Issuu on Google+

Leaseholder Handbook


Contents 3

Your lease

7

Service charges

15

Buildings insurance

17

When you want to move

21

Legal rights

24

Major works

31

Repairs and maintenance

38

Alterations and improvements

42

About your surroundings

47

Anti-Social Behaviour, nuisance and harassment

50

Becoming involved

52

Do you have a comment, compliment or complaint?

57

Glossary of terms and definitions

59

Useful contacts

62

Advice

Introduction Stockport Homes is a limited company that exists to manage the housing stock owned by Stockport Council. The Council still remains the landlord and tenants / leaseholders rights do not change. Stockport Homes is known as an Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO). This means that while the local Council established the company, it operates independently from it on day-to-day matters. This guide outlines your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder of Stockport Council, and those that are the Council’s responsibilities to you as a landlord. It is not an authoritative interpretation of the law, nor does it override or affect the terms of the lease. If there is a dispute or disagreement, this will have to be settled under the conditions of your lease as the legal contract between you and the Council. In this case you should consider getting independent advice from your solicitor or your local advice centre. 2

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Your lease What does being a leaseholder mean? If you have bought a flat, you have bought a leasehold interest. This means you have the right to live in your home for a certain period without having to pay rent, except for a small ground rent. The period is 250 years from the date of your lease. As a leaseholder you only buy the right to live in your own flat and so you also have to pay a share of the costs of the upkeep and repair of the building and the development where your flat is situated. Tenants also pay their share of these costs through their rent to the Council.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

3


Yourlease Lease Your The lease is the legal contract between you and the Council and is an important document. You became a leaseholder by: • buying your home from Stockport Council under the Right-to-Buy Scheme; or • buying your home on the open market from the previous owner. Once you have bought the property, you and the Council both have to carry out your responsibilities as set out in the lease. There are different types of lease depending on the date you bought the property. You should always look at your own individual lease if you want to check something. Your lease describes the flat that you have bought and has a plan showing the flat plus any garden, garage or shed. It also shows the building containing the flat and the area that is shared with other residents. You should not use this plan solely and should always refer to the lease. The Council is responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, repair and improvement of the building as a whole and the development. You are responsible for paying your share of these costs through your service charge. Extending your lease You have the right to renew your lease at any point for a period of 90 years, provided you qualify. The extension would be costed at the market value. Where can I get a copy of my lease? You may have received a copy when you purchased the leasehold property. However, where there is a mortgage on the property it may be obtained from the mortgage lender. Alternatively the Land Registry may hold a copy or you can request a copy from Stockport Council. Please note that an administration fee may be charged for providing a copy of the lease. It is important that you understand your lease and the conditions in it. Breaking the conditions could have serious consequences. You should read your lease carefully and get advice from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau if there is anything you are unclear about. Common terms used in the lease As a legal document, your lease uses legal terms. We have explained some of the more important ones in the glossary of terms and definitions on page “This is the term used when the lease is sold on when you sell your flat. The new leaseholder is the assignee.” on page 57.

4

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Yourlease Lease Your The conditions of your lease The lease sets out detailed conditions and responsibilities you have as the leaseholder or that the Council has as the freeholder. Some of the most important conditions are set out below. The Council’s rights and responsibilities are: • • • • •

to insure the building (but not the contents of your flat); to keep the structure and exterior of the building in good repair; to maintain and repair all the communal parts of the building and estate; to gain access to your home to carry out inspections or repairs (notice will be given); and to collect ground rent and service charges to cover your share of the costs of the repair, upkeep and management of your building and development.

Please remember that while Stockport Homes is responsible for carrying out repairs, and the management of your building and development, you are responsible for paying your share of the costs, through your service charge. You should not undertake any repairs or maintenance to the areas for which Stockport Homes are responsible. Your responsibilities: • • • • • • •

to pay the ground rent and service charges (which includes the costs of major works) as required; only to use your flat as a private home; to keep the interior of your flat plus fixtures and fittings in good condition and repair; to repay some or all of the Right-to-Buy discount if the flat is sold within the repayment period; not to cause nuisance or annoyance to neighbours; not to make any internal structural alterations or improvements without getting permission from Stockport Homes; and to allow access for any inspections, repairs or work required to the building.

Your rights as a leaseholder As well as responsibilities, you have rights which are included in the lease. Some of the most important rights are: • •

to enjoy in peace in your home without interruption by Stockport Homes, provided you pay all the charges you are responsible for under the lease and do not break any of the other conditions of your lease; and the use of the shared parts of the building and communal parts of the development such as communal gardens and, in some cases, car parking areas.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

5


Your lease Buying the freehold Subject to certain conditions a group of leaseholders within a block have the right to buy the freehold of their block from the Council. Not all the flats within the block would need to be sold before the ‘collective enfranchisement’ takes place. If all the flats within the building have been sold and there is no longer any properties managed by Stockport Homes the Council may be willing to voluntarily sell you and your neighbours the freehold of your building. All the leaseholders in the building would have to agree to this. Varying the lease It is possible for certain conditions of the lease to be changed if all the leaseholders in the building agree. This is called varying the lease. For example, one of the reasons for doing this would be to change the responsibility for repairing or renewing windows from the Council to the leaseholder. This would allow individual leaseholders to repair or renew their own windows. All leases will need to be varied in the same way and at the same time. Such action will incur legal and administration fees which are payable by each leaseholder.

6

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Service charges

What is a service charge? A service charge is a payment you make towards the costs of providing and maintaining services for the development you live in. Service charges are split fairly between all the flats in the block as set out on the following pages. The Council pays the proportion relating to the rent paying tenants which is then recharged to them through the rent they pay. It is important to note that the cost of the services to tenants is not subsidised in any way by leaseholders. Stockport Homes are responsible for maintaining the structure of the whole building and the communal areas such as halls and stairways. The costs incurred by us are passed back to you on a proportional basis through the service charge.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

7


Service charges How do we calculate your share of the service charge? At the start of the year we estimate the costs we expect to incur in maintaining the block or development you live in. The service charge year runs from April to March. Minor communal repairs are divided equally by the number in the block or development.

Service charge covers

How your charge is calculated

Responsive repairs and maintenance Responsive repairs and maintenance of the communal areas which you share with other residents in the ‘development’ as defined in your lease agreement. People who may report a responsive repair may include: Leaseholders; Tenants; Neighbourhood Housing Officer; Technical Services Staff and contractors while attending other jobs.

Calculated by dividing the actual cost by the total number of units in the ‘development’ as defined in your lease agreement with the exception of works that are for your sole use.

Planned maintenance This provision includes communal works that Stockport Homes plan in advance and can include: works to comply with new legislation; fire protection equipment; mechanical ventilating; replacement of communal light, TV Aerials, fencing, door entry systems and cleaning of gutters.

Calculated by dividing the actual cost by the total number of units in the ‘development’ as defined in your lease agreement with the exception of works that are for your sole use.

Major investment works Includes large items such as replacements of lifts; refuse chute; soil and vent pipe; overcladding; roofing; windows.

Calculated by dividing the actual cost by the total number of units in the ‘development’ as defined in your lease agreement with the exception of works that are for your sole use, in other words window and doors.

Caretaking and cleaning Represents the cost of providing a Caretaking Service and may include: salaries, cleaning materials and transport. More information can be found on page 42.

The charges are based on the overall cost of providing the service. Regular service charge reviews take place to ensure that charges never exceed the cost of providing that service.

8

www.stockporthomes.org

Leaseholder handbook


Service Charges Service charge covers

How your charge is calculated

Concierge / CCTV This covers the running costs, including repairs (with the exception of misuse and vandalism), of the Concierge and CCTV monitoring systems provided to your block.

The charges are based on the overall cost of providing the service. Regular service charge reviews take place to ensure that charges never exceed the cost of providing that service.

Lighting of communal areas Cost of providing communal lights such as electricity. Provision does not include the maintenance, in other words replacement of light bulbs. These will be shown under responsive repairs.

The charges are based on the overall cost of providing the service. Regular service charge reviews take place to ensure that charges never exceed the cost of providing that service.

Heating and hot water For the provision of heating and hot water where there is a communal boiler. Costs include fuel usage, annual service and carrying out some repairs. Costs incurred outside the contract such as hire of a generator while we repair a boiler will be shown under responsive repairs and maintenance.

The charges are based on the overall cost of providing the service. Regular service charge reviews take place to ensure that charges never exceed the cost of providing that service.

Lift charges This charge covers the 24-hour maintenance contract for lifts in the block. As part of the service the engineers will attend to faults and carry out statutory safety checks. Repairs carried out are included under responsive repairs as they are not included in the service agreement.

Total cost of the service contract divided by the number of units in the development as defined in your lease agreement. Should you live on the ground floor of a block where a lift service is provided you are contractually responsible for contributing to this cost.

