Home contents insurance for WDH tenants and leaseholders

WDH doesn’t automatically insure furniture, belongings and decorations against fire, theft, vandalism or water damage (such as burst pipes) so it’s really important that you think about getting home contents insurance.

You can arrange your home contents insurance through RSA’s Home contents insurance scheme. It’s quick and simple to join, and it’s open to anyone who lives in a WDH property.

A discounted rate is available to households where any tenant or leaseholder is over the age of 60. 

Types of cover

If you choose Standard Cover, most of your household goods and contents, including pedal cycles, are insured in your home. They are covered against loss or damage caused by specific events such as theft, fire and flood.  It also covers lost or stolen keys, freezer contents, your own legal liability to third parties and the cost of alternative accommodation.

You can add the accidental damage and personal belongings option to your policy for an additional cost.

For further details on what these options cover, and information on prices and the application process, please take a look at RSA Home contents insurance scheme information.

You can also make your own arrangements with an insurance company of your choice.

When will my household waste and recycling bins be emptied?

Your local authority are responsible for the collection and recycling of your household waste.

Visit their website for information about:

  • Bank holiday collections
  • Replacement bins
  • Reporting a missed bin collection
  • Bulky waste removal
  • Recycling

Check your council’s website to find out when your rubbish will be collected

Your local authority are responsible for the collection and recycling of your household waste.  For more information and ideas on how to recycle more go to Recycle Now.

When will the grass on our estate get cut?

Grass cutting generally runs from the beginning of April through to October, although our contractors may start earlier or finish later when mild weather encourages grass growth outside the normal period.   During this time, we will make sure that our areas are cut on a regular basis and kept neat and tidy.  Paths, steps and other adjoining areas will be blown free from cuttings.

Shrub beds are also visited routinely in order to clear weeds and litter as well as being cut back at least twice a year to keep growth under control and hedges will be maintained outside of the bird nesting season.

We are unable to cut the grass in very wet weather as the machinery may cause damage to the land.

Helping natural habitats to thrive

In areas specially chosen by our Landscape Team we're introducing a relaxed mowing initiative called 'Let it Bee'.

The project not only aims to improve green spaces but will create more safe habitats for birds, animals, and insects. The benefits of relaxed mowing include allowing wildflowers and grasses to grow, flower, and then set seed, providing a huge range of different grassland and more resources for a greater variety of wildlife, such as seed-feeding birds. Supporting different species requires different conditions and allowing grasses to grow longer can provide refuge from predators and the weather.

Please contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507 if you need more information about grass cutting on our estates.

I have an enquiry about a tree on WDH land

We recognise the benefits that trees bring to our communities and we regularly inspect all trees managed by us to check their condition and deal with any issues. 

As a general rule, we will not remove branches of trees owned or managed by us unless they pose a hazard to people or property. This means that we don’t routinely prune trees that are blocking light or views, interfering with a TV signal or those with falling leaves or fruit.

If you have an urgent enquiry about a tree that has snapped or blown over, has lost large branches, has been uprooted and is blocking access to your home/vehicle, please call OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507.

If your enquiry isn’t urgent, for example it’s about loose bark, smaller loose branches or a tree that you think is dying, please report it to OneCALL and we will survey the tree as part of our regular programme.

How do I get rid of a mattress / sofa / fridge?

If you want to arrange a special collection for large waste items you no longer have a use for - most councils will collect old sofas, fridges or washing machines for a fee.

Visit GOV.UK Special Collection web pages to find out which local authority you should contact to organise a collection. 

Your local authority are responsible for the collection and recycling of your household waste.  For more information and ideas on how to recycle more go to Recycle Now.

Your local authority can help you if you:

  • need a bulky waste collections, such as a sofa or fridge;
  • need a replacement bin or recycling box, if it is missing or is stolen; or
  • spot fly tipping in your area and want to report it.

For more information on what items go in each of your recycling bins in the Wakefield district, visit Wakefield Council's Recycling web page, or call Wakefield Council Contact Centre on 0345 8 506 506.

