Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19

We are continuing to follow coronavirus advice and guidance issued by the government. The health and safety of our tenants, customers, contractors and staff is our main priority.

We urge you to follow government advice and guidelines to keep yourself and those around you safe and well. 

All our staff are taking the highest level of precautions to minimise the risk of infection to tenants and others. Our Board of Directors meets regularly to ensure we are responding quickly and continuing to protect and maintain our services.

If we need to visit your home, our colleagues will always:

  • Practice social distancing in line with government advice
  • Carry and use personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • Wash and sanitise their hands before and after ending their visit to the property following NHS/government guidelines

We aim to keep everyone safe, so our staff may politely remind you to join us in practising social distancing and any other measures required.

Testing positive and self-isolating

If you, or anyone in your home, has tested positive for coronavirus or are required to self-isolate, it is important to contact us on 0208 882 8372 or complete our online form to notify us.

Anti-Social Behavior

Anti-social behaviour is behaviour that causes harassment, alarm, distress or damage to property.

Examples of anti-social behaviour include:

  • Noise nuisance
  • Verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation or threatening behaviour
  • Hate-related incidents based on race, sexual orientation or religion
  • Neighbour disputes
  • Pets and animal nuisance, including the fouling of public areas
  • Alcohol, drugs, substance abuse and drug dealing
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical violence
  • Graffiti and vandalism
  • Litter, rubbish and fly-tipping
  • Garden nuisance
  • Misuse of communal areas and public space, for example, loitering
  • Prostitution, sexual acts and kerb-crawling
  • Other criminal behaviour or crime not described above

You can report anti-social behaviour by:

  • Filling out an online form
  • Contacting the police on 101
  • If you are in fear of your life or require immediate and urgent assistance, dial 999

How Do I Report a Repair?

Report a non-emergency repair by using our online form. Someone from our maintenance department will be in touch within 24 hours to schedule the required maintenance works.

If your repair is urgent, please call 020 8882 8372. Please note we will only be able to deal with emergency repairs on this number. 

When Will I Get a Repair/ Can You Provide an ETA?

We prioritise repairs into three categories based on their urgency. We measure response times from the date you report the repair to us.

Emergency Priority – 24-hour response

Urgent Priority – 48-hour response

Routine Priority – 72-hour response

Emergency priority – 24-hour response:

Repairs where a delay in fixing them is likely to cause a serious health risk or safety hazard to you or your home. We aim to resolve the problem and restore essential services within 24 hours.

Emergency repairs include, but are not limited, to:

  • Blocked flue, main drain, soil pipe or toilet pan
  • Burst water main
  • Emergency alarm system failure
  • Fire damage
  • Flooding
  • Gas leak
  • Unsecure outside window, door, or lock
  • Loss of gas, electricity, or water supply
  • No heating and no hot water
  • Severe storm damage
  • Unsafe structures or electrical fittings
  • Unsecure outside window, door, or lock

Urgent priority – 48-hour response: 

Repairs that significantly cause you inconvenience or loss of comfort. We aim to respond to these within 48 hours. 

Urgent repairs include:

  • Leaking roof
  • Loose or detached bannister or handrail
  • Minor electrical faults
  • No heating or no hot water (in summer months)
  • Some loss of electrical power
  • Some loss of water supply – or a tap that will not turn off

Routine priority – 72-hour response: 

Day-to-day repairs, which do not cause serious inconvenience and can wait a short while before being dealt with.

Routine repairs include:

  • Doors, windows and floors
  • Faulty extractor fans, communal TV aerials or overflows
  • Gutters needing cleaning
  • Kitchen fittings
  • Plasterwork
  • Roof slates and tiles
  • Rubbish clearance
  • Wall, fences and paths

Gas Safety

Who is my gas supplier?

You can find out who your gas supplier is here Find My Supplier

When is my gas safety check due?

All previous gas safety checks are kept on record and we will arrange for your gas safety checks accordingly. This will be done automatically – you do not need to worry about arranging or coordinating anything for these checks.

