There are some simple precautions that you should take to ensure that your pipes do not freeze while you are away during the Christmas Vacation:
- If your house is not centrally heated, then turn off the stopcock on the incoming cold supply and drain the hot and cold water systems by turning on all taps, ensuring first that any water heaters are switched off and remain off until the system is filled again
- If your house is centrally heated by water filled radiators, do not drain the system, but leave the central heating to come on for two hours during the early hours of the morning and again in the evening with the thermostat set at 15oC. This should maintain a level of background heating sufficient to prevent frost damage.
- Please note failure to protect the property by not leaving the heating on for the recommended times may result in you incurring costs for damage caused by burst pipes.
- Stopcock - This controls the entry of water into the house from the main supply. It is generally (but not always) located under the kitchen sink and MUST be turned off if there is a burst in a cold water pipe. Make sure ALL of you know where it is. If in any doubt, TURN IT OFF - but see note 3 also
- The cold water tank is nearly always installed in the roof space. This - being the coldest part of the house - means that the water in the tank or the ball valve easily freezes in very cold weather. Try to prevent this by opening the loft hatch and allowing heat to get into the roof space
- The hot water tap is fed from the cold tank. Thus, if the cold tank freezes or empties you will not get any hot water either. In this case you MUST turn off the immersion heater and the central heating system
- The cold tap will stop working (or should do) immediately when the stopcock is turned off. The hot taps will work for a little while afterwards
- Waste pipes - in cold weather the water from sinks and basins may freeze and eventually block the waste pipe. This applies particularly when there is a constantly dripping tap and a small flow of water down the pipes. Prevent this by keeping the plug in the waste outlet and let the waste out in large warm quantities
Should your pipes freeze despite these precautions contact your Property Manager for advice. Further information pertaining to Frost precautions can be found on Warwick MyFiles.
The cellars of most houses are generally damp. The cellar must not be used as a rubbish dump or to store furniture/belongings. If items are found to be stored in the cellar without agreement, you will be asked to remove them. If they are left at the end of your tenancy, you may be charged for removal of any belongings/objects that you have left in the cellar.
This remains the responsibility of the Owner of the property to maintain. Under the terms of your tenancy agreement you have agreed not to cause any damage in the garden or leave anything in it other than for refuse collection.
Please go to the Warwick or Coventry Council websites for the full list of what you can put into your refuse containers/wheelie bins and to check your collection days. Your containers need to be placed at the curbside after 7pm the night before and by 7am on the morning of your collection. Once collected please bring your containers back to your property - do not leave them on the pavement. Some properties with no storage for wheelie bins will have weekly sack collections. Further information relating to refuse can be found at Warwick MyFiles.
Where heating is provided in the house it should be used effectively. If the heating provided is not used correctly you will be responsible for making good any areas affected by condensation damage.
Condensation is an extremely underestimated cause of damage to your home. It is responsible for rot and can cause mould and fungal growth on walls and ceilings and, if not dealt with, can damage your health.
All air contains water vapour. The quantity contained depends on the temperature of the air – this ratio is called the relative humidity. Hot air is able to carry more moisture than cold air so as the temperature of air rises it is able to hold a greater volume of vapour.
As soon as warm air containing vapour hits a cooler surface it will condense. This is most obvious on windows and wall tiles but it is also happening on the walls and ceilings. Unfortunately it is not enough to just warm the house thoroughly as air temperature will rise until it finds a surface cooler unless you let some of the warm air out and cooler air in. Moisture soaks into the walls, invites fungicidal spores, which develop into mould. This can cause breathing problems if not checked and sometimes irreparable damage to walls and furniture.
Ventilation is the answer to condensation. There are many ways to deal with the effects of condensation, but only one way to deal with the cause – you must ensure the house is adequately ventilated.
Guidance notes on dealing with condensation can be found within MyFiles. If you follow these guidance notes it will help to prevent damage from condensation and mould growth and it will improve your living conditions.
The results of a bath or shower overflowing represent the most common cause of structural damage to our properties. If a bath or shower is allowed to overflow or if there is a leak, water will build up in the floorboards and soak down into the ceiling of the room below. This will then go mouldy and begin to cave in. It costs at least £300 to put right this sort of damage. You can avoid the trouble and cost by following a couple of simple precautions:
- Never use shower apparatus which fits directly onto bath taps - these spray water onto the floor or nearby untiled walls
- Never use a shower without a shower curtain, and make sure that when you do use a curtain you tuck it into the shower base or bath. If the shower is fitted with a shower door, keep it closed when in the shower
- Dry yourself in the bath or shower cubicle to prevent spilling water on the floor
- If a shower starts leaking to a floor below or you have any problems with tiling stop using the shower and report the matter to your Property Manager immediately
Please note the showerhead will need de-scaling on a regular basis to prevent the build-up of potentially harmful bacteria and limescale, which can cause faults with the heating elements. If you have not used the shower for a period of 7 days or more, before entering you should allow the shower to run for 2-3 minutes to prevent any health risk from waterborne bacteria.
