The 5 most common tenant repairs and how to deal with them

Household fixes and repairs are an unavoidable part of independent living, and many students will get their first taste of managing tenant repairs in their university accommodation. When an unexpected issue crops up in your student home, our advice below aims to help.

You can report any fault to us through the StudentDigz website, where you can detail the issue via our repair reporting system:

We’ve listed 5 of the most common tenant repairs here:

  1. Leaks

Leaks from pipes, plumbing fixtures and fittings can cause a range of problems if not dealt with quickly, and can cause further damage to other parts of the property depending on the severity and location of the leak. Most likely, leaks will just be the odd dripping tap or radiator, but in more serious cases this could be a burst pipe.

Many leaks are caused by improper use and maintenance, such as not cleaning limescale from a tap or shower head and not clearing basic blockages. If the leak cannot be contained and/or it is causing damage to the property (especially if it is penetrating into an electrical fitting) it is classified as an emergency and it must be reported to us through this system and by telephone as soon as possible.

As a preventative measure, if a leak begins to emerge you can minimise the risk by turning the stopcock off, if safe and convenient to do so. The stopcock is usually turned clockwise to stop the flow of water, and is typically located:

  • Underneath the kitchen sink
  • In an airing cupboard
  • In the basement

If the leak is coming from the above or adjacent property, you must try to contact those occupants immediately.

  1. White goods failure

Depending on the type of accommodation you are renting (furnished/unfurnished), most student rental properties include some form of white goods such as a washing machine and fridge.

If an important appliance in your student home breaks, the first thing to do is to pay attention to the symptoms exhibited by the appliance in order to pinpoint the source of the issue. These handy guides on checking appliances for faults can help:

Is your washing machine faulty?

Common refrigerator problems and how to fix them

  1. Toilet and Drain Blockages

With most student lettings being multiple-occupancy houses, the toilet is regularly in use, and this can lead to blockages – one of the most common tenant issues.

Unfortunately, this is often caused by misuse of the toilet (such as flushing wet wipes or kitchen roll instead of toilet roll), so please be mindful of what you are flushing.

A quick fix for unblocking a toilet or drain is the use of a plunger. Failing that though, a mix of vinegar and baking soda creates a solution which can be used to unclog a sink or toilet. Simply place the solution in your sink or toilet and wait a few minutes for it to take action. After a few minutes, try to run water into the sink or flush the toilet to check if this fix has worked.

If the above does not rectify the issue, then you will need to log a ticket via our repair reporting system:

  1. Boiler and heating issues

Keeping an eye on the boiler is an important part of a tenant’s routine, as a faulty boiler not only means lack of heating but can point to a range of more serious issues.

Although it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair and maintain the boiler and any gas heating in the house, tenants must check the boiler regularly and report any faults as soon as they are noted.

If safe and convenient to do so, please perform the following checks on your boiler before reporting an issue:

  • Make sure that the electricity and boiler are turned on
  • There is enough credit on the meter
  • The thermostat is not turned down
  • Consult your boiler manual for specific guidance. Check the boiler pressure. Please refer to your boiler manual to find out what the correct pressure should be and how to re-pressurise your boiler.

If the issue persists, please log a ticket via our repair reporting system:

  1. Damp/Mould

Damp can become an escalating issue if left untreated and should be reported as soon as possible once spotted. 

Rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation are the three most common types of damp in residential properties. It may be hard to distinguish which is causing the issue, but reporting it as early as possible means there is more time to explore the causes and fix things.

The full Which? guide to reducing and preventing damp can be found here.

If you notice any faults or issues in your student home, the best course of action is to always report it as soon as possible via our online reporting system:

Emergency Contact Numbers

For emergency repairs during office hours:

(9.30 am to 5.30 pm) Monday to Friday - Call 01792 600227

All non-emergency repairs are to be reported via our online reporting system: 

For emergency repairs outside office hours:

Leaks & Floods – 07921 103178

Electrical/Fire Alarm Faults – 07815 321281 or 07808 482469

Lockouts & Window Repairs – 07791 093934

Boiler Repairs – 07921 103178

Gas – 0800 111 999

Power Cut – 0800 052 0400

Welsh Water – 0800 052 0130

Fire Brigade/Ambulance – 999

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