Wealden District Council
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Tenants Handbook

Welcome to your new home

This handbook outlines everything you need to know about living in your home and tells you how to find out more information should you need it.

Introduction

A bit about Wealden.

  • Wealden is the largest district in East Sussex covering 323 square miles.
  • Half of its population live in the five main towns of Polegate, Hailsham, Heathfield, Uckfield and The

remaining population live in the 37 smaller and more rural parishes in Wealden.

  • High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South Downs National Park together cover some 60% of the District.
  • In addition, Wealden has 34 conservation areas and 32 sites of special scientific Wealden has more than 2,500 listed buildings.

A bit about Wealden District Council’s homes…

The Council continues to own and manage its own housing stock of around 3,000 homes.

The stock is made up of Retirement Living, flats, bungalows and houses. In addition, the service manages some housing association properties, leasehold flats sold under the Right to Buy, retirement leasehold properties and Right to Buy shared ownership properties.

The Council would like to thank the tenants involved in the production of this handbook and its subsequent review. Their contribution has been extremely valuable.

By phone.

Our office is open 8.30 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday (9.00am on Wednesdays) and can be reached by calling 01323 443322.

To report housing repairs (24 hour line) call 01323 443375.

To report any housing emergency (not repairs) call 01772 678941

By email.

You can email us at: housing@wealden.gov.uk for general enquiries or to report a repair email us at repairs@wealden.gov.uk

In writing.

Contact us in writing at: Housing Services, Wealden District Council, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 2AX

In Person.

Our office is located at Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2AX and is open 8.30 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday (9 am on Wednesdays).

Please always try to make an appointment prior to visiting the office. If you visit the office without an appointment the appropriate person to deal with your enquiry may not be available.

Appointments can be made by calling us on 01323 443322.

Accessing Services

For information about the Council’s services please visit www.wealden.gov.uk.

MyWealden

The council’s online portal for Wealden residents to make service requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It allows you to report that your bin was missed alongside other waste enquiries, request removal of graffiti, report pollution, property name change and registering an address. www.mywealden.gov.uk.

Within MyWealden via MyAccounts tenants can view their rent account statement, look at the contact details we hold for them and inform us if any changes are needed and view repairs and their status for the past 6 months.

The Council offers a free weekly email information service to provide households with information about their waste and recycling collection dates, local planning applications as well as the latest news and events in Wealden. If you haven’t already done so and would like to join the 29,000 households who currently receive MyAlerts, just go to www.wealden.gov.uk/myalerts and fill in your details.

Accessing Information

You can also use the housing pages on our website. Here you will find information on most of the issues that tenants contact us about and you can do it at a time that suits you. Most of your queries will be covered under the Council Housing section panel: www.wealden.gov.uk/housing

Things to remember to do when you move in

 

General Needs Housing

  • If the property has a gas supply, it will have been disconnected while the property was empty for safety How to reconnect your gas supply would have been explained to you at sign-up.
  • You must telephone the utility provider for the property to set up your However, you are not obliged to stay with the current utility provider and can switch to another supplier at anytime if you wish to. If you have a payment meter you can ask for it to be removed if you do not wish to pay by this method.
  • Call your fresh water supplier South East Water and Southern Water your waste/sewage supplier to set up If the property is not on a water meter and you are a single person, it may be cheaper if you have one installed. To find out more / to arrange this you need to contact both Southern and South East Water
  • Inform Television
  • Set up an account for your landline telephone and broadband if applicable
  • Inform Council Tax
  • Arrange for the post from your old home to be re-directed to your new property
  • You will have been supplied with refuse and recycling If these are ever damaged/lost/stolen there will be a charge for replacements – please contact the Council to arrange this. To find out when your collection days are go to: www.wealden.gov.uk

Remember to inform: (as applicable)

  • The Housing Benefits
  • Pension Services (for state pension or pension credit).
  • Job Centre
  • HM Revenue and Customs (Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit).
  • Disability and Carers Service for:
    • Disability Living
    • Attendance
    • Carer’s

Other agencies to inform:

  • Child Benefit
  • Child Support

Update details for

  • Bank/building society
  • Driving
  • Insurance policies g. car, pet, life insurance, contents insurance.
  • Credit cards or store
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Vets

Looking after your home

Contents Insurance

The Council does not insure your furniture and belongings against theft, fire, vandalism, burst pipes and other household risks. It is therefore important that you take out Home Contents Insurance.