Who do I report a pest control problem to?

Problems with bees / wasps?
Bees are not aggressive, unlike wasps, they will only attack if disturbed or threatened.  A standard fly and wasp killer will get rid of any that may enter the property.

Contact your local authority for information and any charges, if you are a WDH tenant living in the Wakefield district please contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507 to report a problem. Please note bees will not always be treated.

Problems with spiders? 
Our Pest Control Service does not carry out work associated with spiders. Please seek advice externally.

Problems with ants or flying ants?
Vacuum the area affected by ants or flying ants using the crack and crevice tool, then empty the contents straight into an external bin. Pour two tablespoons of ant powder on the floor and vacuum up the powder – this will kill any ants or flying ants which have been sucked into the vacuum.

There are many products on the market for ant treatments. Bait stations are better suited for the spring season whilst powders and sprays are better for use in the summertime. Liquid ant killer is an effective treatment and is less unsightly than ant powder.  Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all products.  Retreatment of the area may be required for effective control.

Problems with beetles or moths?
Check food cupboards where dry foods are kept (cereals, biscuits, pasta, bread, flour etc. for signs of beetles or moths. If any infested food items are found, remove these to an external bin and clean the area affected thoroughly.

Birds nests can also cause beetles and should be removed wherever possible, please note it is illegal to disturb, destroy or remove nesting birds.

Problems with flies or maggots?
Clean the area thoroughly, removing all food debris and rubbish bags. Use a cleaning product on the area affected. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make sure rubbish is double bagged in the summertime before putting in the external bin and clean bins / bin areas regularly.

Problems with woodlice or silverfish?
Crawling insect killer can be bought from most DIY stores and will help alleviate the problem. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all products.

The likeliest cause for this pest to appear is an area of moisture, this needs to be identified and dried to prevent further issues.

Problems with fleas?
Wash all soft furnishings as hot as they can be. Tumble dry if possible.

Vacuum floor areas and sofas thoroughly using the crack and crevice tool, then empty the contents straight into an external bin. Pour two tablespoons of ant powder on the floor and vacuum up the powder – this will kill any fleas which have been sucked into the vacuum.

There are many products that can be bought to treat fleas in the property, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these.

Repeat all of the above instructions after seven days for treatment to be effective.  Treat all pets with a flea treatment and keep these up to date.

Problems with slugs?
To try and eradicate the problem you should block or seal all holes that can be found internally and externally.

Slug pellets can be bought from most DIY stores and will help alleviate the problem. However, it can be harmful to other animals. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all products.  Table salt can be poured around the edges of the room affected to help prevent slugs appearing. Look for slug trails to help identify entry points.

Problems with bed bugs?
Wash all soft furnishings, bedding and clothing as hot as they can be. Tumble dry if possible.  Vacuum all areas including mattress and bed base thoroughly using the crack and crevice tool, then empty the contents straight into an external bin. Pour 2 tablespoons of ant powder on the floor and hoover up the powder – this will kill any fleas which have been hoovered into the vacuum.

You can purchase products and traps to treat for bed bugs in the property. Steam cleaners can also be used to help get rid of the problem. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all products.

Bed bugs can hide anywhere that is dark, this includes all furniture in rooms affected, behind wallpaper, electrical sockets, under skirting boards. Make sure these areas are checked and cleaned.

Repeat the process after five days for treatment to be effective and keep doing this until there are no further signs and no bed bugs can be seen.

Problems with rats, mice or squirrels?
Contact your local authority for information and any charges. If you are a WDH tenant living in the Wakefield district please contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507 to report a problem.

Problems with moles?
If the problem is on communal WDH land, please contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507. If it's not on communal land, contact your local authority for information and any charges.

Moles are known for their acute sense of smell, so one of the best natural ways to keep them away is to put something in their tunnel that smells bad, this could be coffee grounds and castor oil mixed with cayenne pepper.

Moles also dislike daffodils, marigolds and alliums, so bordering your garden with these flowering plants will help deter them.

