Advice and support

Please click on the links for information about our handy person service and a range of home maintenance advice and support.

Handy person service

Do you need help with small DIY jobs in your home?

If you are a Phoenix tenant, we can carry out this work for you through our handy person service. It's £45 per hour or free if you're over 60 or have a disability.

All you need to do is supply the materials.

The handy person service offers a range of jobs, including:

  • installing grab rails
  • fitting blinds / curtain rails
  • putting up or taking down curtains
  • small painting jobs
  • moving furniture
  • putting up shelves
  • changing light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries.

If you would like to use this service, please contact us.


Condensation is the most common cause of damp and mould. It mainly appears during cold weather.

Most homes get condensation at some point, usually when lots of moisture and steam are produced. For example, when drying clothes indoors the moisture in the air turns into water when it touches a cold surface – i.e. windows or external walls.

If these areas continually remain damp mould will start to grow.

There are some simple measures you can take to reduce condensation.

Keep your home ventilated

  • Keep a small window ajar or a trickle ventilator open when someone is in the room.
  • Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms by opening the windows, closing the door and using an extractor fan. Contact us if you would like to get an extractor fan fitted.
  • Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes. Avoid putting too many things in them as this stops air circulating. Cut a ventilation slot in the back of each shelf or use slatted shelves. Cut breather holes in the back of the wardrobe.
  • Where possible, position wardrobes and furniture away from walls, leaving room for the air to circulate behind them.

Produce less moisture

  • Cover pans and don’t leave kettles boiling longer than necessary.
  • Avoid using paraffin heaters as they put a lot of water vapour into the air.
  • If you use a tumble dryer, make sure it’s vented to the outside.
  • If you have to dry washing indoors use the bathroom, keep the door shut and the room well ventilated. Do not hang wet washing on radiators around your home as this can release about 5 litres (9 pints) of water into the air.

Don’t let water vapour and steam spread

  • Try to keep wet air to your bathroom and kitchen. Shut the doors, especially when you’re washing, cooking or taking a shower or bath.
  • Make sure your bathroom and kitchen are well ventilated so water vapour can escape outside.

Keep your home warm

  • Insulate your loft. Remember to draught proof the loft hatch but not block the opening under the eaves.
  • In cold weather, keep low heating on all day, even when there is no one at home.
  • If you have taken these steps and the problem does not go away, please contact us so that we can investigate.


Lots of condensation can create mould. You can remove mould by these steps:

  • Wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash. Make sure this carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number and follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely.
  • Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets
  • Then redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould recurring.

Subsidence and cracks

All buildings move. It's not unusual for some cracks to appear at some time during the life of a building.

Changes in temperature and moisture can also cause some parts of buildings to expand or contract.

What is subsidence?

Subsidence damage occurs where changes in the ground beneath a property causes the foundations to move. If part of the foundations move up or down, then cracks are likely to appear in the walls.

Subsidence cracks are typically wider at the top than the bottom. They commonly appear around points of weakness, such as windows or doors.

You may also experience doors and windows sticking, and walls and floors may show signs of distortion.

What to do

If you notice cracks within your home more than 6mm wide (the width of two £1 coins stuck together), please contact us.

We will:

  • arrange for a surveyor to visit
  • if needed, pass the details onto structural engineers
  • monitor the property for 12 months
  • arrange for all repairs to be completed.

Pest control

If you have a problem with pests in your home you can receive help from Lewisham Council. There is a charge for all treatments, apart from rats, but concessions are available if you receive a state pension or full benefits.

If there is a problem with pests in the communal (shared) areas of your block, please contact us and we will investigate the problem.

Preventing pests

There are some simple steps you can take to help prevent a problem with pests:

  • clean your cupboards regularly
  • clean up any food dropped on to floors
  • make sure your property is clean
  • keep food wrapped and stored properly
  • keep a lid on your bin and don’t let it overflow
  • keep pets clean and well cared for
  • do not leave large items of rubbish in gardens for extended periods of time.

