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TENANTS

Handbook

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Dear Tenant Welcome to your Tenants Handbook This handbook has been produced for you by Landlord Services. Landlord Services is made up of the following sections: G Housing Management G Supported Housing G Property Services G Rent Accounting The handbook is packed with useful information about your tenancy, your home and the services we provide. Please take some time to look through your handbook and use it as a source of reference throughout your tenancy. The handbook gives information about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and explains the service you should expect from us. Your views as tenants have been represented by members of TACT, who have given us invaluable comments and suggestions. We continually strive to improve and develop our services. As part of this process we want to know what you think of the handbook and in particular any suggestions you may have to improve it. We value your comments, so please complete the enclosed form and return it to us. We will review the handbook regularly to make sure you have the correct information. Please keep your handbook in a safe place. Replacements are available for a nominal charge. Please contact the Customer Service Centre.

Landlord Services

Cover photographs: Main picture Cromwell Road, Winchester Small pictures top West Street, Alresford, middle Bank Street, Bishops Waltham bottom King Alfred in the Broadway, Winchester


Contents 1

How to contact us ............................................................................................................................ 1

2

Customer service .............................................................................................................................. 5

3

Your tenancy....................................................................................................................................... 11

4

Nuisance and anti-social behaviour.......................................................................... 23

5

Your neighbourhood .................................................................................................................. 29

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Rent and Housing Benefit .................................................................................................... 35

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Maintenance and repairs ...................................................................................................... 41

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Services for older people ...................................................................................................... 67

9

Services for tenants with a disability or impairment ............................. 77

10. Supported tenancy service ................................................................................................. 81 10 11

Making your voice heard and getting involved ........................................... 85

12

Moving house ................................................................................................................................... 91

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Housing advice ................................................................................................................................ 97

14

A to Z of useful contacts .................................................................................................... 101

If you have any particular needs which affect how you are able to use or be involved in our services or how you would like to receive information for example translation, interpreters, Braille, audio tape, large print, sign language - please contact the Customer Service Centre either by telephone: 01962 840 222 or by email: customerservice@winchester.gov.uk


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1

How to contact us

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HOW TO CONTACT US

CHAPTER


CHAPTER

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Correspondence address Customer Service Centre Out of hours emergency repairs Central Control Winchester Lifeline Tenant Involvement Team Opening hours Map of Winchester and district

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WINCHESTER CITY CENTRE MAP

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City Offices

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CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS

CENTRAL CONTROL

Landlord Services Winchester City Council City Offices Colebrook Street Winchester SO23 9LJ



Hyde Lodge Worthy Lane Winchester SO23 7AB

WINCHESTER LIFELINE

CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE 



01962 840 222

E-mail: customerservice@winchester.gov.uk or housing@winchester.gov.uk or complete an on-line enquiry form Website: www.winchester.gov.uk

01962 856 488 Hyde Lodge Worthy Lane Winchester SO23 7AB

Fax: 01962 841 365

TENANT INVOLVEMENT TEAM

Text Phone:  01962 878 982 For customers who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired SMS text: 07797 877 004

01962 855 335

HOW TO CONTACT US

How to contact us



Freephone 0800 716 987

OPENING HOURS Customer Service Centre I

OUT OF HOURS EMERGENCY REPAIRS 

8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

Cash Office I

8.45am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday

01962 865 405 I

From 5.00pm to 8.30am Monday to Friday

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On Bank Holidays

Please see chapter 14 for A to Z of useful contacts

All other out of hours emergencies involving council property or services:  01962 865 407

Telephone calls may be recorded 3


MAP OF WINCHESTER AND DISTRICT District Ward Boundary Parish Boundary

Micheldever

Wonston SUTTON SCOTNEY

MICHELDEVER

Wonston & Micheldever A33

Rail way

A34

Northington

M3

South Wonston

Old Alresford

B3046

A2

SOUTH WONSTON

72

The Alresfords Kings Worthy

tok

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Bighton

he

KINGS WORTHY B3047

NEW ALRESFORD New Alresford Bishops Sutton

Itc

e

n &k

Sparsholt

urn bo ad He rthy Wo

to c tle to Lit ares H

349

&

B3

Itchen Valley

nS

Crawley

ton

Itchen Valley

Ov

ing

Sparsholt

A31

Winchester

Winchesterr see inset 90

e

TWYFORD

OTTERBOURNE

ito er Ch rth

Owslebury

West Meon WEST MEON

OWSLEBURY

Warnford

M3

Twyford

Kilmeston

wo

Compton & Otterbourne

n

bo Tic h

Colden Common & Twyford

au

HURSLEY

Compton & Shawford

Be

Hursley

272 Bramdean

rn

M3

Olivers Battery & Badger Farm

Cheriton & Bishops SuttonA

CHERITON

Chilcomb

0 A3

Colden Common

Otterbourne

Owslebury & Curdridge A335

WINCHESTER

Exton

Upham

COLDEN COMMON

B2

17

7

Upper Meon Valley

Corham

pton & M

eonstoke

Bishops Waltham

DROXFORD

BISHOP'S WALTHAM

A32

Droxford

Droxford, Soberton & Hambledon

Durley

Soberton Hambledon

Swanmore

ge rd

rid

Soberton

Cu

Denmead

St Barnabas Ward

Weeke

B21

DENMEAD

77

Wickham St John & All Saints Ward

Boarhunt

Wickham

Whiteley

WHITELEY

A32

St Paul Ward

WICKHAM

St Bartholomew Ward

Abbotts Barton

0

Swanmore & Newtown

Shedfield

B215

Owslebury & Curdridge

Boarhunt & Southwick

M27

Winnall Highcliffe

Stanmore

Southwick And Widley

St Luke Ward This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of the Ordnance Survey on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office © Crown Copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Winchester City Council Licence No LA08610X © Winchester City Council.

St Michael Ward

Winchester 4


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CHAPTER

CUSTOMER SERVICE

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Customer service

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CHAPTER

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Customer Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Our Service Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Equal Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Complaints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Data Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Freedom of Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

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CUSTOMER CARE

OUR SERVICE STANDARDS

Winchester City Council has developed clear customer care values to help us to deliver customer service we are proud of.

We are committed to developing ways of involving our customers to help establish standards and continually improve them.

Every department within the Council has different legal and practical considerations that guide their actions, but it has been agreed there should be a corporate approach to customer care.

We aim to meet the following standards:

When you contact us by whatever method:

Our staff will: • Be polite, friendly and helpful • Treat you fairly and respectfully • Greet you promptly and deal efficiently with your enquiries • Tell you how we can help you and how long it will take • Try to get things right first time and put them right if they go wrong • Respect your privacy • Listen to your ideas and use your feedback to improve our services

Our premises are: • Easy to find • Clean, comfortable and well presented • Open at the published times

Our services are: • Easy for everyone to use • Well promoted • Relevant and up to date

• Letters, faxes, SMS text messages and e-mails – To respond within ten working days

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Customer service

• Telephone calls – To answer calls within 20 seconds and respond to answerphone messages the next working day • Accessibility – 24 hour web access and Customer Service Centre telephone lines open from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday • Reception facilities – To see customers without an appointment within ten minutes • Visits to your home or property – To keep appointments made • Putting things right – To respond to complaints on the spot or within ten working days and to seek to implement improvements to service • Method of contact – To aim to meet your preferences regarding contact from us as far as possible • Discrimination – To respond to complaints of discrimination promptly and to ensure we meet your particular needs • Complaints – To respond to initial complaints within ten working days and to escalate our procedures if you feel our initial response is unsatisfactory • Data Protection – To manage your personal information in accordance with the requirements of the law and to allow you access to your records on request • Freedom of Information – To disclose information to you under this Act on request

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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Letters, faxes, SMS text messages and emails We aim to respond to letters, faxes, SMS texts messages and e-mails within ten working days or give you an explanation for any delay and an indication of when you may hear from us. We will use language that is easy to read and understand and we will explain any complex or technical terms. We will be clear and concise and give you a named contact and telephone number.

Telephones We aim to answer telephone calls within 20 seconds. We will state clearly the name of the service and give you a name if asked. We will respond to answerphone messages by the end of the next working day. We will tell you the name of the department or individual we are transferring you to and check the person is available before putting the call through.

Accessibility We are looking at ways of making our services easily available to everyone who needs them, improving access to buildings and providing information about our services in a variety of ways. We offer 24-hour web access and our telephone lines and Customer Service Centre are open from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Opening times of other receptions may vary.

Reception facilities Customers without appointments should not wait more than an average of ten minutes to see an officer. Reception areas will be well sign-posted, clean, tidy and comfortable and with provision made for children. Private interview facilities are available on request.

Reception staff will be given specialist training. They will be welcoming and approachable and will deal with visitors' enquiries as soon as possible.

Visits to your home or property We will make an appointment and keep to it or contact you if we are delayed. However, there are some cases when this is not practical or appropriate. We will clearly explain our reasons for visiting. On arrival, we will show an identification card. Wherever possible, we will let you know what followup action you can expect.

Putting things right We are keen to improve all our services. We recognise that things can go wrong and we have procedures to deal with complaints. We will try to deal with complaints on the spot, otherwise, we will provide a response within ten working days. We will find an acceptable remedy if at all possible and seek to implement positive suggestions. See page 9 for details of how to make a complaint.

Method of contact From time to time we will ask you for information about how you would prefer to be contacted by us and whether you have any particular needs that we should take into account when you receive a service from Landlord Services. We will respect your individual needs and aim to meet your preferences regarding contact from us as far as possible. However, we will always contact you by letter if: I

We write to all tenants at the same time

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We serve a legal Notice on you

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We have a statutory obligation to write to you

Our expectations of customers We expect our staff to be treated with courtesy and politeness by our customers, their colleagues and others to whom they provide services. We will support staff who experience discrimination, abuse or threats.

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Winchester City Council is committed to equal opportunities and to developing positive policies to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

We will: I

Treat all tenants fairly and with respect

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Tailor our services to meet individual needs

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Ensure all staff put into practice our commitment to equal opportunities

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Ensure our services are available to all tenants

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Listen to your views and encourage underrepresented groups to become involved in consultation and involvement

What should you do if you feel you have been discriminated against? If you think that you have been discriminated against, you can make a complaint. See below for our complaints policy.

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response. You will receive a written reply within ten working days, advising you of the outcome. If you are unhappy with the response from the head of service, you can ask for your complaint to be looked at by the Chief Executive, who will write to you with a final response within ten working days. You can of course contact your MP or local councillor for their advice and support at any stage in the complaints procedure. Contact the Customer Service Centre or look at our website to find details of your councillors.

Local Government Ombudsman

CUSTOMER SERVICE

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Ombudsman acts as an independent referee in disputes between individuals and their local councils. The Ombudsman investigates complaints of maladministration, which means we: I

Took too long to do something

If you have any particular needs which affect how you are able to use or be involved in our services or how you would like to receive information, for example, translation, interpreters, Braille, audio tape, large print or sign language, please contact the Customer Service Centre.

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Did not follow our own rules or the law

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Broke our promises

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Treated you unfairly

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Gave you wrong information

I

Did not make a decision in the correct way

COMPLAINTS

I

Did something we should not have done

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Failed to do something we should have done

We operate a pro-active and positive approach to complaints, using them as valuable customer feedback and as a means of identifying areas in need of review or improvement. In all cases, we are committed to resolving complaints effectively and within our defined targets. Our ‘How to Complain’ leaflet is available from the Customer Service Centre or on our website.

The Ombudsman will not investigate a complaint from someone who simply does not like a particular council decision. The Ombudsman will, however, look into the matter if it seems the Council did not follow fair and proper procedures in reaching a decision.

What should I do if I want to complain?

We will comply with any findings or recommendations made by the Ombudsman.

If you are unhappy with something we have done or have not done, you should write or speak to the relevant service manager in the first instance and inform them of your complaint. The manager will attempt to respond to your complaint within ten working days.

A booklet on how to complain to the Ombudsman is available from the Customer Service Centre. You can also find further details on the Local Government Ombudsman website at www.lgo.org.uk or call their advice team on 0845 602 1983.

If you are unhappy with the service manager’s reply, you should write to the head of the relevant team, who will review your complaint and the initial

Your complaint will be dealt with confidentially at all stages.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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DATA PROTECTION

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

We keep details of our customers on computer and this information is held under the Data Protection Act 1998.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is one of the key elements of the 'Modernising Government' agenda and aims to provide a more open way of government.

Examples of the information Landlord Services holds are: I

Your name, address and contact details, such as your telephone number

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Details that identify you and members of your household, for example, family names and dates of birth

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Details of your rent account and other accounts you may have with us, your payment history and any financial information you disclose to us

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Details of the type of accommodation you occupy

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Details of any issues arising that affect your tenancy, for example, repair requests, neighbour disputes and any requests you make

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If you live in older people’s supported housing or are a supported tenant, we may also hold some relevant medical details and contact details for your family, friends or doctor

Who can this information be given to? We may disclose this information to official bodies, such as the courts, the Police, other social landlords and the National Health Service. These organisations are also governed by the Data Protection Act and will therefore not generally disclose this information to anyone else. We will not disclose your information to anyone else for the purpose of direct marketing or for any other similar purpose. We respect your right to privacy of information and will only access it when necessary.

How may I access my files? Under the Data Protection Act, you have the right to access the information we hold about you. There is a formal procedure, which allows you to have copies of this information for a small fee. In addition to your rights under the Act, we will allow you to inspect your tenancy file free of charge and check the information recorded there. You must give your Area Housing Manager at least one week’s notice to look at your file.

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Under the Act, anyone can request information held by Winchester City Council and other public authorities. Some information will not be available to the public, for example, where it is confidential information about another person. In most cases, we will not withhold information. If you are not happy with our decision to withhold information, you have the right to complain, firstly through the Council's complaints procedure (see page 9) and if you are still dissatisfied, to the Information Commissioner at: FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution Information Commissioner's Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF The Council's Access to Information Policy is available from the Customer Service Centre or on our website.


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CHAPTER

YOUR TENANCY

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Your tenancy

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CHAPTER

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Your introductory tenancy Your secure tenancy Your rights as a tenant New tenant visits Gas and electric cookers Electrical equipment Floor coverings Contents insurance Gardens Fencing Encroachment Requesting permission from us Television aerials Rubbish disposal Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) and paraffin heaters Barbeques and patio heaters Bonfires Pest control Advice for dog owners Internal decoration Death of a tenant Your garage licence

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Your tenancy

You will be given an introductory tenancy, unless you are an existing secure or assured tenant with a local authority or another social landlord. An introductory tenancy will usually last for twelve months and you will then automatically become a secure tenant. However, if you have breached the terms of your tenancy during this period, we can: I

Serve a Notice on you to extend the introductory period and/or

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Serve a Notice Requiring Possession on you and

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Start court proceedings against you

Your tenancy conditions Your tenancy conditions are a legal contract between you, the tenant, and us, your landlord, and set out the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Please refer to your original tenancy conditions issued to you when you signed for your tenancy or any subsequent revisions that may have been issued to you.

YOUR TENANCY

YOUR INTRODUCTORY TENANCY

If you continue to breach your tenancy conditions and we take you to court, the judge has no discretion and will give us possession of the property. You may not subsequently be eligible for re-housing by us or any other registered social landlord. An introductory tenant has fewer rights than a secure tenant: I

No right to mutual exchange

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No right to buy (although time as an introductory tenant counts towards the discount)

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No right to take in lodgers

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No right to improve the home

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No right to vote in a stock transfer

You will gain these rights when you become a secure tenant. Full details of your rights under the Tenants Charter can be found on pages 14 and 15.

YOUR SECURE TENANCY You will be given a secure tenancy if you are an existing tenant of Winchester City Council or an assured tenant of another social landlord and you move within our homes. The rights and obligations of secure tenants are laid down in the Housing Act 1985, the Tenants Charter and your tenancy conditions.

Possession action We can take action against you if any of the tenancy conditions are broken. We must serve on you a Notice in statutory form if we intend to take possession proceedings against you for breaching your tenancy conditions. The Notice will be served on you in person, by leaving it at your property or last known address, or sending it by first class or registered post. We must explain the reasons why we are taking this action and you usually have four weeks to put things right. Your Area Housing Manager will monitor the situation during this period and offer you the appropriate advice. We will not take any further action against you if the situation is resolved. However, the Notice is valid for a year and we can take action against you at any time over the following twelve months if you do not comply with your tenancy conditions.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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If we take you to court, the judge will decide whether it is reasonable to give us possession of your home. We will seek to obtain a warrant to evict you if the judge gives us possession of your home and you do not leave by the required date. The judge will decide if our request is reasonable and if so, we will instruct a bailiff to evict you. You have the right to defend your actions in court, either personally or through a representative. We strongly advise you to seek independent legal advice from either a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Can we change the tenancy conditions? We can change your tenancy conditions, but we will give you notice of this and consult you on the proposed changes. You will receive a Preliminary Notice, explaining the changes and inviting you to comment by a particular date. We will consider your comments and will send you a Notice of Variation, setting out the changes, at least four weeks before the new tenancy conditions come into force.

Right of succession When a secure tenant dies the tenancy may be passed on. This is called a succession and, by law, only one succession is allowed. Therefore, if you have succeeded to the tenancy, it cannot be passed on to another family member when you die. You can succeed to a tenancy if you are: I

A spouse or partner

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Another family member (as defined in the Housing Act 1985) who has lived with the tenant for at least twelve months before the tenant's death

Where there is more than one person entitled to succeed and qualifying successors cannot agree who takes over the tenancy, we will decide. We will not ask the spouse or partner of a deceased tenant to move. However, we will offer you alternative accommodation if you have succeeded to a tenancy and you are not the spouse or partner of the deceased tenant and the accommodation is too big for your needs. We will obtain a court order if you refuse to move. For further advice, please contact your Area Housing Manager.

You may give us notice to end your tenancy if you do not wish to accept the changes.

See page 21 for information on how to end the tenancy when the tenant has died.

YOUR RIGHTS AS A TENANT

Right of assignment

Your rights as a secure tenant are set out in the Tenants Charter. Some of these rights do not apply to introductory tenants. See page 13 for your excluded rights.

Right to buy Most secure tenants have the right to buy their council home under Part V of the Housing Act 1985. Your property will be valued at the market price by the Council's Estates section and you will have to make your own financial arrangements to buy it. You are entitled to a discount when you buy your home, depending on how long you have been a tenant. For an information pack and application form, please contact our Right to Buy section. Some homes do not qualify under the right to buy. These include older people's supported housing and accommodation where adaptations for people with disabilities have been made.

You may assign or pass on your tenancy to someone else if you: I

Are the sole tenant, you have not succeeded to the tenancy and can assign to a qualifying successor

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Obtain a property transfer order through the court

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Exchange with another tenant

You have the statutory right to exchange your home with tenants of other local authorities or registered social landlords. You will need approval from the Council and the other landlord before exchanging properties. See page 94 for further details about mutual exchanges.

Can someone else join my tenancy? We will not add other people to your tenancy after your tenancy has commenced. Spouses and partners have rights under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Family Law Act 1996 and civil partners have rights under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 if you die or your relationship breaks down. For further advice, please contact your Area Housing Manager or seek your own independent legal advice.

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To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


You can take in lodgers, but you should contact your Area Housing Manager first for permission. You must not allow your property to become overcrowded. You may be able to sub-let part of your home, but you will need our permission first. You will lose your security of tenure if you sub-let your entire home and we will apply for possession of your home. You must inform the Council Tax section and the Housing Benefits section (if you receive Housing Benefit) if you take in a lodger or sub-let your home. What is the difference between having a lodger and sub-letting? A lodger shares the property with you. They will pay you for food and upkeep. A sub-tenant has part of the property solely for their own use and you need their permission to enter the rooms they occupy. For further advice on taking in lodgers or sub-letting, please contact your Area Housing Manager.

Right to manage Tenants have the collective right to transfer the management of an estate or group of homes to a Tenant Management Organisation (TMO). TMO’s are formed when certain conditions are met and you vote in favour of the arrangement. This is known as the right to manage. For further information, please contact the Tenant Involvement Manager.

Right to consultation We have obligations under the Housing Act 1985 for informing and consulting you. We must give you the chance to comment before we make any major policy changes or implement modernisation programmes. How the consultation is carried out will depend upon the number of tenants directly affected. For further information, please contact the Tenant Involvement Manager.

Right to information We give every tenant an annual housing report, that provides information on how we are performing in key service areas.

