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If you experience problems or require maintenance to fixtures or appliances within your rented home all reports should be made to our dedicated Maintenance Team in Milton Keynes and Towcester using the contact details below:
All reports during office hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) should receive a reply the same day with an update on what action is being taken. Issues reported out of office hours will be dealt with as soon as possible after the message is picked up.
Should you have an emergency with a gas leak or the carbon monoxide alarm in your home sounds an alarm, not just a chirp (which indicates a low battery) but a full continuous alarm then you should first isolate the gas by turning off at the meter. This can be done by turning the handle through 90 degrees / one quarter turn. Once gas is off open all windows and doors to ventilate and then contact us urgently during office hours or out of hours contact the National Grid emergency number on 0800 111999.
If the matter is an emergency outside of normal office hours then you are permitted to instruct your own contractors on this occasion only up to a maximum of £150 charge.
Emergencies are considered as gas leak, flood / serious leak that will cause further damage, security / locks where it is not possible to gain entry, complete electricity failure or heating failure if the outside temperature is below 5 degree centigrade.
Any non emergency work instructed without prior consent will not be reimbursed and is at your own expense.
Below is some useful advice and tips for some of the common issues in the home. Please try the following before reporting problems.
Modern boilers can be susceptible to loss of pressure over time or electronic programmers losing memory.
Sometimes problems can be resolved by resetting/restarting the boiler and controls. Please try following the boiler re-set procedure usually indicated on the front panel on modern boilers. You can also try switching off mains power to the boiler, timer or controller waiting 30 seconds and turning it back on and setting the controls to manual mode.
Modern boilers will have a pressure gauge or digital reading and should normally show in the ‘green’ or read approximately 1 bar of pressure. If pressure falls below the recommended level the boiler will switch off to avoid damage. Often the pressure can be easily topped up by either a filling key fitted to the bottom of the boiler, or by looking for a small tap on a silver loop pipe which acts as a filling loop. You must be careful not to over pressure the system.
NOTE: You should not need to remove the cover of the boiler to find a filling loop. Boiler covers should only every be removed by qualified Gas Safe Engineers.
Should you experience a small leak often the water to that tap or fitting can be isolated by using the isolation valve on the pipe supplying the faulty area. If an isolation valve is fitted it will have a small flat slot so that it can be turned off using a flat blade screwdriver. Simply turn the valve through 90 degrees / one quarter turn to shut the water supply off. If serious water escape occurs water should be isolated at the mains stop tap (usually located under the kitchen sink). Alternatively water can be turned off at the water meter in the street by turning the black handle inside the water meter cover.
If your electricity fails completely it is likely to be a power outage. You can check this by speaking to neighbouring properties or contacting your electricity supplier for an update of local issues. Usually the supply will resume within a short time and no further work should be required.
If the lights within the property all go off this is likely to be caused by a blown bulb somewhere in the house which has caused the circuit breaker to trip out. This is perfectly normal and modern systems are designed to do this when a bulb blows. Simply look at the fuse box in the property and switch the lights circuit back on and change the blown bulb.
If circuits for mains sockets / outlets fail this is commonly caused by a fault with something plugged in such as toaster, kettle, hairdryer etc developing a fault and tripping the RCD on the fuse board. If this is the case please ensure that all circuit breakers are turned on, and that the RCD is reset by pushing the trip switch back up (all switches on the fuse board should be in the ON position).
If the RCD or breaker trips again then try unplugging everything in the property which is plugged into a mains outlet and then re-setting again. If this works then you can identify the faulty appliance by plugging things back in one by one until you discover which appliance causes the fault to reoccur.
Where a washing machine fails to finish a cycle or drain correct it is often due to something blocking the filter. Checking filters and ensuring they are clear is the tenants responsibility and whilst we are happy to send a contractor for this issue, if the filter is at fault tenants will be liable for the callout charge.
For this reason we recommend that before an issue is reported that the filter is checked.
The filter is usually located in the front of the machine near the floor. Sometimes this is under a cover and sometimes visible. Once any cover is removed the filter will normally unscrew and can be checked for blockage before being refitted.
NOTE: When removing a filter it is usual for some water to come out so ensure you have a towel ready to catch the water.
Where fridge freezers are not keeping the correct temperature and either keeping food too warm, or getting too cold and freezing up heavily this can be caused by a need for a thorough defrost of the appliance. This is part of normal maintenance and is a tenant responsibility.
Defrosting can be done by emptying the appliance and switching it off at the mains and leaving it overnight with the doors open to allow all ice to thaw before turning the appliance back on.
Even appliances that claim to be ‘frost free’ do occasionally need a defrost as although they may not appear frozen internally, the pipes inside the casing can get frosted and cause thermostats to malfunction.
If after a defrost the appliance is still not working then an engineer visit will be required.
Sometimes locks can become sticky from cold and dirt. A quick spray of lubricant such as WD40 can rectify many issues. Where locks fail through normal use the landlord is liable for costs to correct and any issues should be reported as soon as you become aware of them so that we can arrange repairs to be carried out. Tenants are responsible for loss or damage to locks through negligence or excess force.
Where a tenant locks themselves out of the property we recommend a locksmith is called. In certain circumstances we may, depending on staff availability, attend to grant the tenant access subject to a callout charge of £30 inc VAT being paid.
Should keys be lost the landlord may reserve the right to insist that locks are changed to ensure security of the property. A copy of the key(s) to any lock changes must be supplied to us within 3 days of the locks being changed.
Where tenants are arranging their own locksmith they may use any qualified person, however we regularly use local Trading Standards Approved contractor ‘Teales Locksmiths’ who can be reached on 07770 37543 / 01908 233257.
An overwhelming majority of reported mould and damp in homes during winter months is due purely to condensation. Condensation on your bathroom mirror and on the bedroom windows in the morning doesn’t just condense there, but also on other cold areas around your home such as ceilings, outside walls and in cold spots behind furniture.
Even during winter your house needs to breath and by keeping your home at a steady 16 degrees or above and leaving windows cracked open for ventilation will stop most condensation and mould issues. Many people do not realise the amount of moisture in the air in their home caused by bathing, cooking, drying washing and even breathing! (the average adult breaths out around 1 litre of water vapour whilst they sleep) which all needs to go somewhere and without ventilation will condense on cold spots in your home and eventually cause mould.
More information about keeping your home free of condensation can be found in the helpful leaflet created by the Nation House Building Council (NHBC) by following the link below. http://www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCPublications/LiteratureLibrary/HomeownerDocuments/filedownload,31929,en.pdf