Cashback for tenants could lead to disaster

The government has launched a new initiative, Tenant Cashback, currently being piloted by several housing associations. Some believe this could result in DIY disasters.

North Lincolnshire Homes is considering the scheme for its 9800 tenants, which could reduce the current yearly £4 million repair bill. Tenants carry out repairs on their homes themselves, or employ a local tradesman, in return for cashback from the housing association.

Grant Shapps, the housing minister has said that tenants of social housing may be offered up to £1000 annually to carry out their own repairs, in an attempt to reduce the repair bill. North Lincolnshire Homes has said that it would deal with any large repairs such as roof repairs or boilers, to ensure safety. The housing minister believes that the cashback scheme will give house proud tenants greater freedom to improve their homes. Mr Shapps also said:

“Doing your own DIY or choosing a local handyman to do the work will allow tenants to pocket any savings they make.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association warns that the scheme should be monitored closely to avoid DIY disasters. The spokesman said:

“This is vital to ensuring this scheme achieves its aim without inadvertently exposing councils to a wave of law suits and hefty repair bills.”

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