Here at Direct Housing Limited we have a fully qualified repairs team, at hand, in case of any emergency. All it takes is one phone call to our office on 0121 472 3331 out of office hours or you can email our repairs team on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can take it from there!!
All emergencies take priority and we work hard to get the jobs done as soon as we can. Works obviously depend on our engineers gaining access to the property and if tenants are happy we can arrange for keys to be collected directly from our office.
In busy periods, our maintenance team and contractors often have a lengthy list of jobs to work through, but we strive hard to communicate the progress of any maintenance issues with you right up until the job is completed.
We have compiled a short guidance list to assist you …….
DH Maintenance Guides
We do advise that the most energy efficient way to heat your home is to leave your heating on low constantly. While it is likely to cost slightly more to have your heating on all the time, you may save in the long run, and gain peace of mind, by ensuring your pipes don't freeze up. This will also help prevent the build-up of damp and condensation within the property which can be very common in the winter months. To keep on top of this we recommend mould and mildew cleaner which can be used to wipe the damp away, and should be reported immediately so we can admin you correctly.
We have an on-call gas safe registered team who can assist with any boiler problems. The most obvious sign of a problem with a boiler is quite simply when it's not heating up water anymore or the heating doesn't come on.
One of the clearest signs to look out for is whether your boiler flame is clear blue. An orange or yellow gas flame is a great indicator of a problem.
Boiler pressure is another clear indicator. If your boiler pressure is suddenly dropping or rising, or if the pressure remains too high for prolonged periods of time. We would expect tenants to keep an eye on the pressure of the boiler and this can be topped up quite easily with the valves being opened either by tap handles, or by using a flat headed screwdriver. Open both valves to allow the cold mains water into the system. You should hear water filling the system. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge until it reaches 1.5 bar, then close of both valves, one after the other.
It's also a bad sign if you hear clanking or ticking noises, particularly when your boiler starts up. Similarly, if your boiler is using significantly more gas than usual there may be a serious problem that should be investigated and reported to our office as soon as possible.
If you are ever unsure and can smell a strong smell of gas please call National Grid on 0800 111 999.
If your shower or taps are dripping, then this could also cause your heating to stop working. Therefore, please also inform Direct Housing of a dripping shower or hot tap. In this instance, you could try turning your shower or mixer tap to the coldest setting and your heating may work again.
Keeping your radiators well-maintained will save energy as they'll function more efficiently. If your radiator is cold at the top but hot at the bottom, that means there's air in the system and you'll need to bleed your radiators. To do this you will need a radiator key or flat head screw driver. Our easy guide to bleed a radiator is as follows:-
• Attach the radiator key into the square section in the centre of the radiator valve
• Use a cloth or strong tissue paper to hold the radiator key
• Have another cloth under the radiator valve to catch any drips
• Turn the radiator key slowly in an anti-clockwise direction
• If air is escaping you'll hear a hissing sound
• Once the air has escaped, liquid will start to leak from the valve
• Close the valve quickly by turning the radiator key
We would expect tenants while living at the property to regularly clean their fridge-freezers and dispose of any foods in the appropriate manner. It is best if you don't use soap or a chemical cleaner on the inside of the fridge, as food will absorb the smell.
The freezer section of the machine will require defrosting should the build- up of ice occur. This is easily achieved by firstly turning off the machine at the plug, emptying the freezer as much as possible and taking out the drawers and shelves. It is advised to remove any ice as you go to prevent a large puddle of water occurring. This is probably best done overnight and then any excess water can be mopped up and the machine can be switched back on in the morning.
Please ensure that you catch / mop up all the excess water from under and around the defrosted freezer, so that the floor is not damaged in any way.
Changing light bulbs within the property is the responsibility of the tenant. In most cases, this is an easy job but some lights can be encased which are harder to open but we can be at hand to help. Most bulbs can be purchased from your local hardware shop or supermarket.Bulbs needed for Florescent/strip lighting will changed by the landlord.
