Financial Support Test

Accessibility

Yes. The routes are: face to face, on-line, letter, phone, email, and via social media.

Yes. They are on a dedicated section of our website.

Yes. We have a reasonable adjustment statement. The policy will be live in March 2021.

Yes. We publish regular articles in our customer magazine. We have a complaints page on our website.

ASB

Anti-social behaviour includes a wide range of behaviour that causes nuisance or annoyance to our customers, their families, our employees and others living or working in the community. It is also behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress, or using or threatening to use housing for an unlawful purpose. Find out more about ASB.

We work in partnership with all our local authority partners to change the behaviour of those people who repeatedly make unreasonable noise that impacts on their neighbour’s enjoyment of their homes. There are of course some acceptable day to day noises due to people living in close proximity which the local authority won’t investigate. In these instances, it may require more understanding and patience rather than formal action.

If possible and where you’re able to maintain social distancing, speak with your neighbour to discuss any noise issues.

We all have different levels of tolerance when it comes to noise. Unreasonable noise includes loud music, late-night DIY or parties that disrupt the enjoyment of your home. There are some noises that are unavoidable such as footsteps or noise from white goods – please be mindful when at home or in your neighbourhood.

In order to stop the spread of the virus and to keep everyone safe, the government has enforced a two metre distance between people. If you see somebody in your neighbourhood breaking this rule, you can call the police on the non-urgent number of 101.

We have lots of things in place to keep you and your community safe. You can read more about what we’re doing during the coronavirus as well as our approach to tackling ASB.

Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes with neighbours without the need to go to court. It’s a discussion between the parties involved and an impartial person who acts as a mediator. Our free and impartial mediation service can help you with things like neighbour disputes and also advice on how to cope under the current movement restrictions.

You can find out more by calling our team on 0300 456 2099 or email contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk

We’re aware of the challenges parents and guardians have with children at home. Where possible, use outdoor spaces for rest and play and be mindful of your neighbours and noise.
If you’re a neighbour experiencing more noise due to children at home or outside, please understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, and children may become restless when forced to stay indoors. We encourage neighbours to speak to one another whilst respecting social distancing before noise becomes an issue.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, we want to let you know that we’re here to support you.

At a time when we’re required to stay indoors and self-isolate, we understand that for some of our customers this is the last place that they feel safe. If you do find yourself in an urgent or emergency situation where violence is being used or threatened, first get yourself to a safe location and, when safe to do so, call the police.
Once you’ve reported to the police, you can contact us on 0300 456 2099 or email contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk to speak to us. We have trained colleagues who can provide advice and assistance at this difficult time.

You can also contact National Domestic Abuse Helpline on Freephone 0808 2000 247.

Yes. We’ll continue to look into any reports of anti-social behaviour, however, we may not be able to visit in the usual way.
Please contact us via our online form if have any concerns about anti-social behaviour.

Are you sure they are breaking social distancing rules? They could be providing key services to others in the community that could be misunderstood as a breach.

Try and have a chat with them – obviously while keeping the correct social distance – and remind them of the rules.

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to them directly, you could always ask another neighbour to chat to them instead or drop a friendly note through their door

If you have a neighbours’ WhatsApp group, you could send a friendly reminder via this channel as well

Put up our poster to remind people about social distancing, or again maybe just drop it through your neighbour’s door.

Catalyst does not have the authority to take any action against a customer for breaking social distancing rules. However, the police do have the power to enforce these rules and can even give fines to repeat offenders and those refusing to comply.

You can contact the police on the non-urgent 101 number or via their online form to report your concerns.

Catalyst Repairs

If something stops working or develops a fault, we will fix it for free. We will only charge you for repairs if you’ve intentionally or wilfully caused the damage.

If you would like to report a repair, you can call us on 0300 456 2099, email us on contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk , fill in our online form or visit us in person.

  • If it is an emergency, we will respond within 4 hours and complete the work  within 24 hours.
  • We aim to deal with all non-emergency and routine repairs within 7 days. You may have to wait longer if we need to order specialist parts or materials.

An emergency repair is when there is an immediate danger to people or a risk of serious damage to property.
Examples are:

  • a dangerous electrical fault
  • a serious water leak
  • a complete loss of lighting, electricity or water.

For all other repairs, we aim to offer you an appointment within 7 calendar days. Examples of other types of non-emergency repairs are:

  • fixing internal door handles
  • replacing taps
  • ease and adjusting a window or door
  • reglazing a window after an emergency board up

Communal area cleaning services

Tasks include:

  • All entrance doors, foyers, lifts and floors inspected, waste removed, and cleaned as necessary
  • All bin chutes checked and cleared, or any blockages reported
  • All external walkways, hardstanding and footpaths kept free of litter and debris
  • Any bags of waste found on either the grounds or in internal areas removed
  • All ASB-related paraphernalia removed and disposed of using approved methods
  • Any items found that are likely to constitute a fire risk reported

 

Tasks include:

  • Sweeping of footpaths and estate roadways owned by Catalyst
  • Removal of external graffiti and fly-posters
  • Mechanical sweeping of hard surfaces and estate roadways owned by Catalyst
  • Addressing any immediate health and safety hazards

 

Communication

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

96% of our complaints were resolved at stage one.

4% of our complaints resolved at stage two

100% of complaints were acknowledged within the timescale.
71% of stage one complaints were resolved within 10 days.
29% of stage one customers had their complaint response extended with reasonable explanation.
60% of stage two complaints were responded to within 10 days.

Yes.

Yes.

We attempt to survey each customer after the complaint is closed to understand how satisfied they were with the way the complaint was handled.
Our customer satisfaction score year to date is 52% This figure only includes those customers who were surveyed.

Consultation

First stage

If we need to choose a contractor by asking different firms to return estimates of their costs, shared owners, leaseholders, and any recognised residents’ group, will be sent a written notice that:

  • describes the proposed works
  • sets down the reasons why the works are needed
  • invites you to name a contractor who should be asked to provide an estimate
  • allows 30 days for written comments.

We are subject to a number of regulations when selecting contractors. When inviting tenders on any contract, contractors must be on an approved list or qualify for being placed on such a list. We will include a brief statement with the initial notice that explains any nominated contractor will need to satisfy our requirements in order to be considered for the contract. If successful a nominated contractor will be sent our standard application for inclusion on our approved list of contractors and they must meet our criteria before we award them the contract.

Second stage

A second written notice will be sent to each leaseholder and shared ownership leaseholder which will:

  • include at least two estimates for carrying out the proposed works and set down the reasons why the works are needed
  • give a summary of comments received and our responses to them
  • allow 30 days for any written comments on the estimates.

Third stage

At the end of the 30 day period we will award the contract. If the contract is not awarded to a contractor suggested by a shared owner, leaseholder or the contractor who sent in the lowest estimate, we will write to you again within 21 days explaining why the contractor has been selected. We will also let you know about any comments we have received and what our reply to them is.

There are slightly different arrangements if a public notice is needed. This happens if the cost of the work is above a level set by the European Union rules for advertising and letting contracts. This is only likely to be for large scale works. We must still serve a notice of intention on the service charge payers but the main differences are:

  • shared owners and leaseholders do not have the right to nominate a contractor for these contracts; and
  • we must include a statement in the notice of intention that nominations are not being invited from shared owner or leaseholders because a public notice is to be given for the agreement or contract for works.

In cases where the works are considered urgent we may apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) for an order to dispense with the consultation procedure. We may do this if there is a leaking roof, a dangerous structure or in other cases where we need to proceed quickly. In such cases the LVT will notify service charge payers of the proposal.

Once the planned works have been completed and the actual cost has been decided, we will invoice shared owners and leaseholders or use the appropriate sinking funds where they exist. In certain circumstances we may offer an interest free or low interest facility in order that shared owners and leaseholders can budget for costs.

Examples of long term agreements – contracts lasting more than 12 months – might include:

  • lift maintenance contract
  • cleaning and grounds maintenance contract
  • door entry system maintenance contract.

If we wish to enter into a long-term agreement with a contractor to provide works or services that will cost any shared owner or leaseholder more than £100 during the year, you must be consulted.

The consultation procedure for long-term service contracts is very similar to the procedure for major works.

