Information for Tenants Moving In Summer 2020- Properties Managed by Dove
The majority of Tenancy Agreements commence either on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th July from Midday onwards - so you can move in anytime from this point onwards (unless you have a different contract start date). Please check your contract for your start date.
Please note that you do NOT have to pick up your keys on the first day of your contract, anytime after this date is fine. Please ensure that you call our office as soon as you know when the first member of your group wants to move in so we can make an appointment for you to come to our office and pick up all the keys and welcome pack. Please note that all tenants first rent payments must have cleared the banking system. In addition, subsequent rent payment procedures and all guarantors must be in place before any keys can be released.
We are open for appointments Monday to Friday 9 am to 4.30 pm.
Please make sure you quickly set up your Utility accounts (Gas, Electricity and Water) upon moving into the property. Please do not delay doing this as you risk disconnection or additional charges!
Should you be on a "bills inclusive" tenancy contract, then please ensure you only set up the bills that are not included within your rent.
GAS AND ELECTRICITY:
Gas and Electricity meters are usually located in the cellar or cupboard under the stairs. Although the water bill is often a fixed price for the year, some properties will have a water meter and these are usually located externally.
When registering with the utility providers try to include all of the tenant names on the bill to encourage everyone to pay their share. Over the duration of your contract, you will receive requests to read your meter from the Energy companies. We recommend that you are vigilant in giving these ‘Actual’ meter readings to ensure your payments are accurate and up to date. Bills based on ‘Estimated’ readings often result in larger than expected bills at the end of your tenancy when giving your ‘Final’ meter reading.
Contact your Gas and Electric utility suppliers, advise them of the start date of your tenancy (normally 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th July however if you are on a later start date please check your contract for details and use this start date), and that you want to open a new account. Give them your meter readings and all your names. If you are changing suppliers from those used by the previous tenants you may find that there will be a short transfer period where you will be billed from the previous supplier before the transfer to your chosen supplier takes place.
To find out who the current suppliers of Gas and Electricity are to the property please contact:
Gas - Metering Point Administration Service 0845 6013268
Electricity - http://www.northernpowergrid.com/ or Transco- 0870 6081524
Tenants in the past have set up a utility ‘kitty’ or a ‘house’ bank account from which the bills are paid. This is something that is worth setting up from day one. We would estimate that £10 per person per week should cover the bills.
PLEASE NOTE IT IS STRICT CONTRACT TERM THAT TOKEN/CREDIT METERS CANNOT BE INSTALLED AT THE PROPERTY. SHOULD ANY BE INSTALLED THEN THE FULL COST OF THEIR REMOVAL WILL BE BILLED TO THE TENANTS (THIS CAN BE A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT).
Your water is supplied by Yorkshire Water. You must call them on 0845 1 24 24 24 to set up your account - give them the start date of your tenancy, your full address and open a new account in all your names. This is your responsibility to set up so please do this urgently so as not to risk disconnection.
If you do not have your tenancy contract to hand, you can find your property postcode at the following web address: http://www.royalmail.com/postcode-finder/
If you are all full-time students and on courses over 24 weeks long, you can get exemption from paying council tax by obtaining a council tax student status certificate from your University. You can usually download this from your university intranet site i.e., "Blackboard". Send a copy of it to your local council tax office to obtain exemption.
Your Landlord is not responsible for supplying a telephone line to the property. Should you wish to install a telephone you will be responsible for any charges that are incurred in both the connection of the line and any subsequent bills. If there is already a telephone line at the property it is your responsibility to transfer the telephone account into your name at the start of the Tenancy. Remember to check the minimum contract length as you don't want to be paying beyond your tenancy period.
You can choose whichever broadband company you wish. You will need to make sure that there is a live telephone line at the property so that the services can be delivered to the property.
Please note the above information regarding telephone lines.
If you are unsure of your house telephone number, please plug a landline phone into the phone socket, dial 17070 and note down the number given.
WATER STOP COCK:
All properties will have a water stop cock located somewhere on the grounds of the property. This is usually a simple tap that, if turned clockwise, will shut off the supply of new water to the property in the event of an emergency e.g., a burst pipe.
