Updated spring 2011
Information about your tenancy,
your home, and our services
This handbook has been produced by the
East Devon District Council Housing Service.
All information correct at time of printing.
Information about your tenancy,
your home, and our services
Page 3 Introduction
4 1 Your tenancy
8 2 Your rent
13 3 Repairs and improvements
16 4 About the improvement voucher scheme
18 5 Don’t get caught with unexpected costs
20 6 Safety and security in your home
24 7 Running a business from your council home
26 8 Neighbour nuisance and antisocial behaviour
28 9 Right to Buy
29 10 Services for the elderly and disabled
32 11 Changing your home
34 12 Ending your tenancy
36 13 Getting involved with the housing service
38 14 Customer care
40 15 Accessing our services
42 16 List of council contacts
44 17 How the Housing Service is organised
To request this information in an alternative
format or language please call 01395 516551
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We consider requests on an individual basis
Updated spring 2011
By John GoldinG, head of housinG
I am pleased to introduce you to this handbook. It also tells you how you can get involved in
It provides you with some useful information helping to make some of the decisions on
about your tenancy, your home, your rights and how the housing service is organised and run.
responsibilities as a tenant, and our rights and As the Head of the Housing Service for
responsibilities as your landlord. East Devon District Council, I am committed
By working together we can make sure that to making sure that an aﬀordable home of
these rights and responsibilities are respected. good quality is available to all households in the
This will help us to maintain a high quality of district, and that our tenants and leaseholders
service and allow you to enjoy a comfortable receive an eﬃcient and eﬀective housing
home. management service.
This handbook is designed so that you can East Devon District Council is keen to
quickly and easily look up what you need to work in partnership with you to ensure that
do in diﬀerent situations, for instance when you we continue to deliver good services and
need to pay your rent, or if you need to report that all of our tenants are satisﬁed with their
a repair. It provides information about the homes. We want you to enjoy living in your
services you can expect from us, for example home and in your neighbourhood. I hope you
if you report a problem with your neighbours. ﬁnd this handbook useful.
1 Your tenancy
1 Your tenancy • unless you are the tenant’s spouse or civil We expect our tenants to act in a
partner, you must have resided at the property responsible manner at all times and to have
for the last twelve months and be able to respect for the property, the surroundings
provide proof of this and the neighbours. These responsibilities
• you must not be in rent arrears and obligations apply to you, members of
• there must have been no previous succession your household and any other person living
• the size of your family must be appropriate to or visiting your home including children.
the size of the property. If you wish to run a business from your
home you will need to get our prior written
Only one succession is allowed by the Housing consent beforehand. More information is
Act 1985. This means, for example, that if a available in Section 7.
Secure tenancy Introductory tenants have most of the same wife succeeds to the tenancy on the death of You must keep the inside and outside of
Most of our tenants have a secure tenancy with rights as secure tenants but there are some her husband, then on her death the tenancy your home, including internal decoration,
us. As a secure tenant we will not interfere with rights that you do not have during the cannot pass, by succession, to anyone else who garage and any outbuildings, in a neat and tidy
your rights to occupy your home unless you introductory period. These include the right may otherwise be eligible. condition. You may be asked to repay any costs
break any of your obligations within the tenancy to buy your property and the right to take we have to pay for cleaning your home if you
agreement. in lodgers. Lodgers and subletting allow it to become dirty or infested with vermin.
We cannot make you leave your home A lodger is someone who lives with you and If you know that you will be leaving the
without getting a possession order from a Joint tenancies shares a room, or rooms, and the household property unoccupied for more than twenty-
County Court. Reasons why we may seek to A joint tenancy is a tenancy granted to two or facilities. Secure tenants may allow people to eight days please write to let us know of your
get a possession order would include: more (up to a maximum of four) people. If reside as lodgers at the property. If you do this future intention to return.
• refusal to pay your rent you are a joint tenant you should be aware that and receive Housing Beneﬁt, you need to notify
• misuse of our property each tenant is jointly and separately liable for the Housing Beneﬁt section, as it may aﬀect Use of loft space
• not living in the property as your principal home. the obligations under the tenancy agreement. your entitlement. In most council homes there will be hatches in
Also if one of the joint tenants ends the Subletting means making another tenancy the ceiling to allow access to the roof space or
Introductory tenancy tenancy the rights of the other tenant(s) will from all or part of the property. If you have loft. These are for authorised use only by
If you have become a tenant within the last end and they must leave the property, other a secure tenancy you may sublet part of the Council staﬀ and contractors. You must not use
twelve months you will have an introductory than in exceptional circumstances. property but only with our written consent. the loft space in the home without our written
tenancy. Introductory tenancies usually last for You must not sublet the whole property as this consent. We accept no liability should you use
twelve months from the tenancy start date but Your rights and obligations invalidates your tenancy and legal action will be the loft space and cause damage to any services
in certain circumstances an introductory tenancy as a tenant taken against you. such as electric cables, water pipes, insulation or
will be extended for a further six months. As a tenant you have certain rights and ceilings, or for any damage that may be caused
After the introductory period your tenancy obligations which are set out in the tenancy Living in and looking to personal items, personal injury to yourself,
will automatically become a secure tenancy agreement. We explain some of these below, after your home any member of your household or any visitors.
unless we have begun proceedings to end the and others are explained within this handbook. You must use the property only as a private Any such damage will be recharged to you.
tenancy due to a breach of the tenancy dwelling house (unless you have obtained our In exceptional circumstances we will give
agreement. Succeeding to a tenancy permission to run a business), and as your only permission for you to use the loft space but
when someone dies or principal home. you need to obtain our written permission
Breaches of the tenancy conditions include: ‘Succession’ is when a tenant dies and the You must not use your home for any beforehand.
• rent arrears tenancy can sometimes be taken over by improper, illegal, immoral or antisocial purpose.
• antisocial behaviour another member of the household. You must not commit an oﬀence in your home, Looking after your garden
• damage to the property or in the local area, which could lead to a Gardens and verges must be regularly trimmed,
• noise nuisance To succeed to a tenancy: conviction. well maintained and free from rubbish. Hedges
• failure to maintain gardens. • you must be a family member
4 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 5
1 Your tenancy 1 Your tenancy
should be trimmed at least once a year and kept consideration to the type and number of pets Westcountry Consortium Home Contents we are seeking to possess your home. The
below two metres in height. Any ditches or you have, and ensure that they are suitable for Insurance Scheme. This scheme has arranged tenancy can only be ended if we prove one
water courses should be kept free ﬂowing and the type of property in which you live. an aﬀordable home contents insurance policy of the grounds of possession set out in the
not obstructed in any way. If any animal you keep in the property through which tenants can protect their Housing Act 1985 and Housing Act 1996, and
Please do not remove any trees or causes nuisance, annoyance, damage or a public belongings. The scheme is open to all tenants the court considers our action reasonable and
boundary hedges without our written consent, health risk to anyone in the local area, including and leaseholders of East Devon District gives a possession order.
or plant any trees, hedges or large shrubs which our employees or representatives, we can Council. If you would like further information If you are joint tenants, you are both (all)
are likely to become dangerous, cause nuisance ask you to remove it or take legal action for about this please call 01395 517453 or email responsible, individually and together, for
to your neighbours or damage to property. If breaching the nuisance clause of your tenancy email@example.com. keeping to all the conditions of your agreement.
you are in doubt please seek our advice. agreement. This includes paying rent.
The rights and duties If you are on an introductory tenancy we
Help with your garden Access to your home of the Council cannot bring your tenancy to an end without
For a small annual charge, we oﬀer a garden You must allow our employees or Your tenancy agreement gives you the right to ﬁrst serving a Notice of Seeking Possession –
maintenance service to tenants who are not representatives reasonable access to your live in the property. We will not interfere with Introductory Tenancy. The court will then
capable of doing the work themselves and who home to inspect its condition, do repairs or your rights to occupy your home unless you consider if our action is reasonable and
meet certain criteria. For further details please improvements to the property or an adjoining contravene any of your obligations within your proportionate, and if they do, give a possession
contact Landlord Services on 01395 516551 or property, or to deal with any health and safety tenancy agreement or any of the following order.
email firstname.lastname@example.org. issue including the annual safety inspection and conditions apply:
servicing of the Council’s gas appliances. • You are living in a property which is one of a
Parking your car or other vehicles We will give you reasonable notice if we group let to people with special needs, or Need to get in touch?
You may park a vehicle within the boundaries require such access. In an emergency we may which we built or adapted for a person with Please see Section 16
of your property if you have a properly have no alternative but to enter your home a disability, and:
constructed hard standing with a pavement- without notice by any necessary means. • you no longer need that type of home
kerb crossing. If you wish to construct a hard Emergency means a situation that could cause • we need the property for someone else
standing please write to us for permission. personal injury or damage to your home or with special needs.
We may be able to provide you with a grant a neighbouring home. • You ﬁnd another home or you stop using the
for part of the costs. All our oﬃcers and contractors carry property as your only or main home.
