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					Tenant
Handbook



A detailed handbook
providing information
for tenants of local
authority housing in
Cavan Town
Contents




Tenant Handbook ........................................................................................................0


Contents........................................................................................................................1


Introduction...................................................................................................................6


   But we also want to hear your views! ...................................................................6


   How can I contact the Council's Housing Department? ....................................6


   What will happen after I have given you my opinion? .......................................7


Your Housing Options ................................................................................................8


   What is meant by joint tenancy? ...........................................................................8


   How does the council decide who to allocate dwellings to? .............................8


   What happens if my spouse is the tenant and he/she dies or leaves? ..........8


   What happens to the tenancy if my parents are the tenants and they die or
   leave? ........................................................................................................................9


   What if my house is overcrowded? ......................................................................9


   What if my house is not suitable to my medical needs? ...................................9


   Will former tenants be re-housed by the Council? .............................................9


   Can I buy my dwelling? ....................................................................................... 10
   lf I surrender my dwelling, can the Council assist me in buying a private
   dwelling? ................................................................................................................ 10


   What is the shared the shared ownership option? .......................................... 11


Rent ............................................................................................................................ 11


   How can l pay my rent? ....................................................................................... 11


   How is my rent determined? ............................................................................... 12


   What if another person in the house is in receipt of income? ....................... 12


   How often does the Council review its Rent Scheme? .................................. 12


   What if my circumstances change?................................................................... 13


   What if I don't notify the Council when my circumstances change? ............ 13


   What can I do if I am unable to pay my rent? .................................................. 13


   How do I make an arrangement to clear rent arrears? .................................. 14


   Will I be taken to Court for rent arrears? .......................................................... 14


Tenant Participation ................................................................................................. 15


   A partnership in State Management.................................................................. 15


   Wilt tenants he involved in drawing up plans for their estates? .................... 15


   How can I become involved? ............................................................................. 15


Housing Maintenance .............................................................................................. 16


   What type of repairs am I responsible for? ...................................................... 16
Will the Council carry out any repairs I want? ................................................. 16


   Internal Repairs ................................................................................................ 16


   Doors and Windows ......................................................................................... 17


   External Repairs ............................................................................................... 17


   Electrical Repairs ............................................................................................. 17


   Plumbing Repairs ............................................................................................. 18


   Cooking and heating Appliances ................................................................... 19


   Requests for Repairs ....................................................................................... 20


   General Maintenance Topics ......................................................................... 21


Will the Council make an exception? ................................................................ 21


Must I insure the dwelling? ................................................................................. 21


Am I responsible for the garden or just the dwelling itself? ........................... 21


   General Tenant Responsibilities .................................................................... 22


Can I make alterations to my dwelling? ............................................................ 22


Can I have a Satellite Dish fitted? ..................................................................... 23


What about a new tenant? .................................................................................. 23


Can I keep pets in a rented dwelling? ............................................................... 23


General Housing Maintenance Tips .................................................................. 24
Danger of Fire ........................................................................................................... 26


   What should I do if fire breaks out? ................................................................... 26


   Older people and young children are most often the victims of fire. ............ 27


   What should t do if the chimney goes on fire?................................................. 27


   What is the advice about own fires? ................................................................. 28


   Should special care he taken with gas cylinders? .......................................... 28


   What should I do if my chip-pan goes on fire? ................................................ 28


       Your home is at risk of fire from: .................................................................... 29


Protecting your home............................................................................................... 29


Anti Social Behaviour............................................................................................... 30


   What happens if I disturb my neighbours? ....................................................... 30


   How will the Council deal with tenants who engage in Anti-Social
   Behaviour? ............................................................................................................ 31


Tenancy Conditions ................................................................................................. 31


   How does my Tenancy operate? ....................................................................... 31


   Vacant Dwelling .................................................................................................... 32


   Transfers................................................................................................................ 32


   Can Cavan Town Council refuse to make a transfer offer? .......................... 32


       Rent Arrears ...................................................................................................... 32
      Non Disclosure of Information ........................................................................ 33


Useful Telephone Numbers .................................................................................... 33


   Cavan Town Council............................................................................................ 33


   Cavan County Council, Housing Department .................................................. 33
Introduction

Cavan Town Council is pleased to give you a copy of its new Tenant
Handbook. As your landlord, Cavan Town Council is taking this opportunity to
remind you of the wide range of services available to you as one of our
tenants.