They are usually found inside the property – usually in the cellar on a pipe coming from the road or in the kitchen/utility area under the sink. Alternatively, they can often be found at the front of the property near to the road under a grate in the pavement or path marked "W" (Please note often that this will also turn off the neighbouring properties water supply as well so it is best to try the cellar stop-cock). Please take time to locate this in case of emergency.
WHAT TO DO IN A POWER CUT:
If you find yourself in a power cut, you will need to first determine that it is indeed a power cut and not just that your electrics have tripped. If the whole house has been tripped the main switch on the fuse box (usually located in the cellar) will be in the ‘off’ position.
If the electrics have tripped, you will need to determine what appliance has caused the circuit to trip. Sometimes water on electronic elements, e.g., Kettles, can do this. Other times high voltage appliances such as hair strengtheners, electric guitars or heaters can trip the switches when they overload the circuit.
If the main switch on the fuse board is in the ‘off’ position turn off all other switches, then turn the main switch on. Slowly turn on all of the other switches until you come to one that keeps tripping. You will then need to go to that area and unplug all appliances on that circuit if possible. You will need a housemate to help you with this. Then, turn the switch back on. If it stays on you will then need to plug each appliance in and switch it on to see if it was at fault. Do this slowly and you will work out what appliance needs repair. If it is a Dove Properties appliance please call us and an electrician will be called out. If it is your own item you will need to have it repaired yourself.
If it is a power cut (ask your neighbours if they are experiencing similar problems), and call YEDL (Yorkshire Electricity Distribution) on 0800 375 675. Normally they will advise on what is causing the problem and may also be able to provide you with a timescale as to when the supply will be restored. Please do not call Dove Properties as we will not be able to help in the event of a power cut.
Veolia Environmental Services (on behalf of Sheffield City Council) provides your waste management services. Your grey household waste wheeled bin is collected on the same day every 2 weeks. You will find that you will have a blue box and in some cases a blue bin. The blue box is for paper and cardboard and the blue bin is for glass and tins. The blue bin and box will be collected every 2 weeks also (alternate week to the grey bin).
Sheffield City Council are now taking a much harder line on rubbish bins. The council have been granted new powers and can now issue fines to residents leaving bins out on the street after the collection has taken place. On collection day make sure your grey or blue bin/box is at the kerbside by 7.00 am on the day of collection. Ensure you take it back in as soon as possible after the collection to prevent obstruction of pavements and highways. Failure to do so could result in a fine. Remember, any waste which is not placed correctly in the bin will not be collected and blue bins/boxes which are filled with ordinary household waste will not be emptied.
BOILERS & CENTRAL HEATING:
All boilers are different but will usually include the same variety of settings. There will generally be settings for hot water (often indicated by the picture of a tap) and a setting for the central heating (indicated by the picture of a radiator).
There will also be a setting for turning the boiler ‘Off’ often indicated by a ‘0’ (there is often a mains plug socket off as well which should be left "On"), a setting for having it constantly on often indicated by a ‘I’, and a ‘Timer’ setting, often indicated by a picture of a clock.
The timer setting is the most economical method of operating your boiler and allows you to set the central heating to automatically come on and off when you require. It is usually controlled by way of an analogue clock or a digital display. On analogue clocks, heating timings are set by pulling out the pins of the clock for when you want the heating to come on. For digital clocks, you will need to digitally select the times that you require the heating. Make sure the current time is set correctly.
Depending on the age and model of the boiler, you may be able to have instant hot water i.e., when you turn a tap you will get almost instant hot water (so long as the boiler is switched on). For older style boilers the hot water may be controlled by timer and will require heating up a few times a day.
Some boilers have their thermostat on the boiler – controlled by the heating temperature setting. However, some will have a thermostat dial or digital readout fitted to the wall (usually in a communal area e.g., lounge, landing, stairs). These are linked to the boiler and control the central heating temperature to your property. The higher you set the thermostat the warmer the property will be when the heating is on. Please be sure to set it to your required comfort levels whilst bearing in the mind the effect it will have on your energy bills (i.e., the higher the setting the higher the cost of your energy bills).