Communal grounds maintenance Based on cost of maintaining the communal gardens / areas which you share with your neighbours (not private areas). The contract includes: mowing of the grass (but not collection of cuttings), pruning of shrubs, removal of weeds and litter to shrub and rose beds, flower beds, hedge cutting, cleaning of paths and hard surfaces (free of weeds, moss and litter), removal of litter, minor vandalism to plants and regular inspections. Leaseholder handbook

The charges are based on the overall cost of providing the service. Regular service charge reviews take place to ensure that charges never exceed the cost of providing that service.

www.stockporthomes.org

9


Your Lease Service charges Service charge covers Building Insurance The cost to insure the building, including communal areas but not your contents. A copy of the cover is available from your Leasehold Officer on 0161 218 1364. The sum insured, also know as rebuild cost, should be reviewed regularly by the leaseholder (see page 15).

On completion of the Right-to-Buy the sum insured is set. The sum insured is index linked and takes into account building costs and is increased accordingly. There is an additional charge if the leaseholder does not live at the property for a period of one month or more (this includes sub-letting).

Door Entry System This covers the costs of the maintenance of the door entry system installed by the landlord. Repairs are included with the expectation of misuse. Replacements will be an additional cost.

The charges are based on the overall cost of providing the service. Regular service charge reviews take place to ensure that charges never exceed the cost of providing that service. Replacements are calculated per property.

T.V. Aerial Service This charge covers the 24 hour contract which includes the call out but not the cost of the repair as this will be included under responsive repairs. Replacements will also be an additional charge.

The charges are based on the overall cost of providing the service. Regular service charge reviews take place to ensure that charges never exceed the cost of providing that service. Replacements are calculated per property.

Communal electricity The charge for any electrical energy used in the common parts of the building or estate as defined in your lease document. Electricity can be used for any of the following: communal light; water pumps; door entry systems; lifts and T.V aerials.

The charges are based on the overall cost of providing the service. Regular service charge reviews take place to ensure that charges never exceed the cost of providing that service.

Management fee This charge is for the management of the above services.

Calculated at 10% of the total cost of providing the services plus V.A.T.

10

www.stockporthomes.org

Leaseholder handbook


Your Lease Service Charges Your service charge bill We will send you an invoice each year in March informing you of your share of the charges you will be required to pay for the coming year. You will have the option of paying the full amount in one lump sum in April or spreading the costs over the year in 12 monthly installments. The invoice will include charges for minor communal repairs which are invoiced in arrears. You will be consulted in advance on any works over £250. See the section on major works. Ground rent The ground rent is fixed annual payment of £10, which is set out in your lease. Ground rent is not related to the provision of any services. The invoices are sent out in April of each year. Management fee This is the cost of providing services to you and includes: • • • • • • • • • • • •

preparing notices for major works; issuing estimated costs of major works; supplying information to leaseholders on loan and payment methods; insuring the building; collecting payments for insurance premiums and ground rent; administration of invoices; processing repairs orders; collecting payment for routine repairs; collecting payment for major works; recording receipt of payments; maintaining accounting records; and meeting with residents.

Service Standards Service Standards are in place for each service area so that our customers have a clear understanding of the level and quality of service they can expect to receive from us. Service Standards also ensure that everyone receives the same level of service, and they allow us to measure our performance, so that we can keep on improving the services that we deliver to you.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

11


Service charges The Service Standards relating to leaseholders are: • • • • • • • • • • • •

send an annual service charge invoice before 1 April each year; send all Leaseholders a statement in an appropriate format, showing details of all service charges due and payments received every three months; ensure that all payments received are posted to individual payment accounts within three working days; ensure that it is possible to make a payment to us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year; ensure that all relevant correspondence to leaseholders includes signposting to debt and welfare benefit advice; include a ‘statement of rights’ with every demand for payment; include an article detailing current leaseholder issues in every copy of the ‘Stockport at home’ newsletter; offer all new leaseholders an appointment with the Leasehold Officer within two weeks of receiving Notice of Assignment; survey leaseholders every two years on the standards of service received and report findings to leaseholders along with service improvements; recording receipt of payments; maintaining accounting records; and meeting with residents.

We aim to achieve 100% on each of the above service standards. A copy of the organisation full standards can be viewed on our website or a copy can be requested from the Leasehold Officer on 0161 218 1364.

12

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Service charges How to pay your service charge At the Stopford House cash office: You can pay by cash and debit / credit card at the Payments Hall, Stopford House, Piccadilly, Stockport. Opening hours are 9.00am – 4.30pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am – 4.00pm on Friday. By Telephone: You can pay using a debit or credit card by telephoning 0161 474 4050. This service is available 24 hours a day. (Select garage rent option) On the Internet: You can pay your service charge on-line using a debit or credit card. Simply click here to be transferred to the Stockport Council payment website https://interactive.stockport. gov.uk/payments/. (Select garage rent option) At a Post Office, Pay Point or Payzone outlet: You can pay at any Post Office or any retail outlet displaying the Pay Point or Payzone logo using a swipe card. Post Offices are open on Saturday mornings and many Pay Point outlets are open seven days a week and late at night. To request a free payment swipe card please call 0161 218 1364. Direct Debit: You can pay your service charge by Direct Debit and will receive a discount for using this method of payment. You can download a Direct Debit Mandate form from Stockport Homes’ website www.stockporthomes.org or call the Customer Finance Team and request a Direct Debit mandate. To check that your payments are up-to-date, please contact the Leasehold Officer on 0161 218 1364, who can send you a statement of your account.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

13


Service charges Statement queries When you receive your statement, please take time to check it carefully. You may have made a payment through your bank which is not shown on the statement. To make an enquiry you should contact the Customer Finance Team immediately providing as much information as possible. Financial assistance with service charges The welfare benefit system can provide help to owner occupiers in certain circumstances if they have become unemployed or are suffering financial hardship. If you are in receipt of means tested benefits including Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or pension credits you should inform the benefits agency of the service charges you are required to pay. You are required to inform them of any changes to your service charge within four weeks of receipt of the demand. What other benefits can I claim? You may also be able to obtain assistance with your Council tax and you should contact Stockport Council on 0161 217 6014 or visit their website www.stockport.gov.uk for more advice. Alternatively, please contact Welfare Rights on 0161 464 3093. Service charge disputes If you do not agree with the service charge invoice or want to challenge the cost of the service you should contact your Leaseholder Officer in the Customer Finance Team in the first instance. If you remain dissatisfied follow the complaints procedure detailed on page 52. If you still remain dissatisfied, you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal who will make the final decision. There is a fee up to a maximum of £500 for each application. With every demand for a service charge we will include a summary of tenants’ rights and obligations under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 which will give you more information. Service charge arrears Your lease states that you have to pay service charges promptly on demand. If you are having a problem with payment for whatever reason, please contact your Leasehold Officer in the Customer Finance Team without delay. We will be able to offer advice to help you claim any benefits you may be entitled to. It is important that you pay your service charges promptly. If you fail to do so and do not contact us, or if you fail to keep to an agreement, we may take legal action to recover the money you owe. If you fail to pay your service charges you have broken the conditions of your lease and you could lose your home. 14

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Buildings insurance The Council insures the building where you live. This is because the Council is still responsible for the upkeep, repair and maintenance of the structure and communal areas and it would be very difficult to have more than one insurance company.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

15


Buildings insurance The building insurance only covers the structure and common parts of the building and not the contents of your home. When you purchased your property you will have received a summary of cover which will give you details about your insurance cover. The Council insures all sold flats with the same insurer. This means we are able to get discounts on the premium we pay which in turn means the costs are cheaper for you and other leaseholders. Your annual service charge includes an amount for insurance. The policy covers damage caused by fire, lightning, earthquake, storm, flood, explosion, tempest, burst pipes or tanks, riot and civil commotion, malicious damage, falling trees or aerials, impact, landslip, subsidence, heave and limited accidental damage (for example, accidental breakage of fixed glass, burst pipes). A statement of policy cover is available on request. The flat itself is insured and any fixtures or fittings (such as kitchen units or sanitary fittings) and decorations will also be covered if they are damaged by one of the risks described above. For example, if a pipe bursts in the flat above and damages the plaster on the walls of your flat, you may be able to claim under this insurance policy. The policy does not cover the contents of your flat in any way. We do recommend that you arrange insurance to cover your contents and these risks to your home. In the event of loss or damage to your flat or the communal areas you should contact the Council’s Insurance Department for further information and a claim form. If you consider you have grounds to make a claim within your flat you should not carry out any repairs without the prior consent of the loss adjusters. The building insurance policy is index linked which means that it is increased automatically each year in line with rebuilding costs. If you feel your property is under insured, we can arrange for it to be increased if we receive a written request from you. You should review the sum insured at regular intervals and take into account any improvements or alterations that might affect the value of the property. Confirmation of cover is sent to all leaseholders in March / April each year and will confirm the sum insured and annual premium. Should you require a copy this can be obtained by contacting the Council’s Insurance Department, on 0161 474 4031 / 4030 or your Leasehold Officer on 0161 218 1364. An administration fee may be charged for additional copies.

