tenants handbook by HC120929152753


We are pleased to present you with a copy of our Tenants’ Handbook. We hope you
find the handbook helpful and interesting.

You will also be issued with a Tenancy Agreement and Tenant’s Charter at the
beginning of your tenancy which are important documents for you to keep. You can
use the Tenant’s Charter to check the terms and conditions of your tenancy and your
rights as a tenant of a landlord who is registered with the Housing Corporation.

If you have any queries about the information provided please do not hesitate to
contact Housing Office staff who will do their best to help.


Leaflet 1      -   The Tenants’ Handbook and Contents

Leaflet 2      -   The Papworth Trust Organisation and Structure

Leaflet 3      - Complaints Procedure Residents’ Association Tenant Consultation

Leaflet 4      -   Equal Opportunities Policy

Leaflet 5      -   Rent Policy Statement

Leaflet 6      -   Fair Rent Setting Policy

Leaflet 7      -   Rent Payments - Housing Benefit

Leaflet 8      -   Warden Service (supported housing residents only)

Leaflet 9      - Repairs - Reporting Requests Emergencies
               - Cyclical Maintenance Programme

Leaflet 10     -   Tenancy Conditions
               -   Compensation

“Papworth is one of the leading disability charities in Eastern England, helping
people to achieve independence and fulfil ambition by enabling them to access
appropriate training, employment and housing.

Leaflet 2

                         THE PAPWORTH TRUST

Papworth Trust offers disabled people the opportunity to progress and achieve their
full potential in three key aspects of their lives: work, home and leisure.

We are a registered charity. We also operate a registered social landlord (RSL) and
receive substantial financial support from the Housing Corporation for new housing.
As a charity we are non-profit making. This does not mean that financial surpluses
cannot be made on some activities, however, it does mean that any surpluses made
have to be used to further the objectives of the charity.

We have a Board of Trustees, all unpaid people who give their services on a
voluntary basis, and who, by law, are unable to benefit financially from the charity in
any way. They nevertheless have the legal responsibility for ensuring that the affairs
of the charity are properly conducted in accordance with its objectives. A Sub-
committee, the Housing Committee, concentrates solely on housing issues. The
Trustees delegate the day-to-day running of the Trust to a paid Executive Committee
led by the Chief Executive.

Trustees                              Senior Management Group
Mr H Duberly CBEDL (Chairman)         Adrian Bagg    Chief Executive
Mr A Bridgewater (Treasurer)
Mrs S Marshall                        David Oldham Director of Finance
Cllr A Barnes                         Matthew Lester Direct of Employment
Mrs L Hoggarth
Mrs J Pearson
                                      Sarah Coward Director of Development
                                      Wendy Godfrey Head of Human Resources
                                                   and Training

The provision of the housing service is further delegated as follows:
Housing Office Staff                                              Contact Numbers
Jan Blake             Supported Living Manager                       01480 357220
Hazel Abram           Housing Officer                                01480 357294
Heather Blaney        Housing Administrative Assistant               01480 357237
Ruth Johnson          Senior Independent Living Advisor              01223 833438
                      (based at Sawston)             Or Mobile       07887 903685
Sheila Sneezum        Independent Living Advisor
Revonnia Gwewera      Independent Living Advisor                       01480 357242
Fiona Hay             PA                                               01480 357287
Anwen Hughes          Housing Development and Maintenance
                      Manager                                          01480 357247
Yogesh Makwana        Maintenance Supervisor                           01480 357261
Mary Ronan            Maintenance Assistant                            01480 357233

Leaflet 3

THE PAPWORTH TRUST            - Complaints Procedure
                              - Resident’s Association
                              - Tenant Consultation Policy
Complaints Procedure

1. Should you have a complaint about any aspect of the housing service, or regarding
your treatment as a tenant, you should first raise the matter with the Head of Housing

2. If you are is not satisfied with the response from the Head of Housing Services you
should write, giving reasons, to the Chief Executive who will investigate the matter
and provide a written reply.

3. There is the Housing Ombudsman service which can investigate complaints about
the performance and efficiency of a registered social landlord should you have
exhausted the landlord’s own complaints policy.

4. Having exhausted the above procedures tenants have the right to contact the
Independent Housing Ombudsman Service at Norman House, 105–109 Strand,
London WCR2 OAA Tel: 020 7836 3630.

If you have any enquiries regarding this procedure please contact the Housing Office,
The Papworth Trust, Papworth Everard, Cambridge CB3 8RG Tel: 01480 357294

Residents’ Association - Do You Want a Say In How Your Property Is
Managed ??

We actively encourage resident participation throughout the Trust covering all the
services we provide. This represents a great challenge to us and we need your help.

The Residents’ Association is a valuable organisation through which the views of
tenants are heard. Members meet in Papworth every two months and often a
representative from the housing office is invited to aid communication between
residents and the Trust.