Right to repair You can get certain urgent repairs done quickly, which affect your health, safety or security, at no cost to you. If the repair is covered by the right to repair and we do not complete the repairs on time, you may ask for

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an alternative contractor to be appointed. You may be entitled to compensation if the alternative contractor also fails to complete on time. See page 44 for details of timescales for repairs.

Right to carry out improvements Subject to gaining all necessary approvals, you may carry out improvements to your property. See pages 17 and 18 for advice on how to get permission for improvements.

Right to compensation for improvements

YOUR TENANCY

Right to take in lodgers and sub-let

You may be able to receive compensation from the Council when you end your tenancy for certain specified improvements you have made to your home. This is subject to you having gained all the necessary approvals. See page 95 for details of specified improvements and how to apply for compensation.

NEW TENANT VISITS As a new tenant, you will be visited by your Area Housing Manager in the first month to check you have settled in to your new home and to discuss any issues you may have. Towards the end of your twelve month introductory period you will be visited again by your Area Housing Manager. We will check you are complying with your tenancy conditions and decide if you will become a secure tenant at the end of the introductory period.

GAS AND ELECTRIC COOKERS You are responsible for providing your own cooker. You must use a qualified electrician to install an electric cooker and an approved registered gas engineer to install a gas cooker. You are also responsible for the maintenance of your cooker.

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT We are responsible for the maintenance of electrical equipment installed by us, providing the defect is due to fair wear and tear. We are not responsible for any damage, replacement caused by faulty installation or repair, faulty equipment or misuse.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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Any work on the electrical wiring system in your home must be carried out by a NICEIC approved electrician. You must obtain a relevant completion certificate and send a copy to us. See page 63 for further details about improvements.

FLOOR COVERINGS The use of metal or wooden battens and adhesive to secure carpets or other types of floor covering is discouraged, as the floor tiles are often damaged when the floor coverings are lifted. You are advised that any damage caused to tiles when floor coverings are lifted is your responsibility and you will be recharged for the cost of replacing any damaged tiles.

CONTENTS INSURANCE You are responsible for your furniture, carpets, internal decoration and personal possessions. We strongly advise you to obtain insurance for all risks, including fire, flood, frost damage and other hazards. You are responsible for your belongings and any damage to the property until the date your tenancy legally ends, even if you have already vacated the property. There are many policies available in the insurance market. We are unable to recommend any specific insurer or insurance scheme. Insurance is not expensive when you compare it to the cost of replacing your household contents.

Claims against the Council We will submit any claims you make against us to our insurers, who will assess your claim and make a final decision. You will need to put your claim in writing to us, with full details about the incident, damage and costs involved. We are unable to comment on any claim still being investigated.

GARDENS You are responsible for maintaining your garden, which means everything growing on and within the boundary of your property, including the boundary hedges, flower beds, trees, shrubs and lawns, whether or not you planted them. It also includes any hard landscaping, fences, sheds and other permanent features that you have installed or that were there when you moved in. You should choose plants, trees and hedges carefully and manage them properly, so they do not encroach into your neighbours’ gardens or public footpaths. 16

Please talk to your neighbours before trimming any hedges or trees on the boundary, as it may affect their security and privacy. We would discourage you from removing any trees and hedges. We have powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, to deal with complaints about high hedges, if they are not managed properly and their impact restricts someone else’s use or enjoyment of their property.

Trees You must report diseased, dangerous or overgrown trees to your Area Housing Manager, who will arrange for the tree to be inspected and for necessary work to be carried out. You may be charged for all or some of the cost. Trees are an important feature and will only be cut down or trimmed if necessary, for example, a tree is diseased or causing damage to structures or paths. A healthy tree will not be cut down or trimmed if branches are overhanging or blocking sunlight. Some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders and/or because they are in a Conservation Area. It may be a criminal offence to lop or cut down trees without consent. For further advice on how to manage trees in your garden, please contact your Area Housing Manager.

Rubbish in gardens Rubbish must not be dumped or stored in your garden. It is an eyesore for your neighbours and may also attract vermin, which is a health risk. See page 19 for advice on how to clear bulky items of rubbish.

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


Fences must be erected on the actual boundary and you must ensure they do not exceed permitted heights:

Do you need help to manage your garden?

You are responsible for the cost of supplying and fitting the new fence and for maintaining it. See below for advice on how to get permission.

You may be able to get help with basic gardening through a local charity. The service is available to everyone but priority is given to older people, people with disabilities and people with specific support needs. The charity provides a team made up of a supervisor, trainees and volunteers who provide general maintenance, including: I

Grass cutting

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Hedge trimming

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Pruning

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Digging

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Weeding

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Planting

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Advice on how to keep a low maintenance garden

The charity will give you a quote before they start work, but you will have to pay a small hourly charge. To check availability of this service and for further advice, please contact your Area Housing Manager. You can apply to move house if your garden is becoming a burden. We may be able to offer you a house or flat with a smaller garden or no garden at all. You may qualify for a financial contribution under our Tenants’ Incentive Scheme if you move from a family home to a flat or maisonette. For further advice about moving house and the incentive scheme, see pages 93 and 94.

FENCING We are responsible for marking the boundaries around your property. We do not have an obligation to provide fencing on the boundaries. You may be able to replace or put up a new fence but you must first check who owns the boundary and you need our permission before going ahead with the work.

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2m (6ft 6in) at the rear of the property and

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1m (3ft 3in) at the front of the property

ENCROACHMENT

3 YOUR TENANCY

You will be breaching your tenancy conditions if you do not keep your garden to a reasonable standard. Your Area Housing Manager will talk to you about improving the situation, but if you fail to carry out the required work, we will serve a Notice on you. This is the first stage of legal action, which could result in you losing your home.

The actual boundary of your property should be marked by post and wire fencing and you are not permitted to encroach on to the land beyond this. Many tenants will have put up their own fencing or hedge. In some circumstances it may be possible for you to use a piece of land next to your property.

You will need to tell us why you want to use the land. If we agree to your request, we will issue you with a licence to use the land and you will be charged a fee. We have the right to terminate this licence at any time. Please contact your Area Housing Manager for more information.

REQUESTING PERMISSION FROM US You are required to seek permission from your Area Housing Manager in the following circumstances. Failure to do so may affect your tenancy.

Home improvements and alterations You must apply in writing if you would like to alter or improve your property or garden in any way. Proper plans will need to be drawn up by a builder or architect if the work involves altering the structure of the building. Some alterations and improvements may need planning permission and building regulations approval. You must not start work before you have been granted all the relevant permissions.

Some areas are designated as open plan, so permission in these areas will not be granted.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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Examples of alterations or improvements include: I

Alterations to the structure, such as removing an internal wall or removing a fireplace

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Improvements, such as replacing the kitchen units and bathroom suite, installing a shower or erecting a conservatory

Pets We will consider requests for you to keep dogs, cats and small caged and tanked pets and will make a decision based on: I

Type of property. If you live in a flat with a shared entrance and garden, it may be unsuitable for a dog

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Installing laminate, hardwood or tiled flooring

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Size of the property and garden

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Erecting a shed or garage

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Erecting an aviary

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Erecting or replacing fencing

Number of pets and nature and size of pets. Certain dogs are prohibited by law under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

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Installing a hard standing and dropped kerb

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Erecting a satellite dish or television aerial

Nature of the accommodation. If you live in older people’s supported housing, you may not be able to keep a pet

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Removal of trees

At the end of your tenancy, you must remove any structures or improvements where we have not granted you permission for them to remain. If you do not do this we may charge you for the cost of us removing them. See page 63 for further examples of structural works that require our permission.

If we give you permission, you will be responsible for ensuring your pet does not cause a nuisance. We can withdraw permission for you to keep a pet if it causes a nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours and you will be expected to find a new suitable home for your pet immediately. See page 21 for further advice about keeping a dog.

Restricted work Any work on the gas supply system or appliances in your home must be carried out by an approved registered engineer. You must obtain a landlord/ homeowner gas safety record and send a copy to us. Any work on the electrical wiring system in your home must be carried out by a NICEIC approved electrician. You must obtain a relevant completion certificate and send a copy to us. For further advice about undertaking restricted work, please contact our Property Services section.

Running a business You may request permission to run a business from your home. We will need full details about the nature of the business and the hours you will work. We will consider your request carefully and assess the likely impact on your neighbours. You may need planning permission to run a business from your council property. Advice and application forms are available from the Planning section.

Sub-letting and lodgers See page 15 for advice on sub-letting your property and having a lodger.

18

TELEVISION AERIALS There are communal TV aerials on blocks of flats, which receive terrestrial TV programmes. There is no charge to you to use these. You will need to provide your own TV aerial if you live in a house, maisonette or bungalow. You must request permission from your Area Housing Manager if you would like to erect an outside aerial or satellite dish, otherwise you may be asked to remove it. You may also need planning permission for a satellite dish. You may also have to pay for a television licence. If you live in older people's supported housing, you may be entitled to a concessionary TV licence. See page 73 for further details.

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


The Council has an alternate weekly bin collection system throughout the district for household waste and recyclables, including garden waste. For all enquiries about rubbish collection and disposal, please contact the Recycle for Winchester team on 0800 008 6050, through our website or by e-mail to recycleforwinchester@winchester.gov.uk.

Refuse collection day To find out your collection day, please contact the Recycle for Winchester team. To ensure your rubbish is collected, you should place your wheeled bin at the edge of your boundary nearest the road by 7.00am on your collection day. The wheeled bin should not be left out, except on the day of collection, and should never block footpaths or roads. Help is available if you are disabled or elderly and have difficulty in putting your bins out for collection. Please contact the Recycling for Winchester team for advice.

3

Bulky items A special collection service is available for the disposal of bulky items, such as fridges and furniture, or for larger quantities of household and garden waste. There is a charge for this service. For further information, please contact your Area Housing Manager. Alternatively, you may take these items to your local household waste recycling centre.

Garden waste collection service

YOUR TENANCY

RUBBISH DISPOSAL

You are not permitted to dispose of your garden waste in your wheeled bin. It should be placed in a garden waste bag, provided by us. This material will be composted to provide an organic soil conditioner, which is used by many local gardeners and growers.

We do not normally collect extra bags that will not fit in your bin, except at Christmas when a small amount of excess rubbish will be taken. You may take your excess rubbish to one of the household waste recycling centres.

The garden waste will be collected on the same day as your recyclables. Additional bags can be purchased by contacting the Recycle for Winchester team.

Most types of hazardous household waste, such as oil and paint, may be safely disposed of at household waste recycling centres.

If you would like to compost your garden waste at home, please contact the Recycling for Winchester team for advice on how to purchase a compost bin or order direct on 0845 077 0757 or on-line at www.recyclenow.com/compost.

Compost bins

Glass Glass bottles and jars can be recycled at bottle banks at your local household waste recycling centre or at any of the local recycling sites in the district.

Clinical waste disposal We provide a free clinical waste collection service from people’s homes within the district. We will deliver a sharps container and clinical waste bin to you when a District Nurse or health proffesional makes a request. These will be collected from your home regularly.

Fly-tipping Fly-tipping is an eyesore and poses real safety risks, so it must be removed. To report an incident of flytipping on public property, please contact the Environment section. Legal action will be taken against anyone who does not dispose of their rubbish in the appropriate manner. Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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LIQUID PETROLEUM GAS (LPG) AND PARAFFIN HEATERS You must not use or store LPG and paraffin heaters in flats or maisonettes. Gas leaks from the canisters can pose a serious fire risk and cause damage to you, your neighbours and the property.

BARBEQUES AND PATIO HEATERS You must take care when using barbeques and patio heaters for your own safety. Do not place them near your property, any outbuildings, fences or plants and shrubs, to prevent a fire from starting or spreading.

BONFIRES Bonfires can cause a nuisance and, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, we have the power to take action against those responsible for causing a nuisance. Smoke from bonfires can be very irritating and can cause distress to those exposed to it, so please follow these guidelines if you have a bonfire: I

Advise your neighbours that you are lighting a bonfire, so they can take their washing down and close their windows

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Ensure the bonfire material is dry, because this reduces the amount of smoke

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Compost your garden waste, rather than burning it

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Never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres or anything containing plastic, foam or paint

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Never use old engine oil, methylated spirits or petrol to light a bonfire

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Do not light a fire if the wind might blow smoke into your neighbours’ home or across roads and public footpaths

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Remember smoke hangs in the air on damp, windless days and in the evening around sunset

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Place your bonfire far away from buildings, including sheds and fences

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Never leave a fire to smoulder. Put it out with soil or water

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You can complain about bonfires by contacting the Environment section. We will ask you to make your complaint in writing or by completing log sheets. If a nuisance exists, we will warn the person responsible they may be committing an offence and we may serve a legal Notice if they continue to have bonfires. They could face a considerable fine if the nuisance continues. We may also take action under the Housing Act 1985 for breach of tenancy conditions. Further advice regarding fire safety in and around the home can be found on pages 57 to 59.

PEST CONTROL We have an obligation to control rats across the district. Our pest control service is carried out by our approved contractor. The treatment of rats and mice is free of charge. Our approved contractor can also give you free advice about identifying and treating other household pests. However, you will be charged for inspecting and treating wasps, fleas, flies, carpet beetles, larder beetles, cockroaches and other insect pests. We will not charge you for treating wasps nests in your property if you are a tenant of our older people’s supported housing. If you experience an infestation, please contact your Area Housing Manager.

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


INTERNAL DECORATION

You must get our permission to keep any pets at your property.

You are entirely responsible for the internal decoration of the property and must keep it to our satisfaction. You may be charged for the cost of re-decoration if you fail to do so.

If we allow you to keep a dog, please follow this advice to ensure your dog does not cause a nuisance to your neighbours: I

Keep your dog under proper control at all times within your home, garden and in public places

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Do not allow your dog to foul in communal areas and ensure that you clean up after your dog in your garden and in public places. Dog bins are provided in many public areas

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Do not leave your dog alone at home or in the garden for long periods

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Do not allow your dog to bark incessantly

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Secure your garden to prevent your dog from escaping

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Supervise your dog when our staff and representatives and other visitors call at your home

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Ensure your dog wears a collar with an ID tag and talk to your vet about micro-chipping

We will withdraw permission for you to keep a pet if it causes a nuisance.

We may be able to help with decorating for tenants who are retired or disabled. See page 75 for more information.

DEATH OF A TENANT You should contact the Area Housing Manager as soon as possible after the death of a tenant. The Area Housing Manager will advise you on what steps you need to take, depending on the tenancy circumstances.

3 YOUR TENANCY

ADVICE FOR DOG OWNERS

You should also inform the Housing Benefits section if the tenant was receiving Housing Benefit as entitlement ceases on death.

Joint tenancy If the deceased was a joint tenant, their spouse or partner should have the right to succeed to the tenancy.

Sole tenancy If the deceased was the only occupier of the property, the tenancy will need to be terminated by the representative for the deceased. Four weeks' written notice is required to terminate the tenancy and a copy of the tenant's death certificate must also be provided. See page 93 for further details on how to terminate a tenancy. If there are other people living at the property at the time of the tenants' death, they should contact the Area Housing Manager for advice on whether they have any succession rights. See page 14 for information on the right of succession.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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YOUR GARAGE LICENCE The Council has garages available to lease. If you wish to lease a garage, please contact the Customer Service Centre to request an application form. Depending on demand, you may have to wait until a garage becomes available. We give priority to those who live nearest the garage. However, we will allocate garages to people who live further away if we can.

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For breaching another term of your licence

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For demolition of the garage or block

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For any other management reason

To end your garage licence, a Notice to Quit will be served by post to your home address. You should return the garage keys to the Customer Service Centre by the end of the notice period, otherwise we will change the locks and you will be charged for this work.

The fee for the garage licence is charged over 52 weeks and the rates are available on request. The fee is due weekly on a Monday. When you sign for your garage licence, you will need to pay four weeks’ fees in advance. We may increase the fee and will give you one week's written notice of our intention.

You may end the garage licence by giving us at least one week's notice in writing. The licence must end on a Monday and the fee must be paid in full. At the end of the notice period, you should return the garage keys to the Customer Service Centre no later than the last day of the notice period.

Garages should be used for the storage of a motor vehicle only and not for any other purpose. Combustible or harmful materials must not be kept in the garage. For further details about the terms of leasing a garage, please contact the Customer Service Centre for a copy of the terms of the licence.

The garage must be cleared and swept clean. Anything left in the garage will be disposed of and we will charge you for any costs incurred.

Ending your garage licence We may give you one week’s notice to end your garage licence for these reasons: I

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If you have arrears on your account, we will write to you to ask you to clear your account immediately. If it remains in arrears, we will seek possession of the garage and will pursue you for the outstanding debt

Maintaining the garage We will keep the structure and exterior of the garage in reasonable condition and carry out any necessary repairs. However, we are not responsible for repairs needed because of damage or neglect by you or someone else using your garage. We will not accept responsibility for any damage or loss to a vehicle in the garage or on the forecourt.


4

Nuisance and anti-social behaviour

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NUISANCE AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

4

CHAPTER


CHAPTER

4

Neighbour disputes Harassment Domestic abuse Drugs Vandalism and graffiti Noise nuisance 101 service What can Landlord Services do? Mediation Confidentiality

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Your tenancy conditions state you have agreed to ensure you, members of your family and other residents or visitors to your property, do not cause a nuisance and annoyance to neighbours or other residents of your community. We encourage everyone to have due consideration for all of their neighbours. We will actively defend people’s rights to live in their home free from nuisance and harassment. We will try to resolve nuisance problems without taking court action. If legal action is taken, we will continue to talk to the people involved and encourage them to reach an agreement to change their behaviour or settle a dispute. We offer these services to help you: I

Effective policies and procedures on nuisance and harassment

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A specialist Community Relations Officer to deal with serious nuisance and harassment cases

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Access to an independent mediation service

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Support for witnesses

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A community-based approach to curbing nuisance

NEIGHBOUR DISPUTES Disputes with neighbours are often caused by misunderstandings and may be sorted out by talking to each other and reaching a compromise. If you are experiencing a problem with a neighbour, your first step should be to approach them yourself. You could also write to your neighbour, explaining how their actions are affecting you and politely asking them to change their behaviour.

4

NUISANCE AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Nuisance and anti-social behaviour

You should contact your Area Housing Manager if the problem continues and explain how you have tried to resolve it. We will discuss with you how best to manage your complaint and may ask you to complete log sheets with the date, time, duration and nature of the problem. Log sheets can be used as evidence in court, so you should make a note of all incidents and relevant information. For help and advice about completing log sheets, please contact your Area Housing Manager. When we receive your complaint, we will contact everyone involved to make them aware and give them the chance to respond to the allegations. We will warn people if they are breaching their tenancy conditions and this will hopefully prevent further problems. If the problems do continue, you should log the information and contact your Area Housing Manager. If you have experienced violent behaviour or harassment from your neighbour in the past or feel threatened by them, you should not attempt to resolve the matter yourself. In these cases you should contact your Area Housing Manager first, who will handle the complaint on your behalf.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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HARASSMENT Harassment is interpreted as any incident where the victim, or any other person, perceives the incident to be harassment. Harassment can include physical assault, damage to property, graffiti, arson or attempted arson and verbal abuse. Harassment can be directed at people because of their race, colour, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation. These incidents can happen anywhere, at home, at work, at school or on the streets. You should call the Police and contact your Area Housing Manager if you experience harassment or witness an act of harassment. All complaints will be treated in confidence and no action will be taken without your consent. It is a criminal offence to deliberately harass someone and you will also be breaching your tenancy conditions. We are committed to preventing harassment and allowing everyone to live free from harassment, fear, intimidation and violence. We will do everything we can to tackle harassment and will provide support to victims. All reports of harassment are taken very seriously and will be managed in accordance with our policies and procedures, which are available on request from the Community Relations Officer.

We will not tolerate domestic abuse against men, women or children. We will support all victims and are committed to preventing domestic abuse and allowing everyone to live free from fear, intimidation and violence. You should contact your Area Housing Manager if you are experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is and would like to talk about it in confidence. You should also report it to the Police. All reports of domestic abuse are taken seriously and will be managed in accordance with our policies and procedures, which are available on request from the Community Relations Officer.

DRUGS We take a very strong approach over drug abuse and work closely with the Police and local people to tackle the use and selling of illegal drugs. Involvement with illegal drugs could lead to you losing your home.