You may not park a vehicle which is not identiﬁcation which you should ask to see. If • You have given false and misleading
taxed or which is un-roadworthy on the you are concerned about anyone calling on our information to get the tenancy.
property or on any council housing land. If you behalf please telephone us to conﬁrm their • We need to carry out redevelopment or
wish to park boats, caravans, trailers or small identity before you allow them access. major repairs to the property or surrounding
trade vehicles on the property you must ﬁrst area, which we cannot do unless you move out.
get our written permission. Any vehicles larger Insurance • We have a legal duty to undertake a safety
than a transit size (3.5 tonnes or over) will not We insure our council dwellings and in the inspection of the Council’s gas appliances and
be allowed under any circumstances. event of ﬁre, lightning, storm or ﬂood we you fail to give access for this work to be
You must not do large-scale car repairs on would claim on our insurance for the cost of carried out.
the land around the property, on car parking repairing or rebuilding the property. We do We will give you an opportunity to explain
areas or on the road. not insure any contents that belong to you or your actions, and any mitigating circumstances,
any improvements that you may have carried and put right any breach of the tenancy
Keeping pets out. We strongly urge that you have your own conditions, where possible, before we
If you are a secure tenant you may keep a contents insurance. commence possession proceedings.
domestic pet or pets in your home provided Contents insurance is available from a If you are a secure tenant we cannot bring
they are well cared for and kept under number of insurance companies. Alternatively, your tenancy to an end without ﬁrst serving a
proper control. We ask that you give careful East Devon District Council is part of the Notice of Seeking Possession, telling you why
6 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 7
2 Your rent
2 Your rent What should I do if I will be referred to the County Court to seek
have rent arrears? a Possession Order on your home.
Dwelling tenants If you are having problems 4 At the Court Hearing the District Judge will
paying your rent please contact us. A member normally grant a Suspended Possession Order,
of staﬀ will be pleased to discuss your problems which means that you will be required to pay
in conﬁdence. We can give advice and assistance the rent as it falls due plus a ﬁxed sum each
to prevent and resolve rent arrears. If necessary week towards your arrears of rent. At the
we can visit you at your home. A home visit can hearing we will also seek an order for costs,
be arranged within two working days. Please which can vary between £150 and £230. These
telephone 01395 517444 to arrange this visit. costs will be added to your arrears of rent.
If you are on a low income, you may be 5 If you do not keep to the terms ordered by the
How to pay your rent At your bank or building society You can entitled to Housing Beneﬁt. If you would like to District Judge, the County Court will be made
Rent is due and payable fortnightly, monthly pay at the bank or building society where you ﬁnd out more information or details on how to aware of your default and we will request the
or every four weeks in advance. Fortnightly are a customer, either at the counter or by bank make a claim, please contact the Beneﬁt Service Court to issue a Possession Warrant, which the
payments are due on the ﬁrst Monday of each standing order. on 01395 517446 or visit our oﬃces at Knowle, County Court Bailiﬀ will serve and execute to
fortnightly period. Please refer to your rent Sidmouth, open Monday to Friday 8.30 am to take possession of your home.
book for these dates. Monthly payments are By standing order Please check with your 5 pm, or visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk for further
due on or before the eighth day of each month. bank or building society that your account will information. We do everything possible to prevent evictions
You can pay your home or garage rent in any accept this payment method. Contact the but, as a last resort, we will evict tenants if they
of the following ways. Housing Rents team for more details on how Garage tenants Garage rents are very do not pay their rent. Please do not ignore the
to set up a bank standing order. reasonable and we will not tolerate any unpaid problem. We can try to help you resolve it.
At any Post Oﬃce You can pay at any Post rent on these tenancies. If rent is not paid a
Oﬃce using your rent book. You will not have Pay online through your own bank If you Notice to Quit will be served and, at the end Debt advice
to pay any counter fee. have an online banking facility with your own of that period of notice (usually twenty-eight If your rent is not paid, the money owed is
bank, please use the Council’s bank details days), we will change the locks and repossess called ‘rent arrears’. Rent arrears are priority
By telephone Use your debit or credit card shown below when making a payment. the garage. debts. This means that the consequences of not
when paying by telephone. Please telephone dealing with them are serious.
direct line 01395 517444. Alternatively we have Bank: Lloyds TSB, 234 High Street, Exeter Recovering unpaid rent If you fail to pay
an automated card payment system twenty-four Sort code: 30 -93 -14 your rent, we will take the following actions: Important:
hours a day, seven days a week. Just call Account number: 00365206 1 You will be sent reminder letters and some Not paying your rent
08447 36 96 31 and select option ﬁve. Ref. number: your own rent ref. number information about debt advice. You may also puts your home at risk
receive a home visit.
In person If you prefer to make your payment By Girobank Billpay Through online 2 If the reminders are ignored we may serve you In the UK, debt advice is provided free of
in person, you can pay at the Council Oﬃces at Girobank Billpay you can pay your rent at any with a Notice of Seeking Possession (if you charge. If you ﬁnd yourself in debt do not
Knowle, Sidmouth. You can make your payment time of the day or night using your debit card have a secure tenancy), a Notice of Seeking ignore the problem and try not to panic. You
in cash, with a cheque or with a debit or credit (Delta, Maestro, etc.). You just need to have Possession – Introductory Tenancy (if you have should consider seeking free advice about your
card. The oﬃce is open Monday to Friday your rent reference number ready, which you an introductory tenancy), or a Notice to Quit (if ﬁnancial situation. Help can be given in many
8.30 am to 5 pm. will ﬁnd on the front of your rent book at the you have a non-secure tenancy). This is the ﬁrst ways such as maximising your income and
top left of the label. We usually receive the step of the legal process to obtain possession beneﬁts, help with ﬁlling in forms, looking at
By Direct Debit You can pay your rent by payment three working days later. of the dwelling. The notice gives a period of at managing your income and expenditure.
Direct Debit on the ﬁrst day of each month. least twenty-eight days for you to pay your Please telephone us on 01395 517444 and
You can set up your Direct Debit by telephone. By post Send payment to Rentals, East Devon debt in full or make arrangements to pay by we can refer you to an independent and free
Just call 01395 517444 and have your bank District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL. installments. debt advice agency. Alternatively one of the
details ready. If you send cash it must be by registered post. 3 If the debt continues to increase the matter following organisations may be able to help you.
8 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 9
2 Your rent 2 Your rent
National Debtline: Attachment of Earnings Order We can West Water in the near future and the charge What should I do if my
Oﬀers free conﬁdential and independent apply to the County Court for an Attachment will be removed from the rent at that time. circumstances change?
advice on how to deal with debt problems. of Earnings Order. The Court will order your These charges are also reviewed annually and You must tell the Housing Beneﬁt section about
Call free on 0808 808 4000 or visit employer to make deductions from your the costs are divided equally between all service any change in your circumstances. This could
www.nationaldebtline.co.uk. earnings to pay the outstanding rent debt. users. include, but is not limited to:
Supporting People charges are for support • changes to your income or savings, or the
Clear Start: We also use the services of a debt collection services such as the help your Mobile Support income or savings of anyone living with you
Oﬀers free consumer debt counselling. agency to recover any outstanding debt. They Oﬃcer gives you in regularly checking on your • anyone you live with moving out, or new
Call free on 0800 988 9345 or visit are vigorous in their pursuit of debt and have well-being and responding to emergencies. It people moving in (temporarily or permanently).
www.clearstart.co.uk. been very successful. also covers the cost of your emergency alarm
It is in your own interest to make an system and the twenty-four hours a day If you have been paid too much Housing
Consumer Credit Counselling Service: arrangement to pay the debt outstanding rather emergency call centre. Beneﬁt you usually have to pay it back. The
Charity dedicated to providing conﬁdential, than have action taken against you. sooner you tell the Housing Beneﬁt section
free counselling and money management If you subsequently apply for housing with Housing Beneﬁt and other beneﬁts about any change the less the overpayment
assistance to ﬁnancially distressed families any Local Authority or other Registered Housing Beneﬁt is a government scheme to help will be.
and individuals. Call free on 0800 138 1111 Housing Provider (for example, a Housing people pay their housing costs. If you are a If you are entitled to more Housing Beneﬁt,
or visit www.cccs.co.uk. Association) any rent outstanding from a council tenant and on a low income you may be you must tell us within one month of any
previous tenancy may aﬀect your application entitled to beneﬁt. The amount of beneﬁt that change to make sure that any increase in your
Community Legal Advice: for housing. you are entitled to is calculated by the Council’s beneﬁt entitlement is paid from the date that
Free and conﬁdential advice service. Housing Beneﬁt section and is governed by the the change happened. Otherwise we will only
Call 0845 345 4345 or visit How your rent is set Housing Beneﬁt Regulations. Your Council Tax pay from the date that you told us of the
www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk. Since April 2002 the Government, through Beneﬁt will be calculated at the same time. change to your circumstances.
the Communities and Local Government Please make sure that you respond to all
Citizens Advice Bureau: Department, has given yearly guidelines to Housing Beneﬁt correspondence sent to you by the Housing
Your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be control and set the levels of council house rents. Our Housing Beneﬁt section is able to give Beneﬁt section. If you do not respond it may
able to help. The Axminster, Honiton and Rents normally change in April of each year. you advice about your entitlement. Please ring result in you getting into rent arrears.
Sidmouth area bureau can be contacted on The Government has a rent restructuring 01395 517446 to make a claim or if you want
01404 44213 and the Exmouth area bureau policy which is intended to join all council and some advice. Alternatively you can email us Other help
on 01395 264645. Alternatively visit Registered Housing Provider rents by 2015. To at beneﬁts@eastdevon.gov.uk or fax us on If you are on a low income you may be entitled
www.adviceguide.org.uk. ﬁnd out more about this call 0303 444 0000 01395 517414. You can contact us in person at to further help. Please see the list of useful
or visit www.communities.gov.uk. the following oﬃces: contacts below.
