FAQs

Broadband provider – who and how can I get connected?

You are free to choose whichever Broadband and TV provider you wish.

Can I get a satellite dish?

No satellite dishes are permitted. All terrestrial TV channels are available through any national TV and Broadband providers. The television aerial connection for Saorview is in the attic space of the apartments and two storey buildings or it is affixed to the gable end of single storey dwellings.

 

However, if you reside in a single storey building with an external aerial and pole provided you may, subject to permission from the Helpdesk, take down the aerial and affix a satellite dish to the existing pole and take the new satellite wire connection through its existing conduit.

 

TORC Sustainable Housing will not allow any mechanical fixings or alterations that may penetrate external and internal walls of your home. This type of work could compromise the existing warranties to your home and damage the multi-layered insulation, fire proofing and damp proofing.

 

Whilst we are sympathetic to residents who wish to access worldwide channels, unfortunately we currently cannot permit the installation of satellite dishes to the structure of your home.

Attic – can this be used for storage?

Unfortunately, your attic space is not designed to accommodate any storage. There is adequate storage within the property, which should be utilised. Your attic space was designed primarily to accommodate the property’s cold water storage tank and to accommodate air flow.

Decoration – Can I redecorate my property?

We encourage to you make a home for both you and your family and you are welcome to decorate and paint the inside of your home in any way you wish. However, should you wish to make alterations to your home such as removing wardrobes, kitchen units, or any type of structural or electrical work you must first seek advice and permission from the Repairs Helpdesk and refer to the Tenant Handbook (pages 12, 24 & 25)

Rents – How is the accessed?

Your rent is assessed in accordance with the Local Authority’s Differential Rent Policy. Please notify TORC of any changes to your household income so that your rent can be accurately assessed.

Can I have pets?

Pets will only be permitted with agreement from your Housing Services Coordinator and only after a pet agreement has been signed. Please note that certain breeds of dogs are prohibited – please refer to page 12 of your tenant handbook for further information.

If the existing linoleum flooring is removed, am I permitted to re-tile or lay new flooring to the kitchen floor?

The current tiling in your home is considered part of the structure and you will require written permission from TORC before replacing any tiles.

Can I put tiles in the bathroom?

No tiling is permitted in the bathroom or ground floor toilet of your home without prior permission and discussion with TORC Housing and the Helpdesk..

Can I remove the wardrobes or make changes to the kitchen units?

No, unfortunately kitchen units, presses or wardrobes cannot be removed from your home, unless you can  satisfy specific criteria (e.g. adverse medical needs) supported by a report from a professional case worker or Occupational Therapist. Please contact the Helpdesk for further details on this.

Can I put in a garden shed?

Garden sheds are subject to written permission. Only one Garden Shed is permitted in the back garden subject to the following:

  1. The maximum allowable size is 3m x 3m. and the height is not to be more than 3m.
  2. The shed can only be made from treated wood, galvanized steel, or plastic.
  3. Only readymade sheds are permitted and are to be supplied by a reputable manufacturer and installed by the manufacturer – Insurance details of the manufacturer / installer to be supplied to TORC prior to the installation of the shed.
  4. No Perspex is permitted.
  5. A concrete base is not permitted.
  6. The garden shed needs to be raised from ground level.
  7. The shed is to be used for domestic purposes only. No commercial and/or social activities are permitted to be operated from the shed.
  8. No electricity or water supply is permitted to the shed.
Can I purchase the property?

Unfortunately, these properties cannot be purchased, however please rest assured that as long as all the terms of your lease are adhered to, you have security of tenure in your new home.

Who is my landlord?

The Local Authority in your area where you reside is your landlord and Torc Housing act as their Agent.

Who are TORC?

TORC are the agent acting on behalf of the Local Authority, your landlord.

Who completes repairs?

Repairs are completed by the TORC Facilities Management Team. Repairs can be requested by calling the Helpdesk on:- 01 485 2020 and choosing Option 1 for Repairs.

