Common maintenance issues and how to solve them!

Below are a list of issues that we have previously encountered in properties.  As you will see, many of these can be easily resolved without the need to involve any external assistance therefore meaning unnecessary call-outs and charges to you are avoided!

There is no power (or problem with the electricity)

  1. Make sure it is not a power cut! Have a quick look outside at neighbours’ houses & streetlights. Sometimes power cuts can ‘miss a house’ so it may not be your immediate neighbour, but the next house along.
  2. If not – it is likely that something has tripped a break switch in your fuse-board (these are designed to click off if there is a problem). The problem is usually something plugged in (i.e. fridge or hairdryer).
  3. If you switch the main breaker switch back on it will stay on if it is safe. If it clicks off there is still a problem. You can follow these steps to identify the cause:
        • Switch off all the breakers and then switch on the main breaker switch (it should stay on)
        • Switch on the first breaker switch – If that breaker and the main switch stay on, the problem is not on that circuit
        • Repeat this for each of the other breakers, until you find the breaker which trips the switch
        • If the breaker is for a plug socket circuit turn off and unplug everything on that circuit to check whether the breaker still trips
        • If it doesn’t – plug in and switch on each item, one at a time. If it trips when an item is plugged in then that is the item causing the problem.

Let us know if it is something plugged in which belongs to your Landlord and we can arrange to get it fixed, also if the breaker is tripping with nothing plugged in or is not for a plug socket circuit we will need to get an electrician to have a look at this so please contact us. Please be aware we may need to charge you for the call out if the problem is caused by one of your items connected into the circuit.

The heating is not working

  • Does the boiler make a noise like it is running? If so check the radiators to make sure they are all switched on.
  • Turn the thermostat up to full to see if that makes the boiler kick in.
  • Follow the user guide to reset the boiler and if there is an error code use the guide to check what this means. You can also simply turn the boiler off and on again.
  • If you use gas make sure it is on, and if you have oil make sure the tank is not empty.

The radiators need bleeding

  • Turn your heating on, so that all the radiators come on and wait until they are fully heated (you need to build up pressure in the radiator in order to force the air out).
  • Identify which radiators need bleeding, by checking each one individually to see if all parts of the radiator are warming up. Cool spots, (particularly towards the top of the radiator), mean that there could be air or gas trapped and that you’ll need to bleed that radiator.
  • Switch off your central heating. This is reversing the process identified in step one and will allow you to handle the radiators without burning yourself or soaking your floor.
  • Bleeding radiators will require a radiator key (buy one at your local hardware store if you can’t find yours) or a flat-blade screwdriver. At the top of the radiator at one end there will be a valve. You can attach the radiator key to the square bit in the centre or put the end of the screwdriver into the groove.
  • Hold the key or screwdriver with a cloth, and have another cloth ready to catch any drips, then slowly turn the radiator key or screwdriver anti-clockwise – if gas is escaping you’ll hear a hissing sound.
  • Once there is no more gas, liquid will come out and the valve will need to be closed quickly. With the more modern screwdriver operated escape valve, liquid is likely to emerge as a jet rather than a dribble.
  • Check the pressure by having a look at the gauge on your boiler. If the pressure is too low, you’ll need to ‘top up’. You can do this using the lever or tap on your boiler, known as the filling loop.
  • Afterwards, you may want to run another ‘hot test’ to check that your efforts have been successful. Simply turn your heating on, wait for all the radiators to heat up and check for any cool spots.
  • That’s everything – the radiators should now be working properly again!

There is no hot water

  • If you have a boiler to heat your water, follow the user guide to reset the boiler and ensure it is working and switched on. Follow the user guides to identify any error codes that may be showing.
  • If you also have an immersion heater in the tank. This can provide hot water until the boiler is fixed.
  • If your water is heated only by the immersion please check the switches are on and that there is power.

The water supply has cut off

If you have problems with water supply you need to contact your water company, which will most likely be Affinity Water on 0345 357 2407. They will often notify you if for any reason you will be experiencing an interruption in your water supply.

The front or back door is broken and not secure

  • Please contact us before calling out an emergency locksmith and we can try to get this sorted for you.
  • If you have had a break in: please call the police immediately and get a crime reference number. Let your insurance company know and let us know. We can arrange for any works to be completed by one of our contractors.

The drains are blocked (water not going down sink or toilet)

If your drains are blocked we can arrange to get them cleared.

However in almost every case they are blocked by things that Tenants have put down the drains, in which case we have to charge the tenant for the call out. The problem is often solidified fat or nappies.

Please note we have many loos blocked by ‘flushable’ wipes. These wipes do not break down quickly and often accumulate causing a blockage. We recommend these are not flushed.

Where you have a blockage we advise your first step is to try to clear the drains yourself using drain un-blocker chemicals from the supermarket. We also find that a good load of bleach and hot water should do the trick, especially if left overnight.

Electric oven not working

Check it is switched on at the wall – there should be lights on the oven somewhere.

Check the clock is set and the timer is not set – this is usually the problem. The manual can explain how, although we find it easier to follow the many explanations people have posted on line, which seem available for most oven model

Smoke alarm is continuously beeping

It is likely that the batteries need replacing, please replace these and if there are further problems then contact us!

Minor maintenance repairs are needed

Minor repairs such as fixing a cabinet door, renewing sealant, changing batteries, fuses, bulbs, tightening toilet seats are the Tenant’s responsibility throughout the Tenancy.

Remember the property must be maintained to the standard that it was handed to the Tenant in the initial Inventory Report, therefore if the items are in good working order on the initial report, the Tenant would be expected to maintain and hand them back in this condition (with the exception of fair, wear and tear!).

There is damp/mildew at the property

  • Ensure the property is correctly ventilated by the keeping windows open.
  • Try not to hand clothes out to dry inside as this leads to a lot of moisture in the air
  • Wipe down any mildew and mould and treat as necessary

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Always try to resolve problems using the above advice or calling to see what can be done before a contractor is called out. Remember that if a contractor is called out for a problem caused by a Tenant or where the Tenant has not followed simple steps to resolve the problem – the Tenant may be liable for the call out charge!

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