This handbook is an important element in the flow of information between
Cavan Town Council and its tenants. lt allows us to give you more and better
information about the Council and the way it operates.


In addition to the handbook, there are a range of leaflets, circulars, public
information notices and annual publications available. The back page flap
contains information on household appliances, their operation and
maintenance along with general information leaflets.


For your added convenience, a list of contact telephone numbers including
emergency numbers are included in this handbook


But we also want to hear your views!

We want to make sure that there is a two way flow of information and that we
provide a comprehensive customer service for this purpose. lf you have
something to say, we want to listen.


How can I contact the Council's Housing Department?

The Housing Department is responsible for the provision, management,
maintenance and control of Cavan Town Council's housing estates and
halting site.


You can call to the Housing Department Public Offices during office hours
(Monday to Friday - 9.15 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm).
You can give us your views on the services we provide.


We can he contacted at;


Cavan Town Council, Town Hall, Cavan Town, County Cavan


      Phone: (049) 437869A
      Fax: (049) 4331393
      Email : tcinfo@cavantc.ie


What will happen after I have given you my opinion?

We will take your views into account when making decisions affecting your
home and your neighbourhood. We may not be able to meet all of our tenants’
requests but we will do our best to provide a quality housing service.
Your Housing Options

Cavan Town Council provides suitable accommodation to qualified applicants,
in accordance with its Scheme of Priorities for Letting Housing
Accommodation. We allocate dwellings in a fair and reasonable manner. ln
doing so, we hope we have satisfied your housing needs.


However, changes in your household circurnstances may mean you have to
review your housing needs, and you should, therefore, be aware of all the
housing options open to you,


What is meant by joint tenancy?

Where a dwelling is allocated to a household which. includes a husband and
wife, joint tenancies will be created unless the Council decides otherwise. ln
cases other than husband and wife, joint tenancies may be created where it is
considered appropriate by the Council.


How does the council decide who to allocate dwellings to?

Dwellings are allocated to tenants according to the Council’s Scheme of
Letting Priorities.


What happens if my spouse is the tenant and he/she dies or
leaves?

Where death or departure of a tenant takes place, the tenancy will normally be
given to the surviving spouse.
What happens to the tenancy if my parents are the tenants
and they die or leave?

On the death or departure of both parents, the tenancy will normally be given
to a son or daughter, irrespective of the number in the family, provided that
he/she has been living in the dwelling for at least two years immediately prior
to the death or departure of the tenant.


Each case will be examined on its merits. Where there is more than one
member of the household remaining in the dwelling, the tenancy will normally
be given to the one who, in the opinion of the Council, is most likely to keep
the household harmoniously together.


What if my house is overcrowded?

As a result of a tenants accommodation needs being reassessed it may be
possible for the Council to provide a bedroom extension to a tenant’s existing
dwelling, this can be done if it eliminates overcrowding.


What if my house is not suitable to my medical needs?

It may be possible for the Council to provide relevant alterations to the tenants
existing dwelling, following a reassessment based on the tenants certified
medical needs.


e.g. House with wheelchair ramps etc,


Will former tenants be re-housed by the Council?

Former Council tenants who apply for housing will only be placed on the
housing list if:
       The rent account on their previous tenancy is cleared.
       They complied satisfactorily during their previous tenancy with the
       Council's Letting Conditions.


Can I buy my dwelling?

You may buy your dwelling under the Council's Tenant Purchase Scheme,
providing you have been a tenant for at least 12 months. The purchase may
be financed from the tenants own resources, a loan from a bank or building
society etc., or by way of an annuity loan or shared ownership loan from the
Council.


Council loans are approved subject to income eligibility and rent payment
record.


lf you wish to purchase your home, you should first contact the Housing
Section. Your home will then be valued, appropriate discounts will be applied
(discount of 3% off the market value of the house for every year of tenancy up
to ten years plus relevant departmental new house grant) and you will be
notified of the net purchase price.


