Tenants Handbook & Useful Tips
A look around this website will help answer many of your important questions about who we are, what we do and how we can help you. The Association also provides each new Tenants with a handbook offering information on the Association and useful tips. The handbook is currently being updated so please keep a look out here for an update due shortly.
In the meantime please take a look at some of tips for looking after your new home:
All of our properties are let in good decorative order and receive a full deep clean. A strong cleaning regime is the basis of a nice home, and we advise all tenants to maintain their properties cleanliness and decorative order throughout their tenancy. A clean property goes a long way to avoiding the potential for rodents, insects or mould from appearing in your home.
In the kitchen your hob, surfaces and extractor fan can quickly become dirty if not cleaned after use. Oil and other liquids, food residue and general dirt can build up and become increasingly difficult to remove if left. Make sure you regularly wipe, scour and thoroughly clean your cooker to avoid a big and potentially expensive cleaning job further down the line.
Condensation and Damp
It is important to understand the difference between condensation and serious damp, although condensation is a common form of damp and can become serious if left. Condensation is produced when moist air inside your home condenses on the walls, floors and furniture. Serious damp is often caused by a penetrative leak from outside or internal pipework that will need immediate attention from one of our specialist contractors.
‘Penetrating damp’ is caused by moisture coming into the house through leaking or cracked pipework, a damaged roof, blocked guttering, gaps around window frames and cracked or defective rendering and brickwork. All these problems can be remedied by KCHA.
‘Rising damp’ is due to a defective (or non-existent) damp course. This will leave a ‘tide mark’ about a metre above the floor. Fixing rising damp is a job for a qualified builder that will be instructed by us.
NB: Newly built homes can sometimes feel damp because the water used during its construction is still drying out.
How can you reduce condensation in your home?
1) Produce less moisture
Simple things make a huge difference, like keeping the lids on pans when cooking, drying clothes outdoors (and especially not on radiators as this increases air moisture), venting your tumble dryer to the outside and avoiding using paraffin heaters or flue-less bottled gas heaters which produce a lot of moisture.
2) Let the moist air out and the fresh air in
Extractor fans are an effective way to get rid of moist air and steam so that less condensation forms. Some very modern homes have extractor fans which run continuously, fitted in the ceilings of bath and shower rooms. They use very little electricity. If your home doesn’t already have extractor fans then it's well worth getting them fitted in the bathroom and kitchen. Fans that run on a timer, humidistat or pull-cord typically have a rating of 8-30W. A 30W appliance would need to run continuously for nearly a day and a half to use one unit (about 15p) of electricity.
Stop moist air getting into the rest of your home. When cooking or bathing, keep the kitchen or bathroom door shut and open the window so that the steam goes outside instead.
Meanwhile, let fresh air circulate to avoid mould forming where the air is still. Make sure there is a gap between your furniture and the walls, and give wardrobes and cupboards a good airing sometimes.
3) Insulate and draught-proof your home
Warm homes suffer less from condensation, so you should make sure your house is well insulated. This means insulating your loft to the recommended depth of 270mm (about 11 inches), and your cavity walls (if your house has them). Your windows and external doors should be draught-proofed, and you should consider secondary glazing if your windows are draughty.
4) Heat your home a little more
While you don’t want to waste money heating rooms you don’t use, very cold rooms are more likely to get damp and mould. Set the thermostatic radiator valve to 1 in unused rooms so the radiator gives out a little bit of heat whenever you have the heating on. If you don’t have central heating, consider using a room heater with a timer and temperature control. Remember, unused rooms will need a good airing from time to time.
How to get rid of mould
If you already have mould on your walls and ceilings then you need to clean it off properly. An effective two-stage method is to start by cleaning off the mould with spray containing bleach. This will help remove the staining that persistent mould can leave behind. Leave to dry overnight and then spray the affected area with an anti-fungal wash and allow that to dry. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consider wearing a face mask when spraying. You could also treat the affected area with a mould-resistant paint, available from most major hardware stores.