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Becoming our resident A guide to your tenancy while you are renting under our market rent, intermediate rent or Rent to Buy schemes

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Contents Your tenancy

4

Your information

5

Our obligations

6

Your obligations

8

Being a good neighbour

10

Your tenancy rights

11

Final terms and conditions

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Introduction Your tenancy agreement is a contract between you and East Homes (part of the East Thames Group). It sets out: „ your rights and responsibilities as our tenant, and

Contact us If you ever have any questions about your tenancy, please get in touch:

„ our rights and responsibilities as your landlord. This booklet explains some of the key things you need to know about your agreement. We hope you ¿nd it useful. Your tenancy agreement is a legal document. If you think there is a difference between what we say in this booklet and what we say in your tenancy agreement, your agreement is correct.

Phone: 0845 600 0830

@

Email: info@east-thames.co.uk In person: 29-35 West Ham Lane, Stratford E15 4PH (Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm) Web: www.east-thames.co.uk

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Your tenancy We give temporary assured short-hold tenancies to: „ residents renting homes from us at a full market rent „ residents who pay an intermediate rent (typically 80% of a local market rent) „ residents taking part in our Rent to Buy scheme. All these tenancies start out as six-month, ¿xedterm agreements. This doesn’t mean we expect you to move out after six months. Providing you keep to the agreement, you will normally be able to live there for a longer period.

Special rules for Rent to Buy If you are renting under the Rent to Buy scheme, you pay an intermediate rent to begin with. You then have the option of buying a share in the property at any time during the next ¿ve years. You would need to complete the purchase of your ¿rst share within ¿ve and a half years of moving in. We may choose to help you with the cost of purchasing your home by making a deduction from the sale price – but this is entirely our decision. We also reserve the right to put off the sale of the property.

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Your information Details about you and your home

How we use your information

At the front and back of your agreement we enter details including: information about the property you will be living in; the start date of your tenancy; anyone who will be living with you; and a photo of each tenant.

We ask you to sign a separate form at the end of your agreement to show that you understand and agree that we may use your details in various ways.

We set out the rent that applies when you ¿rst move in, as well as any services we will provide, such as the cleaning and gardening of shared areas if you live on an estate. Before you move in you must pay a deposit. Your deposit is protected by the Deposit Protection Scheme. It will be refunded to you after the tenancy has ended. However, we will ¿rst make a deduction if you owe us money or if we need to repair or replace any damaged items.

The form explains that we use these details ourselves and, when necessary, pass them on to organisations like our maintenance contractors, who provide services on our behalf. In certain circumstances, we may also pass on your details: „ when it will help us to assist you „ to meet our legal and other responsibilities „ to assist other agencies with a good reason for needing it „ to help prevent fraud. We are always careful to meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

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Our obligations As your landlord we have a number of commitments to our tenants: 1. To collect rent We will collect your rent and service charges and issue you with quarterly statements. Before changing your rent or other charges, we will give you at least 28 days’ written notice. Your increase will normally apply from 1 April each year. 2. To keep your home in good order We are responsible for carrying out some repairs to your home. This includes: repairs needed to the structure of your home; repairs to ¿xtures and ¿ttings; repairs to heating, plumbing and wiring; and keeping areas you share with your neighbours clean and repaired. You can ¿nd out about the repairs service you can expect in the repairs handbook for residents. Visit www.east-thames.co.uk/repairs. 6

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3. To keep your home safe

5. To prevent fraud

Each year we are required by law to carry out a gas safety check. In return, we need you to allow us entry to your home to do this. We may also seek access to your home or the communal areas of your building for other safety checks, such as ¿re safety checks or asbestos surveys for older buildings.

With social housing in short supply, we are keen to prevent fraud. We may carry out tenancy checks to ensure you are still the tenant in the property. It is also why we take photos of you and your household when you move in.

4. To clearly set out the level of service you can expect

6. To allow you to enjoy your home in peace

We have a set of customer promises (service standards) which explain the level of service you can expect from us. You’ll ¿nd our customer promises at: www.east-thames.co.uk/customer-promises. We report back to residents about how we’re doing against our promises in the quarterly newsletter, online and in the annual report. We are also responsible for meeting all the current requirements of our regulator. This means managing our organisation and your homes ef¿ciently, having fair policies, involving residents in our work and reporting our performance to you regularly.

Apart from changes to what we charge, or changes to the services we provide, we can only alter the terms of your tenancy or licence agreement by agreeing this with you in writing – unless we are responding to a change in the law. We may apply special rules to living in your home, such as house rules or a good neighbour agreement. We will attach these to your agreement. Breaking these rules means you are breaking your agreement.