DOMESTIC ABUSE Domestic abuse includes any form of mental, emotional, physical or sexual abuse between people in a close relationship. It may be accompanied by other behaviour, such as intimidation, degradation, humiliation, deprivation, systematic criticism and belittling.

You should contact the Police and your Area Housing Manager if you suspect there are drug abuse problems in your neighbourhood. Please contact the Council’s Neighbourhood Wardens or your Area Housing Manager if you find discarded syringes, who will arrange for them to be collected and disposed of safely. You should never handle a discarded syringe, as they are dangerous.

VANDALISM AND GRAFFITI Anyone who vandalises or creates graffiti on our property risks losing their home or their family’s home. You should contact your Area Housing Manager and the Police if you witness vandalism or graffiti and we will take action against those responsible. We aim to remove racist or obscene graffiti within 24 hours of a complaint. 26

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


Noise can cause problems, depending on how loud it is, how long it lasts, how often it occurs, when it happens or whether it is high or low pitched. We all make noise that affects others and much of it can be avoided. People who live in flats will be affected more because noise and vibration travel through walls, floors and ceilings. Please be considerate to your neighbours and think about whether the noise you are making could cause a nuisance and how you can reduce the impact. Simple measures, such as closing doors and windows, can reduce noise levels significantly. Please keep any noise to a minimum between 11.00pm and 7.00am. Below is a list of other ways of minimising noise nuisance:

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Do loud tasks during the day and do quiet work in the evenings

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Warn your neighbours that you will be making a noise

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Complete the work quickly. Don’t let it drag on for months

Vehicles: I

Don’t rev the engine excessively or leave the engine running

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Keep the stereo volume down and close car windows

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Don’t speed around streets on motorcycles in groups

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Don’t ride mini-motos on open spaces near houses

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If possible, carry out vehicle repairs in a garage

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Carry out noisy tasks during the day

Radios, TV’s and stereos: I

Keep the volume as low as possible, especially late at night

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Set the bass control at a low level, as the bass beat can be particularly irritating

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Don’t place speakers on adjoining walls

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Household repairs and DIY:

NUISANCE AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

NOISE NUISANCE

Parties: I

Household appliances:

Warn your neighbours if you are having a party or barbeque

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Place appliances away from adjoining walls

Outside noise:

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Put washing machines and spin dryers on a solid floor or place on a carpet or rubber mat to reduce vibration

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Keep your music low so it cannot be heard beyond your boundary

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Ensure children playing outside do not cause excessive disturbance, such as throwing or kicking balls against your neighbours’ walls

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Try to do loud jobs during the day, such as using the washing machine and vacuum cleaner

101 SERVICE 101 is a 24-hour number provided by the Council and the Police to deal with community safety issues, including: I

Vandalism and graffiti

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Noise nuisance

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Abandoned vehicles

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Rubbish dumping and fly-tipping

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Drunk and rowdy groups

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Broken street lighting

You should dial 999 when there is immediate danger or you witness a crime taking place.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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WHAT CAN LANDLORD SERVICES DO?

We provide a range of measures for witnesses and victims of anti-social behaviour, including improved domestic security and personal attack alarms.

Generally, we only become involved in neighbour disputes if there is a serious nuisance and a clear breach of tenancy conditions. You should try and resolve disputes with your neighbour and only contact your Area Housing Manager if this has not worked or you feel threatened.

You can also take private action against your neighbour under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For further help and advice please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor.

We can only take action if there is evidence of persistent nuisance or harassment. We can seek to impose the following: I

A Possession Order for breach of tenancy conditions

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A Possession Order relating to nuisance

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An injunction to enforce a tenancy condition

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An injunction to prohibit anti-social behaviour causing trespass, public nuisance or likely breach of criminal law

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An Anti-Social Behaviour Order to prevent harassment, alarm or distress

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An Acceptable Behaviour Contract, requiring those responsible to comply with written conditions

MEDIATION Mediation is often a very effective way of resolving neighbour disputes. It allows both parties to discuss the problem and the possible causes and encourages the parties to agree a way forward. The mediation process is managed by an independent professional and takes place on neutral ground. It is not essential for both parties to meet, but it is encouraged as it helps to achieve a successful outcome. Your Area Housing Manager will discuss with you whether mediation would work for you. Mediation can be the best solution if the problem is caused by someone’s lifestyle and there is no evidence of a breach of tenancy conditions. We advise you to consider mediation carefully, because if you turn it down your complaint will be closed and we will take no further action.

CONFIDENTIALITY We treat your identity and the information you supply with the strictest confidence. We will not reveal your identity to the person/s you have complained about. However, it may be obvious who is making the complaint, even when their identity is withheld, because of the nature of the complaint. We will give you the necessary support and advice to help you make the complaint. We will only disclose information to another party, such as the Police or Social Workers, to protect the safety and welfare of the victim or another person. These agencies are subject to the Data Protection Act. See page 9 for further details.

Serious instances We involve the Police if the complaint is about a criminal offence or violence and we also involve Social Workers from Hampshire County Council if children or vulnerable adults are involved. We will always advise you if we are going to contact another party, but we will not reveal your identity if requested. 28

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


5

5

Your neighbourhood

1

YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

CHAPTER


CHAPTER

5

Parking Garages to lease Abandoned vehicles Vehicle repairs Communal areas of flats Grounds maintenance of housing land Caretakers – Winnall flats Estate inspections Estate walkabouts Right to consultation Bogus callers

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5

PARKING

GARAGES TO LEASE

Car parking on some of our housing estates may be limited, so please park considerately. You must only park your car on the public highway, in a designated parking area or a garage. Communal parking areas are generally not designated for specific properties. Please do not park on grass verges, open spaces and garage forecourts and do not block access routes for emergency vehicles.

The Council has garages across the district available to lease. See page 22 for further details.

You may be able to construct a hard standing within the boundary of your property, but you must get our permission first. You must also get permission from Hampshire County Council for a dropped kerb and access across a pavement, where necessary. See page 17 for advice about requesting permission.

Commercial vehicles and lorries Commercial or trade vehicles of 3.5 tonnes and above must not be parked on our housing estates or the property without our written permission.

Caravans, boats and trailers You will need our permission to keep a caravan, boat or trailer at the property or on the estate. We prefer these to be parked behind the building line, either at the side or behind your property. You will be breaching your tenancy conditions if your vehicles regularly cause an obstruction or create other parking difficulties.

ABANDONED VEHICLES

YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

Your neighbourhood

Abandoned vehicles are an eyesore on our housing estates and can present a risk of harm. You are not allowed to leave illegal, untaxed or unroadworthy vehicles on the property or on the estate, unless you have our permission to do so. We will arrange for abandoned vehicles to be removed and disposed of and will charge the registered keeper for any costs incurred.

You are required by law to either tax or obtain a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for a vehicle temporarily ‘off the road’ and untaxed. It is against the law to keep an untaxed vehicle or one with a SORN on the public highway. It is also an offence not to complete a Vehicle Registration document. Please inform your Area Housing Manager if you have a SORN on your vehicle. For further advice regarding SORN, you can contact your local Post Office or the DVLA, via their website at www.dvla.gov.uk.

Disabled parking bays You may ask to have a disabled parking bay marked on the road or parking area near your home if you are disabled and have mobility difficulties. Disabled parking bays are not allocated to an individual, so they may be used by other people with a disability or mobility difficulty. Please contact your Area Housing Manager to request a disabled parking bay.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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You should report abandoned vehicles to your Area Housing Manager. We will not disclose the source of your complaint when investigating the matter.

VEHICLE REPAIRS You may carry out minor repairs to your vehicle providing this does not cause a nuisance to your neighbours.

COMMUNAL AREAS OF FLATS Rubbish disposal Your rubbish bags should be placed inside the large collection bins and not left near the bins or on communal landings and walkways or in the gardens. Only rubbish placed in the bins will be collected. Any large bulky items placed in the bin stores will not be collected.

Cleaning

Rubbish bags left beside bins or outside can attract dogs, cats, rats and other pests, which in turn create a health risk.

We are also responsible for cleaning the communal areas of general needs flats, so they need to be kept clear. You pay a charge for this service through your rent.

We operate an alternate weekly bin collection service for rubbish and recyclables, so please ensure you use these correctly. There are stickers on the bins to advise you what can and cannot be recycled.

Communal areas should always be kept clear of rubbish and personal belongings, such as pushchairs or bicycles, to ensure that all areas can be cleaned. Corridors and landings are important fire routes, so they should be kept clear in case of an emergency.

See page 19 for further details on rubbish disposal.

We are responsible for cleaning communal areas of older people’s supported accommodation, including the common room, landings, lift and communal kitchen and toilets.

Smoking It is an offence to smoke in council buildings and communal areas of flats, as well as other public places. You may smoke in your own house or flat.

Repairs Any defects to communal areas, for example, faults to the communal doors, lights or door entry systems, should be reported to the Council as soon as you can. See page 43 for details of how to report a repair.

Communal aerials There are communal TV aerials on the Council’s blocks of flats. If there is a problem with the reception, you should check your own TV first and then ask your neighbours if they too have a problem with their TV reception. Please tell us if you believe the communal TV aerial is faulty.

Security Communal doors should never be propped open because this compromises security for everyone living in the block. Replacement keys for the communal doors are available from your Area Housing Manager for a small fee. 32

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


We regularly mow the grass and maintain the hedges, shrubs and flower beds on our estates and at our older people’s supported housing schemes. We also regularly spray pathways and clothes drying areas to control weeds and moss.

I

Reporting repairs required in communal areas promptly

I

Litter-picking and leaf collection in the communal grounds and garage area

I

Helping residents in an emergency

I

Monitoring anti-social or nuisance behaviour by residents or visitors and reporting to the Area Housing Manager for investigation

I

Monitoring any breach of safety and security regulations and reporting to the Area Housing Manager for the appropriate action

ESTATE INSPECTIONS

5 YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE OF HOUSING LAND

We carry out annual inspections on our housing estates and if we find any problems or issues we will investigate them and take action. We will inspect: I

Communal areas of general needs flats. (The communal areas of older people’s supported housing schemes are inspected routinely by support staff)

I

Garage areas and access roads to the garage areas

I

Open spaces, including ‘housing’ footpaths and grassed areas

CARETAKERS – WINNALL FLATS The tower blocks at Winnall (Braxton, Craddock, Dennett and Earle Houses) are managed by two resident caretakers, who work Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 4.00pm. A duty caretaker is available for emergencies every evening and at weekends.

Their duties include: I

General supervision of the buildings and grounds, through routine checks, including weekly health and safety inspections

I

Weekly cleaning of the communal areas of the blocks of flats Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

33


ESTATE WALKABOUTS

BOGUS CALLERS

Estate walkabouts take place about four times a year. They aim to encourage tenants and council officers to identify and resolve local concerns about your neighbourhood. All residents are welcome to attend a walkabout. Where you have a tenants association you can also ask them to raise any concerns on your behalf.

Please be aware of bogus callers who claim to be from the Council or another company, such as a utility company. Bogus callers may ask to enter your home and you may place yourself at risk of, for example, a distraction burglary.

The group involved in the walkabouts includes representatives from the tenants and residents associations, the Area Housing Manager, Area Property Surveyor and other council officers, such as a Highways Officer or Environment Officer. To take part in an estate walkabout where you live, please contact the Tenant Involvement team or your Area Housing Manager.

All officers of the Council and people working on behalf of the Council have ID cards and show them to you before they enter your home. We will normally tell you in advance if work is due to be carried out in your home. We recommend that you put a notice at your front door, advising:

RIGHT TO CONSULTATION Under the Housing Act 1985, you have the right to be consulted on housing management issues. We will consult you on changes to the way we run our housing management and maintenance functions and on any proposals to improve your estate. We will ask you for your opinion and consider your views carefully before we make any changes.

34

I

‘We do not buy anything from door to door callers’

I

‘We will ask for proof of ID we can verify’

If you suspect a caller at your home is not who they say they are, do not allow them into your home. You should contact the Customer Service Centre, the Police on 08450 45 45 45 and Trading Standards on 01962 833 620 immediately.

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


6

Rent and Housing Benefit

7

RENT AND HOUSING BENEFIT

CHAPTER

6


CHAPTER

6

Paying your rent Claiming Housing Benefit Supporting People Grant Rent Free weeks Your rent account balance Problems paying the rent Action for rent arrears Setting rent levels

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36

37 38 39 39 39 39 40 40


PAYING YOUR RENT Rent and charges are due every Monday. You must pay your rent and charges weekly or in advance. Your total charge will consist of the base rent and may also include one or more of the following: I

Service charge. For services provided to maintain communal areas of blocks of flats, including cleaning, lighting, caretaking and door entry systems

I

Support charge. For services to tenants of older people’s supported housing, including the emergency alarm and support staff

I

Heating charge

I

Water/sewerage charge. For rural properties connected to council-maintained sewerage works

When you sign for a tenancy you will have to pay at least two weeks’ total charge in advance. We will confirm beforehand how much total charge you will need to pay. If you make an application for Housing Benefit, we will take this into consideration when calculating the amount you need to pay when you sign for your tenancy. You will receive a housing payment card with your name and your unique, seven digit tenancy reference number on it. We will use this number in all communication with you and will ask for it when you contact us about your rent account. You will also need your tenancy reference number when paying your rent. Please keep the card safe and do not throw it away. Replacement cards are available from the Rent Accounting section, but they are costly to replace. If you lose your card, you still have a responsibility to pay your rent while your new card is being ordered. We prefer you to pay your rent by Direct Debit, because it is the cheapest and most efficient method.

Direct Debit If you prefer to pay by Direct Debit, you will need a bank or building society current account. You should complete a Direct Debit mandate, which is available from the Customer Service Centre, your Area Housing Manager, the Rent Accounting section or the Council’s website, and return the form to us. We will contact your bank or building society to arrange the payments.

RENT AND HOUSING BENEFIT

Rent and Housing Benefit

We collect Direct Debit payments monthly, either at the beginning or middle of the month to suit you. Rent and charges are always collected in advance. We will write to you before payments start to confirm the arrangements. If the amount to be paid or the payment dates change, we will give you ten working days’ written notice in advance of your bank or building society account being debited. The mandate contains a Direct Debit guarantee, which gives you protection and ensures you are in control of your money. You should keep this guarantee in a safe place. The benefits of Direct Debit payments are: I

No worries about remembering to pay at the right time

I

No need to write and post cheques

I

No queuing at the cash office or Post Office

I

Your bank or building society does all the work and you stay in control

I

Saves time

I

We re-calculate your payments for rent and charges at the start of each financial year

I

You can cancel the arrangement at any time

I

An immediate money-back guarantee from the bank or building society if any error is made

Standing Order A Standing Order is an agreement between you and your bank or building society, so you choose how often and how much you pay.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

37

6


If you prefer to pay by Standing Order, you should complete a Standing Order mandate. These are available from your Area Housing Manager or the Rent Accounting section. When you have completed the mandate, you should send it to your bank or building society. You will need to inform your bank or building society of any changes to the amount due.

Post Please do not send cash by post, as we cannot be held responsible if it is lost. You can send a cheque, made payable to Winchester City Council, to our offices with your tenancy reference number on the back. We do not normally give receipts for cheque payments.

Internet

Post Office You may pay your rent at any Post Office throughout the country. They are generally open between 9.00am and 5.15pm, although some small offices are closed at lunch time. Post Office cashiers are not able to give you a balance on your rent account or advice on rent matters. You must always take your housing payment card when you pay at the Post Office, because payments cannot be made without it, and keep the receipt for future reference. You should allow three working days for the money to reach us. Payments made on a Thursday or Friday at the Post Office may not reach the Council until the following week, which may put your account into arrears.

Paypoint and Payzone outlets You may pay your rent with cash, cheque or a debit card at outlets with the Paypoint or Payzone sign. You will need your payment card and you should keep your receipt for proof of payment.

Cash office The Council’s cash office is open from 8.45am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. You can pay with cash, cheques and a debit card, but not with a credit card. You will need your payment card or tenancy reference number and you should take your ‘rent calendar’, so your payment can be receipted.

You can pay via the e-payments link on our website. You will need your tenancy reference number and debit card details. We do not accept credit cards.

Touch-tone telephone system 0845 602 4438 This is an automated 24-hour service and you will be guided through the payment process by helpful prompts. You will need your tenancy reference number and debit card details. We do not accept credit cards.

Deduction from benefits If you are in receipt of a means-tested benefit from the Department of Works and Pensions and you have rent arrears, you may be able to request that deductions are made from your benefits for rent arrears, which are paid direct to your rent account. Please contact your Area Housing Manager for further information.

Housing Benefit payments You may be entitled to receive Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent, depending on your personal circumstances.

CLAIMING HOUSING BENEFIT Housing Benefit helps tenants who cannot afford to pay the full rent for their home. Your entitlement will depend on your personal circumstances. You may qualify for help towards your rent if you receive state benefits or have a low income. Application forms are available from the Housing Benefits section or from your Area Housing Manager. If you need help completing an application form, please contact the Housing Benefits section. A home visiting service is also available on request. You will need to provide supporting information with your claim. You can speed up this assessment by providing the information quickly. You should also submit a claim for Housing Benefit promptly, as any delay could result in rent arrears.

38

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


Housing Benefit is paid directly to your rent account. You should tell your Area Housing Manager if you have made a claim for Housing Benefit, so we can take this into account when considering taking action against you to recover rent arrears. Some charges are eligible for Housing Benefit: Eligible for Housing Benefit Rent

Yes

Service charge

Yes

Support charge

No (but may be able to receive Supporting People Grant. See below) No

Heating charge Water/sewerage charge

No

SUPPORTING PEOPLE GRANT There is a support charge for some older people’s supported housing, which is not eligible for Housing Benefit. However, if you receive Housing Benefit, we will apply on your behalf for a grant to cover the full cost of the support charge. You will lose this grant if you are not eligible for Housing Benefit and we will automatically adjust your rent account.

RENT FREE WEEKS Your annual rent is divided over 48 weeks, to give you 4 or 5 ‘rent free’ weeks, depending on whether there are 52 or 53 weeks in the financial year respectively. The weekly amount due takes into account the 4 or 5 ‘rent free’ weeks each year. Your annual rent increase letter will advise you when the ‘rent free’ weeks are. We will not refund the ‘rent free’ element of your rent if your tenancy ends before a ‘rent free’ week. If you are in arrears with your rent, you must make payments for arrears during the ‘rent free’ weeks to reduce the amount owed.

YOUR RENT ACCOUNT BALANCE We will send you regular statements detailing all the transactions on your account. You should check your statement carefully and contact the Rent Accounting section immediately if there are any discrepancies, so they can be fully investigated. You can check the balance on your rent account at any time by contacting your Area Housing Manager or the Rent Accounting section. You will need your tenancy reference number for security purposes.

RENT AND HOUSING BENEFIT

You must tell the Housing Benefits section straight away if there is a change in your circumstances, so you are not overpaid Housing Benefit. For example, you must tell us if you start work or there is a change in the number of people living with you. If you are overpaid Housing Benefit, you will have to re-pay the money.

PROBLEMS PAYING THE RENT We understand people can have money problems, so if you have difficulty paying your rent you should contact your Area Housing Manager immediately. Rent arrears can become a serious issue if people do not seek help early enough. We can work out a payment plan with you for an agreed amount each week. If you follow this agreement, we will take no further action. We can also advise you of benefits to which you may be entitled.

Managing your money You can also get independent debt counselling from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), which has a specialist debt advisor. You can contact the CAB directly or ask your Area Housing Manager to refer you. See page 103 for contact details. The CAB advisor offers a full debt service, giving advice on how to manage your debts effectively. They complete a statement of your financial situation, including your income and outgoings, and use this information to work out what you can afford to pay on a regular basis towards your debts. They may also be able to support you in negotiating with your creditors what you are able to pay. The CAB will also undertake a benefit check with you to ensure that you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

39

6


A CAB advisor also attends Winchester and Portsmouth County Courts, so if you attend court for a possession hearing, an advisor will be able to support you. Your Area Housing Manager can offer you basic debt counselling and money advice. However, for serious debt problems, where money is owed to several creditors, you will be referred to the CAB. In all cases you should make a realistic agreement to make regular, affordable payments to clear your rent arrears.

ACTION FOR RENT ARREARS We will take action against you for rent arrears in line with our policy, which may result in you losing your home, if you do not get in touch with us or you fail to pay as agreed. We will write to you or visit you about your rent arrears, but if you fail to pay we will take the following action:

Notice Seeking Possession/Notice Requiring Possession We will serve you with a Notice Seeking Possession (or a Notice Requiring Possession if you have an introductory tenancy). This is the beginning of a legal process to repossess your home and to obtain a County Court Judgement to recover the debt.