If you have terminated a council tenancy Service charges Beneﬁts Reception, East Devon District Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance,
and left some rent arrears at the end of that If you live in a block of ﬂats with a communal Council, Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL Incapacity Beneﬁt, and Employment
tenancy we will take the necessary steps to gas boiler, you may pay a service charge for (open Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm) Support Allowance:
recover this debt. heating and hot water. The service costs Jobcentre Plus
are reviewed on an annual basis and are Beneﬁts Reception, Exmouth Town Hall, Breakwater Road
County Court Judgments We can apply non-proﬁtable. The annual cost is then divided St Andrews Road, Exmouth, EX8 1AW Plymouth
to the County Court for a County Court equally between all the tenants living in that (open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and PL95 8BL
Judgment (CCJ) on the debt and the Court block. Friday, 9 am to 4.30 pm). Tel. 0845 6060 234 (looking for work),
will set terms for repayment. A CCJ will aﬀect We have some properties where there is a 0800 055 6688 (new claims),
your credit rating and you will ﬁnd it diﬃcult weekly charge for sewage and a few properties Beneﬁts surgeries are also held in Axminster, 0800 032 8349 (crisis loans),
to obtain credit, loans, credit cards, etc. with a charge for water and sewage. Some of Honiton and Seaton. Please call us for 0845 603 6095 (beneﬁt enquiries)
these sewage schemes will be adopted by South information.
10 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 11
2 Your rent
Pension Credits: 3 Repairs and improvements
The Pension Service
PO Box 139
Tel. 0800 991 234
Tax Credit Oﬃce
Tel. 0845 300 3900 The majority of our properties meet the How to report a repair
‘Decent Homes Standard’ which means that You can report a repair by telephoning us
they are in good repair, have adequate kitchen on 01395 517458 during working hours or
Need to get in touch? and bathroom facilities, have adequate heating 01395 516854 outside of oﬃce hours if it is
Please see Section 16 facilities, and are well insulated. We are an emergency. You can also email repairs@
continuing to invest in our housing to ensure eastdevon.gov.uk or write to the Housing
that these standards are maintained, and Property and Asset Manager, East Devon
improved. District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL.
Your tenancy agreement explains which
repairs we are responsible for, and which are To help us provide you with the best possible
your responsibility. service, when you report a repair please
Some of the repairs we undertake are: • your name
• repairs to the structure and exterior of the • your address
building, for example the roof, walls, and ﬂoor • a daytime telephone number
• the upkeep of gutters, pipes and drains • as many details as you can about the repair
• the repair of baths, toilets, sinks and basins • times it is convenient for workmen to call.
• electrical wiring, gas piping, ﬁtted heaters,
radiators and water heaters. When repairs are reported to us we categorise
them according to their urgency. The ﬁve
You must inform us promptly of any defects to categories of repairs we use are listed in the
the property that are our responsibility. You are table on page 15. We will tell you the category
responsible for the cost of repairs that are the that we have given to your repair and send you
result of neglect or misuse, or deliberate, a copy of the works order for all jobs with a
malicious, criminal or accidental damage by you, time scale of more than seventy-two hours.
people living in your home or people visiting
your home. Please see Section 5 for more details Decorations
about charging for repairs which are your You are responsible for the internal decoration
responsibility. of your home, which should be maintained to
Where a mutual exchange has taken place, a reasonable standard. We are responsible for
you take on responsibility for any ﬁxtures and decorating the outside of your home and
ﬁttings put in by the previous tenant unless we communal areas of ﬂats and maisonettes.
have agreed otherwise.
12 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 13
3 Repairs and improvements 3 Repairs and improvements
Chimney sweeping Planned maintenance includes servicing Alterations and improvements Right to compensation
You must ensure that chimneys and ﬂues are and upgrading: You can carry out alterations or improvements for improvements
kept free from obstruction and that chimneys, • central heating systems to your home but you must get our written Under government legislation, at the end of
where in use, are swept at least once a year, • electrical services consent ﬁrst. You need to do this because your your tenancy, you have the right to claim
or more frequently if necessary. It is also your • new roofs tenancy agreement does not allow you to make compensation from us for improvements you
responsibility to ensure that the correct fuel is • replacement windows some alterations. For example, you must not have made to your home with our consent.
used for the type of heater provided, so that • kitchens and bathrooms artex the internal walls of the property or ﬁx Evidence of your costs will help us assess the
the risk of fumes and soot problems are kept • replacement of external doors. polystyrene tiles to ceilings. Other alterations level of compensation you may be entitled to.
to a minimum. may need planning permission or building You can only apply for compensation for certain
If we plan to carry out any work in your home regulations approval. We are happy to advise kinds of improvement (for example, bathroom
Repairs to central heating we will contact you ﬁrst. To ﬁnd out more you on the required approvals. improvements) that started on or after
Before reporting a faulty central heating system about planned maintenance contact us on All such improvements must be carried out 1 April 1994. Please contact us if you would
please check: 01395 517458. to our satisfaction and will normally become like any more information or see the leaﬂet
• the time control clock is set correctly – especially our property when the tenancy is ended. ‘A Better Deal for Tenants – Your Right to
when clocks are put forward or back at the Adaptations Alternatively we may request that you remove Compensation for Improvements’ at
beginning and end of summertime If you are having diﬃculty managing at home structures at the end of your tenancy at your www.communties.gov.uk.
• the room thermostat is set correctly (turn it because of a disability we may be able to help. own expense.
right up and if heating comes on, adjust to We are not responsible for repairs which
desired temperature) The types of adaptations that are available are necessary because of faulty improvements, Need to get in touch?
• there are suﬃcient funds if you have a coin or include: sub-standard workmanship or defective Please see Section 16
card prepayment meter for gas or electricity. • hand and grab rails materials.
• lever taps
We reserve the right to recharge tenants where • stairlifts
a visit is made for faulty central heating and one • level entry showers Table of repair categories
of the above is found to be the cause. • access ramps
• alterations to doorways. Category Response within Examples
Right to repair
In certain circumstances you have the right to If you think you could beneﬁt from this service Immediate One day Immediate work (where there is danger to life / limb or serious danger to property)
require us to get a second contractor to do you may need to contact Social Services at Water supply failure (burst pipe or tank)
certain small urgent repairs which might aﬀect Care Direct, Devon County Council, on Blocked drain with serious leak of sewage
your health, safety or security. This only applies 0845 155 1007. Care Direct will be able to put Dangerous fault or electrical supply failure
to repairs that are our responsibility and which you in contact with the referral co-ordinator
we have not completed within a prescribed for your area. Emergency Three days A blocked sink, bath or basin
time. Please contact us for further details. Before we can carry out any major work, Faulty heating system and / or hot water supply
your needs will be assessed by an occupational
Planned maintenance therapist. Once we receive a request for an Urgent Seven days Leaking roof
To keep our housing in good condition, we adaptation from an occupational therapist, we Mechanical extractor fan in internal kitchen not working
carry out a programme of planned maintenance. will consider them within ﬁfteen working days.
This programme is reviewed every year to take We will inform you of the outcome and the Priority Three weeks Reﬁt chimney pot or cowl
into account priority maintenance and tenants’ time when we expect the work to be done. Repair or ease external and internal doors
views. Alternatively we may be able to oﬀer you a
move to a more suitable property. Non Urgent Six weeks Defective plaster
Repairs to ﬁre surround or back
14 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 15
4 About the improvement voucher scheme
4 About the improvement • any speciﬁcations for products/items
• any guarantees for the products/items.
When will I receive payment?
Payment will be made when the work has been
completed and when we have inspected the
work to check it is satisfactory. Suﬃcient time
should be allowed for the cheque issuing
process and delivery by the postal services.
Please note that this scheme is only
open to tenants who have a secure tenancy
As well as the Government’s legislation • heating improvements agreement and have no rent arrears. If you
on tenants’ rights to compensation for • replacement external doors and frames wish to make a claim please write in to us with
improvements (see page 15), we provide a • renewable energy eﬃciency improvements. all the information listed above. Please address
tenant improvement voucher scheme. all correspondence to the Property and Asset
If you plan to carry out, or have recently What can I claim Manager. We will acknowledge receipt of your
undertaken, improvements to your council ﬁnancial assistance for? request within ﬁve days.
home you may be able to get some ﬁnancial You can claim ﬁnancial assistance for the cost
assistance towards the cost of the works. of materials (but not appliances such as cookers
Applications will be considered in the order and fridges) and labour costs (but not your own Need to get in touch?
in which they are received and only for work labour). You will need to give us a written Please see Section 16
about to be undertaken or undertaken within estimate or quotation to show how much your
the previous six months. We have a limited improvements cost.
budget for this work and once it has has been
used up no further grants will be available until How is the ﬁnancial
the new ﬁnancial year. contribution worked out?
