Frequently Asked Questions - Repairs

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Who do I report a repair to?

The easiest way to report a repair is to phone the main office on the number provided. You will speak to a member of staff who will arrange a convenient appointment for you and one of our contractors to call and fix the repair. You will normally be given a time slot of between 9am and 1pm and 1pm and 5pm.

Depending on the work required we will either send a member of our own Coastal Repairs Team or external contractor to call to your home.

What repairs am I responsible for?

  • All internal decorations unless your tenancy agreement states otherwise
  • Filling minor internal cracks in walls
  • Replacing light bulbs, fluorescent tubes/starters, fuses and batteries
  • Replacing floor coverings unless they were fitted by Coastal
  • Replacing plugs and chains to baths, basins and sinks
  • Adjusting or replacing letter box covers
  • Altering kitchen units to fit new appliances (Coastal approval will be required)
  • Repairing or replacing washing lines or posts
  • Toilet seat renewal and fitting
  • Replacing bathroom fittings such as toilet roll holders
  • Plumbing and / or fitting of your own appliances
  • Providing additional power sources and sockets (Coastal approval will be required)
  • Cutting extra keys and replacing keys and locks if keys are lost or repairs are required due to forcing or gaining access
  • Glazing, unless a criminal reference number is provided
  • Environmental treatment of wasps and ants nests, vermin, flea or beetle infestation inside the home unless due do a property defect and in all cases outside the home
  • Meter cupboards and doors (contact your supplier)
  • TV aerial repairs (unless you are part of a communal system)

Ive lost my keys, what do I do?

Coastal operate an emergency service however, if you have lost or misplaced your keys you will be recharged for the call-out. Alternatively, you can arrange for a locksmith to gain access and renew your keys and you will be responsible for paying for this work.

Can I speak to my Housing Manager about a repair?

You do not need to speak to your housing manager about repairs or maintenance.� If you would like to report a new repair, query an outstanding repair or have any questions relating to maintenance please call the Maintenance Team on 01792 619400.

Can I re-arrange a repair?

Call our Maintenance Team on 01792 619400 to re-arrange a repairs appointment you�ve booked.

How do I get permission to carry out a home improvement?

The Housing Services Team can send out an application with a freepost envelope to send back to us once you've filled it out.� The Maintenance Inspector for your area will then make a decision on whether or not to give permission.

Can you send someone out if I have no TV signal?

Firstly check if everything is plugged in correctly to the TV and contact Sky/Virgin Media if they provide service to you to see if there is a problem with the connection.� Speak to your neighbours to see if they are experiencing problems.� If there's a problem with a communal aerial the Housing Services Team can arrange a job, but if the problem is caused by your own TV or Sky/Virgin Media box we will charge for the call-out.

Can I decorate my home? And who is responsible for paying for decorations?

Yes, you can decorate your home and you are responsible for decorations and keeping the inside of your home in good order. If you are altering or adding to the fixtures and fittings you may need to get written permission from Coastal. You must leave the property in the condition that it was provided to you in and you may be charged for any costs incurred decorating should you leave your home in an un-satisfactory condition.

My sink/toilet is blocked, what should I do?

Blocked sinks and toilets are the responsibility of the resident. If the blockage is caused as a result of blocked drains then you should reports this to Coastal.

My smoke detector is bleeping, what should I do?

All of the smoke detectors in our properties are hard wired and we are responsible for repairing or replacing them. If you hear a bleeping noise from the detector or if you dont think it is working you should report this to Coastal. We recommend you test your smoke detector weekly to ensure it is working correctly.

My garden is a mess, who is responsible for tidying it?

You are responsible for maintaining the garden, cutting grass and boundary hedges and shrubs. In most cases large trees will be the responsibility of Coastal to maintain and cut back. If you live in a flat with a communal garden these areas will normally be the responsibility of Coastal to maintain.

What do I do in emergency situations?

These are usually defined as situations that are actually or potentially dangerous, or are a serious risk to health. These are likely to affect the structural integrity or security of the property and need to be undertaken straight away to ensure they cause no further risk or damage to the property. If you need to report an emergency during working hours ring the Coastal main number. If the emergency is after 5pm or on weekends, ring 0845 680 8888, calls cost 4p per minute plus your phone companys service charge. Some examples of emergencies are;

  • Damage as a result of storm or severe weather (bear in mind that if severe weather is still present then it is likely to be too dangerous to do work)
  • Flooding that is likely to cause severe damage or where you are unable to turn off the water supply
  • Loss of complete electrical supply
  • Loss of complete heating and/or hot water system (in Winter only)
  • In most cases an emergency will be attended within 4 hours.

Who insures the property?

Coastal insures the structure of the property including the main walls and roof and some internal fixtures.

You are responsible for insuring your own personal belongings within the property and this should also cover any internal decorations you have made and items you store in sheds, etc. Coastal will not reimburse you for any personal items damaged or lost as a result of an accident or unforeseen incident. It is a good idea to check that lock changes are covered under your home insurance.

