'Tenant-Like Manner'

Though your landlord has a lot of responsibilities during your tenancy, such as ensuring there is adequate heating and hot water, and that drains and sanitary facilities are kept in working order, tenants also have an obligation to look after and carry out the little jobs around the property. It's called acting in a 'Tenant-Like Manner' and it's part of the legal responsibilities of being a tenant. It basically means treating the house as if it's your home.

Just as if you were the homeowner, minor maintenance like changing light bulbs and attempting to unblock drains or toilets are responsibilities of the tenant, as well emptying washing machine filters and vacuum bags regularly. Doing this will help keep your appliances working at their optimum level.

Another thing is checking your boiler's pressure gauge if you suddenly have no hot water or heating. If it's dropped below 1.5 bars, the resolution is likely to be a quick top-up of pressure, which you should be able to do yourself.

One of the most common reports we receive from tenants is that their walls are developing a dark mould. The concern in this instance would be damp, but more often than not it's a build-up of condensation, which is much less of a worry! During cold weather, it's recommended that the heating is left on as often as possible, for at least three hours at a time. The warmer the house is, the less condensation will gather on the surfaces. Keeping windows open when cooking and showering, generous use of extractor fans and avoiding drying clothes over radiators will all help to keep moisture levels down and prevent mould from growing.

Your free valuation

Want to know how much is your property worth? Fill our form below and we'll be in touch shortly

Please value my address:

CPS Homes - Did you know?

We have a full tenant-help guide available on our website, so give it a quick once-over before reporting any maintenance issues, as the answer to your problems (well, certain problems... we're not that good!) may well be there.

Naturally, there are going to be some things that are beyond your capabilities. After all, you're not going to be expected to go on a plumbing course just because you've chosen to rent a property! So if there's anything you're unsure of, it's always best to make contact with your landlord or managing agent and have them offer their advice.

Always be sure to report any maintenance issues you can't deal with yourself as soon as possible. Any delay may result in a deterioration in condition or, in the worst case scenario, irreparable damage, which you'd rather not be held responsible for because you didn't report it in time. It sounds outlandish, but it has been known to happen!

Bear in mind that if you instruct a contractor call-out, even in an emergency situation, you may be liable for a call-out charge that your landlord does not have to pay.

Reporting Maintenance Issues

You should ensure that all maintenance issues are reported as soon as is reasonably possible. Any delays may result in the deterioration of the condition or, in the worst case scenario, irreparable damage. Reports can be made in a variety of ways - in person at one of our offices, over the telephone, by e-mail, and online.

Please note that if a contractor attends following a report of damage or disrepair and the callout was unnecessary or as a result of tenant (including guest) damage, the tenants will be liable for their callout charge and also be responsible for fixing any damage.

Electrical Advice - General

  • Change light bulbs, regardless of their height or type. This includes fluorescent strip style lights, removing covers off lights and spot lights.
  • Ovens and other appliances might have batteries fitted to power items such as clocks and may need changing periodically.

Electrical Advice - Appliances

If you've got an appliance in the house that isn't working and was supplied with the property, you will need to check the following:

  1. Does another appliance work in this plug socket? If so, you know it is the appliance which is faulty, as opposed to the power source.
  2. If another appliance doesn't work in this socket, check that the electrics haven't tripped.
  3. If the appliance appears faulty, you will need to check the fuse in the plug, if it has one. If it needs changing, it is your responsibility to change it with a fuse of correct ampage.
  4. If you have changed the fuse and checked you are using the appliance correctly, it is likely you will need a specialist contractor. Please contact CPS Homes during normal office hours.

Appliances

  • Empty washing machine and tumble dryer filters regularly.
  • If a vacuum cleaner/Hoover is supplied then empty the cylinder or bags regularly. This will help keep the appliances working at their optimum level. Please note that a vacuum cleaner will not necessarily be supplied at every property.

Smoke Detectors

Most houses or flats have a mains wired fire alarm system installed. These systems range from consisting of a control panel (Grade A or B), to those without a control panel (Grade D).

Properties without a control panel system (including flats with a control panel in the communal area)

It is the tenant's responsibility to carry out basic maintenance which includes:

  • Cleaning the smoke detectors by wiping and vacuuming them.
  • Checking the smoke detectors by using the test button to check the sound - this should be done at least once a week.
  • Replacing the batteries when necessary - the smoke detectors are designed to 'beep' when the batteries are getting low. Most of these detectors use a 9 volt 'square' battery. The smoke detectors remove from their base in a variety of methods but usually twist or slide off.

Properties with a control panel system

It is the tenant's responsibility to carry out basic maintenance which includes:

  • Checking the control panel and reporting any faults to CPS Homes.
  • Not interfering with the detectors- these typically don't have batteries that need changing.
  • Cleaning the smoke detectors by wiping and vacuuming them.
  • Not disconnecting the battery in the control panel even if it 'beeps' - you will be charged a callout fee to re-set the panel if this happens.