First stage

All shared owners, leaseholders and any recognised residents’ groups, will be sent a written notice, which will:

  • describe the works or services to be provided
  • give reasons why a long-term agreement is needed
  • invite you to nominate a contractor who you think should be asked to provide an estimate (shared owners and leaseholders are not permitted to nominate a contractor if the works are to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union)
  • allow you 30 days to respond with your written comments.

Second stage

Once estimates have been received, a second notice with at least two quotes for the proposed works, will be sent to each shared owner or leaseholder and will include:

  • details of the service to be provided
  • the names and addresses of the proposed contractors, identifying any connections with Catalyst Housing Ltd
  • estimated costs; and
  • the period of the contract.

You will be invited to send in comments on the estimates within 30 days. We must take these written comments into account.

Third stage

Finally, we must write to all shared owners and leaseholders again to let you know who will be doing the work and why they have been selected. We will also let you know about any comments we have received, and our response to them.

We do not have to write to you again if the chosen contractor has been nominated by a shared owner or leaseholder or has sent in the lowest estimate.

When we have a long term agreement with a contractor to provide a maintenance service the law requires us to consult in a slightly different way.

As we have already chosen the contractor you cannot nominate another one but you can comment on the proposed works and the estimated costs.

All shared owners, leaseholders and any recognised residents’ groups will be sent a written notice that will:

  • describe the proposed works
  • set down the reasons why the works are needed
  • estimate the total cost of the works
  • allow 30 days for written comments.

We must consider any written comments received and reply within 21 days. Please note that this refers to individual replies and not a general response to all recipients of the notice.

We should only carry out and charge for works in accordance with the terms of your lease. If we fail to consult you, we can only charge to the limits set out under previous headings in this section.

Work carried out must be to a reasonable standard. If you are unhappy with the standard of work you should contact the Asset Management Team on 0300 500 6262or email info@chg.org.uk. You should contact us while the works are being carried out or as soon as they have been completed.

Continuous learning and improvement

We haven’t recorded our improvements.
We are designing our lessons learnt and continuous learning framework. It will ensures that lessons are captured , shared with business and most importantly that action are taken to eradicate route causes.
A pilot will be in place in February. We will go live in March, ahead of the 30 March timeline when the Handling Code should be fully implemented by landlords.

We will share the results of our self-assessment with the Executive Team and the Board.

We will share the results with customers and publish them on our website from February 2021.

We will share the lessons learnt with our customers via our website and the customer magazine.

We will include any organisational learning in our 21/22 annual report and share learnings to the Executive Team and the Board.
The customer complaints scrutiny panel who will scrutinise a sample of closed complaints, our performance and offer recommendations for service improvement will hold their first meeting in April 2021.
We have designed a new dedicated section on our website for complaints. Customers can find all the information they need of how to make a complaint, our complaint process and view our performance. We will also include results from self-assessments and continuous learning outcomes.

Yes.

Key changes made to the Policy
We will accept complaints for any service failure within six months.
Easy access for customers to make a complaint.

A two-stage approach to complaint handling, with the final stage being an appeal only.
The final stage of the complaints procedure (appeal) will be carried out by a manager or above who has not been previously involved in the complaint.
Customers have the right to contact the Housing Ombudsman at any given point. The procedure allows customers to use the Housing Ombudsman Service throughout the life of a complaint.
All stage one and two complaints will be handled by a centralised Resolution Team.
Policy now available to customers in an easy to read format.
Easier ways, more accessible for customers to make a complaint – multiple channels.

Dealing with anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour includes a wide range of behaviour that causes nuisance or annoyance to our residents, their families, our staff and others living or working in the community. It is also behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress, or using or threatening to use housing for an unlawful purpose.

It ranges from noise nuisance (such as playing loud music or carrying out noisy activities late at night) to serious crimes (such as drug dealing and violence). It can also include things like vandalism, graffiti or fly-tipping.

However, where there are minor issues considered to be everyday living or minor lifestyle differences, we may not be able to resolve these.

 

If the problem is serious or repeated, please report it through our online enquiry form and to the police. Remember that if you witness or are a victim of crime, including hate crime and harassment, please report it to the police.

Catalyst has a victim-centred approach to dealing with reported incidents. We take all reports seriously and will keep people informed of progress, discussing options with them at every stage of the process.

We work with our partners, such as councils, the police and other local agencies, to tackle the causes and effects of ASB, where we have the powers and ability to do so.

We expect residents to take responsibility for their own behaviour and that of their household and visitors. Our tenancies, leases and license agreements place a duty on our residents to respect others and not damage property.

Anti-social behaviour can be closely associated with other serious issues such as hate crime, domestic abuse and safeguarding, and where appropriate, we will follow our policies in those areas.

Minor issues like noise nuisance can often be resolved by speaking to your neighbours yourself – this is often the quickest and easiest way to solve problems.

If the anti-social behaviour is on-going, please contact us using the details above. We’ll give you a diary sheet so you can keep an accurate record of any incidents – dates, times and what happened. This will help us collect evidence which we can use if we need to take the perpetrator to court.

We investigate all reports of anti-social behaviour. When we receive a report, we will risk assess it to determine its severity and the support and action required. If you report it, we will:

  • acknowledge your report
  • give you a reference number
  • risk-assess the report
  • ask for evidence
  • once you have sent us the evidence we will keep you informed about the progress
  • develop an action plan to try and resolve the ASB and agree how we will communicate with you throughout.

Please remember that we need accurate evidence from you about what has happened, who caused the incidents and what action has already been taken.

The timescale for a response depends on the level of risk posed. In high risk cases, we will respond as soon as possible – but within one working day. For low risk cases, it may take us up to five days to get back to you.

To effectively tackle ASB, we use preventative measures, support for victims and enforcement including legal action. Although we always try to resolve ASB through intervening early, interviews and/or mediation, we will take robust action to try to end ASB where early intervention does not modify the behaviour.

We will try to meet both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator, where possible. We will also consider whether to talk to neighbours or other relevant local agencies, where this is appropriate. We will take into account any vulnerability or support needs of the parties involved and ensure these are addressed.

The type of action we will take depends on the situation, and will be set out in the action plan. Examples of action we take include:

  • Writing to the residents concerned and arranging meetings with them.
  • Arranging mediation sessions with the parties involved – this is where an independent person discusses the problem with everyone involved and helps them find a solution.
  • If the problem persists, and there is strong and accurate evidence against the person causing the anti-social behaviour, we will consider carrying out an intervention or taking legal action, including initiating possession proceedings.

Where we take legal action, we will ensure it is reasonable and will take the action most likely to produce an effective solution.

Cases are normally closed with the agreement of the complainant and they will be informed of this in writing. However, there may be occasions where the case is closed without agreement. Complainants can request a review of any decision to close a case.

To help us manage anti-social behaviour in our neighbourhoods, we have a specialist anti-social behaviour team which works closely with internal and external partners to tackle ASB.

This is a bespoke service that we’re proud to offer to our residents.

Definition and features of demoted tenancies

A demoted tenancy is less secure than an assured or secure tenancy. We can demote your tenancy if don’t keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

If you break the conditions of your tenancy or your visitors persistently behave in an anti-social way, we may apply to the court to demote your tenancy. A demoted tenancy is a less secure form of tenancy agreement as have fewer rights and less protection from eviction.

You will lose several rights, including the right to:

  • exchange your home or get a transfer
  • take in a lodger
  • sublet part of your home
  • pass on your tenancy by assignment
  • make improvements in your home.

A demoted tenancy lasts for 12 months, unless:

  • we have started court action to evict the tenant during the 12 months.
  • the tenant leaves the property
  • the court overturns the order to demote the tenancy
  • the tenant dies and no one is entitled to take on the tenancy.

If there are no further problems during the 12 months, we will automatically give you a new assured tenancy. This applies even if you had a secure tenancy before your tenancy was demoted.

The rules for passing on a demoted tenancy if you die are as follows:

  1. if you have a joint tenancy, the other joint tenant will automatically take over the tenancy when you die
  2. if you are the sole tenant, your tenancy passes (by a legal process called succession) to your husband, wife or civil partner (or person living with you as your spouse or civil partner); or to another member of your family, provided they have been living with you for at least one year.

If the succession goes ahead, a new tenancy isn’t created and the old one continues. Only the name on the tenancy will change. The person taking over the tenancy takes on the rights and responsibilities of the previous tenant.

We can end a demoted tenancy much more easily than other tenancies. If anti-social behaviour persists, or you break any conditions of the demoted tenancy, we may take steps to evict you.