We will look at the quotation or estimated cost
Do I need permission to of your improvements. We may value the
make improvements? improvements at a lesser sum if we think the
Yes. You need to obtain our written permission cost of the proposed improvement is too much,
before you make the improvements. If you or the quality is higher, than we would normally
didn’t get permission ﬁrst, you can apply for it provide. You may get up to 33 per cent of the
when you claim ﬁnancial assistance through the total costs, up to a maximum of £1,500.
voucher scheme. However in some cases we You will be advised of the amount of
do refuse permission. In these cases any work contribution the Council will make prior to
will not be eligible for this scheme. the work starting, and we will try to make a
decision on the value of your contribution
What kind of improvements can within thirty days of receiving all the necessary
I get ﬁnancial assistance for? information.
The voucher scheme applies to the following
improvements: We require:
• bath or shower, wash-hand basin or toilet • details of the improvement
• kitchen sink and work surfaces • a quotation or estimate for the cost of the work
• storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen • the date when work was undertaken/will begin
16 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 17
5 Don’t get caught with unexpected costs
5 Don’t get caught with charges when items are left in the premises carried out. A copy of this order will be sent
after the termination date. These are known to you. This will indicate the repairs and the
unexpected costs as ‘rechargeable’ repairs and costs. extent of the work which will be recharged.
4 On completion of the work we will send you
Other rechargeable costs may include: a letter detailing the work undertaken and the
• the cost of removing rubbish and extensive costs for which you are liable.
cleaning, both inside and outside the property 5 You will need to pay these costs within twenty-
• the cost of replacing lost or stolen keys and the eight days, or contact us to make arrangements
costs incurred in gaining entry to change locks, to pay. (If you are unable to pay in full at one
including garage keys and locks time please speak to us as we may be able to
• the cost of removing graﬃti arrange for payment to be made in instalments.)
Information about charging service, where provided. We will keep • the cost of any court fees, injunctions and legal 6 We will contact former tenants by sending
for repairs which are your communal entrances, halls and stairways in ﬂats, fees incurred by us in relation to rechargeable a letter to their last known home address or
responsibility as well as any other areas for use by all tenants repairs and costs. work address.
The large majority of our tenants look after and their families and visitors in good repair.
their properties and maintain them to a good The outside of your home and communal areas If you are the tenant of any property where we
standard. Thank you. of ﬂats and maisonettes will be decorated and incur such costs then we will write to you telling Need to get in touch?
Unfortunately there are a number of tenants kept in good repair by the Council. you of the costs of any rechargeable repairs Please see Section 16
who do not. Repairs to council dwellings are which are your responsibility. If you do not
paid for from the rent account and it is unfair What you should do as repay these costs legal action will be taken to
that responsible tenants should have to pay for a responsible tenant recover the costs.
wilful damage caused by others. So in some Your tenancy agreement states that at the end
circumstances tenants will be recharged for of the tenancy, the property must be left in a Stages of the recharge process
work for which they are responsible. clean condition, clear of all rubbish, and free of 1 We will advise you as early as possible if we
The number of occasions when we are your furniture and possessions. You must leave judge that any work required is a ‘rechargeable
required to recover these costs in a year are all ﬁxtures and ﬁttings intact and in the condition repair’ for which you are liable.
relatively few. But we need to inform all tenants they were in at the start of the tenancy, except 2 You will be given the opportunity to make your
of our procedures if properties are not looked for fair wear and tear. You are responsible for own arrangements to undertake this work
after. This section ensures that you are aware of the cost of repairs that are a result of neglect, within an agreed timescale.
your responsibilities and possible liabilities and misuse, or deliberate, malicious, criminal or 3 If the work is not undertaken within this time,
that our policy is applied in a clear, consistent accidental damage by you, people living with or it is not carried out to a satisfactory standard,
and fair manner at all times. you, or people visiting your home. we will issue an order for the work to be
Items which we will repair What action can we take
Your tenancy agreement sets out the repairs to recover our costs? Don’t forget
for which we, the Council, are responsible. We We will take steps to recover any reasonable Report repairs promptly and keep your
will keep in good repair and proper working costs we incur in: property in a good state of repair.
order our installations for supplying water, gas, • replacing or repairing any missing or damaged Know your responsibilities as explained
electricity and sanitation including basins, sinks, items in your tenancy agreement.
baths, and toilet ﬁttings, and our installations for • replacing or repairing any alterations which do Seek written permission from us before
room and water heating. not comply with relevant regulations making any alterations to your property.
We will keep the structure and exterior of • replacing or repairing any alterations for which Clean and clear your property before
the property in good repair, including drains, we did not give written consent moving out.
gutters, and external pipes, as well as the lift • meeting all reasonable removal and storage
18 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 19
6 Safety and security in your home
6 Safety and security ﬁres ﬁtted at your own expense the work Fire safety
must have been carried out by a Gas Safe Test your smoke detector(s) regularly.
in your home (previously CoRGi) registered installer and a Know the quickest way out of your home
gas installation certiﬁcate and safety certiﬁcate and consider alternative routes out in the event
must be forwarded to us. We will take over of your main exit being blocked.
the responsibility for maintaining these after Keep matches away from children.
any guarantee has run out. Don’t leave lit candles unattended.
Don’t use or store any explosive or
Gas leaks ﬂammable substances on the premises.
If you suspect a gas leak: Use ﬁre guards around any open ﬁres.
• turn oﬀ your gas supply at the meter Don’t leave chip pans unattended.
Each year more people are killed or injured by Gas safety • do not smoke or use matches or a lighter Don’t smoke in bed.
accidents in the home than any other type of Never use a gas appliance that you think may • do not use electrical switches (doorbells or Make sure all cigarettes and ash are fully
accident. We hope that this section will give you be dangerous (signs can include stains around light switches) extinguished and that ashtray contents are cold
some useful information and advice to stay safe the gas ﬁre or boiler pilot light, or a yellow • open doors and windows to let the gas out before emptying.
and secure in your home. ﬂame). • call the National Gas Emergency Service on Don’t dry clothes over any type of heater.
Remember, gas appliances need fresh air to 0800 111 999 – do the same if you smell gas Don’t remove any ﬁre doors or door closers
Electrical safety work properly. Sometimes air is provided by in the street. in your home.
Make sure you always follow these simple rules ventilators in doors, walls and windows. Always Don’t store motorcycles in sheds.
when using electricity in your home: ensure that all ventilators are free and clear Solid fuel safety
Never use plugs or switches with wet hands – and not blocked or obstructed. Do not draw a ﬁre with a newspaper or use Fire guards The law requires you to use
water and electricity are dangerous together. Never sleep in a room containing an open petrol, paraﬃn or any oil to start it. a ﬁreguard to protect children under 12 in a
If there is a water leak in your home do not ﬂued back boiler. Sweep your chimney or ﬂue at least once a room with an open ﬁre, radiant ﬁre or other
touch any electrical ﬁttings – if necessary, turn Never dry clothes over free standing gas year – if your ﬁre is not burning as well as usual dangerous heating appliance. You should use a
oﬀ electricity at the fuse box. heaters. it may be a sign that your chimney needs ‘nursery’ ﬁreguard made to British Standards.
Always switch oﬀ and unplug appliances not Gas appliances need regular servicing if they sweeping. Never rest clothes or other items on the guard.
in use, particularly before going to bed. are to work safely and eﬃciently. If you have an enclosed room heater or
Only use good quality plugs made to the boiler, follow the manufacturer’s instructions If you live in ﬂats with communal areas
correct safety standard (BS1363). Gas servicing and brush the smoke outlet every month. Don’t put anything in the communal areas –
Make sure plugs are wired correctly and As a landlord, we have a statutory duty to Burn only the recommended fuels. it may be ﬂammable and may restrict escape
always ﬁtted with the right fuse for the undertake an annual safety inspection of gas Ensure there is adequate ventilation, and do routes in the case of ﬁre.
appliance you are using. If in doubt consult a appliances, ﬂues and associated pipework that not block or obstruct fresh air ventilators. Don’t leave rubbish bags in communal
qualiﬁed electrician. we are responsible for. This includes gas central Draught prooﬁng helps cut fuel bills but do landings or corridors.
Do not overload sockets – to be safe use heating and ﬁxed gas ﬁres (see below), but not not seal oﬀ the air supply to the room in which Report any self-closing doors that are not
one plug to one socket. gas ovens. the ﬁre is located. Fumes may build up and operating properly.
Check the condition of electrical ﬂexes We will give you reasonable notice of when cause you to become ill.
regularly. Never run ﬂexes under carpets or our contractors will carry out this work. Please When using a solid fuel or room heater for If your home catches ﬁre
rugs as this could start a ﬁre. advise the gas servicing contractor if this time is the ﬁrst time each year check that the chimney 1 Close the door of the room where the ﬁre
Make sure you know where the main switch not convenient to you so that they can arrange has been swept and that the chimney ﬂue has started. This will contain the ﬁre and restrict
and fuse box are located. for an alternative visit. If you fail to give them not become obstructed. the spread of poisonous fumes.
Always contact us on 01395 517458 if you access to the property you are in breach of If you are concerned that the equipment is 2 Make sure everyone leaves the building.
feel that there is any problem with the electrical your tenancy conditions. not working properly please let us know. 3 Call the Fire Brigade by dialling 999, giving your
safety of your home. If you have had gas central heating or gas exact address.