Please note that “special” houses such as 2 bedroom houses or apartments
cannot be purchased under the scheme.


lf I surrender my dwelling, can the Council assist me in buying
a private dwelling?

Yes. There are several ways you can achieve this:


       The Mortgage Allowance Scheme can help you if you wish to buy a
       private dwelling and surrender your existing dwelling to the Local
       Authority. This Scheme gives a subsidy towards mortgage pa yments
       over the first five years of the mortgage.
       You may be able to take out an Annuity Loan or avail of the Shared
       Ownership option to buy a private dwelling. Details are available from
       Cavan County Council www.cavancoco.ie


What is the shared the shared ownership option?

The shared ownership option is a housing scheme designed to enable people
on low incomes, who would not otherwise qualify for a mortgage, to buy a
house of their choice.


Under the scheme, the applicant initially buys a share (minimum 40%) in a
house and rents the remainder from the council, with an undertaking to buy
the remaining share within a 25 year period.


Please note that the Mortgage Allowance Subsidy Scheme does not
apply to loans under the shared ownership scheme.



Rent

The Rents Section will assess your rent and deal with any queries you may
have about your account, method of payments, arrears or evictions. Some
general questions are answered below but you can call the Housing Section
during office hours with more specific queries in relation to your account.


How can l pay my rent?

It is the Council's policy to provide it's tenants with as broad a range of
payment methods as possible. Methods include:


   1. Through your Local Revenue Collector.
   2. Household Budget Scheme - deductions from Social Welfare (details
       from your local Post Office)
   3. Rent and Annuity by Direct Debit.
   4. ln person at the Town Council Housing Office.
              Tuesday &Thursday 9:30am to 7:00pm.
              Friday 2:00pm to 3:00pm.
   5. Cheque, Postal Order (no cash) through the postal system.
   6. Wage deduction (in relevant cases)
   7. M.A.B.S. (Money Advice & Budgeting service)


How is my rent determined?

It is determined using the Council's Differential Rent Scheme. Rents are
assessed on total household income in a manner which ensures that the
amount you are charged in rent is reasonable and does not lead to undue
financial difficulties. A detailed copy of the Scheme is available from the
Housing Section on request.


What if another person in the house is in receipt of income?

All household income is assessable for rent. The person with the highest net
income is the principal income earner, whether he/she is the named tenant or
not. lf there are subsidiary income earners, the rent is adjusted accordingly.


How often does the Council review its Rent Scheme?

The Council reviews its rent scheme every year. We charge rent based on the
latest information available about your household income/circumstances.
What if my circumstances change?

You should keep the Council informed of any change in household
circumstances which may result in an increase or decrease in your rent
payable. For example, you should let us know when:


       A person in your household gets a job.
       A person with an income joins the household.
       A person in the household starts claiming Social Welfare.
       There is a death in the household.
       There is a birth in the household.


You should notify us of these changes by contacting the Housing Section and
your rent will be adjusted.


What if I don't notify the Council when my circumstances
change?

When changes in your circumstances come to light, your rent will be
reassessed and amended if appropriate.


What can I do if I am unable to pay my rent?

The way in which your rent is calculated means that you should be able to
afford your weekly rent. I for any reason,-you are unable to pay your rent,
please inform the Council immediately.


It is much better if you inform the Council of your difficulties at the outset,
always try to avoid allowing your rent account fall into arrears. tf you are in
arrears, the sooner you tackle the problem the better.
How do I make an arrangement to clear rent arrears?

You should contact the Housing Office or your local Revenue Collector. The
next step is to work out a reasonable pa n to clear off the arrears and agree
this plan with the Housing Office and Revenue Collector. Once you make an
agreement, it is imperative that you adhere to it, and your arrears will reduce,
and the Council will be satisfied even if it takes a while to clear the arrears
completely.


Will I be taken to Court for rent arrears?