16

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


When you want to move

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

17 17


When you want to move Sub-letting You must inform us if you sub-let your flat. Otherwise you will risk any claims being rejected by the insurers. You will need to make sure that your tenant keeps to all the conditions which are in your lease. You will still be responsible for paying your service charge even if you charge it to your tenant as part of the rent they pay you. You must also let our office know your new address so the service charge invoices can be sent to you. We may need to contact you in the event of an emergency. A contact telephone number must therefore be provided. Your building insurance policy will require an amendment to reflect the change in occupation for which an additional fee is payable. You should be aware that this forms part of the terms and conditions of the insurers and that claims where such an amendment has not been carried out may be refused as suggested above. Moving out temporarily If you are away from home for a long period, you should leave your address with a neighbour, your Leasehold Officer or the police in case of an emergency. You will still have to pay your service charges while you are away from home. Selling your leasehold property Should you wish to sell your flat or maisonette you may find the following guidance notes useful. If we have not answered any questions please do not hesitate to contact your Leasehold Officer on 0161 218 1364 or by writing to Stockport Homes, Customer Finance Team, 1 St. Peter’s Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ. You may wish to arrange an appointment with the Leasehold Officer. Do I need to advise Stockport Homes that I intend to sell my property? No, but it would be helpful as Stockport Homes will be able to give you information for the preparation of a Home Information pack (HIP) and on any outstanding issues, in other words, non-payment of service charges or ground rent which you will need to address prior to selling. Will Stockport Homes be contacted during the sale? Yes it is likely that your solicitor or the purchaser’s solicitors will request information from you or Stockport Homes which may include the following:

18

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


When you want to move • • • • • • • • • • • •

a balance of your service charge and ground rent account. Please note that under the terms of the lease service charges are due annually in advance and despite any agreement to pay monthly some solicitors will insist that the balance is paid in full prior to completion. You should discuss apportioning the years costs with your solicitor; service charge details for the last three years; proof that the ground rent has been paid to date; details of any work chargeable under Section 20 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 that have not been paid; details of any incidents where the lease has been broken; copies of permission to make alterations; the Freeholders details (Stockport Council); cost of assigning the lease; scheme / development details; confirmation that the property is insured by the freeholder and copies of the insurance schedule; details of any sinking fund (as at February 2009 there is no sinking fund in place); and / or copies of any asbestos survey, Fensa and fire certificates;

We will aim to give this information to your solicitor within 10 working days of getting their letter. As collating this information is time consuming Stockport Homes will make an administration charge. You will normally be asked to send this fee to your solicitors. All invoices issued must be cleared before the property is sold. The solicitors involved may insist on retentions being held for costs such as minor communal repairs and investment works which have been completed or are due to be completed which have not yet been invoiced. Offering back your property or paying back your right-to-buy discount. In certain circumstances you may have to offer back the leasehold property to Stockport Council or pay back some of the discount you benefited from when you purchased the property. Your professional advisor or solicitors will be able to advise you on this. Should you be required to pay back some or the entire discount your solicitors will contact Stockport Council’s Legal Department for a figure. The lease You can sell the property at any point during the lifetime of the lease. The person who buys it pays to take over the remainder of the lease. So if you purchased your home on a 250 year lease and sell if after 10 years the buyer will purchase the remaining 240 year lease.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

19


When you want to move How is my name removed from the service charge / ground rent accounts? After the property is sold, under the terms of the lease, the buyer’s solicitor is required to write to Stockport Council’s Legal Department to tell us about the change of ownership. This correspondence is called a notice of transfer or notice of assignment. Stockport Council will request confirmation from Stockport Homes that there are no outstanding issues with the outgoing leaseholder before acknowledging the notices and sending a copy back to the buyer’s solicitor. If all outstanding charges have been paid up to the date of completion Stockport Homes will end the outgoing leaseholders account and create a new account in the name of the buyer for the service charge and ground rent. Should I provide a forwarding address? Stockport Homes will confirm that your account has been closed and provide a revised invoice showing the charges from the beginning of the financial year to when you sold the property. We will also forward you copies of any minor communal repairs that you were responsible for while you lived at the property. (You should not have to pay anything as all costs should have been paid prior to completion). What sort of costs should I expect to pay? Your professional advisor or solicitors should be able to give you a guide to the costs involved in selling a property. (As this is a leased property the additional costs may include an administration fee for providing information; clearing any outstanding debts owed; retention for works completed but not yet invoiced. This is not an exhaustive list). Websites You or the purchaser may find our the leaseholders section of our website useful www.stockporthomes.org

20

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Legal rights As well as rights in your lease, there are other rights in law which apply to leaseholders. These are Acts of Parliament which have been agreed by Government. The law is complex and if you want to find out more about these or any other legal rights you should ask your solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

21 21


Legal rights Service charges must be reasonable Stockport Homes must make sure its service charges and estimates are reasonable. The services or works carried out must also be done to a reasonable standard. A guide to your rights and responsibilities can also be found on the communities and Local Government web pages www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/booklet A summary of your rights will be sent with any demand for services. As a leaseholder you can apply to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal if you think the service charges are not reasonable or the services or works are not of a reasonable standard. The tribunal has the power to decide whether or not they are reasonable. You do not have the right to withhold payment of service charges because you believe service charges are unreasonable. The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) provides free advice on the law affecting residential long leasehold property and commonhold. You can telephone them on 0845 345 1993. Applying to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal Leasehold Valuation Tribunals (LVT) are an independent and impartial panel of professionals with knowledge of the management of leasehold property. They consider applications made on issues / disputes which arise. There is a fee up to a maximum of £500 for each application. You can either apply individually or along with other leaseholders. If you want more details you should get a copy of the leaflet “Leasehold Valuation Tribunals – Guidance on procedure, from Residential Property Tribunal Service”. Summary of service charge costs You have the right to ask Stockport Homes to give you a summary of the service charge costs which you are paying. Stockport Homes provides this summary every year. Inspecting invoices and receipts You can ask to see all the invoices or receipts that make up the service charges. We do not charge you for looking at these directly, but they form part of the management charges. We will make a reasonable charge if you want photocopies. Please contact your Leaseholder Officer in the Customer Finance Team to arrange this for you.

22

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Legal rights Carrying out an independent management audit Leaseholders have the right to carry out an independent management audit. This means that leaseholders appoint a qualified person to examine whether we are managing the leasehold homes properly. The costs of employing an auditor will be paid for by the leaseholders employing him or her. Recognition of Residents’ Associations In order to become a recognised Residents’ Association for the purposes of service charges you would need to meet the following criteria as detailed in Section 29 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985: • •

there must be only one Residents’ Association for the development; and 60% of eligible leaseholders must be members of the Residents Association under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, where a Residents Association meets the conditions of the act, we would write to them to give recognition for the purpose of service charges.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

23


Major works Stockport Homes is responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, repair and improvement of your building and estate as a whole but as a leaseholder you are responsible for paying your share of these costs through your service charge.

24 24

Leaseholder handbook Leaseholders handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Major works We carry out regular maintenance to all our estates but every building requires major works during its life. This can include programmed repairs, for example, re-roofing work and external decoration, often carried out on a cyclical basis. It can also include programmed improvements, for example, installing entry phones and fitting UPVC windows, to bring your estate up to modern day standards. Consultation We are committed to consulting all residents, including leaseholders, at all stages of a major works project. The type of consultation will depend on the works we are planning to do. For example, if we are planning a lot of work with major changes that affect you, we will organise more meetings and give more information to residents than if we are doing regular external decorations to your building. Where work is going to cost more than £250 per leasehold flat, you have a legal right to be consulted about the work before the work begins (Section 151 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002). You will receive a ‘notice of intention’ which you can respond to within 30 days and you can comment on the scope of the works and / or nominate a contractor in some circumstances. Following this if we still propose to continue with the work, a further notification is sent containing details of the work and the estimated costs. You will then have 30 days to give us your comments. We will look carefully at your comments and will have regard to them. You cannot refuse permission for the works to go ahead. We have responsibility under the lease to repair and maintain the building. Where a Residents’ Association is recognised for the purpose of service charges under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, they have the right to be consulted about the specification for the works and in some circumstances to be asked for the names of any contractors they would like to be put on the tender list for the work. We will try to include a suggested contractor as long as they meet all the conditions we set for contractors. Where long-term contracts were established before October 2003, leaseholders will not be asked for names of contractors to add to a tender list. Where work is of an urgent nature and cannot be delayed, it will be carried out without consultation for example, leaking roof or water burst. Stockport Homes will approach the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) to ask for dispensation to charge leaseholders for these costs without consultation. Stockport Homes must provide evidence of the urgency. The standard of work We aim to make sure that all works carried out to your building and development are to the highest standard. If you have any problems or complaints about the work, it is very important you tell us when it is being carried out.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