Housing Committee is a sub-committee which oversees all aspects of our work on
housing related issues such as prioritising expenditure on maintenance and
improvement works, developing new initiatives and ensuring the provision of an
efficient and effective service to residents. There are two tenant representative
members of Housing Committee who are therefore very involved in the decision
making process and overseeing the provision of services to residents.

The Residents’ Association would welcome your support, especially if you are a new
tenant and is anxious that it represents all interests in the community. If you wish to
find out more about the Residents’ Association please contact the housing office.

Tenant Consultation Policy

1.We will consult you on proposed changes to housing activities that are likely to
substantially affect you.

2.Consultation will precede significant change in policy or practice in the
following areas: -

       a)      Housing management
       b)      Maintenance and improvement
       c)      Development
       d)      Provision and cost of services

3.There are many ways of consulting and we will select the most effective method
depending upon the circumstances. The method of consultation employed will
usually be one of the following: -

       a)      Letter - the easiest way of communicating a simple issue.
       b)      Detailed discussion with tenants individually - for example when
               alterations or improvements are proposed to particular dwellings.
       c)      Meeting tenants collectively - for example to discuss proposed
               changes to the provision of services.
       d)      Using the newsletter - particularly useful in keeping tenants advised
               on the outcome of the consultation exercise.

4. We encourages the formation of residents’ associations and welcome the role
played by existing associations. Practical support will be given by way of
administrative help, where possible, and facilities for the proper conduct of business.

5. When assessing the response to a consultation exercise we will have regard to the
balance of views expressed and the proportion of tenants who expressed them.
Similarly with a residents’ association the representative nature of members will be
taken into account.

6. We will provide a reasoned response to indicate the outcome of any consultation

7. Where works of an urgent nature are required, The Trust reserves the right to take
whatever action it deems necessary to deal with the emergency without prior notice.

Leaflet 4

THE PAPWORTH TRUST                 Equal Opportunities Policy
                                   Access to Personal Information


1.The nature of our work dictates that in terms of employment and housing
opportunities priority is given to people with disabilities.

2. In all other respects it is our policy to ensure that no job applicant nor employee,
nor housing applicant, nor tenant, receives less favourable treatment by reason of sex,
race, nationality, colour, ethnic origin or marital status.

3. In so doing it is our intention to abide by the Race Relations Act and commission
for Racial Equality Codes of Practice in relation of employment and housing. We
will also comply with the law in respect of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

4. Monitoring systems will test our performance, in terms of access of physically
disabled people to employment and housing and also for ethnic minority groups,
despite operating principally in a community where the ethnic population is minimal.
(The ethnic population of South Cambridgeshire is approximately 1.3%).

5. We expect all individuals and organisations that are involved in our activities to
respect the Equal Opportunities Policy.


The 1984 Data Protection Act gives people a statutory right to see and check details
about themselves which are held in the form of computer data.

We presently only holds tenants’ names, addresses and telephone numbers and lists
of repairs reported on computer. However, on written application arrangements will
be made for you to see and check these details.

Similarly, we will also allow tenants, former tenants and applicants for tenancies
reasonable access to other personal information held about themselves or members of
their family (other than that provided in confidence by third parties). If the tenant,
former tenant or applicant considers the records inaccurate, he or she will be allowed
to correct, or record his/her disagreement with, the information held by the

Leaflet 5

Rent policy statement

We will set rents within the following parameters :

   Rents will be consistent having regard to the age, size, location and facilities of
    the property

   In keeping with the philosophy of enabling disabled people to progress towards
    more independence in their lives, rents will not act as a disincentive to tenants’ to
    move from benefit into work

   Rents will be set to achieve a balance between what is realistic for tenants and at
    a level that can ensure Papworth achieves its objectives in terms of the quality
    and effectiveness of management and maintenance

In terms of affordability Papworth adopts the National Housing Federation’s
definition that

“ Rents are affordable if the majority of working households taking up new tenancies
are not caught in the poverty trap, because of dependency on Housing Benefit, or
paying more than 25% of their net income on rent”

Secure Tenancies (Fair Rents)

   We will apply to the Rent Service every two years to re-register the rents of
    secure tenants

   When making application to the Rent Service regard will be made to rents
    registered for similar properties in the locality and the income required to meet
    the housing business plan

   These factors will also be considered when deciding whether to apply the
    registered rent; or to apply a rent below that registered by the Rent Officer; or to
    make an appeal to the Rent Assessment Committee should the registered rent be
    deemed too low

Assured Rents

   Assured Rents will be calculated using the Governments new rent restructuring
    policy which will reflect the various characteristics and attributes applying to
    each property

Leaflet 6


We are required to charge Fair Rents for all properties let on a Secure Tenancy. If
you moved into your home before 1 January 1989 your tenancy will be Secure. The
rents charged for these tenancies are set by the Rent Service, and are reviewed every
two years.

