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Maintenance

Here are some examples of repairs New World are responsible for

Structural and exterior walls – chimneys, the roof, windows (but not most glazing), doors, drains, guttering, paths and steps, and any necessary outside painting and decorations.

Installations – gas, electric, water and waste-disposal services we provide, including basins, sinks, baths, toilets, flushing cisterns and overflows.

Fixtures – kitchen worktops, cabinets and cupboards.

Shared parts – entrances, halls, stairways, lifts and lighting.

 

Gas

The annual check of your gas boiler is a legal requirement and has to be done before the certificate from the previous year expires. Tenants must make themselves available for the check to be carried out as it is a legal requirement to ensure that you, the tenant, are not at risk. The checks take less than an hour once a year and it could save someone’s life. If you have your own gas appliance such as a cooker, please note that it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to have these regularly serviced by a Gas Safe engineer and care should be taken that the cooker is fitted with a chain at the back to prevent an accidental disconnection of the gas supply should it be moved, for example when cleaning.

If you smell Gas, please take the following steps

Turn off the supply at the mains:

Don’t smoke or use a naked flame or turn any electrical switch or appliance off or on (this includes mobile phones or pressing doorbells) as this could ignite the gas:

Open all doors and windows IMMEDIATELY to ventilate the property; and

Call the National Gas Emergency Number on 0800 111 999 (24 hours). Phone from a nearby property and do not use a landline or mobile phone in the affected property.

Our office phone number – 020 86750 0320 automatically redirects to our contractor, One Stop Gas & Plumbing, outside of office hours for the reporting of emergency repairs.

Non gas related emergencies

Please note however that our callout service in the evenings or at weekend is strictly reserved for repairs to address an immediate risk of serious danger to tenant’s safety or the property itself. Examples of emergencies are burst water pipes, overflowing sewage, electrical faults which cannot be isolated and are likely to cause shock or fire or broken external doors leaving a property unsecured. Depending on the circumstances, the likelihood is that the contractor will take whatever action is required to remove the immediate risk and then report back to New World or return the following day. Please do not call the callout service for repairs such as dripping taps, leaks that can be contained, lost keys (these are the tenant’s responsibility) or pest control. If the contractor is called out to a repair out of hours which is deemed to be not an emergency, we may charge you for the callout fee.

 

Your responsibilities

You have certain responsibilities to make sure your property is in a good condition and is well maintained. There are a number of general responsibilities as well as minor repairs that you will have to pay for.

Your general responsibilities

  • Keep your home clean and in good decorative order.
  • Take reasonable precautions to prevent damage once a repair has been identified.
  • Allow us into your home to carry out any repairs or inspections that are necessary.
  • Report any criminal damage or vandalism to the police and get a police crime report number (not an incident number).
  • Replace lost keys and change locks.

Minor repairs and tasks you are responsible for

Replacing locks and keys to windows and doors if keys are lost or stolen, if you have been locked out, or if your home has been broken into (unless you get a crime number).

Any electrical wiring and fittings you have installed, such as decorative ceiling or wall units. Fitting and repairs to phone points or individual TV aerials and associated cables, and junction boxes (unless part of our shared installation). Resetting trip switches and replacing fuses, light bulbs and starters. Fitting and repairing new doorbells. Testing and replacing batteries in battery-powered doorbells and battery-powered smoke detectors.

Check your smoke detector each week using the test button; even those detectors that are connected to the mains electricity have back up batteries which need changing from time to time and it is recommended that batteries are changed once a year. If the alarm starts to beep every minute or so, change the battery immediately as this normally means that it will run out of charge very soon. A working smoke detector provides a crucial warning which can make the difference between escaping a fire and being trapped in a burning building.

Damage to inside doors and window glass. Minor fixtures and fittings, such as coat hooks, curtains and curtain rails. Fitting extra locks. Anything that belongs to you or that you have supplied and installed.

Internal decoration, unless caused by a major building fault. Repairing decorative faults on walls or ceilings, for example, hairline cracks or holes from picture hooks. You must not paint any surfaces that are fixed such as plastic windows, baths, worktops, kitchen units, doors and wall tiles.

Keeping ground-level gullies clear. Replacing cracked or broken windows and door glazing (Not including shared entrance doors and windows, or damage as a result of deliberate vandalism). Keeping toilets and sink drains free from blockages by not flushing down newspapers, nappies, cat litter, fat and so on. Clearing blockages in the waste pipes and traps to baths, wash basins and toilets. Replacing toilet seats, shower hoses and handsets. Replacing bath, sink or basin plugs and chains. Taking action to prevent and control condensation

Drains and Blockages

Food and cooking oil poured down the kitchen sink is the main cause of blocked drains. We have had a number of blockages recently where our contractor has discovered the cause to be solidified cooking oil in the pipework.

Decant oil into a container and dispose of in the bin when solidified. Use a strainer over the plughole to catch food that can also be thrown away rather than clog the pipes.

Taking these precautions will prevent blockages.

Please ensure all ground level gullies are cleared of leaves and debris so that rainwater can freely drain from gutters and downpipes. Please report any gutters that are damaged or blocked causing rainwater to overflow as over time, this can cause internal damp and damage to the fabric of the property

Minimise the chances of leaks

Leaks around the home such as  those from worktops or from showers in particular are a constant drain on our resources as water causes extensive damage quickly and is costly to repair.

