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Becoming our resident A guide to your licence agreement

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Contents Your licence

4

Your information

5

Our obligations

6

Your obligations

8

Being a good neighbour

10

Your tenancy rights

11

Final terms and conditions

11

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Introduction Your licence agreement is a contract between you and East Homes (part of the East Thames Group). It sets out: „ your rights and responsibilities while you are living in one of our properties, and „ our rights and responsibilities as the owner of the property. This booklet explains some of the key things you need to know about your agreement. We hope you ¿nd it useful.

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

Your licence 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 licence agreement, your agreement is correct.

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Your licence We give licences to residents who: „ live in some of our care and support schemes – especially where you share facilities with other residents „ are young people living at some of our foyer schemes – especially if: „

you share facilities with other residents

you are being assessed for a full place at a foyer „

As a licensee, you have the right to occupy the property, but you are not a tenant, so we have more say over whether you stay or go. We also have more Àexibility when it comes to managing your accommodation. For example, if you live in a single room, we have the right to move you to another. Your licence may be as short as a week (if you come to us in an emergency) or it may last for longer.

„ you have been referred by your local authority because you need emergency accommodation.

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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 East Homes property you will be living in; the start date of your licence; anyone who will be living with you; and a photo of each licensee.

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 licence charge and any other charges that apply when you ¿rst move in, as well as any services we will provide, such as the cleaning and gardening of the shared areas on an estate.

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 The agreement sets out some general rules for us and you. As your landlord we have some commitments to you: 1. To collect your licence charge We will collect your licence charges. If we are going to change your charge, we will give you at least one calendar month’s notice. 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.

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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 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.

6. To allow you to enjoy your home in peace Apart from changes to what we charge, or changes to the services we provide, we can only alter the terms of your 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 part of the agreement we have with you, there are some obligations you need to keep:

3. To pay your bills

1. To pay your licence charge

Your water charges and Council Tax may be included in your licence charge. Otherwise you must pay these direct to the water board and your local authority. You are also responsible for paying your other bills.

You must pay your licence charge weekly in advance every Monday.

4. To insure your belongings

2. To keep your home in good condition You are responsible for keeping your home in good order. If you damage or neglect your home we may charge you to carry out repairs or require you to Âżx the problem.

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. 5. To tell us if you will be away You must let us know if you are going to be away for more than a month (two weeks if you live in a foyer), because otherwise we will assume you have abandoned your home.

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6. To keep the home for your own use You must not allow anyone else to move in. You also must not run any kind of business from your home. 7. To give us notice if you want to move You need to give us four weeks’ written notice ending on a Sunday if you plan to move from your home. You must pay all the licence charges you owe up to the end of the tenancy. When you move out, you must 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.

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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 or animals at a foyer

„ Keep noise to a minimum, especially at night „ Take care of any communal areas and gardens, including not leaving litter

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

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 licence rights You 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. As a licensee, we are giving you permission to occupy one of our properties. We can end your license at any time. However, we will normally give you: „ at least 28 days’ notice if you are a care and support resident „ at least seven days’ notice in writing if you live in a foyer. In both cases, we may shorten this if your behaviour is seriously disruptive or violent. We would require you to move, for example, if you:

„ did not need our support service or needed more support than we provide „ failed to take part in the foyer programme.

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.

„ caused a nuisance

If for any reason we owe you money, it is our policy to set this against any money owed either by you or the tenant whose tenancy you succeeded to. 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.

„ had another home to move to

We hope you enjoy your new home.

„ failed to pay your charges „ broke the conditions in the licence

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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.

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A guide to your license agreement