Yes, if you refuse to come to a reasonable agreement or if you don’t keep to
the agreed plan, the Council will serve a Notice-To-Quit and take you to court.
This will lead to eviction. Once at the eviction stage you are still responsible
for all of the arrears and legal costs.
Tenant Participation

A partnership in State Management

When you are allocated a dwelling by the Council, you became more than just
a tenant. You became a member of the Community in which you live. The
Council encourages you to become actively involved in your estate and is
eager to hear your views and suggestions on how your estate can be
improved .


Wilt tenants he involved in drawing up plans for their estates?

The preparation of and carrying out of these plans will involve the tenants and
the statutory and voluntary bodies all working together for the good of the
community. Only in this way can the social, recreational and environmental
needs of estates be met.


How can I become involved?

We want you as a tenant to participate and have a say in running youf estate.
Don't leave it to the Council or to other tenant, join with us by working through
your Tenants Association, and help make your estate a better place to live.
We will listen to what you have to say, after all you have expert local
knowledge.


lf there is no Tenant Association operating in your area and you and your
neighbours are interested in establishing one, why not find out more by ringing
the Council.
Housing Maintenance

What type of repairs am I responsible for?

Each tenant, on the signing of his/her tenancy agreement, assumes
responsibility for repairs of a non-structural nature. The Council will carry out
all other repairs, assuming your rent is paid up to date. The tenant will be
responsible for repairing all damage to the dwelling not caused by fair wear
and tear.


Will the Council carry out any repairs I want?

No. A clear division of repair responsibility between the Council and it’s
tenants has been defined.


The following are the main types of repair that are the responsibility of
the tenant under the tenancy agreement:


Internal Repairs

   (a) Internal plaster cracks and all damage to internal wall finishes.
   (b) Repairs to or replacement of cupboards, wardrobes; kitchen units and
       their doors, hinges, handles, locks, catches and drawers.
   (c) Curtain rails and window boards.
   (d) Chimney sweeping.
   (e) Repair arising from condensation damage.
   (f) Wall and floor tiles.
   (g) Internal woodwork such as floors, doors, door frames, window boards
       and skirting boards.
   (h) Ventilator covers.
Doors and Windows

   (a) Door furniture including letterbox, knocker etc including all external
      and internal locks and handles.
   (b) Window stays, catches, hinges and restrictors.
   (c) Draught proofing of doors and windows.
   (d) Replacement of broken glass.
   (e) Permavents where fitted.
   (f) Internal tiles on window sills and window boards.
   (g) All repairs to windows and doors arising from reasons other than wear
      and tear.
   (h) Timberwork on windows, internally, should be painted by the tenant on
      a regular basis (maximum interval of five years).


External Repairs

   (a) Maintenance of gardens and hedges in tidy conditions.
   (b) Repairs to, or replacement of fences and garden boundary wall/s
      erected by the Council and/or the tenant
   (c) Repairs to, replacement of, and re-erection of front gates, side gates or
      doors leading to garden areas.
   (d) Furl sheds or outhouses, including fuel shed and door fittings.
   (e) Cleaning of silt, leaves or other deposits from gutters, eaveshutes and
      downpipes.
   (f) All damage to external wall finishes.
   (g) Maintenance and repair of footpaths, drives and entrances.


Electrical Repairs

N.B. Where it is the tenant’s responsibility to repair and electrical fitting
or installation, the work should be carried out by a qualified and
competent electrical contractor. Where such a contractor carries out
electrical work in a council dwelling, the name and the business address
of the contractor must be sent to the Housing Maintenance Section
together with a brief description of the work carried out.


Repairs to damaged wiring and electrical fittings provided by the
Council will be carried out by the Council, but where such damage
arises from reasons other than fair wear and tear, the tenant is
responsible and will be required to pay the cost of repair and
replacement.


   (a) Ceiling roses, lamp holders and plugs.
   (b) Fuses, except mains fuses.
   (c) Elements for electric fires. All repairs to electric appliances, fires and
      heaters installed by the council.
   (d) Replacement of light bulbs and any bulbs that may be required for pilot
      lights.
   (e) The repair of light switches.
   (f) The repair of the electrical connections to the water heating cylinder.
   (g) Repair or replacement of immersion heater.
   (h) Repairs to all appliances including electrical and their ancillaries, which
      are supplied by the Council.