We will make application to the Rent Service for re-registration three months prior to
the expiry date of the prevailing Fair Rent.

The revised Fair Rent will have regard to fair rents registered for similar properties in
the locality and to the rate of inflation.

The application will also propose the service charge where applicable, which will be
calculated to cover the cost of providing any services available to the property.

The tenant(s) will be notified in writing of the proposed revision to the Fair Rent by
the Rent Officer, who will also arrange a consultation meeting with the tenant(s) if

The Trust will be represented at consultation meetings to answer any queries raised
by the tenant(s) or the Rent Officer.

Upon notification from the Rent Service of a Fair Rent being registered, we will
consider the reasonableness of the Fair Rent and if felt necessary will consider
making an appeal to the Rent Assessment Committee. The tenant(s) have a similar
right to appeal.

If we are satisfied with the newly registered Fair Rent, or following determination by
the Rent Assessment Committee, we will give at least four weeks’ written notice to
the tenant(s) of the increase in rent.

The ‘Registered Fair Rent’ as set by the Rent Service every two years is the
maximum rent we can charge for the property from the date of registration.

Our current policy for Secure Tenancies is to charge the current registered Fair Rent
for the property. This will maintain consistency and equality between rents paid for
different properties as the rent officer sets a rental figure for each property taking into
account it’s size, location and attributes available in the property.

Leaflet 7

Rent Payments
Housing Benefit

RENT PAYMENTS: Rent payments can be made in one of the following ways: -

-       In person at the Housing Office
-       By Standing Order through a bank or building society
-       By deduction from wages or salary if you work for The Trust

Please note that rent payments are due weekly in advance.

If you have any queries/problems over rent please do not hesitate to contact Housing
Office staff. Any discussions and special arrangements needed to clear the arrears
will be treated with complete confidentiality. Please do not ignore rent arrears - keep
staff informed of any problems.

Housing Office
opening hours are: Monday           9am to 1pm
                      Tuesday       9am to 1pm & 4pm to 6pm
                      Wednesday 9am to 1pm
                      Thursday 9am to 1pm
                      Friday        9am to 1pm
(Please note that whilst the housing office is closed for rent payments and personal
visits between 1pm and 5pm staff but can be contacted by telephone during the


Housing Benefit is a government scheme administered by The Local Authority

Many tenants receive Housing Benefit and pay a reduced rent. The amount of benefit
is calculated by reference to the household income and the number of persons living
in the household.

Don’t pay more than you have to! If you think you may be entitled to Housing
Benefit, however small the sum, an application form is available from the Council or
the Housing Office.

NB: A copy of The Trust’s Rent Arrears Policy may be obtained on request from the
Housing Office.

Leaflet 8

Support Service

If you are living in supported accommodation your rent will include an amount for
certain services provided. The list of services will include:

1.   The support service.
2.   Emergency alarm system.
3.   Communal T.V. licence.
4.   Common rooms.
5.   Gardening of common areas.

Further details of the actual services provided (and the amount of service charge
payable) can be obtained from the Housing Office. The support service is managed
by the Care Services Manager.

The support staff work a rota and their principal duties include:

1. Answering emergency alarm calls and responding as appropriate i.e. contacting
emergency services and/or relatives, arranging access and offering reassurance to the
person in difficulty.

2. To maintain regular contact with tenants; being available to provide general
support if needed.

3. To administer and supervise the satisfactory day-to-day running of the supported

At times when neither warden is on duty the emergency alarm system is switched
over to Peterborough City Council Central Control. Please ask the warden for details
on how this works.

Leaflet 9


It is our responsibility to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the property.
This includes items such as: -

   Roof, gutters, external pipes.

   Outside walls, doors, window frames and other external timbers. including
    external painting.

   Pathways, steps or other means of access.

   Internal walls, floors and ceilings, doors and door frames.

   Skirting and thresholds but not internal painting or decoration.

   Garages and external stores.

We will, (in according with its statutory obligations) keep in good repair and working
order the installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity, for sanitation and
for space and water heating such as: -

   Water pipes, gas pipes and electrical wiring.
   Basins, sinks, baths, toilets, flushing systems and waste pipes.

   Water heaters, boilers, fireplace, warm air heaters and radiators.

   Sockets and light fittings.

Please note: we will only attend to items that have become faulty through fair wear
and tear and not through the fault or misuse by the tenant.

It is your responsibility to keep in good order and repair the interior of the property
including such items as:-

   Internal painting and decorating.

   Light bulbs and fuses.

