You must empty the vacuum cleaner from time to time to prevent damage to it. If the vacuum is not picking up, please empty the dust bucket and check all the pipes for blockages before reporting it to us as faulty. Bottle tops and coins stuck in the pipes commonly cause loss of suction in vacuum cleaners.
You must clean the cooker regularly. Negligence in this area constitutes the biggest single cause for us billing ex-tenants. A heavy build-up of grease and burnt-on food can cause fires as well as being difficult to clean.
You must leave the fridge door open if you switch it off for any reason; otherwise the inside will rapidly go mouldy. Be warned, when this happens it is very difficult and unpleasant to clean off. You should defrost the freezer or ice compartment frequently to prevent damage to the compartment doors or baskets.
You must make sure that bathroom and kitchen work surfaces are kept clean. WC’s should be regularly cleaned using bleach or toilet cleaner.
You must remove any stains before the end of your tenancy, preferably when accidents happen as they are much easier to clean up. If a carpet is so badly stained that it won’t come clean, it may need to be replaced. This is a very expensive option.
You must wipe all paintwork down, if not during the tenancy, then at the end.
If you have a cellar in your property you do not pay rent to use it unless it is specially converted. The cellars of most houses are damp if they have not been specially converted. You must not use the cellar area as a store.
The most common cause of structural damage to our properties is water damage from an overflowing bath or shower. If a bath or shower is allowed to overflow, or if there is a leak, water will build up in the floorboards and soak down into the ceiling of the room below. This goes mouldy and the ceiling begins to cave in. It costs at least £500 to put this sort of damage right. You can avoid the trouble, and cost, by following a couple of simple precautions:
Most of Unipol's properties have central heating systems and/or "Multipoint" water heaters. These give instant hot water when you turn the tap on and are very economical. Wherever possible, we will provide instructions on how to use these appliances. Follow these instructions carefully, particularly when starting up the pilot light and turning the system on. You should not report appliances as "broken" just because none of you knows how to start the system up. If you need a demonstration of how the system works, just let us know. If you have a condenser boiler, it is normal for it to emit vapour but this steam is not hot and does not present any danger to you.
You are not permitted to fit locks or padlocks on internal doors. Some properties have room locks fitted and, if relevant, Unipol will have given you a key for the room. You must not change any lock or use a lock (even if fitted) on internal doors unless Unipol has given you a key.
Properties where Unipol have fitted internal door locks have all been checked for fire safety to ensure that they do not impair your (or any other tenant's) ability to leave in the event of a fire. By using an unsuitable door lock you will be placing the lives of other occupants in danger. Note also that any lock fitted inexpertly will weaken or damage a door: this normally means that the door will have to be replaced - at your expense. Fitting and using a lock to your room is a requirement of very few student insurance policies.
You are allowed to move furniture about within the property and use any of your own, but you must never remove our furniture from the property or store it in the cellar. You must not bring any furniture into the property that does not conform to the standards set out in the 1988 Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) regulations. If you need clarification on which items of furniture these regulations apply to then please contact your Housing Management Officer.
You must not fit shelves or make other alterations to the property.
You may put posters on walls with Blu-tack or some similar adhesive. However, you must remove all posters and traces of Blu-tack at the end of the letting. If any grease marks are left, you must make sure that these are removed by cleaning. It is very expensive for us to have Blu-tac removed and this cost could be taken from your deposit.
You are not allowed to redecorate.
As some areas in properties are held communally, you are all responsible for caring for communal areas, both inside and outside of the property.
Fire fighting equipment is fitted in your property for your safety. The fire equipment in your property will be serviced and will be checked by your Housing Management Officer several times a year. Extinguishers that have been discharged or tampered with will be replace or repairs and any cost incurred will be passed on to the tenants
if you have a fire in your property and need to use the equipment then you must tell Unipol within 24hours of the incident. Tampering with a fire alarm system is a criminal offence and the Fire Authorities may decide to prosecute you. Any abuse of the fire equipment will be taken seriously by Unipol
If your property has a CCTV feed on your aerial system (usually in large deveopments) then you can use this to look at the areas covered for your own personal security use (ie to let people in through the entry system). You should not record this or use it for any other purpose