You are advised to shop around for the best deal. However, the Council has identified an affordable Pay as You Go Home Contents Insurance.

Please see www.wealden.gov.uk/housing or contact us for more information.

Internal Decoration

Internal painting and decoration is your responsibility.

Furniture

Now that you have moved home you may require some new furniture or may wish to get rid of some of your existing furniture, particularly if you have downsized. There are local charities that may be able to assist with good quality second hand furniture.

Security

If you live in a flat which has a door entry system please ensure that the door is closed properly behind you, do not wedge it open and do not let strangers into the block. If someone knocks on your door

claiming to be an official person, for example; an officer of the Council or one of its contractors, always ask for ID before letting them in and if in doubt do not let them in.

Acceptable Behaviour.  What we expect from you

What to expect from the Council

Getting on with your neighbours is not always easy, however it is essential for a happy and peaceful life for both yourself and others.

The property that you are living in is your home and it benefits everybody if you take pride in your home and your neighbourhood.

Acceptable Behaviour

We have agreed the following definition with residents: “Acceptable behaviour is behaviour that is considerate and responsible; empathises with the individual circumstances of our neighbours and is respectful of our community”.

The following are examples of unacceptable behaviour:

  • Noisy or abusive neighbours
  • Littering or graffiti
  • Dogs barking / fouling
  • Drunken behaviour
  • Inconsiderate parking

What do we expect from you?

It is expected that residents will be considerate to one another. Antisocial behaviour means different things to different people, and what might appear to be acceptable behaviour to one resident, may not be acceptable to another.

If you have just moved in or have new neighbours, please take time to allow yourself/them to settle in.

If you are living in a flat it is also important that you remember that you are living in a communal environment, and that you need to be tolerant of everyday noise that may be more easily heard.

What to expect from the Council

If you are experiencing problems with your neighbour you may be able to resolve it yourself by approaching them to discuss your concern/s.

If this is not possible, or if the nuisance continues, then Housing Services can be contacted for advice. We treat antisocial behaviour very seriously and are committed to preventing and tackling the causes of antisocial behaviour (for further information on our antisocial behaviour policy or to report an incident, please telephone us, write to us or visit www.wealden.gov.uk\antisocialbehaviour

Your Tenancy

Types of Tenancies Offered

Some features of your Conditions of Tenancy

Access – Changing locks – Keeping pets – Maintaining your garden 

Parking – Running a Business from home – Lodgers and Subletting

Your Tenancy

You will be given an appropriate tenancy depending upon your circumstances, and you will sign this before moving in. It is a legal document and should be kept safe. The differences in tenancies reflect different levels of security of tenure (a small number of properties that we manage will be housing association tenancies), but the common factor is that they all have conditions that you must adhere to.

You are required to occupy your property as your main and principal home and you are not permitted to move out and let someone else live there.

We carry out around 100 tenancy audit visits each year across our housing stock. These are done to ensure the correct people are living at the property and that it is being well-maintained.

If your circumstances change and you wish to add or remove a name from the tenancy you must contact your Housing Officer for advice to see if this is possible.

If you wish to end your tenancy you must provide the Council with 4 weeks’ written notice and you will be liable for the rent for this period and anything outstanding on your account. This is explained in your tenancy agreement.

In the event of the death of the tenant, leaving no one else in occupation, it is the responsibility of the next of kin to provide the Council with 4 weeks’ written notice.

Types of tenancies offered

The Council currently offers four different types of tenancies:

Non Secure Tenancies

Non-secure tenancies are sometimes given when a homeless household is placed in temporary accommodation owned by the Council by virtue of Homelessness legislation. Once permanent housing is found an Introductory followed by a Flexible Fixed Tenancy or secure tenancy will be given. Non-Secure tenancies do not have the Right to Buy, Right to Exchange, Right to Succession or Right to Take in Lodgers or to Sublet.