We've compiled a few handy tips for you to carry out so your washing machine remains in perfect working order.
Remove wet clothes from the drum as soon as your cycle has finished. Leaving wet clothes sitting in the drum can cause mould and mildew to occur and remember to leave the door and dispenser drawer open slightly to allow air to circulate.
It is also important to check you're washing your clothes at the appropriate temperature for the detergent you're using. Check the wash instructions on your detergent to ensure you're using it at the correct temperature. Using a too high or low temperature can be damaging to your clothes.
Remember to regularly rinse and clean the detergent drawer. If you switch between detergents, it may cause the dispenser holes in the detergent drawer to clog up. If you notice a change in your cycle, gently clean inside the drawer with a damp cloth.
Also, please remember not to overload the machine with too many clothes as this may damage the drum!!
Electrical Fuse Boards
A fusebox, also sometimes known as a consumer unit, should be easy to find and is where the electricity in your home is controlled and distributed.
It's important that you know where your fusebox is in case you ever need to turn the electricity off in an emergency.
In the event of a blown fuse we recommend you turn off all lights and unplug a few appliances in the room or rooms that have lost power, locate and open your electrical panel. Always use caution.
For circuit breakers: Look for a breaker that has moved from the “on" position to the “off" position, or is halfway between the two.You can reset the breaker by moving it to the full “off" position and then back to “on". Turn off or unplug the things the breaker was powering to and you will be able to source which appliance as tripped the electrics.
In the event of an emergency please contact National Grid on 0800 40 40 90.
Locks & Keys
At the beginning of each tenancy, tenants are provided with a full set of keys for their property. In the event of any lost keys a change of lock may be required. This can be arranged via our office on your behalf. Please note that master set system replacement keys can cost up to £25 per key to replace plus a call out fee. We also hold sets of keys at Direct Housing Limited should keys be accidentally locked inside or for maintenance to use to gain access.
We would expect tenants to be responsible for keeping the drains clean and clear. Under no circumstance can an oil/fat be poured down the drain after cooking nor the disposal of any food within the pipework. Any unblocking of such would be charged to the tenant. Please see the Severn Trent Water website for more information / advice.
This also applies to removal of any hair within the shower/bath traps as this will also build up over time and create problems. If you've noticed that your shower trap isn't draining the way it should, chances are it is clogged with hair and soap scum. Rather than allowing the problem to get worse, clean your shower trap thoroughly and regularly.
You can purchase sink and drain unblocker from a variety of local shops within the area.
Please do not put up posters with white/blue-tak, nails in walls, white/blue tak or cellotape on walls.
Remember to keep your gardens clean / clear & tidy. Ensuring that the grass and any shrubs are cut and tidy, all floors are free from rubbish and all cuttings are disposed of correctly.
Ensure that you ventilate the property regularly and use any extractors present especially during cooking / bathing to allow moisture to escape. Ideally, we suggest opening windows daily for at least ½ hour and leaving the extractors on until they turn off on their own or after approximately an hour.
Refuse / Recycling
All rubbish inside a property needs to be kept within a bin, when the bin is full, then move the remove bag into the external bin provided. All wheelie Bins are provided by the council, and remember to sort/recycle your rubbish correctly as councils are now starting to fine people incorrect disposal of their rubbish. If you live in a shared house, we suggest you devise a rota to ensure that the bins are put out on to the street on your designated collection day and bought back in again.
If you have a communal cleaner. You are still responsible for cleaning up after yourself and do your own washing up and putting away, sweeping / mopping floors from dropped food and spillages, cleaning areas / hobs and microwaves as needed. No one should have to clean a worktop or an appliance before needing to use it!
Out of hours emergencies
If you need help when our office is closed, please call our number - 0121 472 3331 and our out of hours telephone number will be detailed on the voicemail. Please then call or text this number and someone will reply back to you.