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My Coastal... A Guide to Coastal Housing


Contents 4 6

My Coastal Getting involved

6 7

Tenant involvement Comments and complaints

8

Your rent

8 9 9

Paying your rent Rent & Service charges Housing Benefit

10

Repairs & maintenance

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Reporting a fault Access to your home What we must do What you must do Timescales for repairs Insurance Our Maintenance Team & contractors Fire safety advice

18

External areas

18 18 19 20

Gardens Drying areas Refuse and recycling Parking

21

Your tenancy

21 22 22 23 23

Types of tenancies Joint tenancies Right of succession Ending your tenancy Buying your home

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Your tenancy continued...

23 24 24 25 26 26 27 28

Low-cost home ownership Sub-letting Right to make improvements Re-housing because of domestic violence Transfers Mutual Exchange/HomeSwapper Keeping Pets Unacceptable behaviour

30 30 32 33 34 35

36 37

38 38 39 40

42 44 46 47 48

Our services Services City Wheels Car Club Specialist services Tenancy Support Scheme Services to over 55s

Respect & fairness Equality & diversity

Finance Budgeting your money Financial help for training Budget sheets

Useful contacts Nuisance diary Your notes Meter readings Contact Coastal!

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My Coastal 4

Our services are shaped by you We are at our most effective in meeting your needs and demands when our services reflect what you have told us your requirements are. We aim to give you an excellent service, which is professional, confidential and fair. In return, we expect you to be courteous to us. If you’re not happy with a service, please let us know, so we can make improvements. We also welcome your comments when you’re happy with what we’ve done. You have the right to know about the terms of your tenancy. To find out more about things like tenant consultation, how we let our homes and your rights, please get in touch.

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Your home, your tenancy & our services Call us on: 01792 479200 There’s more going on if you find us on Twitter or Facebook. facebook.com/CoastalHousing twitter.com/@coastalhousing Being a tenant is a two-way process! Plus there is lots more information in our quarterly Coastal magazine.

Would you like to receive ‘My Coastal’ another way? Ask us about formats such as Braille, Audio Tape, CD, DVD, and in other Languages. Contact us by phone, e-mail, call into our offices or write to us. We’ll answer your enquiry as quickly as possible.

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Getting involved 6

Tenant involvement We’ll keep you informed about services, rights and issues that affect your home and tenancy. In redesigning and reshaping our services we encourage, consult and involve tenants in various ways. This helps to influence our decision-making on matters that will affect you. We will contact you and consult in a variety of different ways, including: • Survey • Email and text • Letters • Focus groups • Listening to customer demand

Representation Where a more formal structure, such as a co-operative is required, we will provide you with the necessary support to establish this. Tenants are also represented on the Group’s Board of Management and sub-Committees. For wider information on tenant involvement contact TPAS Cymru (Tenant Participation Advisory Service) Tel: 029 2023 7303 www.tpascymru.org.uk

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• Phone calls • Personal contact with us • Coastal magazine


Open culture 7

Comments and complaints With a culture of openness, we want people to tell us what they think about our services. Tell us the good as well as the bad. If you have a problem with our services, we’ll do our best to resolve it quickly and effectively. You can talk to Managers about your issues, and if still not satisfied you can appeal to our Board. Some problems are beyond our control. If this is the case we will tell you.

@

Call us on: 01792 479200

Local Ombudsman

Email us: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, 1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae, Pencoed, CF35 5LJ

Write to us at: Coastal Housing Group, Freepost RSXA CJHX XUXE, 3rd Floor, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW Post a comment on Facebook or Twitter and follow our blogs

Tel: 0845 601 0987 (calls charged at local rate) E-mail: ask@ombudsman-wales.org.uk www.ombudsman-wales.org.uk

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Paying your rent 8

By Direct Debit Direct Debit payments can be scheduled weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

By phone Pay by debit or credit card by calling us on 01792 479200 or at Allpay on 0870 243 6040.

At your local shop or Post Office Use your Allpay card wherever you see the PayPoint sign, e.g. in your corner shop, newsagent or local petrol station.

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On the internet

For a 24hr payment service, go to: www.allpayments.net OR www.coastalhousing.co.uk then follow the links to: ‘Our Services’ and ‘Paying Rent’.

