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Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a first-time buyer, owner of an apartment or a new build development – here you will find advice to help you settle into your ForLiving home including managing your utilities, snagging and ongoing maintenance.

  • Manage your utilities

    Can’t find what you’re looking for? If you have any additional queries or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by clicking the button below.

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    • Gas safety checks and tips
    • Energy efficiency
    • Water supply

      Follow these simple tips and stay gas safe in your home:

      If you smell gas:

      • Turn off your gas supply at the mains
      • Switch off all appliances
      • Open doors and windows
      • Go outside and call National Grid Emergency on 0800 111 999

      Stay gas safe:

      • Never try to fix your gas appliance yourself
      • Make sure you know where your gas meter is and how to turn off the supply
      • Don’t block flues, chimneys or vents and never cover a gas appliance
      • Don’t install your own gas appliances without first informing us

      Know the signs:

      Safe and well-maintained gas appliances should not produce carbon monoxide, but it’s best to know the signs – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea and collapse.If you experience any of these symptoms, leave the house and contact us.

      If we smell gas or are concerned for your safety, we reserve the right to force entry into your home to take emergency action to protect you and your neighbours.

       

      Gas safety checks:

      It is essential and a legal requirement that we gain access to your property every 12 months to carry out a gas safety inspection in your home. If you do not let us in, you are taking a risk not only with the law, but potentially with your life.

       

      What we’ll do and when we’ll do it:

      • We will service gas appliances annually and provide a copy of the gas safety certificate to you
      • We will check and service smoke alarms and any carbon monoxide alarms
      • If we cannot complete the repair at the first visit we will contact you within 24 hours with a follow up appointment. This will usually be to fit parts we have ordered to resolve the problem
      • We will install a carbon monoxide alarm for any property with an open flued gas appliance
      • Where your central heating fails and a repair can not be immediately undertaken, we will offer you temporary electric heaters
      • Our gas team will offer advice and/or assistance on the gas installation in your home
      • We will provide a specialist officer to assist customers with support needs during works

      We are working hard to ensure our homes are as energy efficient as possible, but there are lots of great ways you can help make your home more energy efficient and be more environmentally friendly.

       

      Energy efficiency of your home:

      Your energy performance certificate (EPC) shows two things:

      • The energy efficiency rating of your home
      • The environmental impact rating – carbon dioxide emissions estimated from the efficiency rating of your home

      There are many ways you can save energy just by making simple changes. For tips and advice on saving energy, you can contact us to request a free copy of our customer energy guide. United Utilities are also offering a FREE shower saver pack which can save you up to £43 a year on your water bills. The pack includes a shower water regulator that only takes a couple of minutes to fit for a lifetime of savings, tips to save energy, water, and money, plus a water-audit checklist to help you identify other areas where you can save water. Apply for your free pack by visiting the website here.

       

      Waste and recycling:

      Every year in the UK, we send around 23 million tonnes of household waste to landfills. At ForLiving, we are trying to do our bit by reducing the amount of waste produced from our operations and our resident’s homes. To support this we recycle 100% of waste from any improvement works we carry out.


      Cold water supply:

      The water supplied to your home must meet the standards set in the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000. The standards are strict and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) conduct regular quality tests to maintain standards. The areas covered are:

      • Bacteria chemicals (such as nitrates and pesticides)
      • Metals (such as lead)
      • The way water looks and tastes

      Here are some tips to help prevent bacterial growth and contamination of the water supply.

       

      Hot and cold water system

      If you have a domestic hot water cylinder in your home, ensure that the thermostat is set at 60ºC. Do not reduce this setting or the setting of your boiler thermostat, as bacteria can multiply at lower temperatures. If you have a combination boiler or multi-point water heater, do not reduce the hot water thermostat setting. If you are away from home for long periods (for example holidays or hospital stays), the water in your system can deteriorate if unused. When you return home, heat up your system to the normal temperature, open each tap and run for at least five minutes. Cold taps should be flushed until the water runs cold. When flushing taps and other outlets, open slowly and take care not to cause splashing or release of spray droplets to the atmosphere. Tap spouts on your bath, basin and sink may become contaminated from external sources. Clean tap spouts by wiping with a dilute bleach solution. If the tap is heavily scaled or contaminated, this can be dislodged using a nylon brush.

       

      Showers:

      If you have a shower fitted with a flexible hose, make sure that a hose-retaining ring is fitted to prevent the shower head falling into your bath water. Don’t use rubber push-on shower hoses on bath taps.

      Clean your shower head regularly using a nylon brush then soaking in a bleach solution.

       

      Little used taps/outlets:

      Over time the water in the pipework and fittings can deteriorate if a tap or appliance is not used. Open each tap and run for at least five minutes on a weekly basis to ensure that the water remains fresh. Cold taps should be flushed until the water runs cold.