We can do this without proving a legal reason in court. We will first send you warning letters. If you go on breaking conditions, then as a last resort we will serve you a notice of seeking possession. Once the period of this notice has ended, we will apply to the court to evict you.

You need to keep to your tenancy conditions and any further conditions placed on you through your demotion order. If anti-social behaviour led to the demotion, you must make sure it stops. If you owe us any rent, you must pay this and make sure you pay your rent on time in the future.

Definition of a complaint

“An expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.”

Yes and stated in our policy.

Yes, and stated in our policy.

Yes, and stated in our policy.

Exclusions: Reports of antisocial behaviour, insurance claims, defects in a warranty period or where legal action has been instigated will be dealt with by the relevant teams outside of this policy. Customers may make a complaint in line with this policy about the way the above have been handled. 

Employment support

We understand the impact on your life and finances losing you job has. We’re here to help. It’s really important that you let us know so we can help.

We’ll work with you to understand your current situation and income, and help you to find out about any benefits or help you might be entitled to.

If you need help and your home is in London, please contact us on 0300 456 2099 or you can email us on contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk and if your home is in the Home Counties please call 0300 500 6262 or email info@chg.org.uk

We understand that due to Covid-19, you may have had some changes to your employment or studies.

Our employment and skills advisors can give you support with updating your CV, job searches, accessing current vacancies and online training and other regular support over the phone or online using video calls and emails.

There are lots of ways we can help you at this time. Find out more and contact the team to book an appointment to discuss how they can support you.

 

The government has announced a self-employment income support scheme with applications opening in May 2020. To check your eligibility and find out more, please visit the gov.uk website.

Our Employment and Skills team can also help you to find out about  funding or support you may be entitled to. Find out more and contact the team to book an appointment to discuss how they can support you.

We understand that many of our customers will have experienced changes to their employment. We’re here to help you.

The government have some great guidance on their Covid-19 job retention scheme. You can find out if your eligible and how your employer can support you on their website.

There are lots of ways we can help you at this time. Find out more and contact the team to book an appointment to discuss how they can support you.

If you’re looking to get back into work, there are lots of companies who are looking for new employees. These companies include:

  • Supermarkets: delivery drivers; supermarket stock fillers etc.- all main supermarkets are recruiting
  • NHS and care jobs – from care, nursing to admin – including jobs in the new Nightingale hospital in East London
  • Amazon warehouse
  • Deliveroo
  • Care work

Find out more in our useful links section.

Lots of our customers have experienced changes to income due to furlough. If you’re looking for a temporary job to top-up your income, you’ll need to check your contract with your employer.

It’s important to keep in mind that whilst on furlough, your employer could require you to come back to work at short notice, which may affect your ability to work on your second job.

Contact your employer for full terms and conditions of your contract and furlough.

Our Employment and Skills team can also help you to find out about  funding or support you may be entitled to. Find out more and contact the team to book an appointment to discuss how they can support you.

Our employment support team can help you over the telephone or online with:

  • Producing a professional CV
  • Help with writing a cover letter including templates
  • Job search resources and support
  • Access to current vacancies
  • Access to online training
  • Regular ongoing support

There are lots of ways we can help you. Find out more and contact the team to book an appointment to discuss how they can support you.

Ending a tenancy

The letter or form must be signed by each person who signed the original tenancy agreement, unless they’ve already left the household. If you have a lodger or sub-tenant, you must make sure they leave the property as you can’t pass on your tenancy. If you leave anyone in the property, we will evict them.

We’ll visit you within 14 days of receiving the notice. A member of staff will inspect your property, note any repairs needed and tell you what you must do before you leave. If you move out before the end of your notice period, we’ll still charge you for the full rent up to the date your tenancy ends. If you receive housing benefits, this will stop when you leave and you will be personally liable for any further payments due to us.

Please make sure any damaged or missing fixtures and fittings are replaced, and that the property is reasonably well decorated, before you leave.

If you’ve improved your home and got our written permission before you did the work, you may be able to claim compensation. Contact us to find out more. If you alter your home without our permission, we may charge you for putting it back to its original condition or for repairing any damage you have caused.

You must clear your rent account before you move out. In exceptional cases where this is impossible, we must arrange for you to continue paying the debt after you have moved. If you move without clearing the debt, we’ll take legal action to claim back the money you owe. If we are successful, this can affect your credit rating, ability to take out a loan or be housed in the future.

Please take all your keys, electrical supply key and gas card (if you have these) to your local office by midday on the Monday after the last day of your tenancy. If you return the keys late, we’ll charge you another weeks’ rent. Please contact us if you need to make a special arrangement. Never leave the keys in the property.

If you can’t hand in the keys yourself, please ask someone else to do it for you. You must give them a signed letter saying that they have permission to hand in your keys. You must also have completed a Notice of Termination of Tenancy Form or a Surrender of Tenancy form. If they don’t have a letter with them, we’ll ask them to write and sign a letter on your behalf.

If you leave without notice, we may decide you have abandoned the property and take legal steps to repossess it. Until the court grants us possession, you will be responsible for the rent and any other charges. If you intend to go away for a long time please contact us to let us know.

If you’re a joint tenant and one of you ends the tenancy, the whole tenancy ends. By law, we don’t have to allow the other tenant to stay. If a joint tenant dies or a couple splits up, we have different procedures. Contact us for guidance.

If you’re the next of kin or executor of a tenant who has died, contact us for guidance on how to end the tenancy. Please give us a copy of the death certificate. If you aren’t the next of kin, please give us details of the next of kin or executor.

Housing benefits stop on the date of the tenant’s death, and any rent due must be paid from any money they have left until we get the keys back. We will also serve a ‘Notice to Quit’ on the executor or next of kin, giving a date by which we need the property to be emptied.

You may be able to take over the tenancy after a death if you are:

  • a partner who was living with the tenant as your main home when they died
  • a family member of the tenant who has died and lived at the property for the previous 12 months

We may consider other situations where there is no legal right to succeed to the tenancy. Any claim to succeed to the tenancy must be made within a month of the tenant’s death. The tenancy can be succeeded to only once. Contact us for help.

Before you move out please:

  • arrange removals
  • contact the Post Office about redirecting your mail
  • remove all your belongings from your home, including from the loft, garden, garage and sheds
  • clear all floor coverings that we didn’t supply, and white goods such as fridges, freezers and washing machines
  • leave the property and the garden (if you have one) clean and tidy
  • complete any repairs that you are responsible for and report any repairs that we must do
  • tell the council tax department, and any relevant benefits departments, your new address
  • tell us which companies supply the gas and electricity to your property
  • if you have a key for electricity or a card for gas, please hand them in to the local office when you bring the keys (by midday on the Monday after the last day of your tenancy)
  • tell your doctor and children’s school if you are moving away from the local area

Estate services

The safety of our customers remains a top priority so we’re making sure that important safety checks within buildings such as emergency lighting and fire alarm tests, continue to be done.

Whilst we undertake these safety checks, we’ll also be inspecting the block for any urgent health and safety repairs that may need completing.

We understand the importance of the gardening and maintenance service we provide – and our offer varies across our communities.  

At the moment, we’re providing an essential gardening and maintenance service only. This means that we’re delivering the basics such as cutting the grass and keeping hedges trimmed but we’ll not be doing any outstanding improvements such as additional planting and laying bark.  

Prior to coronavirus lockdown, we have managed to get the vast majority of these improvements done – so only a small percentage of customers are affected. We’ll be looking to complete these works when it is safe to do so and a full gardening and maintenance service can resume. 

We’ll be regularly reviewing resource levels to continue this service as fully as we can. 

Fly tipping includes dumped items in communal areas, bin stores or around our communities. It is a criminal offence and you can be fined by your local environmental health service if caught. If you do witness any fly tipping in your local area, please contact your local council

Please contact us via our online enquiry form if you have any concerns about unwanted items left in communal areas on your block or estate.

Most local recycling centre and charity shops – are currently closed. With many local refuse and recycling collection services also running less frequently getting rid of items can be a challenge.

If you wish to dispose of bulky items, you’ll need to contact your local council to check they are currently delivering their usual bulk item pick up service. 

Fairness in complaint handling

Further information

Before you moved into your home the windows were checked and approved as meeting our quality standards. This means that the windows are secure, free from defects and have no outstanding Health and Safety issues.