20 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 21
6 Safety and security in your home 6 Safety and security in your home
Accidents in the home your home unless you have seen their personal been carried out by you. We strongly urge The service does not deal with birds or
Falls Sixty per cent of deaths from accidents identity card. that you have your own contents insurance. large wild animals. In this instance you will need
in the home are the result of falls. If you are suspicious about a caller contact For further details please see Section 1. to contact Defra by telephoning 08459 33 55 77
Do not polish under carpets or rugs. the Police on 0845 277 7444. or by emailing email@example.com. You
Make sure stairs and landings are well lit and When you go away you may want to ask a Pest control may wish to contact a pest control contractor
kept clear. trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on We oﬀer a pest control service for dealing of your own by looking in Yellow Pages or at
If you have small children use stairguards your home. Leave them a contact address. with rats in people's homes, for which there www.yell.com listed under ‘Pest Control’.
and guards on upper ﬂoor windows. If you plan to be away from your property is a small charge. The service can also deal
Wipe up any spilt liquids immediately. for more than twenty-eight days we ask that with other pests including mice, wasps, ﬂies,
Repair or cover any holes in your ﬂoor you let us know and tell us when you plan to ﬂeas, insects and squirrels, for which a variable Need to get in touch?
covering (for example, carpet, lino or vinylay) return. It would be useful for us to have a fee is charged depending upon the species. Please see Section 16
to avoid tripping. contact number in case of emergencies. Please If you would like a visit or more information
Make sure your stair carpets are ﬁxed contact Estate Management on 01395 516551 please contact 01395 571517 for pest control
securely. ext. 2381 or 2396. in East Devon. There is also a lot of useful
When going away during cold weather, turn information, including a section about seagulls,
Poisoning The second major cause of death oﬀ main water stopcock and leave your heating at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/animals_and_ pests.
in the home is poisoning. on a low setting.
Keep all medicines in a locked cabinet.
Keep all household or garden chemicals out Asbestos in the home
of reach of children. Building materials containing asbestos were
Do not store household or garden chemicals widely used from 1930 to around 1980. So
in any container other than the one they homes and ﬂats built or refurbished at this time
came in (do not use soft drinks bottles or any may contain asbestos materials. Asbestos
container that would confuse someone about cement products are the most widely used
the contents). asbestos material.
Return unused medicines to the chemist. Asbestos materials in good condition that
cannot readily be damaged are often best left
Security and crime prevention where they are.
The following advice may be useful to help Avoid disturbing or damaging materials in
protect you against crime. good condition.
Close all windows and lock front and back Do not drill, cut or disturb any materials
doors when you go out. which you believe may contain asbestos.
At night close windows on the ground ﬂoor, If you damage or have deteriorating asbestos
or near pipes or ﬂat roofs. materials in your home please contact us to
Consider ﬁtting security locks to doors. seek advice and assistance.
Do not leave keys under a mat or on a string
inside the letterbox. Home insurance
Never leave notes outside for callers or We insure our council dwellings and in the
friends. event of ﬁre, lightning, storm or ﬂood we would
Cancel regular deliveries, such as milk or claim on our insurance for the cost of repairing
newspapers, when you go away. or rebuilding the property.
Always ask for proof of identity from callers We do not insure any contents that belong
before you let them in. Never let anyone into to you or any improvements that may have
22 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 23
7 Running a business from your council home
7 Running a business from consent where possible but should we have to
refuse permission to run the business we will
your council home explain the reasons why.
You must obtain any necessary permission
from other agencies such as planning permission
or a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check. You
must meet any health and safety requirements.
You should notify our Council Tax and Business
Rates sections and if applicable Housing Beneﬁts.
We recognise that many of our tenants may Obtaining permission You should also consider your insurance
wish to work from their homes and aim to If you are thinking of starting a business from position, including home contents policies and
encourage this where possible, with our your home you need to obtain our written whether you need to have any public liability or
written permission. permission ﬁrst. We will not unreasonably professional indemnity insurance. We will ask
withhold permission, but we are likely to to see a copy of your insurance before giving
What ‘running a business’ means refuse permission if it will cause a nuisance our permission.
This usually means that you produce something to neighbours, damage the property, or does
or provide a service which is not for your own not meet the requirements of other agencies.
or your family’s use, and you get some kind of If you are already running a business and Need to get in touch?
payment for your product, produce or service. do not have our written permission to do so, Please see Section 16
you must write to us immediately and ask for
Appropriate types of work our permission. If we have to refuse permission
There are a variety of businesses which you we will explain why and you will have to cease
could consider running from home such as child running the business from your property
minding services, part-time typing or cleaning immediately.
services. We are likely to refuse permission for Please write to Estate Management, East
any businesses which involve repairing motor Devon District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth,
vehicles, storing hazardous materials, or involve EX10 8HL. We will reply to your letter within
customers or clients visiting or delivering to the ten working days. Our intention is to give
home in such numbers that will disturb your
Organisations that can Write to us to ask permission to run a
help you get started business from your home.
Some local banks will have sections specialising Ensure that we have written back giving
in helping people to set up a small business. you permission.
You may ﬁnd the websites of the national Make sure that you have obtained all
enterprise network nfea (www.nfea.com), other necessary permissions from
the Federation of Small Businesses other agencies.
(www.fsb.org.uk), and Business Link Let us know, in writing, of any changes
(www.businesslink.gov.uk) helpful. to your business activites.
24 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 25
8 Neighbour nuisance and antisocial behaviour
8 Neighbour nuisance and Where we consider taking legal action, we What can the police do?
will need on going evidence, such as log sheets, Please report all cases of harassment, physical
antisocial behaviour giving precise details of incidents which have assault, stolen property or criminal damage to
occurred, to enable us to build up a case to your property to the police. They will advise
present to the court. you about the action they can take, which will
In cases of continuing nuisance or antisocial depend on the circumstances of the incident.
behaviour, we will work closely with the police Please ask for a log number for the incident.
and other agencies to resolve the problem. We
may also take enforcement action under the
Antisocial Behaviour legislation, or a Housing Need to get in touch?
Act Injunction to prohibit undesirable behaviour. Please see Section 16
What is antisocial behaviour? Estate Management who will investigate the Where there is a dispute between
A broad deﬁnition is ‘behaviour which impacts situation and advise you of what action can be neighbours we may recommend mediation
negatively on a resident’s or visitor’s quality taken. You may be asked to complete a log to resolve the diﬀerences. This is paid for by
of life in and around their home’. It can be giving dates and times of nuisance, which could us, but carried out by independent trained
caused by anyone who acts in a manner which be used in any future legal proceedings. mediators who will work to ﬁnd common
may cause alarm, distress or harassment to ground between neighbours.
someone else. Loud music and other ampliﬁed noise In the case of loud music, we can take
Our tenants should act in a reasonable after 6 pm You may wish to contact our action for a breach of the tenancy agreement.
manner at all times and have respect for Out of Hours service on 01395 516854. All In addition where the noise is deemed to be
their property, their surroundings and their complaints will be logged for action on the a statutory nuisance, Environmental Health
neighbours. Tenants are also responsible for next working day and in some cases an Oﬃcers can serve an Abatement Notice, and
the actions of their family, others who live Environmental Health Oﬃcer may also be if this is breached, can apply to the Magistrates
with them, and their visitors. able to respond on the night. Court for a warrant to seize the oﬀending
Examples of antisocial behaviour can include: What can we do?
• abandoned vehicles Your report to us is conﬁdential and we will
• rubbish not tell the person causing the nuisance who Don’t forget
• vandalism has made the complaint. We will visit or write Speak to your neighbour in a courteous
• graﬃti to the person causing the nuisance, and keep manner to see whether the problem
• noisy neighbours, late night parties or you informed of the action we are taking, or can be sorted out – remember that
loud music give you advice as necessary. they may not realise they are causing
• drug dealing or drug related behaviour. If the nuisance behaviour persists, we may a noise or nuisance.
take legal action for a breach of the conditions Allow a reasonable time (say two
What can you do? of the tenancy agreement (if a council tenant weeks) for an improvement in the
Rubbish, graﬃti and untaxed vehicles is involved). However we will always try to situation.
Please report these issues to Estate Management persuade the other party to behave reasonably If nothing has changed, consider
on 01395 516551 ext. 2381 or 2396. before any court action is taken for possession. whether you should speak again to
Anyone who is evicted for antisocial your neighbour, or contact us for
Neighbours Neighbour nuisance or disputes behaviour is likely to be classed as ‘intentionally further advice.
are initially best sorted out by speaking to your homeless’ and so would be unlikely to be Contact the police about harassment,
neighbour and having consideration for each re-housed by the Council or other Registered assault or criminal damage.
other. If problems continue you should contact Providers of social housing.
26 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 27
9 Right to Buy 10 Services for the
elderly and disabled
If your tenancy started before 18 January 2005 buy it back. This is called the ‘right of ﬁrst What is sheltered housing? • responding to emergencies (if they are on site
and you have been a public sector tenant refusal’ and is a requirement of the Housing Sheltered housing is the name given to at the time)
continuously since that time, you may have the Act 1985. This does not apply to properties properties speciﬁcally for people who are older • encouraging social activities
right to buy your home. If not, you do not have in areas designated as ‘rural areas’ or ‘Areas or have a disability and would beneﬁt from the • liaising with, and signposting to, other agencies,
the right to buy until you have spent at least ﬁve of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ which are support of a mobile support oﬃcer. for example making referrals to Social Services
years as a public sector secure tenant. subject to the stricter regulations contained for adaptations to your home.
within the Devon Covenant. Sheltered housing can provide:
The discount rules • support, enabling you to live independently The Mobile Support Oﬃcer will also agree and
The Right to Buy scheme gives tenants a Devon Covenant East Devon District at home organise a level of support for you so that you
discount on the market value of their homes. Council properties situated outside the • your own self contained accommodation receive the assistance and help needed to meet
The longer you have been a tenant the more urban areas of Exmouth, Sidmouth, Seaton • security through an alarm system for help in an your individual requirements. This is done by
discount you get – up to a maximum limit of and Honiton are sold subject to a restriction emergency completing an assessment form within six
£30,000 in the South West of England. imposed under Section 157 of the Housing • safe and secure surroundings as many of weeks of your move into your new home.