Possession proceedings We will start court proceedings if you still have arrears on your rent account at the end of the four week notice period or you are not reducing your arrears by making regular payments. You will be liable for our legal costs. You will be notified of your court date and we advise you to attend the hearing. We may ask the court to postpone a possession order if you agree to pay a set amount each week to reduce the arrears. We will apply to the court for a date to take possession of your home if you do not keep to the terms of the court order.

Eviction proceedings We will apply to the court for a warrant to evict you from your home if you still have arrears on your account after the date fixed by the court. Even if we obtain a warrant, we may consider not evicting you from your home if you pay all outstanding rent arrears and court costs. Any payments made at this stage must be by cash or banker’s draft. 40

Introductory tenants Introductory tenants who are taken to court for nonpayment of rent will lose their home. The court has no discretion but to give us an immediate order for possession of your home if we have followed our procedures correctly.

Housing advice and homelessness The Council and other registered social landlords may not have an obligation to provide you with permanent housing if you are evicted from your home for nonpayment of rent, even if you have children living at your address. You may be found to be intentionally homeless. If you are threatened with eviction or have been made homeless, you should contact our Housing Advice section urgently for advice. See page 99 for housing advice. We will continue to recover any arrears owed by you if you have been evicted from your home.

Transfers and mutual exchanges You will be required to clear any outstanding arrears if you are on the transfer list before you are offered another property. You will also be required to have a clear rent account before moving by mutual exchange.

SETTING RENT LEVELS Winchester City Council rents used to be set according to a local formula, based on the property size and number of bedrooms. We now set rents in accordance with a national formula, set by central government. This national formula has been applied in full to all new tenancies since April 2007 and on a phased basis for tenancies prior to this date. The rents for most properties will follow the national formula fully by 2012. The national formula is still primarily based on the number of bedrooms, but is also affected by the cost of private housing. Your rent will increase with inflation in April each year, based on the Retail Prices Index. The rent for each new financial year will be effective from the 1st Monday in April and we will give you 28 days’ written notice of any changes to your rent and service/support charges, where applicable.

To contact your Area Housing Manager ring the Customer Service Centre


7

Maintenance and repairs

13

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

CHAPTER

7


CHAPTER

7

Our undertaking to you Who is responsible? How to report a repair Useful diagrams for reporting repairs Appointments Out of hours emergencies Fire safety Electricity Gas Carbon monoxide detectors Heating systems and appliance servicing Appliance log books Working fireplaces and flues Water supply Looking after your home Improvements Tenants Improvement Scheme Condensation Decoration vouchers Tenant recharges Asbestos

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42

43 43 43 45 57 57 57 59 59 60 60 60 60 61 62 63 63 64 65 66 66


OUR UNDERTAKING TO YOU Winchester City Council undertakes to maintain your home in a safe and weather-tight condition and wherever possible to provide modern facilities in line with the government’s Decent Homes standard. Repair issues will be categorised as soon as they are reported and dealt with in line with the priorities shown on page 44.

HOW TO REPORT A REPAIR You can report a repair by: I

Writing to us

I

Calling in to or telephoning the Customer Service Centre

I

Completing a maintenance report card, available from the Customer Service Centre

I

E-mail to housing@winchester.gov.uk

I

Calling out of hours on 01962 865 405

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? We will not repair or replace your own structures, fixtures or fittings, other than those fitted by the Council’s nominated contractor under the Tenants Improvement Scheme. See page 63 for details of the Tenants Improvement Scheme. The following list gives an idea of items for which you are responsible: I

Replacing lost keys

I

Gaining entry if accidentally locked out

I

Replacing light bulbs and fluorescent tubes

I

Appliances, plugs and their fuses

I

Broken glass to windows and doors

I

TV aerials where not on a communal council maintained system

I

Installation of your own appliances. This includes connection of gas and electric cookers, which must be fitted by an appropriately registered installer. A completion certificate for the work must be forwarded to us within one week

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

Maintenance and repairs

7

When will the work be done? When you report a repair, we will decide how urgent it is and will place it in one of the categories shown in the table on page 44. The notes show the type of work placed in each category and how soon the repair is likely to be carried out.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

43


Category Response

A

Repair

Out of hours call outs. We try to respond to and make safe these repairs within two hours. However, this will usually only mean temporary repairs. Follow-up works may then need to be raised on lower priorities.

This category only includes work necessary to prevent danger to life or extensive damage to your property. In exceptional circumstances, we may regard a repair as an emergency if it causes undue anxiety or stress or would cause significant inconvenience over a prolonged period. If your repair is covered by any of the items in ‘B’ (below) and can be managed overnight, it will be actioned the following day. If you call the Council for work that is not an emergency, you may be charged for any costs incurred over and above the normal repair charges.

Emergency repairs. These will be carried out wherever possible within two hours and may only involve making safe or carrying out temporary repairs. Follow-up works may then need to be raised on lower priorities.

I I I I I I

B

I I I I I I I

C

Urgent repairs. These will be carried out within five working days. This category covers works required to prevent you suffering undue inconvenience or further damage to your property.

I I I I I I I

Replacement of WC pans Rain penetration to doors/windows Electrical repairs general (not specified in B) Glazing Containable leaks Loss of hot water (1st May to 31st Oct) Total failure of central heating (1st May to 31st Oct)

Priority repairs. These will be carried out within twelve working days. These include minor repairs which are non-urgent and not an emergency, as defined above.

I

I

Repairs to overflows (category ‘B’ in winter months) Loose floorboards Garage doors Chimney pots Tap washers

I

All other general repairs

E

Routine repairs. These will be carried out within 30 working days. This category includes all other minor repairs.

I

F

Planned maintenance. This covers major items of replacement throughout a number of properties, such as works of a structural nature. These works tend to be expensive and there may be long delays before they are carried out.

External repair and painting Kitchen/bathroom refurbishments Re-roofing Replacement guttering/soffits etc

D

44

Total loss of electricity Defective light fittings to kitchen, bathroom and stairways Burst water pipes Loss of water supply Loss of hot water (1st Nov to 31st April) Total failure of central heating (1st Nov to 31st April) Replacement of WC pans, where there is only one WC Restore flush to WC where tenant is unable to flush with a bucket of water Roof leaks Dangerous roof slates/chimneys (make safe) Defective external door locks Board up or re-glaze for safety or security reasons Blocked sewers

I I I

I I I

Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


before you contact us...

BATHROOMS

tell us... bath/basin water leaking

G

BASIN G

tap

If water is near electrics, DO NOT TOUCH. Turn electricity off at consumer unit main switch.

G

Are electrics affected?

G

Where is leak (bath or basin)?

G

What is affected (waste pipe/trap, pipe or tap)? See diagrams opposite.

G

If pipework is affected, is it hot or cold supply pipe or waste pipe? See diagrams opposite.

Stop leak causing more damage.

supply pipe

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

You may find the following diagrams and instructions useful when reporting a repair

7

bath/basin blocked

waste trap G

What is blocked (bath or basin)?

G

What caused the blockage?

BATH wall tiles or splashback

overflow

sealing strip

plug to waste trap and pipe

bath or basin damaged/broken G

What is damaged (bath or basin)?

G

What is affected part made from (metal, plastic or china etc.)?

G

If a bath panel is affected, which panel (side or end panel)?

G

Does it need to be replaced or refixed?

side panel end panel

damaged wall tiles

BASIN sealing strip

G

Where are tiles?

G

Are they loose, broken or damaged?

G

How many are affected?

G

What size and colour are they? How did it happen?

G

bath panel loose

wall tiles or splashback

overflow

G

Which bath panel is affected (side or end panel)?

seal failed around bath, basin or sink

pedestal

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

45


before you contact us...

TAPS AND HOT WATER

tell us...

TAPS INSIDE A TAP

tap dripping

LEVER TAP washer

G

Is it on bath, basin or sink?

G

What type of tap is it? See diagrams opposite. tap loose

MIXER TAP

STANDARD PILLAR TAP

G

Is it on bath, basin or sink?

G

What type of tap is it? See diagrams opposite. plug / chain required

G

HIGH NECK PILLAR TAP

BIB TAP HOT WATER

SUPATAP

MODERN PILLAR TAP

TYPICAL WATER TEMPERATURE CONTROLLERS

no hot water G

G

cylinder thermostat

economy 7 controller for water heater top entry HOT WATER CYLINDER immersion gate heater valve (electric) bottom cylinder entry usually immersion has heater insulation (electric) jacket

drain off valve 46

Is it on bath, basin or sink?

G

If gas, check time clock controller is set for hot water and timer is set correctly. If electric, is there a power cut? Are neighbours affected? If so, contact your electricity company (see under ‘Electricity’ in the telephone directory). If coin or credit meter, has it run out of credit?

G

What heats water (gas, electric or solid fuel)?

G

If electric, are other electrical facilities working?

G

Are heating controls set correctly?

G

Is room heating still working?

G

Do you have alternative source of hot water (immersion heater or gas heater etc.)?

G

Do you have a hot water cylinder?

cylinder thermostat (see above) Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


TOILET SUITES

before you contact us...

7

tell us...

CISTERN

G

Try to stop leak and any damage it is causing.

G

If serious, turn off water at stopcock and gate valves from cold water tank. Open all taps to drain water from system. Turn off heaters affected.

handle

overflow

float

syphon

G

Where is leak (pan, cistern, overflow, supply, flush or waste pipe or pipe joint)?

G

If leak is from cistern, is it high or low level cistern?

G

Is affected part loose, cracked or broken?

ball valve

toilet will not flush

TOILET G

bottom overflow cistern (see above) cold water supply

G

Has water authority said that water would be turned off?

G

Is the handle or chain moving properly?

G

Is the float still

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

toilet leaking

You can use a bucket of

cold water to flush until problem is fixed. G

connector flush pipe WC pan

If cistern is not filling, lift lid and see if anything is stopping the float from working. Try moving the float up and down to see if it will fill. overflow running

waste connector

G

‘P' TYPE WASTE TRAP

As a temporary solution, tie float in the up position, thus closing the ball valve.

G

Does the overflow run outside?

G

Is the cistern flushing?

G

Is the float working?

G

Is overflow running continuously? seat damaged

HIGH LEVEL CISTERN ‘S’ TYPE WASTE TRAP

G

Is it broken, damaged or missing?

G

What is it made from (plastic, wood etc.)?

G

What colour is it? toilet blocked

G

LOW LEVEL CISTERN

Try unblocking it yourself by removing excess water into a bowl, and using a toilet brush or plunger (without metal disc).

G

What caused blockage?

soil stack blocked G

Do you live in a house or flat?

G

If a flat, which floor are you?

G

Is your toilet causing the blockage?

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

47


before you contact us...

DOORS AND LOCKS

tell us... door lock not working

CYLINDER RIM NIGHT LATCH

deadlocking cylinder

G

latch keep

Tenant’s own locks are your own responsibility.

G

What type of lock is it? See diagrams opposite.

G

What is wrong with lock (lever handle faulty, spring worn out, striking plate out of place or lock not fitting into keep etc.)? See diagrams opposite.

G

Which door is affected?

G

What is door made of (wood, metal or plastic)?

G

Is your home secure?

night latch hold open

MORTICE DEADLOCK

deadlock

keys lost / locked out G

OUTSIDE DOOR PULL

This is usually your own responsibility.

OVAL CYLINDER

G

Are you locked out of your home?

G

What type of lock is it? See diagrams opposite.

G

Where is door (front, rear, patio or store)?

ironmongery missing / not working

barrel cylinder

RIM LOCK

G

Tenant’s own fittings are your own responsibility.

G

What fitting is it (letterplate, handle, chain, door viewer, house numbers etc.)? See diagrams opposite.

G

Is door not closing properly?

G

Is your home insecure?

latch

keep

deadlock MORTICE SASH LOCK

latch striking plate deadlock

europrofile cylinder 48

Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


WINDOWS

before you contact us...

7

tell us...

PIVOT WINDOW

G

pivot hinges

fasteners

G

TILT & TURN WINDOW opens in for ventilation

If you can do it safely, remove any loose broken glass which could be dangerous to others and wrap it in newspaper before safely disposing of it. You may be recharged for broken window/door glass. If the Police have been involved, you must tell us the incident number.

G

Is it single or double glazed?

G

Where is window (which floor of the building, a communal window or one to your home)?

G

What type of glass is it (clear, wired, or obscure)?

G

What is window frame made of (wood, metal or plastic)?

G

Is your home secure?

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

glass damaged

window frame jammed

SASH WINDOW sash cord

catch

CASEMENT WINDOW (as seen from outside)

G

What is frame made of (wood, metal or plastic)?

G

What type of window is it (sash, pivot or tilt window etc.)? See diagrams opposite.

G

What is causing problem (rotten wood, hinges or sash cord broken etc.)? See diagrams opposite.

G

Is your home secure?

trickle vent

fastener lock

lintel

stay

window sill

frame

window board

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

49


WINDOW FASTENERS

before you contact us...

tell us... ironmongery defective

REVERSIBLE CASEMENT FASTENER HOOK CASEMENT FASTENER

mortice plate hook plate

G

What type of window is it (sash, pivot or tilt window etc.)?

G

What is frame made of (wood, metal or plastic)?

G

What part is defective (stay, catch, fastener or lift etc.)? See diagrams opposite.

G

Is your home insecure?

WEDGE PATTERN CASEMENT CASEMENT FASTENER FASTENER

notched catch wedge plate cockspur BRIGHTON SASH FASTENER

FITCH SASH FASTENER keep

screw

thumb catch

CASEMENT STAY

pin plate

stay arm

RESTRICTOR STAY (prevents full opening of window)

50

Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


FENCES

before you contact us...

7

tell us...

CONCRETE POST & TIMBER PANELLED

G

Where is fence (front, rear or side)?

G

What kind of fence is it (boarded, chestnut pale, timber pallisade, ranch style etc.)? See diagrams opposite.

G

What are posts and panels made of (wood or concrete)?

G

Does it need to be replaced or resecured?

G

Is it your own fence or shared with your neighbour?

INTERWOVEN FENCE

CHAINLINK FENCE CLOSE BOARDED FENCE

RANCH STYLE FENCE

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

fence dangerous/broken

PALLISADE FENCE

HIT & MISS FENCE CHESTNUT PALE FENCE

gate jamming G

What is gate made of (wood or metal)?

G

What is causing it to jam (hinge broken etc.)?

BRACED GATE gate latch / bolt broken

tee hinge

post latch stop (on outside)

pale

G

What type of latch is it?

G

What is gate made of (wood or metal etc.)?

stile

brace

gate post rotten / broken G

LEDGED & BRACED GATE tee hinges

What is post made from (wood or concrete etc.)? gate post stop defective

top rail

brace

latch

palisades or boards

post

bottom rail

G

What is gate post stop made from (wood or metal etc.)?

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

51


ELECTRICAL

before you contact us...

tell us... no power at all

ELECTRICITY CONSUMER UNIT

G

main on/ off switch fuses or trip switches

If you have a coin or credit meter, check that it has credit on it.

G

See if trip switch is activated or a fuse has blown on consumer unit.

G

Are your neighbours affected? If so, contact your electricity supplier (under ‘Electricity’ in the telephone directory).

ELECTRICITY METER

G

Is yours the only property affected?

G

Has trip switch been activated or a fuse blown on the consumer unit?

electrical fitting smoking electricity meter

G

DO NOT TOUCH FITTING.

G

G

Turn electricity off at consumer unit main switch.

What fitting is it (light, plug etc.)?

G

Where is it located?

electricity supply

TYPES OF FUSES light circuit failed G

cartridge type

rewirable

See if trip switch is activated or fuse has blown on consumer unit.

G

Has bulb blown?

G

Are power sockets working?

G

Are power sockets working?

G

How many lights are affected?

G

Is light fitting causing the problem (the pendant, batten holder, wall or ceiling switch etc.)? See diagrams opposite.

TRIP SWITCH (replaces fuses in modern consumer units)

fluorescent tube not working

FLUORESCENT LIGHTS starter switch (if fitted)

G

What is the problem (tube flickers, broken etc.)?

tube

removable diffuser 52

Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


7

tell us...

before you contact us... SINGLE & DOUBLE SWITCHED POWER SOCKETS

COOKER CONTROL POWER SOCKET

G

Is it the appliance, rather than the power socket that is faulty?

G

Is trip switch activated or a fuse blown in the consumer unit?

G

Is there no power at all in your home?

G

Are other power sockets working?

G

Is trip switch activated or a fuse blown in consumer unit?

smoke detector defective G

BATTEN LAMP HOLDERS

PENDANT LAMP HOLDER

CEILING PULL SWITCH

If it is battery operated, check batteries.

G

Is it battery operated?

G

Where is the smoke detector?

G

What appears to be problem?

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

plug socket not working

carbon monoxide detector defective G

Gas appliance - turn off the appliance, ventilate the room and call Transco.

G

Solid fuel appliance damp down the fire and ventilate the room.

CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR

SMOKE DETECTOR/ SMOKE ALARM

test button

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

53


ELECTRICAL / HEATING SYSTEMS

before you contact us...

tell us... extractor fan faulty

EXTRACTOR FAN (showing wiring to fused spur)

G

Is fan switched on?

fused spur

G

Where is fan?

G

What type of fan is it?

central heating boiler faulty G

DIGITAL PROGRAMMER

CLOCK PROGRAMMER

G

If gas, check that pilot light is on.

G

Check that boiler thermostat is set correctly (usually between 18ºC and 22ºC). See diagram opposite.

G

Check that clock or digital timer is set correctly.

ROOM THERMOSTAT G

heat input heat output

WALL MOUNTED CENTRAL HEATING BOILER (front panel open) flue

light

ignition switch 54

G

Is it your only source of heat?

G

Do you have hot water?

G

Can you see manufacturer’s name and what model it is?

communal heating faulty

STORAGE HEATER CONTROLS

pilot

If electric, check that power is still on, and that meter is still in credit.

Check that room thermostat is set correctly (usually between 18ºC and 22ºC).

G

Are other flats affected?

G

If you live in older people’s supported housing, contact your support staff.

G

Check that thermostatic valve is turned up enough.

G

Is this your only source of heat?

G

Is there any hot water?

time clock heating controller switched power supply

boiler thermostat control Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


before you contact us...

HEATING SYSTEM

7

tell us...

PANEL RADIATOR

G

radiator valve (see diagrams below)

Check that thermostatic valve is turned up enough.

G

Is thermostatic valve turned up enough?

G

How many radiators are affected?

G

Do you have hot water? radiator leaking

pre-set balancing valve RADIATOR VALVES manual radiator valve

thermostatic radiator valve

G

Try to stop leak causing damage.

G

Turn radiator valve off.

G

Where is leak coming from? See diagram opposite. fumes appear in room

G

WALL MOUNTED DOWNFLOW HEATER G

heating control

If gas leak, DO NOT SMOKE, USE MATCHES OR TURN ELECTRICAL SWITCHES ON OR OFF. Open windows.

G

What is causing fumes?

G

Has flue been cleaned recently?

G

If the heating system is the cause, can you see manufacturer’s name and the model?

Turn off any appliances that are causing fumes.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

radiator not heating up

storage heater defective

CENTRAL HEATING PUMP switched electric power supply

G

Make sure heater is turned on at socket.

G

How many heaters are affected?

G

Check thermostat is set correctly.

G

Where are they?

G

What appears to be the problem?

G

Can you see manufacturer’s name and model number?

STORAGE HEATER off-peak supply for storage heater

radiator / convector heater faulty G

Check thermostat is set correctly.

G

What appears to be the problem?

G

Can you see manufacturer’s name and model?

CONVECTOR HEATER supply for convector

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

55


before you contact us... tell us...

KITCHENS

washing machine blocked G

WASHING MACHINE

Do you know what caused the blockage?

(showing typical plumbing )

damaged cupboard

washing machine

G

Which unit is affected (a corner unit, floor or wall unit, with single or double doors)?

G

What part is faulty? See diagram opposite.

G

In what way is it damaged?

G

Do you think it can be repaired or will it need to be replaced?

G

What is it made of (wood, plastic or metal etc.)?

G

What colour and size is it?

sink waste pipe

drain cleaning access above ground drains underground drains

trap

sink unit leaking G

Try to stop the leak causing more damage.

