- How To Rent A Property
- Applying For A Home - FAQs
- House Safety
- Utility Bills
- Looking After Your Home
- Replacement Persons
- Guide To Residential Areas In Portsmouth
- Individual Rooms To Let
Looking after your home
When you move into a managed property, you will be given a “House Booklet”. It has loads of helpful information, including an A-Z of practical advice to help with home maintenance.
We will arrange a detailed check-in to show you how everything works in the house and answer your questions.
We advise checking the instruction manuals to ensure everything works ok. If an instruction manual is not provided it is easy to download from the Internet.
Here are some basic A-Z tips on home maintenance
Gas and electric central heating boilers can be set for the heating and/or the hot water to come on at the times you choose. The heating should not be switched off between December and January, even if you are away from the house, in case of pipes freezing and bursting. If you are away just put it on minimum setting.
Do not put clothes (wet or dry) on the heater (if one) as this can start a fire. Use a drying frame instead,
In most student houses water is heated by a combi boiler, this is a gas boiler that heats water for the central heating and also the hot water on demand. There will not be a water tank. A combi boiler will just produce hot water when you turn on the tap. Advantages are you never run out of hot water, a disadvantage is that if you have a shower upstairs and someone turns on the kitchen tap you may lose hot water.
Condensation & Ventilation
In winter, the Portsmouth climate is damp. Following a few simple measures can help to avoid condensation:
Keep the heating on consistently at a minimum of 15 degrees celsius
Whenever possible when you are in the property open windows regularly to ventilate the house, particularly bedrooms
Always use the extractor in the kitchen or bathrooms
Draw back curtains during the day, and wipe off excess water condensation from window sills. Some windows have ‘trickle’ vents at the top of the window to leave open constantly.
Cookers & Extractors
Many ovens have an automatic timer, and if this is activated or flashing the oven will not work.
The kitchen extractor will have either a stainless steel filter or a paper filter. Stainless steel filters can be put in a dishwasher or cleaned in the sink, and paper filters just need to be replaced.
At the check-in, you will be shown where the fuse box is. Most fuse boxes have circuit breakers (these are switches which can be re-set by hand). In the event of a power failure to any part of the property, we would advise that you first check that none of the circuit breakers has ‘tripped’. If there is a complete power failure to the property, we recommend checking with your neighbours before contacting us, in case the power cut is local (rather than just your property). It’s a good idea to keep a torch in a safe place!
Fridge & Freezer
In order to keep your fridge and freezers working properly, they need to be cleaned/defrosted regularly. Be sure to use up all your food supplies before doing this! Scraping or chipping away at the ice may cause damage beyond repair.
Replacing a lightbulb is the tenant’s responsibility. We recommend finding out the type of the existing bulbs in the property, and buying a small supply to replace when they fail. Halogen bulbs should not have direct contact with your skin so use a piece of tissue to fit. If you get stuck (say with bathroom bulb) let us know and we will send someone to help.
Overflow pipes & plumbing
All bathrooms & WC’s have an overflow pipe to prevent flooding. Sometimes overflowing water may appear outside the house. Whilst not being considered an emergency, it is important that you let your Property Manager know as soon as possible.
It is advisable not to flush any paper product apart from toilet paper down the toilets.
Pictures & Poster
Using Blu-Tack, White-Tack or clear tape to hang posters will leave an oily mark when removed, and you will have to pay for redecoration charges. We recommend only using proper picture hooks, after getting permission from your Property Manager by email.
Portsmouth council operates a recycling bin collection with green bins for recycling and black bags for landfill waste. Visiting Portsmouth City Council’s website will give you information on exactly what you can recycle and on which days your bins are collected.
If you find you are getting less water from the showerhead, this could be due to a build-up of limescale. It is usually possible to take off the showerhead and put it in a limescale removing solution or vinegar, which you can buy at a supermarket.
Cleaning the seal around the shower should prevent black mould appearing (which will damage the seal).
Keeping the shower curtain inside the bath or the shower door closed will prevent water leaking onto the floor.
Unless included in your package - Setting up the telephone and broadband accounts will need to be done by the tenants.
Unless included in your package - If you have a television then you need to make sure that you have a licence for it. You can buy this online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk or at a Post Office.
To reduce the chance of the filter becoming blocked, you could clean it each time the dryer is used. This is simple and easy to do.
If you have a combination washer/dryer, at the end of the washing programme, there will be a choice of drying cycles. The drying capacity of combined washer/dryers is reduced compared with separate tumble dryers. It is best to take out half the clothes and expect the cycle to take up to 2 hours for heavy cotton items such as towels.
Most washer/dryers use a condensing system where the moisture extracted from the items being dried condenses back into water, and is removed through the outflow pipe.
Most machines will have a filter where foreign objects become trapped to avoid damage to the machine, it is the first thing to check should any problems arise with the machine.
All machines have a soap dispenser: most have two compartments, the left-hand one is for the extra wash cycle. A third compartment is for the fabric conditioner. It is important to take out and scrub the soap drawer frequently to avoid a build-up of soap deposits, which clog up the machine.
Only powder, liquid, liquid sachets or tablets for automatic machines should be used. Do not use a general detergent, which creates excessive soap bubbles and causes the machine to overflow and block up.
Check your Operating Manual for accurate information.
At your check-in, you should be shown where your stopcock tap is. This tap is on the incoming water main and can be turned off in case of an emergency. If you have a major water leak, switch the stopcock off and call your Property Manager