We aim to help you to live independently and comfortably in your home for as long as possible.


We want to work together with residents to keep any pigeon problems under control.

Pigeons have been a long-standing problem across the Phoenix area, and in particular on the North Downham estate. They are a nuisance and can spread disease.

We work closely with residents to keep an eye on problems and work to reduce pigeon numbers in a humane way. Initiatives have included the use of devices to deter pigeons from balconies.

To help manage the issue we ask the following of residents:

  1. Don’t feed the pigeons. Feeding pigeons will cause them to return and in numbers, causing inconvenience and potentially upsetting your neighbours.
  2. Throw waste and scrap food into a bin with a lid. Otherwise you are giving pigeons – and other vermin like rats – a free meal.
  3. Clean your balcony and use it regularly. If you do, the pigeons won’t be able to build and maintain a nest.
  4. Hang decorative items from your balcony. This makes it harder for the pigeons to fly in and nest.
  5. Put pots and plants on the floor of your balcony. This will reduce the space pigeons can nest on.

If you have any particular issues with pigeons, please contact us.


We define hoarding as:

“Acquiring an excessive number of items and storing them in a chaotic manner. The amount of items interferes with everyday living. The amount of items is causing significant distress or negatively affecting the individual’s quality of life or their family’s or neighbours.”

When a possible hoarding situation has been identified, either by a resident’s family, friends or neighbours, or by Phoenix staff, we will work with the resident to help make sure that their home is safe and liveable. Our primary concern is the health and safety of the resident and their neighbours.

If you or one of your neighbours has a problem with hoarding, please contact us.

Everything to do with hoarding cases will be in strict confidence.


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If you are having difficulties getting around your home or using your bathroom, then we may be able to make alterations to help you.

Adaptations can include:

  • installation of ramps
  • grab rails
  • hand rails on stairs
  • lever taps to sinks and baths
  • level access showers
  • stair lifts
  • ceiling hoists
  • widening of footpaths (within the boundary of your home).

Types of adaptation

Minor adaptations: These are works that we estimate will cost less than £1,000.

Major adaptations: These are works that we estimate will cost between £1,000 and £25,000. Sometimes they can be funded through your Local Authority Disabled Facilities Grant scheme.

What to do

Please contact us to discuss your circumstances.

We can offer advice about an Occupational Health assessment and put you in touch with an Occupational Therapist.

The Occupational Therapist will visit you at home to assess what you or a member of your household needs to make life easier. They will send their findings to Phoenix so that we can consider whether we can make the adaptation.

We aim to carry out all minor adaptations within three weeks and major adaptations within 12 weeks. All equipment provided, such as stair lifts and hoists, will be maintained and serviced every 12 months. We will try to do this at the same time as your gas servicing to minimise disruption.

In some cases we may need to consider alternatives to adapting your home. That could include supporting you with a move to another property that is better suited to your needs.

Telecare support

Telecare can offer you extra support and reassurance at home. It works by connecting an alarm unit in your home to a pendant that you can wear around your neck or wrist. You can press the button on your pendant to raise the alarm if you get into any difficulty at home.

A telecare service is provided by Lewisham Linkline. You can find more information about this on Lewisham Council's Adult Social Care website.

Housing fraud

We need the help of residents to tackle housing fraud.

We want to make sure that Phoenix homes are occupied by genuine tenants with a right to be there.

It is now a criminal offence for a tenant to rent all of their property to other people without permission. 

This is called unauthorised subletting. People found guilty of this can face up two years imprisonment along with a fine of up to £5,000.

But unauthorised subletting is not just a crime. It also prevents people in genuine need from enjoying a good quality home.

How you can help

If you know or suspect that a Phoenix property is occupied by someone other than the genuine tenant, please contact us so that our staff can investigate. 

All information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence.

If you believe you are renting your property from someone other than Phoenix, you must also contact us immediately. If you do not take action, then you are also committing a criminal offence.