G

Where is leak coming from (pipe, tap or waste pipe/trap)? See diagrams opposite. sink blocked

G

G

TYPICAL KITCHEN UNIT worktop

Try to clear it yourself using a plunger. Stop using sink while blocked.

G

Are other outlets affected?

G

Is washing machine blocked?

G

What caused the blockage?

wall tiles or splashback

damaged wall tiles G

Where are tiles?

G

Are they broken, loose or missing?

G

How many are affected?

G

What size and colour are they?

door hinge Please refer to page 46

inset sink

plinth 56

G

Sink tap dripping.

G

Tap loose.

G

Sink plug/chain required.

drawer runner Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


You must report any defects to the property as soon as practical. We will arrange for the repairs to be carried out as necessary. You must keep to these arrangements. A Property Surveyor may need to inspect the defect before the contractor does the work. We will confirm the appointment for the inspection on a green customer care card. The system for contractor appointments is as follows: I

For all repair jobs (except emergencies), wherever possible the Customer Service Centre will arrange for the repair to be carried out on a weekday morning or afternoon. We will confirm the appointment date, time and job number on the customer care card.

I

We do not make appointments for emergencies. If you report an emergency, we expect you to wait at home for the contractor to arrive.

I

You should telephone the number on the customer care card if the appointment time is not suitable, so we can rearrange the appointment. We will offer you a new date, if the contractor is unable to keep the appointment.

I

The job will be cancelled if the contractor calls at the arranged time and date and is refused access or is unable to gain access. We will leave a card with you stating the reason why. You will have to report the repair again if you still want the work carried out.

We are unable to carry out work where a child under 16 is alone in the property. If you choose to leave the contractor alone in your property while your repair is being carried out, you do so entirely at your own risk. Please take the time to complete and return the prepaid customer care card once the job has been completed. We value your comments and they help us to gather information and to monitor the contractor’s performance. We aim to carry out telephone interviews with around one third of tenants to monitor the quality of the work.

OUT OF HOURS EMERGENCIES The out of hours service operates: I

From 5.00pm to 8.30am, Monday to Friday

I

On Bank Holidays

The purpose of our out of hours emergency repairs service is to provide an emergency call out service when the Customer Service Centre is closed. Please note that gas leaks or suspicion of fumes from a gas appliance should be reported direct to Southern Gas Networks on 0800 111 999.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

APPOINTMENTS

It is expensive to organise tradesmen out of hours, so it is important that you only request a call out for a genuine emergency. We define an emergency as danger to life or limb, where there is a serious risk to health or where there is risk of considerable damage to the property, for example, if a water leak causes a ceiling to collapse. In exceptional circumstances, we may also regard a repair as an emergency if it causes undue anxiety or stress or would cause significant inconvenience over a prolonged period. The Council aims to respond and make safe wherever possible within two hours.

We do not tolerate verbal abuse towards our staff, so if you are abusive to our call out officer we will not treat your call as an emergency. The emergency call out officers may use their discretion, based on the nature of the call or where the tenant is disabled, a pensioner or has a young baby in the property. The emergency system should not be used by tenants to ‘short circuit’ the normal repair priorities. See page 44 for full details of these priorities. We will charge you for the emergency call out if the contractor informs us that it was not a genuine emergency. You may be depriving another person with a genuine emergency if you abuse the system.

FIRE SAFETY Three quarters of all fire deaths happen at home. Older people and young children are most at risk. One third of all domestic fires are caused by chip pans or children playing with matches.

Reducing the risk I

Make sure that all equipment and appliances are in good working order, are serviced regularly and repaired or thrown away when worn out. Avoid buying second hand electrical appliances. If you do, make sure you have them tested before you use them.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

57

7


I

I

Unplug electrical equipment that is not being used. Do not leave appliances on ‘stand-by’ for long periods. Avoid using electrical adapters. A multi-socket bar is safer.

I

Never throw water on an electrical appliance or burning oil, such as a chip pan fire.

I

Do not leave pans of fat or oil unattended whilst cooking.

I

Always guard open or radiant fires, such as bar heaters.

I

Store matches and lighters safely, out of reach of children.

I

I

I

I

I

The use of Liquid Petroleum Gas or paraffin heaters is not permitted in flats or maisonettes. These appliances are easily knocked over and can cause a fire. Do not store gas cylinders or paraffin inside your house or bungalow. Avoid storing flammable materials that could be a fire risk. Don’t allow rubbish to pile up against the side of the building or under external staircases. Rubbish accumulated in the garden can also be a risk.

Safety comes first, so: I

Don’t attempt to tackle the fire yourself.

I

Get everyone out.

I

Never use the lift in an emergency, always use the stairs.

I

Crawl on the floor if there is smoke. The air is cleaner near the floor, so put your nose as low as possible. Remember, smoke is poisonous and can kill you.

I

Close all windows and doors behind you.

I

Raise the alarm, call 999 and ask for the Fire Brigade.

I

Don’t stop to pick up valuables or animals. Never go back in, it isn’t worth the risk. Nothing is more valuable than your life or the lives of your loved ones.

I

If you can’t get out, get everyone into one room, block the door and stay by the window or on the balcony if you have one.

I

Wait near the building. When the Fire Service arrives, give them as much information as possible about the fire and the building.

Do not clutter up stairwells, landings and corridors in blocks of flats, especially with items that may easily catch fire. Remember, this is the emergency exit route for you and your neighbours, so your safety and theirs depends on everyone co-operating.

Escape routes

Doors can help contain a fire and prevent smoke spreading if they are shut, so avoid propping doors open, especially self-closing fire doors.

Smoke detectors

I

Close all doors before going out or going to bed.

I

Ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished and don’t smoke in bed!

I

Have a nightly checklist and go around your home before you go to bed making sure each item is left in a safe condition.

I

Never leave children alone in the house.

I

Encourage all your family and visitors to be aware of safety.

I

The ‘blue light’ services need a clear route to deal with emergencies. You can assist by parking properly and keeping access roads clear.

58

Fire drill

Plan safe escape routes now, even if you never have to use them. Make your children and other dependants aware of what to do in an emergency.

All our properties should be fitted with smoke detectors and we check these annually. If there is no smoke detector fitted in your home contact the Customer Service Centre immediately.

Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


You should test the smoke detector at regular intervals. If it does not work, the battery may need replacing. If this does not rectify the problem, contact the Customer Service Centre immediately.

ELECTRICITY A number of companies now supply electricity. Full details are available in the telephone directory under ‘Electricity’. You are responsible for your own electrical appliances. However, for your own safety, observe these general safety rules: I

Only use good quality plugs

I

Make sure plugs are wired correctly

I

Always fit the correct fuse for the job

I

Use short undamaged flexes

I

Regularly check flexes and fittings

I

Do not use plug adaptors

I

If you need extra sockets you may have some fitted through the Tenants Improvement Scheme. There will be a cost involved. See pages 63 and 64

If all your lights go out or you lose power to your sockets, try these few simple steps before contacting the Customer Service Centre or the out of hours service: I

Go to the fuse board. Check if all the switches are in the ‘on’ position. If not, simply reposition the appropriate switch and the problem should be solved. If a lighting circuit has tripped, it may be that a bulb has blown and needs replacing.

I

If a socket circuit switch or the main switch has tripped, reset the switch. If it immediately trips again, then you probably have a faulty appliance. Unplug all your appliances and then try to reset the switch again. You should find that it is now successful. You will now need to plug in each appliance in turn. If the switch trips out again, you will have located the faulty appliance. You should not attempt to use this appliance until it has been

checked by a qualified electrician or, if it is under warranty, you should contact the supplier or manufacturer. I

If having followed the steps above, you still cannot reset the switch, then contact the Customer Service Centre or the out of hours service, as appropriate. You may be advised that the contractor will not attend until the next day if crucial lighting is not affected.

GAS A number of companies now supply gas. Full details are available in the telephone directory under ‘Gas’.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

It is your responsibility to ensure that your smoke detector is fitted with a live battery at all times. Never leave the smoke detector without a live battery and never remove it. It may be a nuisance if the alarm goes off while you are making the toast, but it could save your life. This should not be a problem if you ventilate the kitchen adequately whilst cooking. This is particularly important in hostels and older people’s supported housing where the detectors may be linked to the main fire alarm system and the Fire Service will be called out.

Your chosen supplier will be responsible for all pipework leading to the meter. The Council is responsible for the internal gas pipes only.

Repairs of gas pipes installed by the Council You should contact the Customer Service Centre to arrange repairs to our gas pipes or call the out of hours service, who will make sure that the system is safe.

Gas leaks In the event of a gas leak, make sure you immediately: I

Put out cigarettes. Do not use matches or naked flames.

I

Do not operate electrical switches, either on or off.

I

Open doors and windows to ventilate and clear the gas from the room.

I

Check to see if a gas tap has been left on accidentally or if a pilot light has gone out. If not, there is probably a gas leak. Turn off the whole supply at the meter and call Southern Gas Networks on 0800 111 999 and have your postcode ready.

Be especially alert when returning to buildings which have been empty for some time. If you smell gas in the street, report it at once to Southern Gas Networks. Don't just leave it to someone else.

Turning off your main gas supply For your own safety, make sure you know where the main gas tap is for your home and how to turn it off. The main gas tap is usually near the gas meter.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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7


CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS A carbon monoxide detector is a fail safe device used to monitor the levels of harmful carbon monoxide in the air. Carbon monoxide is an odourless gas produced from burning fossil fuels. If the appliance you are using is not working correctly, carbon monoxide may escape into your home and you would not be able to detect its presence without a special detector. All homes where there is at least one fossil fuel appliance (gas or solid fuel) should have one fitted. If you think you should have one, contact the Customer Service Centre. The carbon monoxide detector will normally be located in the same room as your gas boiler or solid fuel appliance and will be checked annually by the Council. Do not attempt to change the battery in your carbon monoxide detector. These are sealed units and the whole unit will be replaced when necessary. The carbon monoxide alarm will sound if it detects the possible presence of carbon monoxide in the air. If carbon monoxide is present, it could result in serious illness or death from poisoning. You should take the following action: I

I

Gas appliance. Turn off the appliance, open doors and windows and contact Southern Gas Networks on 0800 111 999 immediately Solid fuel appliance. Damp down the fire, open doors and windows and contact the Customer Service Centre or out of hours service immediately

HEATING SYSTEMS AND APPLIANCE SERVICING The Council is required by law to inspect any gas fired or solid fuel heating appliance and associated pipework located in your home every year.

Our contractor will also check and service your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors whilst carrying out the gas servicing to ensure the safety of you and your home. It is essential this work is carried out every year to prevent the occurrence of poisonous gas emissions being produced by faulty heating appliances. Failure to carry out this work could result in serious illness or death by carbon monoxide poisoning. When you receive notification of an appointment from our contractor, you must keep this appointment or contact the contractor direct to arrange a more suitable time. The Council will take the necessary legal steps to gain access if you do not allow us to carry out the required work. We may serve a Notice on you and seek possession of your home through the court or we may apply for an injunction. You are responsible for ensuring you are not using a gas appliance that you know or suspect to be unsafe. This also applies to gas supply pipes that may not be in current use.

APPLIANCE LOG BOOKS Appliance log books are issued to all properties with gas and solid fuel appliances as part of our heating systems contract. The log book gives details of the appliances and how to operate the heating and hot water systems within your home. It must be left in the property should you transfer or terminate your tenancy. There is space in the log book for you to keep the engineer's work reports giving a service maintenance record for your appliances. If your heating system has recently been serviced and you do not have a log book or if your last service record is more than twelve months old, please contact the Customer Service Centre.

Back boilers If you have a solid fuel back boiler and it makes boiling or bubbling noises, damp down the fire and let it go out. You should then contact the Customer Service Centre or the out of hours repairs service.

WORKING FIREPLACES AND FLUES We will ensure that all open chimneys in use are swept as required. If you regularly use a solid fuel appliance or open fire and you suspect the chimney has not been swept, contact the Customer Service Centre. 60

Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


Mains stopcock You should locate your mains stopcock, so you can turn it off quickly in an emergency. If for any reason your water supply is turned off, you will not have any hot water once your tank is empty. You should turn off the boiler immediately to protect the cylinder and boiler from damage.

Leaking pipes There are steps you can take to limit the damage to your property and possessions if you have a water leak. Many hot and cold pipes to baths, basins, sinks and toilets are now protected with an isolating valve which you can turn off. This means that instead of turning off the water at the stopcock and losing the supply to the whole property, you can isolate the troublesome feed. You will need a flat screwdriver, a knife or a small coin. Turn the screw in the middle of the valve clockwise to turn it off. You may need to turn off the water supply if the leak is more serious or your home does not have isolating valves. Put a bowl under the leak to catch any remaining water then report the leak to our Customer Service Centre. You should learn where to find the isolating valves and stopcocks and make sure you know how to operate them. This could save valuable time in an emergency. Serious, uncontainable leaks will be treated as an emergency. Remember, if you request an out of hours call out and the leak could have been contained until at least the next working day, you may be charged for the cost of the visit.

A plumber will visit you within five days if the leak is controllable or containable. If in doubt, always telephone us for advice.

Stored water leaks Cold water storage tanks or hot water cylinders may also leak and these are not always easily contained. When you discover a major leak: I

Turn off the water at the incoming mains stopcock

I

Turn off the boiler and immersion heater

I

Run the hot water taps to drain down the system

I

Put a bowl under the leak, if possible, to catch any residual water

I

Report the fault to the Customer Service Centre or the out of hours service

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

WATER SUPPLY

It should not be necessary to make an out of hours call if you have followed the advice above. However, you should contact the Customer Service Centre the next morning. You may report the fault at any time, but do not expect an immediate visit if you have been able to control the situation. Remember, you may be charged for the cost of an out of hours visit if it is not a genuine emergency. You may need to draw off water for your immediate and essential needs if you have to turn off the water at the incoming mains stopcock for any length of time: I

Draw off water into buckets or a similar receptacle to flush the toilet

I

Fill up kettles, jugs and saucepans with water for drinking and cooking

I

Avoid non-essential tasks, such as bathing, laundry and washing the car

Frozen pipes You can thaw out a frozen pipe by gently warming it with a cloth soaked in warm water or with a hairdryer. Never use a blowlamp. If you are going away in the winter, please make sure that you either leave the heating on or turn off both the heating and the stopcock.

Burst pipes You can stop water flowing from a burst pipe by shutting the main stopcock and turning on all the taps to run off the water in the pipes and the cistern.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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7


Taps Washers wear out more quickly if you over-tighten taps when you turn them off. Remember to turn off the water supply at the stopcock before replacing a washer. If you are a pensioner and are unable to replace washers, you should report the fault to the Customer Service Centre.

Frozen hot water systems Do not light the boiler if you cannot draw hot water after a frost. Make sure the boiler is turned off and if possible warm the house to remove the blockage. You can test this by seeing if the hot water taps run freely. Contact the Customer Service Centre if the problem continues.

Water meters You may have a water meter installed in your home, but you should contact your Area Housing Manager first to obtain permission. Once you have this, contact your supplier to make the necessary arrangements. Full details are in the telephone directory under ‘Water’.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR HOME Internal decoration You are entirely responsible for the internal decoration of your home and must keep it to our reasonable satisfaction. You may be charged for the cost of redecoration if you fail to do so. We may decorate a room for people who are pensioners and disabled people who have difficulty decorating and do not have relatives to help them. This scheme is discretionary. For further details contact the Customer Service Centre.

external decorations, but you may do so at your own expense. You must seek permission from your Area Housing Manager before starting any work.

Blocked gullies, sinks and wastes You must use the property properly and responsibly and take reasonable care to keep all grates, grids, drains and gullies (not including gutters that catch water from the roof) clean and clear. You must also take care not to block toilets and sinks. The Council will clear blockages if you are unable to, but we may charge you for repeated blockages caused by misuse or neglect. Take the following steps to avoid blocking drains: I

Always scrape food waste into the bin.

I

Do not pour waste fat or oil from frying pans or fryers down the sink. Instead, when cool, pour into an empty bottle with a screw top and put into the waste bin.

I

Make use of a plughole cover to trap any small particles that could pass through the plughole and get stuck in the u-bend.

I

Clean sinks regularly to help dissolve fatty and other deposits.

I

After washing hair always ensure that any loose hair is removed from the plughole.

Should a blockage occur, try the following measures before contacting us: I

Put washing soda crystals into the plughole and wash down with boiling water. This can help to dissolve the blockage.

I

Use a sink plunger to try to shift the blockage. Remember to cover the overflow hole with a damp cloth.

I

There are a number of specialist sink blockage clearers on the market which can be very effective. However, always make sure you read the label and follow safety guidance instructions.

A blocked sink is not an emergency and will not be attended to overnight or even the same day. If you want it unblocked sooner, you may make your own arrangements with a private plumber at your own cost.

Damage to property External decoration We will survey the exterior and internal communal areas of our properties at least once every five years and carry out repairs and painting as necessary. You are not responsible for carrying out your own 62

You will be charged to repair any reckless, accidental or wilful damage or neglect to the property or its fixtures and fittings. We are not responsible for damage to or loss of your fixtures and fittings, including furniture, carpets, clothing and household effects. You are advised to take out your own insurance policy to cover these risks.

Out of hours emergency repairs  01962 865 405


You may, at your own expense, improve, redecorate and extend the property, subject to gaining all the necessary approvals, such as planning permission and building control. Restricted work must be carried out by an approved contractor. We recommend that you employ an appropriately qualified design consultant should you wish to carry out any structural works. The following list gives examples of items for which you must obtain permission: I

Erection of outbuildings, garages and sheds

I

Extension to the property

I

Removal of internal walls

I

Any work to the electricity or gas installations

I

Installation of kitchen or bathroom fitments

I

Installation of any heating system

I

Replacement doors or windows

I

Disabled adaptations

I

Installations of drive, hard standing or dropped kerb

I

Fish ponds

I

Extensive patio or decked areas

I

Installation of laminate flooring

You are advised to get advice from your Area Housing Manager before starting any improvements. At the end of the tenancy, you must remove any structures or improvements, where we have not granted permission for them to remain. See page 17 for further details.

Your right to compensation for improvements At the end of your tenancy, secure tenants may be entitled to compensation for certain specified home improvements. See page 95 for further details.

TENANTS IMPROVEMENT SCHEME This scheme helps tenants who would like minor home improvements carried out but are worried about finding a reliable builder and getting a fair price for the work. You can now use our nominated contractor, who will carry out work to an acceptable standard and at a fixed cost to you. You are deemed to have obtained our permission if you use this scheme, so you do not have to request permission from your Area Housing Manager. We will maintain these home improvements throughout your tenancy or until they are beyond economic repair.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

IMPROVEMENTS

The arrangement is made between you and our nominated contractor and you should pay them direct. We will not carry out quality inspections or become involved in any possible disputes, nor will we guarantee the quality of any work carried out. Please see the table on page 64, which lists the available items agreed in conjunction with the Council’s Property Surveyors and your Property and Contracts Forum. Only those works listed in the table can be carried out at the fixed price, as agreed by the Council. Items marked * will be subject to you obtaining a quote from the contractor for the work. Please contact the Customer Service Centre, who will give you more information about the scheme, including an idea of the costs. All of these items are subject to health and safety considerations.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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Works included in Tenants Improvement Scheme Item

Security

1

Supply and fit 5 lever mortice deadlock to existing external timber door

2

Supply and fit window locks/stays to: I Timber windows I PVCu windows I Aluminium windows

3

Supply and fit patio door security locks to tilt and turn or sliding PVCu or aluminium patio doors

4

Supply and fit door security viewer to front or back door

Item

Lighting and power

5

Supply and fit additional lighting point to any internal room. To be run off existing switched unit

6

Supply and fit lighting circuit to permanent shed/outhouse

7

Supply and fit power circuit to permanent shed/outhouse

8

Convert single socket to double socket

9

Supply and fit additional double socket. To be spurred from existing socket

Item

12

Kitchen and bathroom Supply and fit additional ceramic wall tiling. Choice will be offered from WCC specified Johnsons Prismatics range Supply and fit additional Howdens Greenwich white kitchen units, subject to no layout re-design and where space permits Supply and fit additional cold water service point

13

Supply and fit electrical circuit and fused spur service point

10 11

Doors 14

Supply and fit internal door and furniture to WCC specification

15

Supply and fit external door and furniture to WCC specification Garden

16

* 17

Supply and fit outside tap Decoration and sundry items Partial or whole decoration of one room to WCC specification. Range of finishes will be offered in line with the Council’s internal decoration policy

18

Erection of shelf units. To be supplied by you

19

Erection of curtain battens and/or tracks. To be supplied by you

CONDENSATION You have a duty to minimise levels of condensation within the property, ensuring it is sufficiently heated and ventilated. Condensation on windows or walls must be removed at frequent intervals to prevent damage. Many people mistake the results of condensation for types of dampness associated with building defects. Tackling the problem promptly and effectively can help prevent further issues developing. 64

Condensation occurs when warm moist air comes into contact with a cold surface. This is often why your windows, ceramic tiles, pipework and sometimes even walls will appear to run with water. Lots of activities produce moisture, such as cooking, drying washing, running baths and using portable gas or paraffin heaters. The following steps can help you reduce the moisture in your home and prevent condensation:

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Cooking. Cover pans and do not leave kettles boiling. Open the kitchen window and keep the door closed.

