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Housing associations and councils in England could be giving tenants money to do repairs on their homes under a new Tenant Cashback scheme. Housing Minister Grant Shapps said that basic house maintenance was often something that tenants could undertake themselves, and it currently costs social landlords £4billion a year. The idea is that tenants would be given control over their repairs budget, although responsibility for major works would remain with the landlord.

The government says that housing associations and councils currently spend around £1000 a year per property on repairs, and  that by either doing the work themselves or getting a professional local tradesman in, could save landlords a lot of money, and tenants could benefit from the savings made. This could be great news for local plumbers, electricians and decorators.

Tenants could also pool their resources by creating a ‘Community Cashback’ account  to pay for improvements to particular streets or neighbourhoods.

The scheme is going to be tested by 2 housing associations, with the aim of rolling out the scheme across England later in the year.

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