Please ensure that whatever your method whether bathing or showering, you ensure that water remains within the bath, the shower screen or curtain is used and that water does not collect on the surface of the tiling at the end of the bath and allowed to drip onto the floor. Most of our bathrooms have a special anti-slip vinyl floor covering, however these will not withstand large amounts of water spilled on them as water will find a way to seep through joints to the skirting or around fittings. Adjust the shower spray to fall into the middle of the bath and away from the ends where it can leak though a gap in the shower curtain or drip onto the floor. A bath panel that is discoloured, misshapen or damp to the touch is the first indication that water is over-spilling from the bath. Keep a close eye on any tiling that appears to have come loose or the white sealant that appears to have gaps or becoming mouldy and lifting. To remove and replace the seal is a D.I.Y. job that is easy and simple and will not only prevent leaks but will maintain the appearance of the bath.

10 ways to prevent condensation and mould

Keep saucepan lids on when cooking and use your cooker’s extractor fan

Vent tumble driers to the outside and avoid drying clothes inside the house. If you have to dry them inside, use a room where some ventilation can be provided

Do not dry clothes on radiators or heaters

Shut the bathroom door when bathing / showering

Shut the kitchen door when cooking

Ensure that the heating is set for a lower more constant heating throughout rather than sudden bursts of hot temperatures.

Ventilate by using extractor fans or opening windows in areas where you produce a lot of moisture such as the kitchen and bathroom

Ensure trickle vents incorporated into Upvc windows are kept open. Open bedroom windows slightly

Ensure vents set into the walls in bedrooms are not covered up and are free of dust and debris

Move items of furniture slightly away from outside walls to allow air to circulate behind them. Try not to ‘overcrowd’ rooms with furniture or stored items which will prevent air circulating properly and causing mould growth on items

Gardens and sheds

Infestations by ants, wasps, bees, fleas and mice (other than in shared areas) is tenant’s responsibility.

We appreciate that not everyone is a keen gardener. However, if you do have your own garden or yard, we expect you to keep it clean, tidy and free of rubbish. If you do not, and it becomes a nuisance to your neighbours or looks unsightly, we can tidy it up and charge you for the work.

Any additions to the property such as these must be referred to New World before they are built to ensure that they are safe, do not affect the property and do not impact on your neighbours. New World reserves the right for these structures to be removed if permission has not been sought. Connecting electrics to an exterior addition or building has to conform to electrical regulations and must be carried out and certificated by a qualified electrician. In the last 6 months, several instances of sub-standard wiring to these types of structures have been identified potentially causing serious fires. In addition strict gas safety guidelines govern the position of boiler flues and we have had one property where boiler gases have discharged into an enclosed rear lean-to which could have had fatal consequences. Please contact New World regarding any improvements, alterations and additions to your home.

You can make improvements, alterations and additions to your home, but you must get our permission before you start.

For those living in blocks of flats, please dispose of your rubbish properly and keep communal areas clear

Bulk rubbish

We are frequently sending contractors out to blocks of flats where large items of rubbish have been dumped. Most local councils will collect these items by pre-arrangement or they can be taken to the local refuse and recycling centre. Arranging for our contractors to attend to collect the rubbish is time consuming and costly and unfortunately it will impact on the service charge for that particular property in the future. Should you notice rubbish being dumped or know the identity of the persons leaving the items, please report it to the New World office.

Communal areas

Fire regulations are quite rightly becoming more stringent and one of the areas which has been of concern is the storing of possessions and materials in communal areas such as landings and under stairwells. London Fire Brigade specifically forbid this type of storage which is why many of you are now probably aware that New World has fitted signs in some of our blocks of flats and has written to tenants requesting such items are removed. This also applies to those who live in maisonettes and houses divided into flats with a shared entrance. Please ensure you comply and ensure these areas are kept clear – the regulations are there for your safety and New World has a duty to comply and if our notices and warnings are ignored, we will be forced to remove and dispose of any items found!

Home insurance

New World responds as quickly as possible to leaks for example that can quickly cause extensive damage to not only the property but to personal belongings and possessions. However New World’s insurance policy covers the building structure and our fittings only so we are unable to replace personal belongings, furniture, floor coverings, carpets and decoration. You are strongly advised therefore to ensure you arrange your own home contents insurance to cover eventualities such as fires, floods, accidents or theft. Insurance providers such as Endsleigh for example can provide cover for less than £10 per month and for your peace of mind, we recommend that you have a policy in place.

Tenant Satisfaction

When you report a repair, we will send you a written survey in the post to complete and if you have provided a mobile number, you will also receive a text asking if you are satisfied with the work.

Please do send the surveys back (there is a postage paid survey included with the letter) or reply to the text as your responses, good or bad, allow us to ensure that our contractors are providing a good service.

You are also welcome to call us if you are not satisfied with repairs that have been carried out in your home, but please do not wait weeks or months to tell us. If too much time elapses since the repair, it is very difficult for us to ask the contractor to return and rectify any outstanding issues.

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