Your preserved right to buy or right to acquire your home

Your rights under the Housing Act 1985 (as amended) as applied by the Housing (Preserved Right to Buy) Regulations 1993 and the Housing Act 1985 (as amended) as applied by the Housing (Right to Acquire) Regulations 1997 (as amended).

Preserved right to buy (PRTB)
Right to buy (RTB)
Right to aquire (RTA)

Preserved right to buy

If you were a secure tenant of Wakefield Council before 21 March 2005 and you became an assured protected tenant when the ownership of
your home transferred to WDH, you may have the PRTB.

Have a look at our Preserved right to buy factsheet.

Can I run a business from my home?

You need written permission from us to run any business from your home and you’ll need this before you start doing so. We will not unreasonably refuse permission for you to run a business from your home.

Complete an application form and return to our head office at Merefield House. Remember to attach any plans or drawings (if applicable), so your application can be processed without delay.

There are various factors, which may affect the outcome of your application and you will receive a letter explaining how we have arrived at the final decision.

Which tenancies qualify?

  • Assured Tenancy
  • Assured Non-Shorthold Tenancy
  • Assured Shorthold (Starter) Tenancy

Which tenancies do not qualify?

All other classes of tenancy agreement.

Important - If you receive our permission to run a business from your home, it is your responsibility to get formal planning permission or building regulations approval from the relevant council, or any other permission you may need before any business activity starts.

What if I start a business without written permission?

It is a breach of your tenancy agreement to run a business from your home without written permission from us. If you are already running an unauthorised business from your home, you must apply for permission immediately.

If the application is refused, you must stop any business activity from your home immediately. We will visit you to make sure you have stopped. Failure to do so will put you in breach of your tenancy agreement.

Are there any rules or conditions that WDH insist on?

We will not refuse permission to run a business from your home without good reason.

Listed below are some of the reasons we would refuse permission. If your business were likely to:

  • cause a nuisance to neighbours or adversely impact on the neighbourhood and the environment;
  • involve the use of oxygen, acetylene or other flammable gas bottles, or the storage of large quantities of dangerous substances;
  • involve the display of any signs or notice boards about your business on / in your property;
  • involve repairing motor vehicles from your home;
  • involve the use of noisy machinery;
  • present a danger to the health and safety of the occupiers or neighbours;
  • conflict with any of the conditions of your tenancy agreement; or
  • reduce the amenities of the property, or be unsuitable in relation to the nature of the business, number of employees, property type, location and size.

When I put in my application, what happens next?

Your Estate Manager will assess your application. It may be appropriate for us to consult with neighbours around your home before a decision is made.

If as a result of running a business you need to make changes to your property, one of our surveyors will visit your home to assess the suitability.

If changes need to be made, you will need to complete a separate application form for the improvement or alteration work. The surveyor who visits your home will advise you if you need to do this.

You will receive a letter telling you if your application has been approved. There may be certain conditions you have to follow and, if there are, they will be clearly explained in the letter of permission.

Any conditions we give you must be followed. Failure to do so will be considered a breach of your obligations under your tenancy agreement and we reserve the right to withdraw permission.

If business activity continues in these circumstances then, as with any other breach of the tenancy agreement, action will be taken to put right the breach, including the use of injunctions and possession proceedings if necessary. 

If your application has been refused, the letter you receive will detail the reasons why. We will not refuse permission unless there is good reason to do so. If you need to discuss the decision the name and phone number of the person dealing with your application will be on the top of the letter you receive.

You will receive a visit within 28 days of permission being granted, and periodically after that, to make sure the running of the business complies with any conditions we set.

Do I have a right to appeal against the decision to refuse permission?

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your application, you have the right to appeal within 28 working days of receiving your decision letter. 

First, you should contact the Estate Manager who dealt with your application. Their name, address and contact number will be included in the letter you receive.

If the decision to refuse your application is related to your business causing a nuisance to neighbours, or damaging your home/contravening building, planning or legislative regulations, the Estate Manager’s decision will be final.

If the refusal is not related to the above, and alternative measures cannot be agreed for the application to progress further, the case will be passed to the Area Manager who will adjudicate the appeal.