25


Major works At the consultation stage you will be given the name of the Project Manager running the contract and you should contact them with any queries. They will investigate and sort out the problem. At the end of the works we will contact you to ask you if you are satisfied with the standard of work and the way it was carried out. If you are not happy with the standard of work we will investigate and try to put it right. Damage by contractors and insurance claims All contractors doing work for Stockport Homes must be fully insured against claims where they are at fault. If a contractor damages your flat or your personal belongings or causes any personal injury to you or other people in your household, you should be able to claim against the contractor. If this happens please contact the Project Manager. Where scaffolding is erected around your block, you need to advise your contents insurer. If you do not tell them, the outcome of any claim may be affected. Guarantees on works On major contracts there is a limited ‘defects liability period’ that varies from six months to a year depending on the nature of the work. For some specific types of work for example, roof resurfacing and windows, manufacturers offer warranties against manufacturing defects. Value for money To make sure Stockport Homes get value for money major works contracts are competitively tendered, or may be procured through a consortium called GM Procure. GM Procure has been established with other housing providers in Greater Manchester, combining our spending in order to reduce costs and gain added value from the projects we undertake. Long-term maintenance contracts Stockport Homes select contractors to carry out maintenance work to the Council’s properties in the Borough on long-term contracts. These contracts will be maintenance contracts for residents’ homes, communal and individual heating systems and door entry systems. These will be long-term agreements and will avoid the need to obtain competitive estimates for individual jobs of work. Under the new individual heating system contract, you will have the opportunity to have your own system serviced by Stockport Homes’ contractor at the same price available to the Council. However, there will be no obligation for you to do this and any arrangements will be between you and the contractor. 26

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Major works You will still have a liability to contribute to a share of the costs of works carried out to your development. We are required by law to consult with leaseholders, describing the work and the estimated cost and offering an opportunity for you to make written observations. Since these agreements are covered by European Union regulations, and a public notice has been issued in that organisation’s official journal, you will not be able to nominate alternative contractors. However, any comments received will be regarded when we select a preferred contractor. You will be consulted on any long term agreement Stockport Homes enters into where the cost will be over £100 per property. Reserve / sinking funds Your lease allows the landlord to make a provision for a reserve fund, also know as a sinking fund to meet future liabilities of carrying out major works to the development Following consultation with leaseholders in 2008 Stockport Homes decided not to make a collection towards a sinking fund, however this decision will be reviewed in the future. Paying for works In the absence of a reserve / sinking fund once leaseholders are in receipt of their consultation paperwork they should make arrangements to secure funds in advance of the works to be completed. You will not be charged more than the amount stated in the consultation paperwork. When we issue the invoice we will ask you how you intend to meet these costs. For leaseholders convenience here are some of the options available to you: Savings in advance There are many options available to save monies through banks and building societies. These accounts can often attract reasonable interest. Credit Union Residents of Stockport can at any time join a Credit Union which is a not-for-profit community savings and loans cooperative which is owned and controlled by its members. Credit Unions are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) which also regulates all banks and building societies. Members are able to save as little or a much as they like on a regular basis (Up to a maximum of £5,000) and are able to borrow monies at a low interest rate following a period of saving (currently 10 to 13 weeks). Loans can be repaid at any time without having to pay a penalty.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

27


Major works More information on Credit Unions can be obtained from Stockport Credit Union at First House 367 Brinnington Road, Brinnington, Stockport, SK5 8EN or by telephone 0161 430 5808. Adjustment of any existing mortgage on the leaseholders flat, or a further advance from the lender (improvement loan) You may be able to obtain an improvement loan from your mortgage lender to pay for improving your home. The amount of the loan would be added to your mortgage. Your lender would then calculate a new rate of repayment on the mortgage. They might also consider extending the mortgage term in order to keep the repayments affordable. You should contact your lender before the works start, by sending them a copy of the Section 151 notice you receive from us. Help from the Department of Works and Pensions Leaseholders who are receiving some means tested benefits such as Income Support, income based Jobseekers Allowance, Pension Credits may be entitled to help from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Leaseholders should speak to their benefit provider about claiming ‘housing costs’. Some items that you may be able obtain assistance with are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

28

roof renewal / replacement, chimney stack repairs; fitting roof safety rails, or roof safety harnesses allowing regular inspections and maintenance; exterior cladding; repairs to balcony balustrades and handrails; repairs to common walkways and balconies; window replacement, including single to double glazed; repair and replacement of communal doors, ensuring compliance with fire regulations; external and communal area redecoration; replacement of communal floorings; repair / replace guttering and down pipes; some works to drains; electrical installations in communal areas; replacement of analogue aerial with digital but not installation of sateliite dish to receive additional channels; maintenance and cleaning of communal ventilation shafts and flues; installation or renewal of entry systems and access to comply with Disability Discrimination Act; some works to lifts; chemical treatment of dry rot but not replacement of structural timbers such as joists; communal water pumps and water mains / tanks; replacement of dry risers to tower blocks and install, repair and replace fire escapes; asbestos removal;

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Major works • boundary walls and fencing; and • associated costs, for example, surveys, fees and scaffolding. This is not a exhaustive list and you should check with your benefit provider. Where the DWP will not usually pay for the cost of repairs and improvements they may be able to help pay any interest incurred on a loan or a mortgage taken out. Examples of repairs and improvements include: • • • • •

bathroom and kitchen replacement; repairs to existing heating systems; damp proof measures; provision of ventilation and natural lighting; and provision of drainage facilities.

This is not a exhaustive list and you should check with your benefit provider. A “statutory” service charge loan Leaseholders may qualify for a statutory service charge loan if they meet the following criteria: • • • • •

the lease was granted in the last 10 years; they are the original Right-to-Buy purchaser; the total demand for services for the year amounts to more than £2,330 (this amount is reviewed annually); the minimum that can be borrowed is £780 and the maximum £30,950; and a claim is made within six weeks of an invoice being issued.

Stockport Council will arrange a loan for a qualifying leaseholder and can charge an administration fee up to £100. To secure the loan a legal charge will be placed on the property. Interest is charged at Local Authority Interest Rate and is variable set in line with government guidelines. Leaseholders considering applying for a statutory service charge loan should also compare loans offered by banks and building society where the rates may be competitive. Voluntary charge on the property Leaseholders may qualify for a voluntary charge on their property if they meet certain criteria. If the property is sold, assigned or passed on through inheritance the charge is immediately repayable to Stockport Homes. Leaseholders should seek independent legal Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

29


Major works advice before considering securing a charge on their property. Interest is charged at Local Authority Interest Rates and is variable set in line with government guidelines. Equity release schemes / loans The equity (value) you have in your home is its open market value less any mortgage or other debt held against it. Equity release is a way of obtaining cash from the value of your home without having to move out of it. There are a number of companies offering various options, such as life time mortgages; no re-payment loans; interest only loans; capital and interest repayment loans; and home reversion to homeowners over 50 / 60. It is important that leaseholders considering these option and should take further advice from a trusted independent adviser. A loan may be available from the Council to assist homeowners with repairs, improvements or adaptations to their homes. Please refer to Stockport Council’s Private Sector Housing Investment Assistance Policy available from Housing Strategy Team on 0161 474 4390 or Stockport Council website www.stockport.gov.uk Leaseholders who feel they may struggle to pay a large invoice should contact their Leaseholder Officer, in the Customer Finance Team, at the earliest opportunity.

30

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Repairs and maintenance

Reporting a repair if you are leaseholder All Stockport Homes residents, including leaseholders, are able to report a repair to the Repairs Contact Centre by: • telephoning the contact centre on 0161 217 6016; • emailing housing.repairs@ stockporthomes.org; • texting 07797 806630; or • completing an on-line repair reporting form.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

3131


Repairs and maintenance When reporting a repair, please give as much detail as possible including which building is affected. You will be given an order number, which you should keep in case you have to contact Stockport Homes again, and a date when the first inspection will be made by. This is not the date Stockport Homes expect the work to be done by. Leaseholders should remember that Stockport Homes will not carry out any works which are your responsibility under the terms of the lease, for example, internal repairs and areas which are solely for your use. A brief guide can be found on page 34. Please contact your Leasehold Officer or the Repairs Contact Centre if you require clarification. Where the cost of the works are to be over ÂŁ250 per property Stockport Homes will be required to consult leaseholders under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 and will result in a delay. Any temporary repairs will be carried out to ensure that the structure is safe and water tight. Emergency repairs To ensure that the most urgent repairs are completed in the shortest time, Stockport Homes has a system of prioritising different types of works depending on the severity of the repair. An emergency repair would be one which could injure someone or damage his / her health. For all gas leaks: Turn off the gas valve at the meter and immediately call Transco on 0800 111 999. For emergency lift repairs: Outside of office hours (Evenings, weekends and public holidays), please telephone 0161 217 6016. For all other emergency repairs: Required outside of office hours (evenings, weekends and public holidays), please telephone 0161 217 6016. For external burst pipes / water leaks please call United Utilities.

32

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Repairs and maintenance Aim: To provide all our tenants with a high quality, efficient and comprehensive repairs service. Objectives: • • • • • • • • •

Consult tenants and involve them in decisions about the service and standard of repairs to their homes and estates and service monitoring; maximise the useful life of our housing stock; ensure homes are warm and comfortable, in a good and safe repair and meet the requirements of the ‘decent homes’ legislation; achieve high standards of customer care; provide a prompt, efficient and effective repairs service; minimise the time homes are left empty; monitor and continuously improve the performance of staff and contractors, taking into account tenant feedback; minimise expenditure on day-to-day repairs and maximise that spent on planned maintenance; and comply with legal duties, implement examples of best practice and ensure value for money.

