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.
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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.
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.
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:
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:
Properties with a control panel system
It is the tenant's responsibility to carry out basic maintenance which includes:
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.
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:
When to call an 'out of hours' electrician
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Condensation is not the only cause of damp. It can also come from:
These causes of damp cause a 'tidemark', making this type of cause easily identifiable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
Crwys Key Cutting
96 Crwys Road,
If you're a tenant and have an emergency, please visit our Tenant Emergencies page.
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 & Air Pollution - 02920 871650
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.
Dragon Taxis - 02920 333 333
Premier Taxis - 02920 555 555
Capital Cabs - 02920 777 777
Castle Cabs - 02920 344344
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.