This information is for guidance only and does not give a legal interpretation or a summary of all the rules, which may apply to running a business from your home. If you need any further help or advice, please get in touch. 

Can I keep pets in my home?

You can normally keep a domestic pet such as a cat or a dog but we expect that you look after them responsibly so they do not cause a nuisance to your neighbours.

Under the terms of our Tenancy Agreement you are not allowed to keep dogs or cats if your home has a shared or communal entrance. 

We reserve the right to ask you to remove any animal we consider is unsuitable to be kept at your home.

Further information on the type of pet you can and cannot keep is available in your tenant account online area.

Am I allowed to keep an XL Bully at my home?

If you have a Certificate of Exemption for your XL Bully, then we may give permission for you to keep the dog at your home, depending on the circumstances and your home type.  

If you do not have a Certificate of Exemption for your XL Bully, we cannot grant permission for you to keep the dog at your home. We would need to report this to the Police as it is now a criminal offence to own an XL Bully without an exemption certificate. We may also look to instigate tenancy enforcement action alongside any criminal proceedings.

Health and safety

Fire safety in high-rise apartment blocks

Fire is one of the biggest killers in the home. If you live in a high-rise apartment, there are things you should know about how to prevent fires and what to do if fire breaks out.

What safety features does the building have?

Your building has been designed and built with fire safety in mind.

  • Walls and doors between apartments, stairs and corridors are specially designed to resist fire and stop the spread of smoke.  When not in use all corridor and apartment entrance doors must always be kept closed. 

  • In the event of a fire, always take a key to your apartment with you when you leave in case your exit is blocked. 

  • Do not use the lift in a fire evacuation. The lift system has been designed for firefighters to use in an emergency.

  • If your door has an automatic closer fitted, you must not tamper or remove it as it will help contain a fire.

  • Where dry risers are in your building, these will be used by the fire service to fight a fire, you must not tamper with these outlets as this will compromise safety should a fire break out.

  • Roads and other areas outside are designed to enable emergency vehicles to get as near as possible to the building and the dry riser inlet.

  • Do not block or stand on the access road to the main entrance in an emergency situation.

  • If you do not have a phone, there will be a public phone not far away which can be used to call the fire brigade, do not assume someone else has reported it. 

Don’t block your escape route!

Remember, when you share a building with other families, your safety and theirs depends on everyone co-operating.

In your own home, do not block your hall with anything, including heaters. It is the only escape route for you and your family.

WDH has a zero tolerance approach to fire safety in all communal areas to make them as safe as possible and minimise any risk of fire. The storage of any items in communal areas is not allowed.

What can I do to prevent fires?

  • Never leave children alone. Keep matches and lighters out of reach and don’t let children near cooking or heating appliances when in use.

  • Look out for older people and make sure they take sensible precautions. 

  • Don’t smoke in bed.  This is a major cause of fires in the home.  Always finish your cigarette before going to bed, and make sure that it is stubbed out properly, preferably in a container with water in the bottom.

  • Candles are naked flames, never leave them unattended and make sure you put candles and incense sticks right out at night.

  • Chip pans are another major source of fires in the home. Avoid the use of chip pans or use a deep fat fryer if you can. If you must use one, do not fill it more than a third full of fat and never leave the pan. If the pan does catch fire, if it is safe to do so turn off the heat and leave for at least 30 minutes. Do not throw water on it or put wet towels over the pan. If yours and the safety of others is at risk, leave the apartment and close doors and windows as you leave, then call 999.

  • Have your heaters serviced every year. Make sure they can’t be knocked over, keep them away from furniture and furnishings and make sure nothing can fall on to the heater.

  • Before going to bed, switch off all electrical appliances, except those such as DVD recorders which are designed to be left on.  Carefully remove plugs from electrical sockets. Check ashtrays for burning cigarette ends and pipes. Close all internal doors.  Check there is nothing blocking the hallway or front door.

  • Do not place hot or burning items into the waste disposal chutes or rubbish bins.