Both types of systems comprise of heat and smoke detectors. This means that, sometimes, even where there is smoke, the detectors are designed not to trigger in order to minimise false alarms in areas such as the kitchen. For example, if somebody burns their bread in the toaster, the heat detector in the kitchen shouldn't trigger. The positioning and types of systems vary in different types of properties - please contact CPS Homes if you want more information on the fire alarm system present in your property.

Tripped Electrics

If the power to your plugs or lights in parts of your house or flat has gone off then you will need to check the following steps before calling CPS Homes or an emergency electrician:

  1. Turn off the appliances and lights in the affected part of the house, otherwise the electrics could just keep tripping.
  2. Locate your fuse box - this could be in the basement, close to the front door or in a cupboard in the front bedroom or lounge. This isn't an exhaustive list - you may need to have a look around.
  3. Check all of the circuit breakers are in the ON position. If they aren't, turn them all the way off and then ON.
  4. Wait 20 seconds to check the circuit breaker doesn't trip again. If it does, you probably haven't unplugged the faulty item, so check again.
  5. If the circuit breaker doesn't trip, you can turn on one item at a time. If the circuit breaker trips as you turn an item on, then it is likely that this one is causing the fault. Leave this item off.
  6. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping and you are sure you have unplugged all appliances, you will need an electrician. If it is your appliance causing the fault, you will be responsible for fixing or disposing of it.

When to call an 'out of hours' electrician

  1. Have you followed the above steps?
  2. Are you sure an appliance isn't causing the fault? If it is, it's advisable to unplug it and don't use it until an appliance specialist can check it during normal working hours.
  3. Is the loss of power isolated only to a single area? If so, please contact CPS Homes during normal working hours.

If you're worried that the electrics aren't safe, contact the emergency electrician who will attend as soon as possible. However, please note that if you haven't followed the above steps then you may be liable for the charge.

Plumbing

  • Attempt to unblock sinks, toilets and external drains using bleach or specifically manufactured products in the event of a blockage. Note: Sanitary products, food or hairs should be disposed of correctly and not via sinks, toilets or external drains.
  • If your radiators are functioning poorly or not heating as well as they did before, bleed them in order to get rid of any air that has formed in the radiator's cells and see if this makes a difference.
  • In cold weather or when it has been forecasted and you are not going to be living at the property for an extended period, leave the heating system on a timer or a low setting in order to prevent pipes from freezing and potentially bursting. If damage is caused as a result of pipes bursting in cold weather, you may liable for the cost of fixing it.
  • If you experience a leak, try to isolate where it is coming from and stop using that item. If this stops the leak, wait until office hours to report the issue to us.
  • If the leak is severe and you cannot isolate it, you will need to locate the stopcock to turn the water off. This can be located in the kitchen (check in the kitchen units), bathroom (check in bathroom cabinets), under the stairs or in the street. Remember, if you do not help to protect the property, you may be liable for part of the cost. You will then need to contact CPS Homes or the 'out of hours' emergency plumber.

No Hot Water - Properties with gas

Before calling out a plumber, it is often easier and quicker to check if there is anything you can do to get your hot water working again.

  1. Is there no hot water throughout the whole house or is it isolated to a single item such as an electric or thermostatic shower? If it is isolated to a single item then please wait until normal office hours before calling CPS Homes.
  2. If you have no water throughout your whole property, you will first need to locate your boiler - this could be in the kitchen, bathroom or in another area such as under the stairs. Occasionally these are also located in a first floor rear bedroom.
  3. When you have located the boiler, check that there is power to it by looking for indicator lights (usually green) to show there is power. If there is no power going to it, check next to the boiler for a switch (fused spur) and ensure this is turned on.
  4. If there is power to the boiler, you will need to check the boiler pressure. There should be a dial with a needle indicating a pressure between 1 and 2. If it is below this, your boiler may not be producing hot water.
  5. If the boiler pressure needs increasing then you will need to locate the filling loop which comprises of a flexible metal hose and a valve, usually with a black handle which is connected to the boiler pipe work.
  6. Slowly open the valve. You should hear water flowing through the pipe. Watch the pressure on the boiler and fill it to 1.5 on the pressure gauge. Be very careful not to overfill and to completely turn the valve off when the pressure is correct. If you over fill the boiler, turn it off and ring CPS Homes.
  7. If you have checked all of the above and you still don't have hot water, it is likely you will need a plumber to visit and check your boiler for you. Please contact CPS Homes during normal working hours.

No Water

If you've got no water at all, in the first instance contact Welsh Water on 0800 052 0130 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) as it is probable there is a temporary problem with the supply in your area. Alternatively, Welsh Water post any major emergencies on their website.