You can also report a repair on the TORC Website.

Prepaid Meters, are they allowed?

Permission for the installation of a pre-paid meter is required.  All associated costs for a Prepaid Meter are the responsibility of the tenant, and it is also the tenant’s responsibility to have the meter removed should they vacate the property.

 

Please note, that for homes that have the air to water heating system or a gas boiler installed,  you must  always ensure you have credit on your pre-paid electric and gas meter. Should you run out of credit, the heating systems may not re-set correctly and may require a call out, resulting in a re-set charge being applied to you, the resident and tenant.

I have no heating, what do I do?

If you are experiencing a problem with your heating system, there a few items you can first check to help deal with your query in an efficient and timely manner.

  • Your heating system requires electricity to operate, if the electrical supply has been interrupted, then your heating system may require resetting.
  • Alternately, if you pay for your electricity or gas using a pre-pay meter and your credit has run out, you may need to re-set your heating appliance after the credit has been applied to the meter. Please avoid letting your credit on your electric or gas pre-pay meter run out.
  • Your heating may not come on if the thermostat is turned down too low. make sure this is turned up (start by making sure the thermostat dial has been turned past 20).
  • With a gas boiler, if the Gas Supply and Electricity is available to the boiler, the boiler may need to be reset, in many instances for gas boilers, this can be done simply by;
  1. Turning your boiler on at the time clock as you normally would.
  2. There is a thermostat knob located on the front of your boiler, turn this off. 3. Wait for 10 seconds and turn this knob back on.
  3. Your boiler should come back on, if not turn it off again and repeat the process.
  4. If after 3 attempts your boiler does not come on, turn it off at the time clock.

 If you have tried all the above and it still doesn’t work, please log a repair by calling Repairs Helpdesk.

Can I carry out garden alterations?

All garden alterations, including patio slabs are subject to written permission. Please do not procced with any works without first receiving permission in writing from Torc Housing. Rear gardens cannot be concreted over as you may prevent access to manhole and AJ locations within the garden.

Can I hang a TV on the wall?

Yes you can, there are certain brackets that can be used to hang TVs from the walls, however please contact the Helpdesk for more information and guidance on this.

How can I prevent blockages?

Please ensure that nothing but toilet water, toilet paper and human waste are flushed down the toilet(s) to your home, under no circumstances should wet wipes or other such items be flushed down a toilet. Wet wipes flushed down toilets will cause blockages and if TORC identify this as cause, it may result in any call-out charge and costs being incurred by the tenant . Always dispose of wet wipes with your household general waste bins and do not flush down the toilet.

 Also, please take care to clear any food waste from your plates before washing up as food waste should never be flushed down the kitchen sink drain, as it will likely result in blockages. Also, use a mesh drainer to catch any items before they reach the drain, run some hot water through your kitchen sink after each use, this helps to flush any oils in food products through the kitchen sink waste, u-bend trap and drain, rather than building up on the interior surface of pipes, which can clog up the waste, u-bend and/or drain.

Are blinds safe to install in my home?

Children can injure, or even fatally strangle themselves on window blind and curtain cords. It’s imperative that all parents and carers child-proof their window dressings. Choose new blinds or curtains carefully – there are now many options available that don’t have cords or chains.

Safety Guidelines

  • keep cords out of reach of young children– cords should be at least 1.6 metres above the ground.
  • Move beds, cots and furniture away from windows and doors.
  • Cut the cord or install safety devices such as a ‘tension device’, a ‘breakaway device’ or a ‘non-tangle device’
  • Ask the shop if the blind meets the EU safety standard EN 13120:2009+A1:2014
What temperature should my Thermostat be set to?

Most people find a temperature of between 18 to 24 degrees comfortable.

If your heating is not working, before contacting the TORC Helpdesk, the first thing you need to do is check your wall mounted Thermostat. The wall Thermostat controls the radiator heat output. If the Thermostat is set at 15 degrees, for example, the house will stay relatively cold. We understand that sometimes this can be knocked, or children can touch it, but make sure you check it before you call out a technician to your house!