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Washing. Dry washing outdoors, if at all possible. Drying clothes indoors will increase moisture levels in your home. Ensure you open the windows if you have to dry clothes indoors. If you have a vented tumble dryer, make sure the pipe goes outside when in use. Self-condensing tumble dryers do not need a vent through an outside wall.

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Do not use portable gas or paraffin heaters. A litre of moisture will be released into the house for every litre of fuel you burn. Ventilate your home. Make use of trickle vents where they are fitted to your windows. Open your windows every day. Wherever possible, leave one window in each room ajar to allow air to circulate. Try to maintain some ventilation overnight as well, if it is safe to do so. Bathing. When running a bath, run both the hot and cold taps at the same time to reduce the amount of steam in the air. It is wise to fit an extractor fan if you have a shower. Keep the door closed and open the window as soon as you have finished in the bathroom. Furniture. If condensation or mould is apparent, place furniture slightly away from outside walls to allow air to circulate behind. Do not overfill wardrobes and chests of drawers, again to allow air to circulate. Heating. Make sure your home is adequately heated during cold weather. It is better to have the heating on continuously on a low setting than to have short bursts of high heat. This will also save you money.

You may find, in spite of taking these measures, you still get condensation in your home. It is important to make sure you wipe down wet surfaces frequently to prevent timber rotting and mould growth, which can cause respiratory problems, especially in young children or elderly people. Do not brush mould, because this may spread the spores. Wash it with a mould killer or bleach in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. You should dry-clean mouldy clothing or bedding.

These vouchers are issued as a goodwill and discretionary gesture and are only intended to cover the cost of basic materials. The value of the vouchers depends on the condition and size of the room and can roughly be summarised as follows: • Small rooms (less than 6.3 square meters / 70 square feet) - up to £30 • Large rooms (over 6.3 square meters / 70 square feet) - up to £50 • Hall, stairs and landing - up to £100 You will not be given vouchers for a particular room or area that we deem to be in a reasonable condition. When assessing decorating allowances, we do not take into account personal preferences, such as colour or fashion.

The vouchers can only be collected and signed for by you. They may be obtained from the Council’s Cash Office. They can be exchanged for a range of materials at any of the following stores: I

B&Q

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Homebase

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Warwicks (Wickham)

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Brewers

The participating stores are only authorised to exchange vouchers for the following items: I

Friezes

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Rollers

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Stanley knife

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Sealer

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Paste

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Glazed tiles

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Scrapers

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Seam rollers

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White spirit

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Mastic

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Wood filler

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Sugar soap

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Sandpaper

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Varnish

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Tile adhesive and grout

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Paint

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Paint brushes

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Wood stain

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Paint brush restorer

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Paint trays

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Wallpapering table (1 only)

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Paint stripper

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Wallpaper stripper

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Wallpaper

DECORATION VOUCHERS We may offer you decoration vouchers, depending on the condition of the décor at the time you sign for your tenancy. Decoration vouchers may also be given to tenants following repair work if we believe it is more cost effective than carrying out the work ourselves.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

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The Voids Officer will tell you if the vouchers will be issued to you in instalments. You should contact the Voids Officer after you have used each instalment, so they can check the materials have been used at your home and arrange for the next instalment to be issued. You will not get your next instalment if there is no evidence that you have used the first instalment.

Recharges when vacating your home

Do not write on or otherwise deface the vouchers, as the participating stores may refuse to accept them. We will not replace lost or defaced vouchers.

In addition, we will charge you for reinstating the property to its original condition and for removing your alterations or adaptations, such as electrical wiring and fittings that do not conform to our safety standards, artex on walls or unauthorised building works. We will also charge you for any council fixtures and fittings that are missing, such as doors and kitchen units, and for items that have to be renewed due to neglect or wilful damage.

TENANT RECHARGES In certain circumstances, you may be charged for work carried out to your home. The list below is a guide and is not exhaustive. We reserve the right to charge you for any reckless, accidental or wilful damage or neglect to your property, fixtures or fittings. I

The cost of all unnecessary maintenance visits

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Failure to take reasonable care to maintain the property and the fixtures and fittings throughout the tenancy

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Failure to keep the property in a clean and habitable condition

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Failure to protect the property from fire, frost or water damage

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Failure to keep internal decoration in reasonable order

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Causing blockages to sinks, wastes, drains and gullies

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Failure to return the property to us in a reasonable condition at the end of the tenancy

I

Action needed to gain access to the property in an emergency

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Abuse of the emergency call out service

At the end of your tenancy you must completely clear the property of all your belongings and fixtures and fittings. You must leave the property in a safe condition and repair any damage to decoration. You will be charged for the costs of removing any items left in the property.

If you are in any doubt, you should contact the Voids Officer before leaving the property.

ASBESTOS Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that was used extensively to construct both residential and commercial buildings, but has now been phased out. In domestic premises, asbestos was commonly used in the manufacture of soffits, gutters and downpipes. It was also used as a roofing material for garages, car ports and garden sheds. Inside, it was used in floor tiles, coatings, such as artex, boiler flues and to line boiler cupboard doors in blocks of flats. If asbestos is in good condition and unlikely to be damaged and does not pose a significant health risk, there is no legal obligation for us to remove it. We are constantly surveying our properties and updating our asbestos records for both domestic premises and garages. In this way we are able to:

Our policy is to charge tenants for the full cost of repairs where the circumstances of the damage are not known. This may include an out of hours call out fee and associated costs. You should call the Police and get a crime number if your home has been damaged through crime or vandalism. This will help us recover the costs through any subsequent court case. You may be charged if you are unable to give this information.

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Confirm the exact location of the affected components

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Identify the type of asbestos present

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Monitor the condition of the material

We will advise you if it is likely a recharge will be made. Any decision about recharging is not made by the contractor who comes to fix the fault.

You should contact the Customer Service Centre for advice if you are planning extensive DIY in your home.

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You can help us by reporting any damage to the building to the Customer Service Centre. The sooner we are advised the quicker we can assess the situation and take action if necessary.

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8

Services for older people

39

SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE

CHAPTER

8


CHAPTER

8

What is older people’s supported housing? 69 69 Tenant and staff conduct Details of older people’s supported housing in Winchester and district 70 ...........................................

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Who can apply for older people’s supported housing? What older people’s supported housing is available?

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The role of our staff at older people’s supported housing schemes Community Alarm Service Communal facilities Safety and security Tenancy issues Lifeline Telecare

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A member of asap (Association of Social Alarms Providers)

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71 72 73 73 74 76 76


WHAT IS OLDER PEOPLE’S SUPPORTED HOUSING? We provide specialist accommodation for people aged 60 and over who are capable of living independently with support in a safe and secure environment. All bungalows and flats within older people’s supported housing schemes are connected to our Community Alarm Centre, which provides a service 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Some schemes have support staff based on site, while others are served by support staff who visit the scheme. Support staff provide a range of services, including: I

Assessing people’s support needs

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Providing tailored support packages with partner agencies, as appropriate

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Attractive accommodation in which tenants feel secure

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Ensuring tenants are kept informed to protect their rights and choices

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Encouraging tenants through involvement to have a say in how their service is managed

TENANT AND STAFF CONDUCT We are confident that you will at all times receive the highest standard of care from support staff and others employed to provide the service. If you are unhappy about the conduct of a staff member or the level of service you have received, please contact our Customer Service Centre. We also take seriously the health and safety of our employees. We will investigate complaints of verbal or physical aggression against staff and will take appropriate action to protect them.

Confidentiality Our staff will act professionally and respect your privacy. We will not disclose information about you without your consent.

You may report a complaint concerning a breach of confidentiality to the Supported Housing Service Manager. We will investigate these reports seriously and will take the appropriate action.

Information We will need to record some information about you, so we can provide you with an efficient and high quality service, such as:

SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE

Services for older people

A service user information form. Details include your name, address and contact details, details of next of kin/personal contacts, doctor, medical conditions and support service details. A support plan. Details of your support needs, who is providing your support and what action we should take. Support staff will also keep a note of any significant contact you have with them, such as calling your doctor or helping you contact another agency. This ensures we have an up to date record of your needs, so we can provide an effective and efficient service. Information relating to you will be held within your personal file, which is stored in a locked filing cabinet. The cabinet is only opened when a member of staff needs to gain access and the only people who have access to your file are the staff involved in delivering the older people’s supported housing service. We will only share information about you with your consent to doctors, hospital staff and Adult Services. In extreme instances our staff will share personal information with a third party, for example, if a tenant is at risk of self-harm, abuse or exploitation. We will never assume you wish information to be shared with family and friends and will only disclose this if we have your consent. You are entitled under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access information held about you. Please see page 9 for further details.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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Details of older people’s supported housing in Winchester and district

CITY CENTRE NAME Chester Court Colson Close Danemark Court Godson House Lawn House Matilda Place Mildmay Court Richard Moss House Victoria House

SCHEME ADDRESS Chester Road Colson Road Gordon Road Lawn Street Lawn Street Gordon Road Eastgate Street St Peter Street Victoria Road

TELEPHONE NUMBER 01962 854 970 Call Community Alarm Centre 01962 840 496 01962 864 393 01962 864 482 01962 842 894 01962 854 779 01962 853 476 01962 867 585

CATEGORY 2 M 2 2 2 2.5 2 2 2.5

SCHEME ADDRESS Saxon Road Bereweeke Road Winnall Hyde Street Worthy Lane Hyde Milland Road Chaundler Road Weeke

TELEPHONE NUMBER Call Community Alarm Centre 01962 863 471 Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre

CATEGORY 2 2 M 2 2 2 M 2 1

SCHEME ADDRESS Cromwell Road Stuart Crescent Stanmore Lane Christchurch Road The Valley

TELEPHONE NUMBER Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre 01962 855 364 Call Community Alarm Centre

CATEGORY M M M 2 M

SCHEME ADDRESS Searles Close, Alresford Blanchard Road, Bishops Waltham Kings Worthy Windsor Road, Alresford Station Close, Wickham Twyford Bishops Waltham Micheldever Swanmore Colden Common Ashling Park Road, Denmead Sutton Scotney

TELEPHONE NUMBER Call Community Alarm Centre 01489 895 768 Call Community Alarm Centre 01962 733 259 01329 834 089 Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre Call Community Alarm Centre 01962 712 602 023 9225 6461 Call Community Alarm Centre

CATEGORY M 2 M 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 1

WINCHESTER LOCALITY NAME Bartholomew Close Eastacre Firmstone Road Hyde Gate Hyde Lodge Monks Road Penton Place Simonds Court Stoney Lane

STANMORE NAME Airlie Corner Lisle Court Drummond Close King Harold Court The Valley

RURAL AREAS NAME Chiltern Court Greens Close Harwood Place Makins Court Normandy Court Northfields Pine Road Southbrook Cottages Spring Vale Spring House Close White Wings House Wonston Close

Community Alarm Centre: Telephone 01962 855 335 Scheme Category 1 Bungalow Scheme

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2 Traditional Scheme

2.5 Extra Care Scheme

Community Alarm Centre  01962 855 335

M Mixed Scheme


You can apply to live in older people’s supported housing if you are aged 60 years or over. In some schemes age restrictions do not apply and other vulnerable or disabled applicants may be eligible. You should contact our Customer Service Centre if you would like to be considered or you are in any doubt about your eligibility. They will advise you how to apply and will give you any additional information you may need. You should complete a supporting medical form if you have health problems to ensure we take this into account when assessing your application. We will write to you when we receive your application and, if necessary, will visit you to discuss your housing and support needs.

WHAT OLDER PEOPLE’S SUPPORTED HOUSING IS AVAILABLE? We have a variety of schemes to meet a range of support needs, including: I

Bungalow schemes. A cluster of individual bungalows, specifically built for older people and visited by support staff.

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Traditional housing schemes. Schemes can comprise both flats and bungalows and can have either a member of support staff based full time at the scheme or they may be visited by support staff.

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Extra care housing schemes. Schemes are run in conjunction with Adult Services and provide tenants with care and extra support, according to their assessed needs. The enhanced level of care and support is designed to help tenants continue to live independently for longer, rather than going into a care home. Cover is provided on site 24 hours a day, every day, and care assistants provide personal care as required, including help with bathing, dressing and meal preparation.

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Mixed housing schemes. Schemes can comprise flats and bungalows where tenants receive visits from support staff. The accommodation may include secure tenancies for those aged 60 and over, for those aged 40 and over and non-secure tenancies.

We also have some bungalows and flats throughout the district, which are not part of a scheme, but are designated for older people. Please see page 70 for details of older people’s supported housing in Winchester and district.

THE ROLE OF OUR STAFF AT OLDER PEOPLE’S SUPPORTED HOUSING SCHEMES

SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE

WHO CAN APPLY FOR OLDER PEOPLE’S SUPPORTED HOUSING?

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Specialist staff provide support at all of our schemes and have regular contact with you. The level of staffing varies between schemes. Some schemes have support staff based on site, while others are visited by support staff. The duty hours worked by staff are displayed at each scheme and you can contact them during these times by visiting the scheme office or activating the alarm. The Community Alarm Centre provides continuous cover when there is no member of staff on duty. You can get help at any time by pressing the alarm intercom or activating an alarm cord or pendant.

What is housing support? The main types of housing support that staff can provide to you are: I

General counselling and support

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Help maintaining the safety and security of your home

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Help with the proper use of appliances and equipment

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Arranging adaptations and minor repairs to your home

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Monitoring your health and well-being

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Providing advice, advocacy and liaison with other professionals

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Arranging help with welfare benefits and personal finances

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Providing support and intervention in neighbour problems

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Advice and assistance when you move home

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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Support staff will ensure there are social opportunities at schemes. However, we actively encourage you to run activities independently or with the assistance of volunteers wherever possible.

Other duties Our staff are responsible for maintaining the safety and security of the buildings and communal areas within the scheme. They will ensure that health and safety issues are reported immediately and that repairs are carried out efficiently. They are also responsible for monitoring and testing equipment, such as the alarm call system, pendants and pull-cords, as well as the fire alarms and lifts, to ensure they are in good working order.

What staff do not provide Our staff are not responsible for helping you with personal care (except at our extra care schemes), including: I Toileting I Dressing I Bathing I Taking medication I Making meals I Shopping I Cleaning I Collecting pensions and other money We can provide you with information about how to access support for these purposes.

How is the service delivered? We will treat you as an individual and take into account your needs, wishes and preferences. When you move into older people’s supported

housing, we will draw up a support plan with you that identifies your needs. The plan sets out what support you require from us and other agencies and also gives other information, such as who should be contacted if you are unwell. Support staff will arrange to review your support plan with you at least every six months. We will review the plan immediately if your needs change before the scheduled review.

Contact from support staff Support staff are able to contact you every day from Monday to Friday either through the alarm intercom system or by visiting you at home. The amount of contact you need with us will be discussed and agreed as part of your support plan. If you do not wish to be contacted, we will ask you to complete a form confirming your wishes.

COMMUNITY ALARM SERVICE The Community Alarm Centre is an emergency response service providing peace of mind. You know that help is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Operators will know who you are, where you are calling from and if you have any special needs or specific health problems. Our staff will check with you twice a year that the information is correct. The centre also helps maintain the security and safety of schemes by monitoring smoke and fire alarm systems and door entry systems.

How to call for help Each older people’s supported property has an alarm intercom unit and pull-cords fitted throughout. In addition, some tenants wear a pendant around their neck or on their wrist. These devices allow tenants to contact support staff and are linked to the Community Alarm Centre. When support staff are not on duty the alarm call will automatically go through to the Community Alarm Centre. The operator will talk to you through the intercom unit and will assess the situation and act accordingly. This could mean asking support staff to visit you or contacting your doctor, the emergency services or an agreed relative or friend.

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Community Alarm Centre  01962 855 335


Will support staff know what has happened to me? The operator will tell the support staff that you called and what help you needed.

What if I pull the cord by mistake? Alarm cords and pendants are often activated by mistake. The support staff and operators are used to these calls. All you need to do is confirm the call was made by mistake and they will happily cancel it.

Recording and monitoring calls All calls received by the Community Alarm Centre are recorded. We use this for staff training and development and for investigating any enquiries.

COMMUNAL FACILITIES Most older people’s supported housing schemes have communal facilities, which may include a lounge, gardens, laundry facilities and guest room.

Communal lounge Most schemes have a communal lounge and a small kitchen with facilities to make tea and coffee. Support staff will encourage you to use the lounge as both an informal meeting place and for organised events. Some communal lounges may also be used by you for private functions. You should contact the support staff for more information.

Guest room facilities A guest room is available at some schemes for your relatives and friends. Bookings must be made through the support staff and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. We have the right to require the room to be vacated if there is an emergency with another tenant and the room is needed for their family or carers. There is a charge for using the guest room and staff will advise you of this. Support staff will provide clean bedding and ensure the room is clean and tidy. Your relatives or friends are responsible for ensuring the room is treated with care.

Cleaning and gardening

SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE

The support staff can get in to your home with their master key if you are unable to open your door. We only use the master key in emergencies.

8

The communal areas and grounds are maintained by our contractors. Support staff are responsible for ensuring that contractors comply with the relevant specifications.

TV licence All tenants aged 75 and over are entitled to a free TV licence. If you are under 75, the properties in your scheme may be covered by a concessionary licence. Information about concessionary licences can be obtained from support staff. You are responsible for the full licence fee if you are under 75 and your scheme does not have a concessionary licence.

Parking There are limited parking spaces at our schemes. Spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be assigned to particular individuals. Please be considerate to those with mobility problems. See page 31 for further details about parking.

Refuse disposal Details of the refuse and recycling arrangements operating at a scheme are available from support staff. See page 19 for further details.

SAFETY AND SECURITY Older people’s supported housing is designed to give you a secure place to live. Support staff keep a watchful eye and specialist features include security keys, door entry systems, an alarm call system and fire and smoke alarms. Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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However, you should be aware of how you can contribute to the safety and security of your home: I

Never leave your home unlocked or leave the keys in the door

only used to gain access to your home when you have not responded to a call, when you are in difficulty or have an emergency situation and you are unable to let the support staff in to help you.

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Always ask for identification before allowing a caller into the building or your home

If a member of support staff has to enter your home and you are not there, a card will be left notifying you.

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If you have a pendant, we encourage you to wear it

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Do not tie up or shorten alarm pull-cords as this may prevent you making an emergency call for help

Because of the need for support staff to be able to gain access to your home in an emergency, you should not fit additional locks, chains or other security devices to your front door without taking advice from staff. Various security devices are available from the Community Alarm Centre which are compatible with the master key system.

Absence from scheme Please inform support staff or the Community Alarm Centre operator if you are going away, so everyone can be accounted for in a fire or other emergency. If you don’t respond to a call or visit, support staff will make every effort to contact you if they are concerned for your welfare and may enter your home if necessary.

Fire safety All support staff are aware of the Council’s fire safety procedure and their responsibilities in the event of a fire. You will be given a copy of the tenants’ fire instructions when you move in. Further copies will be issued each year. It is very important that you never use a lift during an evacuation due to fire. See pages 57 to 59 for further details.

Health and safety inspections Our staff inspect all communal areas every week and carry out a risk assessment of any hazards. We will take appropriate action to ensure your health and safety, as well as that of staff and visitors. You should tell the support staff or the Community Alarm Centre immediately if you identify a potential hazard at your scheme.

If you require replacement keys, additional keys for relatives or need your locks changed for any reason, you should contact support staff or the Community Alarm Centre who will make the necessary arrangements for you.