To achieve this we will: • • • • •

provide an emergency repair service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for genuine emergencies (in other words, where there is a risk to your safety we will respond within four hours to make safe or carry out a full repair in the most urgent cases); only carry out repairs for which we are responsible and which are as a result of fair wear and tear; tell you when you make a request whether we need to make an inspection before the work is carried out; reclaim costs from tenants who willfully, or through neglect, damage their homes; and carry out repairs within sensible deadlines, to keep down the costs of emergency repairs. You will normally wait up to 20 days following your request or following an inspection for routine repairs - in many cases we will be able to carry out the repairs sooner.

Guarantees and defects liability For general repairs there is a defect liability period of six months. On some repairs, for example, damp proof course, dry rot etc, there are guarantees of 10 – 25 years depending on the company and work.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

33


Repairs and maintenance Reporting poor quality work Stockport Homes have a quality check system in place which means that 10% of all jobs completed a quality checked. We want to make sure that you get value for money. If you are not satisfied with a repair that has been or not been carried out you should contact the Repairs Contact Centre and register your dissatisfaction. Should you feel that the response is not satisfactory then you should address your complaint to the Service Manager who will provide a written response to your complaint. The repairs service charter is available on request. Costs to a leaseholder Under the terms of the lease, leaseholders are required to contribute to the cost of any communal repairs, in other words, areas / services which are shared by the residents of your block. You will not be asked to contribute to a repair for the sole use of another resident. Identifying our workers All our workers and contractors carry identification cards which show their photograph. You can ask to see the card at any time. If someone who says that they work for us calls on you without an appointment, never let them in without seeing their card. You may use Stockport Homes’ contractors to carry out repairs which you as the leaseholder are responsible for. Please note that this is a private agreement between yourself and the contractor. Summary of repair Responsibilities Type of repair

Responsibility to organise works

Front door to flat Door Frame Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Door Leaseholder Door handles Leaseholder Door locks Lost keys Additional security Internal doors in flat

34

Leaseholder handbook

Leaseholder Leaseholder Leaseholder Leaseholder

www.stockporthomes.org


Repairs and maintenance Type of repair

Responsibility to organise works

Windows to flat Window frames Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Window fixtures and catches Leaseholder Window panes Leaseholder Additional security Leaseholder Heating Communal boiler Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Radiators and pipes connected to a Stockport Homes Housing communal heating system Repairs Team Individual heating system Leaseholder Room heaters Leaseholder Sweeping chimneys Leaseholder Fireplaces Leaseholder Electrical Faults within the flat Leaseholder Communal lighting Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Immersion heater Leaseholder Fuses Leaseholder Extractor fans Leaseholder Plumbing Burst pipe within the flat Leaseholder Tap and tap washers Leaseholder Stopcocks, ball valves, bath, basin, sink Leaseholder and blocked waste pipes Hot or cold water tanks within the flat Leaseholder Main storage tank (in communal loft) Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Balconies Unblocking gulleys (drains) Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Pigeon infestation Leaseholder Structural works Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

35


Repairs and maintenance Type of repair

Responsibility to organise works

Drains Blockage to shared drainage pipes Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Blockage within the flat Leaseholder Gas (Telephone Transco) Gas escapes within the flat Leaseholder Cookers Leaseholder Gas fires Leaseholder Gas servicing Leaseholder Roofs Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Gutters Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Walls and ceilings Internal walls Leaseholder Structure of party wall Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Internal plaster Leaseholder Ceilings Leaseholder Walls to communal areas Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Floors within the flat Floorboards Leaseholder Joists Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Skirting boards Leaseholder Floor tiles Leaseholder Concrete screeding Leaseholder Decorations Internal decorations Leaseholder Decorations to communal areas Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Communal facilities Car parking areas Communal gardens and grassed areas Communal laundry and facilities Communal TV aerial 36

Leaseholder handbook

Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team

www.stockporthomes.org


Repairs and maintenance Type of repair Communal facilities Entry phone system and lifts Communal, path and gates

Responsibility to organise works

Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team Stockport Homes Housing Repairs Team

Pests Insect / rodent infestation to individual property (please see page 43) Insect / rodent infestation to block

Leaseholder Pest Control

Gas safety To ensure the safety of all our residents the lease requires leaseholders to keep gas equipment in a good condition and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends an annual service of all gas appliances by a qualified tradesman with Gas Safe Registration (formally Corgi). The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states that you must not use a gas appliance or fittings you know or suspect to be unsafe (HSE Gas Safety Advice leaflet is available from your Leasehold Officer). There are additional regulations for leasehold properties which are sub-let. Leaseholders may buy into Stockport Homes’ gas servicing contract. There is an annual charge payable in full for which leaseholders are invoiced separately from their service charges. Other useful information Other than the leaseholders guide leaflets on the following can be obtained from your Leasehold Officer: • • • • • •

Stockport Homes’ repairs booklet, which includes information on the repairs service charter; ‘Gas Appliances – Get them checked. Keep them safe’ Issued by HSE Gas Safety Executive; ‘Looking for an electrician?’ Guidance on how to employ a Niceic Registered Contractor. Issued by NIC Group; ‘How safe is the wiring in your home?’ Guidance leaflet issued by NIC Group; ‘Staying Put’ – For homeowners who are over 60 years and require assistance with repairs and adaptations; ‘Staying Put’ – For homeowners in tax bands A-D who are over 60 years or in receipt of income related benefits and require assistance with home security.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

37


Alterations and improvements Under the terms of your lease you can only carry out internal alterations or improvements to your home if you get written permission from us. Your lease sets out works that will not be allowed even if you ask for permission, for example, alterations to walls and lofts. You should always check your lease first before you think about any internal alterations or improvements.

38 38

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Alterations and improvements You will need to write and let us know what internal alterations or improvements you would like to undertake. You must not start work before we give you permission. If you do you might be required under your lease to put your property back into its original condition before you started the work. We will look carefully at your request. We may need to come and visit you to discuss your proposals. If this is needed, an officer from Stockport Homes will make an appointment with you. We may make a charge for this service and for the administrative costs involved in considering your request. We will only refuse permission in certain cases such as safety reasons or where you want to alter something which is the responsibility of the Council. If we give you permission, you will need to make sure you have all the permissions that you need, for example, Building Regulations approval and Planning Permission. You should also remember that you will be responsible for any maintenance or servicing of anything you do to your home. Failure to request the relevant permissions may result in you being asked to reinstate the alterations / improvements at your costs or issues when selling your property in the future. Communal windows and doors The windows are the Stockport Homes’ responsibility as in the lease they belong to the landlord as part of the structure. This means that we will not give permission for you to replace the windows and the frames yourself. If the windows in your block need to be repaired or replaced we will arrange it and you will have to pay your share of the cost of the work for the whole block as part of your service charge. Flat windows and doors The window and door frames that are for your sole use also remain the Stockpor Homes’ responsibility however we will recoup the full cost of repairs and replacements through the service charges. If Stockport Homes have not made a provision to replace the windows and doors in your flat and you wish to replace them at your own costs you may do this with our written consent. As the landlord remains responsible for the maintenance of the frames in the future we will ask you to use the same product as we use. This is currently ‘Profile 22’. In some blocks we will also ask that you comply with current fire regulations on the door frames.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

39


Alterations and improvements Glass The glass in your windows and any doors to your flat are your responsibility. Television aerials On some blocks Stockport Homes provides communal aerials for television users. If your block does not have a communal aerial, an indoor aerial may give a good reception. If you want an outdoor aerial fitted, you must apply to the Area Housing Office who will arrange for the work to be carried out by the Council’s specialist TV aerial contractors. You will have to pay the cost of the installation in advance. You must not fit your own outdoor aerial as it could damage the building (you are liable for any repair costs) and may also be a serious safety hazard. Leaseholders should not erect an aerial without permission or allow a receiver to cause interference to others. Satellite dishes and cable television You are not allowed to fix any satellite dish to Council property without obtaining Planning Permission and written consent from the Area Housing Office. Residents will be asked to remove any dishes that are installed without the necessary consents. However, many blocks have access to cable television which also enables you to select from a wide range of channels, including satellite and foreign language transmissions. Alterations to your home if you are elderly or disabled If you are elderly or disabled and find it difficult to access your home or to get around inside it, you may possibly be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). This would be used to provide you with the appropriate aids / adaptations. You should contact Disability Services in the first instance. Their telephone number is 0161 474 4341. (If the affected person is under 18 years of age, you should either speak with their medical provider, or ring Children’s Services on 0161 217 6028.) An assessment of need will be carried out. This will determine whether you are eligible for the grant, and how long your wait is likely to be. Please note that no stair-lifts can be fitted in communal areas of the building.

