Emergencies

It is important that you understand the difference between an emergency and something that you would like fixed quickly.
 
Our out of hours number is 0330 330 0911
 
Please use the out-of-hours emergency number only in a real emergency, as this is a costly service and you may incur a charge if it is called incorrectly. The out-of-hours service operates from 6.00 p.m. - 8.00 a.m. on Monday - Sunday, including Bank Holidays. It is inevitable that something will go wrong with your house during the course of the year, but we ask you to give some thought to whether the problem constitutes a genuine emergency or whether it is just an irritating inconvenience, which we can deal with as a standard repair during normal working hours. We have an out-of-hours backup service for real emergencies only. 
 
For example, if you have a broken window that poses a security threat then you may need urgent help. If, however, you cannot get hot water from the kitchen tap, you can still always boil a kettle and report the problem as a non-urgent repair that we will deal with on the next business day. Indeed, if there are high winds and a few tiles blow off the roof causinga leak, no competent roofer is going to fix it in the middle of a storm, so you may have to put a bucket under the leak and wait until it can be dealt with at a more practical time. Please act in a “tenant-like manner”. If your power goes off, check the fuse board (the location of which is on the house information sheet on your wall, usually in the hall or kitchen). 
 
Always try to unblock a toilet yourself. If you cannot clear the blockage but still have another working toilet, then this is not an emergency. If your shower or bath has a leak, do not use it until we can fix it; if there is a large leak, fill a kettle and some bottles and then switch the water off at the mains. 
 
The location of the stopcock is also shown on the house information sheet. No appliance breakdown can ever be an emergency unless it is life threatening. From time to time, a boiler may simply break down; if this is the case, an email to repairs@ billfreehomes.com  is the first thing that you should do to address the situation. It may not be possible to have this problem fixed quickly. For this scenario, we have emergency heaters that we will bring out for your use until the problem is solved; these heaters do work very well, so you will be comfortable until your boiler is repaired. We will do all that we can to restore normal service as soon as possible. Any vermin control is the responsibility of the tenant; it is not an emergency relating to Bill Free Homes. In the event of something of this nature, please contact Durham County Council Pest Control department. 
 
Our emergency service will not always be able to fix problems; instead, it may just stabilise the situation until a more permanent repair can be made. You will soon learn that what we do very well is to deal with your repairs promptly. We feel that it is what sets us apart from other landlords. You will never be in the dark or without heating for long, but if we feel that you have called the emergency service for a trivial matter, we do reserve the right to charge you for this misuse. If you have called this service wisely, then you will receive our appreciation. 
 
In the past we have had late night call outs due to a slug in the kitchen, the water not being warm, the internet being slow. In such cases we will seek to charge whoever made the call and as all calls are recorded this should not be hard to work out!
 
Refer to our emergencies flowchart in your Living With Bill Free Homes Guide