During your tenancy, we will undertake repairs to your windows if:

  • The locking mechanism fails, affecting the security of your home
  • The window seals fail, allowing draught or rain water into your home
  • The hinge or restrictor fails and affects the opening or shutting of the window
  • The mastic seal to any external face of the window frame fails
  • The glazing is broken by an act of vandalism and you have a crime reference number from the local Police.
  • The glazing seals breakdown, causing misting between the glass panes
  • Health and safety repairs are required to secure your home in an emergency.

The following are your responsibility. We will not:

  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Repair windows hinges, handles and locking mechanisms damaged by misuse or neglect
  • Replace missing keys
  • Replace any broken glazing
  • Repair any damage caused by you, any member of your household or your guests, even if the damage was accidental.

Inspection service

When you report a repair we may send our Inspector to your home to specify what works are required.

The Inspector will:

  • Identify the repairs that we will carry out
  • Take measurements, note model numbers etc.
  • Identify if replacement parts are needed
  • State the number of repairs needed.

The Inspector cannot:

  • Order repairs to be carried out which are not our responsibility
  • Order a new window if repairs can be undertaken to fix the existing window.

Your own home improvements

If you wish to change any external door, door frame or undertake any improvement works to an existing door you must contact us with details and gain our permission prior to starting work. Unauthorised alterations will not be maintained by us and you may be recharged if we attend to carry out a repair as a direct result of your improvements. For more information about this please read our dedicated page.

When you move out

You need to give your property back to us in a good condition and we will arrange to inspect your property before you leave.

If repairs which are your responsibility need to be completed you will need to do these before you move out. If you do not carry out the work we will charge you for the cost of getting the property back to a satisfactory standard. You can find out more about the recharges here.

Before you moved into your home the bathroom was checked and approved as meeting our quality standards. This means the bathroom was less than 30 years old, is in a clean, good working condition, and that there were no outstanding Health and Safety issues. During your tenancy it is your responsibility to keep your bathroom in this condition until you move out or the kitchen is replaced on our 30 year planned maintenance programme.

During your tenancy, we will undertake repairs to your bathroom if:

  • There are leaks from pipes
  • A leak that is our responsibility to repair affects the bathroom pipe boxing, bath panel, decorations, tiling or flooring
  • Your taps, shower or toilet drips or fails to work correctly
  • The bath, toilet or basin becomes unstable
  • Silicone seals around the bath or basin fail
  • The toilet becomes blocked and it is the only working toilet in your home*
  • The extractor fan stops working
  • Health and Safety repairs are required.

*Although we may complete this repair for you, you will be recharged for this service.

The following are your responsibility. We will not:

  • Repair or replace sanitary ware due to cracks or chips
  • Repair or replace plugs, chains, toilet seats or toilet roll holders
  • Remove build up of limescale
  • Control or remove any build up of mildew/mould growth
  • Unblock toilet, basin, bath or shower waste pipes
  • Replace cracked or broken wall tiles
  • Repair any damage caused by you, any member of your household or your guests, even if the damage was accidental.

Inspection service

When you report a repair we may send our Inspector to your home to specify what works are required.

The Inspector will:

  • Identify the repairs that we will carry out
  • Take measurements, note model numbers etc.
  • Identify if replacement parts are needed
  • State the number of repairs needed
  • Confirm the bathroom installation date is in line with our records.

The Inspector cannot:

  • Order repairs to be carried out which are not our responsibility
  • Order the full refurbishment of your bathroom
  • Arrange for the installation of additional tiling or showers.

Your own home improvements

If you wish to change any external door, door frame or undertake any improvement works to an existing door you must contact us with details and gain our permission prior to starting work. Unauthorised alterations will not be maintained by us and you may be recharged if we attend to carry out a repair as a direct result of your improvements. For more information about this please read our dedicated page.

When you move out

You need to give your property back to us in a good condition and we will arrange to inspect your property before you leave.

If repairs which are your responsibility need to be completed you will need to do these before you move out. If you do not carry out the work we will charge you for the cost of getting the property back to a satisfactory standard. You can find out more about the recharges here.

Before you moved into your home the kitchen was checked and approved as meeting our quality standards. This means the kitchen was in a clean, good working condition, offers the required level of storage and that there were no outstanding Health and Safety issues.

During your tenancy it is your responsibility to keep your kitchen in this condition until you move out or the kitchen is replaced on our planned maintenance programme.

During your tenancy, we will undertake repairs to your kitchen if:

  • There is a leak that is our responsibility to repair that affects the structure of the kitchen cupboards, worktop, decorations, tiling  or flooring
  • Your taps drip or fail to operate correctly
  • Silicone seals fail around the worktop
  • The extractor fan stops working
  • The door and drawer fronts become loose due to fair wear and tear
  • Health and Safety repairs are required.

The following are your responsibility. We will not:

  • Replace missing or damaged shelves, cupboards, handles, drawer fronts,  plinths or cupboard doors
  • Replace worktops, cupboards, doors or shelves where the laminate surface becomes chipped
  • Replace missing cupboard legs or collapsed cupboards
  • Remove grease or mould on or within cupboards or on worktops or tiles
  • Replace cracked or broken wall tiles
  • Unblock your sink waste pipe
  • Repair any damage caused by you, any member of your household or your guests, even if the damage was accidental.

Inspection service

When you report a repair we may send our Inspector to your home to specify what works are required.

The Inspector will:

  • Identify the repairs that we will carry out
  • Take measurements, note model numbers etc.
  • Identify if replacement parts are needed
  • State the number of repairs needed
  • Confirm the kitchen installation date is in line with our records

The Inspector cannot:

  • Order repairs to be carried out which are not our responsibility
  • Order the full refurbishment of your kitchen.

Your own home improvements

If you wish to change any external door, door frame or undertake any improvement works to an existing door you must contact us with details and gain our permission prior to starting work. Unauthorised alterations will not be maintained by us and you may be recharged if we attend to carry out a repair as a direct result of your improvements. For more information about this please read our dedicated page.

When you move out

You need to give your property back to us in a good condition and we will arrange to inspect your property before you leave.

If repairs which are your responsibility need to be completed you will need to do these before you move out. If you do not carry out the work we will charge you for the cost of getting the property back to a satisfactory standard. You can find out more about the recharges here.

Before you moved into your home the external doors were checked and approved as meeting our quality standards. This means that the doors are secure, have unique keys and are free from defects.

During your tenancy, we will undertake repairs to your external doors if:

  • The locking mechanism fails, affecting the security of your home
  • The door seals fail, allowing draught or rain water into your home
  • The door swells or twists, stopping it shutting securely or remaining weather tight
  • The mastic seal to any external face of the window frame fails
  • The glazing is broken by an act of vandalism and you have a crime reference number from the local Police.
  • The glazing seals breakdown, causing misting between the glass panes
  • Health and safety repairs are required to secure your home in an emergency
  • Where fitted, the door closer fails or needs adjusting.

The following are your responsibility. We will not:

Replace missing keys to external doors

Replace any broken glazing (unless caused by vandalism)

Renew any locking mechanism due to neglect or misuse, including damage caused by letting the door slam in the frame

Provide emergency access in the event of you being locked out

Repair any damage caused by you, any member of your household or your guests, even if the damage was accidental.

Inspection service

When you report a repair we may send our Inspector to your home to specify what works are required.

The Inspector will:

  • Identify the repairs that we will carry out
  • Take measurements, note model numbers etc.
  • Identify if replacement parts are needed
  • State the number of repairs needed.

The Inspector can not:

  • Order repairs to be carried out which are not our responsibility
  • Order a new external door if repairs can be undertaken to fix the existing door.

Your own home improvements

If you wish to change any external door, door frame or undertake any improvement works to an existing door you must contact us with details and gain our permission prior to starting work. Unauthorised alterations will not be maintained by us and you may be recharged if we attend to carry out a repair as a direct result of your improvements. For more information about this please read our dedicated page.

When you move out

You need to give your property back to us in a good condition and we will arrange to inspect your property before you leave.

If repairs which are your responsibility need to be completed you will need to do these before you move out. If you do not carry out the work we will charge you for the cost of getting the property back to a satisfactory standard. You can find out more about the recharges here.

Damp and condensation often get confused as they have similar symptoms but the causes of the two problems are very different.