Allpay App - Free Scan a QR code with your smart phone

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In person or by post Call into our offices in Swansea or Neath. You can pay by cheque, debit or credit card but NOT cash. Or post a cheque payable to Coastal Housing Group Ltd with your name and address written on the back to: FREEPOST RSXA-CJHX-XUXE Coastal Housing Group, 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW

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Service charges 9

Rent & service charges • Charges are due weekly and charged to your account every Monday • Service charges will depend on the services you get such as caretaking, door entry, lift, CCTV etc • Charges are set as low as possible and based on costs to run • Rent and service charges are renewed annually when we will give you a breakdown of these charges. If you do not agree with them you have the right to appeal. • A rent statement will be sent out to you at least twice a year – April and September. Although you can request a statement at any time. Learn more about our services on page 30.

Housing Benefit • To make a claim, contact your local Housing Benefit Office • Tell them when there is a life change which may affect benefit payments • Rules around benefits are changing all the time - look out for our posts on and , articles in our magazine and website. Check out: www.yourbenefitsarechanging.co.uk If you have problems paying your rent contact us for help and advice. If you don’t pay your rent, you risk losing your home.

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Repairs & maintenance 10

Reporting a fault The quickest way to report a repair is to phone us on: Tel: 01792 479200 If it is an emergency and our offices are closed, please call the out-of-hours number: Tel: 0845 680 8888 You can also email, text, write, pop in to one of our offices or speak to us when we are out and about in your area. National Gas Emergency Line for gas leaks: Tel: 0800 111 999 Annual Gas Servicing Coastal have a legal responsibility to service any gas boiler or fire we own in your home. This is carried out for free. However, you must provide us with access to carry out this important service.

• If you are reporting problems with an appliance, such as your heating system, it helps us to know whether it’s a gas or electric system • Tell us if the repair is dangerous or will cause more damage if the repair is not done immediately • Let us know your daytime telephone number and we will book the contractor to call on a day convenient for you.

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Access to your home 11

Providing access You must provide access for us to carry out repairs, inspect the property and to fulfil our legal duties, such as the annual gas safety check. If we cannot gain access, we may apply for a Court Order to allow us access and charge you the legal fees. Unless it is an emergency, we normally give a minimum of 24 hours notice of when a repair is to be carried out. If an appointment is unsuitable, please let us know and we will give you another date. If you don’t, you may be charged a call-out fee. If you are locked out because you have lost your keys, we will have to arrange for a locksmith to visit, as we do not hold keys to your home. If the locks have to be changed, we will charge you for the work.

Maintenance appointments If you arrange a maintenance appointment with us and are unable to be at the property, failure to cancel may result in you being charged for the call-out.

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Our responsibility 12

We will repair: External items The roof, chimneys (not cleaning of chimneys), outside walls, doors and window frames, gutters, downpipes, waste pipes and drains, paths, steps, walls and fences. Internal items All electrical wiring, sockets and switches, baths, showers fitted by us, sinks and toilets, tap washers, plumbing (except washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers you have installed), any water heaters, fitted fires and central heating (which must be fitted by us), mains connected smoke detectors, water supply in your home, inside walls except for minor cracks or damage you may cause. Shared Areas These include stairs, balconies and lifts in developments, we will maintain and decorate communal areas. Mains-wired smoke detectors are fitted with a sealed battery back-up in each home which is tested once a year, when we’re doing your annual gas service. There are also detectors in communal areas, which are checked regularly.

What you pay for: Rechargeable repairs occur when we have to carry out work which is your responsibility, or necessary because of your misuse. We will invoice you for the costs of these repairs. Report any problems to us quickly – make sure there’s access to carry out repairs.

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Your responsibility 13

You are responsible for: • All internal decoration • Replacing electric fuses, light bulbs and any extra lighting • Plugs and chains for baths, sinks or basins • Appliances and plumbing not installed by us • Eradicating ants, mice or other vermin • Toilet seats and lids • Washing lines (not communal) • TV aerials (not communal) • Refuse/rubbish (in addition to weekly collection).

Any damage caused by you, such as: • Broken glass • Drains and waste pipes • Replacement locks, if you lose your keys • Maintaining gardens attached to your house and fencing which we did not provide. • Damage to our vinyl floor covering in the kitchen or bathrooms.

