As a HiS customer, you have signed a legal contract, which is your tenancy agreement. As part of this contract, some property maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of HiS, and some will be yours.
By law, we must maintain the structure and outside of your property, and installations that supply water, electricity, gas and drainage.
Any meters for gas, electric and water are the responsibility of your supplier, for example EDF or British Gas.
A full list of responsibilities can be found at the end of this section but your responsibilities will include toilet seats, changing light bulbs, bath plugs and chains, and any fencing between gardens.
We now offer a "Same Day" repairs service where an operative will attend on the day that you report the repair if reported before 4pm.
You will be required to be at home for the duration of the day, as we are unable to offer a dedicated time of attendance, so we do need someone to be available for access to your property.
If it is a repair that can be completed within an hour, then it will be done on that same day.
If follow-on works are required, the operative will call through to the office and book a further appointment for the works, on a day/time to suit you
This service is now available for all responsive repairs including gas heating.
To report a repair, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Customer Services team on 0800 585 360.
Our offices are open 09.00-17.00hrs Monday to Friday. For an emergency repair you can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Emergency repairs include
· blocked drains
· only toilet in a property not working
· loss of all electrics.
If we are called out and carry out a repair that is your responsibility, then you will be recharged for the work.
We are also not responsible if a repair is needed as a result of damage or neglect caused by you, a member of your family, a visitor to your home, or a pet. This includes any accidental damage and any alterations you have made.
You will also have to pay a charge for any lost keys or if we have to gain entry or secure your property.
If damage is caused by criminal action you must report this to the police and obtain a crime reference number. This will ensure that any resulting repairs can then be completed without a recharge to you.
It is your responsibility to decorate the inside of your property.
Where damage has been caused to decorations through accident or a delay in repairs being completed, we may provide some vouchers towards the cost of this, but in the first instance, it should be claimed via your home contents insurance.
As your landlord, your safety is our number one concern and as such we take our responsibility to check your gas boiler service very seriously. It must be completed on an annual basis.
It is really important you provide access for these checks, and if this doesn't happen, then we can take action to gain entry to your property.
The actual meter and gas supply to your home is your responsibility to manage with your gas supplier.
If you smell gas or suspect there is a gas leak:
o Immediately switch off the gas supply at the meter
o Do not use any electrical appliances or switches
o Do not light naked flames
o Open windows and doors to ventilate the building
o Call Wales and West immediately on 0800 111 999 to report it
o Leave the property
To make sure your home remains in a good condition you need to allow us access for necessary repairs and routine property inspections.
Please ensure there is someone in the property over 16 years of age or our contractors will not be able to enter.
All HiS employees and contractors carry an official identity card which includes their photograph.
Before allowing anyone claiming to be working on behalf of HiS into your home, always ask to see this ID.
If you are in any doubt then call us on 0800 585 360 to check.
It is your responsibility to insure your personal belongings and contents of your home.
If items such as flooring and furniture are accidentally damaged then you will need to make a claim on your insurance, it will not be covered by Homes in Sedgemoor.
This is works that are carried out periodically to replace items that have reached the end of their useful life. For efficiency, these works are carried out as part of a rolling programme of works, organised into area, and may include:
Windows and external door replacement
Replacing the kitchen or bathroom
If you wish to carry out any works yourself, then you must always seek our permission beforehand. You must not start any work until you have received our permission in writing.
Only secure tenants have right to request permission for making improvements. The type of tenancy you have will be in your tenancy agreement but if you aren't sure please speak to your Neighbourhood Officer.
You must always supply us with the details of the planned alteration, and will need to seek planning permission wherever appropriate before plans will be considered.
All permission requests will be dealt with and considered on an individual basis.
Any alterations or improvements made will then have to be inspected to ensure they have been completed to a satisfactory standard and adhere to any safety regulations.
In some circumstances, secure tenants have the right to claim compensation for improvements they have made during their tenancy. You would need to provide proof of costs incurred, but any compensation paid would be on a fixed rate sliding scale basis, reducing over time.
Please note that interior decoration, painting and wallpapering will not qualify for compensation, neither will items such as decking or conservatories.
To assist you, we may consider permission for aids and adaptations within your home.
To start this process, you will need to contact your OT via Social Services so that a referral can be made.
For larger adaptations, you may be eligible for a Disabled Facility Grant (DFG) via Sedgemoor District Council, but this is means tested.
Adaptations may include:
Level access shower to replace a bath
Please note, that where these items are installed under a DFG, when the warranty period has expired, then it will become your responsibility to maintain.
Asbestos was a very popular and widely used building material for many years. As the majority of our properties were built during this period, it is likely that your home will have some asbestos in it. This does not automatically mean there is a problem.
When you move into one of our homes, you will be provided with an asbestos report, so that you are aware of where the asbestos is.
If undamaged asbestos will not cause any ill effect to your health.
Asbestos is a natural mineral found in rock, which means there are naturally occurring asbestos fibres in the air all the time - we are all breathing in around 200,000-300,000 asbestos fibres every day, regardless, without any damage to our health!
IF AT ANY TIME YOU THINK SOME ASBESTOS MAY HAVE BECOME DISTURBED OR DAMAGED WITHIN YOUR HOME THEN CALL US TO REPORT IT AND WE WILL ATTEND WITHIN 24 HOURS
Before any major works can be completed on your home, we will always carry out a full asbestos survey, to ensure we have the most up to date information. You cannot tell if a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it - a sample has to be taken and then sent off for laboratory analysis which is why there is sometimes a delay.
