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Guard Against Burst Pipes in Winter

When the winter draws in we will often see problems with burst water pipes in rental properties. The plunging temperatures can see water pipes in the properties freeze up, and upon melting, the pipes can burst causing potential damage to the property and to tenants’ contents. We therefore very strongly recommend that you leave the central heating on for at least two hours each morning and two hours at the coldest part of the night (or on a low constant setting, say 18 degrees) to ensure that there are no freeze-ups in the property. We have had major problems in this regard before at this time of year so please take the necessary precautions.

Guidance on Legionnaires' Disease for Tenants

Domestic hot and cold water systems can provide an environment where Legionella bacteria can grow. This can cause Legionnaires’ Disease which is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing Legionella bacteria. This advice sheet gives tips for residents of rented domestic accommodation such as houses, bungalows and flats in small blocks.

Most importantly, make sure that:

  • Hot water in the system remains hot
  • Cold water is kept cold
  • The water is kept circulated

In particular, it is important that you –

  • Do not interfere with the settings on your boiler or hot water system. The hot water should be set so that the water is heated up to 60°C.

 Tell your landlord if:

  • The cold water is still running warm after you have initially run off any water

which may have accumulated in the pipes. It should not be above 20°C. There are any problems, debris or discolouration in the water. 

  • The boiler or hot water tank are not working properly, particularly if the water is not coming out of the taps at a sufficiently high temperature. It should come out at a temperature of 50°C after it has run for a minute at the latest.

 Where showers are fitted –

  • If they are used only occasionally then flush them through by running them for at least two minutes every week. Keep out of the way whilst this is being done as far as possible.
  • Clean the shower head periodically, de-scale and disinfect it. This should be done at least every six months.

Where a property is left vacant for any time, make sure that when it is occupied again at the outset both hot and cold water systems are flushed through by running all outlets for at least 2 minutes.

High Humidity Mould & Condensation

Condensation is the most common cause of mould within a property.

Unfortunately student properties can be particularly prone to it due to the high levels of occupancy. Properties that have been recently modernised are also more susceptible to high humidity mould than older properties due to differences in ease of ventilation. This is made worse by tenants not heating the properties sufficiently in an attempt to to save on heating bills.

The first sign of condensation mould is normally the mould growth on permeable surfaces such as walls and ceilings whereas impermeable surfaces such as windows and gloss painted surfaces will cause the water droplets to bead together. Condensation will occur on these permeable surfaces where extremes of temperatures occur.

High humidity mould is most common in bedrooms, bathrooms and in kitchen/dining rooms. The drying of clothes releases more moisture in to the air which will exacerbate the problem. Having windows and interior doors closed prevents the air naturally circulating around the house.

High humidity mould caused by condensation is normally seasonally occurring during the colder months when windows may be shut and clothing dried inside the property, usually between October and April. During the summer months the problem is usually not such an issue as windows are open more frequently and clothing is dried outside reducing the amount of moisture within the property. In addition the outside temperature is closer to the inside temperature reducing the amount of condensation.

Due to poor ventilation, water vapour can build up within the property, from those living within the property through breathing, cooking, drying clothing inside without proper and effective ventilation.

High humidity mould can easily be prevented by those living in the property; experts are only a last resort should the problem be allowed to worsen.

1st Method – Improve Ventilation:

This is the simplest method of preventing mould growth. Opening a window slightly for an hour or so each morning and after showering will allow clean dry air to enter the house, circulate and replace the moisture rich air within the room. You must ensure that the windows, when left open, are not left unattended, or are open but securely locked in the ajar position. It is your responsibility that the security of the property is not compromised by windows being left open when ventilating the property. This should be done all year round. In bathrooms where extractor fans have been installed, ensure that they are working properly and not switched off.

2nd Method – Improve Heating:

To remove the moisture from the air, in addition to proper and effective ventilation, a slight gradual increase in low level background heating will allow the surfaces to warm slightly to reduce the risk of water vapour condensing on a cold surface. It will also warm the air temperature reducing the amount of water vapour in the air, therefore, removing the problem entirely.

To remove the black mould build up, use an antibacterial spray and wipe any mould away every few weeks.

How to Bleed your Radiators

Please see the link below for a basic guide to bleeding your radiators:


How to Top Up Your Boiler Pressure

Underneath the boiler either directly or behind a panel you should see a steel braded hose connecting 2 x pipes,  on either end of the hose there will be 2 plastic taps,  turn these both clock wise SLOWLY and you will hear running water.  The pressure gauge on the front of the boiler / on the underside of the boiler – or the digital display will begin to rise. SLOWLY fill the boiler with water and when the pressure reading reaches 1.5 bars turn off both of the taps off. DO NOT LEAVE THE TAPS OPEN AND OVER FILL THE BOILER!!

Once the pressure is topped up to 1.5 bar and you have closed off both taps please reset the boiler by turning the dial to the front of the boiler to reset – hold this in the reset position for at least 3 seconds and then release.  Altertnatively it can be reset by turning the power off at the wall. The boiler should now function as normal. 

