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LEASEHOLDER NEWS May 2014

Your voice matters p3

Welcome to Nikki

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Want to save energy and money?

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk

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Need help decorating?

WolvesHomes

01902 556789


Message from Martin Welcome to this edition of Leaseholder News. There is a lot of information in this issue that impacts leaseholders, so I hope you can find time to read through. Many of you will have spoken to Ben Howley who has taken up a new post within Wolverhampton Homes. I’m sure you will join me in sending Ben our best wishes for the future and to thank him for his support. I would also like to welcome Nikki Downing who will be joining the team. This is a good time to ask you to provide up to date contact details (phone number, email address etc). This enables the team to send up to date news by email and text. Leasehold Officers are arranging the next Drop-ins that let leaseholders raise issues causing concern. Information can be found on page 3. There will be elections to the Wolverhampton Homes Board in July and it is our chance to vote for leaseholder Board members, ensuring our continued representation within the organisation. Information can be found on page 3. Finally, the Leasehold Team have introduced a change to the billing system that allows the collection of ground rent automatically if you pay your service charges by Direct Debit. Can I personally recommend using direct debit to save you time. Enjoy this issue of Leasehold News and I look forward to meeting you at the Get Togethers.

Martin Cartwright Chairman, Leaseholders’ Forum

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Message from Lesley I’ve been to many Leaseholder Forum meetings since the last newsletter and one of the main things that your forum members and I am concerned about is how satisfied you are with our services. We really want to hear from you and you have a great opportunity to speak to us at the next “Your voice matters” drop in sessions. You can find out the dates and venues on page 3. We all have busy lives, so if you can’t come along please get in touch by phone, email or any of the ways listed on the back page. Another issue we’ve talked about at the Forum meetings is safety – both yours and your neighbours safety. Please take time to read page 4 and find out how we can help everyone be safe. Thank you. Lesley Roberts Chief Executive of Wolverhampton Homes


3 Got a worry about your home or lease? 3 Got a repair issue? 3 Want to find out how WE can save YOU money? 3 Want to give us feedback on our services?

YOUR VOICE MATTERS

Come and talk to the leasehold management team at our next drop-in session. If you want to talk about a particular issue, let us know before the meeting and we’ll add it to the agenda.

If you need help with transport to get there just let us know on 01902 556789.

Wednesday 4th June from 6.30pm

Tuesday 10th June from 6.30pm

Wolverhampton Homes, Alfred Squire Road, Wednesfield, WV11 1XU

Merry Hill Office, Leasowes Drive, Merry Hill, WV4 4PZ

Board elections

Welcome to Nikki

coming soon

Meet Nikki Downing, the newest member of the leasehold management team.

Who would you like to be your next board member? Board members help decide on our services, budgets and priorities and this year – we have three vacancies for resident members. In July you’ll receive your ballot paper and details of the candidates. Just make your choice and send it back by 7th August 2014. Want to know more? Visit www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/ board-elections Meet the candidates: The candidates will be at the Leasehold Forum meeting on Wednesday 9th July, 7pm at Merry Hill Meeting Room, Leasowes Drive, Merry Hill, WV4 4PZ.

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Working with Chris Churm, she can help with queries on: Service charges and invoices Payment plans Permission for alterations Gas servicing Major improvements

So give her a call on 01902 556789 or email nicola.downing@

wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk or come to the drop-in sessions and meet her. 3


IS YOUR FLAT SAFE? We want you and your neighbours to be safe. So please think about two things – gas and fire safety. Gas If gas appliances aren’t serviced they can be very dangerous and can cause:

• gas leaks • fires • explosions • carbon monoxide poisoning These put you, your family and your neighbours in danger.

The Health and Safety Executive recommends that you have your appliances checked every year. If you sublet your flat, an annual check is a statutory requirement. Please make sure you get a Gas Safe engineer to safety check or service your appliances. We can help – we offer:

• a range of annual servicing options from £88 + vat to £180 + vat • a one-off gas safety inspection – check all your appliances for a one-off fee of £45 inc vat

FIRE! Is your front door fire safe? Did you know that if you live in a flat with communal areas, you need to make sure that your door is a fire door and will resist fire for at least 30 minutes? We do carry out fire risk assessments and if we find that your door isn’t fire resistant we’ll contact you and let you know that you may need to replace it. The good news is that we can help. We can supply and fit a fire-safe door at your home and you can pay in instalments over 12 months

– interest free! Find out more at www.wolverhamptonhomes. org.uk/leaseholders/gas or phone the leasehold management team on 01902 556789. 4

Interested? Call Wayne in the leasehold management team on 01902 556789 or email wayne.jones@wolverhampton homes.org.uk


Want to save energy and money? Our climate change team can help. They are on hand to advise you how to keep warm for less money, how to be energy efficient and advice on insulation and energy saving products.

