Window repairs: council tenants

Questions answered about window repairs.

Why are you asking me to test my windows?

A recent sample survey of windows showed that some safety catches were wearing out.

We are taking a proactive and practical approach to the results of this survey and asking you to do a quick check of your windows to make sure they are in good working order.

If they are not, then you should contact us and we will repair them.

What is a safety catch?

Safety catches are designed to allow the window to be opened up to 10cm (4 inches) to ventilate the room. For the window to be opened wider than this, the catch must be released manually.

There are many different types of safety catches. All are fitted between the opening frame and the stationary frame.

How do I test the windows?

If your windows are fitted with safety catches, please test them from time to time to make sure they are working properly.

To do this, simply open the window. It should open no more than 10cm (4 inches) before it stops. This means the safety catch is working. Do not force the window past this point.

If the window does not stop at this point it could be because the catch is worn out or broken. If this is the case, close the window, and lock it (if possible) then please report it t us.  

If you have released the catch to open the window wider, make sure you secure it again.

You should never leave a window unattended when the catch is off.

What do I do if my window safety catch is not working properly?

Contact us and report it as a repair on 020 8489 5611 (cheaper from a mobile). Lines are open Mondays to Fridays, 8am to 6pm, or email us at:

Please tell us the type of window in your home.

My windows don’t have safety catches. Will you fit one?

No. Some of the older style windows with metal frames will be replaced with double-glazed windows as part of the Decent Homes programme. The new windows will have safety catches fitted as standard.

To find out if your home is likely to get new windows, please contact the Asset Management team on 020 8489 1778 or email

My windows don’t have safety catches. Can I fit one?

Before you make any changes to your home, you must get our permission. Please contact our Housing Customer Contact Centre on 020 8489 5611 (lines are open Mondays to Fridays, 8am to 6pm). If you do make changes to your home, we recommend that you use a suitably qualified tradesman to carry out the work.

I’ve just had new windows fitted under the Decent Homes programme. What should I do?

If you have had new windows installed they should be in good working order. However, it is always good to check window safety catches from time to time.

How can I tell what type of window I have?

When booking a window repair, it is helpful if you tell us what type you have.The following are the main types of windows installed in council properties.

Casement window:

 Casement window

Pivot window:

 Pivot window


Sliding window:

 Sliding window

Sash window:

 Sash window


Page last updated:

June 1, 2022