Looking after your house
We'll make sure your house and grounds are clean and tidy when you move in. You are responsible for keeping it in that condition, including mowing lawns, removing rubbish and weeding your garden if you have one. More information about your responsibilities and ours are in your tenancy agreement.
A dry, well-aired house or flat is easier to heat and healthier for you and your family. To keep mould at bay:
- open windows and doors when you're home
- open windows so steam can escape from cooking or bathing
- open curtains early in the morning and close them when the sun goes down
- keep lids on pots when cooking
- wipe condensation off walls and windows when it happens
- hang washing outside to dry
- open windows when using a clothes drier so moisture can escape
- dry clothes and shoes before putting them away
- leave wardrobes slightly open for ventilation
- keep the shower curtain hanging inside the shower/bath so water doesn't drip on the floor, and wash the curtain every few weeks
- use an electric heater rather than gas, which creates a damp heat
- pull beds and furniture away from the walls so they can breathe
- keep only a few plants inside.
Wash mould with diluted household bleach (one part bleach three parts water mixed together) as soon as it appears, as it's harder to remove once it's been there a while. Use a clean sponge or cloth when washing off mould and rinse it often to reduce the risk of it spreading. Wear gloves when washing it away - be careful not to splash any liquid on your clothes or in your eyes and open windows to improve airflow while you clean.
We can organise pest control for you if you need it, but you will need to pay. Pest control is listed under 'P' in the Yellow Pages. You can do a lot to keep rats and mice away by keeping your place clean and tidy so they have no food source and nowhere to nest. Steel wool is good for blocking up mouse holes. You can also get mousetraps from the supermarket or buy poisoned bait from garden or hardware shops. Be sure to set bait out of reach of children and pets, and always wear rubber gloves when getting rid of dead rodents.
Keep bay leaves or garlic in your cupboards to keep cockroaches away. Wash the floor and wall behind fridges and stoves regularly, and spray these areas with long-lasting insect spray.
Ants in New Zealand are generally harmless but can be a nuisance. Sprinkle ground or whole cloves in cupboards to keep them away. You can also sprinkle talcum powder or cream of tartar at the point where they come inside. If you find an ant nest, pour boiling water into it.
White-tailed spiders usually live in cool dark areas like under bark in gardens, wood piles, litter and walls. They also hide under beds and in clothing left on the floor. Their bite can cause pain, swelling redness and small ulcers. Use flyspray to get rid of them.
Total release aerosol pesticide cans are also available from hardware stores.