November & December 2022
Christmas and New Year Holiday
We’ll be closing between Friday 23 December 2022 at 12.00pm and Tuesday 3 January 2023 at 9.30am. Our normal out of hours emergency service will be available throughout this period.
Annual Report to Residents
This has been sent to all residents and is also on our website. Do look at it and let us know what you think.
Please help us to conserve energy
We are doing all we can to reduce our use of energy. Most residents of our student housing pay a rent that is inclusive of gas heating and hot water. We’ve been able to absorb some costs and won’t be increasing rents for existing residents until April 2023. At that point it’s inevitable that the rent increase will be higher than in previous years. So, please try to use heating and hot water carefully.
If you pay for your electricity through a pre-payment meter, get a smart meter that can be topped up electronically and allow you to monitor your use of electricity. Also please turn off lights and appliances when not in use, including chargers for electrical equipment.
Don’t waste heat in your flats. Of course, you need ventilation, but don’t fully open or leave windows open. If you have your own central heating boiler turn the room thermostat or radiator thermostats down to 19C. Reduce the time the heating left on. If you are out during the day, make sure the heating is turned off and make sure it’s turned off at night.
Zebra has begun the long process of decarbonising our student housing. This is a thirty-year programme to reduce carbon usage to zero by 2050. Our priority is to improve the fabric of our student housing primarily by looking at insulation, windows and lighting. We are prioritising the student accommodation that performs most poorly in terms of energy usage.
Whilst some of our stock of student accommodation is old and poorly insulated it’s better to insulate and improve old housing rather than build new homes which uses a lot of carbon. Our student housing is located in beautiful buildings in lovely locations, and we want to preserve these for future generations of international students.
Our programme has started at Jerome House, where we have begun to insulate flats on the top floor as they become vacant. We will also be replacing some windows, replacing the roof covering, insulating the roof space, replacing lighting with LED and fitting photovoltaics. We will also decorate the front of the building and see if we can provide some bike storage in the cellarage in the basement at the front. We will consult all those affected by this work when we have clearer dates and this is likely to be spring 2023.
We have established a new committee – the Development and Building Sustainability (DaBS) Committee to oversee this process for the Board.
We will also want to see how we involve residents in decarbonisation for it is vital that residents work with us to reduce carbon. If you have any thoughts or want to engage with us on all matters to do with how we reduce carbon usage, please let us know.
If you are asked to allow access to a building or your flat by anyone who isn’t your personal guest, and you haven’t been notified in advance of their visit, please use common sense – you should not allow access without checking the person’s identity and reassuring yourself that they are there for legitimate reasons.
Unfortunately, we are aware that some people go door to door in London asking for access to carry out meter readings or surveys – please be aware that this should not be happening unless by appointment with you either directly or via Zebra. You should refrain from opening the door to anyone you are not expecting, and you should be wary of confirming names of any tenants, including your own, unless you are satisfied that the person in attendance is there for legitimate reasons. It is better to turn someone away one time too many than to provide access for someone who should not be allowed in.
If you have any doubts regarding a visitor to your building, you can email or phone us – if outside working hours, you can contact your warden. Please remember that a genuine visitor or contractor will fully understand your reasons for wanting to double check why they are asking for access. A legitimate visitor would not put pressure on you to provide access if you feel uncomfortable about it.
Also recently, we have been made aware of a telephone scam where callers are ringing random telephone numbers asking for name and address details, pretending that this is in response to an unspecified maintenance issue logged by you. These calls are going out to people across the UK and have nothing to do with Zebra.
Please note that, when you report a maintenance issue to us, you will receive a reply via email. In the first instance, we do not set up appointments with you via telephone. If these calls were legitimate, the caller would already know your names and address details. We have been made aware that these callers are using typical British names and that these sometimes correspond with names of Zebra staff – we understand why this can cause confusion and may make you think that the call is legitimate, but please don’t give your name and address via phone if you receive one of these calls.
Please do not allow anyone to tailgate when you exit or enter the building. If someone wishes to enter the building, they should either hold their own key or have the name and flat number for the person they are visiting. They should contact that person directly for access rather than ask a different resident to open the door for them. When you enter and exit our buildings, please ensure that the door closes properly behind you.
And finally, please remove post and parcels from communal areas as soon as possible to avoid anyone finding correspondence showing your full name and address.
The Board met to hold its annual strategy day meeting on 29 September 2021. It approved new Codes of Governance and Conduct and agreed to hold a review early in 2023 to audit its policies and practices and look at recruitment. It met again in November approving a new half year budget and to consider regular monitoring reports
During the normal day, between 8.30am and 4.30pm, maintenance and repairs should be reported to email@example.com
But if you have an emergency repair outside of office hours, please remember that you should report if first to your warden or deputy warden (in their absence). They will know what action to take.
Our Wardens and Deputy Wardens are a vital part of our service to residents and we are massively grateful to them for their work.
Please use our web portal MyHome (https://myhome.zebrahousing.com/) to improve your communication with Zebra. MyHome allows you to report & track repairs, amend your contact details, submit student letters and check your rent account. You have already received information on how to use MyHome, but if you need further assistance, please contact David Morrow (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are two remaining Winter Social Programme events:
MONDAY 12DEC 7.00PM – £30
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
OLD VIC THEATRE
Charles Dickens’ famous Christmas story, brought to vivid life at the Old Vic. A very popular show.
FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY 2.30PM – £23
It is rare that we are able to get ballet onto the programme, but we’ve managed to get tickets for this production at a fantastic price. Magical.
The Spring Social Programme will be published in January2023.