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					private sector

   our promise to you
          Private sector housing – Our promise to you
Private Sector Housing Assistance                         If you approach the
There are a number of teams that exist to support         EH Residential Team, we promise
                                                          w to return all calls for assistance within 5 working
owner occupiers, private sector tenants and landlords
across the borough.                                         days from your first contact with us
                                                          w to make any necessary visit to your home within a
This Service Promise outlines the level of service that
you can expect if you contact one of the private sector     further 10 working days to assess what action
housing teams.                                              needs to be taken

Housing Advice Team                                       Private Sector Grants Team
The Housing Advice Team provides advice and               The Private Sector Grants Team offers a range of
assistance with matters affecting private tenancies       grants to assist owner occupiers, tenants and private
such as rent increases and arrears, disrepair, security   sector landlords with
of tenure and other tenancy related matters. The
team also offers support and assistance to people         w repairs to their property

                                                          w disabled adaptations
experiencing harassment or illegal eviction by their
landlords and can provide rent deposits for people in
receipt of benefits.                                      w bringing empty homes back in to use

                                                          w energy efficiency
If you approach the                                       w home security
Housing Advice Team, we promise
w to offer advice about serious harassment or illegal     If you approach the Private Sector
  eviction on the same working day, if notified before    Grants Team, we promise
                                                          w to make you aware of the range of grants available,
w to respond to all other requests for assistance           and discuss with you whether you may be eligible
  within 5 working days                                     for assistance
                                                          w to send you an initial assessment form within 3
Environmental Health (EH)                                   working days
Residential Team
                                                          w to notify you of the outcome of the financial
The EH Residential Team deals with queries from             assessment within 3 weeks of the completed forms
private sector tenants who are concerned about the          being returned
standard of their accommodation. EH Residential can
also offer informal advice to private sector landlords    w to approve or refuse any grant application within
about standards in private rented accommodation.            1 month of receiving a valid application
           Private sector housing – Our promise to you
Lewisham Staying Put                                        w to keep all appointments unless a full 24 hours
                                                              notice is given, either by yourself or by us
Lewisham Staying Put acts as an agency service for
elderly, vulnerable and disabled homeowners who             w to clean up after any work that has been completed
need to carry out repairs and improvements to their
home. This could include providing support through          Empty Homes Team
the grant application process, appointing contractors
                                                            Lewisham Council is committed to bringing empty
to carry out works and supervising the works on site.
                                                            homes back into use. The Empty Homes Team works
                                                            in partnership with private owners and landlords to
If you approach Lewisham                                    explore why homes have been left empty and, as a
Staying Put service, we promise                             last resort, enforcement action can be taken to
                                                            ensure that homes are not left empty. The Empty
w to respond to your initial enquiry within 3 working       Homes Team also deals with grant assistance in
                                                            certain circumstances.
w a caseworker will visit you in your home within 5
  working days of a request, if you are unable to visit     If you approach the
  the office
                                                            Empty Homes Team, we promise
Handyperson Service                                         w to respond to requests for advice and assistance
                                                              within 5 days of receipt
The Handyperson service provides practical assistance
to vulnerable, disabled and elderly households who          w to respond to complaints about empty properties
need minor works carried out in their home. The               within 10 days. The complaint will then be
service is available to owner occupiers, private tenants,     investigated to determine what action should be
housing association tenants and council tenants. The          taken
service provides up to two hours free labour to carry
out minor works such as changing light bulbs, refixing      If you contact any of the Private Sector
loose floor coverings and fitting smoke alarms. The         Housing Teams, we also promise
only charge is the cost of any materials needed.
                                                            w to respond to messages left on our voicemail
                                                              within 24 hours of receipt of the message
If you require assistance from the
Handyperson service, we promise                             w to treat you with respect and keep your details
w to complete all works within 1 month, with priority
  given to the most urgent cases                            w to arrange interpreting services for you if you have
                                                              difficulties understanding English
w if demand exceeds the capacity of the scheme, a
  waiting list will be operated with priority given to      w all our staff will wear visible identification when
  the most urgent cases                                       visiting you in your home and can agree a
                                                              password with you in advance of a visit if you wish
Making a complaint                                       Contacting us
If you feel that we have broken this promise, or you     Private Sector Housing Unit
are not happy with the way you have been treated,        1st Floor, Capital House,
please write to the Private Sector Housing Unit or ask   47 Rushey Green, Catford, SE6 4AS
for a complaints form from the Service Review Team.

We will respond to your complaint within 10 working      Housing Advice Team
days.                                                       020 8314 7144
You will find more information in the Making a

                                                         Environmental Health Residential Team
Complaint about the Housing Service Service
Promise.                                                     020 8314 6420

                                                         Private Sector Grants Team
                                                             020 8314 6622

                                                         Lewisham Staying Put
                                                            020 8314 6344

                                                         Handyperson Service
                                                            020 8314 6309

                                                         Empty Homes Team
                                                            020 8314 8381

                                                         Other useful contacts
                                                         Housing Options Centre
                                                         For assistance if you become homeless or are
                                                         threatened with homelessness. For more information,
                                                         see the ‘Housing the Homeless’ Service Promise

                                                         3 Rosenthal Road, Catford, SE6 2BX

                                                             020 8314 7007 (day time)
                                                             020 8778 0877 (out of hours)

                                                         Service Review Team
                                                         If you need to make a complaint about any aspect of
                                                         the service you have received. For more information,
                                                         see the ‘Making a Complaint about the Housing
                                                         Service’ Service Promise
                                                         The Old Fire Station,

                                                         199 Perry Vale, Forest Hill, SE23 2JF
                                                             020 8314 6716
       The Service Development Team
               020 8314 7946

Produced by the Service Development Team   October 2004

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