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Housing services

Moving into your new council tenancy

Information to help you before and after moving into your new tenancy.

image of a welcome mat

When will I sign my tenancy agreement?

Once we have shown you around the property we will ask you to read and sign a tenancy agreement with our Customer First staff at our offices. The tenancy agreement is a legal contract between you and the council which tells you:

  • The date your tenancy starts - this will vary according any work required to the tenancy.
  • Your rent charge per week
  • When your rent is due to be paid
  • Your rights & responsibilities as a tenant
  • Our rights & responsibilities as your landlord

We strongly recommend you read over your tenancy agreement in detail and should you have any questions please contact your housing officer.

Understanding your tenancy agreement

Your tenancy agreement is a legal contract between you and the Council. It details what you should do to look after your house, outlines your responsibilities and clarifies our responsibilities to ensure you enjoy living in your home.

Your tenancy agreement clearly states that the Council will not unfairly or unlawfully discriminate against you on any of the following grounds:

  • Race, colour, ethnic origin or nationality.
  • Gender or sexuality.
  • Disability.
  • Age.
  • Religion or other belief or opinion, including political beliefs

The terms and conditions within the agreement (except rent) cannot be changed unless:

  • Both the council and tenant agree, or
  • Changes are made by court order.

Rent levels are assessed every year and can only be increased by the Council telling you  in writing  they are doing so . This notice must allow 4 weeks before rent increases take effect.

Before your tenancy starts, you should have received a range of information, including:

  • information on the right to buy your Council house,  and the implications of house purchase. For example, obligations of home owners to pay for common repairs to the roof or close. Information about the Council's complaints system, and
  • Information on major policies such as allocations, repairs and rent setting (on request)

If you have not received this information please contact your Housing Officer through Customer First and they will be happy to assist.

What happens next?

As well as giving you a copy of your tenancy agreement, we will give you:

  • Two sets of keys (as well as any keys for door entry systems, windows or sheds)
  • A gas safety certificate (if there is gas in the property)
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • A Tenant Information Pack

We will also give you the readings for the electricity and gas meters. You will need these readings when you contact the service providers to tell them you are moving in.

We will arrange to visit you within 20 working days of the date of your tenancy starts. This is called a new tenant visit, and is carried out to check that you are settling into your new home.

Who should I tell I am moving?

When you know the date of your move, you may want to contact some, or all, of the following organisations before you move in to tell them you are moving.

  • Your preferred gas and electricity supplier*
  • The benefits agency
  • Your bank
  • TV Licensing
  • Your employer
  • Customer First, so we do not continue to charge you Council Tax for living in your old home
  • Your Doctor, Dentist or Hospital to ensure continued service
  • Your previous landlord if you had one

*Providing the previous tenant has informed his/her gas or electricity suppliers that s/he is moving out, you will find a letter addressed to 'The New Occupier' which confirms details of the suppliers. If this is not present, or you are in any doubt about the suppliers, the following information will be of assistance:

To confirm your gas supplier, contact the Meter Number Helpline on 0870 608 1524

The Meter Number Helpline will also be able to help you find your MPRN number. Your MPRN, or 'Meter Point Reference Number' is a way of identifying the unique gas supply to your property. You will be able to find it on your gas bill, but if you've just moved in and don't yet have a bill you can call the number above. Your gas MPRN will be between six and ten numbers.

To find out who supplies your electricity you can call your regional electricity distribution number. The numbers for this areas are:0800 092 9290 / 0330 1010 222 for mobiles

If you are unsure, or wish further advice, please contact your housing officer through Customer First

What you can expect from us

Before you move in, we will have checked the property to ensure that:

  • All services are in working order and certified as safe
  • The heating system is operable and safe
  • The house is free from rubbish, debris and infestation
  • The house is equipped with adequate food storage space
  • The house is free from rising and penetrating dampness
  • Any fixtures and or fittings left by the outgoing tenant are in safe condition
  • All pipe work and wastes to sanitary fixtures/sinks are operational and free from leaks
  • There are no defects to any part of the structure
  • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted and working properly.

What we expect from you

When you move in, we expect you to:

  • Keep your home clean at all times
  • Take your turn cleaning any shared areas (for example: close, stairways and bin areas)
  • Look after your garden and any other ground that is yours
  • Keep all fittings and fixtures in good condition
  • Behave in an acceptable and responsible  way towards your neighbours
  • Ensure we have access to undertake important work, like the annual gas service or emergency repairs.

Decorating your new home

Once you have moved in you can decorate your home, but remember you must have written permission to carry out any major work.

You should seek permission to put down laminate flooring. it  may look nice but it will cause problems if we have to do repairs under the floor which requires lifting your laminate flooring. In this case we are not required to replace or refit the flooring for you. Laminate flooring cannot be fitted in flats above the ground floor.

Should you leave the property you may be charged if we have to remove laminate flooring.

We do not recommend that you apply Artex to walls or ceilings as we may have to arrange for it to be taken off if you leave the property and you will be charged for this. When you are decorating if you decide to remove any Artex that is already in place, you must seek advice as certain types of Artex made before 1986 may contain asbestos. Please contact customer first for further information.

Contents Insurance

Don't forget to arrange your contents insurance before you move in. We insure the structure of your home, but it is up to you to insure your belongings and decoration. We offer a home contents insurance scheme. Follow this link to download an application form to print and return, or contact Customer First for further details.

Remember: If you need to speak to someone about anything relating to your tenancy or property contact your housing officer through Customer First. Contact information for Customer First is shown on this page.

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