Please note it is your responsibility to maintain glazing to windows and doors where
damage has occurred for any reason other than ‘fair wear and tear’. We strongly
advise tenants to ensure that their home contents insurance policies cover
replacement of damaged glass.

Leaflet 9 Continued


You can report a repair direct to our maintenance contractor – Anglia Maintenance
Services by phoning them direct on a Freephone nunber Tel:0800 1694505 this line
is open 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. You will be
asked for details of the repair and when access can be gained to attend to the repair.

Staff will discuss the urgency of the repair with you and the following can be given as
guidelines: -

Emergency Repairs - Repairs required to avoid danger to health, a risk to the safety
of residents or serious damage to buildings. These repairs will normally be attended
to within 24 hours.

Urgent Repairs - Repairs which materially affect the comfort or convenience of the
tenant. These repairs will normally be attended to within 7 working days.

Non Urgent Repairs - All other repairs will normally be attended to within 21 days.

Please remember that the above are only guidelines. In many cases it is possible to
attend to emergencies the same day or to attend to urgent repairs within 2 or 3 days.
However, occasionally, if a spare part needs to be ordered for example, it may take
longer than indicated to complete the job. If a repair is not completed within the
guideline time given by Anglia Maintenance Services please call them immediately.
If you are not satisfied with their response contact Yogesh Makwana, Maintenance
Supervisor (tel: 01480-357261) at the Housing Office or another member of the
Housing Office staff.

If you have an emergency repair problem when the Housing Office is closed
please telephone 0845 7573842.

This Freephone number will connect you to the Homeserve National Service Control
Centre. Trained controllers will take details of the repair problem and call out a local
contractor to attend.

NB: The ‘Right to Repair’ policy gives tenants the right to compensation if repair
work is not carried out within the agreed timescale. Please ask at the Housing Office
for details.

Leaflet 10


Tenancies granted before 15th January 1989 are known as ‘secure tenancies’.
Tenancies granted by the Trust since 15th January, 1989 are Assured Tenancies under
the 1988 Housing Act. The detailed conditions are given in the individual Tenancy
Agreements. ‘By and large’ the conditions for secure tenants and assured tenants are
the same and the following are some of the more important points.

Security of Tenure - Tenants have ‘security of tenure’. This means they can only be
required to give their home back to The Trust for specific reasons, Even then the
Trust must first obtain a Court Order and prove to the court that it is reasonable for
possession of the property to be returned. The Trust will always attempt to discuss
the situation very fully with a tenant before the legal process is started. Examples of
reasons why The Trust may apply to the court for possession include serious and
persistent rent arrears, or serious nuisance or annoyance to neighbours.

Succession - If a tenant dies (where the tenancy is held by one person) the tenancy
will automatically pass to the tenants’ spouse who is living in the home. If there is no
spouse but other members of the tenants’ family have been living in the home for at
least twelve months, then the tenancy may pass to them.

Exchange - You have the right to exchange your tenancy with that of another tenant
of a registered housing association or a local authority. Our written consent must be
obtained before moving. This can only be withheld on specific grounds.

Lodgers - A lodger may be taken in without asking permission from The Trust.
However, The Trust must be informed of the lodger’s name, age and sex in order that
The Trust may carry out its legal duty to ensure the property is not overcrowded. Our
written permission is required to sub-let or assign the property.

Improvements - There is no reason why you cannot carry out alterations to improve
your home. However, you must receive written permission first. Consent will only
be refused if the proposal is unreasonable or structurally unsatisfactory, or does not
meet planning and building regulations.

(Please ask at the Housing Office for details on ‘The Right to Compensation for
Improvements’ Policy).

Transfers - We will consider applications for transfers from existing tenants and
priority will be given to those who have a genuine need to move home, for example: -

a) To improve the quality of life, for example a move to accommodation on one level
or to relieve a medical condition.

b) The applicants’ household size no longer matches the size of their present home.

c) For older tenants the added security of a move to sheltered accommodation will be
taken into account.

d) Other special grounds specified by the applicant.

We recognise that some tenants may have a desire to move without necessarily
having a genuine need to move as above. These applications will be considered but
with a lower priority.

Pets - We are normally quite happy for you to keep pets, providing they do not
disturb neighbours. If a pet does cause a nuisance the tenant will be held responsible.
For group houses/supported housing we have a specific policy regarding pets. Please
contact a member of staff at the Housing Office for further details.

Right to Buy – Papworth tenants are currently prevented from buying their homes by
regulation of the Housing Corporation. Tenants of our general housing in Papworth
cannot buy their homes as the village has less than 3,000 people. There is a general
rule that tenants living in supported housing cannot buy their homes. If you are
interested in purchasing a property there are a range of low cost home ownership
schemes that are managed by local authorities and other housing organisations which
may be of interest to you. Please contact a member of the Housing Office for further
advice about who to contact in your area.


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