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Moving In This section tells you: • • • • • •

When you should move in. Who you need to tell. About insuring your belongings. About furnishing and decorating your home. About installing satellite and cable TV. About moving into a brand new home.


When You Should Move In When you have accepted an offer of accommodation from the Association, you will be asked to sign a tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement will say when your tenancy will start. Your Housing Officer will also advise you of this date, which will always be a Monday. We will try to give you as much notice about this date as possible. We will usually try to give you the keys to your new home about two or three days before your tenancy starts. This is to give you plenty of time to move. Please note that in some circumstances this is not always possible. It is very important that you move into your new home before or on the tenancy start date. If you cannot do this, for whatever reason, you must let us know. Please remember that you are responsible for the payment of your rent from the date your tenancy starts, even if you have not moved in. This means that you might be responsible for paying the rent on your new home, and on your old home. If you are claiming Housing Benefit in order to pay your rent, and you need more time to move, the Housing Benefit Department may pay your rent on both properties for up to 4 weeks. They will only do this in certain circumstances, for example, if you are disabled and need assistance to move. If you think you may be entitled to dual benefit please ask your Housing Officer for advice, or ring the Housing Benefit Department on 029 2087 2087. Please remember that if the Housing Benefit Department refuse payment of dual benefit, you will be responsible for the payment of the rent.


Who You Need To Tell When you move into your new home, there are a number of people you need to contact. The following list should help you. If you would like any further advice or assistance, please contact your Housing Officer on 029 2025 9100.

Housing Benefit

029 2087 2087

If you are going to claim Housing Benefit to pay all or part of your rent, you must contact the Housing Benefit Department to make a claim and advise them of your change of address. If you need assistance with this, please contact your Housing Officer.

Department of Works and Pensions/ Inland Revenue/Job Centre If you are claiming any state benefits, for example, Jobseekers’ Allowance, Tax Credits, Income Support, or Invalidity Benefit, you must contact the relevant agency and advise them of your change of address.

Council Tax

Job Centre Plus: 0845 606 0234 Pension Service: 0845 606 0265 Tax Credits Helpline: 0845 300 3900 029 2087 2087

You must inform the Council Tax Department of your change of address. If you are receiving Income Support, are on a low income, or are a single person, you may be eligible for a discount on your Council Tax bill.


Gas and Electricity Companies When you move in, your gas and electricity will already be connected. We will provide you with your meter readings, and, in most cases, will be able to tell you which company provides the supply. In most cases this will be British Gas for gas and SWALEC for electricity. You must contact them to give them your meter readings and arrange how you will pay. There are various ways to pay, including token meters, payment cards and direct debit. If you don’t know who your supplier is you can ring National Grid UK for gas and SWALEC for electricity.

Water Supply When you move in you must contact Welsh Water (Hyder) in order to advise them of your change of address, and arrange how to pay.

British Gas Home Movers: 0845 609 1133 SWALEC Homemovers 0800 052 5252 If you don’t know who the supplier is, ring: For Gas, National Grid UK: 0845 605 6677 For Electricity SWALEC: 0800 052 5252 Hyder: 0800 052 0145

There are various ways to pay, and this can be arranged over the phone. If you are going to be living on your own you can save about £160 a year from your bill by asking for a water meter to be installed.

Telephone It’s definitely worth checking the services and prices available from both BT and NTL. Both allow you to pay towards your bills with a payment card, but you must ask for one.

BT: 0800 800 150 NTL: 0800 052 2000

Please Note: Check any connection charges, they can be very expensive if there is not already a phone line there. Please remember, you are fully entitled to choose any supplier you wish. 4

TV Licence

TV Licence: 0870 240 3423 Although this is expensive, you can pay for it Web: weekly at the Post Office. Fines for not having a licence can be about £1,000. If you already have a licence…remember to change it to your new address!

Doctor and Dentist Don’t forget to let your doctor and dentist know your new address.

Bro Taff Health Authority: 029 2040 2402

If you are moving from another area, it is important to check whether your doctor or dentist covers the area your new home is in. There are several surgeries in the area, and these are listed in the ‘Useful Contacts’ section at the end of this handbook. If you have problems getting registered with a new doctor you can ring Bro Taff Health Authority and they will allocate a local doctor for you.