 

Secure Tenancies

A secure tenancy is now only given to those that move (either by way of a transfer or mutual exchange) and were a Secure Council Tenant or an Assured Housing Association Tenant at their previous property before the move took place.

Secure tenants have the right (with consent) to exchange their home with another Council or housing association tenant. Subject to eligibility the Right to Buy their council home. The right to make improvements to their home (with consent). Right to assign the

property (give it to someone else) or apply for a transfer. Right to take

in lodgers and sub-let part of their property.

Introductory Tenancies

All new Council tenants will be given an introductory tenancy if they have never been a Council or Housing Association tenant before, or have had a break in their former Council or Housing Association tenancy.

An introductory tenancy lasts for 12 months, unless the council take court proceedings to end the tenancy or extend it due to unsatisfactory behaviour/rent arrears. After which time you will become a Flexible Fixed Term tenant unless you have moved into

retirement living or a bungalow (eligible due to age) in which case you will get a secure tenancy.

Introductory tenants do not have the Right to Buy, Right to Exchange or transfer, Right to Take in Lodgers or to Sublet or the right to carry out any improvements or alterations.

Introductory tenants will be visited by their Housing Officer to make sure they understand what is required of them and to help them with any problems. The first visit will usually take place 6 weeks after you move in with additional visits as necessary.

Flexible Fixed Term Tenancies

Flexible tenants’ rights are the same as the rights of a secure tenant. On expiry of the 5 year fixed term the Council will review their circumstances 9 months before the tenancy is due to end and decide whether to:

  • Grant a new flexible tenancy for a period of 5 years at your existing property
  • Grant a new flexible tenancy for a period of 5 years at a new property more suitable to your needs
  • To take steps to end the flexible tenancy

Each case will be assessed on its own merits taking into account a range of criteria.

Some features of your Conditions of Tenancy

Access

With reasonable notice given, you are required to provide the Council or its contractors with access so we can repair or improve the property and to carry out the annual gas safety check.

Changing Locks

You may change the locks to your front and/or back door (if you have one) but if you do so you will be required to pay the cost of doing so. You cannot change the locks to any communal door.

Keeping pets

Keeping a pet in any council property requires written permission from the council in all circumstances. If you are given permission to keep a pet it must not cause a nuisance or be a danger to others (please see you tenancy agreement). You are not allowed to keep livestock in any Council property.

Maintaining your garden (if you have one)

Keeping the garden (including hedges and trees) tidy and free of rubbish is your responsibility. You must make sure that any ivy/virginia creeper does not grow up the property with the potential to cause damage to the property. However, you cannot cut down any tree, boundary hedge or remove any fence without first getting the Council’s written consent. You will need our written consent if you want to add a shed, greenhouse, garage, outbuilding or other structure.

Parking

Council owned parking areas can only be used by cars or motorbikes which are taxed, insured and roadworthy.

Before parking any van designated to weigh more than 2 tons when fully loaded, any goods vehicles, buses, coaches or mini-buses, caravan, boat or trailer on the property or on land owned by the Council (including gardens) you must get our written consent.

In some areas we do have garages to rent. If you would like to rent a garage please contact us at housing@wealden.gov.uk or

Running a business from home

If you want to run a business from home you will need our written consent, some businesses will not be permitted including car repairs.

  • Introduction
  • Repairs Responsibilities
  • Council’s Landlord Responsibilities –
  • Your Responsibilities –
  • Reporting Repairs Appointments
  • What is an Emergency Repair?
  • Mutual Exchange Repairs
  • Rechargeable Repairs
  • Programmed Works Knowing where things are in your home
  • Lettable Standard
  • Gas Leaks
  • Gas Servicing and Solid Fuel Systems
  • Condensation Alterations / Home Improvements
  • Laminate Flooring
  • Satellite Dishes/TV Aerials
  • Pest Control
  • Trees
  • Fencing Energy Efficiency
  • Asbestos Legionella
  • Claiming for Disrepair
  • Dealing with Dissatisfactions / Complaints Quality Monitoring of the Repairs Service

Introduction

Keeping your home a safe and enjoyable place to live is important to us.