       

      Other fittings and appliances:

      If you have an outside tap fitted, the installation must comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and incorporate a Backflow Prevention Device, usually a ‘double-check valve’. Any appliances you buy which are connected to the water supply must comply with the Water Regulations. All domestic appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers comply with the appropriate standards, but many commercial appliances do not and are not suitable for home use. If you have any concerns regarding any of the above in your home, please contact us.


  • Manage your property

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    • Defects
    • Damp and mould

      Your new build home will be covered by a defects period.

      All defects and snags should be reported as soon as possible.

      You must ensure all defects are reported to the ForHousing service centre by calling 0300 123 5522 or emailing hello@forhousing.co.uk, in order to ensure all records and correspondence is logged.

      If you need to know anything else – its all in your welcome pack.


      Damp can cause mould on walls, furniture and clothing. The presence of damp in your home encourages the growth of mould and mites and can increase the risk of respiratory illness.

      Some damp is caused by condensation. This tab explains how condensation forms and how you can keep it to a minimum so the risk of dampness and mould is reduced.

       

      Is it damp?

      Damp can be caused by:

      • Leaking pipes, wastes, or overflows
      • Rain seeping through the roof where a tile or slate is missing, spilling from a blocked gutter, penetrating around window frames or leaking through a cracked pipe
      • Rising damp due to a defective damp-course or because there is no damp-course

      These causes of damp often leave a ‘tidemark’. If you think your home is damp, please contact us and request that we visit you to check if this is the case. If you do not think the damp comes from any of these above causes then it is probably condensation. In which case, there are some things you can do to help prevent this.

       

      What is condensation?

      There is always some moisture in the air, even if you cannot see it. If the air gets colder, it cannot hold all the moisture and tiny drops of water appear. This is condensation. You notice it when you see your breath on a cold day or when the mirror mists over when you have a bath.

      Condensation occurs mainly during cold weather, whether it is raining or dry, and it does not leave a ‘tidemark’. It appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air. Look for it in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards. It often forms on north-facing walls. Useful help and advice:

      • Do not block permanent ventilators
      • Do not completely block chimneys. Instead, leave a hole about two bricks in size and fit a louvred grille over it
      • Do not draught proof rooms where there is condensation or mould
      • Do not draught proof a room where there is a cooker or a fuel burning heater, for example, a gas fire
      • Do not draught proof windows in the bathroom and kitchen

       

      How to avoid condensation

      These steps will help you reduce condensation in your home:

      1. Produce less moisture. Some ordinary daily activities produce a lot of moisture very quickly:
      • Cover pans and do not leave kettles boiling
      • Avoid using paraffin and portable, flueless bottled gas heaters as these heaters release a lot of moisture into the air
      • Dry washing outdoors on a line or put it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or fan on
      • Vent any tumble dryer on the outside, unless it is the self-condensing type. DIY kits are available for this
      1. Ventilate to remove moisture. You can ventilate your home without making draughts:
      • Keep a small window ajar or a trickle ventilator open when someone is in the room
      • Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use by opening the windows wider
      • Close the kitchen and bathroom doors when these rooms are in use, even if your kitchen or bathroom has an extractor fan as this will help prevent moisture reaching other rooms, especially bedrooms, which are often colder and more likely to get condensation
      • Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes. Avoid putting too many things in them as this stops the air circulating. Cut a ventilation slot in the back of each shelf or use slatted shelves. Cut ‘breather’ holes in doors and in the back of wardrobes and leave space between the back of the wardrobe and the wall. Where possible, position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls
      1. Insulate, draught proof and heat your home insulation and draught proofing will help keep your home warm and will also cut fuel bills. When the whole home is warmer, condensation is less likely:
      • In your loft, check that you have sufficient insulation. If you feel that the insulation is not sufficient then please contact us to arrange for an insulation survey
      • Remember to draught proof the loft hatch but do not block the opening under the eaves
      • In the winter, at night, make sure you close your curtains
      • In very cold weather, keep low background heating on all day, even when there is no one at home
      • Ensure that you know how to operate your heating effectively and ask us if you are unsure
      • Do not use your gas or electric fire as the primary heat source in your home as you need to heat all rooms with your central heating system

       

      First steps against mould

      • First, treat any mould you may already have in your home. If you then deal with the basic problem of condensation, mould should not reappear
      • To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash which carries a Health and Safety Executive ‘approval number’. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets. Disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning can increase the risk of respiratory problems
      • After treatment, redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould recurring. Note that this paint is not effective if overlaid with ordinary paints or wallpaper

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If you have any other queries related to owning a ForLiving home, please get in touch by clicking the button below:

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