Advice for Tenants

Contents:

  • How to contact us
  • Guide to your tenancy agreement
  • Useful contacts
  • Gas, Electric & Meter readings
  • Tenant & Resident responsibilities
  • Maintenance Guide
  • Visits & Access
  • Paying your rent
  • Making your money go further
  • Save money and energy
  • Finding a home (Priority status & bidding)
  • Comments, complaints & suggestions

Guide to your tenancy agreement:

When you moved into your home you will have signed a Tenancy Agreement which stated a start date and the rent payable each month (This is a brief guide to your tenancy agreement. For full details please refer to the original tenancy agreement). It is your responsibility to pay this rent in full. If you are receiving housing benefit, you must inform us immediately of any changes in circumstances, for example if you start or stop working, or someone moves in or out of your home.

  • If you do not inform us straight away, you could end up with rent arrears.
  • If your Housing Benefit stops, it is your responsibility to pay your rent in full.

Use of the house and common areas:

The house must be used as your main home. You must tell us who is living in the house and you must tell us if someone moves in or out of the property. You must take care to avoid damage to your house, or our neighbour’s house.

  • You must get our permission before you are allowed to keep a pet in your property.

You are responsible for any pets you keep. You must not allow it to cause nuisance, annoyance or damage to neighbours. You must clean up your dog’s foul. Keeping dogs and cats is not allowed in multi storey properties.

Respect for others

You are responsible for the behaviour of anyone living in, or visiting your home.  You, those living with you and visitors to your house must not cause harassment or do anything anti social to other people in the neighbourhood, including neighbours and our employees. If you are suffering from anti social behaviour from others, contact us and we will investigate.

  • We investigate all complaints of Antisocial behaviour, and if you are found to be at fault your  Tenancy can be at risk and we may take legal action to gain possession of the property.
  • If you are suffering from anti social behaviour of others, tell us and we will investigate.
  • We will not discriminate unfairly against you in any way. We have a complaints procedure, if you think we acted wrongly or unfairly.

Repairs, Maintenance, Improvements & Alterations

Before the tenancy begins, we will inspect the house and carry out any necessary repairs, to make sure it is wind and water tight and fit for habitation. After you move in we will carry out

repairs to the house to keep it in that condition. Please report any repairs needing done to Orchard & Shipman. We will keep the structure and exterior of the house and the installations for water, gas, electricity, sanitation, heating and hot water well maintained. We will take responsibility to deal with condensation and dampness, if it is being caused to some extent by features of the house such as ventilation, heating or insulation. We will not take responsibility if it is caused by tenant lifestyle or neglect.

We are not responsible for repairing damage caused by people living in your house or your visitors. If we do repair the damage we will charge you. This does not apply to wear and tear.

We will give you at least 24 hours notice if we need access to your house for repairs or need to inspect it.

We will not compensate you for damage to your personal property where we have not been at fault so we strongly advise you to get your contents insurance.

Before carrying out improvements or alterations to your house, you must get our written permission. If you don’t get our permission, we can charge you for the cost of restoring the house at the end of your tenancy.

You and the people living in your home must take good care of the property.

Ending the Tenancy

The tenancy can be ended in the following ways;

  • By giving us 28 Days notice. We do realise it may not be possible to give 28days notice so you must notify us as soon as you know you are moving.
  • By written agreement between you and us.
  • By us getting a court order for eviction.
  • By you abandoning the house.

Before moving out of your house, you must do the following;

  • Leave the house clean and tidy.
  • Remove all your belongings.
  • Make sure all people living in the property leave with you.
  • Hand in all your keys to the Orchard & Shipman Office.
  • Check with us you have paid all payments due to us.
  • Give us your forwarding address.
  • Leave the house in good decorative order.
  • Do the repairs you are obliged to.
  • Remove any fixtures or fittings you have installed without our written permission and put right any damage caused.
  • Leave behind any key and cards for the gas and electric meters.

Complaints

If you think we have broken your tenancy agreement, you can complain using our complaints procedure. You can also complain to the Ombudsman and take legal advice.