Anyone Else! Check if you need to let anyone else have your new address e.g. old friends, bank, building society, driving licence etc. At a charge, the post office can arrange for mail to be redirected to your new home for a while.


About Insuring Your Belongings The Association insures the structure of your home, but not your personal belongings. We strongly recommend to all our tenants that they take out home contents insurance. Without insurance you will not get any help replacing items that are damaged by fire, theft, floods, leaks or any other occurrence. You may also have to pay for damage to a neighbour’s home, for example, if your washing machine floods and damages a flat below you. Before taking out insurance, make sure you know how it works. Check, for example, that an insurance company will pay to replace old items with new. Shop around because prices can vary. Please be aware Taff Housing Association works with the National Housing Federation to provide home contents insurance with a range of benefits when compared to other suppliers of insurance. To find out more, please speak to your Housing Officer or call into reception.


About Furnishing And Decorating Your Home We do not usually provide furniture to tenants. If you are receiving state benefits or are on a low income and need help with furnishing your home, you may be able to apply for a Community Care Grant or a Budgeting Loan from the Department of Work and Pensions. Second-hand and re-cycled furniture can also be obtained from TRACK 2000 at a small cost for people on low incomes. TRACK 2000 can be contacted on 0845 700 0395. You may also log onto Freecycle, which is a website dedicated to providing free second-hand items. When you receive the keys to your new home it will be in a clean and tidy condition and in a good state of decoration. Your home will comply with all the appropriate building regulations and health and safety standards and will be safe and secure. You will receive keys for all the doors and windows. For further information, please ask to see a copy of our ‘Property Standards’. In certain circumstances you may be offered a redecoration voucher, which can be redeemed at either M&R Decorators on Cowbridge Road East or at B&Q at Culverhouse Cross. It is your responsibility to keep your home clean and well decorated. You can furnish your home however you wish, but if you want to fit permanent fixtures, such as a shower, you must obtain written permission from us first. Please see the chapter on ‘Your Tenancy’ for your right to make improvements. If you take your fixtures and fittings with you when you leave, you must ensure that you repair any damage caused to the property. If you fail to do so you will be charged for this. 7

Installing Satellite And Cable TV You can install satellite or cable TV to your home provided that you get written permission from the Association for the work to take place. We will only refuse permission if there is a good reason, for example, if the proposed work would affect the safety or value of the building. You may also need planning permission and building regulation approval. You are responsible for checking whether these are needed and getting the necessary approvals before commencing work. We will inspect the work when it is completed. If it is not satisfactory we may ask you to carry out additional work. This will be at your own cost.

Digital TV From March 2010, Cardiff saw the switchover from analogue to digital TV. Almost any TV can be converted with a digital box, even a black and white one, so there is no need to buy a new TV unless you want to. Most digital boxes connect to a TV using a SCART cable. If you do not have a SCART socket on the back of your TV, you will need to ask for a digital box with a built-in RF modulator. If you do decide to get a new TV, make sure it carries the ‘digital tick’. The ‘digital tick’ means that it is designed to continue working after the switchover If you live in a flat, Taff will be responsible for upgrading the TV aerial if required. The cost of this, as well as the maintenance of the aerial, will be included in your weekly service charge.


Moving Into A Brand New Home If you are moving into a home that has just been built, you will also receive a ‘New Home Pack’ from us. This will include information such as instructions on using your boiler and other appliances. The contractor who built your home will be responsible for any repairs during the first year. Your ‘New Home Pack’ will therefore also include the phone numbers you will need if you need to report emergency repairs outside of office hours. During office hours you can contact the Association on 029 2025 9100 as normal. During the first 12 months, you may notice some minor shrinkage cracks in the plaster on the walls and ceilings of your home. This is perfectly normal as the building dries out, and is not a cause for concern. After 12 months, we will inspect your home, and any defects will be put right, including shrinkage cracks. To assist with this inspection, we ask that you do not put wallpaper up during the first year of your tenancy. It is vital that you allow us to access your home to carry out the twelvemonth defects inspection. If we are unable to gain access, we will not have the opportunity to put right any defects in your home. You will be given ample notice that we intend to visit you and we are happy to be flexible and arrange a time that suits you.




tenants handbook