It is your responsibility as a tenant to report repairs to us so it is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Our vision

A good quality service delivering high levels of satisfaction, offering tenants flexibility and choice where ever possible.

Repairs Responsibilities

Council’s Landlord Responsibilities

The Council is responsible for keeping in good repair the structure, both internal and external together with the services to the property including:

  • Interior, including walls, floors and ceilings, doors and frames and door fittings, kitchens and bathrooms
  • External elements including: roofs, chimneys (not sweeping), fascias, gutters and pipes, windows, doors, brickwork, rendering, drains, paths/steps, fences and gates
  • Heating systems, electrical circuits, sockets and switches, fires fitted by the Council and internal water and waste pipes

Your Responsibilities

Certain repairs you are responsible for include:

  • Damage caused by you, someone living with you or a visitor
  • Changing locks following loss of keys, fitting new locks or needing extra keys cut
  • Floor coverings, internal decoration, maintaining improvements fitted by you
  • Clearing blockages caused by your neglect
  • Treating household pests

Reporting Repairs

You can report a repair by:

  • Telephoning us on our repairs line where you can choose options to get directly in contact with our main repairs contractors

By email to repairs@wealden.gov.uk

Using the online repairs form at www.wealden.gov.uk/housing

By writing to us or visiting us at The Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2AX.

Your repair will be prioritised according to urgency, when reporting a repair by telephone you will be told how quickly the work will be done.

Appointments

When you ask for a repair inside your home we will offer you a morning or afternoon appointment. All routine repairs are carried out Monday to Friday.

Morning appointments are between 8am and 1pm. Afternoon appointments are between 1pm and 5pm.

For repairs inside your home you or someone else over the age of 18 must be there.

IMPORTANT – It is your responsibility to report repairs promptly so that your home remains in a safe condition.

What is an Emergency Repair?

The emergency out of hour’s service is for reporting major repairs needed to avoid the danger of injury or serious damage such as:

  • Total loss of power – please check there is not a power cut to the area
  • Uncontrollable water leak – turn off your stopcock and contact us
  • Boarding up windows or doors after a break-in, providing you have a crime reference number from the police
  • Impact damage to your home, such as vehicle collision, or
  • Fire in your home that makes the property uninhabitable Telephone the repairs line to report emergencies out of We will come out to make your home safe, and do the full repair during normal working hours.

Mutual Exchange Repairs

If you are exchanging your home with another tenant, we will tell you which repairs need to be done to your home before the mutual exchange can go ahead. In some instances, you will be expected to put right anything that is considered to be dangerous before you are allowed to move, but you will be made aware of this at the time the inspection is made.

You may also become responsible for any repairs to the property you are moving to that the previous tenant has carried out. Before

agreeing to an exchange, you should check very carefully whether any work of this kind has been carried out, and be prepared to take over responsibility for these repairs if the exchange goes ahead.

The tenant you are exchanging with will also be told about any repairs in your home that will become their responsibility.

Before you carry out a mutual exchange a gas inspection and electrical inspection will be completed.

The council will undertake day to day responsive repairs in accordance with the right to repair legislation. The Council’s standard fittings/parts will be used even if they do not match. Additional Repairs will not be carried out, as you have accepted the property in its current condition.

Rechargeable Repairs

In most circumstances we will charge you the full cost for repairs to damage caused by your misuse or neglect for example losing your key or breaking fixtures.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances you must pay for the work before we do the repair. If we agree that your circumstances are exceptional we will do the work and charge you for it.

You may also do the work yourself or get someone else to do it. If you do this you must take reasonable health and safety precautions to avoid putting you or anyone else in danger.

For further information see our recharge policy.

Programmed Works

In addition to the repairs service, which carries out responsive works to broken or damaged elements of our properties, we also have

a planned maintenance programme. This includes works such as new bathrooms or kitchens, works to roofs, new doors or windows, heating upgrades and electrical works.

We will write to you in advance and let you know if we plan to carry out any of these works on your property. You can check when planned programme works are due on your tenant’s portal.

