Information Paper for the LegCo Panel on Housing
Cessation of "Tenant-to-pay Repair Service" Scheme
The Rental Housing Committee of the Housing Authority endorsed at its meeting on 14 January 1999 that the tenant-to-pay repair service for building works and building services should be discontinued with effect from 1 April 1999, but the service would still be provided to elderly and disabled households having difficulty in making their own arrangement.
RATIONALE FOR THE CESSATION OF REPAIR SERVICE
2. Over the years, the Housing Authority has been providing tenant-to-pay repair service through its minor maintenance contractors and estate artisans. However, the need to provide such repair service has been questioned from time to time. According to the tenancy agreement, it is the responsibility of the tenants to carry out repairs (except those of fair wear and tear nature) to fittings and fixtures in their flats. It is also considered more straight forward for the tenants concerned to engage their own tradesmen in the open market where choices of workmen and materials are plentiful.
3. To facilitate the tenants to obtain the necessary repair service from the open market, the Housing Authority posts up in every estate office a list of private tradesmen who are operating either within or in the proximity of the estate concerned. The list is updated on quarterly basis.
4. The housing managers in estates examine regularly the provision of private tradesmen in their estates. In case of inadequate provision of a particular trade in an estate, the management will liaise with the Commercial Properties Division of the Housing Department to explore the possibility of setting up such trade in the estate.
5. Repair service will continue to be provided to elderly and disabled households on a cost recovery basis. For Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients who have difficulty in shouldering the expenses, they may apply for supplementary grant from Social Welfare Department. For elderly tenants who cannot afford to pay for the repair service, the management will refer them to St. James* Settlement which will offer low cost or even free repair and maintenance service to the needy.
6. Overall, the implementation of the new policy is welcomed by tenants because the latter are having more choices and greater flexibility. Moreover, the repair charges are lower in most cases without the element of supervision on-cost.