Recently introduced legislation means that any newly installed boilers may have thermostatic valves fitted to all (but one) of the radiators in the house. You may, therefore, have these if the boiler has been recently installed. These work in the same way as a normal thermostat; however they control the temperature of each room when the heating is on, rather than the whole house.
Most student accommodation is either within walking distance to the University or conveniently located on a bus or tram route. However, if you need to bring your car, parking can be problematic in certain parts of the city. Sheffield City Council have introduced resident parking schemes in various districts. For residents, the cost of the first permit is usually around £20 with subsequent permits costing more. Normally the council will allow 2 permits per household, however, at their discretion they may grant more than 2. Please contact the Council for further advice and information at:
Please be vigilant with the security of the property. Unfortunately, burglaries do happen at student properties and more often than not. The reason will be thieves taking advantage of unattended open windows and/or unlocked exterior doors. Make sure that when you leave the property all windows are locked especially when you have had them open to help ventilation.
We will have given you keys for the front and back doors and bedroom doors (if applicable) for your property. It is your responsibility to make sure that these keys are not lost. Should keys be lost, you must inform Dove Properties immediately. If you have lost your keys it may be necessary to replace the door locks at the tenant’s expense.
BEDROOM DOOR LOCKS:
Some bedrooms will have door locks on them, some will not. This will depend upon Council Fire regulations and the landlord’s preference. It is a strict contract term that no additional locks may be fitted whatsoever – any lock fitted without our written consent will need to be removed and the area damaged by the lock being fitted will need to be made good at the tenant's expense.
Remember, noise can travel and does cause conflict between neighbours so try and be considerate. Make sure you are not making noise which can be heard from outside your property between 11.00 pm and 8.00 am on weekdays and between midnight and 8.00 am at the weekend
If you intend to have a party, let your neighbours know including start and finish times and a contact number in case they need to contact you. Try not to let the party get out of hand or spill outside and if you do get a complaint, keep the noise levels down and apologise – it will cause fewer problems and less bad feeling in the future. Remember, if you ignore a complaint about noise, you could be reported to the Police and/or the University who now have more powers to deal with Ant-Social Behaviour problems.
FIRE AND GAS SAFETY:
As a minimum, the property will have battery-operated smoke alarms – it is the tenant’s responsibility to regularly check the batteries to ensure they are working and to replace them if they are not. If the landlord has had mains supply fire alarms fitted an electrician will be visiting annually to check and maintain these fire alarms.
Familiarise yourself with the layout of the property and make sure you know how to get out in the event of a fire. All fire exits should remain clear of obstacles in case of fire.
Fire doors must never be wedged open nor the closing mechanism be removed. Batteries must never be removed from fire alarms either. Any such remedial work required will be charged to the tenants.
Smoking is not permitted within the property by tenants or their visitors. Your Tenancy Agreement states this. Smoking in the property will mean that the decoration of the property will deteriorate quicker than normal and the furnishing and carpets will hold a tobacco smell within them. You may be responsible for the cleaning of upholstery, carpets and curtains due to smoking inside the property. We strongly advise that you smoke outside.
Illegal drugs must not be used by tenants or visitors in the property as agreed in your Tenancy Agreement. Evidence of use of these will result in Dove Properties being obliged to contact the Police.
CARE OF THE PROPERTY:
You must ensure that the property is looked after by the tenants and visitors during your tenancy and that fixtures and fittings are used in a tenant like manner. Should something be broken by a tenant or visitor, the tenants are responsible for its repair or replacement.
If there is a break-in at the property, you must report it to us as soon as it is practical to do so. You must also inform the police immediately so that a crime reference number is provided. Your landlord may want to claim on his/her insurance and will need this reference number to do so.
When a fault is found please report it to Dove Properties as soon as possible so that we can get the appropriate contractor out. In most instances, the contractor will be at the property within a few days. Should a replacement part be required this will be ordered and fitted when the replacement is ready which may be several days if it needs to be ordered. In most cases, your contact details will be passed to the contractor and we will pass theirs to you and you can make suitable arrangements.
Please note; the changing of the light bulbs is the responsibility of the tenants unless it is a strip light or ‘D’ ring light in which case we will replace the bulb.Enquire