Knowing where things are in your home

To help us do repairs and maintenance work, it is helpful if you can tell us or our contractors where the following are in your home if they need to locate them:

  • Mains water tap (stop cock) which is usually under the sink or wash hand basin
  • Electricity fuse box
  • Gas meter, if there is one
  • Heating Make sure you know how to use these controls

You should be advised of the locations at sign up. You should familiarise yourself should you need to turn off the water or services in an emergency.

Please call the repairs desk if you need help with this on 01323 443375 option 4.

Lettable Standard

When you sign up to your new home you will have received information describing the standard your property must meet. www.wealden.gov.uk/housing

Gas Leaks

If you think there could be a gas leak or you notice any fumes coming from a gas appliance:

✘ Do not turn any electrical switches on or off

✘ Do not use naked flames

✘ Do not smoke or use naked flames

✔ Do turn off all gas appliances

✔ Do open all windows and doors

✔ Do telephone Transco on 0800 111 999 to report the leak

Gas Servicing and Solid Fuel Systems

Gas Safety Regulations require us to undertake an annual gas appliance and pipe work check. This is a legal obligation and therefore you are required to allow our contractors access to carry out the checks. They will contact you to arrange an appointment when the service is due.

We will also carry out an annual service on solid fuel or oil appliances. You are responsible for operating them in accordance with the manufacturers operating handbook and chimney sweeping.

Condensation

The most common cause of damp and mould is condensation.

Condensation is caused by moisture present in the air all the time from breathing, cooking, drying clothes, from pets and house plants.

Condensation happens when moist air reaches a cold surface, such as a window. Condensation often builds up when washing and drying clothes and cooking. There may be black mould too which can affect walls, ceiling and window frames as well as your clothes and bedding. There are things you can do to reduce condensation: Keep a low background heat and avoid sudden changes in temperature, using vents helps achieve this balance. Also ensure tumble dryers are vented outside, lids are put on saucepans when cooking, do not dry clothes over radiators and shut bathroom doors when bathing.

It’s a normal part of everyday living which requires us to wipe up excess moisture and clean off any light mould which forms as part of everyday household cleaning regimes.

Do not remove fuses from or turn off extractor fans.

For safety reasons, do not ever use paraffin or liquid gas heaters in the home.

For further advice on condensation please visit our website:

www.wealden.gov.uk/housing

Alterations / Home Improvements

Before carrying out any alterations such as putting in a new kitchen or bathroom, adding a conservatory or driveway you must get our written consent. You may also require building regulations and planning permission depending on the work, and are responsible for checking and gaining approval as necessary. You are responsible for the ongoing maintenance on any alterations that you have carried out.

Laminate Flooring

Please ask us for advice if you are thinking of installing laminate flooring.

Please consider the following before you replace your carpets with laminate flooring:

  • Slippery floors are the main cause of over a third of falls by older people
  • If you spill anything on the floor, it should be mopped up straight away to avoid the risk of slips and falls
  • If you have a rug on top of the flooring, it should have anti-slip matting Loose mats and rugs can cause tripping

and injury

  • Before installing laminate flooring, you must fit suitable underlay to act as sound Otherwise you may cause

noise nuisance to your neighbours, particularly if you live in a flat, and we may take legal action against you for breaching your tenancy. This could result in you having to take up your laminate flooring or, in extreme cases, losing your home

  • If you install laminate flooring, we will not refit it if it needs to be removed to do a repair

The Council will hold no liability for your laminate floor you will need to make sure you have adequate insurance.

Satellite Dishes/ TV Aerials

Before installing a satellite dish you must get our written consent and check with the Planning Service to ensure that you are not restricted from doing so. You are responsible for all satellite equipment and for relocating the dish during any programmed works.

Most tenants will need to install and maintain their own TV aerial, we are not legally responsible for providing TV aerials.

For further Q & As on satellite dishes see:

www.wealden.gov.uk/housing

Pest Control

It is your responsibility to deal with any pests in your home. The Housing service is not responsible for the treatment of any pests.

