You will find some advice relating to the maintenance of your home and how you can avoid problems.
Most pipes in our properties are well insulated. However, in very cold spells they can freeze and burst. To prevent pipes bursting, keep your heating on low at all times. If you are going away for any length of time during the winter, please let us know in advance. We can arrange to drain down any water storage tanks and show you how to turn off your water when you go.
REMEMBER - If you do get a burst pipe while your flat has been left empty for any length of time, then you could be held liable for damage caused to the contents of your neighbours' flats.
If you do get a burst pipe you should:
- Turn off the water immediately at the stopcocks;
- Turn all your taps ON as quickly as possible (unless the burst is on the waste). This will empty any tanks through the waste rather than through the burst pipe, reducing the amount of flooding;
- Switch off the electric water heater or gas boiler;
- Contact the housing association or out of hours emergency contractor; and
- Warn any neighbours who may be affected.
If you smell gas:
- Put out cigarettes and switch off any working gas appliances;
- Do not use electrical switches;
- Do not light any matches and under no circumstances search for the gas leak with a naked flame;
- Open doors and windows to get rid of the gas; and
- Check if the pilot light has blown out or if a gas tap has been left on.
Unless you have turned off the source of the gas (e.g. a pilot light) phone Transco.
Electrical Supply Failure
Nearly all of our houses are fitted with circuit breakers rather than fuses. These are small switches on the consumer unit ("fuse box") that automatically turn off if there's a fault in the circuit.
If your power fails and you do not know what caused it:
- Check you have credit in your meter;
- Check with your neighbours to see if there has been a power cut to your close or street, if so contact your Electricity supplier for further advice, there will be an emergency contact number on your electricity bill or in the phone book;
- If the power failure is just to your flat, switch everything OFF, including lights, TV, cooker etc;
- Switch ON the circuit breakers on the consumer unit ("fuse box"); and
- Switch your lights and appliances on one at a time, if the power goes off when you turn on an appliance (e.g. TV, cooker, kettle), unplug it and have it checked by an electrician.
If you cannot find out what is causing the problem, or if the power goes off when you turn a light on, report the repair to our office.
If you call us out for a power failure and the cause is due to a fault with one of your appliances, or is because you have no electricity due to a lack of credit in a prepayment meter, you will be charged for the call out.
We have installed a smoke detector in all our properties. These will give you a warning if a fire breaks out and may save your life by giving you extra seconds to get out of your house. You must NEVER:
- Disconnect the alarm;
- Paint over it; or
- Move it
You should check that the alarm is working at least once each month. You can do this by pressing and holding the test button until the alarm sounds.
You should clean the detector regularly, preferably with a vacuum cleaner, to keep it free from dust.
We do not keep spare keys for your house. It is in your own interests to have a spare set cut and left with a relative or someone you can trust.
If you lose your keys or lock yourself out, we may be able to gain access for you. This will depend on whether we have a tradesman available to gain access.
If we do agree to do this for you we will charge you for gaining access and for any damage caused in forcing your door.
However, we will NOT gain access for you if:
- we do not have a tradesman available; or
- you have any debts with the Association as a result of any previous rechargeable repair; or
- it is outside normal working hours.
In this situation, you will need to find your own joiner or locksmith to gain access for you.
Please note that we have instructed our emergency contractor NOT to respond to call outs for lost keys due to the costs involved (over £100) which we would have to pass on to the tenant.
Communal TV Aerials/Satellite Dishes
There is a common aerial for each close and we provide an aerial socket in the living room of each flat. You must not interfere with the aerial and under no circumstances must you attempt to enter the loft.
If you think that the aerial is not working properly, check first with your neighbours. If their picture is alright, then your set is probably faulty. However, if you are sure that it is the aerial, contact our repairs team.
We insure the structure of your house, but this does not cover your personal belongings or damage to the decoration in your house.
Many tenants think that our insurance covers them for damage to their furniture, carpets, decoration etc. after fire or burst pipes. Our insurance does not cover this.
Whether the damage was caused by a leaking roof or a burst pipe, a fire in your house or in someone else's house, or by a neighbour's washing machine overflowing, we are not responsible for any damage to your belongings (assuming we have not been negligent).
Please remember that you may be held liable for any damage to your neighbours' goods and decoration caused by accidents or neglect, or by failure of any machine which is your responsibility. The most common type of accident is overflowing washing machines. The Diamond Insurance Scheme may cover you for such a liability.
We have information regarding the THiS Tenants Contents Insurane scheme.
It is your responsibility to decorate the inside of your home and you should keep it decorated to a reasonable standard.
If you wish to hang pictures, put up wall cupboards or fix shelves to the wall, you should use screws and special butterfly fittings on hollow walls (unless you are sure that you are fixing into timber supports).
Remember to make sure that you do not screw or nail above or near electrical sockets or the meter board.