Damp due to disrepair

Dampness can be caused by water entering your home from the outside. This will be caused by:

  • Leaking pipes, wastes or overflows
  • Rain seeping through the roof where a tile or slate is missing, spilling from a blocked gutter, penetrating around window frames or leaking through a cracked pipe
  • Rising damp due to a defective damp course or where there isn’t a damp course or where the outside ground level is higher than the damp course

This form of damp is different from condensation because the cause of the damp tends to leave a tidemark and it will be much wetter nearer the source of the problem.

In all instances of damp caused by disrepair, we will carry out the necessary repairs to ensure that the defect causing the problem is corrected. Please contact our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262 or email the repairs team to report the problem.

If you do not think the damp comes from any of these causes, you probably have condensation forming inside your home.

What is condensation?

The air that we breathe contains water vapour and warm air holds more water vapour than cold air. Condensation forms as tiny droplets of water when warm air comes into contact with a colder surface.

We tend to notice condensation most on windows on a cold morning but it can also be seen on mirrors after a bath or shower and on colder surfaces such as tiles and external walls. Condensation can get worse in areas where there is little air movement, for example in the corner of a room or behind furniture.

Typical symptoms of condensation

  • Mould growth on walls and behind furniture
  • Mildew on clothes and other fabrics
  • Pooling of water on window boards
  • An increase in house dust mites

Condensation is not caused by a fault with your home but by the amount of water vapour created in your home.

The way your home is ventilated and heated also affects condensation. All homes of all ages can and will suffer from condensation to some degree at some time.

Managing condensation

The key to managing condensation is about getting the right balance between moisture in the air and heating and ventilating your home, so that you can keep condensation to a minimum.

Changes in temperature, lots of moisture and no ventilation will cause more condensation to form. Having a more constant temperature, reducing moisture and having good ventilation will reduce condensation.

To find the right balance for your home you must:

  • Manage the amount of moisture you and your family add to the air in your home
  • Ventilate your home to allow moisture in the air to escape
  • Heat your home to minimise the temperature difference between the air in your home and the coldest surface

Moisture in your home

Everyday living adds extra moisture to the air inside your home, even breathing contributes to the amount of water in the air. One sleeping person adds half a pint of water to the air overnight and twice that when active in the day.

Two people at home (breathing) 3 pints
One bath or shower 2 pints
Drying clothes indoors 9 pints
Cooking and using a kettle 6 pints
Washing dishes 2 pints
Bottled gas heater (used for 8 hours ) 4 pints
Total moisture added in 1 day 26 pints

Your home cannot cope with this additional water being continually added to the air without condensation forming. The water you and your family adds to the air can be easily reduced if you:

  • Hang your washing outside to dry if at all possible, or hang it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window slightly open or an extraction fan on. Do not put washing on radiators or in front of radiant heaters
  • If you use a tumble drier, make sure it is vented to the outside or that it is the new condensing type
  • Always cook with pan lids on and turn the heat down once the water has boiled. Only use the minimum amount of water for cooking vegetables
  • Do not use your gas cooker to heat your kitchen as burning gas produces more moisture (you will notice your windows mist over)
  • Do not be tempted to use bottled gas or paraffin heaters, as they produce higher levels of moisture
  • When filling your bath, run the cold water first and then add hot, it reduces steam (which leads to condensation) by 90%

Ventilating your home

To keep condensation at bay it is essential that you ventilate your home to enable the moisture rich humid air to escape and allow fresh air in:

  • Reduce the condensation that builds up overnight by cross ventilating your home. You can do this by opening a small window downstairs to the first notch and a small one upstairs. These should be on opposite sides of the house and diagonally to the opposite if you live in a flat. At the same time, open the internal doors, as this allows drier air to circulate. Do this for approximately 40 minutes each day.
  • Ventilate your kitchen when cooking, washing up or washing by hand. A window slightly open for a long period is as good as a window wide open for a short period. If you have a cooker extraction hood or extraction fan use it to remove steam before it circulates throughout your home.
  • Ventilate your kitchen and bathroom for about 20 minutes after use by opening a small top window. Use an extraction fan if possible, they are cheap to run and very effective. Keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed when in use to prevent moisture escaping into the rest of the house.
  • Ventilate your bedroom by leaving a window slightly open at night or use trickle ventilators if fitted. Reduce the risk of mildew on clothes by allowing air to circulate around them. You can do this by leaving a small gap between large pieces of furniture and where possible place wardrobes and furniture against internal walls not external walls.
  • Never overfill wardrobes and cupboards as it restricts air flow. Do not push beds and sofas against outside walls which are always colder and attract condensation. Make sure there is a 9 inch (225mm) gap. Bedding can get damp if air cannot circulate around it.
  • Please note: Do not over ventilate your home in cold weather as this will reduce the temperature inside making condensation more likely as well as increasing heating costs. Remember that it is about creating the right balance for your home.
  • Please ensure you close windows securely before you go out.

Heating your home

By keeping your home warm you will also warm the walls and surfaces of your home. A combination of warm air and warm surfaces will allow more moisture to stay in the air within your home and will reduce the extent of condensation you experience:

  • If possible try to keep your home at a constant temperature rather than heating your home from cold twice a day
  • Heating one room to a high level and leaving other rooms cold makes condensation worse in the unheated rooms. It is better to have a constant level of heat throughout your home
  • If you don’t have heating in every room, open doors of unheated rooms to allow some of the heat into them
  • Do not use paraffin or bottled gas heaters as these also produce water which will add to the level of moisture in your home
  • Do not push beds or sofas against radiators as this prevents efficient circulation of warm air

Striking the right balance

Getting the balance right for you and your home is an ongoing process. During this process you will experience some form of condensation and you will have to take action to stop the condensation becoming a problem.

When condensation occurs wipe your wet windows and window boards every morning, as well as any wet surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom. Wring out the cloth and dry it outside rather than drying it on a radiator.

If condensation is left untreated mould may develop. To kill and remove mould;

  • Wipe down or spray walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash that carries a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approval number and follow the instructions carefully for safe use. You can often buy these in supermarkets
  • After treatment, redecorate using a good fungicidal paint and a fungicidal resistant wall paper paste to help prevent mould growth recurring. It should be noted that the affect of fungicidal or anti-condensation paint is destroyed if covered with ordinary paint or wallpaper
  • Dry-clean mildewed clothes and shampoo any carpets. Do not try and remove mould by using a brush or vacuum cleaner

Further assistance

If you require further guidance about how to deal with condensation in your home you can contact our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262 or email the repairs team to arrange for a Maintenance Inspector to call.

Our Inspectors can measure temperature and humidity levels within your home to confirm if the problems you are experiencing are due to condensation.

In all reported cases we will also arrange for our heating engineers to check your heating system to ensure it is working properly and in some cases our Maintenance Inspectors may also recommend that additional ventilation is installed to help you to reduce moisture in your home safely.

Although we are responsible for repairing many items within the home, the following items are your responsibility:

  • Keys, including keys to meter boxes and cupboards, radiators and window locks
  • Internal doors
  • Handles on doors inside your home
  • Cupboard handles and catches
  • Hinges on doors, cupboards or kitchen units inside your home
  • Plugs and chains to sinks, hand basins or baths
  • Pull chains or handles on toilet cisterns
  • Blocked toilets, sinks and drains if you have caused the blockage
  • Toilet-roll holders
  • Toilet seats
  • Doorbells, unless attached to a door-entry system
  • Replacing cracked or broken glass windows and doors (unless due to a structural fault)
  • Battery-operated smoke alarms
  • Clothes lines and posts or rotary clothes dryers (except for certain blocks of flats)
  • Dustbins and recycling boxes (except for certain blocks of flats)
  • Containers used to collect rain water (water butts)
  • Garden sheds or greenhouses left by a previous tenant
  • Minor cracks to plaster
  • Repairing or replacing garden gates and fencing if your property has its own garden that is not shared by other resident
  • Decorating
  • Aerials and sockets (except on certain blocks of flats that have a shared aerial)
  • BT/Phone connections
  • Curtains batons
  • Any other item not fitted by us (including gifted items)
  • Any repairs you have caused by neglect or deliberate damage, including broken windows and outside door locks

It is your responsibility to keep the property clean, tidy, and free from vermin and pests.  Please contact your local authority Environmental Health Department for further advice.

You must not cause any obstruction or fire hazard in common areas. You must not store personal possessions in any common areas such as stairwells or leave any rubbish there or on the estate.  Your local authority may provide a collection service for a small fee.