On some occasions, jobs may have to be done via an insurance company and these may take a little longer to arrange and complete.

What repairs are Coastal responsible for?

  • Roof, chimneys, gutters and down pipes
  • External walls, doors and window frames
  • Paths, steps, walls and fences
  • Electrical wiring sockets, switches and mains wired smoke alarms
  • Kitchens, bathroom and sanitary appliances
  • Fitted fires, gas central heating systems or fixed electrical heaters
  • Internal walls and doors (except for minor cracks or damage you may cause)

What happens if my fittings have to be removed during a repair?

In some circumstances your personal items may have to be moved in order to complete a repair. For instance, cupboards may have to be moved or carpet / laminate flooring may need to be taken up to access pipe work. If these belong to, or have been fitted by you then they are your responsibility to remove. In certain cases Coastal staff or our contractors will need to move or take these items up but will not be held responsible for any damage caused in doing so.

Gas Servicing

If there is a gas fire or central heating boiler Coastal has a legal duty to carry out a service of the gas appliances every 12 months and provide you with certification. It is a condition of your tenancy agreement that you will provide access for this service along with any other access requirements to carry out work on the property.

Fire Action Plan

In the event of a fire in your home you should leave your home by the safest route possible. You should plan for such an incident and have a Plan A along with a back up Plan B should one of the exits be blocked. You should also make sure other members of the household know what to do in the event of a fire. Some general advice is to;

  • Test your smoke alarm weekly
  • Do not place candles near curtains or other materials and never leave them unattended
  • Ensure ovens and cookers are turned off after use
  • Don not smoke in bed and check all cigarettes are out properly
  • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances, never overload sockets
  • Do not store bottled gas or cylinders in your home
  • Make sure that all stairs, landings and passages forming an escape route are kept clear

Useful Tips - Gas Leak

You should report gas leaks to Transco the national gas emergency line on freephone 0800 111 999.

  • Do not smoke or light a flame
  • Open doors and windows to get rid of the gas
  • Check if the gas has been left on unlit on any appliance
  • Check if a pilot light has gone out
  • Turn the gas off at the meter
  • Do not use any electrical equipment including doorbells or lights
  • Call Transco from a phone outside your home, gas emergency line on freephone 0800 111 999.

Useful Tips - Electrics not working

Your electricity can cut out due to a number of problems, e.g.

  • Light bulbs blowing
  • Faulty or misused appliances/leads
  • Too many appliances being used at the same time
  • An overloaded circuit
  • Overfilled kettles
  • Unclean toasters
  • Worn out or cracked cooker rings
  • Faulty immersion heaters
  • You can switch the power back on at your electricity consumer unit. This is usually next to the meter, and will either contain trip switches or fuses. Depending on which you have, you will need to either reset a trip switch or change a fuse to restore your electricity

    Resetting a Trip Switch

    Modern electric circuits are fitted with a circuit-breaker fuse system, so if a fault occurs, it causes a trip switch to be activated and the circuit to be broken.

    To switch your electricity back on again:

  • Open the cover of your unit. Check which switches have tripped to the off position and which rooms (circuits) have been affected. Flick these switches back on to restore the power.
  • If the tripping keeps happening, identify which appliance is causing the problem by unplugging each one on the affected circuit. Switch the tripped switch to the ON position, and then plug in each appliance one-by-one until the trip goes again
  • Leave this appliance unplugged and get it fixed by a qualified electrician or engineer.
  • If after following this process the electrics do not reset, report the repair to Coastal or the landlord.

Useful Tips - Water Leak

What to do if a pipe bursts?

If a pipe has burst, follow these eight steps:

  • Turn the water supply off at the stopcock tap. It's probably near the kitchen sink.
  • Turn the cold taps ON. Make sure the sink and bath plugs are out. And save some water for drinking.
  • Turn the immersion heater and central heating OFF if you have them. If you have a solid fuel boiler, let the fire die out.
  • Turn the hot taps ON.
  • If there's water near the lights or sockets, turn the electricity off at the meter.
  • Catch leaks in basins and soak up water with towels to prevent water damaging your home.
  • Keep warm and dry. Put on extra layers of clothes till things warm up again. And why not make a cup of tea with some of the water you remembered to save?
  • If your water pipes are frozen NEVER use a blow torch, as your pipes will explode or crack. You should use a few hot water bottles, replacing them as needed to thaw out pipes safely without cracking them.
  • If your pipes have frozen but not burst

  • Follow the steps above or if you know which pipe is frozen, very gently warm it with hot water bottles or a hair dryer. Start from the end nearest the tap.
  • Useful Tips - Minor Plumbing Leaks

    If you have a small or relatively minor plumbing leak you may be able to turn the supply of at ball fix valves. These will be a small silver valve with a screw head in it and the water supply can be turned off here. These are likely to be on the main supply pipe work to wcs, sinks, etc. If the leak is severe then turn the water supply off at the stop cock entering the property.