You will find that most showers have their own quirks, so please try out the settings on yours before you report it to us as being faulty.
In order to prolong the efficiency of electric showers, once you have finished showering please run the shower on cold for a minute or two.
As a safety feature, modern electric showers run for a short period of time, after being turned off, to allow the heating elements to cool down. Do not try to keep turning the shower off as you may damage the unit and be charged for repair. If the shower in your property does not do this automatically you will need to turn the temperature to cold and allow the water to run for one minute before switching it off.
Gas Central Heating - You will be provided with the contact details of who to call in the event of a breakdown of your heating system. The majority of our properties are covered under a service agreement and you will find their, and any other relevant contractor contact details on the boiler.
Do not report appliances as ‘broken’ because no one knows how to turn on the system. Contact Warwick Accommodation for advice.
Under the service agreement, the nominated contractor will charge for a no fault call out.
Electric storage heaters should be self explanatory but clothes should not be hung over these appliances to dry as this constitutes a significant fire risk.
It is generally your responsibility to deal with pests.
The most common reported problem is ants. Ants are the most prevalent pests in households and feed on sugars, syrups, honey, fruit juice, fats and meat. Ants enter buildings seeking food and water, warmth and shelter, or a refuge from dry, hot weather or flooded conditions. They may appear suddenly in buildings if other food sources become unavailable or weather conditions change.
Ants will not eat bait if more desirable food is nearby, so be sure to remove any particles of food or other attractive material from cracks around sinks and any other ant-infested areas of the home, particularly kitchens. Place bait stations (ant powder) in places where there are ant trails or along edges where ants travel. Store attractive food items such as sugar, syrup etc in closed containers. Rinse out empty soft drink containers or remove them from the building. Thoroughly clean up grease and spills and do not store rubbish inside buildings.
Rats can be dealt with by the local environmental health authorities, however there is a charge for eradicating mice, for further advice please contact your Property Manager. See the notice in your property for the relevant telephone numbers.
Slugs are common pests and feed mainly at night. Silvery trails indicate their presence. As a temporary solution talcum powder or flour can be put down to provide a barrier. Slug pellets can be obtained from most hardware shops and local supermarkets.
Wasps and bees need to be treated by specialists. You must contact your property manager if you need this service.
The tenants are entitled to use the property only as a private dwelling house to be occupied by no more than the number of students specified on the Lease Agreement. Tenants may allow guests to stay on an ad hoc basis as long as no such guests stay for more than three consecutive nights.
In some areas of Coventry, Kenilworth and Leamington parking on the road is by permit only and this varies from property to property. If you require clarification please contact your Property Manager.
To check on public transport route and timetable information contact 0870 608 2 608 or visit Traveline.
Alternatively, information regarding buses to campus can be found on the University website.
No redecoration of the property or structural alteration may be made without consent, in writing from the owner, obtained through Warwick Accommodation.
All houses on the Property Leasing Scheme are regularly inspected by the assigned Property Manager to ensure that they are being looked after. Should any areas require further cleaning, this will be brought to your attention and if necessary a further inspection will be carried out. If there is no improvement on the second visit a contract cleaner will be called in and the cost will be invoiced to your group or the individual student concerned.
Please remember that we are here to help you. You will be notified by email of the intended date of the visit, which will take place during normal working hours, and given at least 48 hours notice. Although we do like to meet a member of each group it is not essential for anyone to be at home during the visit.
Please note that great care should be taken when affixing posters to walls, doors etc. If, as a result of the sticking up of posters the decor is damaged, you will be charged the full cost of re-decoration. Blu-tak should only be used when affixing posters to gloss painted surfaces unless the owner has given permission to use it on other surfaces.
Smoking in communal areas is not permitted. Should you choose to smoke in your study bedroom, please be aware that you will be charged for any cost incurred in having any discoloured ceilings, walls, skirting boards profesionally re-decorated, or any curtains, furnishings and upholstery professionally cleaned or replaced.
There is a zero tolerance policy regarding the possession and use of illegal drugs and psychoactive substances in our properties. We remind students that possession of illegal substances is a criminal offence and possession with intent to supply is a more serious offence. Students found to be using or in possession of, or knowingly allowing any illegal substance including cannabis to be used, are in contravention of this policy and will face disciplinary action.
You need to be aware that if you allow any guests or visitors to use any illegal substances in your room then this is still an illegal activity and you will face disciplinary action.
The University is also mindful of the impact that other types of substance abuse may have on the residential community. Alcohol in moderation is not an issue, however, antisocial behaviour due to excessive alcohol intake or use of illegal drugs or psychoactive substances will not be tolerated.
Please read the University's Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Policy.