What to do if you smell gas

If you smell gas in your home or suspect a carbon monoxide leak, leave the property and call the Gas National Grid 24-hour, FREE helpline on 0800 111 999. Please remain outside until a gas engineer arrives.

DO:

  • Open doors and windows to allow fresh air in
  • Make sure all gas appliances and the burners on your hob are turned off
  • Follow the advice given by the emergency adviser

DO NOT:

  • Smoke, light matches or use a naked flame
  • Turn any electrical switches on or off
  • Use any electrical appliances, including door entry systems, doorbells, mobile phones or any other electrical switches that could cause a spark

What is the Procedure for Service/Maintenance Requests?

Please see the Report a fault page for more information

How do I Top Up my Electricity Meter?

You will need to contact your supplier directly to top up your electricity meter.

You can find out who your electricity supplier is here (Who’s my network operator? – Energy Networks Association (ENA))

Fire Safety

Fire safety is a main priority. Please speak with your housing officer or site caretaker and ask them to familiarise you with the fire safety plan.

In the event of a fire, dial 999 immediately and evacuate the premises in an efficient and calm manner.

Helpful fire safety tips:

  • NEVER take the batteries out of your smoke alarm. Check and test smoke alarms regularly.
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows how to get out in the event of a fire. Always keep escape routes clear from clutter. If you have noticed an escape route or fire exit that has been blocked, please email us a photo to info@stefphilips.com
  • Smoking in your property is strictly prohibited. Lighting candles, matches or burning naked flames within your home is also forbidden. 
  • Never leave e-cigarettes on charge unattended for long periods of time. Do not mix components of different e-cigarettes. Only use the charger supplied with your device. Ensure you purchase your e-cigarette and charger from a reputable source and check the e-cigarette carries CE certification.
  • Make sure your oven and grill are kept clean – a build-up of grease or fat can cause a fire. DO NOT leave pans unattended while cooking and NEVER leave children unattended in the kitchen. 
  • If you suspect a fire, check the handles of closed doors with the back of your hand. If it feels warm, the fire may be on the other side. 
  • Smoke can kill – get down as low as possible where the air is clearer.

How often is fire equipment in my block checked?

It varies between properties. For more details specific to your home, please complete our online form and someone will be in touch with the requested information.

How often are Fire Risk Assessments carried out?

Fire Risk Assessments are carried out annually. We will automatically renew your Fire Risk Assessment before the existing one expires.

What do I do if I Lose or Misplace my Key?

If you lose your keys, please contact us on 020 8882 8372 and we will be able to arrange a replacement.

Please note: there is a replacement fee of £15 for this service.

How do I Report a Pest Problem?

If you have a problem with pests, such as mice, rats, cockroaches or bed bugs, please report the issue online and we will come back to you. 

Blocked Drains/Plumbing FAQs

Disposing of cooking oil and grease? Is it safe to put oil down the drain?

Pouring oil and grease down the drain or into the toilet is likely to cause blockages. Even though these substances wash down easily when in their hot liquid form, they will harden and solidify when they make contact with cold water, leading to blockages.

Can smaller food scrapings be washed down the sink?

Although it may seem harmless to wash a few food scrapings down the plughole, instead of putting them in the bin, it is important to be aware that even small food scraps can form clumps and consequently cause blockages. Please try and dispose of all food waste in your refuse bins – even those tiny bits. Using a kitchen sink strainer is a great way to restrict small food waste from falling down the plughole.

Can wipes and nappies be flushed down the toilet?

Never flush wipes or nappies down your toilet. They easily get caught in the sewage system, which can cause major blockages.

How can I avoid blocking drains?

The simplest way to prevent fat, oil and grease blockages is to make sure plates, pans and utensils are scraped clean of solid food waste before washing. Wipe down any oily/greasy items with kitchen roll before running them under the tap.

Remove waste oil manually, i.e. by using a funnel and an empty container/ bottle. It is important to do this while it is still in liquid form and before it has a chance to congeal. Dispose of as appropriate. 

Mould and Condensation

Condensation is warm moist air produced by normal household activities such as cooking and bathing – it is always in the air even if you cannot see it. When warm, moist air hits a cold surface, such as a window, cold wall or bathroom tiles, water droplets form and condensation is generated.

