Usually common around winter – contributing factors include insufficient heating, limited ventilation inside the property due to the cold conditions, persistent inclement weather raising moisture levels outside and multiple occupants creating moisture inside the property. External exposed walls and windows tend to exhibit symptoms like mould and mildew growth and wetness to the walls. Kitchens and bathrooms due to the nature of the use of the rooms will also experience issues more commonly. In our experience solving the issue is usually contributing factors which are part tenant lifestyle – not opening windows, cooking without extraction, showering without extractor fan and window opening, limiting airflow around furniture against particularly cold walls, drying wet clothes inside the property and part property factors such as compromised damp course, leaking gutters/downpipes or chimneys etc. In the first instance we ask that you clean the mould from the area with a light bleach solution, remove any of the above factors that may be contributors and monitor the progress with a photo diary over a period of time

It is not uncommon for condensate pipes on boilers to become frozen during very cold weather which will stop the boiler from working.  Before reporting a problem with the heating just double check that the pipe is not frozen and watch this helpful video to walk you through troubleshooting the issue.

Should a combi boiler lose pressure this will also prevent it from working.  If your pressure reads at less than 1 bar, it’s possible that you have lost water from the system via a leak. If the pressure reads at 2.75 bar or above, you may need to bleed a radiator to release the pressure and bring it back down to a suitable level. If you attempt to bleed a radiator, you should make sure that you have a way of catching the water to prevent the walls or floor from being damaged. Take caution when undertaking this job as the water can be very hot. If you find a leak or suspect that you have one, you should report to us via Fixflo.

It’s a good idea to check your boiler manual for instructions on how to re-pressurise your combi boiler, if you cannot find one at the property the internet usually has manuals available when searching for the boiler model online.  Open the valves to allow cold water to enter the system, keeping an eye on the pressure gauge and when it reaches 1.5 bar close it again. This should result in your boiler firing up. Should the boiler still not work or you continue to experience drops in pressure report the issue to us.

Modern day consumer units are extremely sensitive to any electrical appliance or fixed wiring that is not safe and as a result of any fault in the system, the consumer unit will shut down that system which may mean the whole property or a particular circuit going off. First turn the trip switch back on at the main fuse board – it may have occurred due to a blown bulb so should come on and stay on right away. The bulb will need replacing at another time. If the electrics will not remain on and keeps tripping further investigation is needed, but before you call us or an electrician just spend a short amount of time troubleshooting yourself at the property. The issue could be related to an appliance that has shorted so turn off all appliances at the wall and then switch the electrics back on one by one. If the power remains on slowly and methodically turn on each appliance until you narrow down the defective appliance. Should this be the landlords own appliance and a repair contract exists report the issue via Fixflo.

We believe that forearmed is forewarned and before exploring the options available to you as a tenant its best to do some research and understand exactly what will be expected of you and what you need before house hunting. We recommend that you seek independent advice from Citizens Advice Bureau if you are uncertain about anything and read through the current Government How to Rent Guide.

Always check your tenancy agreement when it comes to your tenant obligations but generally the garden is a tenants obligation to keep in order during a tenancy and certainly should be in the same condition as it was at the start of the Tenancy (weather dependent).  Sometimes there are questions over whether large shrubs/hedges or trees should be taken care of by a tenant and again the contract will usually define whether this is part of your responsibility. Most landlords do look to take care of trees and large hedges so contact the agent and discuss the situation further.