Act 1985. We have resolved to impose the our schemes have door entry systems The support services provided do not include
The discount is calculated from the beginning restriction to ensure as far as possible that • a Mobile Support Oﬃcer who provides regular handling ﬁnances, administering medicines,
of your tenancy: properties remain part of the general housing support housework or help with shopping.
• 30 per cent for houses and bungalows plus stock available for local people. • social activities with local people
1 per cent for each additional year up to a The restriction is that there shall be no • a range of social activities in our community Alarm services within our
maximum limit of 60 per cent further resale of these properties without centres on some of our sheltered schemes. sheltered accommodation
• 40 per cent for ﬂats and maisonettes plus our written consent. However, we cannot All sheltered accommodation within East
2 per cent for each additional year up to a withhold our consent if the person purchasing You live independently but have the peace of Devon is ﬁtted with alarm systems. The alarms
maximum limit of 70 per cent. the property has lived or worked within the mind that you can quickly access help in an are linked to the Home Safeguard Community
administrative County of Devon for the last emergency. Alarm Centre in Sidmouth. The alarm is
Valuation three years before the application for consent. activated by a pull-cord ﬁtted in each room of
The market value of the property is assessed What support can I expect? the property, or there is an option of a pendant
by an independent valuer disregarding any Exceptions to the Right to Buy In East Devon our sheltered housing residents alarm which you can wear around your neck or
improvements you have carried out. We may refuse to let you buy on the grounds are supported by Mobile Support Oﬃcers. They wrist, or carry with you.
that your home is particularly suitable for are available to give residents housing related The smoke alarms in your property are also
Future sale of your property occupation by elderly people or that it is classed support on a regular basis Monday to Friday. linked to Home Safeguard. So in the event of
‘Right of ﬁrst refusal’ If you sell your as sheltered housing for the elderly or disabled. a ﬁre the smoke alarm will be activated and
property within ten years from the date of There are other exceptions to the Right to Mobile Support Oﬃcers can oﬀer help with: automatically call Home Safeguard. There is a
purchase, then you must ﬁrst give us, East Buy, listed in the booklet ‘Your Right to Buy • housing related support issues (for example two-way speech unit and trained operators
Devon District Council, the opportunity to your Home’. Call 01395 517533 for information. ﬁlling in forms) are available in an emergency at all times.
28 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 29
10 Services for the elderly and disabled 10 Services for the elderly and disabled
How much does it cost? ensure that all groups using the centres are (2006) identiﬁed a need to decommission, reuse, of providing a support service to people living
The cost of the support and alarm service is sensitive to the residents living on site. redevelop or dispose of some of our sheltered in general purpose and private accommodation,
included within the rent and support charges Some of our sheltered schemes also have housing which cannot be made ‘ﬁt for purpose’ similar to that provided by our Mobile Support
and will be clearly stated on the tenancy guest bedrooms which can be used by your at a reasonable cost. We estimate that up to Oﬃcers on our sheltered schemes.
agreement. relatives or friends. Guests may stay up to a 25 per cent of our current sheltered housing
The exact charge depends on where you maximum of two weeks. Guests must pay a may need to be decommissioned and have Advances in alarm
live in East Devon and which type of property nightly charge to the Mobile Support Oﬃcer allocated £4.3 million to fund work to bring service technology
you occupy. Service charges are on average £10 at the beginning of their stay. A receipt will be our schemes up to a standard which will meet Both our residents living within sheltered
to £15 per week. Depending on your ﬁnancial issued. Cups and a kettle are provided but no future expectations. accommodation and those who have alarms
circumstances, Supporting People may pay some cooking facilities. Pets are not allowed. ‘Decommissioning’ sheltered housing is ﬁtted in general purpose or private housing
or all of these costs. Supporting People is the To book one of our community centres about changing its current designated use and may now beneﬁt from advances in technology
Government organisation set up to monitor the or guest bedrooms please contact the Mobile removing the housing related support from the which will allow us to install additional sensors
quality of housing support services and simplify Support Oﬃcer covering the scheme or call scheme or units of accommodation. It will give attached to the alarm equipment. There may be
the way these services are funded. Home Safeguard on 01395 519162. greater ﬂexibility in allocating the property to a charge for this service.
diﬀerent client groups. We could still use the These sensors include fall detectors, smoke
What eligibility criteria Who should I contact if I want decommissioned properties for older people alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, intruder
do I have to fulﬁl? to talk about the service? who do not require support, or we could use alarms, bed exit alarms and many more. When
To live in our sheltered housing you will need Please contact either our Support Services them for non elderly households. Each scheme activated these sensors automatically raise an
to complete forms to identify whether you Manager on 01395 519162 or Housing Needs will be considered carefully taking into account alarm through to the Home Safeguard call
have a support need. Sheltered housing can on 01395 517469. the needs of current tenants, the demand for centre. There is no requirement to press a call
be available to people with support needs or accommodation there and the design of the button. These additional sensors will provide
anyone over the age of 60. How do I apply for sheltered properties. added security for people who wish to remain
accommodation? independent while living at home.
Is it just for single people? You need to register with Devon Home Choice Support services in general If you would like further information about
No, both one and two bedroom properties are online at www.devonhomechoice.com. Please purpose council housing these sensors please call Home Safeguard on
available for single people and couples. You can contact Housing Needs on 01395 517469 for You do not have to live in one of our sheltered 01395 578237.
also apply if you require a carer to live with you further information, or visit our website. properties to beneﬁt from some of our support
to help you to live independently. services. We are able to ﬁt dispersed alarms in
The future of sheltered any property which has a phone line. Need to get in touch?
Are there any organised accommodation in East Devon Individual alarm units are available to older Please see Section 16
social activities? Our overarching aim is to ensure that older or vulnerable people who would beneﬁt from
Some schemes have a Social Club which will and vulnerable people are well housed, enjoy the system provided by Home Safeguard
organise activities such as coﬀee mornings and a good quality of life and are seen as an twenty-four hours a day. We have Mobile
trips. The Mobile Support Oﬃcer will support important part of achieving thriving, balanced Support Oﬃcers who are dedicated to installing
social activities on the scheme or advise you of communities. alarm equipment in customers’ homes. There
other social activities within the local area. Over a quarter of our housing stock is is a charge for this service.
currently designated as ‘sheltered’. However To have an individual alarm ﬁtted you will
Community centres and there are some tenants living in sheltered need to complete an application form which is
guest bedrooms housing who have no support needs or choose available from the Home Safeguard Community
Some of our schemes have a community centre not to accept support. Alarm Service. This service is also available to
for use by residents. Outside groups can also Also some of our current sheltered housing private customers, so please tell your friends
book to use the community centres when they does not meet the Supporting People criteria and family about it.
are not being used by residents. We try to and the Housing Stock Options Appraisal We are currently investigating the feasibility
30 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 31
11 Changing your home
11 Changing your home This will depend on the size and type of speciﬁc work to be undertaken as a condition
accommodation you are requesting given of accepting the exchange. We do carry out
the location you choose. We have very high health and safety checks as part of the approval
demand for accommodation in the seven main process but it is your responsibility to undertake
market towns, and you may have to wait any repairs not covered by the agreement.
longer to be housed in these areas.
Mutual exchange HomeBuy is the Government initiative to
You may ﬁnd that a mutual exchange may be help those with a household income of under
quicker than waiting for a transfer. You can £60,000. It enables ﬁrst time buyers to buy a
swap your home with another council or share of a home and get onto the housing
Over the course of your tenancy your housing placed in the Emergency Housing Need band housing association tenant providing both ladder. It is the Government’s low cost home
requirements may change and you may wish to (a). If you would like to know more about the landlords agree. ownership scheme. For many people, HomeBuy
move to a larger or smaller property, or to a banding system please visit the Devon Home provides the best opportunity to own a home
diﬀerent area. There are several ways by which Choice website. How to register for Mutual in the area in which they want to live and work.
you can do this. Exchange in East Devon or They have schemes which enable you to both
Transfer to a smaller property anywhere in the UK rent and buy a home.