Cold/Inefficient Radiators

This will only apply if you've got a gas central heating system, and should help your radiators increase their heat output if the top of the radiator feels cold, and the bottom feels warm.

  1. Before you follow these stages, check the thermostatic valves on the radiators to control the heat are adjusted correctly!
  2. Turn the central heating system off or you could make the problem worse.
  3. You will need a radiator bleeding key or a screwdriver (depending on the type of the radiator) - these can be purchased from a hardware store such as B&Q.
  4. Have an old rag ready as water will come out of the radiator.
  5. Turn the key/screwdriver anticlockwise slowly, only 1/4 or 1/2 a turn is necessary.
  6. You should hear air leaving the radiator. Continue to let the air out until water is released from the radiator.
  7. Completely close the valve.
  8. Check the pressure on your boiler as the pressure may have reduced in the boiler by following these steps.
  9. If your radiator still isn't working properly then please contact us.

Living Conditions

Ensure the property is kept well ventilated throughout in order to prevent the build-up of mould forming as a result of condensation. In cold weather it is recommended that the heating is left on as often as possible because the warmer the house is, the less condensation will occur. Further preventative measures such as keeping windows open when cooking and showering/bathing should also be undertaken. Drying wet clothes over radiators or heaters also contributes to the build-up of condensation. Not all radiators are safe to dry clothes over, such as some types of electric heaters.

If you are leaving the property during a cold spell or for a reasonable period of time such as holidays then you will need to leave the heating on a low setting to avoid pipes freezing and bursting.

Damp & Condensation

There is always moisture in the air. Condensation occurs when the air gets colder and it can no longer hold all of the moisture, so tiny droplets of water appear. An example of this is when the bathroom mirror mists over if you have a shower or bath.

Condensation mainly occurs in cold weather, whether it is dry or raining. It does NOT leave a 'tidemark'. It appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little air movement e.g. room corners, near windows, behind wardrobes or cupboards.

How to avoid condensation

Produce less moisture

Cover pans/saucepans whilst cooking, put washing outside to dry where possible or put it in the bathroom with the door closed and either open the window or turn the extractor fan on.

Ventilate the room

Some ventilation is needed to get rid of moisture being produced all of the time, including that from people breathing. Keep a small window ajar.

You need much more ventilation in the kitchen or bathroom when cooking, washing up, bathing/showering or drying clothes. This is especially the case in houses occupied by more than 1 or 2 people where these rooms are in greater use.

Avoid putting too many items in wardrobes and cupboards as this stops air circulating. Leave a space between the wardrobe and the wall. Where possible put freestanding furniture against internal walls (i.e. walls with a room on both sides) rather than outside walls.

Heat your house a little more

In cold weather the best way to keep rooms warm enough to avoid condensation is to keep low background heating on all day, even when no-one is home. This is particularly the case in flats or apartments where bedrooms aren't above a warm living room.

Is it Condensation?

Condensation is not the only cause of damp. It can also come from:

  • Leaking pipes, wastes or overflows.
  • Rain seeping through the roof where a tile or slate is missing, spilling from a blocked gutter, penetrating window frames or leaking through a cracked pipe.
  • Rising damp due to defective damp-course.

These causes of damp cause a 'tidemark', making this type of cause easily identifiable.

Waste Management

Tenants have a responsibility to co-operate with the provisions in place for the storage and collection of refuse and recyclable materials. They must also ensure rubbish and recycling is placed in appropriate containers and put out to be collected at the correct location on the right day.

Many areas now operate wheelie bin recycling schemes. For more information or to try and request this change in your street, call Cardiff County Council on 029 2087 2087.

Rubbish collection days:

  • Tuesday: Canton, Riverside, Llandaff, Canton, Grangetown & Butetown
  • Wednesday: Cathays, Gabalfa, Plasnewydd, Cyncoed, Pentwyn & Pen-y-lan
  • Thursday: Adamsdown & Splott
  • Friday: Heath

Refuse should be placed outside the boundaries of the property no earlier than 4pm the day before scheduled collection and no later than 7.15am on the scheduled day of collection.

If refuse is allowed to accumulate at front forecourts or in rear yards/gardens, or is found to be dumped in the street, action may be taken against tenants by the Council. Such action could include prosecution in the Magistrates Court.

If you require more information on refuse and/or recycling collection, including hefty household waste, please contact Cardiff County Council.

  • Green recycling bag collections will be weekly (paper, plastic cans glass etc).
  • Food waste collections will be weekly (in a separate kerbside food waste caddy).
  • Garden waste collections will be fortnightly.
  • Black bin collections or, if in a bag area, black bag collections will be fortnightly.

Tidy Text is a free text service which reminds people when recycling/waste is collected. Text 'Tidy' with your house number and postcode to 60066.

