Archive for December, 2015

Winter Weather Precautions

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

In preparation for the cold weather, we would ask all tenants to take note of the information below.

How to prepare for cold weather:
• Make sure you know how to turn off the water, gas and electricity. You may need to do this in an emergency. If you live in a flat, the supply may come from outside your flat, so make sure you know where it is.
• Keep candles, matches, blankets, a torch and battery powered radio somewhere handy in case of power cuts.
• If you have any leaking taps or pipes, please contact us on 0141 334 4633 or email repairs@happylets.co.uk immediately as leaks can cause pipes to freeze up.
• Check that your heating system is working properly and report any maintenance issues, if any, to our office as above.
• Keep your home well heated. Warmth is the best defence against problems caused by cold weather. If you can’t afford to heat the entire property, make sure that at least one room is always kept warm.
• It can be worthwhile to share an emergency contact phone number with a neighbour should something go wrong – either your number, or ours. This will speed up access to the property in the event of something like a pipe leak and is particularly important in flatted properties, where an issue in one flat could rapidly cause problems for other homes in the block.

If you are leaving the property empty over the winter months:
• Don’t switch the heating off when you go away. Leave it on at a low setting, or set the timer so it comes on at least once a day. If you have a thermostat, set your heating to come on if the temperature drops below a certain level.
• If you can’t leave the heating on please contact our office as your landlord may wish to have the system drained to prevent pipes from bursting.
• Inform our office if you will be leaving the property vacant for any length of time and ensure that we have a copy of keys in case we are required to gain access in an emergency.
• Please note that it is your responsibility to heat your home to a reasonable level to prevent pipes from freezing.
• If you will be away for a period of time over the winter months, make sure your rented home is fully secure before you leave. Simple measures such as ensuring all windows and doors are locked will deter opportunist thieves. You should also ensure your personal belongings are insured; for further information on Tenant Insurance, please visit http://www.happylets.co.uk/tenantinsurance.php

What to do if pipes freeze:
If the water in internal or external pipes freezes, it expands and can split or crack the pipe. Once the water thaws, it will then pour through the hole.
• Report this to our office immediately
• Turn off the water supply straightaway and switch off the central heating and any water heating appliances (immersion heater, boiler, etc.).
• Drain the system by turning on cold taps and flushing the toilet. Don’t turn on hot taps as this may cause further problems.
• Thaw the frozen pipes with a hot water bottle or hairdryer, or by wrapping them with warm cloths. Start at the end nearest the tap. Never apply a direct flame, for example by using a blowtorch.
• Turn the water back on again and check that nothing is leaking anywhere. You can then turn any water heating appliances back on.

What to do if pipes burst:
• Report this to our office immediately
• Turn off the water supply, central heating and water heating appliances and drain the system to reduce pressure on the leaking pipe(s).
• If water from the leak is likely to come into contact with electrical wiring in your home, switch off the electricity at the mains. You may need to call in an electrician to check the system before you switch it back on again.
• Try repairing the burst pipe temporarily using tape or a cloth.
• We will notify your landlord and call in a plumber to fix the leaks permanently.
• If leaking water is making the ceiling bulge, place a bucket underneath and make a small hole in the bulge e.g. with a pen if it is safe to do so – this should prevent the ceiling from collapsing.
• If you live in a flat, check with your neighbours that you haven’t turned off their water supply as well, and that water isn’t leaking into their home.
• Refill the hot water system before switching on the boiler or immersion heater.
• If there is any damage to your personal belongings, your contents insurance should cover any damage to your belongings.

If water is leaking into your property:
If water is leaking into your home from a neighbour’s flat you should:
• contact your neighbour immediately. If you can’t get hold of them, you should leave a note asking them to contact our office asap as water is leaking from their property into your property.
• Contact our office to report this

Please note that over the festive period the office will be closed, from Thursday 24/12/15 at 1pm to Tuesday 05/01/16. Emergency contact numbers will still be available by calling the office number on 0141 334 4633, however if the issue is regarding a common building repair such as a leaking roof, in the first instance please visit the website for the Scottish Factor Register at sedsh119.sedsh.gov.uk/propertyfactorregister which will detail which Factoring Company (if any) manage your building.