For further instructions please visit…


Tips on Being a Good Tenant

Everyone is entitled to live in a place that feels safe and is free from problems. Unfortunately from time to time problems arise that make life difficult. The following tips aim to help you to be a ‘good’ neighbour / tenant.

Being a good tenant:

  • At the start of a tenancy ensure you read and fully understand all of the conditions of the agreement – if there is anything you do not agree with discuss it with the landlord/Agent before you sign.
  • Ensure you pay your rent – the correct amount at the correct time. If there is a problem paying communicate with the landlord/agent as soon as possible – be honest. This way they are more likely to offer you some flexibility.
  • Try your hardest to keep the property in a good state of repair – do not cause or let your visitors cause deliberate damage. Of course, when you live somewhere damage does happen by accident but try to get problems fixed or report it to the landlord/agent.
  • Try to keep the property clean and ensure you put the rubbish out of collection regularly.
  • If any problems occur with the property it is a good idea to put the issues in writing to the landlord/agent – this way you have a formal record.
  • Try to keep music and other loud noise to a minimum andf be respecful to your neighbours.
  • Sometimes landlords need to access the property to do safety checks and repairs – try to be flexible and accommodate their requests.
  • Ensure you have insurance on your personal property – this is known as contents insurance.

Being a good Neighbour:

  • Neighbours really can become good friends – look out for your neighbour and they will hopefully do the same for you.
  • Try to keep your noise levels to a minimum.
  • Try to keep your outside areas clean and tidy.
  • Do not throw rubbish in your neighbour’s garden.
  • If parking is limited try to compromise and ensure that you (or your visitors) don’t block the neighbour’s access.
  • If any issues arise with your neighbour communicate politely and keep a record of your actions.
  • Don’t try to solve the problem by retaliating. For example if you are upset because your neighbour is playing loud music do not turn yours up louder.
  • Speak with any support workers you have they may well be able to help with the situation.
  • If a situation is too big for you do deal with call the police local number on 101 and discuss your issue with them. If you have an emergency then dial 999.

Tenant Guide to Renting through Dove

From your initial contact with our office we aim to ensure you receive a first class service.

Initially we would ask you to select from the available properties on our website and contact our office to arrange viewings.

Once you have viewed and decided on a suitable property we will ask you to complete a Tenancy Application Form, return it to our office and pay a Non-Refundable Tenancy Application Fee of £118.80 (£99 plus VAT) per person. Once completed your application will proceed to the next stage whereby we will take up references and credit checks on behalf of the landlord. Please ensure that all information requested at this stage is disclosed to ensure the application is not delayed.

In some circumstances it may be necesary to arrange for a guarantor who would be liable to pay your rent if you are unable to do so. There may therefore be further documentation to complete at this stage.

Please note that in order to comply with new government Right to Rent legislation we ask for additional documentation from non-UK citizens. For more information about 'Right to Rent', please see www.gov.uk

Once your application has been approved, we will prepare the tenancy documentation for you to review. If you are happy to proceed we would ask you to sign the tenancy documents and complete the relevant associated paperwork and return it to us. At this stage you will also be asked to pay a refundable deposit which will be protected with one of the government approved Tenancy Deposit Schemes.

I addition you will need to pay rent in advance (typically a month) prior to the start date of your contract.

Upon commencement of your contract start date you will collect the keys eiither from our office or direct from the landlord (depending on the property).

Ongoing you will be required to pay your rent either to ourselves or direct to the landlord (depending on the property) usually on a monthly basis by way of a standing order.

Please ensure you set up suitable insurance for your belongings and contents and also budget for your utilities - gas, electric, water, council tax etc, as these are not included in the rent.

Tenant Testimonials

I've been talking to a lot of estate agents over the last few weeks and have to say that you have been by far the most helpful and professional person I have contacted, so thank you

Steve - Rosedale Gardens

Thanks for all your help this year, it has been a pleasure letting through Dove.

Rob (157 Oakbrook Road)

Thanks for a nice year, you were very helpful and I look forward to using your services once again....

Sean, Barber Place

Rental Payments

In order to co-incide with landlord mortgage dates, tenant rental payments must be paid on the dates as agreed with ourselves for your property. Please note we do not accept cash payments. Payments must either be made by debit card, bank transfer or cheque.

Should you be experiencing financial difficulites please do ensure you speak to us early to see what options may be available to you.

Maintenance Request

Our maintenance department is open office hours Monday to Friday (except bank holidays). All repair requests must be submitted in writing. Please therefore complete the form below. If it is urgent please call the office on 01142 660 660 after you have sent the written request.