40

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Alterations and improvements Who will do the work? Be careful about who you choose to do the work for you. If a friend or family offers to do the work for you be sure they know how to do what is required. DIY is usually the cheapest initially but if you need to get a builder in to correct mistakes it could be very costly in the end. If you need to employ a tradesman obtain recommendations from friends, family, or neighbours who have previously employed someone and been happy with the work done. Do not use a tradesman that knocks on your door or sends you information through the post. Use these tips for employing a tradesman: • • • • • • • •

get more than one quote for the work to be done; make sure the person you choose is qualified to do the work you require. Different trades have different controlling bodies and qualifications. For example a gas engineer should be registered with ‘gas safety’ and electrical should be registered with NIC; check the quote carefully. It should be itemised so you know exactly what work you will be contracting to have done. Does the quote include VAT?; if you are unsure about a term or anything on the quotation ask; make an agreement in writing with the builder you choose. You will then both know what is expected and have a record of the agreement to refer to should there be any dispute later. Make sure the agreement includes when you will be expected to make a payment as some tradesman may need payment at different stages if you are having a lot of work done; do not pay the total up front. Keep some money back until the work is completed to your satisfaction; check if the tradesman is insured, including public liability; and once the works have been completed you are issued with any necessary certificates.

Asbestos If your flat was built before the mid 1980’s, it is possible it contains materials made from asbestos. There is no need to worry about asbestos materials if they are in good condition, and it will not be necessary to remove them. However, it is important that asbestos is not damaged and if you suspect that you may have asbestos in your home, you should take extra care when doing DIY. You must not attempt work on sprayed asbestos, lagging or insulation boards, as this must be done by a licensed asbestos removal company. Do not drill, cut or disturb including scraping or sanding asbestos materials before painting and decoration. Further advice can be obtained from a licensed asbestos company or the Health and Safety executive. Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

41


About your surroundings Caretaking and cleaning communal areas Stockport Homes offer a caretaking and cleaning service (communal areas) in some blocks. Most caretaking and cleaning activities take place from Monday to Friday to avoid inconvenience to residents at weekends. A basic service involving essential cleaning, removing refuse and safety checks is provided at weekends.

42 42

Leaseholder handbook Leaseholders handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


About your surroundings Cleaning involves tasks such as regular sweeping, mopping and washing. The standard you should expect is that after cleaning, blocks should be clean, free from litter and spills. The Caretaker is responsible for: • cleaning internal communal areas; • cleansing and disinfecting hoppers and chute rooms; • cleaning external areas with other contractors; • removing small items of refuse; • identifying / reporting repairs; and • removing small areas of graffiti. Stockport Homes review the services provided on a regular basis and are summarised in the Service Standards Policy. Our service standards include the frequency and tasks to be undertaken by the caretaker or cleaning contractor. A copy of the service standards can be obtained from the CaretakingTeam on 0161 218 1498. If you have any particular issues concerning caretaking and cleaning services, please contact your local area housing office. Rubbish and litter Please help us to keep the area you live in clean by ensuring that you do not leave rubbish or bulky items in the communal areas. All household rubbish should be placed in the dustbins. If your building has a rubbish chute, only use it for small items of rubbish and avoid using it between 9.00pm and 7.00am to prevent noise in your block. Stockport Council is responsible for collection rubbish on a regular basis. Should you have a query regarding collection you should contact Stockport Direct on 0161 217 6111 (open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday) or email stockportdirect@stockport.gov.uk It is your responsibility to ensure that you dispose of bulky items at your own costs. Items should not be left in the communal area. Any item disposed of by Stockport Homes will be recharged to you at the full cost. Stockport Council will arrange collection of most items (a small fee may be charged). Animals Depending on where you live you may not be allowed to keep animals at your property. The general guidance is: • •

you can not keep any animals other than a caged bird in any flat or maisonette having a communal entrance or on a deck access (communal walk way – clarification can be obtained from the area office); and where animals are allowed you can not keep any animals or birds other than domestic pets.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

43


About your surroundings Please contact your Area Housing Office should you require clarification. Your pet must not cause a nuisance to any of your neighbours. You may break the terms of your lease if your pet causes a nuisance or a health hazard, and be taken to court by the Council / Stockport Homes. Infestations Stockport Hygiene Action Team offers an advice service in respect of rats, mice, wasps nests, ants, cockroaches and bed bugs that are found within your home. If pest control treatment is carried out to your individual property then you will be charged for this service, except in the case of rats, mice, bedbugs or cockroaches. Stockport Council make a charge for treatment of wasps, fleas, ants, other insects, birds and squirrels. A 50% discount is available for those leaseholders who are over 60 on pension credit or 20% if you hold a Local Authority leisure key (band A) Stockport Council do not treat bees as they play a vital ecological role in the environment If you do have a problem Stockport Council recommend you seek the advice of a beekeeper. Please telephone the Hygiene Action Team, who will be able advise you accordingly, on 0161 474 4285 or you may submit a request via Stockport Council website – www.stockport.gov.uk Lifts There are lifts in all high rise blocks and in some smaller ones. Our engineers or a contractor maintain these lifts. Garden maintenance The Council is responsible for maintaining communal areas, we employ contractors to maintain grassed areas and shrubs which include cutting the grass surrounding your block and maintaining shrub patches. This does not include private garden areas. If you have any particular issues concerning garden maintenance, please contact your Area Housing Office. A summary of the frequency of visits or more information can be obtained from your Area Housing Office. If you are unsure who is responsible for maintain the gardens around your home please refer to your lease plan or contact your Leasehold Officer on 0161 218 1364. 44

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


About your surroundings Graffiti It is our priority to remove racist, sexist and otherwise offensive graffiti and we encourage residents to report any graffiti (both inside and outside the building) to their Area Housing Office. Our aim is to have offensive graffiti removed within 24 hours of it being reported. Other graffiti will be removed within a week. Vandalism Acts of vandalism should be reported to the Housing Repair Team on 0161 217 6016. As leaseholders are charged for any repair carried out within the block/scheme we ask leasehold be vigilant and report repeated acts of vandalism to the Area Housing Team with as much details as possible. Stockport Homes will endeavour to recharge or tackle issues to prevent these costs in the future. Abandoned vehicles Abandoned or untaxed vehicles are removed from council roads and estates area as and when requested by Stockport Homes’ staff or local residents. Please advise your area housing office, or contact Streetscene directly on 0161 217 6111. Car parking You can usually park your own private vehicle in the parking area on the estate. You must not: • • • • • •

change oil or discharge fuel tanks; do any major car repairs, paint spraying or car breaking; park any untaxed vehicles; park larger commercial vehicles or lorries; park on footpaths, pavements or verges; or block access for emergency vehicles.

The Council / Stockport Homes may take legal action against leaseholders who commit any of the above offences. Door entry systems The Council have put door entry systems into many of their buildings to make them more secure by controlling entry into the building.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

45


About your surroundings Heaters Paraffin and bottled gas heaters are not allowed. It is dangerous to have paraffin, bottled gas, petrol or any other flammable substances in flats and so they are not allowed in the building at all. Noise and nuisance Nuisance includes persistent noise from music, dogs, car engines etc which cause distress to others. It is essential that you respect your neighbours’ privacy and comfort and that you do not cause noise or annoyance to others. If you do, you will be breaking your lease and we will take action against you. It is also a breach of the tenancy agreement if a tenant causes noise or annoyance to you or other neighbours. Controlling noise Here is some practical advice. • • • • • • •

Talk to your neighbours about whether any noises you make can be heard in their homes. Remember that speech can carry as much as any other sound, especially at night. Keep music at acceptable levels, especially if you have the windows open. Do not put stereos and radios against shared walls. Put them on carpet or rubber to help deaden the vibration. Turn all music down after 11.00pm until 7.30am or use headphones. If you have a dog, do not leave it constantly barking in your home or out in the garden. Do all your domestic cleaning or DIY activities at reasonable hours of the day.

Dealing with noise nuisance If you experience noise nuisance, these are the steps you should take to try to resolve it. • • • •

46

Firstly, contact your neighbour and ask them, in a reasonable manner, to stop the noise. If the noise continues, you should contact your area housing office to explain the problem. You may be asked to keep a diary of the times, dates and type of noise. The Neighbourhood Housing Officer will explain why you need to keep these diary sheets, and the best way of completing them. We will investigate your complaint and if there is sufficient evidence we may take legal action. You could also contact the Council’s Environmental Health department for advice. If court action is taken you may be asked to give evidence and attend the court hearing.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Anti-Social Behaviour, nuisance and harassment Everyone has the right to enjoy their home and environment peacefully. Anti-Social Behaviour and nuisance prevents you from doing this. Harassment is the deliberate interference with the peace, comfort or safety of any person on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability and it includes incidents of graffiti, damage to the property, verbal abuse, threats and physical attacks.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