Plumbing Repairs

   (a) Repairs to burst pipes in the dwelling caused by frost or freezing
      temperatures and consequent damage to contents.
   (b) Cleaning of gully traps.
   (c) Cost of clearing a blocked house drain where a dwelling is served a
      single drain and the apportioned cost of clearing a combined drain.
   (d) Replacement or repair of waste pipes inside the dwelling.
   (e) Clearing air locks in pipes
   (f) Replacement or repair of taps on sink unit and wash hand basins
      including leaking and dripping taps.
   (g) Replacement or repair of toilet bowl except if it is cracked and leaking
      through fair wear and tear.
   (h) Replacement or repair of wash-hand basin except if it is cracked and
      leaking through fair wear and tear.
   (i) Replacement or repair of bath except if it is cracked and leaking
      through fair wear and tear.
   (j) Replacement or repair of toilet cistern and cover except if it is cracked
      and leaking through fair wear and tear.
   (k) Replacement or repair of ball-cock or other flotation control device
      within the unit.
   (l) Replacement or repair of toilet seat, chains and handles.


Cooking and heating Appliances

   (a) Solid fuel, gas or other heating or cooking appliances installed by the
      tenant(s).
   (b) The basket/grate in all fireplaces and Council installed solid fuel
      cookers.
   (c) Repair and replacement of tiles on fireplace/hearth.


The housing maintenance section is responsible for the following types
of structural repairs to rented dwellings:


   (a) Roofs (including tiles/slates, ridge cappings and barges)
   (b) External portion of chimneys and cappings.
   (c) Facias and Soffits.
   (d) External walls of dwelling house including plastering, rendering and
      blockwork/brickwork.
   (e) Windows and Sashes.
   (f) External doors and door frames.


In the interests of providing an improved housing maintenance service,
repairs are categorised as follows:
Emergency:

These are repairs carried out where there is a possible danger to human life.


Urgent:

These are repairs carried out quickly to avoid damage to the dwelling.


Routine:

These are medium priority repairs.


Requests for Repairs

If you have any queries about maintenance, you should contact the Town
Council office for which the telephone number is given on this page. It is
important to note that, except in the case of emergency repairs, regard will be
had to any arrears on a tenants rent account in dealing with their request for
repairs.


Housing Maintenance Office:

The Housing Maintenance Office is located in the Town Hall, Town Hall
Street, Cavan Town, County Cavan.


   (a) Tel: (049) 4378690
   (b) Fax: (049) 4331393
General Maintenance Topics

You are responsible for the repair of any wilful or malicious damage If the
Council undertakes repairs resulting from such damage, the cost of such
repairs will be charged to the tenant(s).


You are responsible for repairs to doors, windows, fixtures and fittings in the
dwelling caused by destruction or damage as a result of burglary, house
breaking, larceny or theft.


The position of your rent account will be examined on the receipt of a
maintenance request by the Council and the Council will undertake to carry
out those repairs for which it has responsibility, only when you have a clear
rent account.


Will the Council make an exception?

The Council considers requests to execute “tenant responsibility repairs”
where exceptional circumstances, such as old age, infirmity or disability make
it impossible for the tenant to do so. If you are an old age pensioner, and you
are unable to look after your house, you should contact the Housing
Maintenance Section for more information and assistance.


Must I insure the dwelling?

The Council insures the structure of the dwelling against fire and storm
damage. Therefore you are strongly advised to insure the contents of your
dwelling.


Am I responsible for the garden or just the dwelling itself?

You are responsible for both, and for any laneway/walkway adjoining your
house. Laneways should be kept in a clean condition and should not be used
for dumping. You are also responsible for the maintenance of walls, gardens,
gates and fences. In addition, you must make sure that you look after your
home and garden in a responsible manner.


Under the Litter Act, each householder is obliged to keep free of litter the
footpath and garden adjoining their property and also any road gully on or at
the side of the pavement.


Refuse should only be stored in a suitable covered bin for collection.


General Tenant Responsibilities

You are responsible for all priming, painting and decoration.


The fitting and supply of attic installation is also the responsibility of the
tenant.