Protection from abuse We are committed to preventing the abuse of vulnerable adults and creating an environment where abuse is less likely to occur. Support staff have been trained to recognise indicators and signs of abuse and are aware of their responsibilities to report suspected and alleged cases. If you contact us because you suspect that someone is being abused or you are being abused yourself, your report will be treated sensitively in accordance with our procedures and will be investigated. We will also ensure you are given any help and support you need.

TENANCY ISSUES The following tenancy issues are particularly relevant if you live in older people’s supported housing.

Rents and charges

Access In schemes where there is a door entry system the main doors will lock automatically when closed. Door entry systems offer you security and peace of mind. These doors should never be propped open and you are encouraged to check the identity of anyone requiring access.

You will be informed of the rent and charges due when you are allocated a property. These may include: I

Base rent

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Service charge. For services provided to maintain communal areas of blocks of flats, including cleaning, lighting, caretaking and door entry systems.

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Support charge. Covers the costs of providing housing support services, including the emergency alarm and support staff. Charges for support services are means-tested and anyone in receipt of Housing Benefit is exempt from paying the charge.

Keys Support staff and the Community Alarm Centre hold a master key, allowing them access to your home in the event of an emergency. All master keys are kept in a secure location. They are 74

Community Alarm Centre  01962 855 335


Heating charge. At some schemes you may have to pay a separate heating charge. Every tenant at the scheme will pay a standard amount for this.

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Water/sewerage charge. For rural properties connected to council-maintained sewerage works.

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Battery charging. The battery will need to be regularly recharged and this usually takes a number of hours. In most cases, a lead will have to be run from your flat and if the buggy or scooter can not be parked next to the front door, the trailing cable could be a trip hazard for visitors and other tenants.

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Emergency evacuation. When parked in corridors and stairwells, buggies and scooters can restrict the width of the means of escape and impede other people vacating the building.

See chapter 6 for further details on rent and Housing Benefit.

Electric buggies and scooters Mobility is important to all of us and an increasing number of tenants are purchasing electric buggies, scooters and wheelchairs as they can undoubtedly improve quality of life. There is now a growing second hand market, so they are becoming more affordable and their popularity will continue to increase. However, if you live in a flat, storing and recharging buggies and scooters can be a problem due to a lack of space. In most cases, the only option is to use communal areas, such as corridors and stairwells. Unfortunately, this can have safety implications for other people and we have a duty of care to safeguard other tenants and visitors by maintaining communal areas in a safe condition. Therefore, if you wish to get an electric buggy or scooter, you must request permission. This will allow us to consider the practicality, including key safety issues. The following issues will be taken into account: I

Batteries. Nearly all scooters and wheelchairs have dry or gel batteries, but older second hand models may still be fitted with wet batteries. Wet batteries can give off hydrogen, which is an explosive gas, when they are being charged. In addition, spillage and leakage can occur which can damage flooring and carpets.

SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE

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If you are considering purchasing an electric buggy or scooter, please contact support staff who will advise you how to get approval. All requests will be assessed on merit and we will always try to accommodate your requirements. However, some requests may have to be turned down because the building is not suitable or there is insufficient space in the communal areas. It is important therefore that you get approval first to avoid any unnecessary expenditure.

Aids and adaptations As part of your support plan, support staff will discuss your needs and make referrals to the appropriate agencies. You can discuss your needs at any time. See page 80 for further information about obtaining aids or applying for adaptations.

Internal decoration We may decorate one room for people of pensionable age who are unable to undertake their own decorating and who have no relatives to assist them. This scheme is discretionary. For further details, contact the Customer Service Centre.

Pets Following consultation with tenants, some of our schemes have been designated ‘pet free’. If you would like to keep a pet, please ask support staff if this is permitted at your scheme. This policy may be reviewed at the request of tenants. Certain exemptions concerning guide dogs or other assistance dogs may apply.

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Tenant involvement We actively encourage you to have a say in how your housing service is managed by getting you involved. You are able to influence decisions and take part in what is happening on a variety of levels. See chapter 11 for further details. Information sharing sessions are a form of involvement specifically for tenants of older people’s supported housing. These are informal sessions, held during the day in the communal lounge and are run by support and other housing staff.

problem and to summon the appropriate help. This can range from getting a friend or relative to visit you, sending out a member of our support staff or calling a doctor or ambulance immediately.

What do I have to pay for the service? Lifeline charges start from under ÂŁ3 per week and consist of two parts: rental, which includes on-site maintenance for the unit itself, and a cover charge. There are two levels of cover, standard cover and responding cover: I

Standard cover. A third party will be contacted if you need help. The third party may be a friend, neighbour or relative who is prepared to provide support, possibly at any time during the day or night. The names and telephone numbers of three contacts must be provided by you.

I

Responding cover. Support staff will attend if help is required. We will contact your next of kin and relatives if the situation is serious.

They provide you with the opportunity to: I

Raise concerns about your scheme

I

Meet and share ideas with your neighbours

I

Visit other schemes in the Winchester district

I

Learn more about the Council

I

Meet council officers and councillors

Your support staff can let you know if information sharing sessions are taking place at your particular scheme and how to get more information about tenant involvement.

Whatever the level of cover chosen, if you request a doctor or ambulance, we will call one without delay.

How do I apply for Lifeline?

What is Lifeline?

If you would like to apply or require further information, please contact the Community Alarm Centre on 01962 856 488. They can arrange for the system to be demonstrated in your own home without obligation.

Lifeline is available to people who live in general needs housing and the private sector where there is no hard-wired link to the Community Alarm Centre.

TELECARE

LIFELINE

Lifeline is an alarm system which enables you to call for help in an emergency. Lifeline operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The system operates over the telephone network. The unit itself contains two parts: the main instrument, which plugs into the telephone line, and a small alarm button, which should be carried by you all the time you are at home. The majority of people wear the button as a pendant, although it is possible to wear it on a wrist strap.

What happens if there is an emergency? When the alarm is activated the unit automatically dials the Community Alarm Centre. When the alarm call is received at the Community Alarm Centre, your details are immediately displayed on a screen, together with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of your doctor, relatives or friends. The system is then used as a loud speaking telephone to speak to you and establish the exact nature of the 76

Telecare is an additional service, offering a wide range of alarms and sensors that can enable you to live safely and independently in your own home for as long as possible. The most well known device is the pendant alarm, but there are many others, including fall detectors, bed sensors, smoke detectors and a bogus caller button. The sensors are generally connected to the Community Alarm Service through a base unit. If an alarm is raised, a trained operator will contact a family member, friend, neighbour, support staff or the emergency services. Telecare can help improve confidence and minimise risks for older people living at home. It can also provide peace of mind to carers and their families. If you would like further information or advice about the Telecare service, please e-mail us at www.winchester.gov.uk/lifeline/telecare or telephone us on 01962 856 488 and ask to speak to one of our Telecare staff.

Community Alarm Centre  01962 855 335


9

Services for tenants with a disability or impairment

1

SERVICES FOR TENANTS WITH A DISABILITY OR IMPAIRMENT

9

CHAPTER


CHAPTER

9

Meeting your needs Keeping in touch Getting help and support Claiming benefits Aids and adaptations Gardening Moving home Internal decoration

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79 79 79 80 80 80 80 80


MEETING YOUR NEEDS Please let your Area Housing Manager know if you have health problems or disabilities and need additional support to live independently in your home. You will be asked to complete a needs information and equality profile form when you sign for your tenancy to identify any particular requirements. Please let your Area Housing Manager know if your needs subsequently change.

You can get help to fill in forms from: I

Your Area Housing Manager

I

The Customer Service Centre

I

Our website, where you can download some council forms

I

A council officer, who can visit you at home

I

An independent agency, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or Age Concern. See page 103 for contact information

The Council will not discriminate against anyone. We will treat any information you give us about your personal circumstances confidentially and sensitively.

KEEPING IN TOUCH How can I contact the Council if I am deaf or hard of hearing? We can arrange to have a signer or lip speaker present at any interview, but we need to know in advance. A text phone is available in the Customer Service Centre for this purpose. We can provide a portable hearing loop, which we can use for meetings or interviews at your home or in our offices.

GETTING HELP AND SUPPORT If you need support to allow you to continue to live independently, several options are available to you, including: I

Assistance from Adult and Childrens Services. A social worker will arrange to assess your needs and discuss what measures they can offer to help.

I

Supported tenancy service. Support through the supported housing team or through a specialist agency. See chapter 10 for further details.

I

Installation of Lifeline or Telecare. We can provide Lifeline or Telecare services in your home. You can also receive these services if you live in one of our older people’s properties. See chapter 8 for further details. If your home is unsuitable for your needs and you are aged 60 or over, you may apply to move to an older people’s property. See chapter 8 for further details.

I

Support from other agencies. You can get advice about other help that is available from your doctor, Adult and Childrens Services, NHS professionals or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

What if I have difficulties reading letters and completing forms? We can help you read and understand our letters by: I

Writing letters in large print

I

Telephoning you or visiting you when we write to you, reading the letter to you and explaining what it means

I

Sending copies of our letters, with your permission, to someone who supports you

9

SERVICES FOR TENANTS WITH A DISABILITY OR IMPAIRMENT

Services for tenants with a disability or impairment

We can speak or write to someone else on your behalf, but we will need your permission to do this. You may be supported by a friend, relative, support worker or professional advocate. See page 103 for contact details for the Winchester Advocacy Project.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

79


CLAIMING BENEFITS You may qualify for benefits, such as Housing Benefit, Disability Living Allowance or Incapacity Benefit, if you are disabled, have a disabled child or are caring for someone with a disability. Contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for more information. See page 103 for contact details.

AIDS AND ADAPTATIONS The Council can carry out adaptations for elderly or disabled tenants, so you can continue to live as independently as possible. These adaptations should be both ‘necessary‘ and ‘reasonably practical’ in terms of your needs and the suitability of the property. We operate a ‘fast track‘ referral system for residents who are fit, healthy and able to identify their own needs. You avoid waiting to be assessed by an Occupational Therapist and can have simple adaptations to prevent slips, trips and falls, including: I

Grab rails and banisters

I

Short runs of essential external rails

I

Lever taps

I

Essential raised sockets

I

Easier to operate fixtures, for example, light switches and cupboard handles

I

Levelling of thresholds

I

Intercoms, if you are unable to answer the door

I

Key safes

I

Half steps

I

External access to front and rear doors

I

Painted edging on steps and stairs

I

Increased lighting in principal rooms and in communal areas

I

Adaptations to stopcock

I

Moving the electricity consumer unit

I

Raising or lowering essential cupboard or work surfaces or wash hand basin

You may also consider asking for Telecare support. See chapter 8 for further details. Your doctor, care worker or anyone concerned with your welfare can refer you through the ‘fast track’ scheme. For more information contact the Customer Service Centre. Requests for complex adaptations and equipment must be referred through OT Direct and you will be assessed by an Occupational Therapist. You can contact OT Direct on 0845 600 4555. More expensive work will be subject to a financial means test and you may be asked to make a contribution. Once the work is approved, we will appoint a suitably qualified contractor. The timescale for completing the work depends on the complexity, the cost and the availability of contractors. Further details can be found on the Council’s website, which also contains information on current waiting times for assessment.

GARDENING We may be able to arrange gardening help through a local charity if you are unable to maintain your garden because of your disability. Please contact your Area Housing Manager for more information. You should ensure your garden is maintained and does not become a health hazard, otherwise the Council will arrange for it to be cleared and you will be charged for this. See pages 16 and 17 for further information.

MOVING HOME You may wish to transfer or exchange to a more suitable property if your home or garden is difficult to manage. Please see chapter 12 for details about moving home or talk to your Area Housing Manager about alternative accommodation.

INTERNAL DECORATION We may decorate a room for people who are pensioners and disabled people who have difficulty decorating and do not have relatives to help them. This scheme is discretionary. For further details, contact the Customer Service Centre. 80


10

Supported tenancy service

5

SUPPORTED TENANCY SERVICE

10

CHAPTER


CHAPTER

10

Who will the service help? What support can be provided? Becoming a supported tenant Am I eligible for support?

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82

83 83 84 84


The Council has a supported tenancy service to help people who have difficulty managing their tenancy.

WHO WILL THE SERVICE HELP? The supported tenancy service will offer support to:

WHAT SUPPORT CAN BE PROVIDED? The supported tenancy team can help you with: I

Life skills and offer advice on meal preparation

I

Accessing social support

I

Managing debts

I

Managing your income and expenditure

People with physical disabilities

I

Filling in forms and dealing with benefits claims

I

People with sensory impairments

I

Advising on the safe use of appliances

I

Ex-offenders with support needs

I

Helping to organise repairs

I

Vulnerable older people, where specialist help is needed

I

Dealing with neighbour disputes

I

Accessing support, health care and social care professionals

I

Home and personal security

I

Resettlement

I

Arranging cleaning, where appropriate

I

Providing social support

I

People with mental health problems

I

Families under pressure

I

Substance mis-users

I

Vulnerable young people

I

People with a learning disability

I

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

10

SUPPORTED TENANCY SERVICE

Supported tenancy service

83


BECOMING A SUPPORTED TENANT

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT?

You can refer yourself for tenancy support by contacting the Customer Service Centre. You can also ask to be referred by your Area Housing Manager, GP, the Housing Advice team, Adult Services or other voluntary agencies.

You will qualify for tenancy support if you:

Once we receive your referral, a Supported Housing Officer will arrange to visit you to discuss your support needs and to confirm if you are eligible for the service. We can discuss your needs with you and any authorised representatives to decide how we can help you if you agree to receive tenancy support.

I

Have an identifiable support need

I

Are vulnerable

I

Find it difficult to cope with your tenancy

I

Have difficulty living independently

I

Agree to accept help from the support service

For further advice or to apply for the service, please call the Supported Housing team.

As a supported tenant you will be given a named support worker from a local agency, depending on the type of support you need, or you will receive support from an officer from the Supported Housing team. Your support worker or Supported Housing Officer will help you resolve any issues with your tenancy, maintain your independence and keep your home.

84

Supported Tenancy Service  01962 848 375


11

Making your voice heard and getting involved

9

MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD AND GETTING INVOLVED

11

CHAPTER


CHAPTER

11

Getting involved Your right to be consulted The Tenant Participation Compact TACT (Tenants and Council Together) Other ways of getting involved How you can help us Keeping you informed Diversity and equality

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86

87 87 87 88 88 90 90 90


GETTING INVOLVED We are committed to encouraging tenants and leaseholders to get involved in our services to ensure you have the opportunity to participate, individually and collectively, in the decision-making processes that affect the management of your homes. This will be in a way that suits you and be a benefit, not only to you, but also to your community. Your opinions and ideas are very valuable and we would like to hear your views about our services. We know that you are in the best position to tell us what works and what doesn’t and we will work with you to improve our services. We also aim to increase tenant representation in all areas in which we work.

We will support tenant involvement by: I

Providing a full time Tenant Involvement Manager, Tenant Participation Officer and other staff

I

Providing a budget to support and encourage tenant involvement and information to tenants throughout the district

I

THE TENANT PARTICIPATION COMPACT The compact is an agreement between the Council and its tenants. It explains how we have agreed to work together to ensure you are involved in decisions affecting your homes and communities. It sets out expected standards and levels of service for working together.

11

MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD AND GETTING INVOLVED

Making your voice heard and getting involved

It also includes a list of ways you can get involved, from sharing views and information, to meeting other tenants, attending small discussion groups or going to council committee meetings. We will: I

Keep this agreement up to date, working with tenant representatives and interested tenants, to agree how we deliver and plan to improve our service to you

For a copy of our tenant participation compact, please contact the Tenant Involvement team or visit our website.

Providing membership and free, independent advice through nationally recognised participation advisory bodies, as well as voluntary organisations and public and tenant-run bodies

YOUR RIGHT TO BE CONSULTED Under section 105 of the Housing Act 1985 (Provision of Information and Consultation), you have a legal right to be consulted on housing management issues. See page 15 for more information on your right to consultation. This chapter shows how you can get involved and comment on our services and proposed changes that may affect you.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

87


TACT (TENANTS AND COUNCIL TOGETHER)

They meet regularly with the Council to raise concerns and: I

Give their views on housing issues

TACT is the formal district-wide tenant and leaseholder forum which is made up of tenants that are representative of the area where they live, as well as individual tenant volunteers, councillors and council officers.

I

Campaign for improvements on estates

I

Organise public meetings and estate walkabouts

I

Listen to concerns and canvass views

I

Produce newsletters with information on local issues

TACT meets every month and works in partnership with the Council to improve the housing service for all tenants.

These associations are democratic and represent a specific area or estate. They abide by a set of aims and rules (a constitution) and have a committee that is elected each year at an annual general meeting.

TACT has formal representation on all council committees and meetings that discuss approve and scrutinise housing related issues. TACT presents the interests and views of all tenants at these meetings. TACT produces its own newsletter and is also involved in the production of the tenants' newsletter produced by the Council. Both publications are delivered to your home three times a year. TACT is also involved in other specialist forums, such as Property and Contracts, Housing Management, Tenant Participation Compact Monitoring and Supported Housing. TACT supports tenants and residents associations and information sharing sessions and its members will attend meetings on request. TACT also helps to run campaigns and to set up new groups, as well as working with tenants and officers of other social landlords to network, compare and improve services.

OTHER WAYS OF GETTING INVOLVED

We will support tenant and residents groups by: I

Providing start up grants for new tenants and residents groups

I

Providing an annual grant to cover running costs and expenses for existing tenants and residents groups

I

Supplying stationery items, such as files, folders and paper

I

Photocopying, typing and distributing agendas and meeting notes

I

Producing newsletters, posters and flyers

I

Arranging training, either organised by us, or at recognised training events and conferences

I

Contributing to out of pocket expenses for attendance at meetings, including transport costs, for example, bus fares, reimbursement of mileage to and from meetings, car parking charges and child care and carers’ expenses

I

Organising taxis to training events and meetings if you do not have access to transport

I

Finding and booking venues for meetings

Specialist forums Specialist forums are set up to discuss, improve and monitor specific areas of service, such as rents, repairs and supported housing. Tenants and council officers work together as members of the forums to improve services for tenants. Forums are open to all tenants and leaseholders across the district.

Tenants and residents associations There is an active network of tenants and residents associations in the Winchester district.

88

Tenant Involvement Team  0800 716 987 e-mail tenantinvolvement@winchester.gov.uk


Tenant Talk

Information sharing sessions are designed for our tenants who live in older people’s supported housing.

Tenant Talk is a way to encourage greater involvement. It offers you the flexibility to choose how, where, when and what to get involved in. It is tailor-made to suit your commitments and your spare time. For example, if you do not enjoy meetings, you can get involved in other ways.

They are regular, informal sessions, normally held during the day in the communal lounge, and are attended by support staff and other housing staff. They give you the chance to: I

Raise concerns about your scheme

I

Meet and share ideas with your neighbours

I

Visit other schemes in the Winchester district

I

Learn more about the Council

I

Meet council officers and councillors

Support staff where you live can let you know when information sharing sessions are taking place and how to get more information about tenant involvement. For more about services for older people see chapter 8.

Jigsaw Jigsaw is a way for people from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities, who receive a service from the Council, such as tenants, home owners and people on the waiting list, to have their say. This includes white communities such as Eastern European, Irish, Jewish, Gypsies or Travellers. Your views and experiences could help improve our services.

You just need to complete a Tenant Talk questionnaire and we will contact you when necessary to ask you about the services in which you are interested. Your views and comments will then be used by officers and councillors when they are making decisions about our housing services and priorities.

11

MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD AND GETTING INVOLVED

Information sharing sessions

Tenant Talk is open to all council tenants and leaseholders, including teenagers and younger children. Tenant Talk forms are available: I

From the Customer Service Centre

I

From the Tenant Involvement team

I

On-line at www.winchester.gov.uk/TACT

I

By writing to the Tenant Involvement Manager, Winchester City Council, FREEPOST NAT15377, Winchester, SO23 9ZW

You may also ask a friend, your representative or carer to register your interest.

Views and information can be exchanged either by post or e-mail. If you would prefer, Jigsaw facilitators can come along to another group you attend or speak to friends or colleagues you meet with. Interpreters and translation are provided where members need them.

Tenant involvement for ALL – it’s easy!

We are always looking at new ways to develop links with BME and other hard to reach groups. If you know of a way, give the Tenant Involvement team a call.