Managing the risk within your home
§ Don't repair or remove any material that you think may contain asbestos
§ Don't cut, break, saw, drill, sand or disturb anything that you think may contain asbestos
§ If it is not obvious what a material is made from, then assume that it could contain asbestos
§ Always call Homes in Sedgemoor on 0800 585 360 and we can then check our asbestos register for you
Why can't you just remove all of the asbestos within my home?
Asbestos was used so widely in the building trade for such a long period of time that removing all asbestos is just not practical.
Over time, as improvements are made and our properties are updated, the asbestos is being removed, but our policy is to complete a risk assessment in each case.
A trained surveyor will always decide whether to:
Ø Leave the asbestos in place and make a record of its condition and position
Ø Seal the asbestos to stop it breaking down - this is a process called encapsulation
Ø Cover the asbestos with timber, PVC or another material
Ø Remove the asbestos completely and replace it with another material
For any asbestos removal, we only use approved contractors who are licenced by the Health & Safety Executive.
In some instances, a 14 day notice period is required.
Please be assured that the presence of asbestos containing materials within your home is not a cause for immediate concern.
It is the advice of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that such materials in good condition should be left in place, undisturbed, and their condition periodically monitored.
Maybe think of it in the same way as electricity - constantly present within your home, but quite safe unless tampered with.
There is no cure for condensation, is by far the most common cause of dampness and mould within properties, and results in a large number of queries received by Homes in Sedgemoor!
Condensation is caused when moisture or water vapour within the property, come into contact with a colder surface.
e.g. when you have a shower and water vapour goes into the air - this will then settle against the ceiling, window or wall
Over time, these "damp" areas, if left, will attract black mould growth on their surface.
Other common areas for condensation are where there is little air circulation - for example - behind furniture if pushed up against a wall
The majority of all homes are affected by condensation at some point, and as older properties are made more air tight with the addition of double glazed windows, this can worsen the issue.
Condensation will never go! It can only be managed!
The amount of condensation produced will depend upon the following factors:
1. The amount of water vapour being produced within the property
2. How warm or cold the property is
3. How well ventilated the property is
Condensation is firstly visible when we see water particles on windows or other cold surfaces - these can take a long time to disappear, which allow the surfaces to become damp.
If this happens, we may then see black mould patches growing on these damp areas.
Mould requires warm and humid conditions, oxygen, and some food - food for mould could be wood, wallpaper or various other building material
*It is possible for some mould to grow in as little as 24 hours of good growing conditions being present!
It is possible for condensation to settle away from the water vapour was first created - for example water vapour created in the kitchen when cooking may well travel throughout the house and settle in a cold spot on the bedroom wall!
You cannot completely stop condensation but you can help to reduce it!
In the bedrooms - open window when you go to bed at night - if too cold to do this then wipe the condensation off the windows first thing in the morning or on a weekly basis - it is important that you do not then put the cloth on the radiator to dry as this will create more condensation!
In the bathroom - ensure you use the extractor fan or open the window after bathing or showering to give steam (water vapour) a chance to escape.
Wipe the windows, walls and any mirrors to remove condensation and also dry the shower or bath
Keep the bathroom door closed while the bathroom is in use and also afterwards to prevent the steam (water vapour) escaping to other parts of the property
In the kitchen - when cooking, cover pans with a lid
Use the extractor fan or open a window to allow the steam (water vapour) to escape
Keep the door closed to prevent the steam (water vapour) escaping to other parts of the property
Other rooms - do not place furniture right up against a wall
Ensure rooms are adequately heated and ventilated
Ensure any ventilation bricks are not obstructed
Windows - keep all glass clear of water vapour and wipe regularly
Wipe away any moisture that has formed using a soft cloth and fungicidal solution
Leave open any trickle vents where fitted
Try and open windows when possible to keep the moisture content within the room to a minimum and allow moisture to escape
Avoid drying clothes on radiators
Ensure tumble driers are vented to the outside unless fitted with a condenser
If you do have to dry washing indoors then use the bathroom with the door shut and the window open
Ensure your property has a reasonable level of heating - not lower than 10 degrees in an unused room, or 16 degrees)
It is always best to maintain a level of warmth within the property - try and avoid turning the heating on high when you are in, and then off when you are out - keep at a steady level at all times
There are many day to day activities that will produce extra water vapour and therefore condensation -
Having 1 bath or shower = 2 pints of water vapour into the room
Drying wet clothes inside = 9 pints of water vapour into the room
Washing the dishes = 2 pints of water vapour into the room
Just by being in a room and breathing, we are producing water vapour into a room!
Shower curtains and pole
Washing machine connections
Gardens inc washing lines
Fencing between gardens
HiS will mark boundary
Light bulbs including fluorescent tubes
Curtain poles / curtains / blinds
Please refer to your Tenancy Agreement
Unless communal areas
Additional home security
Routine, Urgent and Emergency Repairs
Report a repair
What to do if you think your pipes may have frozen
Condensate pipes may freeze in extremely cold temperatures which can prevent your boiler from functioning. The condensate pipe is the waste pipe that takes the condensation from your boiler and into your drains, outside your home.