47


Anti-Social Behaviour, nuisance and harassment The Council / Stockport Homes does not tolerate harassment in any form. We take all reports of harassment very seriously and aim to provide support to victims as well as taking speedy action with our legal powers against culprits. Stockport Homes is a member of the Safer Stockport Partnership (SSP) and is committed to taking positive action in conjunction with our partners to deal with all forms of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). Stockport Homes is a signatory to the Government’s Respect Standard for Housing Management and is committed to ensuring our services for tackling ASB exceed those outlined within the Standard. We recognise that all residents have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their home and that, left unchallenged, ASB can have a significant negative impact on the lives of our residents. Equally every resident has a responsibility not to interfere with their neighbour’s right to the peaceful enjoyment of their home. We recognise that the causes and effects of ASB are wide ranging and can affect all members of the community, not just Stockport Homes’ residents. Therefore we will always seek to work in partnership with other agencies to ensure that all the measures available are used effectively to tackle ASB problems regardless of tenure. We recognise the relationship between ASB and the demand for housing and we also recognise the impact that any actions to combat ASB can have on the sustainability of communities and neighbourhoods. Stockport Homes does not operate in isolation and the ASB policy has been written to take account of oblations imposed by national legislation and other relevant local strategies and policies. We expect all our tenants and leaseholders to fully comply with all the conditions of their tenancy / lease agreement, in particular those that relate to ASB, nuisance and harassment. We also expect that a tenant / leaseholder’s family members, relatives, pets or visitors and lodgers at the property also comply with the tenancy / lease conditions. Failure to do so may result in legal action being taken against them and/or the tenant / leaseholder. As a responsible landlord, Stockport Homes is committed to taking positive action in conjunction with our partners to deal with all forms of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). The rights and obligations contained within the tenancy agreement will be emphasised during the sign up interview of each new tenancy and initial home visit when purchasing a flat. The standards of behaviour expected from tenants in Stockport will be clearly outlined. Stockport Homes is committed to tackling all forms of ASB regardless of tenure and will also take action against persons causing ASB even if they are not tenants.

48

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Anti-Social Behaviour, nuisance and harassment If you are suffering from any kind of ASB please report the problem as soon as possible to the area housing office. Complaints can be made anonymously however may restrict the amount of investigations and action we can undertake. Any complaints will be treated in the strictest of confidence. The identity of any complainant will not be revealed unless consent is given. When we receive a complaint we will: • record the complaint and allocate it to a named Neighbourhood Housing Officer; • open a case file and complete an initial report to establish the nature of the ASB; • assess the urgency of the case and apply a category. • CAT A – URGENT for example, race hate crime / threats or use of violence. These cases will be immediately referred to the specialist ASB Team and arrange an interview with the complainant with 24 hours. • CAT B – PERSISTENT NUISANCE – for example, noisy neighbours. We will acknowledge in writing within two days and arrange an interview with the complainant within five working days. • CAT C – NOT URGENT – for example, untidy garden. • develop an action plan with complainant to investigate the problem; • assess whether mediation is appropriate and, if so, offer this to the complainant as a possible solution to the problem; and • if unsuitable for mediation, investigate the problem and take timely, effective and consistent action to tackle the problem. In all cases, an account of what has happened so far will be taken to help Stockport Homes decide on the appropriate action. Stockport Homes can get this from the complainant, identified witnesses, other agencies such as wardens or police and from CCTV recording systems. A copy of Stockport Homes Anti-Social Behaviour policy and procedure summary is available from your area housing office, Leasehold Officer or from our website. The policy also includes useful contacts.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

49


Becoming involved

Customer involvement is what happens when customers tell us what they think about the services they receive and have a chance to influence the decisions that affect their home and neighbourhood.

50 50

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Becoming involved In order for Stockport Homes to improve the services we offer to you, we need to know what you think. There are many ways to help make this happen and a leaflet ‘Your Home, Your Voice, Your Choice’ is available on request. You can choose to be involved as little or as much as you like depending on your own interests and the time you have to spare. We’re here to help you Stockport Homes has a Customer Involvement Team dedicated to helping you get involved in any way you choose. The team will be happy to provide you with information, advice, support and development. We offer training where necessary and we will reimburse out-of-pocket expenses. They can also help with taxis for people with mobility needs and childcare or carers’ costs. Leaseholders can join in any of the customer involvement events but we also have specialised events for leaseholders - Customer Action Group (CAG) meetings and forum where we address issues that you have raised as important to you. We also hold an email database which we use to make you aware of leasehold issues and welcome you to join the database. We will not pass your details to a third party and you can ask for your name to removed at any time. You will receive a regular leaseholder survey, the results of which we use to improve the leasehold services.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

51


Do you have a comment, compliment or complaint?

Why we need your comments, compliments and complaints Stockport Homes is committed to providing high-quality services, which meet its customers’ needs. To do this, we need to know your views.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

52


Do you have a comment, compliment or complaint? Your views are important to us because they help us to improve our services and ensure we treat everyone fairly. We need to know when you are not happy with a service you have received. We also need to know when we have done something well or if you have a suggestion for something we could do better. How you can make a comment, compliment or complaint. You can provide your feedback on the service at any Stockport Homes’ offices in the following ways: • • • • • • • •

telephone; email; letter; fax; text message; textphone or minicom; through an interpreter; and face-to-face.

You can find contact details for all Stockport Homes’ offices at the end of this guide. Our Head Office where the Customer Feedback Officer is based is: 1 St. Peter’s Square Stockport SK1 1NZ Customer Feedback Officer

Tel: 0161 474 2600

What is a comment? A comment is a suggestion about how Stockport Homes can improve its services. If you are not satisfied with the way a comment is handled or the outcome, you may want to make a complaint. What is a compliment? If you feel you want to make a positive comment about an individual, team or service area, Stockport Homes will treat this as a compliment. We welcome all compliments, as these help us to identify where we are performing well and share this good practice with other parts of Stockport Homes.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

53


Do you have a comment, compliment or complaint? What is a complaint? Stockport Homes defines a complaint as: ‘An expression of dissatisfaction or upset about something over which Stockport Homes has control’. For example, if you are upset about the attitude of a member of staff, you feel a service standard, policy or procedure has not been met, or a contractor fails to attend an appointment, you can make a complaint. Complaints do not include the following: • • •

neighbour disputes; neighbour nuisance or Anti-Social Behaviour complaints – unless you feel we have not dealt with a nuisance complaint properly; and complaints about the actions of a party that is not working for, or supported by, Stockport Homes.

What you can expect from us When you make a comment, compliment or complaint you can expect the following standards to apply: • • • •

We will acknowledge all customer feedback within three working days and provide a full response within ten working days if needed. If the feedback is a more complicated complaint, a full response may take up to 20 working days but we will tell you this when we acknowledge your feedback. All acknowledgement letters will include the name and contact details for the Customer Feedback Officer. If we cannot provide a full response within the timescale, we will send you a letter to explain why and provide a new timescale for the full response. All full responses will include an explanation of the decision reached by Stockport Homes. If any service is found to have failed to meet our service standards, we will apologise in writing. These letters will also state what we have done to put things right.

How will Stockport Homes deal with your complaint? Stockport Homes has three stages for dealing with complaints. At all stages, the Customer Feedback Officer will send you an acknowledgement letter within three working days, unless the complaint can be dealt with the same day. You must contact the Customer Feedback Officer at all stages. You can find contact and address details at the end of this guide.

54

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Do you have a comment, compliment or complaint? Stage 1 If you are making a complaint about a person or service area for the first time, the Customer Feedback Officer will be responsible for making sure it is investigated and will send you an acknowledgement within three working days. Your complaint will be passed to the Officer responsible for the area of the service you are complaining about who will send you a full response within ten working days. This letter will also include details of who to contact if you are still unhappy. If the Officer cannot respond to you within ten working days, you will receive a letter to explain why and how long it will take. Stage 2 If you have made a complaint and you are unhappy with the way it was dealt with, or the service is still poor despite efforts to resolve the issue at Stage 1, you can tell the Customer Feedback Officer. Your complaint will then be passed on to the Manager responsible for the area of the service you are complaining about. This is known as Stage 2. The Manager is responsible for sending a full response to you within ten working days. The response letter will also include an explanation of what you can do if you are still unhappy. If the Manager cannot send you a response within ten working days, you will receive a letter to explain why and how long it will take. Appeal Panel You can then appeal against the decision. Your appeal will be heard by a Director and two customers who have been trained to deal with complaints. The Manager who dealt with your complaint will explain to the panel why they made that decision. You can tell the panel why you are not happy with the response. The panel will then decide whether your complaint has been dealt with properly or not. If you do not want other customers to hear your complaint, you can ask for the panel to only have the Director on it. The panel will write to you to explain their decision. How will you know what we do with your complaint? All complaints will be used to improve the service we deliver. We will publish these service improvements in the quarterly customer newsletter ‘Stockport at home’.