You can either pay a private company to deal with any infestations otherwise Wealden Council provides rat, mice, wasp and other pest control treatments for Wealden residents. Please note that this is

a chargeable service. However, they do not provide a service for removing bees. Please see our website for more information: www.wealden.gov.uk/housing .

Trees

We will only do tree work only there is a health and safety risk, or if the tree is likely to damage the property. All other tree work in your garden is your responsibility, but you will need written permission before removing any established trees or hedges. It is your responsibility

to check whether any trees are subject to a Tree Preservation Order

(TPO) before undertaking any work to the tree/s.

Fencing

The Council has a fencing plan that gives a clear understanding of the Council and tenant responsibilities for the maintenance, repair and renewal of fencing and boundaries. The plan can be found at: www.wealden.gov.uk/housing

There is no statutory requirement for the Council to provide a fence at the boundary of a property or to securely fence gardens to keep pets, animals, children or persons in or out of the gardens. The Council

is not responsible for the security of tenants’ belongings kept within garden areas.

Energy Efficiency

The Council is committed to ensuring that its properties are energy efficient. For more information on the work that we are doing or to find out how you can save energy please visit our website:

https://www.wealden.gov.uk/environment-and-pollution/home-

energy-efficiency/ or telephone the Council.

You will be sent the Energy Performance Certificate soon after you move in which will tell you how energy efficient your home is.

If you are considering carrying out any works to improve the energy efficiency of your property, please contact us first to discuss it.

Asbestos

Some properties contain asbestos. This is generally bound within another material, such as asbestos cement sheeting, and is only harmful if damaged or disturbed. We keep a register which lists where asbestos is or likely to be. We survey properties regularly to assess its condition and where necessary remove or encapsulate it.

If you are considering carry out any work to the property, with permission, please contact the repairs desk for further information.

Legionella

All hot and cold water systems in residential properties are a potential source of legionella bacteria which can lead to Legionnaires Disease. Occupants who are elderly, people with chest or lung problems, smokers or heavy drinkers are most at risk from legionella. Not everybody exposed to the bacteria becomes ill.

However there is no need for concern, the growth of Legionella Bacteria is easily preventable by following some simple rules including regular use of taps, shower heads, cleaning and maintaining correct water temperatures.

For further advice see www.wealden.gov.uk/housing

Claiming for Disrepair

Many law firms offer to act on your behalf if you think your home is suffering from damp and mould, the Council has not repaired

something they should have done, or have done a repair badly. They often offer help on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. However, there may be hidden costs, and many of these firms make promises they cannot keep.

We are committed to solving any disrepair problems and we ask you to discuss your concerns with us before using a law firm.

We will strongly defend all false claims of disrepair or where damp and mould is clearly a result of tenant lifestyle and behaviour.

Dealing with dissatisfaction /complaints

If your complaint is regarding the service provided by one of our repairs contractor, the complaint should be made in the first instance through the contractors’ complaints procedure. Taking complaints directly to the relevant contractor usually results in a more speedy and effective resolution. The Council monitors all complaints made directly to the contractor. However if a satisfactory result is not forthcoming the complaint may then be taken through the Council’s own procedure.

Quality Monitoring of Repairs Service

We are keen to ensure that we provide our tenants with a good service and require all of our contractors to regularly monitor their performance by carrying out a variety of quality checks.

In addition our Repairs Team carry out customer satisfaction surveys; these are carried out by email, text and telephone. If you would like to let us know how your recent experience with our repairs service went you can complete this on line survey: www.wealden.gov.uk/repairssurvey or contact the repairs team.

 

Tenant Involvement and Improving your Community

Resident Groups across the District Tenant Involvement Team Range of ways to get involved Funding for Community Projects

Contact Us

Tenant Involvement and Improving your Community

Wealden would like to involve as many residents as possible in what happens in their area. We aim to encourage and facilitate opportunities for every tenant to become involved.

Resident Groups across the District

There are a number of existing resident groups across the District set up to work together to improve their neighbourhood. If you would like to get involved in an existing group, or need help in setting up a group in your area please contact us.

