OUT OF HOURS
If you are one of our tenants and in an emergency situation please follow the guidelines below which will direct you to the appropriate course of action.
Calling out contractors out of hours is very costly and therefore should only be done in the event of a genuine emergency – please note that if you call out a contractor unnecessarily then it will be your responsibility to pay the cost and not that of the landlord.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A GENUINE EMERGENCY?
Whilst the list below is not exhaustive the following situations WOULD BE considered urgent (major problems).
- Gas leaks/suspected carbon monoxide issues
- Severe flooding due to weather or a burst pipe where the property requires pumping and drying out.
- Wind damage whereby the structure of the property becomes unstable e.g. roof tiles falling off or windows breaking etc.
- Urgent repairs due to fire damage and firefighting measures.
Again whilst the list below is not exhaustive the following examples WOULD NOT be considered as an emergency (minor problems).
- Boiler breakdown resulting in loss of hot water and central heating.
- Minor leaks from plumbing systems or rainwater that can be contained by catching in a suitable vessel (bucket etc.).
- Loss of power due to electrical failure (with the exception of fire risks).
- Blocked toilets/drains etc.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IN THE EVENT OF A MINOR PROBLEM?
Firstly take the necessary action to find and isolate the issue. For example if the electrical system trips out it will normally be as a result of a fault in the wiring or an appliance. In order to isolate the circuit, switch off all of the circuit breakers including the RCD and then turn the RCD on again (this may involve pulling it completely to the off position and then turning back on again).
If the RCD no longer trips then start turning on the individual circuits breakers to try and find the one that is faulty (this will normally cause the RCD to trip again). Once the faulty circuit is found then any appliance on that circuit can be removed and plugged back in, in order to pinpoint the problem further. Once the faulty circuit or appliance is located, it can be left off and the remainder of the system can be used normally.
With regard to the plumbing system a similar approach can be adopted to isolate leaks using stop taps and isolator valves. For large leaks turn the water off completely until a plumber is available.
As a tenant you will need to take a common sense approach to problems that occur out of hours and also take reasonable steps to prevent this situation worsening. Try not to panic and think “what would I do if I owned the house and didn't have an agent to call”. It may be necessary to call out a plumber or electrician yourself in order to prevent further problems, but please remember if it is not an emergency then you will be liable for the costs associated.
Once the situation is under control and stabilised please call us at the next opportunity and leave a message so that we can deal with the issue as soon as the office re-opens. Remember that we are available six days a week and messages can also be left at our sales office during busy times on 01872 242244.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IN THE EVENT OF A MAJOR PROBLEM?
If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, or are worried that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance, please call the free Gas Emergency Services emergency line immediately on 0800 111 999 (This is a 24 hour emergency line).
Also take the following action:
- Open all doors and windows to ventilate the property.
- Do not turn on/off any electrical switches.
- Extinguish all naked flames, do not smoke, strike matches or do anything which could cause ignition.
- If there are any electrical security entry phones/locks, please open door manually.
For other situations we use Richfords Fire and Flood to assist with out of hours of emergencies. They have a 24 hour contact line and also have specialist knowledge in safeguarding properties after a major incident. They are able to carry out the following work and work within the British Damage Management Association guidelines.
- Black and grey water sanitisation and restoration
- Carpet and upholstery cleaning
- Contents storage
- Document restoration
- Fire damage restoration, in domestic and commercial settings
- Moisture investigation and leak detection
- Mould remediation
- Restoration of electronics
- Smoke odour remediation and removal
- Specialist and advanced building drying
- Specialist contents processing and restoration
- Ultra sonic cleaning
Their number is 01209 722522 and out of hours you will be put through to a case handler who will discuss and advise on how best to deal with your situation. They will also liaise with ourselves at the next opportunity in order to move things forward.
POWER CUTS/FALLEN POWER CABLES ETC
Western Power Distribution looks after the safety and security of your electricity supply. Please contact them on 0800 365 900 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) in the event of an electrical emergency or power outage.