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Home maintenance tips Home contents insurance for council homes in Bournemouth

Note: This information is only for council tenants in Bournemouth properties. If you’re a council tenant in a Poole property, please visit the PHP website.

As a tenant, you can save time and money with these handy hints.  

Water, gas and electricity safety  

Know where your water ‘stop tap’, electrical distribution board and gas shut off valves are situated in your home, and how to turn off the supplies if needed. So that you can access them easily in an emergency, do not block access to the controls.   


If your house is damp, mould can grow, damaging your walls, furniture and health. Condensation caused by cooking, showers and laundry can be a cause.  

Reduce the moisture in the air by opening windows when cooking or washing, and by using available extractor fans. Report any leaks or drips so they can be repaired quickly.  

Dry washing outside whenever you can. If you do need to dry washing inside, make sure a window is open in the room. Tumble dryers should be properly vented to the outside.  

Blocked toilets  

Avoid blocking your toilet by not flushing face wipes, baby wipes, nappies or sanitary towels or other objects.  

If your toilet remains blocked after you have attempted to clear it by flushing the cistern, call our repairs centre. 

Blocked sinks  

Never put fat, grease or solid food waste down the sink.  

If your sink is blocked, try to clear the problem by using a sink plunger or drain clearing products. Also, unscrew and clear the plastic trap under the sink, making sure you use a bowl to catch any water.  

Resetting a trip switch  

Sometimes a surge of electricity, a circuit overload, a light bulb blowing or a faulty appliance can cause part of your home’s electricity to be cut off. To restore power, return the switch or button that has ‘tripped’ on your electrical distribution board to the ‘on’ position.  

If the power switch ‘trips’ again, check which area of your home is affected. Unplug all the appliances in that area, reset the switch and plug the appliances back in again, one at a time, to find out which one causes the problem. Do not use the faulty appliance again until it has been safety checked by an electrician.  

We’ll charge you if you call us out to deal with a fault caused by one of your appliances, even if the trip switch simply needs to be reset.  

Changing a fluorescent tube or starter  

It’s your responsibility to replace the bulbs or starter units in your fluorescent lights.  

If a fluorescent light is flickering or is only lighting up at the ends, you’ll need to change the starter. If the tube is dim or will not work at all, the tube needs to be changed.  

To change the starter, turn off the light at the wall switch and remove the cover. Twist the starter anti-clockwise and pull it out before twisting in the replacement starter until it locks into place.  

To replace the tube, release the old tube by pulling away one end of the support bracket, or turn 90 degrees, depending on the fitting. Fit the new tube by lining up the contact pins into the holes in the bracket.  

Heating systems    

It’s a good idea to check that your heating system is in working order before the cold weather arrives. If you have any problems, call us so we can make the necessary repairs.  

Your thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home. 18 to 22 degrees is a comfortable range. You can save money by using the built-in timer or by keeping a lower, steady temperature instead of having bursts of higher heat.