Gaining permission If you wish to do any improvement work, you must first obtain our permission and maintain those items and areas afterwards. We may also want to check out your improvements once you have completed the work, just to make sure it has been carried out safely. Before you do any improvement works, contact us for a ‘Right to Make an Improvement’ form.

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Timescales for repairs 14

Timescale We aim to make sure that your property is fit to live in and deal with your repairs in appropriate timescales. For instance, where there is a serious emergency, such as a major water leak or complete failure of the central heating (outside of summer months), we will normally attend within four hours and either make safe or complete the repair within 24 hours. Other repairs will be dealt with within reasonable target times.

Major repairs If major repairs are needed and it would be unsafe for you to live there during the repair work, we will re-house you temporarily and pay moving and storage charges. If your home becomes uninhabitable, through fire or flood, contact us immediately and we will do our best to help you. For jobs which are urgent, but not an emergency, such as a broken light fitting, we will carry out the repair within a week. For routine repairs, like a leaking gutter, the work will be done within a month. In all cases, we will try to do the work at a time convenient for you.

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Insurance 15

Your home contents insurance You are responsible for insuring the contents of your home. We insure the structure of your home and some internal features.

My Home Insurance For a dependable and very reasonable Home Contents Insurance package specifically designed for the needs of our tenants, just call My Home Insurance to arrange insurance cover for your home. Tel: 0845 3372463 Email: myhome@jlt.com Features of the scheme: • All the cover you need • No excess to pay • Pay either fortnightly or monthly by cash at any post office or Pay Zone outlet, or monthly by Direct Debit.

Making a claim You will have to claim off your insurance for damage or loss to your own belongings including furniture, carpets, curtains etc. If you have a break-in, burglary or criminal damage at your home, report it to the Police and get a Crime Reference Number, which we will need to claim off our Buildings Insurance. If you don’t, we will carry out any essential repairs and charge you.

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Our Maintenance Team 16

Maintenance Team & Contractors’ code of conduct We expect high standards of work, so our Maintenance Team and Contractors must adhere to the following: • To call on the specified date and morning/afternoon time slots • To show proof of their identity and explain the job that they will be doing • To produce a high standard of work • To use dustsheets when needed, to protect your home • If unfinished in one visit, to leave your home safe and tidy and give a return date • To leave a card asking you to contact us for another appointment if necessary • Be polite and considerate, and respect your privacy and confidentiality and to work in accordance with our equal opportunities policy. • We may contact you afterwards to find out if the work was done satisfactorily.

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Fire safety advice 17

Fire action plan In the event of a fire in your home our advice will depend on the property you live in. If you live in a house and a fire occurs, our advice is to leave the property by the safest route possible. Our advice for flats depends on the type of flat you live in and its age. Generally, you should have a Plan A and a Plan B for escape routes should one of them be blocked and follow our general advice: • Test your smoke alarm weekly • Do not place candles near curtains or other materials and never leave them unattended • Ensure ovens and cookers are turned off after use • Do not smoke in bed and check all cigarettes are out properly • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances - never overload sockets • Do not store bottled gas or cylinders in your home • Make sure that stairs, landing and passages forming an escape route are kept clear.

A safe room If you can’t escape via either your Plan A or Plan B routes, you will need to find a ‘safe room’ to shelter in until help arrives. A good safe room should have: • A door that closes • A telephone or mobile telephone (if possible) • An outside window that you can open for fresh air.

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External areas 18

Gardens If you have a garden with your home, you’re responsible for: • Cutting the grass • Pruning shrubs and plants • Disposing of any rubbish straight away. If you don’t maintain your garden, we may carry out the work, but charge you for all costs incurred. Please get permission from us first if you want to install: • • • •

Ornamental features Sheds Fencing Patios and hard-standings, or other features.

Also, please ask us before cutting down any existing trees or shrubs, as they may be subject to planning requirements by the Local Authority. Communal gardens and grounds are maintained by our Caretakers.

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Drying areas If you share washing lines, please remember that others need to use the line too. Try not to leave washing out for days. If we have supplied you with your own washing line, it is up to you to keep it in good order and replace it.


Refuse and recycling 19

Recycling Refuse/recycling collections are carried out by your local council from your home, usually once a week. On some schemes, due to the density of homes in one place, the refuse collection may be more frequent. You should always make sure your refuse and recycling goes outside in time for collection.