Other ways of getting involved are:

You decide how much you want to become involved. The ways of getting involved are only a guideline and you may have other ideas, so please let us know. I

Letter writing

I

Using the telephone

I

In person (a home visit from a representative from the Council)

I

Through a representative or carer

I

Replying to surveys and questionnaires

I

By e-mail

I

By SMS text

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

89


We will support your involvement by: I

DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY

Contributing to out of pocket expenses for attendance at meetings, including transport costs, for example, bus fares, reimbursement of mileage to and from meetings, car parking charges and child care and carers’ expenses

To encourage everyone to be able to become involved, our leaflets, newsletters and promotional material are available in different formats to suit your individual needs:

I

Providing relevant training

I

Large print

I

Supplying freepost addresses and pre-paid envelopes for you to use when your views are being sought by post

I

Braille

I

Easy read

I

Audio tape

I

Other languages

Simply contact the Tenant Involvement team or your Area Housing Manager.

We will:

HOW YOU CAN HELP US You can help us by: I

Letting us know if you have issues or problems in your area that you would like us to deal with

I

Contacting us if you would like to set up a tenants and residents group in your area

I

Contacting your tenant representative or a member of TACT if you would like them to put forward any ideas for improvements in your area or articles for our newsletter

I

Replying to our surveys and questionnaires, so we can improve our service to you

I

Annual housing report

I

Regular newsletters

I

Information leaflets

I

Local newsletters and flyers

I

Provide a portable hearing loop, which we can use for meetings or interviews at your home or in our offices

I

Offer a text phone for tenants who are deaf or hard of hearing

I

Arrange meetings at convenient times and try not to conflict with religious, care or other commitments

I

Carry out regular surveys and questionnaires to update our information on your needs

See pages 8 and 9 for details about Equal Opportunities.

We will give you regular information about our services and your tenancy, including: A tenants handbook

Arrange for an interpreter, including a signer or lip speaker, to support you at meetings about your tenancy

All meetings will be accessible for people with disabilities.

KEEPING YOU INFORMED I

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Tenant Involvement Team  0800 716 987 e-mail tenantinvolvement@winchester.gov.uk


12

CHAPTER

MOVING HOUSE

12

Moving house

15


CHAPTER

12

Giving notice Condition of the property Transfers Mutual exchanges

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Your right to compensation for improvements On the move checklist

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92

93 93 93 94 95 96


12

GIVING NOTICE You need to give Landlord Services four weeks’ written notice to end your tenancy. However, if you are transferring to a property owned by Winchester City Council or to a partner housing association, you may give two weeks’ written notice. You can give notice on any weekday (Monday to Friday). However, the notice period will only start from the date we receive your notice. We have a printed termination form that we prefer you to use. However, you may write a letter to us instead. Termination forms are available from the Customer Service Centre, support staff for older people’s housing and the housing management team. We will write to you confirming we have received your notice. We will advise you of the date your tenancy will end and when and where you should return the keys. You must pay your rent and other charges during your notice period and your rent account must be clear when the tenancy ends. During the notice period we may need to visit and inspect the property. This may include taking a video or photographs of the condition. You must ensure that we are given vacant possession of the property on the termination date.

Joint tenants

Checklist Please refer to the checklist on page 96 when giving notice to end your tenancy.

CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY

MOVING HOUSE

Moving house

When you move out, you should leave the property and its fixtures and fittings in the same state as they were at the start of the tenancy, fair wear and tear excepted, as stated in your tenancy conditions. The property should be left clean and tidy and in reasonable decorative order. The garden should also be tidy and clear of rubbish. You may be charged for clearing furniture, carpets, rubbish and other items left in the property, shed, garage or garden. You may also be charged for repairs and for removing any alterations and adaptations unless we gave you permission for them to remain. You are also advised that any damage caused to tiles when floor coverings are lifted is your responsibility and you will be recharged for the cost of replacing any tiles. If you are on the transfer list, you will normally have to carry out any necessary repairs before we offer you alternative accommodation.

TRANSFERS

Where the tenancy is a joint tenancy, one tenant can terminate the tenancy on behalf of both tenants.

Giving notice when a tenant has died In the event of the tenant’s death, the next of kin must give us four weeks’ written notice and include the death certificate.

Power of attorney Where a power of attorney exists, written notice may be given on behalf of the tenant if you send a copy of the relevant documentation.

You are able to move to another council or housing association property through the Hampshire Home Choice scheme or by mutual exchange. The scheme is open to all council and housing association tenants in the UK. We assess and prioritise your application, as set out in the Council’s scheme of allocation. Information about the scheme and the allocation system is available from the Customer Service Centre and on-line at www.winchester.gov.uk.

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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To apply for a transfer, you will need to complete the Hampshire Home Choice housing application form, which is available from the Customer Service Centre and on-line at www.winchester.gov.uk/Hampshirehomechoice. We aim to process applications within ten working days. We will decide if you can join the register and will write to you, explaining what priority your application has been awarded. You will officially join the register on the date we received your application. There is a very high demand for our properties, so you may have to wait a long time for a transfer, especially if you are moving out of choice, rather than necessity, or if you are requesting to move to a popular area. Therefore, you may wish to consider seeking a mutual exchange with another council or housing association tenant. Alternatively, you may apply directly to the waiting list of another local authority. Many councils have registers that are open to applicants from outside of their area.

Cash incentive to move If you would like to down-size to a flat or maisonette, we may be able to offer financial and practical help. A council tenant, who is willing to give up their family home and move into a one or two bedroom flat or maisonette, may qualify for a one-off cash payment under the tenants incentive scheme. If you wish to take advantage of the scheme, please contact the Customer Service Centre.

MUTUAL EXCHANGES A mutual exchange is where two (or more) tenants decide to swap homes. Most council and housing association tenants have the right to exchange. Introductory tenants do not have the right to exchange. A mutual exchange may be the quickest way to move, particularly if you have a low priority on the housing register. You are also able to move to a property with one room more than your actual housing need.

HomeSwapper The Council is signed up to HomeSwapper, a national register of social housing tenants looking to swap homes. Leaflets are available from the Customer Service Centre and the service can be accessed on-line at www.HomeSwapper.co.uk.

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If you would like to move by mutual exchange, you will need to register your details on the HomeSwapper website. If you need any help with this process, please contact the Customer Service Centre.

HomeSwapper automatically checks for any possible swaps for you. When you have found a suitable exchange property, you should contact the other party and arrange to view the property.

Applying for a mutual exchange If you want to apply for an exchange, all parties will need to complete an application form, which is available from the Customer Service Centre. Once all applications have been received, we have six weeks to approve or decline your request. During this time, we will inspect your property, which will include taking a video or photographs to record the condition. You will be sent a copy of the condition report for your records. In all cases, the incoming tenant must accept the condition of the property before the exchange is approved. Depending on the condition of the property, a Notice Seeking Possession may be served and the exchange refused.

Formula rent We will write to you once we have received your application, informing you of the rent and charges for the property if you are exchanging to another one of our properties. It is the Council’s policy to charge the formula rent if you move into one of our properties by mutual exchange. The formula rent could be more or less than the current tenant is being charged. See page 40, Setting Rent Levels, for further details.

Conditional approval for mutual exchange We may approve an exchange on condition that a breach of tenancy conditions is corrected. For example, if you have rent arrears, these will have to be cleared before the exchange can go ahead.

Mutual exchange approved We will write to you to let you know your exchange has been approved and will make an appointment for you and all other tenants involved to come to the council offices to sign the relevant paperwork. If you have a joint tenancy, both tenants must attend and


you should also bring formal identification, such as a driving licence or passport. Once the meeting has taken place and all the relevant documentation has been signed, you will be able to move.

I

Loft and cavity wall insulation

I

Draught-proofing of windows or external doors

12

Double-glazing or other window replacement or secondary glazing

I

Re-wiring or the provision of power and lighting or other electrical fittings (including smoke detectors)

Mutual exchange refused

I

There are, by law, ten grounds on which we can refuse a mutual exchange. If your application is refused, we will write to you, notifying you on what grounds your request has been refused. Full details of the grounds for refusal are contained in Schedule 3 of the Housing Act 1985 (grounds for withholding consent to assignment by way of exchange).

Security measures (excluding burglar alarms)

You can claim compensation for the cost of materials, but not appliances, such as cookers or fridges, and also for labour costs, but not your own labour. Interior decoration (painting and wallpapering) does not qualify for compensation.

Other exchange schemes

How to make a claim

There are other national exchange schemes operating, but these sometimes charge a registration fee. These can be found by searching on the internet.

You should make a claim for compensation when you give notice that you are ending your tenancy. You have up to 14 days after your tenancy ends to make a claim in writing with the following information:

YOUR RIGHT TO COMPENSATION FOR IMPROVEMENTS As a secure tenant, you may be entitled to compensation when your tenancy ends for improvements you have made to your home. You will not get compensation if you are buying your home through the right to buy scheme, because improvements are not included in the purchase price. You may apply for compensation even if you did not get permission for the improvements in advance. However, you will not receive compensation if we refuse permission. See page 17 for advice regarding seeking permission. The right to compensation applies to improvements which were started on or after 1 April 1994 and applies to the following improvements:

MOVING HOUSE

I

You must not go ahead with the swap until all landlords involved have given written permission and the relevant papers have been signed, otherwise you will be putting your tenancy at risk.

I

Your name and address

I

What improvements you have made

I

How much each improvement cost

I

The date the improvements began and finished

How the compensation is calculated You can get up to ÂŁ3,000 for any one improvement, but there is no compensation for improvements worth less than ÂŁ50. If you received financial assistance (a grant) to help make your improvements, we will take off the amount your grant was worth from the cost of your improvements. We calculate your compensation based on the age, condition and quality of the improvement. You will need to give us an invoice to show how much your improvements cost. If you do not have an invoice, tell us straight away and give us an estimate of the total cost.

I

Bath or shower, wash-hand basin and toilet

I

Kitchen sink and work surfaces for preparing food

I

Storage cupboards in bathroom or in kitchen

We will also take into account any money you may owe the Council and deduct that from the compensation. We will prosecute tenants who make a false or inflated claim.

I

Central heating, hot water boilers and other types of heating

Further information is available from the Customer Service Centre.

I

Thermostatic radiator valves

I

Pipe, water tank or cylinder insulation

Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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On the move checklist

Give four weeks’ notice in writing to terminate your tenancy

....................................................................

Return all keys to the Customer Service Centre by 5.00pm on day after your tenancy expires (Monday, if it ends on a Friday) ...................................................................................................... Clear your rent account ...................................................................................................................................................................... Leave a forwarding address for yourself or next of kin, if acting on behalf of deceased tenant ........................................................................................................................................................................................ Inform Council Tax and Housing Benefit ............................................................................................................................ Clear the property, shed, outhouse and garden of personal belongings and rubbish .......... Leave the property and garden clean and tidy ........................................................................................................... Leave fixtures and fittings intact ............................................................................................................................................... Remove carpets and curtain rails ............................................................................................................................................. Arrange for your gas or electric cooker to be disconnected and installed in your new home ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ Secure the property and give us vacant possession on the termination date ............................... Re-direct your post through Royal Mail for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months Forms available at the Post Office or on-line at www.royalmail.com ............................................... Give your new address to: Banks and building societies ..........................

TV licensing.......................................................................

Department for Work and Pensions .........

Cable or satellite company ................................

Revenue and Customs ...........................................

Insurance companies ..............................................

Loan companies ...........................................................

Telephone company .................................................

Hire purchase and rental companies .......

Employer .............................................................................

Credit and store card companies ................

School and college ....................................................

Loyalty cards ...................................................................

DVLA .......................................................................................

Gas, electricity and water companies (NB: read the meter before you leave) ..

Doctor and dentist ....................................................

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Family and friends .....................................................


13

CHAPTER

13

HOUSING ADVICE

Housing advice

21


CHAPTER

13

Housing advice

98

...............................................................................................

99


HOUSING ADVICE The Council provides a housing options service to advise you of your obligations and responsibilities. This will help you make the right housing option if you think you may become threatened with homelessness. We seek to provide a service that advises you of the various options available to you. If you think you may become homeless, you should contact us straight away, so we can help you try to find a housing option. Your housing options may include:

Mediation If you are finding it difficult to live with your family, we can refer you to an agency who can talk it through with you and your family to see if a compromise can be found, so you can continue to live in your home.

Transfer You can ask for a transfer from your property to another one if it is too big for your needs or too small. This would be subject to the agreement of the Council.

Mutual exchange A mutual exchange occurs when two (or more) tenants of a council or housing association swap homes. This is subject to the agreement of all landlords of the tenants involved.

Private rented sector In most cases, we will look to assist you to find accommodation in the private rented sector. We will advise you on tenancy rights and how to access this form of accommodation.

Supported accommodation Supported accommodation is for people who do not think they can live independently and would prefer support in their current accommodation.

HOUSING ADVICE

13

Housing advice

Young Persons Project This project is for those who have been asked to leave the parental home. The project aims to provide support and advice on how to manage a tenancy, as it will often be their first experience of living independently.

Choice Based Lettings scheme This is our new scheme where you can ‘bid’ for council accommodation and, depending on your position on the waiting list, you may be offered accommodation. Our new scheme is also with East Hampshire District Council and Havant Borough Council, so you can also apply for properties within their areas.

Night shelter In some instances, we may not be able to provide accommodation for you. However, the night shelter can be a useful stopgap if you have nowhere else to go.

Women’s refuge If you are fleeing violence from a partner or another person, we will advise you to go to a women’s refuge where we can further assist you to find alternative accommodation.

Temporary accommodation You may be offered temporary accommodation, normally at one of our hostels, while we are considering your application for housing. Customer Service Centre  01962 840 222 e-mail housing@winchester.gov.uk website www.winchester.gov.uk

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The Housing Options section also gives advice on:

How do I get housing advice? If you require advice, your Housing Options Officers may be contacted:

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Landlord and tenant rights

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Dealing with harassment and violence from others

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Through the Customer Service Centre

I

Relationship breakdown and the implications for housing

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By telephoning 01962 848 163

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By calling in to the City Offices on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday between 9.00am and 4.00pm for an interview with the duty officer

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By e-mail to housing@winchester.gov.uk

I

Illegal eviction and disrepair

I

Where to get help for debt advice

I

Referrals to the Citizens Advice Bureau for independent legal or financial advice

I

Other organisations that offer specialist advice or advocacy

A directory of services is available, listing information and contact details for statutory and voluntary agencies. We do not recommend or rate any of the services included. Information leaflets and the directory of services are available in the Customer Service Centre or on our website.

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Housing Advice Team  01962 848 163


14

A to Z of useful contacts

A TO Z OF USEFUL CONTACTS

14

CHAPTER

AtoZ 98

25 25

99 85 33


CHAPTER

14

Emergency telephone numbers

..................................................................

Other useful telephone numbers and addresses

102

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103 103


EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS Police, Fire, Ambulance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .999 All gas escapes Southern Gas Networks (all areas) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0800 111 999

OTHER USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND ADDRESSES Adult Services Hampshire County Council, Corinium House, 10/14 Andover Road, Winchester, SO23 7BX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 869 313

14

A TO Z OF USEFUL CONTACTS

A to Z of useful contacts

Advocacy Project (Winchester District) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Winchester Centre, 68 St George's Street, Winchester, SO23 8AH . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 848 032 Age Concern Hampshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 868 545 Alresford Day Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 735 612 Meon Valley Day Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01489 895 855 Winchester & District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 840 667 Anti-social behaviour issues (non-emergencies) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 For examples of anti-social behaviour issues see chapter 4 Basics Bank 21a Penton Place, Milland Road, Highcliffe, Winchester, SO23 0PZ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 855 774 Opening times: Tuesdays and Fridays, 10.00am to 3.00pm BT Residential Tenant Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0800 800 150 Childrens Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 603 5620 Citizens Advice Bureau The Winchester Centre, 68 St George's Street, Winchester, SO23 8AH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 848 000 Bishops Waltham Well House, 2 Brook Street, Bishops Waltham, SO32 1AX . . . . . . . .01489 896 376 Eastleigh 101 Leigh Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9DR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0870 126 9504 Fareham County Library Building, Osborn Road, Fareham, PO16 7EN . . . . . .0844 499 4190 Community Mental Health Team Connaught House, 63b Romsey Road, Winchester, SO22 5DE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 825128

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Department for Work and Pensions Job Centre Plus, Winchester City Gate House, 8 City Road, Winchester, SO23 8GA . . . . . . . . . . .01962 745 200 Job Centre Plus, Eastleigh Southampton Road, Eastleigh, SO50 5PB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .023 80 538 800 Job Centre Plus, Fareham Civic Way, Fareham, PO16 7HR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01329 243 700 Website: www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk The Pension Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 6060 265 Website: www.thepensionservice.gov.uk Child Support Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 7133 133 Website: www.csa.gov.uk Disability and Carers Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0800 882 200 Website: www.dwp.gov.uk/dcs Dial-a-Ride Upper Parking Level, The Brooks Shopping Centre, Winchester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 852 602 Domestic Abuse Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 0 45 45 45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .or in an emergency 999 Alcoholics Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 7697 555 Asian Women’s 24 hour helpline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0800 052 6077 Broken Rainbow (Lesbian, Gay and Bi-Sexual domestic helpline) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 2604 460 Citizens Advice Bureau (see page 103) Friends of the Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 864 466 Male victims of domestic abuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01273 380 130 Mankind Initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0870 7944 124 Mayflower Group (Transvestite, Transgender, Transsexual advice) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .023 8077 1798 National Domestic Crisis helpline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0808 2000 247 National Drugs helpline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0800 776 600 The Olive Branch (counselling service) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 848 028 Parent Line Plus 77 Leigh Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9DQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .023 8061 9826 or 24 hrs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0808 800 2222 Rape and sexual abuse counselling: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Women’s helpline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 848 024 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Men’s helpline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 848 027 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Relate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 861 336 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Trinity Women’s Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 866 888 Victim Support (Basingstoke) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01256 407 330 or 0845 3030 900 Winchester City Council Housing Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 840 222 Winchester Youth Counselling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 820 444 Women's Aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0808 2000 247 104


Equality and Human Rights Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 604 6610 Fire Brigade Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, County Headquarters, Leigh Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9SJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .023 8062 0000 Help the Aged The Winchester Centre, 68 St George’s Street, Winchester, SO23 8AH . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 877 254 Local Government Ombudsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 6021 983 NHS Direct

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 46 47

OT Direct

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 600 4555

Police (Centralised switchboard) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0845 0 45 45 45 Relate Winchester & District, The Winchester Centre, 68 St George's Street, Winchester, SO23 8AH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 861 336

14

A TO Z OF USEFUL CONTACTS

Drug & Alcohol Advisory Centre Spencer House, 63 Romsey Road, Winchester, SO22 5DE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 825 071

Portsmouth & District, Chaucer House, 32 Isambard Brunel Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2DR . . . . . . . . . . . . . .023 9282 7026 Samaritans 13 Upper High Street, Winchester, SO23 8UT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 860 633 Portsmouth & South East Hampshire, 296 London Road, Portsmouth, PO2 9JN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .023 9269 1313 Southampton & District, 64 St Andrews Road, Southampton, SO14 0BA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .023 8063 2888 Shelter housing advice helpline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Freephone 0808 800 4444 Shelter Southern Counties Housing Aid Centre 27 Church Street, Slough, SL1 1PL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0844 515 1380 TACT (Tenants and Council Together) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0800 716 987 Trinity Centre Bradbury House, Durngate Place, Winchester, SO23 8DX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01962 622 220 TV Licensing

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .08705 763 763

Winchester Savers Hampshire Credit Union Ltd, 6 Middle Brook Street, Winchester, SO23 8BQ . . . . . . . . .01962 820424 Website: www.winchestersavers.co.uk Winchester Shopmobility Shopmobility Office, Upper Parking Level, The Brooks Shopping Centre, Winchester . .01962 842 626 A directory of services, listing information and contact details for statutory, voluntary and charitable organisations, is also available from the Customer Service Centre or our website.

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Published by:

Landlord Services Winchester City Council City Offices Colebrook Street Winchester SO23 9LJ Telephone 01962 840 222 Fax 01962 841 365 Email: housing@winchester.gov.uk Website: www.winchester.gov.uk All information is believed to be correct at the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken for errors, omissions or subsequent alterations. Copyright Š Winchester City Council, June 2009. Produced by Winchester City Council’s Corporate Communications Team. Inner pages printed on revive silk 50% recycled. Cover printed on revive silk 70% recycled.


CM0629-20392 June 2009 Produced by Winchester City Council


Winchester City Council Tenant Handbook