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

55


Do you have a comment, compliment or complaint? How do you complain to the Local Government Ombudsman? If you have been through the Stockport Homes complaint process and you are unhappy with the responses you have received or you feel the issue has not been resolved, you can refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. The Local Government Ombudsman is an independent national service, which investigates complaints against public services. You can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman at any time but the complaint will usually be referred back to Stockport Homes if it has not been through our complaint process. Contact details for the Local Government Ombudsman are: Local Government Ombudsman PO Box 4771 Coventry CV4 0EH Tel: 0845 602 1983 Text: 07624 804299 Email: advice@lgo.org.uk

56

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Glossary of terms and definitions Assignment This is the term used when the lease is sold on when you sell your flat. The new leaseholder is the assignee. Common parts The parts of the building or estate that can be used by all the residents, for example, stairs, lifts, paths and communal gardens. Covenant A covenant is a condition in your lease that you or your landlord are responsible for during your ownership of the property. Demised premises That part of the block included in the lease you have purchased and are responsible for e.g. interior parts, along with any gardens or buildings. Development The building as described in your lease in which your flat is situated. Freehold Absolute ownership of property and the land on which it stands. Landlord / Lessor This is the person who owns the freehold of a property and grants a tenancy or lease to a tenant or leaseholder. Lease The lease is a contract that explains the Council’s responsibility to you and your responsibility to the Council. Leasehold An ownership of a property in a building, comprising of other flats / maisonettes and subject to the payment of service charges and ground rent for a set period of time. Leaseholder or lessee This is the person who has been granted the lease by the landlord and is also known as a tenant. Subletting This is where you rent out part or your entire home. Consultation This is the process of asking for other people’s opinions. Where possible we will consult you about anything we do that affects your property. Cyclical maintenance Work that we do usually on a programme. Fixtures You are responsible for these fittings in your flat and include kitchen units, the bathroom suite, light fittings and any central heating system (not district / communal heating). Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

57


Glossary of terms and definitions Improvement Doing more work to a property than is required i.e. flat to pitched roof. Section 151 Notice This is the consultation letter we must send you when we are intending to carry out works which cost more than an amount set by Government regulations. Tender This is what we do to get the best prices for large/major contracts such as redecoration works and based on a detailed specification of the works. We invite contractors to give their price or ‘tender’ for the work. Ground rent This is the rent paid to the landlord during the term of the lease. It is usually a small annual fixed sum payable by a leaseholder to a freeholder in recognition of the legal contract between them. Leasehold Valuation Tribunal This is a body which makes decisions about service charge disputes between landlords and leaseholders. It is made up of a panel of people with experience of property disputes such as solicitors and surveyors. Mortgagee This is a bank or building society that lent you money to buy your property. Mortgagor A person that has received money from a bank or building society to buy their home. Rateable value A property based sum used originally as a former method of local taxation but used in this context as a reasonable way of apportioning service charges. Section 125 notice This is the consultation letter the Right-to-Buy section send to you prior to purchasing the property from the Council. It summaries the service charges and others works that you agree to pay within the first five years of the initial lease. Service charge This is a payment made by a leaseholder to Stockport Homes to cover the cost of managing, maintaining, repairing and possibly improving the structure and exterior of the building. Enfranchisement This is the process where leaseholders may be able to buy the freehold of their block. Right to Enfranchise A right which allows a group of leaseholders to buy the freehold of their block. 58

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Useful contacts Leasehold Officer Customer Finance Team, Stockport Homes, 2nd Floor 1 St. Peter’s Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ Tel: 0161 218 1364 Appointments are available at any of our offices and in some circumstances in your home. General enquiries Stockport Homes, 2nd Floor, 1 St. Peter’s Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ Tel: 0161 474 2855 East Area Housing Office 1 Berwick Parade, Northumberland Road, Brinnington, Stockport SK5 8LQ Tel: 0161 474 4372 Text 0762 4808314 Fax: 0161 406 8377 Email: east.area.housing@stockporthomes.org Serving: Bredbury, Brinnington, Compstall, Covent Garden, Hazel Grove, High Lane, Marple, Marple Bridge, Mottram Street, Offerton, Romiley, Spring Gardens, Victoria Park and Woodley. West Area Housing Office Bridgehall Community Centre, Siddington Avenue, Adswood, Stockport SK3 8NR Tel: 0161 474 4371 Text: 0762 4808315 Fax: 0161 477 4879 Email: west.area.housing@stockporthomes.org Serving: Adswood, Bramhall, Bridgehall, Cale Green, Cheadle, Cheadle Heath, Cheadle Hulme, Councillor Lane, Davenport, Didsbury Road, Edgeley, Gatley and Heald green, Larkhill and Shaw Heath, Reddish, The Heatons and Lancashire Hill. Anti-Social Behaviour Tel: 0161 217 6111 Email: antisocial.behaviour@stockport.gov.uk Text: 07797 806 626 You can also report ASB by faxing your Area Housing Office: East 0161 406 8377 West 0161 483 9357 Compliments, complaints and comments Business Support Team, Directorate of Quality 2nd Floor, 1 St. Peter’s Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ Tel: 0161 474 2600 Email: quality@stockprothomes.org

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

59


Useful contacts Customer Involvement Stockport Homes, Directorate of Quality, 2nd Floor 1 St. Peter’s Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ Tel: 0161 474 2862 Fax: 0161 480 4358 Text: 07891 949399 Email: customer.involvement@stockporthomes.org Housing Repairs Tel: 0161 217 6016 Fax: 0161 217 6032 Email: housing.repairs@stockporthomes.org Text: 07797 806 626 Gas leaks Transco: 0800 111 999 Stockport Direct Stockport Council (open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday). Tel: 0161 217 6111 Email: stockportdirect@stockport.gov.uk Hygiene Action Stockport Council Tel: 0161 474 4285 Dog Warden Service Environmental Health and Trading Standards Stopford House, Piccadilly, Stockport SK1 3XE Tel. No: 0161 474 4207 Fax: 0161 474 4369 Email: community@stockport.gov.uk Greater Manchester Police P.O.Box 22, Manchester M16 0RE Emergencies 999 Non-emergency: 0161 872 5050 Website: www.gmp.police.uk Stockport Credit Union First House, 367 Brinnington Road, Brinnington, Stockport SK5 8EN Tel: 0161 430 5808 E-Mail: mail@stockportcu.com The Pension Service Tel: 0800 991234 Website: www.thepensionservice.gov.uk

60

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Useful contacts The Department of Working Pension Wellington Street, Stockport SK1 3BE Tel: 0161 429 2000 Benefit claim/advice: 0800 055 6688 Textphone: 0800 023 4888 Advice Stockport Law Centre, 85 Wellington Road South, Stockport SK1 3SL Tel: 0161 476 6336 Fax: 0161 476 2719 Leasehold Advisory Service 31 Worship Street, London EC2A 2DX Tel: 0207 374 5380 Fax: 0207 374 5373 E-Mail: info@lease-advice.org Web: www.lease-advice.org Stockport Citizens’ Advice Bureau 39 Greek Street, Stockport SK3 8AX Tel: 08701 20 40 40 Fax: 0161 480 4447 Welfare Rights Services 4th Floor, Regal House, Duke Street, Stockport SK1 3DA Tel: 0161 474 3093 (reception, textphone) Fax: 0161 474 3095 Email: welfare.rights@stockport.gov.uk Benefit advice line (Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm) - 0161 474 3091 Welfare Rights Debt advice 4th Floor, Regal House, Duke Street, Stockport SK1 3DA Tel: 0161 474 3093 (reception, textphone) Fax: 0161 474 3095 Email: debt.advice@stockport.gov.uk Stockport Advice and Information Service 4th Floor, Regal House, Duke Street, Stockport SK1 3DA Tel: 0845 644 4307 Email: stockport.advice@stockport.gov.uk

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

61


Advice Leasehold Advisory Service 31 Worship Street, London EC2A 2DX Tel: 02073745380 Fax: 02073745373 E-Mail: info@lease-advice.org Web: www.lease-advice.org Stockport Citizens’ Advice Bureau 39 Greek Street, Stockport SK3 8AX Tel: 08701 20 40 40 Fax: 0161 480 4447 Welfare Rights Services 4th Floor, Regal House, Duke Street, Stockport SK1 3DA Tel: 0161 474 3093 (reception, textphone) Fax: 0161 474 3095 Email: welfare.rights@stockport.gov.uk Benefit advice line (Monday to Friday 9 a.m to 1 p.m – 0161 474 3091 Welfare Rights Debt advice 4th Floor, Regal House, Duke Street, Stockport SK1 3DA Tel: 0161 474 3093 (reception, textphone) Fax: 0161 474 3095 Email: debt.advice@stockport.gov.uk Stockport Advice and Information Service 4th Floor, Regal House, Duke Street, Stockport SK1 3DA Tel: 0845 644 4307 Email: stockport.advice@stockport.gov.uk The Local Government Ombudsman PO Box 4771, Coventry CV4 0EH Advice line: 0300 061 0614/ 0845 602 1983 Text call back: 07624804299 Fax: 024 7682 0001 Email: advice@lgo.org.uk Website: www.lgo.org.uk Residential Property Tribunal Service 10 Alfred Place, London, WC1E 7LR National Tel: 0845 600 3178 Website: www.rpts.gov.uk

62

Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org


Notes ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... Leaseholder handbook

www.stockporthomes.org

63


Notes Accessing our services

Ref: 412/November 2009

This booklet gives you information about being a leaseholder. If you would like a copy in large print, Braille, on audio tape or CD, please contact the Social Inclusion Team on 0161 474 2860 or email: inclusion@stockporthomes.org


Leaseholder Handbook 2009