  • Do not place any large items of furniture or rubbish outside your apartment or outside the bin rooms. The removal of large or bulky items can be arranged through your local authority. If you live in the Wakefield district you can phone Wakefield Council on 0345 8 506 506.

  • The use of BBQs on balconies or inside homes is strictly forbidden due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

 What do I do if fire breaks out in my apartment?

Alert any other people in the apartment. Leave the room at once, and close all windows and the door behind you, make sure you close the entrance door to your apartment.  Don’t tackle the fire yourself, unless you are sure it is safe to do so.

  • Don’t use balconies which are not part of an escape route.

  • Call the fire service by dialling 999 on the nearest phone. This is a free call. 

  • If you have to leave the building, use the stairs, not the lift.

  • Leave the building and wait for the fire service near the entrance, you can then advise them where the fire is in your block. 

What if fire breaks out elsewhere in the building?

  • It will normally be safe for you to stay in your own apartment.  If your apartment is affected by heat or smoke from elsewhere in the block, leave at once, closing all windows and doors behind you.

  • Keep low to the floor as there will be less smoke and visibility will be better.

  • If you are unable to leave your apartment due to smoke in the corridors, you should block the bottom and surround of your door with wet cloths, move to a window furthest away from the door and try to raise the alarm.

Smoke alarms save lives!

  • A smoke alarm detects smoke at the earliest stages of a fire. If there is a fire in your home it sounds a piercing alarm to warn you. Many people killed in house fires are asleep at the time.

  • You should test your smoke alarm each week to make sure it is working properly. Never remove the batteries, unless you are replacing them. 

  • Vacuuming the smoke alarm every six months will help to make sure dust does not stop it working. 

Remember your actions can affect the safety of others in the building. Please follow the advice given.

You may be eligible for a free ‘Safe and Well’ visit. Contact your local Fire and Rescue Service for more information.

This advice is only appropriate to high rise apartments built to the requirements laid down in BS9991:2015 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings code of practice. If you are in doubt, phone us on 0345 8 507 507. 

Has a fire risk assessment been completed for my apartment?

If you are a leaseholder or tenant in an apartment and want to know if a fire risk assessment has been carried out, please contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507.

What do I need to know about living in a low rise block?

Building safety

The safety of all residents living in properties of multi-occupancy, such as low rise blocks, is very important to us and all residents must comply with WDH policies.

To reduce the risks of fires in common areas of low rise blocks, we have a zero tolerance approach and don't allow personal items to be stored in any common area. To ensure compliance with this approach, we will check areas at least every six months to make sure they are clear. 

If there is a fire in the building

If a fire occurs in your apartment, or your apartment is affected by smoke, you should leave the block immediately closing the door behind you.

Leave the building, call the Fire Service by dialling 999 on the nearest phone. This is a free service. Wait a safe distance away from the building for the fire service, you can then advise them where the fire is.

You should only return to the block when authorised to do so by a fire officer or by a WDH colleague.

For more information see our factsheet Fire safety in low rise blocks or contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507

Are safety checks carried out for my scheme / apartment block?

Safety checks in apartments in high and low rise blocks, and Independent Living Schemes.

Fire risk assessments have been completed for all schemes and apartment blocks.

Compliance with the fire and other safety measures are checked on a weekly basis at all of our high rise apartments and Independent Living Schemes. Regular checks are carried out at our low rise blocks.

For more information about any safety checks please contact OneCALL 0345 8 507 507 or call in to one of our Hubs.

Residents at Independent Living Schemes, or their families, should contact their Community Support Worker or Scheme Manager.

Can I use and store gas bottles or cylinders in my home?

You must not store or use, in or around your home in any garage or shared areas, any dangerous, flammable or explosive substance.

We do not allow bottled gas such as Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and paraffin or portable barbeques in buildings over two storeys high.

Keeping mopeds, motorbikes or equipment driven by a combustion engine inside your home or internal shared areas is not allowed.

It is illegal to store oxy acetylene gas bottles (used for welding) at your home or in any of our properties including garages and outbuildings.