If condensation occurs on the same surface for long periods of time, it becomes damp and mould will usually grow.

How to prevent condensation

By following these simple tips, you can help to prevent condensation:

  • Wipe away excess moisture from windows and windowsills
  • Open kitchen and bathroom windows when cooking or showering to allow steam to escape. Remember to always use extractor fans
  • Keep your bathroom door shut during and after you have finished having a bath or shower
  • Do not keep furniture and beds directly against the wall as this limits air circulation
  • Do not overfill wardrobes or kitchen cupboards. A lack of ventilation and air moisture trapped in warm, cluttered cupboards can become a breeding ground for mould as the air is not able to circulate freely
  • If your extractor fan is not connected to your bathroom light, it should be switched on at all times to dry out your bathroom
  • Ventilate your bedroom by leaving a window slightly open or use the trickle ventilators if fitted
  • Do not block air vents or air bricks – they are there to circulate air through the property; blocking them prevents the moisture from escaping
  • Use pan lids when cooking – ensure that you cover your pans with a lid to reduce moisture being created from the water boiling

Further advice:

If you have followed the above advice and are still experiencing issues with condensation and mould, please fill out our online form to report the issue. You can also find more information about condensation and mould here.

Can I Add an Aid or Adaptation in my Home?

You may be able to get adaptations to your home if you are disabled.

An adaptation is a physical alteration to your home to help you live as independently and comfortably as possible. If you have a long-term disability that affects your day-to-day living, we can authorise you to make reasonable adjustments, while considering factors such as the length of your tenancy and if planning permission is required. 

Examples of adaptations include:

  • Grab rails and stair rails
  • An outside ramp to enter the property
  • Special taps or door handles
  • Bathing equipment such as a bath board, bath seat or shower chair to help with bathing
  • Toilet equipment such as a raised toilet seat, toilet frame or commode
  • General equipment, such as a perching stool or chair, and bed-raisers

Any requests for adapting your property will need to be in writing and emailed to info@stefphilips.com.

What do I Need to Know When I am Moving Out?

What do I need to do before I leave?

Before moving out, you are required to clean the premises, restoring the property to its original condition. You must leave your keys inside the property and notify the office once you have vacated.

It is your responsibility to restore any damages to the property. If you require a quote for a repair, please let us know and we will be able to provide one.

Can I leave items at the property when I move out?

You must remove all items when you move out as we do not provide storage. We accept no liability for lost or damaged items left once you have vacated the premises.

Can I transfer homes?

We are not permitted to authorise any transfers. All requests must be made through your local council.

Welfare Benefits and Advice

It is important to make sure that you get all the help you are entitled to.

You may be eligible for financial help from the government if you:

  • Are on a low income or currently out of work
  • Are ill or have disabilities
  • Are aged 60 or over
  • Have dependent children
  • Are pregnant or have recently had a baby
  • Are caring for someone

You can check what benefits you are entitled to and how to make a claim by using the .gov benefit entitlement calculator: benefit entitlement calculator.

Rent Payments

You must keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement and make regular punctual payments. Failure to comply may invalidate your agreement and may prevent you from being able to access some of our services. if for any reason you are unable to make payment, please notify us immediately on +44 (0) 20 8882 8372 or via our online form.

Ways of paying rent and any other charges

By phone: please call us on 020 8882 8372 to make a payment over the phone

BACS payment: if you would like to make a payment via bank transfer, the account details for the payment are included in your agreement. Please ensure you ALWAYS include the unit/room number, and property address as a reference so we can allocate your payment. 

How Can I Make a Complaint, Compliment or Suggestion?

We take pride in providing an excellent customer service experience, but we understand that sometimes things can go wrong.

Your feedback helps to ensure we are continually improving our services. You can make a complaint by:

Link as follows: “Using The Property Ombudsman complaints process”

Emailing us at info@stefphilips.com  

Give us a compliment

It is also great to hear about your positive experiences. You can use our online form or email us to share your feedback.