Looking after your home
As your landlord, there are lots of things we are responsible for to make sure we're delivering quality, safe and compliant homes. As a tenant, it's important for you to know you have some responsibilities too.
Our responsibilities to you
Safety & compliance
One of the most important things we need to do is make sure your home is safe and complies with relevant legislation by carrying out necessary checks. This includes things like: Gas safety checks Fire system tests Water hygiene maintenance Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICRs) Checking for asbestos prior to major works or alterations Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
Repairs & maintenance
We are responsible for looking after your home through our repairs and maintenance service. If there is an issue with your home that needs to be repaired, please report your repair we will arrange for this to be fixed.
Please note, there are some types of repair works that we are not responsible for. If you report something to us that you're responsible for, you will need to cover the cost. This includes any damage that is caused by you, members of your household or visitors to your home, with the exception of reasonable wear and tear.
We also carry out different cyclical maintenance services in some of our locations where this is included in your service charges, such as grass cutting and window cleaning.
We want all of our tenants to be proud of where they live and to enjoy living in a clean and tidy environment. More importantly, we want to be sure that the area is safe and free of hazards.
To help us ensure this, we carry out regular inspections of buildings and estates to check that communal areas are being kept in good repair and that tenants are keeping their areas neat and tidy. These Estate Management inspections will be carried out more frequently where an area is experiencing particular problems.
Repairs & maintenance
As per your tenancy agreement, you are responsible for taking reasonable care of your home, including minor maintenance.
You must tell us if you notice anything in your home that needs to be repaired. There are some repairs that we are not responsible for, including where damage has been caused by your, a member of your household or a visitor. If you report a repair you're responsible for, we can arrange to complete the repair but we will charge you.
One of the biggest problems we see is improper disposal of litter and bulk refuse. Please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that your household rubbish is put in the appropriate bins and that your bins are put out for emptying on the correct day and then returned to correct bin storage area.
You must tell us about any changes or improvements you may wish to make before you make them, and you must receive permission from us. We may provide compensation for improvements that you make during your tenancy, depending on the type of improvement. If you do not get permission, we may charge you for any restoration we need to do.
It’s vital that you insure your home against damage. If your possessions are stolen or you are flooded for example, Trust will repair any damage to the property, but it’s your responsibility to replace the contents of your home.
We’re happy to help with this, so contact us if you want to talk about home contents insurance.
From time to time you may notice some of your radiators aren't heating up as well as they could, or the pressure in your heating system may drop a little. This is fairly normal in a gas central heating system and something that you can remedy yourself. If we call out a heating engineer and your system simply needs to be bled or the pressure topped up, you may be charged for the contractor's time.
A small amount of air in the system can cause radiators to be cooler than expected and this air should be eliminated by bleeding the air out of the radiator by using a small radiator key which you can buy from any DIY hardware store.
- Before bleeding your radiators, turn the central heating on and wait until your radiators have reached maximum heat
- Check the radiators for cold spots. A radiator that needs to be bled will have cold spots at the top of the radiator and warm at the bottom
- Turn the central heating off and wait for it to cool down (this will make sure the water in the radiators has cooled down and does not burn you when you start to bleed the radiators)
- Find the first radiator to bleed – if your room has more than one floor it is best to start bleeding the downstairs radiators first, starting with the one furthest away from the boiler.
- Locate the radiator bleed valve (usually at the top and side of your radiator)
- Place a towel on the floor to catch any drips.
- Insert the radiator bleed key into bleed valve on the radiator and turn anti-clockwise to open the valve.
- You will hear hissing as the air starts to escape.
- Keep turning the valve until it is a quarter to half of the way open. – Making sure you don’t open the valve fully to avoid the water escaping too quickly.
- Once the hissing noise and air stop and water starts to leak out you have bled out all the trapped air from the radiator.
- Repeat this with all other radiators which you identified needs to be bled. It should take no more than 20 to 30 seconds to bleed the radiator, but this can vary depending on the size of the radiator and the quantity of air trapped inside the radiator.
- Check the pressure of your boiler – If you have a pressurised central heating system you may notice that the pressure gauge on your boiler has dropped after bleeding the radiators. If this is the case, you will need to top up the boiler pressure before turning the heating on.
- If you find there are still some cold spots on your radiators after you turn the heating back on you may need to bleed the radiator again.
It is your responsibility to top up the boiler. Different boiler types have different controls for topping up pressure - usually a valve or sometimes a slot that is turned with a screw driver. Your boiler instruction manual will guide you through this simple process.
The pressure gauge should sit between 1.5 - 2.0 when the boiler is running. If the pressure keeps dropping, there may be a leak in one of the heating pipes. Report this fault to us and we will attend as soon as we can.
Particularly cold temperatures can cause a drop in gas pressure and, in extreme cases, can cut off your gas supply. Unfortunately there's nothing we can do to restore the gas supply in this case and you must contact Scotia Gas Networks on their National Gas Emergency number 0800 111 999.
When temperatures drop below freezing you should keep your heating on, even at a low temperature. This will help keep the water in the pipes flowing.
If pipes do freeze and you can easily access the area where the pipes are, you can try to defrost them with a gentle heat from a low voltage fan heater, or similar. If the pipes are within a kitchen cupboard, leave the doors open to let the heat in to them. Do not use a gas heater as this fierce heat could damage the pipes and cause a burst.
Keep an eye on things as the pipes defrost in case there is a leak, and be ready to turn the water off if necessary.
If pipes do burst, report this to us immediately and turn the water off at the stop cock. Use buckets or towels to contain water leakage as much as possible to minimise damage to the building fabric and your own possessions.
If you suspect you have burst pipes, you should:
- Turn off the water at the stop valve. If possible, collect water for washing and flushing the toilet.
- Turn on all cold taps to drain the water supply. Call us, or if outside office hours contact our emergency contractors.
- Turn off the central heating system and any water heaters.
- It is possible water may drip on to electrical sockets or wires, if there is any chance this may happen, switch off the electricity supply at the mains.
This is your responsibility. To fix this:
- Go to the panel of small switches beside your electricity meter
- One of the switches will have 'tripped' down to shut of the supply when the faulty appliance was plugged in
- Simply push the switch back up and this will re-connect power to your sockets
In order to check if the appliance is faulty you can try plugging it in to another socket. If the electrics trip again this indicates that the appliance is faulty and should be repaired or replaced.