Please note that when we remove items of rubbish from an estate, costs will be passed on to residents. Please do not store any rubbish, flammable or dangerous items in your home or garden.

We put each repair that is reported to us in order of priority, based on how urgent it is. The following are examples of these priorities and how you can report a repair to us. Please note that emergency repairs will just make a problem safe in the short term, and that you will probably need extra work doing at a later date.

When you report a repair

When you report a repair, you will need to:

  • Tell us your name, full address and contact phone number
  • Give us as much information as possible about the problem as this will help us to make sure that we order the technician, parts and so on. Many boilers have a display panel which will show a fault code if the boiler has a problem. Please make a note of the code before reporting the problem to us; it will make arranging a repair easier and quicker

It is more cost-effective and efficient for us to do some larger repairs, such as replacing windows or boilers, on a whole block or estate at a time, or street by street, rather than in one or two houses. This may sometimes cause a delay in us dealing with a fault you have reported, for example if you have a broken window but we are due to replace all the windows in your block soon, you may have to wait a bit longer than usual. When you report the problem, we will tell you if there will be any delay.

We will generally respond to the following faults or repairs within 20 working days, although we may set aside certain work that we will do in the future as part of our planned work.

What is covered?

  • Aerials and sockets on certain blocks of flats that have shared aerials
  • Carpentry
  • Paths and drives that are part of the original property
  • Brickwork repairs
  • Gutters
  • Extractor fan broken in a kitchen or bathroom
  • Fences and gates to certain blocks of flats where the gardens are shared

We will ‘make safe’ or complete the following faults or repairs within 24 hours of you asking.

What is covered?

  • Total loss of electrical power
  • Unsafe power, lighting, sockets or electrical fittings
  • Total loss of water supply (this is normally the water company’s responsibility)
    • Total loss of gas supply (this is normally the gas company’s responsibility)
    • Blocked flue to open fire or boiler
    • Total loss of heating or hot water in winter months (between 1 November and 30 April)
    • Total loss of heating or hot water in summer months (between 30 April and 1 November) where a child under five, an adult over 60 or a vulnerable person lives
    • Blocked or leaking foul drain, soil stack or toilet (if this is the only toilet in the property)
    • Making the home secure after a break-in or vandalism
    • Serious burst or leak
    • Dangerous structural fault

We have a programme for refurbishing kitchens and bathrooms. To see if you are on the list please visit our website for our planned maintenance programme.

We have a legal duty to carry out a safety inspection and service once a year of all gas appliances we have provided in your home. You must allow us access to your home once a year to carry out this safety check and service. If you do not allow us access to carry out the check we will seek a court order and all costs associated with us gaining access will be charged to you; these are currently in the region of £800. Please remember this is for your personal safety. Don’t put your life and the lives of your family and neighbours at unnecessary risk.

Over time you may require information about a number of things, on the following pages is a list of other related information available to you, which can be accessed via our website or by calling Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.

Further information on keeping pets

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Exotic pets (i.e. snakes, lizards, turtles, parrots)
  • Fish tanks over the volume of 33 gallons, or for more than one fish tank under 33 gallons
  • External accommodation to house a pet. This can only be applied for if the customer has sole use of a garden – this is not allowed in communal gardens. Details are required on the species of animal to be housed and the type of accommodation. Pet accommodation must be reasonable to the size of the property and animal’s requirements.

Permission for a pet will normally be granted as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The accommodation is suitable for the type and number of pet/s. All pets must be properly cared for and controlled at all times and not cause a nuisance or annoyance to other residents or visitors
  • Pets must not be allowed to foul in communal areas. If this happens owners must clear up the mess immediately
  • Pets must not damage Catalyst property including communal areas. If this does happen owners will be recharged for the damage and permission to keep a pet may be rescinded
  • Dogs must be kept under control at all times including being kept on a lead in communal areas
  • Owners must ensure their pets are cared for through having a suitable diet, sufficient exercise and protected from pain, suffering, illness and disease

There are other conditions which are available on request.

Permission will not be granted for the following animals:

  • Livestock such as chickens, sheep, goats, pigs etc.
  • Poisonous insects and reptiles
  • Wild animals as defined under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 such as venomous snakes or certain types of spider
  • Dogs as specified in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 including animals granted a certificate of exemption under that Act. This Act is now updated by the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. Dogs included are; Pitbull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero
  • Any other animal that is not listed above but which is unreasonable to the property and scheme

There are other circumstances where pet permission may not be granted and details are available on request.

If permission to keep a pet is not granted customers will be advised of this in writing detailing the reasons. If the customer wishes to appeal the decision they can do so using Catalyst’s complaints procedure.

Written permission is not required for:

  • Assistance dogs
  • Guide dogs

Please contact us if you require further information.

Further information on maintenance work

We will use different ways to consult you, depending on the number of properties and type of work involved. We may have a road-show on an estate or knock on your door with details of the planned work to hear your views. Before work starts, we’ll send you a formal letter with the programme of planned work.

  • We’ll send a letter telling you when we are planning to do the work, and giving you detailed information about it
  • A contractor will then make an appointment with you to assess what work your home needs
  • Once we have assessed the work, we’ll write to tell you when we intend to start. We will include a list of all the work we expect to do

The contractor will give you a contact number and we’ll give you the number of our resident liaison officer, who will talk to you if you have any problems. One of our project managers is in charge of each contract and they can advise you on any technical problems.

The contractors guarantee all the work. If something goes wrong with their work, we will ask them to return and put it right. If work has been done in your home, please tell us when you report the fault as the guarantee may cover it.

Contractors will check that you are satisfied with the work before they leave. Our technical inspectors will also check that the work is to the standard we set out. To get your comments on the work, we will send out surveys and also call you. Your comments are very important as they allow us to change the way we do things in order to help other residents.

Further information on moving out

You must give us notice in accordance with your tenancy agreement which is usually at least 28 days. If you do not give us this notice, you will still have to pay rent until we have let your home to someone else or until the notice period you should have given us has passed. Your notice period still applies even if you hand your keys back early – although we will do our best to re-let your property as quickly as possible. If you want more information on how to give notice, please contact our Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.

You need to give your property back to us in a good condition and to ensure this happens we will arrange with you to inspect your property before you leave. This visit will enable us to tell you about any repairs or redecorations which are your responsibility and which you need to complete before you move out. If you do not carry out the work we will charge you for the cost of getting the property back to a satisfactory standard. We have listed the cost of repairs further down the page.

We will also carry out an inspection once you have moved out, as it is sometimes difficult to see everything which needs to be done while there is still furniture in the property. If we find additional work which is also your responsibility you will be charged for that. Please look at the cost of repairs for items you are responsible for; generally it will cost you less to carry out the repairs yourself.

Leaving your property in good condition also means removing all your belongings and any rubbish or items of furniture you no longer require. Please remember that this also applies to your garden, storage cupboards, loft and garage, if you have these.

If it does become necessary for us to charge you for work we have to carry out we will send you an invoice very soon after you have moved. If you have difficulty paying we can discuss an installment payment plan with you.

  • Make sure your rent account is clear (one of our Rent Services Officers will contact you during your notice period if you have any outstanding debts with us)
  • Advise us of your forwarding address
  • Remove all belongings and rubbish so that you are not charged for clearance. This also applies to your garden, storage cupboards, loft and garage, if you have these
  • Do not leave any furnishings
  • Only leave floor coverings if they are in good condition
  • Fixtures and fittings such as gas fires and kitchen units are normally our property and should not be removed. if you are in any doubt, please ask us
  • Do not leave open gas pipes or live wires. Always use qualified or registered tradesmen to remove appliances
  • Do not damage the property or decorations when moving out
  • Inform gas, electricity, water and telephone companies you are moving and read the meters on your last day
  • Notify your local council that you are moving for council tax and housing benefit purposes
  • Leave the property empty, secure and in a clean condition
  • Make sure that you leave behind gas or electric meter keys or cards (for pre-payment meters). These are not usable in any other property but will enable us to test the safety of gas and electric supplies
  • If you have taken down any doors or kitchen units while you have been living at the property these should be replaced before you leave
  • If you have installed any non-standard light fittings or dimmer switches you should arrange for a qualified electrician to change these back to standard fittings
  • If you have erected a shed or greenhouse you may need to remove this and any concrete base. However, you should check this with us

For certain types of home improvements you may be entitled to receive a proportion of the cost of these back. This applies where you have submitted three estimates beforehand and obtained written permission from us.