Want to know more – ask for a free home energy visit for: • • • • •

Visit

A whole home energy survey www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/ Energy company switching energy-management Saving money through Social Tariff schemes for more information or call Reducing condensation 01902 556789. Advice on how to use your heating system.

LETTING OUT YOUR FLAT – let us do the work We can let and manage your flat with: • • • •

Guaranteed rent. A generous free-repairs allowance for the duration of the lease. Full tenancy and property management. Management fees starting from just £15 per week.

Find out more at www.whomes.org.uk/city-homes or phone Andy Hughes on 01902 553253.

Want to improve your neighbourhood? Got a problem with: • Untidy gardens • Abandoned vehicles • Litter • Vandalism Join your local estate inspection and help spot the problems, your estate manager will do the rest. Find out the date of yours at

www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/estate-inspections 5


@ Are you queuing to pay?

WE NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

Do you make a trip to one of our shops to pay your service charge and council tax?

Help us save you money by letting us contact you by email not post.

There’s an easier way! Visit www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/pay and choose housing payments (for service charges and insurance) or council tax.

We can send you Leaseholder News and other mailings, straight to your inbox. You’ll also get extra monthly e-newsletters as a bonus.

COMING SOON

Check your service charge

account, update your details and more… using your Do It Online account. The all-new leaseholders’ Do It Online account will be launching in 2015. Want your own account? Just send us an email and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready: christopher.churm@wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk

Send us an email to home.sales@ wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk or visit www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk /leaseholder-feedback and we’ll put you on the mailing list.

WANT TO GET ONLINE? Did you know that using the internet for shopping and paying bills could save you about £560 per year? Perhaps you don’t know where to start, you may even be terrified of computers, or perhaps you know the basics but want to know more. Our Web Wizards can help you get the skills you need and help you make the most of all the internet has to offer. If you already know the basics - choose from lots of e-learning courses from: • Online basics • Banking online • Shopping online • Facebook and socialising Visit www.learnmyway.com to create your free account and add 3456107 in the centre code box. Or if you don’t know where to start - come to our friendly drop-in sessions. Call 01902 556789 and ask for the Web Wizards to find out more.

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making online learning easy


STOP!

Thinking of a loft conversion?

We’ve had a few cases lately where leaseholders have converted lofts into rooms and we’ve had to ask that they put the loft back to its original condition. When you bought your flat the loft space wasn’t included as part of the sale. This is because we may need to get into the loft to carry out repairs to the roof or to the wiring which runs through the loft space. If you are the only person who has access to the loft space, you are welcome to use it for storage and you can loosely board over the beams but you cannot install a window or use it as a habitable room.

The council will sometimes give planning permission for a loft conversion but they will not check your lease, so this does not mean you can go ahead with the work. Please check your lease before you carry out any improvements or contact the leasehold management team for advice.

Find it difficult to decorate or are you just too busy?

Let us do the work. Wolverhampton Works can carry out small painting and decorating jobs in your home for a small fee.

Interested? Call 01902 551981 and ask for Wolverhampton Works.

Handy person service

Need help with decorating?

If you’re aged over 60 and are on income related benefits or registered disabled, you may be able to get help from the handyperson service. The handyperson service can help with fixing leaking taps, broken windows and fixing loose carpets to energy efficiency measures to make your home warmer. Get in touch with whis@wolverhampton.gov.uk or phone 01902 551155 and ask about the handyperson service. 7


Quiz Time Try our Sudoku puzzle and you could win ÂŁ20 in vouchers. Just send your completed puzzle to the address below by 1st August 2014

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www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk/leaseholders @ christopher.churm@wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk @ nicola.downing@wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk @ home.sales@wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk 01902 556789 01902 552999 for out of hours emergencies www.facebook.com/wolverhamptonleaseholders @wolveshomes Write to:

Leasehold Management Team, Wolverhampton Homes, Leasowes Drive, Merry Hill, Wolverhampton WV4 4PZ.

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Contact us

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The winner of our last puzzle was

Mr Corrigan of Pendeford.

Your Feedback and Sudoku entry Tell us what you think about any of our services.

Name Your Address Postcode Your telephone

Your email

Tick to help us save you money and receive this newsletter by email How satisfied are you with this newsletter? Very satisfied Satisfied Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

Dissatisfied

Very Dissatisfied

Return to: Communications, Wolverhampton Homes, Chillington Fields Industrial Estate, Off Hickman Avenue, Wolverhampton, WV1 2BY

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Leaseholder News May 2014