We also have two main umbrella groups that cover the residents associations called WRAG (Wealden Residents Action Group) for general needs tenants and RLRG (Retirement Living Residents Group) for retirement living tenants.

For more information go to: www.wealden.gov.uk/tenantinvolvement

Tenant Involvement Team

Wealden employs a small team to help residents become involved in their area, including help with setting up resident associations or

with community surveys or applying for funding to deliver community projects.

Range of ways to get involved

Depending on your interest and the time you have available there are various ways in which you can get involved which include:

  • Being involved in the Wealden Residents Action Group (WRAG)
  • Being a member of a Scrutiny group
  • Joining or starting a local Tenant, Resident or Community Association
  • Becoming a local area representative where there is not a community association
  • Helping to develop local neighbourhood agreements if there is demand
  • Attending focus groups
  • Responding to informal consultation
  • Completing surveys and questionnaires
  • Becoming a communal area cleaning monitor
  • Taking part in networking events or activities which share knowledge and best practice
  • Attending training and skills sessions/programmes or courses
  • Going on neighbourhood inspections/walkabouts
  • Being a member of the reading group (for publications and newsletters)
  • Sitting on the grants evaluation panels

Funding for Community Projects

The Tenant Involvement Team work closely with residents to identify and bid for funding.

Contact Us

If you would like to know more about local groups or how you can get involved please contact the Tenant Involvement Team or at

tenant.participation@wealden.gov.uk

Moving out of Social Housing

(including death)

Transfers Mutual Exchanges

Downsizing Right to Buy Succession

Moving out of Social Housing (including death)

If you are planning to leave your Council property you must give the Council 4 weeks’ written notice that you wish to move out. Please contact your Housing Officer to make arrangements for an inspection of your property to be carried out, this is called a pre-void inspection.

Arrangements for ending the tenancy and handing back all the keys can be discussed at this inspection. The Housing Officer will also discuss any works that you need to undertake before the property is returned to us. Any works that are not done will carried out by us and recharged to you. The standard required will be clearly explained to you.

Transfers

The Council has a transfer scheme for existing tenants living in Wealden who wish to move within the district. We do not have enough properties to help everyone who applies, so we use a banding system which gives

priority to those who need re-housing most urgently. If you are moving into a property owned by a housing association you must give the Council 4 weeks’ written notice (see section on Moving out of Social Housing). More information can be found online or speak to your Housing Officer.

Mutual Exchanges

Some Council tenants will have the right to carry out a mutual exchange with any social housing tenant nationally. Mutual Exchanges are normally two way but three way exchanges are permitted. It is your responsibility to find an exchanging partner, but you must obtain permission from the landlords before proceeding.

Please see our website for further information about mutual exchanges and how to register: www.wealden.gov.uk/housing or speak to your Housing Officer.

Downsizing

If you would like to move to a smaller home you may qualify for a Transfer Incentive Scheme payment. Please contact your Housing Officer for information or visit: www.wealden.gov.uk/housing

Right to Buy

Some tenants have the Right to Buy their home at a discounted price if they meet certain eligibility criteria. For more information see the Council’s website: www.gov.uk/right-to-buy-buying-your-council-home

Succession

In the event of the death of a tenant it may be possible for that tenancy to be taken over by another person. The rights depend on when the tenancy was granted, with different levels of succession rights for those whose tenancy was granted before 1 April 2012. Speak to your Housing Officer about your individual circumstances if you would like to know more.

Lifeline –

Staying in Your Home

Sanctuary Scheme, support for victims –

Adaptations –

Retirement Living

Housing designed for older people in Wealden is called Retirement Living.

Retirement Living is located across the district, in flats and a very small number of bungalows. Retirement Living provides independent living, plus support if wanted, and lots of social activities.

Each Retirement Living complex has a range of different facilities. Retirement Living can offer: a comfortable lounge for social events, art and crafts room and/or a library area, hairdressing, guest room, laundry room with modern washing machines and driers and communal gardens.

24-hour Lifeline link, and a secure door entry system is also provided and a court management service ensures that residents are safe, the building is secure, and that any emergencies are promptly dealt with. This is a compulsory service which comes with living in Retirement Living and you cannot opt out of it.