Refuse Rubbish must not be stored in communal areas – such as hallways, stairs and landings – as this is a health, safety and fire hazard. Neither should it be stored in driveways or in a condition in which it could attract vermin. Don’t put your refuse out for collection until the night before, or the morning of the collection and stick to the rules set by your council for your area, by separating newspapers, glass, cans, bottles and food waste. If you have access to a refuse chute, use it for rubbish in carrier-sized bags and no larger. If you have fridges, freezers or other large items to dispose of, contact your local council to collect them and only put them out on the day of collection. Remember, you are still responsible for your refuse even when it’s outside your home and uncollected. Keep updated with changes to your collections by checking our and blogs.

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Parking 20

Parking and vehicles Parking spaces are available for some homes and schemes. Tenants always take precedence over visitors for these, but you should not use the spaces to park commercial vehicles or block the access for emergency vehicles. If you are issued with a Parking Permit, the badge should always be visible on the windscreen. Only casual maintenance of your own vehicle on our land is allowed – you must not repair others. Untaxed or unroadworthy vehicles must not be kept on land owned by the Association. We will remove abandoned vehicles and charge the costs to the owner if known. Caravans and trailers are only allowed for very occasional overnight parking. If you have a secure parking area accessed via a fob or code, never give out the code. If you lose your fob, you'll be charged for its replacement.

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Your tenancy 21

Types of tenancies A Starter Tenancy allows us to end your tenancy during the first 12 months if you cause problems, such as anti-social behaviour or don’t pay your rent. After 12 months without problems, it will revert to a full Assured Tenancy. With an Assured Tenancy (as with a Starter Tenancy) the rent is set by us. You will be given one month’s notice of annual increases. You can appeal to the Rent Assessment Committee against the rent set. A Secure Tenancy applies to tenants prior to 15 January, 1989. They pay a ‘Fair Rent’ set by the Rent Officer every two years, subject to 28 days notice of the increase. A tenant can appeal to the Rent Officer against the rate set. If you want a full copy of any policy, let us know and we’ll send it to you.

Rent Officer To contact the Rent Officer for South West Wales including Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Camarthan, use the following address: South Wales Rent Officer, Welsh Assembly Government, Ground Floor, Government Building, Picton Terrace, Carmarthen, SA31 3BT Tel: 01267 245113

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Your tenancy 22

Joint tenancies If you are given a joint tenancy with your partner, relative or friend, you jointly have full rights and responsibilities. If the relationship breaks down, we will discuss the various options available with you. We may re-house one of you in alternative accommodation. For sole tenants, on your death, your partner or a member of your household may have the right to take over your tenancy. If however, you occupy an adapted or larger home, which may be more suitable for another tenant, we may offer them another property.

Right of succession If you die, your husband or wife, or someone living with you as a common-law partner, may have the right to take over your tenancy. This right can apply if: • It was their main or only home • You did not inherit the tenancy. We may also offer the tenancy to a member of your household who has been living there for 12 months prior to the death. In these cases we may offer them the tenancy of your home or another suitable home. This also applies if you occupy an adapted home or it is designated supported housing.

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Your tenancy 23

Ending your tenancy To end your tenancy, you must: • Give us four weeks notice • Allow us access to carry out an end of tenancy inspection • Leave the property clean and clear of all your belongings. • Make sure there is no rubbish left outside the property or in the garden • Take final gas and electric readings • Redirect mail • Provide us with a forwarding address • Return all keys. If you do not leave the property in good order and we have to carry out repairs, redecoration or remove rubbish, then we will have to charge you for all costs.

Buying your home You may be able to buy your home from us, but this will depend on the type of housing you are living in and when it was built. Contact us for more information on how to apply.

Low Cost Home Ownership (LCHO) There are a number of LCHO schemes promoted by us, the Welsh Assembly Government and local authorities, which are generally aimed at first-time buyers. Phone us on Tel: 01792 619300 or have a look at our website to see what new homes may be available.

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Your tenancy 24

Sub-letting If you are thinking about sub-letting you must get permission from us. You will need to tell us about the name, age and sex of the intended lodger or subtenant. We take many things into account regarding any decision we make.

Right to make improvements You have the right to make improvements to your home and garden, but you must first get permission before carrying out any work. Contact us for full details. Tel: 01792 479200 Email: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk

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Re-housing 25

Re-housing because of domestic violence If you are experiencing domestic violence, or there is a serious threat of violence from someone living in your home, we will do our best to help you. We can refer you to Women’s Aid, a solicitor, the police or Social Services for help.