Can I make alterations to my dwelling?

You must get the Council's agreement before starting any improvements,
alterations or additions to your home, and we must approve them first.


You may not make any alterations or modifications to the dwelling without
prior approval of Cavan Town Council.


Please contact the local engineer using the following details:


       Tel: (049) 4378690
       Fax: (049) 4331393


You may also need planning permission for certain works. All such alterations
become the property of the landlord, and are not removable by the tenant
upon termination of the tenancy nor is any compensation allowable in respect
of them.


In the case of certain unauthorised alterations carried out to the dwelling, the
Council may require full reinstatement of the original condition.


Can I have a Satellite Dish fitted?

The fitting of a satellite dish to any house may require planning permission, so
contact Cavan Town Council Office, if you intend to have one fitted.


What about a new tenant?

ln the case of a new tenant, it is the policy of the Council to bring the house up
to a tenantable condition. Where a dwelling is old, it must be appreciated that
it cannot be renovated to an "as new” state. The Council does not provide
central heating where an older house has become vacant.


Where transfers take place, the tenants involved must accept their new
dwellings in their existing condition. The Council will not accept responsibility
for fittings found to be faulty. Defects are sometimes found in fireplaces
installed by previous tenants. The new tenant is responsible for repairs in
such cases.


Can I keep pets in a rented dwelling?

You may keep a domestic pet, such as a cat, or a dog, as long as they don’t
become a nuisance to your neighbours. You are absolutely prohibited from
keeping horses in gardens or open spaces in housing estates. Horses,
poultry, pigs, and non domestic birds (including pigeons) are not pets.


Keeping any of these is a serious breach of your Tenancy Agreement.
Under the Control Of Dogs Act 1986, every dog should be licensed. A licence
costs €12.70 and is available from any Post Office or directly from the Council.
Failure to have a dog licenced or to keep a dog under proper control, may
result in an on-the-spot-fine of €30.00. Particular care should be taken to keep
your dog under control on bin day.


If you have a problems with stray dogs, please contact the dog warden
at (049) 4337545.


General Housing Maintenance Tips

      Notify Cavan Town Council Offices immediately, should a problem
      arise.
      You should be aware that electric live underground cable is laid from
      an ESB pole or mini pillar to the meter cabinet in your dwelling.
      Avoid damaging roof tiles by not allowing T.V. aerial/satellite dish
      installers to walk on the roof. Where possible use gable mounted
      brackets instead.
      Take all reasonable care when you are required to walk in the attic
      space and do not allow children in this area.
      Check your smoke detectors on a monthly basis at least.
      Read all instruction manuals carefully especially those which relate to
      showers, cookers, smoke detectors etc.
      Keep wall ventilators and window sashes open as frequently as
      possible.
      Avoid generating excessive amounts of steam in kitchen and showers
      as this type of moisture can lead to dampness and mould growth.
      Fit door stoppers to prevent wall/studding damage.
      Lubricate internal and external door locks and hinges annually.
      ln open fireplaces light small fires in the first instances to avoid cracking
      the fireback.
      Clean cooker/stove regularly and clean chimney flues at least twice a
      year.
Identify all stopcocks and wheel valves and label.
Operate water stop valve in your hot press and under your sink
regularly to prevent premature failure.
Check hot press pipe work, valves, cylinder etc. for leaks, removing
linen if necessary.
When heating system is not in use for long periods, i.e. summertime,
operate circulating pump fortnightly by turning thermostat to zero and
returning it to proper setting after the pump has run.
Remove boiler heat control plates during winter time.
Run cold water through electric showers after using.
Do not discharge foul waste water from washing machine, sink etc to
the storm water system.
Paint external woodwork regularly.
Danger of Fire

What should I do if fire breaks out?

Your first priority is to get everyone out of the house and then to call the Fire
Brigade. Most often when fire breaks out, so too do panic and error. Things
can happen very quickly and in a situation where seconds can save lives, you
and your family need to be able to act without hesitation.