Using a keysafe

We will normally install a keysafe at your property and show you how to use this when we come to inspect your property before you leave. You may find it useful to try using the keysafe before your moving day – if you have any problems with operating it please contact us on 0300 500 6262.

If a keysafe has been provided you should leave one front door key in the keysafe by midday on the day your tenancy ends.

Instructions for using a keysafe
The code for your keysafe will be on a note handed to you or posted through your letterbox when the keysafe is fitted. Please note that this keysafe code is for your property only. It will not work on other keysafes. We will come out to your property as soon as it is empty, and will change the keysafe code again, to make sure that the property is secure.

However, it is important that you don’t give your code to anyone else – if the property is damaged as a result of other people being able to enter it, you may be recharged for any additional repair work which we need to carry out.

To open the keysafe

  1. On the front of the keysafe is a button marked ‘clear’ – push this down
  2. Key in the code you have been given
  3. Pull down the top button, marked ‘open’ – the keysafe will open
  4. Put your front door key in the safe

To close the keysafe

  1. To put back the front of the keysafe, firstly push down the ‘clear’ button then release
  2. Key in the code number again, pull down the button marked ‘open’ and keep it down
  3. Hook the bottom of the keysafe front into the safe
  4. Push the cover onto the rest of the keysafe
  5. Release the ‘open’ button

In person

We are sometimes able to arrange to meet you at your property and collect the keys from you before you leave. If we are able to do this we will make arrangements with you at the inspection of your property, or by phone before you leave.

By post

Occasionally we may agree for the front door key to be returned by post. If we have arranged this with you then you should return the keys to us by recorded delivery.

All other keys to your property should be left in the kitchen drawer. This should include keys to the following (where applicable):

Back door(s), window locks, garage, patio door, garden shed and meter cupboard

Full clean of property £130
Full environmental clearance of property including needles, fleas and infestations. The cost of this will vary from property to property and once we have received the invoice for the work it will be forwarded on to you for payment

Approx

£600
Clear property of resident’s belongings, including carpets £250
Replacement window keys, each (2 per floor required) £5

Replacement flooring per square metre (kitchen/bathroom)

£53
Remove non-standard light fitting and replace with pendant light fitting (each) £26
Internal door £141
Internal door handles/locks £68
Door closer £57
Fill and make good holes in door (per door) £50
Electrical socket or switch (each) £25
Balustrades (each) £9
Ease and adjust internal or external doors or gates (per door/gate) £30
Filling and making good holes and cracks (per room) £15
Stripping wallpaper (per room) £75
Emulsion (per room) £158
Gloss woodwork (per room) £173
Re-glaze single glazed window £60
Re-glaze double glazed window £100
Re-glaze patio door (one leaf) £150
Ease and adjust windows (per window) £30
Replace window handles (per handle) £30
Kitchen base unit £80
Kitchen cupboard £70
Kitchen base or cupboard door £42
Plinths £37
Ease and adjust kitchen unit doors or hinges (per door) £10
Extractor fan clean / overhaul (kitchen and bathroom) £11
Kitchen drawer replacement £40
Kitchen cupboard & drawer handles £11
Renew sink plug (kitchen/bathroom) £12
Replace damaged tiling per sq. meter (kitchen and bathroom) £88
Remove fridge / freezer £80
Deep clean of kitchen £20
Bath panel £107
Replace damaged toilet £97
Replace damaged sink (bathroom) £250
Replace broken toilet seat £43
Replace wash hand basin £290
Replace tubular lock (bathroom) £55
Deep clean of bathroom £20
Clear gardens of rubbish and cut or strim grass £200
Remove shed / greenhouse £80
Replace external door £470
Paint or stain external door £75
Ease and adjust external door £30
Mortice lock £100
Yale lock £75
External door handles £68
Replace glass in external doors £60
Gate handles £30
Letter box £22
Replace lock to external mailbox £20
Replace fence panels (per panel) £135

 

Where tenants have made structural changes, or changes to gas/ electrical/water piping or wiring, without our written permission, we reserve the right to charge the full cost of re-instating the property.

Further information on planned maintenance

Planned maintenance covers a number of replacements and renewals and on average, every year we replace/renew:

500     Gas and electrical central heating systems

270     Electrical consumer units

250     Kitchens

150     Windows and doors

110     Bathrooms

30        Roofs

10        Redecoration of communal areas

2          Passenger lifts

2          Carpark resurfacing

When we replace kitchens and bathrooms, we’ll give you a choice of colours units and floor coverings.

Call us on 0300 500 6262 (select option 3)

or

email

Please note: If you call us or email our Customer Service Team they will ask the Asset Team to send you details of the proposed works to your property over the next five years.  

If you are a customer who rents your property from Catalyst you do not have to pay for planned maintenance. If you have replaced your own kitchen or bathroom, at your own expense and they are in good condition, we may not include them in our programme. Please check with our Customer Service Team (email and phone details here as a link and number listed) if you are thinking of replacing your kitchen or bathroom, as we will need to discuss and approve this with you before you go ahead.

How will Catalyst know what planned work is due?

We keep a record of the condition of all our properties. Surveyors may need to visit and inspect your home at times to ensure our records are up-to-date. Please make every effort to give our surveyors access to your home so that we can renew items due for replacement when required.

Please note – Maintenance is scheduled based on condition and estimated lifespan and this may not necessarily be the same as your neighbour.

Any improvements to your home can be an exciting prospect but we also understand that you may be worried as maintenance work can be disruptive.

Our Resident Liaison Officers (RLOs) are dedicated to supporting you through the improvement works to your home offering advice and help.

Before works starts, the RLO will:

  • Visit you to introduce themselves, talk through the proposed work and advise you on how to prepare for it
  • Make sure you know when the work will start
  • Ask you about any special requirements you may have
  • Help with any choices.

The RLO will make regular visits to support you through the process, a surveyor will also visit you regularly to ensure you are happy with the service.

All of our contractors will:

  • Carry company ID badges and must present these to you on every visit
  • Treat you and your home with courtesy and respect
  • Tell you at the end of each day who to expect the following day
  • Leave you with a supply of fresh water, a safe electrical supply and cooking and toilet facilities at the end of each day
  • Keep you, your family and visitors safe from the hazards that building works can generate
  • On average complete kitchens and bathrooms replacements within seven to eight working days.

We appreciate your help during this time, particularly with the following:

  • Access to your home at the agreed dates and times
  • We require at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to rearrange an appointment
  • Clear any work areas, including cupboards of any belongings before we arrive (we will help you with any heavy items/furniture)
  • To keep children and pets safe, do not leave them unattended and please keep them away from the work area and any tools
  • Please do not smoke in the areas where our contractors are working
  • Treat our contractors with courtesy and respect

Further information on selling

You have the right to sell your home privately or through an estate agent.

Whilst you do not need our permission to sell your home or enter into an agreement to sell it we would recommend that you inform Catalyst Homes that you are selling in order that the process runs as smoothly as possible and that we are aware of your forwarding address as well as any other important information.

If you purchased your home under the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire you may need to pay all or part of the discount back depending on how long you have owned the property.

Once you have found a buyer we recommend you use a solicitor or licensed conveyancers. During the sales process your solicitor should contact us and we will provide all the information they need in order to complete the sale. There is a charge made by us in respect of these enquiries and we also charge to register the Notice of Transfer on behalf of the purchaser. These charges are subject to VAT. Should you require any information regarding these, or any other charges, please call 020 8131 7380.

Completing the sale

Once you have exchanged contracts and completed the sales transaction you or the new owner must inform us of the change of ownership within one calendar month.

The purchaser’s solicitors should send us a ‘Notice of Transfer’ that shows who the new owner/s is/are and we request that you remind your solicitor that this should be sent within one month of completion to us. If we do not receive this legal ‘Notice of Transfer‘ we will not be able to terminate your service charge account.

This will result in service charges being added to your account, which you will be responsible for paying and not the new owner.

Prior to completion all arrears of service charge/ground rent must be paid in full. Any sale cannot be completed if your account is in arrears or we do not have an undertaking from your solicitors to discharge arrears prior to completion.