Help is at hand If however, re-housing is the best option, we will either provide this or work with other housing providers for you. If you have to be re-housed, then we will apply the following: • If the tenancy is in your name only (sole tenant), then you must make sure that the property you are leaving is empty before we can take possession • When you are leaving a joint-tenancy and the property becomes underoccupied as a result, we may also seek to re-house the other tenant into a more suitable property. We aim to make best use of our homes in terms of occupancy • We will treat any enquiry with strict confidentiality • We will not pass on any information about you to a third party without your permission, unless it is to provide a legitimate service, or where it is essential or legally required.

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Want to move home? 26

Transfers If you want to move to another property because your home is no longer suitable for your needs, please call us and we will arrange for someone to come out and talk to you about your re-housing preferences. Offers of properties will only be made if: • You have a clear rent account • Your current home has been maintained to a satisfactory standard • You have not caused any management problems. No access to a computer at home? Why not pop down to your local library and use the internet for free.

Mutual exchange You have the right to exchange your home and tenancy with another tenant of any housing association, including Coastal Housing Group, or a local council. We will have to approve the exchange first and so will the other Tenants’ Association or council. To register for an exchange, sign up with www.homeswapper.co.uk. When you get a suitable match they will contact you by email, text or letter. HomeSwapper is for social housing tenants who want to swap homes. 100s of people move every week through HomeSwapper.

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Keeping pets 27

Are pets allowed? We recognise that pets are valuable companions, but they should be properly looked after and controlled. However, pets are not suitable for some homes, so if you want to keep a pet, you must ask us first. If it is a pet that is unlikely to cause a problem to neighbours such as fish or budgerigars, then we would normally give permission. If it is cat or dog, and therefore could cause a problem to neighbours, the type of home you live in will influence our decision on whether to give you permission. We may refuse permission because: • Your flat has shared communal areas • The animal is classed as a dangerous breed e.g. pit bull terrier.

Animal care We will also be concerned about your ability to properly care for the animal and want assurances with regard to neutering and micro-chipping of the pet. We may also need to know the size and location of any kennels, aquariums or pet runs.

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Unacceptable behaviour 28

Nuisance caused by others We aim to make our communities peaceful, safe and desirable places. We’ll take action against any person who causes nuisance to others. It could be: • • • • •

A tenant Family Friends Uninvited guests People in the local community.

It can take many forms such as: • • • • • • • •

Excessive noise Graffiti Fly-tipping Criminal activity Intimidation Harassment Vandalism Threatening and abusive language • Racist behaviour.

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What can you do? If you are experiencing nuisance, this is what you can do: • If the nuisance is caused by a neighbour, try speaking to them in a calm manner and ask them to stop. They may be unaware they are causing a nuisance • Make a note of what happens, including dates and times, and contact us to discuss the situation. At the end of this handbook there are some Nuisance Diary Sheets to help you record the details of the event.


Unacceptable behaviour 29

What we can do If we consider it is a problem we will speak to them and ask them to stop. We will also tell them they may have broken a tenancy rule. If the nuisance continues, we will take further action such as: • • • •

Warning letters Notice of Intent to seek possession Legal injunctions Use demoted tenancies.

If it is something beyond our jurisdiction, we may involve other services – such as Environmental Health or the Police – who may proceed with antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs). We will be sensitive to the needs of victims of anti-social behaviour (ASB) and bring in services such as mediation if both agree, or use specialist agencies – Victim Support and the Swansea Bay Race Equality Council – where appropriate. We will ensure victims have access to a Lead Officer, who will keep them informed of the action we are taking. If it will help, we may also undertake work to alleviate antisocial behaviour such as: • • • • • •

Installing extra lighting Installing CCTV Removing or enhancing walls Installing fencing or planting Removing rubbish and abandoned cars Providing or increasing the caretaking service.