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Your obligations As a tenant, you have a number of responsibilities you need to be aware of: 1. To pay your rent on time You must pay your rent by direct debit on the ¿rst day of each month. 2. To tell us if your circumstances change We ask you to con¿rm that you are not renting or the owner of a property elsewhere. You also need to agree not to rent or buy a property elsewhere while you are our tenant and to tell us if your circumstances change. 3. To insure your belongings Our insurance doesn’t cover your personal belongings, so you should take out your own cover.

Call us for details of low-cost schemes available. 4. To keep your home in good condition You are responsible for keeping your home in good order, carrying out minor repairs and ensuring it is decorated to a reasonable standard. If you damage or neglect your home we may charge you to carry out repairs. If you have a garden, it is your responsibility to mow the lawns and keep shrubs and trees in order. You can check the repairs handbook to ¿nd out more about your repair responsibilities. 5. To ask ¿rst if you want to change ¿xtures and ¿ttings If you want to make changes to any of the ¿xtures and ¿ttings, you will need to get our permission ¿rst. We will consider all requests, except for requests to install a satellite dish which we do not allow.

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6. To give us notice if you want to move

8. To pay your household bills

When you are ready to leave the property, you must give us one calendar month’s written notice – but you should not normally end the tenancy before the end of the initial six-month term. You must also allow staff and potential tenants to view the property before you move out.

Most of our tenants are responsible for paying their water charges and Council Tax direct to the water board and their local authority. If it is included in your rent we will let you know.

When you move out, you need to pay all the rent you owe up to the end of the tenancy. You also need to give us all the keys and take all your belongings and rubbish with you. If you leave the property in a poor condition, we will charge you the cost of putting things right. We will also charge for a lock change if you don’t return the keys and, in some circumstances, further rent.

9. To keep the home for your use Your home is meant for you and anyone else living with you when you move in. You must not let it get overcrowded. You are not allowed to pass on your home to anyone else, or take in lodgers. You cannot allow anyone else to move in at all without our written permission.

7. To tell us if you’ll be away You must let us know if you are going to be away for more than a month, because otherwise we will assume you have abandoned your home.

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Being a good neighbour Many of the obligations in all our agreements are designed to make sure you are a good neighbour. We ask that you:

„ lay wooden Àoors or do without Àoor coverings for more than a month without our written permission (this is because neighbours often complain about the noise nuisance)

„ Treat your neighbours with respect and don’t cause a nuisance or harass anyone

„ keep pets at our properties without permission, or allow permitted pets to cause a nuisance

„ Keep noise to a minimum, especially at night

„ park poorly on our estates, block access to dropped curbs, repair vehicles without permission, or park unroadworthy or untaxed vehicles (even on your own driveway) for more than seven days.

„ Take care of any communal areas and gardens, including not leaving litter

You also need to make sure that you don’t: „ become a gang member or allow anyone in your household to join one „ use or supply controlled drugs in or around the property

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Your tenancy rights Residents have the right to certain basic information about our policies and ways of working. You also have the right to be consulted if we make any signi¿cant changes to the way we manage your home. We can require you to leave once you have been our tenant for at least six months. To do this, we have to serve you with a Notice Requiring Possession, giving you two months’ notice. We can only require you to leave before the ¿rst six months is up if you have broken your tenancy agreement or we have another good reason. For example if: „ you owe us rent „ you or someone in your household has: caused a nuisance, used the property for an immoral or illegal purpose, or broken the law in the neighbourhood „

„ made a partner leave because of violence or threats „

damaged our property

„

lied or got someone else to lie to get the tenancy

„ you live at the property because of your job, but your job has ended „ the building needs major repairs or demolition. We can also take back your home, with just four weeks’ notice in writing, if you are away for more than four weeks.

Final terms and conditions Your agreement also reminds you that you have the right to make a complaint if you are dissatis¿ed with a service or how you have been treated. You can make a complaint over the phone, online or by email. If for any reason we owe you money, it is our policy to set this against any money you owe us. We point out that your agreement does not give rights to anyone other than you or us. We also remind you that any changes in the law will apply to this agreement. We hope you enjoy your new home. 11

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Contacting us If you have any questions about your tenancy, please get in touch:

Customer Contact Centre:

0845 600 0830 email: info@east-thames.co.uk www.east-thames.co.uk Minicom: 020 8522 2006 Fax: 020 8522 2001

Issue date: April 2011

29-35 West Ham Lane Stratford, London E15 4PH (Mon-Fri 8.30am – 6pm)

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Calls to East Homes (part of East Thames Group) may be recorded and monitored for training and/or quality purposes. All address and contact details correct at the date of publication. Published by East Thames Group. This publication is printed on recycled paper.

18/04/2011 10:46:41

A guide to your tenancy - market rent, intermediate rent or Rent to Buy schemes  

A guide to your tenancy - market rent, intermediate rent or Rent to Buy schemes

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