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Anna Harper Lettings Flats to rent in Edinburgh with private letting agents at Edinburghs letting company -

Your Account | Tenants | Landlords


Maintenance

Leaks from above
Leaks to below
Plumbing
Electrical
Heating
Drains
Roof leaks
Moisture and Mould
Mouldy Bathrooms
Our Maintenance Team

When things go wrong, it can be a real nuisance,

but we'll try to help as soon as possible!

Please fill in the form opposite, and remember to let us know about access and the level of urgency.

We'll try to get back to you as quickly as possible.

If nothing happens and its an emergency.....

For emergencies only, phone 07973 884 973 and leave a message - we should get back to you straight away.

Try to be patient, it could take at least ten minutes.

Try not to keep phoning us again and again, we cannot get through to you if you keep phoning.

If still nothing happens.....

Phone the Edinburgh Council Emergency Only Number on 0131 200 2000

If its a gas emergency.....

Phone Transco on 0800 111 999

Maintenance notes.....

1. Leaks from above

If suddenly you discover water dripping or pouring into your flat from above, try to stay calm and figure out what is going on. Surprisingly, these type of events are not entirely uncommon, and not so surprisingly have an uncanny habit of occurring on Friday evenings when all plumbers are in the pub, on Christmas eve, or in the middle of the night. If you live in a top flat, there is a good chance its a roof leak (see note 7. - roof leaks). If its not a roof leak the first thing you need to do is go upstairs and alert the neighbours. If its impossible to alert the neighbours or gain access and the leak is a serious one like a flood then you need to phone the council emergency number on 0131 529 3030 - they are the only people who will be able to force entry if necessary. We will not be able to help with gaining access to the property but please contact us and we will try to help.

Other things to consider...

The leak may be coming from another flat higher in the building - check the people above to see if they know anything.

Some common stairways are equipped with lockshield shut-off valves so that the water can be turned off to an individual flat without gaining entry.

If the leak is continuous, its likely to be a plumbing leak, in other words a ruptured pipe, faulty fitting, or leaking washing machine supply hose. If the leak is intermittent, its more likely to be a usage type of leak ie one which only occurs when someone is doing something such as showering, or a leaking washing machine drain.
 

2. Leaks from below

Well, obviously not leaks from below, that should be impossible, but someone from below might knock on your door to let you know (hopefully in a polite and calm manner) that there is a leak into their property. If this happens, contact us immediately using the form above or phone the office on 0131 202 0495 or email us at anna@annaharperlettings.com

Other things to consider...

You might ask the neighbour where in their property the leak is - this may give you an indication of the cause. For example you might not be using a shower curtain properly.

3. Plumbing

Ah, plumbing - where would we be without it? The only problem about plumbing is that its pipes contain water under pressure, and this all has to be kept under control. There are two main types of plumbing system in flats - low pressure and mains pressure. Many flats have a mixture of both, for example a storage tank which supplies cold water to the bathroom with a mains pressure combi system for hot water and cold mains to the kitchen sink, or all mains pressure system with no stored water at all. Let us know if you are having plumbing problems, whether its a dripping tap or no hot water, by filling in the form above.

4. Electrical

We carry out PAT testing (Portable Appliance Testing) on electrical equipment in flats once every 3 years. If you are worried about a portable appliance that is not owned by you, please let us know.

If part of the electrical system in your property stops working this may be a broken fuse. The most common cause of this is in a lighting circuit - when a light bulb blows it can often break the fuse. You may be able to fix this problem quickly yourself. If your distribution board (usually near the meter) contains resettable fuses, just look for the one which has tripped and switch it back on. If its a rewirable fuse board only rewire the fuse if you know what you are doing - if in doubt, or for any other electrical problem, contact us using the form above.

5. Heating

The main types of heating in properties are as follows:

Gas central heating, pressurised system with combination boiler.

Gas central heating, open vented system with system boiler and hot water storage tank.

Gas fires.

Electrical night storage heaters using off-peak electricity.

Electrical panel or portable heaters.