If it is in the interests of the victim of ASB and is what that person wants, we will try to re-house that person as a priority. If you have any problems, please contact us 01792 479200

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Our services 30

Services We provide a range of services which are paid by a weekly charge that’s added to your rent. Examples of the type of services you may receive are listed below:

Area Caretaking Services – most of our homes enjoy the services of the Caretaking Team. Visiting schemes on a regular basis and carrying out grounds maintenance and general repairs, it provides a friendly service to tenants and keeps internal and external areas clean and tidy. CCTV is installed, to prevent and detect crime. It can also act as a deterrent to crime. Cleaning to Communal Areas will be carried out by a designated subcontractor, normally once a week. A Door Entry System allows you to check callers to your home before letting them in. Laundry Rooms are only for the use by tenants who live at the scheme. Times of use are normally restricted to between 7am to 8pm. Always leave the rooms clean and tidy after use. Please don’t use all the machines at once and always empty the machines promptly.

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Our services 31 Lifts are provided at most multi-storey developments. When moving large items, inform your Caretaker, so that padding can be fitted. Do not use the lift in the event of fire. Lighting to Communal Areas may be provided inside and outside. If you see any of these lights are out, do tell us straight away, so we can replace the bulb. Window Cleaning – in some schemes, we employ window cleaners to clean the outside of all the windows on a regular basis. You will have to clean the inside of your windows yourself.

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City Wheels Car Club 32

City Wheels Car Club For tenants who are living or working in the Swansea city area, we can offer our City Wheels Car Club. City Wheels Car Club saves the costs and hassle of owning a car, especially when parking space is at such a premium.

What is it? City Wheels provides a car when you need one, with no servicing or maintenance and no insurance or road tax for you to pay. Vehicles currently available include a variety of small economical cars and a light diesel van. Membership is open to Tenants aged between 25 and 70 (younger and older applicants are considered on an individual basis). You will pay a one-off fee to join, including a returnable key deposit. As a member, you pay a low monthly fee, regardless of whether you use a car or not. Then there’s minimal hourly and service charges every time you use a car. There’s nothing else to pay, not even petrol and there’s definitely no catch! When you join, you are given a swipe card, which records any use automatically – no paperwork. Each month you’ll get a bill for any use which is paid for by direct debit. It couldn’t be easier.

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Specialist services 33 Your tenancy and the services we provide are managed by an experienced and effective housing management team. With a proactive rather than a reactive approach, we pull in expertise from colleagues, as and when a tenant requires additional support.

We work in partnership with voluntary sector partners, the housing local authority, and our own tenants, in delivering highquality supported accommodation and services. These services include: • An in-house tenancy support scheme • Support services to adults with learning disabilities • Adapted housing to ensure tenants and their families with disabilities are happy • Supported housing schemes • Safe houses for women who experience domestic violence • Regular liaison with support with agencies such as SYSHP, NCH, Community Lives and Dewis. If you think the Community Services Team can help you, give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk to you.

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Tenancy support scheme 34

Support Scheme Our Tenancy Support Scheme might be able to help if you have problems such as: • • • • • • • •

Debt/money Drugs and alcohol Parenting Education/work/training Relationships Domestic violence Mental health/emotions Or if life is just getting on top of you.

Talk to us If you want to talk to someone about these problems, contact us and we will arrange to meet with you, to get a better understanding of the help you need. We will either put you in touch with organisations that can help you, or one of our experienced Tenancy Support Team will work with you, so you feel more in control.

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Services to over 55s 35 We offer a flexible service tailored to the life of today’s older person, so that you can have additional services and support as and when you need it. With less focus on dependency and more on being independent, we assess your needs to see whether we can help you in any way, such as: • • • • • • • • •

Benefits advice Provision of aids and adaptations ‘Lifeline’ alarms Handyman service Home safety checks Organised social events Contacting other agencies on your behalf Helping you settle in to your new home Wellbeing visits.

We do have to charge for some of these services, but you either pay when you use the service or by a weekly top-up on your rent.

We can offer longer term support to help you remain independent with: • A friendly chat, a personal phone call, home visit or text • Help with form filling, dealing with mail etc • Linking you up with other agencies. By offering regular social contact, this type of service can provide a vital lifeline for people who feel lonely or isolated. We can provide this service for as long someone wants it, or if they prefer, just dip in and out whenever they need it

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Respect & fairness 36

Confidentiality We treat any enquiry or contact with us in strictest confidence. We do not pass on information about you to a third party without your permission, unless it is to provide a legitimate service, or where it is essential or legally required. You will be asked to supply security information to confirm your identity when you contact us. You may have access to any information that we hold about you.