For further information please see the Council’s website www.wealden.gov.uk/retirementliving or contact your Housing Officer  for more details. Viewings can be arranged by prior appointment.

Please note that Retirement Living is excluded from the Right to Buy.

Age restricted properties

Within our supply of general needs housing the Council has a number of age restricted properties either flats or bungalows designated for people aged either 55+ or 60+ years. These are spread across four sites with all benefiting from a Lifeline service (which cannot be opted out of).

Specialist Housing

Specialist Housing options are available in the district but are not provided by the Council, however, we can provide advice on how they can be accessed. They include:

  • Extra care housing for the
  • Refuge for victims of domestic
  • Schemes for young people in partnership with the
  • Schemes for people with learning

For more information speak to your Housing Officer.

Support Services

We want to keep people in their homes if they are suitable for their needs rather than having to move them. We work with other agencies to provide services to help achieve this.

To find out about what support services are available and whether you qualify visit the Council’s website: www.wealden.gov.uk or contact your Housing Officer.

Lifeline

Wealden and Eastbourne Lifeline (WEL) is dedicated to ensuring safety, security and independence for their customers through their locally based 24 hour telephone response service, bringing extra reassurance and peace of mind to them and their family. Anyone is able to pay for and receive the service direct regardless of where they live. You can find out more about their services at www.welbeing.org.uk

Staying in Your Home

Sanctuary Scheme – support for victims

The Sanctuary Scheme aims to make it possible for victims of domestic violence, physical violence or hate crimes to remain in their homes and feel safe. The Sanctuary Scheme provides for the installation of enhanced security measures in a victim’s property.

For more information visit the Council’s website www.wealden.gov.uk

or speak to your Housing Officer.

Adaptations

The Council carries out minor adaptations such as grab rails and major adaptations such as installing stairlifts or level access showers. If you think that you require such works please contact the Property Services Team.

Please note that all major adaptations will only be carried out following an assessment by an Occupational Therapist, but any necessary works will be carried out by Wealden. The works are also means tested, so you may be required to make a contribution towards the costs of the works.

Giving a Compliment

Room for Improvement

Complaints

Data Protection

Giving a Compliment

If you are pleased about something we have done or the service we provide please let us know. Compliments are appreciated and help us to know what we are doing well. Compliments can be made in writing, by phone or by email: housing@wealden.gov.uk or by visiting our website: www.wealden.gov.uk

Room for Improvement

If you have a suggestion how we can improve one or more of the services that we provide, please let us know.

Complaints

The Council has a clear published complaints procedure which is outlined on our website.

You can make a formal complaint by:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Writing to us
  • Visiting us at our office
  • Or visit our website: wealden.gov.uk

Data Protection

Wealden District Council is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected and will only use and store your personal data in line with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018. Our Privacy Policy sets out how we collect, use and securely hold your data. For more information visit: www.wealden.gov.uk/dataprotection

 

The information you provide will be treated confidentially at all times. Security safeguards apply to both manual and electronically held data and only relevant staff can access your information. As a data controller, we also have a responsibility to make sure you know why and how your personal information is being used in accordance with relevant data protection law.

 

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How we use your data

We will use your personal information for the following purposes:

  • Managing your tenancy, including the provision of support and advice to you as a tenant.
  • Arranging and carrying out repairs and maintenance on the

How long we hold your data for

We will store your personal data for the duration of your tenancy. Following the end of your tenancy, your data will be archived for six years and then destroyed.

Sharing your data

We may share your personal data with other Council departments in order to provide the service you have requested and to ensure that the information we hold about you is accurate and up to date.

Your personal information may also be shared with third parties for the purpose of: prevention and/or detection of a crime/ fraud or we are otherwise legally required to do so; where it is in the public interest or our legitimate interests to do so  (e.g. to utility providers if your bills remain unpaid); or in the interest of safeguarding yourself or others.

If we wish to use or share your information for any other purposes we will seek your consent.

If you have any questions or concerns about how your personal data is handled you can contact our Data Protection Officer (DPO), at dataprotection@wealden.gov.uk.