good to know

Love where you LIVE

Make your home a cleaner, safer and nicer place with our simple, practical advice

Written by
Claire Murphy
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Dealing with pests

While nobody likes sharing their space with unwelcome guests like rats or bugs, there’s plenty of action you can take to prevent them. Please remember that unless your tenancy agreement or lease says otherwise, it’s your responsibility to remove pests from your home. The quickest solution is often to treat the problem yourself.  


If you notice tiny black spots or white eggs in the corners of your mattress, or bloodstains on your sheets, it’s likely you’ve got bedbugs. They don’t spread disease, but they can cause itching and distress. The easiest ways to get rid of them is:

  • Put linens in an extremely hot wash, and dry them on a hot setting
  • Vacuum up any bugs you see, seal then throw away the vacuum bag

  • Cover your mattress in plastic

  • Consider throwing away old furniture if it’s infested.


mice.pngRats and mice

They can spread disease from their urine and droppings. They may even chew through electrical wires and cause damage. 

  • Lay down traps or poison in your home, available in DIY shops, but make sure your children and pets are kept well away from them.

If you spot rats or mice in a communal area, Optivo will deal with it. Please contact us via our free MyAccount service here



Even mentioning them makes us itchy! They can be uncomfortable and leave nasty bite marks, and they can also pass on disease to your pets. 

  • Use a special spray or powder on your bed, furniture and carpets, and ask your vet for a treatment if you think your pet is infested.



These creatures love dark, damp places like bathrooms. They can eat through paper or clothing. You might even find them in unsealed, dried food packages. They’re not a serious health risk but can multiply if you don’t deal with them.

  • Seal up any cracks in walls, floors or ceilings

  • Put dry food into sealed jars or airtight containers

  • Vacuum regularly to remove food crumbs or dust

  • If you have a problem with damp, treat it as soon as possible (see below)




Don't flush it, bin it

We’re all trying to become a little more green these days, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to control what you throw down your toilet or sink. For instance, food, cooking oil, sanitary products and baby wipes (even if they say they’re biodegradable) can cause huge blockages. They create ‘fatbergs’, that are expensive for you to deal with and also incredibly bad for the environment. Here's what to do instead:

  • Put things like tampons, nappies and wipes wrapped into your rubbish 

  • Let grease get solid then scrape it into the bin

  • Dispose of dangerous things straight into the outside bin.

If you're renting a home from us, it’s your responsibility to unblock sinks, baths and loos.

Full details about what we're responsible for can be found here.

If you need to report a repair on something we’re responsible for, the quickest and easiest way to do this is online, although it’s also possible to do it over the phone, by email or using our online chat service.

Condensation and damp

This is the time of year when it’s tempting to stay indoors and keep all windows closed.  But if you don’t ventilate your home, you might find signs of condensation, especially those tell-tale black mould marks on the wall or ceiling. These can easily be removed with warm soapy water. But it’s best to prevent damp in the first place by following these tips: 

  • Open steamy windows slightly. That creates a gap but keeps in warm air

  •  If you're not able to dry your laundry outdoors, then put it all in the bathroom, then close the door, but keep the fan on

  • Close the kitchen or bathroom doors when you’re cooking or having a bath or shower, and put any extractor fans or hoods on.

We’ve put lots more ideas on our website here.

An update on repairs

Over the past few months our teams have been working hard to complete repairs. We’re still prioritising requests due to the backlog caused by the pandemic. We’re sorry if you’re still experiencing delay, as we want you to love where you live. We’re working through all the jobs and we’ll complete yours as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience. 

Once you report a repair we’ll always respond within five working days and usually much sooner. We’ll let you know how long it is likely to take to complete your repair.

The best way to report your repair is on MyAccount. It’s quick and easy to use. Please avoid calling us to report repairs unless it’s an emergency. If you logged a repair with us that you no longer need, it’s really helpful if you let us know. You can cancel your request through MyAccount, or contact us. We all need to stay aware of the new variant of Covid-19, so if you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms or have tested positive, please let us know before we visit.