Mobile heaters

Should not be used in:

  • garages as petrol vapour may be present;
  • any room where flammable materials are stored;
  • bathrooms or shower rooms; or,
  • bedrooms, where there are flammable materials such as bed coverings, curtains and soft furnishings.

Always position your mobile heater so it faces towards the centre of the room and position it away from chairs, walls and other soft furnishings.

Use a suitable fireguard to provide added protection. Make sure the mobile heater does not restrict your means of escape, should a fire occur.

Never move any heating appliance while it is lit.

Barbecues, portable gas cookers and patio heaters

Never use any of these items indoors. Always make sure you have the cylinder and valve recommended in the instruction manual supplied with the product. Do not move appliances around when lit.

Gas cylinders - must not be stored in your home


  • treat cylinders with care, make sure the valve is intact before connection;
  • follow any safety advice and instruction supplied with the cylinder;
  • change cylinders outdoors, switch off and keep away from any sources of ignition such as, naked lights, open fires, cigarettes;
  • wear hand and eye protection if there is a possibility that LPG may escape from a cylinder in normal use as it can cause severe frost burns;
  • lift cylinders with care, as the total weight can be double the content weight shown; and,
  • make sure the cylinder cap is replaced when empty.


  • subject a cylinder to heat as the pressure inside could build up to exceed the safe limit;
  • store or use cylinders in cellars or below ground level. LPG is heavier than air and if it leaks the gas will collect at low-level and become dangerous in the presence of a flame or spark;
  • store cylinders indoors or in high rise apartments;
  • put yourself at risk.


Make sure the correct regulator is fitted in the connection between cylinder and appliance. Follow the manufacturers instructions provided with the  regulator. If a regulator shows signs of wear it should be replaced.

Do not adjust the regulator, as the pressure will have been set to control the pressure of supply. Never try to disconnect a regulator from the switch-on valve if the flame does not go out when the regulator switch is turned off, leave appliance alight and call your local retailer.

Hoses and Tubing

Use flexible hose and tubing approved to BS3212 (type 2 is recommended for barbecue and patio heater applications). If a hose or tube shows signs of wear it should be replaced. Keep hose and tubing lengths as short as possible and make sure they are secured with proper hose clips.  Keep hoses and tubing clear of ‘hot spots’ and inspect them regularly for signs of wear and cuts.


Only buy CE marked LPG appliances. This mark certifies that a product has met European Union consumer safety, health or environmental requirements.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions and labels provided with your appliance and keep them handy for future reference. Keep your appliance clean and service it regularly using competent (Gas Safe registered) installers. This will make sure the appliance is safe, and will burn efficiently  and therefore save you money.

Never try to improvise or adjust your gas appliance in any way. Always ask your retailer for advice. If you allow someone who is not qualified to repair or service your appliance, it would not be safe to use.

If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas and make sure there is no source of ignition nearby. Never use a naked flame to search for a leak.

Examine all pipes and connections. If the leak is not found, turn on the gas supply and brush over the connections with a liquid detergent – it will bubble where there is a leak.

If in doubt contact the retailer.

Emergency advice if there is a fire

  • Immediately raise the alarm and call 999 and ask for the Fire Service.
  • Do not go near the cylinder if there is a fire. 
  • Tell the Fire Service when they arrive where all the cylinders are.
Do I need to tell you if Oxygen cylinders are stored or used in my home?

If you need to use oxygen cylinders at your home because of a medical condition, you must tell us immediately by calling OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507. We will work with you to agree suitable safe storage arrangements. The Fire Service will be made aware and will contact you accordingly

You should be instructed in the use of the oxygen equipment by the NHS if they have provided the equipment. 

Avoid using any oil, WD40, grease or hand cream when handling oxygen equipment as these are known to contribute to ignition. If any valves are hard to use inform the supplier, the equipment may need returning to the supplier for repair.

Most oxygen equipment provides a constant flow of gas to the person, most of which escapes as this is not inhaled by the user.  This oxygen leaks out and if the person is bedridden, oxygen collects over bedding and is at serious risk of igniting. If the person smokes, then striking a match could ignite the bedding causing a serious fire and injury.

