Living in an apartment, flat, sheltered accommodation or an extra care scheme

Living in an apartment, flat, sheltered accommodation or an extra care scheme

Residents can have different lifestyles. Some may work shifts and others will be at home during the day. Please try and be tolerant of your neighbours and their lifestyles. Some noises such as doors closing, washing machines, hoovering and children playing can be normal noises and a part of everyday life you may experience in a flat, maisonette or high rise block.

You can be a good neighbour by:

  • Not doing DIY or noisy household tasks such as hoovering or using the washing machine late at night
  • Not slamming doors or shouting
  • Not installing laminate, wood or ceramic flooring to flats, apartments, maisonettes above ground floor level as this can cause and assist in noise transference
  • Not playing loud music
  • Not using rubbish chutes at night
  • Not allowing rubbish to accumulate on landings or corridors and ensuring that all rubbish is disposed of correctly in a timely manner

If you live in sheltered accommodation, a flat, apartment or a high rise block, please don’t check smoke alarms yourself. The system is fully integrated and may set off the alarm throughout the building. Gentoo will check smoke alarms on your behalf. Fire risk assessments are also carried out in communal areas.

  • If you are in a flat which is connected to our Concierge and a fire breaks out in the flat, the fire alarm will be activated and the Concierge will
    attempt to contact the flat to establish the cause of the activation. If there is a fire, the Concierge will call the Fire Service. If there is no
    response from the flat after 90 seconds, the Fire Service will also be called
  • If you are in a flat which is not connected to the Concierge service and there is a fire in your home, you must leave the property immediately
    and call 999 as soon as possible
  • If there is a fire in your flat/apartment you should leave the property, close the doors behind you and call 999
  • Blocks of flats are built to delay the spread of fire, so if there is a fire in another flat in the block, you may stay in your flat if you consider it safe
    to do so. If you do not feel safe, you should leave the building via the nearest escape route
  • Leave the room at once and close the door, alert all other persons in the flat or maisonette and leave when everyone is out and close the front
  • Make your way down the nearest escape stairs to a place of safety.
  • Do not use the lift

Dogs and cats and certain other animals are not allowed in properties with a communal entrance. Written permission is needed before you get
any other type of pet. Please contact your Neighbourhood Coordinator for further information.

Keep safe by following these safety rules:

  • Do not drop or throw items out of windows or off the balcony
  • Do not interfere with the restrictors or other safety devices if you have them
  • Do not lean or climb out of windows
  • Do not allow children to play or climb near the windows or lean over balconies. Consider the layout of furniture to prevent children accessing a window and warn them of the risks
  • Do not leave windows open in high winds
  • Report any repairs immediately and don’t use the window until it is fixed
  • Don’t BBQ on your balcony
  • Don’t hang anything over the balcony

All lifts are monitored by CCTV cameras. Please use the lifts responsibly by keeping to the following:

  • No smoking in lifts – it’s illegal
  • Report lifts that aren’t working as a repair
  • Do not tamper with the CCTV
  • Do not leave any rubbish in the lifts
  • Children must be supervised at all times

If the lift breaks down do not call the Fire Service. Press the yellow lift alarm button for 3 seconds and you will be connected to a 24 hour helpdesk.

Most of our flats and apartments have communal entry systems which you can open using a key or fob. For the security of all tenants:

  • Make sure that the door closes securely behind you when you leave or enter the block
  • Do not prop doors open
  • Do not allow anybody you do not know or are not expecting into the block
  • Do not give your key or fob to anybody else
  • Keep your key or fob safe as you will be charged if we have to replace it

Communal areas must be kept clear so that it is easy to leave the building if there is a fire. Items such as furniture, mobility scooters, bicycles and rubbish must not be left in the communal area.

The only exceptions to this rule are:

  • Doormats that are non-slip, rubber backed, edged and trimmed. Pieces of carpet are not allowed
  • Natural plants in pots and vases that do not block any fire exits or means of escape. Artificial flowers or synthetic pots are not allowed

Your Neighbourhood Coordinator will advise you which contractor cleans the communal block outside of your home. All tenants and leaseholders are still responsible for ensuring that the communal block is maintained to a clean and tidy standard. Sheltered and extra care schemes have a contractor who will complete the cleaning. If you are not satisfied with the cleaning standard of your block, please contact your Neighbourhood Coordinator.

Leaks can cause damage not only to your apartment, but the one below. In emergency circumstances we may be forced to break in to stop further
damage. You will be told where the stop tap is when you move in. You should switch this off immediately if there is a leak. If you live in sheltered
accommodation your Scheme Manager will be able to let you know where your stop tap is if you are unsure.

It is against the law to smoke in any communal areas such as landings, hallways, stairs, corridors or lifts. This applies even if the block is open plan.

The pipework in the flats in the schemes are often linked so it is important to avoid blockages which can be very unpleasant and affect customers in other flats.

Follow the advice below to keep pipe work clear:

  • Do not flush items such as wet wipes, cotton buds, sanitary towels, incontinence pads and bandages down the toilet
  • Do not dispose of solid fat down the plughole - put it in the bin
  • Remove hair from plug holes as it attracts grease which can cause blockages
  • Report any blockages immediately

Satellite dishes are not allowed in high rise blocks and will be removed. Planning permission will need to be obtained for all other communal blocks. Please ask your Neighbourhood Coordinator for further information.

We provide a range of supported housing options for older people or those with medical needs. In both sheltered and extra care accommodation we have a team of Scheme Managers that provide advice/support and maintain the security and safety of the building.

They are in regular contact with customers to ensure the right support is in place so that our customers can remain independent for as long as

Although the Scheme Manager will be available to provide advice and help, there are some things that they can’t do such as:

  • Handle money or deal with your finances. They will be able to help with access to benefits and make referrals for financial or debt advice
  • Give medication
  • Lift customers if they have fallen
  • Provide any home care service such as washing, cleaning or shopping, but they can help you find someone to do this
  • Do DIY jobs, although they can help to report repairs
  • Hold keys for someone’s home, although in some cases permission may be granted to access keys in an emergency

In our sheltered accommodation and extra care schemes access to Telecare can be arranged. This is a service that can give peace of mind of knowing that help is only the press of a button away.

The Telecare Emergency Support Lifeline is provided by Sunderland Care and Support and your Scheme Manager can arrange for access to this
service. There is a charge for this service from Sunderland Care and Support Team.

All our sheltered and extra care schemes are fitted with a door entry system and built in CCTV. All the door entry systems are linked to our Concierge Team so help can be requested 24 hours a day. They can be opened using a key or a fob. Our apartments/flats also have communal
entry systems.

For the security of all customers:

  • Make sure that the door closes securely when you leave or enter the block
  • Don’t prop doors open
  • Don’t allow anybody you don’t know or aren’t expecting into the block
  • Don’t give a key or fob to anybody else
  • Keep the key or fob safe as there will be a charge if it needs to be replaced