Welcome to your new home we have put together some information for you should you need to contact us regarding repairs or out of hours repair/emergency services that are available to you.
HOW TO ORDER A REPAIR
If your property needs a repair, in the first instance please contact our office on 0161 834 1010 asking for property management if need be leave a message with your name, property address and contact number. Most repairs are paid for by the landlord, we will always let you know if there is a charge. You can report a repair over the phone, by e-mail email@example.com or in person by visiting our office. We will need to know as much information as possible about the repair, how to contact you during the day and when we can make an appointment if need be.
Some repairs are not the responsibility of Lawrence Copeland Estate agents, but may be the responsibility of the block management company or if the property is a new build property it may still be under warranty, this meaning the repair will be the responsibility of the contractors who built the property. However in the first instance report the repair to our property maintenance department on 0161 834 1010.
If the repairs that need to be carried out are covered on an insurance policy we may need to get 2 estimates and submit them to the insurance company before any works can be instructed. However if the problem is an emergency we will approach the landlord and ask them to cover the cost of the repair.
Please be aware if the repair needed is the responsibility of one of the above, we have no control of the timescale in which the repair will be carried out but we will endeavor to get it rectified as soon as possible.
If you need to report an emergency repair when our office is closed before 9:30a.m and after 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and before 10:00 am and after 4:00 pm Saturdays. You can ring one of our contractors on the relevant numbers listed. The emergency repairs service is for situations when there is a danger to you or others, or if it is likely that considerable damage will be caused to the property by not acting straight away. Our contractors will only attend repairs out of hours which are a genuine emergency. Any repairs that are reported as an emergency but then when the property is attended, it is found not to be an emergency the cost will be bourn by you the tenant.
What happens after I have reported my repair?
Firstly we need to seek permission from your landlord to send out a contractor if the repair is an emergency and we are unable to contact the landlord it will be at our director's discretion to instruct a contractor to attend.
We will need to make an appointment with you for either for the repair to be carried out or inspected. If we need to gain access to your home to carry out the repair, we will ensure it is made at a convenient time for you or we can provide our contractors with keys for your property. If the works are extensive or necessary parts need to be ordered further visit may be required to complete the repair.
TYPE OF REPAIRS
We will carry out your repairs as efficiently as possible. There are four different priorities for repairs and we will inform you which priority your repair comes under:
2) Priority repairs (Within three days)
• Loss of heating and hot water (In winter time)
• Boiler Failure (Once the pilot light has been checked by the tenant)
• Shower repairs where there is no other means of bathing
3) Urgent repairs (Within 7 days)
- Gas escapes.
- Electrical faults (if hazardous).
- Major leaks or bursts.
- Broken glazing is responded to as an emergency but the window may have to be boarded in the first instance while glass is cut or new units are made.
4) Normal Repairs (within 15-20 days)
- Minor leaks to any plumbing appliance/fitting.
- Faulty taps (not including dripping taps)
- Minor electrical repairs (such as immersion heaters and thermostats).
- Overflows running from toilets or tanks (ball valves).
- Broken glazing.
- Repairs to external doors and locks where there is no security risk.
These are jobs that will be completed within 15-20 working days from when they are reported. These are jobs that are not of an urgent nature, but if left too long would harm the building or might cause safety problems. Examples are:
- Loose taps.
- Loose toilet bowl.
- Broken light fittings
- Shower repairs
- Broken extractor fan
The list above is by no way exhausted it is meant as a guide and we will endeavor to get all repairs carried out as soon as possible.
What type of repairs are the TENANTS responsibility?
Some small repairs may be your responsibility. This will apply if damage has been caused by neglect. The damage may have been caused by yourself, a member of your household, your pets or visitors to your home. If a repair has been caused by vandalism you must report it to the Police and note the crime reference number before you report the repair to our office. If a repair is your responsibility you can arrange for the work to be completed yourself, or ask us to arrange for the work to be done and recharged to you. Tenant's responsibilities include: ·
- Keeping all drains and pipes within the property clear, should they become blocked tenants should arrange for them to be unblocked.