The risk is reduced if ‘demand delivery’ is used; these only provide oxygen when the person is breathing in, you should ask the provider to explain which type they are supplying to you.

Accidental damage to the regulator or cylinder can have serious results. If the cylinder falls and the stem of the regulator is damaged by impact, there is a risk of the regulator becoming a projectile.  

Acceptable methods of storing oxygen cylinders include:

  • cylinders stored upright in a cart; or
  • securing them to a wall in an upright position. If this is the option required then you must check with us before this is carried out.

This storage information applies to both full and near empty cylinders, as there is no way of telling for sure if a cylinder is empty or not.

WDH colleagues will not adjust, change or move oxygen bottles, you should contact the supplier or NHS if you are having problems with your cylinder.

Please note: When your tenancy ends the installation must be removed, all services should be repaired and the property returned to its original state. If this work is not done to the expected standard we will complete the required work and the full cost of this will be recharged to you. 

Should a fire occur

  • Immediately raise the alarm, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service.
  • Do not go near the cylinder if there is a fire.
  • Tell the Fire Service on arrival, where all the cylinders are.
My smoke alarm is beeping but there is no smoke - what should I do?

The most likely reason for an alarm sounding - without the presence of smoke or a fire - is dust inside the cover unit.

If every alarm on the system is sounding, a rapidly flashing red light on the cover of one of the units will show where the alarm was triggered.

The alarm can be silenced by pressing and releasing the test or hush button on the cover of the triggered alarm - pressing and releasing the test/hush button on different alarm cover unit won’t silence it. After this, there will be a 10 minute period of reduced sensitivity, indicated by the red light flashing once every 10 seconds.

The cover unit should then be cleaned by running the nozzle attachment of a vacuum around the smoke entry slots, which should remove any dust, fibres or insects that may be within the sensor chamber. 

You can also watch our film which shows you how to stop your smoke alarm making unwanted noise.

If this doesn’t stop the alarm from sounding, please contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507.

Managing water safety in your home

Maintaining water safety within your property is vital and the below information details steps you can take to ensure you are safe.

Most water systems contain bacteria and other organisms. If allowed to multiply they can cause people to become ill. The most common and high risk bacteria is Legionella, which causes Legionnaires' Disease.

What is Legionnaires' disease?

Legionnares' disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which is caused by the legionella bacteria.

The bacteria are usually associated with larger water systems including hospitals, and cooling towers, but they can also thrive in smaller water systems used in residential accommodation.

Legionella bacteria can affect anyone, but those more likely to be susceptible are; people over the age of 50, heavy smokers and drinkers and people with an already suppressed immune system. Legionnaires disease is relatively rare with around 400 to 500 cases in the UK each year.

Legionella bacteria can be managed and we take pride in making sure we do all that we can to maintain water safety in our properties.

There are also several things you can do yourself, to reduce the risks from legionella bacteria.

If you live in an independent living scheme apartment

  1. When you first move into your independent living apartment you will need to run your shower for several minutes on the highest setting.

  2. If you go on holiday or are in hospital for more than one week, you must run all your water outlets for several minutes as soon as you return.

  3. If you have any water outlets that you do not use every week, please run these for several minutes every week.

  4. It is advisable that as a minimum shower heads should be cleaned and disinfected every six months.

  5. Report any concerns you may have to your scheme manager

If you live in one of our homes, independent living bungalows or rent a commercial property from us

  1. When you first move into your property, the Homesearch or Commercial Team will have flushed all available outlets. If your property has an electric shower, you need to flush this yourself (on the highest temperature setting) once electricity is switched on at the property. All other hot water systems should be sufficiently heated before use.

  2. If you are on holiday or leave your property empty for more than a week you'll need to flush all outlets for several minutes upon your return.

  3. If you have any outlets that you do not use every week (such as outside taps or outside bathrooms) these need to be flushed weekly.

