Moving in and moving out of your council property. Our promise to you

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1 Moving in and moving out of your council property Our promise to you

2 Moving in and moving out of your council property Medway Council Housing Services is committed to providing excellent customer service by putting customers at the centre of everything we do. We hope that you receive a high standard of service whether you are moving in to or out of one of our council homes. This leaflet sets out the processes for moving in and moving out of our properties. It also identifies what we expect from you, our tenant, and what you can expect from us, your landlord. Moving in to your council property MOVING IN Housing Services wants moving in to your new home to be a pleasant experience. We work hard to make sure that your home is safe, secure and in a good condition when you move in. This section of the leaflet sets out our standards for dealing with empty properties before you move in and what you can expect from us once you move into your new home. What will Medway Council do to my home before I move in? Inspection We will inspect every empty property within one working day of receiving the keys from the previous tenant. All repairs needed to bring the property up to the Housing Services lettable standard will be identified and ordered. All keys to the property will be located and it will be made secure. Improvement works If a property that you are going to move into requires improvement work we will consult with you before deciding whether to under take the work before or after your tenancy begins. If we decide to carry out the work it may delay the start of your tenancy. Improvement works will be linked into any repairs improvement programme that is currently in place and if repairs are due in your property we will aim to complete these once you have moved in. What will Medway Council do to make sure that my property is in a good condition for me to move in to? We will make sure that the property you move into meets our lettable standards that have been developed in consultation with our customers. Before you move into your new home the council will make certain that it is safe and secure by completing all essential repairs required to the property. We aim to complete as much non-essential repair work possible, before you move in. However, we may complete some non-essential repairs that are not a health and safety issue, after you have moved in to avoid a delay in the letting process. To make sure that your home is suitable for you to live in we will under take the necessary repairs to meet our lettable standards that are set out in our voids policy. If you would like to view the policy please visit our website or contact your housing officer. Contact details can be found at the back of this leaflet. Medway Council will not : provide incoming tenants with carpets or furniture; arrange connection to a gas or electricity supplier. Please contact your housing officer or the Customer First Repairs Team to discuss any other repairs that you think should have been carried out. What will happen when I move in? Getting in We will give you a set of keys for each of the locks in your new home when you sign your new tenancy. If you want any extra keys, you will have to pay for them yourself. If your home is fitted with any shared key fob systems for example; shared entrance doors, you will need to buy extra fobs from us. Improvements and other repairs We will inform you of any improvement works that are due to take place in the first 12 months of your tenancy starting. This information is set out in the council s Asset Management Strategy. If during the course of your tenancy you require any other repairs to your property you will be able to report them to the Customer First Repairs Team. Contact details are provided at the back of this leaflet. Connecting your services While we will make sure that there are safe gas and electricity supplies to your property, it is down to you to contact the suppliers of your choice to set up accounts and arrange for connection. It is also your responsibility to choose your own landline telephone company and arrange connection and to inform the water company of your new address to set up a new account. Home contents insurance It is your responsibility to take out contents insurance to protect your belongings against fire, theft and flood. We have arranged for Jardin Lloyd Thompson, an insurance service provider, to offer an affordable home contents insurance scheme to our tenants and leaseholders. For details and an application form, phone Jardin Lloyd Thompson on or contact your housing officer.

3 Tenants welcome pack and housing officer visit When you move in to your new home we will provide you with a tenants welcome pack. This will provide helpful information on topics such as understanding your tenancy, how to get involved, how to request a repair and useful contact numbers. Your housing officer will also visit you within six weeks of you moving in to your property. This visit is to make sure that you are settling into your new home and that you do not have any issues or concerns. A satisfaction survey will be carried out to find out whether you were happy with the condition of the property when you moved into it and the services we are providing to you. Moving out of your council property MOVING OUT Housing Services wants to ensure that you find ending a tenancy with us as straight forward as possible. This section of the leaflet sets out what you need to do when ending your tenancy. It also identifies what Medway Council expects from you and what you can expect from the council when terminating your tenancy. How do I end my tenancy? Give the council notice If you are planning to move out of your home you must give Medway Council notice. When doing this please note the following: You must give the council written notice that you wish to end your tenancy, stating the date you wish to leave. You must give the council four weeks notice that you wish to end your tenancy and the notice must end on a Monday. We may agree to end a tenancy on shorter notice if you or the tenant is moving to a residential home or the tenant has died and you are a family member dealing with their affairs. Medway Council will start the date of notice the following Monday after the letter is received. You will be responsible for paying your rent until the end of your notice. You should inform us if you leave the property before the end of your notice period. If you move out without telling the council, you will carry on being charged rent until the tenancy is ended either by yourself or through a court order to end the tenancy. It is in your interest to tell us that you have moved, if you don t considerable rent arrears may build up on your tenancy. This will affect your re-housing prospects in the future. To make this process easier for you there is a Notice of Termination of Tenancy form available on request from the council. To obtain a copy of this form please contact your housing officer or Customer First. Contact details can be found at the back of this leaflet. What if a tenant cannot sign a termination form? Sometimes a tenant is unable to sign a termination form because of health reasons. A relative can sign the termination form on the tenant s behalf if they have one of the following: power of attorney; a letter of administration; written confirmation from a doctor or social worker that the tenant is unable to return home. What if the tenant has passed away? While we would normally require four weeks notice to end a tenancy, in these circumstances we will accept a minimum of two weeks notice. If the tenant was in receipt of housing benefit this will cease on the Monday following the death of the tenant. This will mean that two weeks full rent will be charged to the estate of the deceased. A Tenancy Termination form is available from the council for relatives to notify us of the death of a tenant. To obtain a copy of this form please contact your housing officer or Customer First. Contact details can be found at the back of this leaflet. What happens once I have given notice of my tenancy? Inspection of the property Medway Council Housing Services actively encourages tenants to leave the property, garage and garden areas in a clean and tidy condition as laid out in your tenancy agreement. Your housing officer will arrange to visit you before the end of your tenancy to carry out an inspection of the property. This visit will allow Housing Services to: identify and agree any improvements to the property that you have made for which you may be eligible for compensation; identify and agree with you any rechargeable repairs that will be your responsibility to pay for, as per our rechargeable repairs policy. The policy can be obtained via our website or on request. Contact details can be found on the back of this leaflet; identify and notify contractors of any repair work that the officer feels are required at the property before it is re-let.