Transfer to another council or We have a shortage of family housing in East To add your home to the register you need In the south west the HomeBuy schemes
housing association property Devon. So if you are prepared to move from a to visit the HomeSwapper website on are managed by South West Homes. To contact
within East Devon three or four bedroom property to a smaller www.homeswapper.co.uk and complete the them for further information call 0300 100 0021,
If you wish to be considered for another council property then you may be eligible for ﬁnancial online application. email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
or housing association property you will need assistance with your moving expenses and given It is up to you to ﬁnd someone who is also www.southwesthomes.org.uk.
to complete an online application form which is priority over other people on the waiting list. looking to swap. Once you have found another
available on the Devon Home Choice website Please speak to Housing Needs for further tenant and agreed the move in principle, then
at www.devonhomechoice.com. It is important information. you must seek permission from us. It is very Need to get in touch?
that you answer every question as this will help important that you do not move until you have Please see Section 16
decide your housing need and your banding. Allocation of properties approval in writing. Once a formal application
Most requests to transfer will be accepted We let the majority of council housing through has been received we have six weeks to make
but you must have no rent arrears and not be Devon Home Choice. This gives you a greater the decision.
subject to a Possession Order. We will write to choice of where to live, while continuing to
you to tell you which banding your application meet housing needs, and ensuring sustainable, An exchange may be refused if:
has been placed in, your application date and settled communities. • one of the tenants is in rent arrears
registration number. Devon Home Choice allows you to bid for • one of the tenants is under notice to leave
an advertised property that you would like to the property
There are four main bands into which live in. You can bid for any property that you • the properties are too big or too small for
applications are placed: are eligible for. Oﬀers of accommodation are the people intending to move there
made to those in highest housing need and then • one of the properties is designated for elderly
High Housing Need (B) on a date order basis and let to the bidder who or disabled persons.
Medium Housing Need (C) has been on the register longest. If you would
Low Housing Need (d) like more information about this system please With a mutual exchange, you will be asked to
No Housing Need (e) see the Devon Home Choice website to view accept the property in the condition it has been
the policy. left in by the previous tenant. We will carry out
In some circumstances your need for housing The average waiting time to be rehoused routine repairs in accordance with the tenancy
may be assessed as so urgent that you may be for those in the B band is two to three years. agreement, but no demand can be made for
32 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 33
12 Ending your tenancy
12 Ending your tenancy We may remove and store any items left in
the premises after the termination date for a
maximum of three months. We will notify you
of this at your last known address. If the items
are not collected within three months we will
dispose of them and you will be liable for our
reasonable costs of disposal.
Need to get in touch?
Please see Section 16
If you wish to give up your tenancy, you must period. If we need to do this, we will write to
give us four weeks written notice, ending on a you to ask for your permission.
Sunday. Only a named tenant can end the
tenancy, or in the event of the death of a Giving back your keys
tenant the next of kin or executor must notify All tenancies end on a Sunday. All keys to the
us in writing and terminate the tenancy. property must be handed in to the Council
You can give us notice by writing to us at Oﬃces at Knowle, Sidmouth before 12 noon
Housing Needs, East Devon District Council, on the next day (Monday).
Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL, or asking for Don’t forget
a Termination of Tenancy form which you At the end of the tenancy Remove all your belongings and
need to complete and return to us. The four You need to make sure that everyone living any rubbish.
week notice period will start on the Monday with you in the property leaves when you Leave the property in a clean and
following the date we receive your letter or move out. This includes any member of your tidy condition.
completed form. household or a lodger, subtenant, child, visitor Cancel any regular deliveries you may
If you go to court because of a divorce, a or pet. have for milk, newspapers, etc.
domestic dispute, or a relationship breakdown, The property must be left in a clean Read your gas, electric and water
the court will decide whether to order the condition, clear of all rubbish, and free of your meters (if installed) and tell your
transfer of the tenancy to one or other of the furniture and possessions. You must leave all supplier that you are moving, so that
partners. The tenancy rights will end for the ﬁxtures and ﬁttings intact and in the condition you won’t be charged for services
other person who must leave the property. they were in at the start of the tenancy, except used by the next tenant.
for fair wear and tear. If you have a prepayment meter, leave
What if I am a joint tenant? the key or tokens in the meter.
If you are joint tenants, either, or any, of you We will take steps to recover from you any Make arrangements to have your post
can end the tenancy. Please note that this will reasonable costs we incur in: redirected. (We are not able to send
end the rights of the other tenant(s) and they • replacing or repairing any missing or damaged post on to you, so any mail that comes
must leave the property, other than in items for you once you have left will be
exceptional circumstances. • replacing or repairing any alterations which do returned to Royal Mail.)
not comply with relevant regulations Arrange to have your telephone
During the notice period • replacing or repairing any alterations for which disconnected.
Before the end of the tenancy our Tenancy we did not give our written consent Advise the Council Tax oﬃce that you
Sustainment Oﬃcer or Technical Oﬃcer will • meeting all reasonable removal and/or storage are moving.
visit the property. We may wish to show new charges when items are left in the premises after Let us have a forwarding address.
tenants around your home during the notice the termination date.
34 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 35
13 Getting involved with the Housing service
Getting involved with tenants who are fairly conﬁdent, can say their Request a copy of our Tenant and
piece in a constructive way, can work with Council Partnership Agreement
the Housing Service others, and understand services and priorities or Tenant Involvement Strategy
for tenants. We have drawn up an agreement with our
tenants setting out our commitment to tenant
Find out about the work of involvement called the Tenant and Council
the Housing Review Board Partnership Agreement. We also have a
The Board was set up in 200 and consists comprehensive Tenant Involvement Strategy.
of ﬁve Council members, ﬁve tenant and To see either of these documents please
leaseholder representatives, and two contact Tenant Participation on 01395 517453.
independent community representatives.
We are keen for our tenants to be involved, at Attend our Annual The Board considers matters relating to
all levels, in decisions regarding the management Residents’ Conference the Council’s landlord and housing management Need to get in touch?
of the housing service. Some of the main ways Once a year the Tenant Representative Group functions. It advises the Council’s Executive Please see Section 1
to get involved are listed below and more are organises a Residents’ Conference which is Board on housing policy and operational
given in the leaﬂet ‘Getting involved with the open to all tenants and leaseholders. The practice where this aﬀects the Council’s tenants
housing service’ which is sent to all new tenants conference is held in a diﬀerent venue each and leaseholders. It monitors service delivery
about ﬁve weeks after moving to a new year, with the Group selecting a topical theme. and promotes good practice.
Join a tenant/resident association Apply for a Community
Add your name and contact details or start an association yourself Initiative Grant
to the Key Players register Through resident associations tenants can come If you have a project that beneﬁts a number
We have a register of ‘interested’ tenants who together to consider issues of common concern of our tenants you can apply for a grant from
are prepared to be consulted on various topics. relating to their housing, community and general the Community Initiative Fund. You don’t
This may involve reading and commenting on environment. For more information about need to be part of a recognised group to
various documents, ﬁlling out questionnaires, the existing groups, or to discuss starting your apply. The fund is managed by the Tenant
taking part in review group discussions or own group, contact Tenant Participation on Representative Group. For further details
telephone surveys. 01395 517453 or email tenantparticipation@ contact Tenant Participation.
You may also be interested in joining one of eastdevon.gov.uk.
our review groups that look at diﬀerent parts of
our service. These groups are made up of both Become a member of the Tenant
tenants and staﬀ and we currently have four Representative Group So you’d like to get involved – how much time have you got?
groups focusing on repairs, sheltered housing, The Group considers issues aﬀecting tenants
estate management, and customer care. across the district and meets about once every I have less time • (once a year)
six weeks at diﬀerent venues. We are always • (about two hours every three months)
Take part in our annual keen to hear from new tenants who would like • - (about half an hour every two months)
garden competition to be involved. • (about half an hour every two months)
Each year we organise a garden competition, • (about half an hour every two months)
open to council tenants old and young. The Find out about the Scrutiny Panel • (about two hours every two months)
competition is advertised in the spring edition We have an Accountability and Scrutiny Panel • (about three hours every six weeks)
of the Housing Standard newsletter. Judging for tenants to inﬂuence and hold us to account I have more time • (at least three hours once a month)
usually takes place in July or August with a for our management and performance in the
prize-giving ceremony in September. delivery of services. This voluntary role needs
3 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 37
14 Customer care
14 Customer care punctual and will contact you if for any reason How to complain
an appointment cannot be kept. If we make a mistake we will apologise and
put it right as quickly as possible. If you are
Our Housing Strategy dissatisﬁed with the service you received
We publish a Housing Strategy, setting out our please talk to one of our service managers.
housing plans and priorities for the district, If you remain dissatisﬁed we have a
which can be found on our website. You can complaints procedure, details of which we
also ask for a printed copy. will supply on request. If you would like
any information on this please contact the
Issues regarding your tenancy Complaints Oﬃcer on 01395 516551. Please
If you have a query about your tenancy please let us have details of your complaint in person,
From April 2011 we are introducing ‘Local Calling at our oﬃces contact us either by telephone or in writing. by letter, telephone, or email. We will log
Standards’ which set the service level you can If you have a speciﬁed appointment time you We will explain the conditions of your tenancy and investigate it according to our agreed
expect from us for some of the services we will be attended to within ﬁve minutes of and carry out an accompanied viewing before procedure.
provide to you. These are produced following arriving at the oﬃce. If you call without an you sign the tenancy agreement. We will Only after following the Council’s
consultation with our tenants and will be appointment, you will be attended to within provide new tenants with a Tenants’ Handbook complaints procedure, and if you are still
reviewed and updated annually. Each year twenty minutes, or we will oﬀer you an and advice on how to conduct your tenancy. dissatisﬁed, you can approach the Local
we provide tenants with information on the appointment. We aim to let our empty homes as soon as Government Ombudsman for an independent
housing standards in the document ‘Our If your enquiry is conﬁdential, the interview possible. review by calling 0300 061 0614. Alternatively
commitments to you’. can be conducted in private in an interview you can email email@example.com.