- Changing of light bulbs within the property.
- Replacing smoke alarm batteries.
- The replacement of tap washers.
- The bleeding of radiators.
- Replacing Fuses.
Common Problems within properties which we will expect the tenant to check before we call a contractor out.
Check fuses in electrical items including any extension leads. Check fuses in any fused wall sockets. Some ovens have a manual and automatic setting (timed) if the oven will not come on please ensure you check it is not switched to automatic, as if it's found to switched to automatic when the engineer attends you will be responsible for paying the invoice. If your heating and or hot water are not working the first thing to check is that the pilot light on the boiler is lit (gas boilers only). If not follow the instructions on the boiler or your user manual before reporting the problem. If any of the electrics within the property trip off you must check that all trip switches on the fuse board are switched to the on position. If the electric trips off when you switch a switch on or when you plug something in switch the switch back off or unplug the item that has been plugged in and then switch the trip switch back on if this stays on then what ever was plugged in or switched on has a fault. If it's a light change the bulb, if its an electrical item check the fuse and if it's a fused wall switch change the fuse.
DEALING WITH CONDENSATION
There is always some moisture in the air, even if you cannot see it. If air gets cold, it cannot hold all the moisture produced by everyday activities and some of this moisture appears as tiny droplets of water, most noticeable on windows on a cold morning. This is condensation. It can also bee seen on mirrors when you have a bath or shower, and on cold surfaces such as tiles or cold walls.
Condensation occurs in cold weather, even when the weather is dry. It doesn't leave a 'tidemark' round its edges on walls. If there is a 'tidemark; this dampness might have another cause, such as water leaking into your home from a plumbing fault, loose roof tiles or rising damp.
Look for condensation in your home. It can appear on or near windows, in corners and, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards. Condensation forms on cold surfaces and places where there is little movement of air.
Problems that can be caused by excessive condensation
Dampness caused by excessive condensation can lead to mould growth on walls and furniture, mildew on clothes and other fabrics and the rotting of wooden window frames. Also, damp humid conditions provide an environment in which house dust mites can easily multiply. The presence of mould and dust mites can make existing respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis worse.
First steps against condensation
You will need to take proper steps to deal with condensation, but meanwhile there are some simple things you should do straight away
Dry your windows and windowsills every morning, as well as surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom that have become wet. Wring out the cloth rather than drying it on a radiator.
First steps against mould growth
First treat the mould already in your home, then deal with the basic problem of condensation to stop mould reappearing.
To kill and remove mould, wipe down or spray walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash that carries a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 'approval number', and ensure that you follow the instructions for its safe use. These fungicidal washes are often available at local supermarkets. Dry-clean mildewed clothes, and shampoo carpets.
try to remove mould by using a brush or vacuum cleaner.
After treatment, redecorate using good quality fungicidal paint and a fungicidal resistant wall paper paste to help prevent mould recurring. The effect of fungicidal or anti-condensation paint in destroyed if covered with ordinary paint or wallpaper.
But remember: the only lasting cure for severe mould is to get rid of the dampness.
What causes condensation?
There are four main factors that cause condensation:-
Too much moisture being produced in your home.
Not enough ventilation.
The temperature of your home
Too much moisture being produced in your home
Our everday activities add extra moisture to the air inside our homes. Even our breathing adds some moisture. One person asleep adds ½ pint of water to the air overnight and at twice that rate when active during the day.
To give you some idea as to how much extra water this could be in a day here are some examples: 2 people at home for 16 hours 3 pints A bath or shower 2 pints Drying clothes indoors 9 pints Cooking and use of a kettle 6 pints Washing dishes 2 pints Bottles gas heater (8 hours use) 4 pints
Total moisture added in one day 26 pints or 14.8 litres
What can you do?