4 Outstanding rent During the inspection of your property the housing officer will inform you of the status of your rent account and any sub accounts you have. You can also contact your housing officer to check your rent balance prior to this. You must pay any outstanding rent that you have on your account before leaving your property. If circumstances mean that you are unable to do this, you may be able to arrange an affordable payment agreement with the council. Who else should I let know I m moving? You should inform the following services that you are moving: Medway Council Housing Revenues and Benefits Service to update council tax and housing benefit records. The companies that supply your water, gas and electricity - take your own meter reading in case of any later disputes. The company that supplies your telephone service The TV licensing - to transfer your TV licence. The Post Office - to redirect mail to your new address What should I do when leaving my property? When you are leaving your property Medway Council expects you to: leave the property clean and tidy and remove all of your belongings, including all rubbish, furniture and carpets. It is your responsibility to pay for the clearing out of your property. You will be charged for the removal of any items left in the property (including the garden, drive, garage, loft and sheds) and for cleaning the property if it is left in poor condition; try not to damage the property or decorations when moving out. You will be charged for any damage caused; leave all the landlord s fixtures and fittings attached to the structure in the property for example; kitchen units, doors, storage heaters and gas fires. If in doubt, check with your housing officer; leave the property secure, with all the windows and doors shut; turn off all services at the mains before you leave. You must not leave any bare wires or open gas pipes. For safety reasons, you should arrange for a qualified electrician or gas fitter to disconnect the cooker; return all keys, including garage and shed keys where applicable, to the council by 12noon on the Monday that the tenancy ends. If they are returned after this you will be charged an extra week s rent. You will be given a receipt for the keys. If keys are not returned you will be recharged for the cost of changing the locks. If you have large items of furniture or carpets to be removed, you can contact Customer First to collect up to three items for free on Please contact them well before your moving date so they have time to arrange for the collection. You can also take household rubbish to the household waste and recycling centres, located across Medway. Tenancy Termination Incentive Scheme Housing Services will offer an incentive payment of up to 200 to tenants who meet all the conditions set out below. To qualify for any of these payments you must have been a council tenant, at the property you are leaving, for 12 months or more and a valid notice must have been completed to notify the council that you are leaving. Payments will be offset against any rent arrears owing on the rent account once the tenancy is terminated and all housing benefit payments have been adjusted weeks notice 60 Property left empty, clean and in good decorative order. Gardens have been left manageable were appropriate 20 All keys returned 20 No debts on electricity and gas meter 20 Pre-termination visit by housing officer 20 Net curtains left at windows 20 Viewing in occupation (accompanied) Please speak to your housing officer about applying for any of the above cash incentive payments. Useful contact details and websites Age UK (advice) Age Concern Medway (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) British Gas Citizens Advice Bureau Chatham and Gillingham Office Environmental Health Southern Electricity general enquiries: Electricity and gas (local rate) Pay as you go electricity Pay as you go gas TV Licensing (you can also transfer your TV license here) Medway Revenues and Benefits Service Fax: TextRelay:

5 Making a compliment, comment or complaint If you have had a positive experience with Medway Council Housing Services please let us know. If, however you are unhappy with the service you have received and you want to make a complaint or suggestion contact us using one of the methods below: Phone: Write to: Service Improvement Team Medway Council Housing Services, Gun Wharf, Level 2 Dock Road, Chatham, Kent Kent ME4 4TR Who to contact Customer First (Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm and Sat, 9am-1pm) or (for out-of-hours emergencies) Housing Officers or free phone (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) Housing Services, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR Website: Minicom: Repairs Customer First Repairs Team: or free phone (Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm and Sat, 9am-1pm) or (for out-of-hours emergencies) for repairs: This information can be made available in other formats from If you have any questions about this leaflet and you want to speak to someone in your own language please ring G4209 Published April 09. Designed by Medway Council s Communications Team. Printed on recycled paper

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