The commonest system nowadays is a pressurised system using a combination boiler, also providing instantaneous hot water. The most usual reason for this type of setup not working is a drop in the system pressure. This is usually indicated on the front panel of the boiler by a pressure guage. The system pressure should read about 1 to 1.5 bar. If it below .5 bar the boiler will stop working. It is quite usual for the system pressure to drop too low after a number of months in which case it needs to be recharged. Often the pressure will be over 2 bar when the system is hot - this is nothing to worry about. The system can normally be recharged using the filling loop adjacent to the boiler - turn the valve on until the pressure reaches between 1 and 1.5 bar then turn the valve OFF.

However, there are several variations on this theme - some boilers, Worcester-Bosch for example, have special keys to do this; some Vokera boilers have an integral filling loop with a filling valve, and so on. If you are fortunate enough to have an instruction manual for the boiler, the method for recharging will be explained. If in doubt, contact us using the form above.

6. Drains do's and don'ts

Do - keep your drains clear by using them. If a sink or basin is slow to drain, fill it up with hot water then pull the plug out - sometimes this can clear it. Use drain clear or detergent if you want.

Do - clean out the traps regularly.

Don't - put hot fat down the drain. It will solidify immediately it hits the cold water in the trap and will completley block the drain.

Don't - put coffee grounds down the drain. Put them in the bin.

Don't - ever - put wet wipes or any cloth-based wipes down the loo. They cause complete drain pandemonium.

Don't - if possible, stuff tons of lavatory paper down the loo. Otherwise, only put organic matter down the loo.

Don't - put anything but organic matter down a lavatory with a macerator (saniflo).

Any drainage problems, contact us using the form above.

7. Roof leaks

There are some days in Scotland when there is hardly a roof in Edinburgh that doesn't leak. So if its very stormy and very wet, and you live in a top flat, try not to be too alarmed if you have a leak - at least its only the weather and not a neighbour leaking into your property. When these terrible weather events occur, as seems to be happening more and more frequently these days, all the roofers in town are called out to do what they can, so please try to be patient. Contact us using the form above.

7. Moisture and Mould

If you think your property is damp, or you can see black mould on the window frames or on the walls, there may be a problem with the fabric of the building, or the heating, or the ventilation, but its much more likely that its to do with you and the way you are managing the above.

In the winter  -or actually in Scotland, much of the year round!-  its very tempting to try and save on heating by keeping the windows tightly shut, blocking ventilators and taping up the gaps. If you block up too much it will in fact get more expensive to heat the house. Without proper ventilation the fabric of the house, the furnishings and the air get damper and damper, to the point where you need a huge amount of heat to warm the place, because you are trying to heat a load of water, which as we know from school physics uses many times more energy than heating air or something solid.

Once you get into the vicious cycle of trying to heat a damp house you are unlikely to be successful without proper ventilation (a bit like running a tumble dryer with no way out for the water). The result will be a lot of damp, a lot of mould, and eventually rot and serious damage.

If you think you have inadequate ventilation or some other kind of dampness problem, let us know. Contact us using the form above.

8. Mouldy Bathrooms

Bathrooms, especially shower enclosures, are very prone to mould and mildew because of humidity. But its easy to stay on top of the problem. If you notice brown discolouring of the grout lines in the tiling, or black marks on the silicone seal, you can remove these if the problem is not too far advanced. Get some Mould and Mildew spray, or just as good and much cheaper, use an old spray bottle and fill it with diluted bleach. Spray down and across the lines of grout - the mould will disappear immediately. Silicone is a bit more difficult, and if its very far gone its impossible to treat because the mould is below the surface - it will have to be stripped out and replaced. But if its not too bad the mould will disappear after a few treatments. Any mould in a bathroom is however a symptom of poor ventilation.

If you think you have inadequate ventilation or some other kind of dampness problem, let us know. Contact us using the form above.

9. Our Maintenance Team

Our maintenance team is made up of a combination of in-house fully trained and experienced operatives and trusted individual tradesmen. We only get involved with larger maintenance companies for very specialised work (entryphone systems, unvented hw systems, rot and damp specialists, etc) if we are unable to solve a problem ourselves.

Our focus is on exceptional value for the landlord and a trusted and personal approach for tenants.

Our policy is always where possible to make a first call using in-house staff which is not chargeable to the landlord unless the work has been completed successfully and there is a cost involved. If the problem is not immediately solved we then engage one of our specialist subcontractors.

AHL is a Gas Safe Registered company (reg no.524315).