Hang your washing outside to dry if at all possible, or hang it in the bathroom with the door closed and a window slightly open or extractor fan on. Don't be tempted to put it on radiators or in front of a radiant heater.
If you use a tumble drier, make sure it is vented to the outside or that it is of the new condensing type.
Always cook with pan lids on, and turn the heat down once the water has boiled. Only use the minimum amount of water for cooking vegetables.
When filling your bath, run the cold water first then add the hot - it will reduce the steam by 90% which leads to condensation.
Try to avoid use of bottled gas heaters; they produce about 8 pints of moisture from an average-sized gas cylinder. (Tenancy Agreements may not allow the use of this type of heater).
Don't use your gas cooker to heat your kitchen as it produces moisture when burning gas. (You might notice your windows misting over.
Ventilation of the Home
Ventilation can help to reduce condensation by removing moist air from your home and replacing it with drier air from outside
Help to reduce condensation that has built up overnight by opening to the first notch a small window downstairs. (They should be on opposite sides of the house, or diagonally opposite if you live in a flat). At the same time, open the interior room doors, this will allow drier air to circulate throughout your home. This should be carried out for 30 minutes each day.
Note: Make sure that accessible windows will not cause a security problem - remember to close windows when you go out.
Ventilate your kitchen when cooking, washing up or washing by hand. Use your cooker extractor hood or extractor fan or open a window.
Ventilate your kitchen and bathroom for about 20 minutes after use by opening a small window. Use an extractor fan if possible.
Ventilate your bedroom by leaving a window slightly open at night, or use trickle ventilators if fitted. (But again, remember your security).
Reduce the risk of mildew on clothes and other stored items, by allowing air to circulate round them
Remove 'false' wardrobe backs or drill breather holes in them
Place furniture on blocks to allow air to circulate underneath.
Keep a small gap between large pieces of furniture and the walls, and where possible place wardrobes and furniture against internal walls
Pull shelves away from backs of wardrobes and cupboards
Never overfill wardrobes and cupboards as it restricts air circulation
Cold surfaces in your home
Condensation forms more easily on cold surfaces in the home, for example on walls and ceilings. In many cases, those surfaces can be made warmer by improving insulation and draught proofing. Insulation and draft proofing will also help keep the whole house warmer and will cut your fuel bills. When the whole house is warmer, condensation becomes less likely.
Loft and wall insulation are the most effective forms of insulation.
If you install any draught proofing, observe the following guidance:
Do not draft proof rooms with a condensation problem, or where there is a heater or cooker that burns gas or solid fuel
Do not block permanent ventilators or airbricks installed for heating or heating appliances
Do not draught proof bathroom or kitchen windows
The temperature of your home
Warm air holds more moisture than cooler air which is more likely to deposit droplets of condensation round your home. Heating one room to a high level and leaving other rooms cold makes condensation worse in the unheated rooms. It is better to have a medium-to-low level of heat throughout the house. Keeping the heating on at low all day in cold weather will help to control condensation.
If you have a heating system such as under-floor electric but are afraid to use it because you've been told it is expensive to run, please contact the Energy Saving Trust for an advice guide on how to control your system on
FREEPHONE 0800 512 012.
You might find it costs less to run than you expect or have experienced in the past.
If you don't have heating in every room, you could keep the doors of unheated rooms open to allow some heat into them.
To add extra heat to rooms without any form of heating it is better to use electric heaters, for example oil-filled radiators or panel heaters, on a low setting. Don't use portable bottled gas heaters in homes suffering with condensation as they give out a lot of moisture whilst in use. Contrary to popular belief, it is cheaper to heat a room with on-peak electricity than by bottled gas heaters.
If you have a freezer, it is a good idea to put it in a space suffering from condensation, as the heat from the motor should help to keep condensation at bay.
Be careful not to 'over-ventilate' your home when it is cold, it causes the temperature to drop and makes condensation more likely. It will also increase your heating costs.