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Lettable and Returns Standard

What you can expect from your new Somerset West and Taunton home

This lettable standard sets out what tenants can expect from Somerset West and Taunton Council when they first move into a new home. This is our minimum standard. You can expect to live in a good quality home where you feel safe, warm, and secure and where you can thrive.

Before you move in, we will have checked your new home to make sure it is in good repair and all the installations are in good working order.

Your feedback is important to us and helps us to continue improving our service. Please take a few moments to complete the satisfaction survey, this will be sent to you at the beginning of your tenancy.

The kitchen will be functional with doors, drawers and worktops that are securely fitted, allowing you to take proper care of them.

  • A cooker space will be available for either an electric or gas cooker. Please note: You will need to arrange for your cooker to be connected by a qualified electrician or gas safety engineer.
  • Where kitchen space is limited, there will be at least a sink unit, a double kitchen floor unit and a double kitchen wall unit.
  • Unless communal laundry facilities are provided, a space will be provided for a washing machine. This will include plumbing and drainage. You will need to arrange to have your washer connected to the services by a plumber.
  • There will be at least a worktop and two electric sockets in accessible locations.
  • There will be at least one row of splash back tiles around the sink and worktop, with no cracks.
  • There will be a good seal around the sink and worktops.
  • Natural or mechanical ventilation as fitted, will be fully operational.
  • All plumbing and drainage will be in good working order and free from blockages or leaks.

  • At least a toilet, bath or shower and hand wash basin.
  • All bathroom fittings will be securely fixed and free from cracks and stains.
  • Toilet seats will be chemically cleaned or renewed.
  • There will be at least one row of splash back tiles around the bath and hand wash basin, with no cracks. There will be a good seal around the bath.
  • Where a shower is fitted, a shower curtain or screen will be provided. The hose and handset will be clean and defect free.
  • All plumbing will be free from defects and leaks and all taps will be in good working order.
  • The basin and bath will be surrounded by an intact tiled splash back, with an effective seal.
  • Where a shower is to be retained, intact and effectively sealed tiles should be affixed to the whole spray area. Any missing or broken tiles will be replaced in a sympathetic style and colour.
  • The washbasin and bath will have a plug and chain attached.
  • Please note: In our Extra Care properties, a wet floor or level access bathroom will be installed.
  • Natural or mechanical ventilation as fitted will be fully operational.

  • Windows and external doors will be secure, watertight and free from defects.
  • A key will be provided for all doors and windows that have locks fitted.
  • Internal doors will be free from defects and will function properly.
  • All skirting boards, door frames, architraves and moldings will be in place. All woodwork will be wiped down.

  • Walls will be graffiti free, safe and free from large cracks and holes.
  • All visible plaster work will be intact and ready for redecoration.

  • Roof coverings, chimney stacks, soffits, facias, rainwater pipes, drains and gutters will be fixed securely and in good working condition - all free from leaks or blockage.
  • External walls and roofs will prevent water penetrating your home.
  • Footpaths, steps and handrails or other means of access within the boundary of your home will be safe for the purpose of travelling to and from your home.
  • Lawns will be cut, and gardens will be free of rubbish. Trees and bushes will be clipped.

  • Before you move in, all rubbish, furniture and carpets will be removed internally and externally, unless agreed otherwise.
  • Kitchen units, kitchen work surfaces, bathroom fittings, cupboard doors and frames, windowsills, skirting boards, fire surrounds, radiators, tiles, floors and the insides of windows will be clean.
  • We will resolve any issues with damp or mould growth.
  • We will sweep and wash all the floors.
  • All tiled surfaces including grout will be cleaned and mould free.

  • Floors and staircases will be free from structural defects, holes and trip hazards.
  • Bathrooms and kitchens will have securely fitted and fixed washable floor coverings.
  • Stairs, balustrades and handrails will be safe, secure and in place before you move in.

  • All smoke alarms will be operational in line with current regulations.
  • All gas appliances will be supplied with instructions.
  • If a property has previously been adapted for customers with individual needs (such as installing a level access shower) then we will retain this feature so that other customers can benefit from it.
  • For this reason, this type of adaptation would not be removed and replaced with a bath after you have moved into the property.
  • Details on how to find the consumer unit (fuse box) and water stop tap will be present at the property.
  • Where fitted, all fire doors will function correctly.
  • Control entry systems to blocks of flats will function correctly.
  • Loft spaces will be insulated. The loft will be secured.
  • Communal television aerials will be maintained in good working order.
  • Our newly built homes are built to a high standard set by the Council. A new property will be checked against this standard before being let. Our standards often exceed those set by building regulations (for example, standards relating to space and thermal insulation).
  • A newly built home will have a twelve month ‘defects period’, during which the contractor will be asked to carry out any corrective work required. If you rent a newly built home from the Council, you will continue to report repair and maintenance issues through the normal route.
  • Please note: Our Temporary Accommodation units come with some additional fittings and furniture.

  • There will be at least one form of heating in good working order.
  • There will be access to hot water.
  • Any present gas supply will have been safety checked.
  • The electrical system and any landlord supplied appliances will have been safety checked. You will receive a copy of the electrical certificate.
  • Any present gas supply will be uncapped. You will be given a copy of the gas safety certificate.
  • Please note: Our Sheltered and Extra Care properties will be decorated throughout.
  • Please note: Where the surveyor for General Needs properties decides that the decoration is in poor order, we will issue decoration vouchers.

Returns Standard

We need to let our empty properties quickly to those waiting for a new home. Please help us by making sure your home meets our moving out standard.

If we do have to do work, we will re-charge you for that work. Somerset West and Taunton Council tenants may have an application to transfer internally withheld not be allowed to move until the property meets this standard.

All keys need to be returned by 10am on the Monday of your departure to avoid another weeks rent. All utility keys and cards will be collected. The property will be checked, and locks changed.

  • You must leave the premises (including any Council fixtures) in a reasonable state of repair and decoration.
  • You must ensure that the property and garden are left in a clean and tidy condition.
  • Under the terms of your tenancy, you must remove all personal possessions, including rubbish and debris. The Council will dispose of any rubbish or items left within the property or garden. We will recharge you for this.
  • You should dispose of rubbish and unwanted items responsibly, by using one of the household waste and recycling centers.
  • Various local organisations welcome donations of furniture. For example: charity shops, Freecycle or Facebook groups. It is a great way of reducing landfill waste.
  • The Council will also collect up to 5 bulky items for a fixed price.

  • Have a good clean up especially in the bathroom and kitchen which gets the most wear and tear.
  • Leave the property clean and how you would like to find it.
  • Make sure the garden is well maintained and left tidy. Any trees or hedges should be trimmed back, and the grass cut.
  • Clean kitchen units including around the cooker, bath, sink and toilet, sweeping up the floors.

  • Contact us so we can arrange to deal with repairs before you move out on 0300 304 8000.
  • If you have broken or damaged anything you will need to repair it yourself. If we carry out the repair after you have moved out, you will be re-charged.

  • Any alterations that you wish to carry out to the property during your tenancy must be approved by a Housing Officer beforehand by completing a Property Alteration Form and submitting it to us.
  • Any alteration must be compliant with building regulations and service standards. The work will be checked by us on completion.
  • Unauthorised alterations will be removed and the cost to reinstate the work will be charged to you.