How do I turn off my water supply?

It is important to know where the inside stop valve is for your home in case you ever need to turn off the water in the event of a plumbing issue or major leak. Your internal stop tap (also known as stop valve or stop cock) is the point where you can shut off the water supply to your home. Inside stop valves are generally located under the kitchen sink. The external stop tap is located near the outside of the home under a small cover. External stop taps are used to turn off the Mains water supply. Ideally it should only be used by a qualified plumber or by the water supplier.

If you observe water damage in your home or suspect a leak, turn off the water supply to your home and report your concern to the Repairs team through the Helpdesk on 014852020.

How can I save energy?
  • Switch to LED lightbulbs. They use 80-90% less electricity than a standard bulb and will last 10 times longer.
  • Lowering your thermostat by just 1ºC will knock 10% off your heating bill. If its above 20ºC, turn it down.
  • Switch appliances off rather than leaving them on standby. This will save up to 20% of your appliances’ energy use.
  • Go for cooler 30ºC washes. Up to 90% of the energy that your washing machine or dishwasher uses is for heating the water, not for running the machine.
  • Don’t fill your kettle – boil only the amount you need. The more water in a kettle, the more energy it takes to boil.
  • Keep curtains closed at night and in empty rooms. Most of the heat loss in homes happens through windows.
  • Don’t leave the hot tap running – you’re literally pouring money down the drain!
How often does TORC do boiler servicing?

All TORC residents will have their boilers serviced every year. Tenants are emailed one week in advance and phoned a day before the scheduled service. Each service takes about 30 minutes

Boiler maintenance is important to ensure efficiency and save costs, to decrease the risk of failure, to extend the life of the boiler and to keep you & your family safe from Carbon Monoxide.

Which homes have Solar Panels and how do they work?

There are 310 TORC homes that have the Solic 200 Solar Panels in operation. All TORC homes which run on gas heating also have Solar panels, these are: Cluain Ailbhe, Drom Cuilinn, Clairin, Presentation Gardens and Pairc Ui Mhuirithe. The remaining schemes in Roscommon, Skibbereen and Clonakilty have ‘Air to Water’ heating systems.

Solar Panel tips:

  1. Always leave your immersion switched on
  2. If you observe 3 green lights on the controller the panels are operational and supplying solar power to the house which is then best captured by heating water
  3. Any variation of lights on the controller is perfectly normal and not a maintenance issue unless there is a constant red light on the “mains” 
  4. Solar operating times will vary due to weather and daylight,  summer months will maximise the solar output, winter months will be minimal output
  5. The maximum power output of the solar panels per house/apartment is 1,800 watts but it can operate as low as 20% efficiency or 360 watts i.e dull/overcast days will be less productive than bright sunny days with clear skies.

In summer months, residents can save between €10 and €15 per week from their energy bill.

Can my partner move into my house?

Written permission is required for any additional persons to be added to your household (as stated in your Tenant Handbook). If you would like a partner or anyone else to move into your home, please follow these steps:

  • Contact your Housing Service Coordinator (HSCO) with the name, address, and nature of your relationship with the person you want to join your household
  • Your HSCO will send you the relevant paperwork to complete. This will include the Local Authority Housing Application form and a request for identity and financial documents.
  • The HSCO may then conduct an interview with you and the prospective additional occupant
  • All relevant information is forwarded to the Local Authority who will then decide whether to approve or deny the request. This can take up to 12 weeks.
  • Finally, you will be notified in writing by your HSCO as to the outcome of your request
Why does TORC do an annual Housing Inspection??

At TORC Sustainable Housing, we want to ensure that we provide safe, efficient, durable, comfortable and sustainable homes for our tenants. By carrying out annual inspections we meet our statutory obligations to our stakeholders, investors and local authorities, as well as updating and improving standards to ensure the quality of accommodation for our tenants.

For more information check out this Torc Top Tip on Annual Property inspections.