House, garden and pet care


Major repairs

You need to make sure that your home is maintained properly so that it is safe for you to live there. If it needs repairs, you can get advice and help.

  • If you are elderly and/or disabled and have a low income, you can get advice and help from the housing department of your borough or district council. Whether you are a council tenant or own your own home, they can advise whether you qualify for a grant to help pay for the work and if so, how to apply for one. They can recommend a reliable building contractor and check that work has been done to a good standard. They will also be able to tell you whether there is a Home Improvement Agency or Handyperson / Handyman Scheme operating in your area.
  • If you are a private tenant, you should contact your landlord. If they are unwilling to carry out the work needed, you should contact your local council housing department which may help your landlord carry out essential work. If you are a Council or Housing Association tenant you should contact your landlord.
  • If you are paying for repairs yourself, you can still get advice and information from your local council. Staff may also be able to suggest local builders who are expert in the kind of repair work that you need.
  • Never agree to repairs to roofing or driveways offered at the door. Always go to a reputable trader.

Small repairs

Options if you are looking for someone to carry out a small repair for you:

  • Find a local trader through Hampshire Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme. All the businesses in this scheme have been vetted and approved by Trading Standards to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way.
    Search for a trader or business online or call 01392 383430 (9.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday) for a free directory.
  • Some smaller local providers may not be registered with Buy With Confidence. You can also find local handyperson providers in our Marketplace directory (Please note that these providers are not vetted or checked by us although they have all signed up to our Code of Conduct. Please read the Buyers Guide).

N.B. You will have to pay for trades people you find through the above directories.


You may also want to consider making adaptations to your house. See our Equipment and adaptations information section.

Help around the house

Housework and cleaning
For paid help with housework, you can:

  • Find reliable cleaning, ironing and laundry services, which have been checked and vetted by Hampshire Trading Standards, in the Buy With Confidence directory. Call 01329 383430 (9.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday) for a free directory. 
  • Some smaller local providers may not be registered with Buy With Confidence. You can also find providers offering domestic help as well as Meals services and Laundry services in our Marketplace directory (Please note that these providers are not vetted or checked by us although they have all signed up to our Code of Conduct. Please read the Buyers Guide).

If you are going to employ your own cleaner, rather than use an agency, always ask for and check references.

You can also search in our in our Community directory for community groups or organisations that may be able to offer you House or garden help.

You may find that there is equipment you can buy which will help you with domestic tasks such as cleaning, cooking and laundry. Explore our Equipment and adaptations information section.

Assisted waste collection
If you are unable to put your refuse/recycling containers out for collection because you are elderly or disabled, contact your local district or borough council and ask about Assisted Waste Collection. This is where the crew will come to your house to collect the bin and then bring the bin back to you. (This service is usually only available if you can provide proof of disability and there is nobody else to help you). 

Disposing of large waste items
Most councils will collect things like old sofas, fridges or washing machines for a fee. You'll need to apply for special collection of large waste items from your local council.

Good Neighbours Support Service
Good Neighbours groups are independent voluntary groups which offer neighbourly help to people in their local communities. They have groups in all parts of Hampshire, excluding Southampton. They aim to provide a dependable and trustworthy service which enables people to stay independent in their own homes and helps prevent isolation.

Some groups specialise in one activity while others offer a range of services. Because the groups are made up of volunteers, the sort of help they can offer varies widely but often includes: shopping, visiting, befriending, running lunch clubs, sitting services, collecting prescriptions, driving people to their GP and to hospital appointments, walking the dog and minor repairs.
Visit their website to find out if there is a Good Neighbours group near you  and what help they can offer. Alternatively, telephone 023 9289 9671.


If you are finding it difficult to maintain your garden because of your age or disability, there are organisations that may be able to help.

  • Councils of Voluntary Service (CVSs) may have contacts in your local area that can provide gardening support.
  • Thrive, a national charity, has information and tips on making your garden easier to manage as well as details of the equipment and tools which will be particularly helpful.
  • Hampshire Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme has lists of reliable gardeners. Search online or call 01392 383430 (9.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday). When asking for quotes, remember to ask if there is a cost to remove any garden refuse and if specific gardening equipment is needed. Find out exactly what they will and will not do (for example, not all gardening services offer hedge cutting).
  • Some smaller local gardeners may not be registered with Buy With Confidence. You can also find local gardening providers in our Marketplace directory (Please note that these providers are not vetted or checked by us although they have all signed up to our Code of Conduct. Please read the Buyers Guide).

Utility suppliers and household emergencies

Household emergencies – who to call:

  • National Power Cut Helpline Call 105 from a landline or mobile
  • Gas emergencies 0800 111 999
  • Southern Water Emergency Line 0330 303 0368
  • South East Water Emergency Line 0333 000 0365
  • Portsmouth Water Emergency Line 023 9247 7999
  • Bournemouth Water Emergency Helpline 0344 346 2020
  • Electricity – call Consumer Direct for a local electrical contractor 03454 04 05 06
  • FLOODLINE 0345 988 1188. Phone the Environment Agency’s floodline to sign up for flood warnings and get simple advice on what to do before, during and after a flood.

Caring for your pet

  • There are many companies who offer pet walking or sitting services listed on Yell. We also list dog walking and pet sitting services in our Marketplace directory.
  • If you have difficulty exercising your dog, you could also try your local Good Neighbour Group or local church to see if there is anyone who can help. Telephone 023 9289 9671.
  • If you are elderly or terminally ill and can no longer look after your pet, you could contact the Cinnamon Trust. They can find both long and short-term foster carers for pets, who will keep their owners informed about their welfare. They also have volunteer dog walkers in most areas who can help if you are unable to exercise your dog.  If your pet dies and you want another, the Trust can link you with an animal whose current owner can no longer keep it. The Trust is a charity and welcomes donations from the people it helps. Telephone 01736 757900.
  • The Blue Cross finds homes for unwanted cats, dogs, small pets and horses across the UK. They help each pet find the right person for them. Telephone 0300 790 9903.

    See also the "Caring for pets during hospital stays" section on our Hospital stays page.


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