room or oﬃce (if available), or we will oﬀer Tenant Support Committee
How we will deliver our service you an appointment for a private interview. If you are experiencing problems with the
When you contact us, you can expect to be housing service and don’t know where to turn, Need to get in touch?
treated courteously and politely. We will deal Letters and emails contact the Tenant Support Committee to get Please see Section 16
with all enquiries in a conﬁdential manner. We We aim to reply to all letters and emails within some support from fellow tenants who can help
will provide a professional service through ten working days. If a detailed investigation is you through the process. For more information
experienced and trained staﬀ. required this may take longer, but we will write please contact 01395 517453 and ask for the
We will treat all tenants, leaseholders and and explain this to you and give the expected Tenant Support Committee.
those who use our services with respect, listen date of reply.
to your needs, and provide assistance as quickly Letters will be written in plain English,
as we can. We may, on occasions, have to say avoiding the use of jargon. We will conﬁrm the
no to your request. If so, we will explain why. name of the member of staﬀ dealing with your
We are comitted to consulting with groups enquiry, their phone number and email address.
and individual tenants, leaseholders, and other
customers on key issues and encourage regular Visits to your home
feedback on services provided. If we cannot assist you over the phone and you
Telephone calls, letters, and emails will be are unable to come into either of our oﬃces
answered promptly. In turn we expect our we will be happy to organise a home visit.
customers to be polite and courteous, treating If we visit you at home, we will make an
staﬀ with respect. appointment before calling. We will show you
We ask that you keep us informed of any identiﬁcation. If you are unsure of the identity
changes that aﬀect your tenancy or housing of the caller, please contact our oﬃce at
needs. Sidmouth. We will make every eﬀort to be
38 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 39
15 Accessing our services
15 Accessing our services steep hill that you have to then walk up. If Contacting us
you drive to Knowle there are visitor parking Please contact us either in person, by phone
spaces immediately outside our reception or by email. Overleaf is a list of departments
area, including disabled parking. We also have within the Council with their phone numbers
a housing oﬃce at Exmouth Town Hall and and email addresses, arranged by the reason
housing advice can be obtained from your you may wish to contact them.
local Citizens Advice Bureau.
We are always prepared to give advice by Write to us or visit us at:
phone. Alternatively you can visit our website
at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/homes_and_housing East Devon District Council
for further information. Knowle, Sidmouth
Equal opportunities and diversity everyone the right to their opinion and If for whatever reason you ﬁnd it diﬃcult to EX10 8HL
Equal opportunities means that everyone is to stand for election to a committee. access information by any of these ways, we are (open Monday –Friday 8.30 am–5 pm)
treated fairly, and has equal access to services. We will deal seriously with anyone who also able to oﬀer home visits.
Diversity means respecting everyone as an deliberately discriminates against you. You Alternatively, visit the Housing Oﬃce at:
individual, irrespective of any group they may should let us know if you feel you have been
belong to because of their race, religion, treated unfairly or discriminated against in Exmouth Town Hall
disability or for any other reason. any way. Need to get in touch? St Andrews Road
The Housing Service of East Devon District The Council has a policy of monitoring and Please see Section 16 Exmouth
Council is committed to fairness and equality investigating incidents of prejudice. If you feel EX8 1AW
for all, operating with professionalism, integrity that you have good reason to believe you are (open Monday –Friday 9 am –1 pm
and openness. We believe that everyone is receiving a diﬀerent level of service speciﬁcally and 2 pm–4.30 pm)
entitled to be treated with dignity, respect because of your race, age, gender, religion or
and fairness, regardless of their race, ethnic disability, or that you are the victim of a ‘hate’ You can visit our website at
or national origin, nationality, gender, sexual incident, please call the Complaints Oﬃcer on www.eastdevon.gov.uk.
orientation, marital status, disability, age, 01395 516551.
religion or belief, or political beliefs. For details of location and opening hours for
We aim to make sure that we do not Accessing our services your local Citizens Advice Bureau please call
knowingly create an unfair disadvantage for We try to ensure that our services are equally 01404 44213 or 01395 264645.
anyone, directly or indirectly, and by law we accessible to all, no matter what your age,
must make sure that we do not discriminate health, gender, race, religion, ethnic background,
against anyone for any reason. Every member sexuality, mobility, work or family circumstances.
of staﬀ has a responsibility to ensure that Our main oﬃces are at Knowle, Sidmouth.
our Equality and Diversity Policy is put into We have tried to make these oﬃces suitable for
practice. We give training to all staﬀ on their everyone, including those with disabilities. There
responsibilities under this policy. We also have is seating in the reception area, some toys for
drawn up Equality and Diversity Commitments children who are accompanying you, easy access
for the Housing Service. These can be seen on to toilet facilities, and private interview rooms.
our website. We are also able to oﬀer a translation service
The Tenant Representative Group has by Applied Language Solutions if English is not
drawn up an Equal Opportunities Statement your ﬁrst language.
which its members must work to. All of our Although not all bus services run to the
tenant or resident associations must operate Knowle there is a bus stop immediately outside
under an equal opportunities policy, giving our grounds, but please note that there is a
40 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 41
16 List of council contacts
16 List of council contacts Hire of community centres Rechargeable repairs
Contact: Landlord Services Contact: Property and Assets
01395 519162 01395 517458
Hire of guest bedrooms Refuse and recycling
Contact: Landlord Services Contact: Streetscene
01395 519162 01395 517528
Home contents insurance Renting a garage
Contact: Tenant Participation Contact: Housing Needs
01395 517453 01395 517469
Adaptations Community Initiative Grant firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Contact: Property and Assets Contact: Tenant Participation Housing Benefit Report a repair
01395 517458 01395 517453 Contact: Council Tax and Housing Benefit Contact: Property and Assets
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 01395 517446 01395 517458
Alarms in non-sheltered properties Council Tax firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Contact: Home Safeguard Contact: Council Tax and Housing Benefit Improvement voucher scheme Running a business
01395 578237 01395 517446 Contact: Property and Assets Contact: Estate Management
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 01395 517458 01395 516551 ext. 2381/2396
Alterations and improvements Customer care firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Contact: Property and Assets Contact: Housing Needs and Strategy Unit Key Players Register Sheltered housing and Mobile
01395 517458 01395 516551 Contact: Tenant Participation Support Officers
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 01395 517453 Contact: Landlord Services
Antisocial behaviour Debt firstname.lastname@example.org 01395 578237
Contact: Estate Management Contact: Rental Making a complaint email@example.com
01395 516551 ext. 2381/2396 01395 517444 Contact: Complaints Officer Tenancy conditions
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 01395 516551 Contact: Estate Management
Applying for sheltered housing Emergencies www.eastdevon.gov.uk/making _a_complaint 01395 516551 ext. 2381/2396
Contact: Housing Needs Contact: Out of hours Neighbour nuisance firstname.lastname@example.org
01395 517469 01395 516854 Contact: Estate Management Tenant Representative Group
email@example.com Ending your tenancy 01395 516551 ext. 2381/2396 Contact: Tenant Participation
Buying your home Contact: Housing Needs firstname.lastname@example.org 01395 517453
Contact: Landlord Services 01395 517469 Parks and gardens email@example.com
01395 517533 firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: StreetScene Untidy council gardens
email@example.com Garden maintenance scheme 01395 517528 Contact: Estate Management
Changing your home (transfers/ Contact: Landlord Services firstname.lastname@example.org 01395 516551 ext. 2381/2396
mutual exchanges) 01395 516551 Paying your rent email@example.com
Contact: Housing Needs firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Rental
01395 517469 Getting involved with the housing service 01395 517444
email@example.com Contact: Tenant Participation firstname.lastname@example.org
Cleaning of communal areas 01395 517453 Pest control
Contact: Landlord Services email@example.com Contact: Environmental Health
01395 516551 01395 571517
42 Tenants’ Handbook www.eastdevon.gov.uk 43
17 How the Housing Service
To deliver a modern housing service, we are funded from the Housing Revenue Account,
split into three teams. The Landlord Services such as homeless prevention and housing advice.
and Property and Asset teams are mainly The diagram below shows how the Housing
operational. The third team, Housing Needs Service is made up, and what each team within
and Strategy, includes those functions not the service is responsible for.
head of housinG
housinG needs and housinG landloRd pRopeRty and
stRateGy manaGeR seRviCes manaGeR asset manaGeR
housinG needs and housinG landloRd pRopeRty and
stRateGy team seRviCes team asset team
Homelessness Estate management Repairs and maintenance
Housing advice and options Tenancy sustainment Programme/modernisation work
Housing register Income management Annual and cyclical works
Allocations/lettings/nominations (rents, service charges) Gas safety
Tenancy termination and ‘sign up’ Tenant involvement Lift maintenance
Housing enabling Right to Buy Adaptations
Council own build Community development Procurement
Housing strategy Support services Contract management
Housing projects (Mobile Support Oﬃcers) Stock condition
Housing research and Home Safeguard Asset management
information The hRa business plan
44 Tenants’ Handbook
Houses on front cover: new council homes that have
sustainable features at Waggs Plot, All Saints
Below: opening of the Millwey Play Area in Axminster,
a project where local people have been involved right
from the beginning
www.eastdevon.gov.uk Published March 2011 X0852