'll check with our repairs contractor to find out what's causing the delay and try to sort out the problem.

Sometimes we can’t repair an item or it would cost too much, so instead we’ll arrange to replace it.

Unless it’s an emergency, we’ll put the replacement on a programmed list of similar work. This means it might take longer to replace the item than it would to repair it, but we do regularly order replacement items. We’ll tell you if your replacement item is on a programmed list and keep you up to date with the progress of the work.

Please visit our planned repairs and replacements page here to find out more. 

  • Damage caused by criminal activity
  • Bath
  • Blockages – sink, wash hand basin, bath or toilet
  • Ceilings
  • Chimney and flue
  • Chimney sweeping (we will only sweep your chimney once a year)
  • Cooker switch or socket
  • Damp-proof course
  • Decoration – outside
  • Door-entry systems
  • Inside kitchen doors
  • External entrance door
  • Downpipes (rain and soil)
  • Drains
  • Electric fire (if installed by us)
  • Electric storage heater
  • Electric wiring and fittings
  • Floors
  • Guttering and downpipes
  • Heating system
  • Kitchen units
  • Light fittings
  • Locks to windows and doors
  • Mechanical ventilators installed by us
  • Outside boundary walls
  • Plastering – except decorative plaster cracks less than 5mm wide
  • Plumbing
  • Shower unit installed by us
  • Stair lighting – shared
  • Steps and entrances – shared
  • Skirting boards
  • Mains-powered smoke detector
  • Battery-powered smoke detector (if we installed it)
  • Sockets and switches
  • Solid-fuel heating system
  • TV aerial – shared
  • Toilet pan and cistern
  • Wash basin, sink, bowl and drainer
  • Water supply – cold
  • Window catches, frames, handles and sills
  • Wiring circuits include fuse box

You’re responsible for some types of minor repairs and must maintain all improvements, fixtures, and fittings you fit yourself in your home.

  • Bath, basin, and sink plugs and chains
  • Chimney sweeping
  • Clothes post
  • Cooker
  • Curtain batten or rail
  • Damage caused by you, family, or a visitor
  • Damage due to forced entry by police
  • Door adjustment to fit carpets
  • Doorbell
  • Door chain
  • Door handles inside – except for kitchen
  • Door name plate
  • Floor finishes
  • Gardening and trees
  • Glazing
  • Hot-water cylinder jacket
  • Immersion heater unless installed by Berneslai Homes
  • Inside decoration
  • Lost or stolen keys and associated lock changes
  • Letter box covers
  • Pest control except rats
  • Toilet seat – except for elderly
  • TV aerial or individual satellite dish
  • TV sockets
  • Unblocking gullies from surface debris

Follow these simple steps to repair small cracks or holes to your internal walls:

  • Step 1 – sand the hole or crack with some harsh / medium (60, 80, or 100 grit) sandpaper to get rid of any flaky paint or plaster.
  • Step 2 – apply a small amount of filler to a filling knife and then into the hole or crack.
  • Step 3 – once the hole or crack is filled, scrape off any excess to leave the filler flat to the wall.
  • Step 4 – leave it for 1 to 2 hours to dry properly.  Once dry it might need to be sanded if it’s not completely even – use slightly finer sandpaper this time (100 or 120 grit).

If you have any large cracks with a width of 3mm (size of a pound coin) please report this to us, giving full details of which room and the area affected.

If you find that small areas of plaster are damaged and flaking off on various walls and ceilings (but only on one surface area), you should report it to us.

When our plasterer first visits your home, it will be to assess how much work there is, and a date will then be agreed to return and complete the work. If there are large areas that needs plastering, then an order will be placed on a planned programme. This is where jobs are batched together and released on monthly cycles. The work could take up to 16 weeks to complete from when you first report it.

Most repairs we carry out are needed because of fair wear and tear. Part of the rent you pay goes towards making these repairs.

If we need to do repairs or replacements because of damage you, a member of your family, or a visitor has caused, we think it’s only fair that you should pay. If you leave the property in a bad condition when you move out, you’ll be charged.

If damage is caused by criminal activity (by someone who isn’t a visitor or member of your household), we’ll not charge you for the cost of repairs. We’ll work with the police to look into all reports of criminal damage. If you have given false details about damage you’ve done, we could take legal action against you or even end your tenancy.

If we decide that you should pay for a repair, we’ll tell you before we complete the repair.

When you report a repair, or when we find a repair that we think you’re responsible for, we’ll tell you how much the repair will cost. We’ll give you the option of completing the repair yourself, if it’s safe for you to do so.

If the repair isn’t on our list of repairs that you need to pay for, or there is more than one repair, we’ll have to work out the cost and this may take some time.

If you apply to buy your home, we’re no longer responsible for carrying out some repairs to your home. We’ll remove your home from ongoing and planned programme of major work and will only carry out legal repairs. Since major improvement work takes a lot of planning, your decision not to buy your home after you began the right to buy process may mean your home won’t automatically be included in the planned programme of work in your area.

Yes. You may have a legal right to compensation if we don’t carry out certain small urgent repairs called ‘qualifying repairs’ within a set time. We should carry out these repairs within the times listed below, but sometimes things go wrong. If we don’t come to carry out the work, you should contact our Repairs Hotline 01226 787878 and ask them to get the work done or arrange for a second contractor to do the work.

If the second contractor doesn’t do the repair on time, we’ll pay you £10 compensation. For every extra day you wait, we’ll pay you an extra £2. The most compensation we’ll pay is £50. If you owe us any money (for example for unpaid rent), we’ll take the amount you owe from your compensation.

We will not pay compensation if you miss an appointment or don’t allow the contractor or us access to your home to carry out the repair.

Qualifying Repair

Prescribed period (working days)

Total loss of electric power


Partial loss of electric power


Unsafe power or lighting socket or electrical fitting


Total loss of water supply


Partial loss of water supply


Total or partial loss of gas supply


Blocked flue to open fire or boiler


Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 31st October and 1st May


Total or partial loss of space or water heating between 30th April and 1st November


Blocked or leaking fluid drain, soil stack, or (where there is no other working toilet in the dwelling-house) toilet pan


Toilet not flushing (where there is no other working toilet in the dwelling-house)


Blocked sink, bath or basin


Tap which cannot be turned


Leaking from water or heating pipe, tank or cistern


Leaking roof


Insecure external window, door or lock


Loose or detached banister or hand rail


Rotten timber flooring or stair tread


Door entry phone not working


Mechanical extractor fan in internal kitchen or bathroom not working


Communal area repairs

Some of our properties (mainly flats and sheltered accommodation) have communal (shared) areas such as:

  • corridors and staircases
  • kitchens
  • lounges
  • gardens
  • drying areas

These properties can also have communal facilities such as:

  • lighting
  • alarms
  • door entry system
  • external doors and windows
  • flooring
  • lifts
  • roofing
  • communal aerials

These areas and facilities are for tenants and leaseholders. We charge leaseholders for their share of any repairs on these areas and facilities in their yearly service charge.

We’ll make sure that they are in good repair and working order. Please tell us if you notice any damage, vandalism, or something that needs repairing. If you have a Centre Manager, you can also report it to them.

Please tell us the address and exactly where the repair is needed. For example, if you notice that a light is not working in a communal area, please tell us exactly where the light is - ‘the light on the landing outside flat number 6’.

If you see someone vandalising our property, please contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 so that they can also take action.

Registered address:

10th floor, Gateway Plaza, off Sackville St, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2RD

Berneslai Homes Limited is a company controlled by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 4548803