       A rehearsed fire escape drill can make all the difference.
       Your fire drill at a glance:
       Together plan two escape routes from each room.
       Practice the plan until perfected.
       Close all doors behind you as you leave.
       The stairs are your primary escape route -keep them clear.
       If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll.
       Do not re-enter the house for any reason.
       Phone the Fire Brigade from a nearby outside phone or neighbours
       house.
       Decide on a meeting point outside the house near where the Fire
       Brigade is likely to arrive.


lf you are prevented from leaving via your primary escape route by smoke,
heat or fire, close the room door and stuff a blanket, sheets or clothes at the
bottom of the door to limit the spread of smoke into the room. Open the
window in the room fully, stay near the window and attract attention by waving
a piece of clothing/sheet and shouting for help. Only evacuate from an
upstairs window without assistance as a last resort. lf you are caught in a
smoke filled room, get down on your hands and knees as there may be a
layer of clearer air at floor level.
Older people and young children are most often the victims of
fire.

        Be sure to keep matches, candles and lighters out of the reach of
        children, and do not leave young children alone in the dwelling.
        lf you allow smoking in the house, provide large stable ashtrays.
        Always use secure fire guards with open fires.
        Do not smoke in bed.
        Switch off and unplug all appliances not in use at night.
        Install smoke alarms, and test regularly. lt is preferable to have a
        smoke alarm both upstairs and downstairs.
        Only one electrical appliance should be plugged into any outlet.
        At night, you should close doors to all rooms.
        Don't open a door if you suspect there is a fire in the room.
        All gas and electrical appliances should be used and serviced in
        accordance with Manufacturer's Instructions.
        Never cover convector or storage heaters.
        Always provide ventilation with Gas Heaters.
        At Christmas time it is very important that particular care is taken with
        Christmas tree lights and any lighted decorations.
        Electric blankets must be properly used or they can cause fire.
        Follow manufacturer’s instructions at all times.


What should t do if the chimney goes on fire?

Call the Fire Brigade. Close doors and windows to reduce the draught. lf
possible, move furniture and carpets away from the fireplace. Tenants are
advised to notify Cavan Town Council should a chimney fire occur in their
residence. After a chimney fire, get an experienced builder to check it for
damage and, if necessary repair the chimney and fireplace before using it
again and notify Cavan Town Council of any structural damage caused by the
chimney fire.
Get the chimney cleaned at least twice a year.


What is the advice about own fires?

Use a suitably stable fireguard and always check that it is in position before
going to bed. Never carry hot coals from one fireplace to another. Avoid
banking fires too high.


Should special care he taken with gas cylinders?

Yes, always keep cylinders upright and switch off at the regulator when not in
use,


Never seal ventilators, as it is important that each room with a gas heater has
adequate ventilation. Don't store cylinders indoors and return empty cylinders
promptly. Check flexible hoses and couplings regularly for signs of wear and
tear. Keep all portable heaters well clear of curtains and furniture and place
them where they cannot be knocked over. Gas or oil heaters should never be
moved when in use.


What should I do if my chip-pan goes on fire?

If a chip-pan catches fire, use a fire blanket or the correct extinguisher (i.e.
foam type or powder type) or smother the flames with a lid, large plate or a
well dampened towel. Do not attempt to move the pan or to use water to put
out the fire. Never leave a chip-pan unattended. lf you have to answer the
phone/door turn off the power and move the pan to a cold ring/hob.


Because the majority of fires start in the kitchen, you are strongly advised to
consider buying a thermostatically controlled chip-pan and a fire blanket or
extinguisher for the Kitchen.
Your home is at risk of fire from:

       Unattended cookers ( particularly at night )
       Cigarette smoking.
       Matches, open fires, candles, heaters.



Protecting your home

Garda statistics indicate that most house break-ins are carried out on the spur
of the moment.


There are a few simple steps that you can take to prevent a break-in.


       Always close your windows and lock the doors when you go out, even
       if it is only for a few minutes.
       Make sure that you do not leave tools cir ladders lying about in the
       garden of your home;
       Never leave keys on a string behind the letter box, hidden under the
       doormat or in other "secret” places. Thieves can usually find them.
       lf you have to go out at night time, consider leaving a light on in the
       bedroom or living room. You might consider fitting an automatic control
       which turns on a light at dusk.
       Controls like this are available from most large do-it-yourself stores.
       Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries when you go on holiday and tell
       a neighbour that you will be away.
       Never leave valuables lying around where they can be seen through a
       window.