Data protection When you applied to become a tenant, we asked you about a variety of personal information. This information helped us process your application. Since then we may have wanted more information, to help us to manage your tenancy. To comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, we always seek your permission before obtaining, storing and using any personal information. We only want information that we need to administer your tenancy. We will pass on this information only when necessary for a third party to provide a legitimate service, for example, by giving your address and telephone number to a contractor to carry out repairs in your home. You may ask to see any information which is stored about you.

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Equality & diversity 37 We believe that everyone should have equal access to services and should be treated with courtesy and respect. We will always make sure that services we provide are delivered in a way that is in keeping with this belief. If you feel you have been unfairly treated, contact us – you can use the complaints procedure or contact a member of staff that you’re happy to talk to.

Respect We expect staff, tenants, neighbours and others to respect this belief. We will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment on the grounds of: • • • • • • • • •

Race Ethnicity Skin colour Religion Age Marital status Sexuality Physical disability Any other reason.

We take reports of discrimination made by tenants and staff very seriously. Each allegation is investigated individually.

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Finance 38

Budgeting your money Keeping track of your money and spending, and paying bills on time, can avoid problems for you in the future. Use our Personal Budget Planning Sheets on pages 40/41 and decide whether to budget weekly or monthly. Write down all the money you have coming in and what you spend it on. Such as • • • • • • • • • • •

Rent Food Gas Electric Water Rates Council Tax Phone Clothing Petrol, bus fares etc Birthdays, Christmas etc Entertainment.

If you have debts, list them and decide what you are going to pay first. If you have rent arrears, you need to make regular payments to make sure you keep your home and have somewhere to live.

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Work out how much you can afford to pay out on other debts. Contact the companies you owe money to for help with your payment plan. Ask for advice from other agencies like the Citizens Advice Bureau or National Debtline. Join a Credit Union to help you both save and borrow. See pages 42/43 for contact details. Never, ever, go to a ‘loan shark’ as you could ending up owing them far more than you borrowed. If you have money problems, contact us straight away, before things get worse.


Financial help for training 39

Training Awards We've set up a fund to sponsor you, your partner or family member living with you, towards the costs of further education and training. Priority is given if the course will improve the individual's employment prospects - helping them to secure a job or better paid work.

What is it? The training fund was set up originally as a 'Soroptomist Bursary' in recognition of the donation of a property to Coastal Housing by the local branch of the Soroptomists. This is an international organisation for women in management and professions that strives for the advancement and status of women. However, it was agreed that, in the spirit of equal opportunity, we could use the award for both men and women. There is a maximum award of £500 per application which can be used towards the cost of: • • • • • •

The course Exam fees Books Equipment Childcare Travelling costs.

To apply for funding just give us a call on 01792 479200 or email ask@coastalhousing.co.uk. You will be given a speedy decision on whether your application has been successful.

My Coastal


Budget form 1 40

Working out your money and your costs • Base your budget on your weekly or monthly income • Fill in both columns and add them up • Take away your total outgoings in household costs, from the total of your income • The amount left is the money you have to pay off your debts.

My Coastal

Your household income your take-home pay your partner’s take-home pay all benefits and allowances all pensions other income other income other income other costs your total income

£ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £

Your household costs rent council tax water charges gas electricity phones – inc mobiles contents insurance food travel expenses car tax, insurance, service clothing and shoes childminding/maintenance children’s expenses/school meals store cards/catalogues dental charges pension contributions cleaning/household items life insurance pets TV licence, rental & Sky gym/sports other costs your total costs

£ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £


Budget form 2 41

The money you have to pay your debts • Fill in the three columns • Make sure you are totally honest about your debts • If your outgoings are more than the money you have coming in, leaving you no money to pay off your debts then get help and advice. • We may be able help you about benefits or put you in touch with someone else.