Gardens & Pest Control

Under the terms of your tenancy agreement, all communal areas including external courtyards, gardens and porches should be kept in a clean and tidy condition. This includes keeping them clear of rubbish, cutting grass and trimming back foliage. If you have any suggestions we can put forward to your landlord in order to assist you in carrying out your obligations, please contact us.

An important part of keeping your garden clean is to prevent the attraction of rats, mice or other vermin due to un-cleanliness. You are likely to be held responsible for any Pest Control services required. You will also need to ensure that the inside of your property is kept as clean as possible in order to deter pests such as mice, rats and bugs. Only put your bin bags out on the day they are due to be collected. You are also required to clean windows both internally and externally.

Note: CPS Homes operate a '21 day pest policy' whereby we will deal with any reports of pests within the first 21 days of you living at the property, but after then it will be your responsibility.

Anti-Social Behaviour

This can be defined as "an action likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress or behaviour which prevents others from enjoying an acceptable quality of life".

Tenants should ensure that nothing that they or their visitors do will interfere with other occupants within the house or the neighbourhood.

The result of anti-social behaviour on the part of a tenant and/or any of their visitors could include eviction and if there is excessive noise you could be referred to the Local Authority's Noise Pollution Team, who could serve notice, prosecute or even fine you up to £5,000. They could even seize your equipment permanently.

All out of hours noise complaints for car and property alarms can be made direct to Cardiff County Council on 02920 871650.

Utility Bills

Please note that, unless otherwise agreed, you are responsible for the payment of utility bills for the duration of your tenancy, including any period when you may not be occupying the property. Most utilities are on meters and are billed based on their total usage, though there are typically standing charges even when there has been no usage.

Keys

If you misplace or lose a key, we may have a copy of it in our office that you can borrow, but we can't guarantee it. Give us a call and we'll check for you. If we do, you may collect it from us during office hours and make a copy for yourself, then return ours back to us.

Keys can be copied very cheaply at many different places in Cardiff, but we recommend;

Cathays Locksmiths

109 Woodville Road,

Cathays,

CF24 4DY

02920 236703

Crwys Key Cutting

96 Crwys Road,

Cathays,

CF24 4NQ

02920 236703

Useful Phone Numbers

Please note that the numbers below are only to be used in a genuine emergency and are for issues that require an immediate response. If the matter can wait until we open again, please telephone us when we're open. False call-outs may result in you being liable for the charge. If your property is not managed by CPS Homes, you will need to contact your landlord directly.

You may be asked to pay for the emergency call-out at the time, even if you are not liable for the charge. However, if you provide the receipt of payment to us and the cause of the call-out was no fault of your own, we will reimburse you for this cost. Calls made to any contractor other than those stated below may not be reimbursed.

Finally, please note that these numbers are only to be used by the tenants of properties managed by CPS Homes. If you deal with your landlord directly, you must contact him/her. We will not reimburse call-outs made by tenants of properties that aren’t managed by CPS Homes.

Plumbing and leaks

Pure Heating Solutions - 02920 627145 / 07581 022244

Thompson Services - 07724 354418

Electrics

LOC Electrics - 07817 415831

Locks

Lock Logic - 07920 119117

Tony’s Locksmith - 07798 612837

Cardiff City Locksmiths - 07525 730373 or 07399 952999

CBS Building - 07908 681557

Building-related issues

CBS Building - 07908 681557

PMW Maintenance - 07837 651715

Cardiff Council Rubbish Collections

Text 'Tidy' with your house number and postcode to 60066 to get a free reminder of your bin collection days.

Cardiff Council Bulky Item Collection

Cardiff Council switchboard - 029 2087 2087

Health Queries - Standard of Housing Concerns

Cardiff Council Private-Sector Housing - 02920 871762

Health Queries - Street, Air or Water Cleanliness

Cardiff Council Environmental Health - 02920 871134

Noise Complaints

Noise & Air Pollution - 02920 871650

Utilities Suppliers

USwitch - 0800 051 5493

British Gas - 0800 048 0202

SWALEC - 0800 980 9041

nPower - 0808 156 0056

e.on - 0333 202 4608

To find your electricity supplier details:

Meter Admin Point - 01752 502299

To find your gas supplier details:

Meter Admin Point - 0870 6081524

Welsh Water - 0800 052 0130

Council Tax Band

Enter your postcode into the VOA Website.

Travel

Cardiff Taxis

Dragon Taxis - 02920 333 333

Premier Taxis - 02920 555 555

Capital Cabs - 02920 777 777

Castle Cabs - 02920 344344

Railways

National Rail Enquiries (English language) - 08457 48 49 50

National Rail Enquiries (Welsh language) - 0845 60 40 500

Arriva Trains Wales (English & Welsh language) - 0845 606 1660

If after reading the above points you would still like to contact us with an issue, please click the button and provide as much information as possible.