Tenant Information: Common Maintenance Issues



Maintenance issues crop up even in the best-maintained properties; usually when we least expect it. These issues can cause significant inconvenience for tenants – especially out with office hours – but in many cases can actually be rectified by the tenant themselves. Below are some of the most common (non-emergency) maintenance issues and advice on how you can fix them.

Emergency maintenance

If you live in a property managed by Clan Gordon, you have access to emergency contractors in case an emergency occurs out with office hours. An emergency is when there is ongoing damage being caused to the property or a risk of injury to you as the tenant, these issues cannot wait until our office reopens. In these situations, phone our usual office number and listen to the recorded message for the emergency contact numbers.

Find out what to do in emergency situations.

Please only use the emergency contact numbers in a genuine emergency. If an out of hours contractor visit is booked and it is found not to be an emergency, you would be liable to cover the cost of the emergency call-out fee.


Non-emergency maintenance

The majority of maintenance issues – although inconvenient – are not classed as emergencies. It is a good idea to know in advance what you can do to either minimise or fix non-emergency maintenance issues while you wait for our office to reopen.

The below issues are not classed as emergencies so should wait until our office reopens to be reported. To help minimise your disruption, you can follow the steps below to resolve some issues yourself.


Central heating not working

This can be a common issue, especially at the beginning of the winter months when the system has not been used for a while. If you find that your central heating is not working, start by checking the following:

  • The boiler is switched on
  • The thermostat is turned up and the clock timer is on
  • The pilot light is lit (only for systems with a permanent pilot light)
  • The system pressure should be between 1 and 1.5 bar (if you have a combi boiler). See steps below if the pressure is below 1 bar

An instruction manual for the boiler should be included in your property. If you don’t have one, you can search for the make and model on Google to view the instructions.


Loss of boiler pressure

If your boiler pressure is below 1 bar, you can top it up using the steps below, which will get the system working again. Try entering the make and model of your boiler into Google for boiler specific instructions and tutorial videos.

  1. Locate the top-up valve (this will either be a lever that is turned parallel to the pipe to open or a tap that is turned anti-clockwise to open).
  2. Open the valve until the pressure reaches 1.5 bar
  3. Close the valve

Only top up the boiler pressure once. Contact us if the pressure drops again, this indicates that there is a larger issue, such as a leak in the system, and will require an engineer visit.


Radiators not heating all over

If your heating is on, but your property is not heating up, it could be that the radiators are not working as effectively as they should. Run your hands over the radiators to check that they are heating all over. If not, there is air trapped in the system, follow the below steps to remove it.

  1. Turn the heating system on to allow the radiators to heat fully
  2. Turn system off and wait for the radiators to cool
  3. Use a radiator key to turn the valve (top corner) slowly anti-clockwise. Have a cloth ready to catch any water
  4. You will hear a hissing sound as the air escapes
  5. Close the valve quickly when water begins to come out
  6. Check your boiler pressure

Repeat these steps for all radiators with trapped air. This should resolve the issue and ensure your property heats more effectively.

Loss Of Power Or Lighting

Loss of power or the lights not working can be worrying for tenants, especially during winter months. Prepare for this eventuality by keeping a torch in an easily accessible location. When it comes to lights not working, the action to be taken depends on how many of the lights are not working:


One light

If only one light has stopped working, it most likely requires a replacement light bulb. You are responsible for changing the light bulbs during your tenancy. Keep some spare light bulbs in the property so you can replace the bulb immediately.


Some lights

If all of the lights in one part of the property have gone out it is likely that one of the electrical switches has tripped. To fix this, go to the fuse box and check that all of the switches are on.


All lights

If all of the lights are out, and there is no power to the rest of the property, it may be a power cut. The best first step is to check with your neighbours to find out if they are having issues too. Scottish Power (0800 092 9290) will be able to confirm if there is a power cut and when the power will be back on.

If your property is the only one experiencing loss of power, try:

  1. Switch off the main power switch
  2. Then turn off all other switches on the fuse board
  3. Starting with the main power switch turn all of the switches back on


Locked out

Although irritating, being locked out of your property – either due to lost keys or a fault with the lock – is not classed as an emergency. If you find yourself locked out, outside office hours, phone a local locksmith to get back in. Unless there is a problem with the door or lock (if the lock is faulty for example) you will be liable to cover the cost of the locksmith plus any remedial work if any damage is caused to the door.


Tips to prepare for common maintenance issues

Preparing in advance will mean you are ready to tackle some of the most common maintenance issues when they occur. Tenants should:

  • Ensure you know the location of the
    • Stopcock (this should be listed in the inventory)
    • Gas shut off valve
    • Fuse box
  • Keep copies of the instruction manuals for all appliances. If you don’t have paper copies the manual should be available online
  • Keep a ladder in an easily accessible location. We include a ladder in all of our properties, please let us know if you don’t have one.

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