Your money for debts your total income LESS your total outgoings Leaves the money for your debts

£ £ £ £

Your priority debts rent arrears council tax arrears water charges arrears unpaid gas bills unpaid electricity bill maintenance arrears income tax arrears VAT arrears other priority debts other priority debts

£ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £

Your other debts catalogue credit cards store card personal loan overdraft other debts other debts other debts

£ £ £ £ £ £ £ £

My Coastal


Useful contacts 42 Benefit Advice (Benefit Agency) Tel: 0800 882200 www.gov.uk www.dwp.gov.uk Benefit Fraud Line Targeting Benefit Fraud Tel: 0800 854440 www.dwp.gov.uk www.gov.uk Cats Protection Tel: 03000 121212 www.cats.org.uk CHC – Community Housing Cymru Tel: 029 2067 4800 www.chcymru.org.uk Childline Tel: 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk Citizens Advice Tel: 08444 772020 www.citizensadvice.org.uk www.adviceguide.org.uk Compassionate Friends Tel: 08451 232304 www.tcf.org.uk

My Coastal

Credit Union Tel: 01639 632100 www.nptcu.co.uk Crimestoppers Tel: 0800 555111 www.crimestoppers.co.uk Cruse Bereavement Care Tel: 0844 477 9400 www.crusebereavementcare. org.uk Dogs Trust Tel: 020 7837 0006 www.dogstrust.org.uk Get Connected Confidential help for young people Tel: 0808 808 4994 www.getconnected.com Gower Bird Hospital Tel: 01792 371630 www.gowerbirdhospital.org.uk Furniture Disposal Enfys Foundation Tel: 0845 009 4646 www.enfysfoundation.org.uk


Useful contacts 43 Home Insurance My Home Contents Insurance Tel: 0845 337 2463

Swansea (City & County) Tel: 01792 636000 www.swansea.gov.uk

National Debt Line Tel: 0808 808 4000 www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

Housing Benefits Dept: Tel: 01792 635353

Neath Port Talbot (Council) Tel: 01639 686868 www.npt.gov.uk Benefits Department: Port Talbot Tel: 01639 763454

Council Tax Benefit Dept: Tel: 01792 635382 Rubbish and Pests: Tel: 01792 635600

Neath Tel: 01639 686838

TPAS Cymru (Tenant Participation Advisory Service) Tel: 029 2023 7303 www.tpascymru.org.uk

NHS Direct Tel: 0845 46 47 www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk

Traveline Tel: 0871 2002233 www.traveline-cymru.info

Refuge Domestic Violence 0808 2000 247 www.refuge.org.uk

Victim Supportline Tel: 0845 6121900 www.victimsupport.org.uk

Shelterline Tel: 0808 800 4444 0845 075 5005 www.shelter.org.uk

Welsh Water Tel: 0800 0520145 www.dwrcymru.com Women’s Aid Domestic Tel: 0808 2000247 www.womensaid.org.uk

My Coastal


Nuisance Diary 44

Use this diary to make a note whenever nuisance or harassment happens Date and time of incident

Where did it happen?

Who was involved?

Any witnesses – do you have their names and addresses?

Have you reported it? If so, to whom, e.g. Area Housing Officer, Police?

Any other comments?

Date and time of incident

Where did it happen?

Who was involved?

Have you reported it? If so, to whom, e.g. Area Housing Officer, Police?

Any other comments?

Brief details of what happened

Brief details of what happened

Any witnesses – do you have their names and addresses?

My Coastal


Date and time of incident

Where did it happen?

Who was involved?

Any witnesses – do you have their names and addresses?

Have you reported it? If so, to whom, e.g. Area Housing Officer, Police?

Any other comments?

Date and time of incident

Where did it happen?

Who was involved?

Have you reported it? If so, to whom, e.g. Area Housing Officer, Police?

Any other comments?

Brief details of what happened

Brief details of what happened

Any witnesses – do you have their names and addresses?

Ourbobby Ourbobby.com offers you a number of ways to let the police know your concerns, so that they are able to help you. Ourbobby.com does not replace an emergency call. It is there to help address your community’s needs. If you need to report an emergency please call 999. For help with a non-emergency, please call 101.

My Coastal


Your notes: 46

My Coastal


Your notes: 47

Meter readings Record your first meter readings here: Gas

Electricity

Meter no.

Meter no.

First reading

First reading

Date of reading

Date of reading

My Coastal


V2 AUG 2013

Contact Coastal! Telephone (01792) 479200 Lines open: 8.00am – 5.30pm Monday to Thursday 8.00am – 4.30pm Friday Offices: 3rd Floor 220 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NW 41-43 Windsor Road, Neath, SA11 1NH

Emergency in your home? Office closed? Phone: 0845 680 8888 If you smell gas phone National Gas Emergency Line: 0800 111 999

facebook.com/CoastalHousing twitter.com/@coastalhousing

Email: ask@coastalhousing.co.uk www.coastalhousing.co.uk

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