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Winter is Coming: A Survival Guide for Tenants

Are you feeling Christmassy yet? You will be when you see our legendary office display! That also means that the big day is fast approaching along with cold and wet weather. We have put together this guide to help you get through the winter months.

Are you feeling Christmassy yet? You will be when you see our legendary office display! That also means that the big day is fast approaching along with cold and wet weather.  We have put together this guide to help you get through the winter months.

At Belvoir Mansfield we are able to provide a 24/7 call attendant service to tenants and we are in the office Monday to Friday 0930 to 1730 and Saturdays 1000 to 1300. Alternatively you can send an email to mansfield@belvoir.co.uk with the full details of your issue, your name, address and contact telephone number and we will address the problem as soon as we can. 

Here are some tips on how to deal with common problems that can arise.

Check the guttering for build-up of leaves etc. and if possible, remove any leaves or debris as this can prevent water running directly down the exterior walls leading to water ingress and condensation in the property.

Ensure trickle vents on windows are left open to prevent condensation or if you are hanging washing up in the house, open the window slightly to allow the build-up of water out.

Learn where the stop cock is for the property so if you ever have a leak you can turn the water off.  We will have supplied this information on the stop cock location on your inventory at move in.

When the Landlord has the gas safety certificate carried out on the property ask the engineer how to re pressurise the boiler as this the cause of most heating failures or ask at the property inspections for further advice, as lack of pressure in the boiler is something that a tenant is responsible for looking after.

Leaks

Isolate where the water is causing the damage and collect the water in a bucket/bowl etc. If you need to, shut the water off to the house by turning off the stop cock of the house and contact us as soon as possible.

Burst Pipes

Please be mindful of any taps and pipes that might be vulnerable to zero temperatures and call us if you’d like any advice with regard to insulating them. Outside taps need to be turned off; not only this, but free of trapped water. To do this, you will need to identify where the internal stop cock is for this tap, turn it off and then go back outside and fully open the tap to empty it of water.

No heating or hot water

Check the boiler. Does the pressure gauge read less than 1 bar of pressure? If that is the case, top up the boiler using the filling loop until the pressure gauge reads between 1.5-3 bars, ensure that the filling loop is then switched off.

Heating

Whether your power supply is gas, electric or oil, you will need to ensure that your thermostat is set to a constant warm temperature during the day; a common misconception is that to save money on heating bills, the heating should be turned off during the day and then turned up (high) when arriving home. The opposite in fact is true – a constant warm temperature between 15-16 °C throughout the day is proven to be more cost effective, and ensures that your house remains condensation and mildew free. 

Please note that it is essential to keep your home well ventilated during winter as well as the summer - leaving windows slightly open in the ventilation lock setting allows free ventilation throughout your house and will put a stop to the misery of condensation and mildew.

One window upstairs, and one downstairs locked ajar and with all internal doors left open should allow sufficient and thorough ventilation throughout the house. Please also note that if drying clothes on an airier, the best way to do this is to put the airier over/in the bath, leaving the window open and the door shut to minimize the amount of water vapour in your house.

If you really feel no heating/hot water is an emergency that cannot wait until we can send a contractor, you can contact British Gas Homecare on 0800 078 3022 or any local reputable gas safe engineer, they will attend but will likely charge you a call out fee.  We will refund this charge only if it is a genuine emergency and have the report from the engineer confirming this. Many contents insurance policies provide emergency call out cover, please check your policies are applicable.

Buying in fuel – oil, gas cards and electric cards 

Please ensure that you have sufficient oil for the winter, especially bearing in mind the high demand in the weeks leading up to Christmas. You may need to allow three weeks from point of ordering to actual delivery. Also check to see whether your gauge is working correctly – this you can easily do by dipping a clean rod into the tank to take a real measure of your level – sometimes the Watchman indicators are not always reliably accurate! You may need to reset the system accordingly. 

Please also check to see whether you have sufficient credit on your gas or electric card to get you through the holiday period. 

 If you're going away

When planning your winter get-away, don’t forget to tell us when you will be absent and the name and contact number of the person you have nominated to keep a regular check on the property. Please remember that it is your responsibility as the residing tenant to ensure that you provide adequate warmth inside the house at all times during the winter months – do not turn your heating off. Instead, you will need to turn your central thermostat to a frost setting, or around 5°C to prevent burst pipes and if you have thermostatic controls on your radiators you will need to ensure they are kept on a minimum setting in all rooms. 

Please also remember - if you use gas cards or electric cards – ensure they have sufficient funds to cover this period

Useful Numbers

Smell Gas 0800 111 999 (Emergency line)

Central Networks Eastern Region (Electricity) 0800 056 8090 (Emergency line)

 

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