Thieves may try to gain entry to your home by posing as officials or workmen.
Never let a stranger into your home unless you are certain of his/her identity.
Take the following precautions:
       Ask to see the caller's identity card. All officials carry one and will be
       pleased to show it.
       Take time to look at the identity card. Examine the photograph and ask
       the caller to spell his/her name.
       If the caller does not have an identity card ask them to call back later
       and use the extra time to check with the organisation they represent.
       Telephone the Gardai if you are suspicious.


If you are unfortunate enough to be burgled, it will improve your chances of
getting your property back if you have kept the serial numbers of equipment
and taken photographs of your personal property and valuables, e.g. bicycles,
televisions etc.



Anti Social Behaviour

The Council has adopted a very strong position where acts of anti-social
behaviour are proven. Offending tenants and their families will have their
homes repossessed.


Evictions will be carried out in all cases where tenants or members of their
household are involved in drug dealing or allow their dwellings to be used for
drug dealing. Tenants evicted will be regarded as having deliberately
rendered themselves homeless and will not be re-housed.


What happens if I disturb my neighbours?

You must make sure that you do not cause damage or become a nuisance to
your neighbours (e.g. excessive noise levels).


In particular this means:


       No drugs.
       No criminal activity.
       No violence or threats of violence.


How will the Council deal with tenants who engage in Anti-
Social Behaviour?

lf you are the subject of a complaint from your neighbours, the matter will be
fully investigated and if proven, immediate action to institute legal proceedings
will be taken.


This could result in you and your family being evicted from your home.



Tenancy Conditions

The conditions of your tenancy are set out in detail in your tenancy
agreement. For your convenience, the main points are summarised below:


How does my Tenancy operate?

The dwelling must be used as your main home. You must not, save with the
consent of the Council, cease to reside in your dwelling for more than six
weeks in any period of fifty two weeks.


       The dwelling must not be used for business purposes of any kind.
       Rent must be paid in full every week.
       You must give us full details of income and household circumstances.
       You must look after the dwelling properly.
       You must not make alterations to it without our permission.
       Authorised Officers of the Council must be, allowed to enter and
       inspect the dwelling at reasonable times or carry out necessary work.
       You must not take in lodgers or sub-tenants.
       You and your household (including visitors) must not cause nuisance,
       annoyance or disturbance to neighbours including:
          o Harassment or violence or threats of violence.
          o Unreasonably loud noise of any kind.


Tenants evicted for breach of these conditions will be regarded as having
deliberately rendered themselves homeless and will not be re -housed.


Vacant Dwelling

Vacant dwellings in an estate can become a target for anti-social behaviour. lf
you intend surrendering your dwelling, you must give us four weeks’ notice,
We can then make arrangements to have it re-let, and avoid any problems
associated with vacant units.


Transfers

Council Tenants in certain circumstances may, at the discretion of Cavan
Town Council, be considered for accommodation transfer.


Can Cavan Town Council refuse to make a transfer offer?

Yes. The Council may refuse to make a transfer offer in the following cases:


Rent Arrears

The council may refuse to make a transfer order if there are rent arrears or an
acceptable arrangement to clear the arrears has not been made and kept for
at least six months.
Non Disclosure of Information

The Council may also refuse to offer a transfer:


      Where a transfer applicant refuses to disclose any information, which is
      requested either for the purpose of assessing the application or for
      estate management purposes.
      Where a transfer applicant will not authorise the release of
      data/information about the applicant by other agencies where it is
      required for estate management purposes.
      Where a transfer applicant provides false or misleading information,
      either on the application form or at a subsequent interview.



Useful Telephone Numbers

Cavan Town Council

      Phone: (049) 4378690
      Fax: (049) 4331393
      Email: tcintb@cavantc.ie


Cavan County Council, Housing Department

      Phone: (049) 4372170
      Fax: (049) 4372735
      Email: housing@cavancoco.ie

				
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