4. Looking after your home


As the leaseholder, you are responsible for the internal repairs to your home, and the safety of gas and electric fittings. You should arrange for regular servicing - at least once a year - of central heating boilers and systems, gas fires, etc. by qualified specialists. Your gas and electricity suppliers will normally offer this service. This is important for your safety, and that of your neighbours. If you fail to repair items such as water leaks or running overflows that have a detrimental effect on other occupants or the fabric of the building, we have the right to enter your property and carry out the repairs ourselves. You will be recharged for any expenditure we incur in the process.

Decorating your home

You are responsible for keeping the interior of your home in a good decorative condition.

What do I do in an emergency?

It is important to think about what to do in an emergency before it happens. If you have a water leak, gas leak or electrical problem you need to be aware of what action you should take.

Water leaks

If you find a burst pipe or you have a water leak you should immediately turn your water off. You do this by turning off the mains stopcock.

Gas leaks

If you smell gas you should turn off your supply at the mains and remember extinguish all flames. The gas tap is found next to the gas meter. You should then call the gas distribution company immediately. The number you should ring can be found on your gas bill or in Yellow Pages. Because you live in a flat you should have your boiler checked each year by a qualified contractor, if you sublet your flat this is a legal requirement.


If you have an electrical fault you should switch off the supply at the mains. This is found next to your fuse box. You should then call a competent electrician. If your supply fails completely you should call your electricity supplier. The number can be found on your electricity bill or in Yellow Pages.


You can help to prevent a fire by unplugging electrical appliances before you go to bed and when you go away. Keep matches away from children and do not leave lit candles unattended. Smoke alarms are useful to warn you of a fire so you should check them at least once a month to make sure they work. Finally be aware of the fire exits, and make an evacuation plan.


Condensation is often caused by poor ventilation. If your home has condensation problems, you will often find black mould growing in the corners of the rooms, windows and on outside walls. This can damage your home and furnishings. You can help prevent condensation by:

  • Keeping air vents in your home open
  • Wiping down windows in the morning where water may have collected overnight
  • Keeping rooms warm in cold weather
  • Opening your windows to allow fresh air in whenever possible
  • Not using paraffin or bottled-gas heaters

We have a separate leaflet explaining condensation.


For advice on dealing with mice, rats, cockroaches or other types of pest in your home, contact your Environmental Health department at the council. There may be a charge for this service.