  4. In commercial properties, outlet temperatures need to be taken monthly and recorded; this will be reviewed at your annual tenancy visit. Temperatures for mains cold water should be below 20oC after two minutes. Unregulated hot water temperatures should be above 50oC after one minute.

  5. It is advisable that as a minimum shower heads should be cleaned and disinfected every six months.

If you have any concerns, please contact OneCALL 0345 8 507 507.

Hot water safety advice

Hot water can pose a significant health and safety risk. You should contact OneCALL immediately if you have excessively hot water and switch off your hot water system.

Contact us on 0345 8 507 507 if you have:

  • Excessively hot water coming out of the hot taps.
  • Excessive noise or ‘bubbling’ from the hot water cylinder.
  • Hot water coming out of cold water taps.
  • Steam, moisture or condensation in the roof space or cylinder cupboard.
  • Watch out for warm or hot water coming from the overflow pipe (the pipe is usually found outside the house, up near the roof or through an outside wall at high level).


What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material and was used widely in the 1900s to as late as 1999. It had many benefits including heat insulation, sound proofing and water resistance.

Research now tells us that when the asbestos fibres are inhaled they can cause significant, irreversible damage to our health. Diseases such as Mesothelioma and Asbestosis are shown to be directly linked to the inhalation of asbestos fibres.

As your landlord, it is important we make you aware of the best way to manage asbestos in your home, to prevent any exposure.

Is asbestos always dangerous?

If left alone, asbestos poses very little risk to our health. For it to be dangerous, the asbestos fibres have to become airborne. The lowest risk items within your home are those where asbestos is contained within a material, such as bitumen, floor tiles or textured coating.

What should I do if I think asbestos has been disturbed in my home?

If you believe asbestos has been disturbed, you must inform us straight away. Close the door to the room affected and do not re-enter the room until you have been told it is safe to do so.

If asbestos is disturbed as a result of malicious intent, then we may recharge you for the works associated with repair.

I want to dispose of some items I believe may contain asbestos, what should I do?

There are some household items such as sink pads, fire blankets and ironing board plates that may contain asbestos, do not put them in your bin. Call your local authority to find out where the nearest asbestos disposal skip is and take the items there. You should double bag the items.

Asbestos cement sheeting and insulation boards can only be moved by a licensed contractor.

Where is asbestos most likely to be located in my home?

You could find asbestos in any home in the UK built before 1999 in a range of places, including pipe lagging, loose fill insulation, textured decorative coating (also known as Artex), AIB ceiling tiles, AIB bath panels, AIB partition walls, asbestos cement water tanks, vinyl floor tiles, gutters or down pipes, soffits, cement roofs or roofing felt. 

What does this mean for my home?

When you move into your home, you may want to make some changes, but, before you start working on your property you should contact us to check if you need to get our written permission to complete the work and to check if there is any asbestos present.

All the asbestos in our communal areas is listed in the register, in line with legislation. We also hold some information on our domestic properties. We always recommend an asbestos survey is completed before you start any work, to keep you and your family safe.

When you're planning any work, please contact us and we will organise an Asbestos Management Survey. This service is free of charge and the results will be provided to you once the survey is complete.

If you require intrusive works on your home, for example; sanding, drilling or working on asbestos containing materials with tools, you will need to have a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey completed. This service will also be provided free of charge.

What work does not need an asbestos survey?

  • Painting a wall or ceiling.
  • Wall papering.
  • Painting a soffit, fascia or guttering.
  • Laying vinyl flooring, laminate flooring or carpet on top of existing floor tiles.

Where can I get further information on asbestos?

If you have any concerns about items containing asbestos in your home or garden, please email to or call OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507.

Should you need any more information about asbestos, you can also check the HSE website.

Who do I report needle stick finds to?

If you do find a suspected needle stick, please do not touch it. Leave it where it is and report it as follows. 

  • For items in or around WDH homes, please contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507.
  • If you find items on highways or non-WDH land, please report it to your local authority.
I have a health and safety concern - where should I report it?

If work is being carried out in or around your home and you are concerned about health and safety, please contact OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507.

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