Submit Maintenance Report

Tenant Charges

Please see below a list of our current Agency charges:

  • Application Fee per Professional - £118.80pp (£99 + VAT) - this covers our costs involved in setting up the tenancy and carrying the referencing. 
  • Application Fee per Student - £65pp (inclusive of VAT) - this covers our costs involved in setting up the tenancy.
  • Renewal Fee (Professional Tenancy) - £65per person (inclusive of VAT) - this covers our costs involved in setting up the tenancy.
    • Renewal Fee (Student Tenancy) - £32.50 per person (inclusive of VAT) - this covers our costs involved in setting up the tenancy.
    • Amendment to Tenancy/Replacement Tenant - £120 (£100 plus VAT)  - this covers our costs involved in amending the tenancy.
    •  £35 (inclusive of VAT) per key - for any key not returned at end of tenancy.
    •  £20 (inclusive of VAT) re letter for breach of agreement  - per letter.
    • £10 (inclusive of VAT) per week for rent arrears - per case.

    Note: In some cases we will just advertise properties on an "Introduction only" basis for landlords. In these circumstances they may charge a different administration fee to the fee that we charge. We will therefore detail this charge in the property description text if we have been advised by the Landlord.

    Please note that due to recently introduced "Right to Rent" Immigration legislation we may now need to carry out identity checks on all applicants. All propsective tenants will be asked to provide documentary proof of their "right to rent".

    In addtiion, please note we do not accept cash. Payments shoud be made by debit card, bacs payment or cheque.

    Please note contracts are legally binding for the full duration of the contract, so you should all be sure of your plans before you sign for a property. Should you wish to leave the property before the end of the contract, we will only release you from your commitment if you can find a suitable replacement tenant who can take on your contractual responsibilities until the end of the contract. This person must be acceptable to us and we must have written consent from the rest of your housemates agreeing to the change in tenant before we can make any changes to the joint and several agreement. Should the Landlord/Agent agree to an amendment to this agreement, then a fee will be levied to the tenant for the sum of £120 (£100 plus VAT) for any and each replacement tenant is to be put onto this agreement or any new agreement made.

    Please note we are members of:

    Safe Agent, RLA, NALS, SADLA, Property Ombudsman (Lettings)

    We also have Landlord Client Money Protection Insurance provided by NALS

    Independent redress provided by the Property Ombudsman (Lettings)

    Please contact us on info@doveproperties.co.uk should you require more infomation.

    Out of Hours Maintenance

    If you are corresponding in relation to a suspected Gas leak please immediately call the National Gas Emergency Number on 0800 111 999 .

    For information on any Electrical Power cuts affecting your area please visit:www.northernpowergrid.com/page/powercuts/index.cfm

    If you are experiencing boiler or heating problems and the property has “British Gas” "Property Heat Care" or “Failsafe Heating” boiler repair cover then please call them direct for emergency assistance and quote your property address.

    For any white goods repairs eg Fridge Freezers, Washing Machines you can contact D.A.R.T , our white good supplier, direct on 0114 266 1699). 

    If you are locked out of your property you will need to call a locksmith, eg from Yell.com

    Should tenants have damaged the property out of office hours, and where it is not the responsibility of the landlord to repair or replace - then the tenants should arrange an exact "like for like" repair with a local contractor from yell.com. Eg a blocked toilet, smashed window, inappropriate activation of fire or burglar alarm etc. The tenants are responsible for paying such items to the contractor. 

    Should you have a major water leak, please locate the mains water stop cock, usually in the cellar or in the kitchen, and turn the water off (usually turn tap clockwise) and then drain the system by running the taps into the sinks.  

    In exceptional circumstances, tenants of "managed" properties (where Dove are the property managers) may contact a contractor direct (eg by Yell.com) to organise a repair out of hours. Tenants will be reimbursed if the charge is justified, billable to the landlord (eg not tenant fault), and a receipt is kept and provided to us. Alternartively, please call the emergency services.

    If you are a tenant of a “managed” property (where Dove are the property managers, not the landlord) and are corresponding out of hours in relation to an emergency please contact emergencies@doveproperties.co.uk and we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. Please note that an emergency is classsed as a Fire, Flood, Gas Leak, Electrical Failure, Burglary or Boiler Break Down. If your issue is not classed as an “emergency” you should wait until office hours e.g lost keys, locked out of bedroom etc. Any false or non-emergency call outs are subject to our call out fee

    Useful links

    Please find below some interesting links that you might find useful:

    http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/ Tenancy Deposit Soloutions Ltd

    http://www.veoliaenvironmentalservices.co.uk/sheffield/pages/wastecolpostcode.asp Sheffield Bin Collection Services

    http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/parking/permit-parking Sheffield City Council Parking Permit Scheme

    http://www.uswitch.com Comparison & Switching service re House Utility providers 

    www.yorkshirewater.com Yorkshire Water

    www.sky.com Sky

    www.virginmedia.com Virgin Media

    www.BT.com BT

    www.talktalk.co.uk  Talk Talk

    www.utilitywarehouse.co.uk Utility Warehouse 

    http://www.homelet.co.uk/tenants/why-homelet Homelet Contents Insurance

    http://www.europerealestatedirectory.net/ Europe Real Estate Directory

    http://www.uklettingagent.co.uk/south-yorkshire/" Property Rental Agents in South Yorkshire