You can sell your share of your home by selling the lease that you own. To do this you must contact us in the first instance. We then have six to eight weeks to nominate a prospective purchaser under the terms of your lease.

The price your share will be sold for will be determined by an independent valuation by a RICS qualified valuer. You will have to pay for this valuation. If we are not able to find someone to buy your home; by mutual agreement you are then free to sell your home on the open market through an estate agent, using our valuation.

If you are selling your shared ownership home the valuation will include all alterations or improvements that you have carried out. If we are successful in nominating a purchaser for you, you will need to pay a ‘sale fee’ on completion. This is subject to VAT. If we do not nominate a purchaser you will be liable to pay an admin fee for any enquiries.

You will also be required to pay solicitors’ fees for selling your share in your property. The purchaser will also be required to pay a Notice of Assignment fee and a Notice of Transfer fee, which are also subject to VAT.

Should you require details of these, any other charges or want advice on selling your home please call Catalyst Homes on 020 8131 7380.

Gas safety

We have a legal duty to carry out a safety inspection and service once a year for all gas appliances we have provided in your home. You must allow us access to your home once a year to carry out this safety check and service.

If you do not allow us access to carry out the check we will seek a court order and all costs associated with us gaining access will be charged to you; these are currently in the region of £800. Please remember this is for your personal safety.

Don’t put your life and the lives of your family and neighbours at unnecessary risk.

If you can smell gas or suspect a gas escape, please immediately do the following:

  • Shut off the gas supply at the meter control vale
  • Extinguish all sources of ignition (gas pilot lights, naked flames etc)
  • Do not smoke
  • Do  not operate electrical or power switches (on or off)
  • Ventilate the building by opening doors and windows
  • Ensure access to the property can be made

If gas continues to escape call National Grid on 0800 111 999 and evacuate the property.

If the gas leak is stopped by turning the gas off at the meter, immediately call us on 0300 500 6262 and ask us to attend as an emergency as soon as possible

Grounds maintenance services

Your estate will be visited at least twice a month. On each visit the team will carry out work to make sure the area looks neat and tidy.

The type of work includes (this will depend on the weather):

  • Grass cutting
  • Weeding of shrub areas
  • Litter picking
  • Shrub and hedge trimming
  • Sweeping car park

 

Your estate will be visited once a month. On each visit the team will do work including:

  • Litter picking
  • Shrub and hedge trimming
  • Flower beds
  • Replacing bark
  • Sweeping car park and paths

Health and Safety

Please contact us as soon as you can and let us know.
We’ll make a note in our system that you’re self-isolating and either reschedule your appointment or make sure that our engineer who carries out the service wears protective clothing.

Our estate services teams and contractors are doing their very best to keep our customers safe and well during this difficult time.

You may from time to time see your caretaker in the communal areas wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and disposable aprons. Please do not be alarmed by this. Due to the number of properties we visit these additional measures prevent contamination between buildings, and are an extra measure we’re taking to keep you safe.

If you see one of our team members in your neighbourhood, please remember the social distancing rules and stay two metres (6ft) away from each other. Read the government’s advice on social distancing and see our repairs guide on how we’re keeping everyone safe. 

For your safety and the safety of our colleagues, all our operatives will be wearing protective overalls and taking the necessary precautions.

Following government social distancing rules we ask that where possible, you go into a different room or keep at least 2-metres away from the operative carrying out the repair.  See our repairs guide on how we’re keeping everyone safe. 

Home ownership

In March 2020, the government announced that banks will be offering payment holidays for anyone struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.

Under current guidelines, the deadline for existing payment holidays to end is 31 July 2021.

If you are granted a payment holiday, it’s important to remember that these charges will still have to be paid in the future.

Please contact your mortgage lender directly to discuss your circumstances, and for full terms and conditions.

The government dedicated webpage also has some helpful advice.

Although we don’t offer a ‘rent holiday’, there are other ways we can help.
We understand this is a financially worrying time for a lot of people, and many are affected by loss of work and income.

It’s really important that you let us know so we can help. We’ll work with you to understand your current situation and income, and help you to find out about any benefits or help you might be entitled to. Contact us on 0300 456 2099 04 contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk.

The same payment holiday granted for mortgage payments also applies to Help to Buy equity loan interest payments, and we have extended the offer to all of our equity loan customers. All existing payment holidays will end by 31 July 2021.

No legal escalation will be taken during an agreed payment holiday. However, during this time, you’ll still receive the statutory notices advising you of sums in arrears as part our legal obligations to notify you of this.

If you are struggling to meet your monthly interest payments, please contact your dedicated income specialist who will discuss your options with you.

The dedicated government webpage also has some helpful advice.

Your dedicated income specialist manages your account and is your first point of contact if you want to discuss any payments you make to us or changes to your income.

They can also give you advice and support such as access to benefits, payment plans and amendments, as well as signposting you to confidential and free debt advice, or employment advice.

There’s lots of ways we can help you, so please contact us. You can also find advice and support on our useful information page.

How your lease operates

We have no objections to you letting out your flat and becoming a landlord provided that:

  • your lease allows you to sublet
  • you let us know of any sublet and provide details of your tenant’s name, your forwarding address, contact telephone numbers, any key holders or managing agents you have working on your behalf. This information is needed in the event of an emergency such as a burst water pipe
  • you must ensure that your tenants keep to the terms and conditions of your lease as you are responsible for

their actions and conduct. We recommend that you have a suitable tenancy agreement between you and your tenants and seek legal advice about preparing a tenancy agreement

  • if you have a mortgage you should inform your mortgage lender as you may need their permission to sublet your property
  • by law you must also ensure that your gas appliances, pipe work and flues (if applicable) are safe and well maintained each time you rent out your property to a new tenant. You are also responsible for making sure that the electrics in the property meet NIC/IEE regulations. These regulations require that all electrical work must be carried out by a qualified electrician.

You have the right to carry out alterations to your home providing you have our prior written consent to carry out such works. You should not start any work until our written permission is given.

We would not unreasonably withhold consent and would only refuse your application on grounds such as it may make the property unsafe, contravene safety regulations, devalue the property, cost us money or is not in keeping with the area.

We may need to visit your home to discuss your proposal as well as ensure that you have obtained all of the necessary approvals, such as planning permission or building regulation approval.

If your home is newly built, we may temporarily withhold permission to carry out alterations until the building defects period has expired. This period of defects liability is normally twelve months.

If you have an outstanding mortgage on the property you may have to get prior written consent from your lender before starting any work.

Dependent on the nature of the improvement works it may be necessary for you to vary the terms of your lease. In these circumstances you will have to meet all the costs associated with the variation.

Information for shared owners

If you are getting a ‘second mortgage’ or additional lending on your existing mortgage to pay for alterations or improvements, your lender must obtain our prior written consent. We will have to approve any second mortgage or additional lending. Please note that any additional borrowing that is not for alterations or improvements to your home and is over and above your initial advance will not be covered by the mortgagee protection clause.

Under these circumstances we will advise your bank or building society accordingly. If you would like more information regarding the mortgagee protection clause, please speak to your Housing Services Officer.
Finally, we will not reimburse you for improvements or alterations should you decide to sell your home; however our valuers will factor the improvements into their final valuation. If you wish to purchase further shares in your home these improvements will also be disregarded in the valuation process.

When you die, your property can be passed on to any person in accordance with your wishes and your lease can form part of your will.

The person succeeding to your lease should notify us immediately so appropriate changes can be made to our records. They should also contact a solicitor to get good advice and ensure the correct legal procedures have been followed with regard to the lease and any outstanding or undischarged mortgage. Your insurers should also be notified of any changes in household composition.

Where there is a dispute, we would recommend that both parties seek legal advice. In these cases only the courts are able to transfer a lease to one of the joint owners. We therefore recommend that you consult a solicitor, social services, law centre or a housing aid/advice centre.

In accordance with your lease, and the grants we obtained to build your property, it states that your home is to be used for residential purposes only. However in certain instances we may permit you to run a business from your home; if you can demonstrate it is unlikely to cause a nuisance to your neighbours, does not result in traffic problems or entail the use and storage of dangerous materials. Prior to running a business from your home you must have our, your mortgage lender and building contents insurers’ written consent.

It is your responsibility to keep the property clean, tidy, and free from vermin and pests.  Please contact your local council for further advice.

You must not cause any obstruction or fire hazard in common areas. You must not store personal possessions in any common areas such as stairwells or leave any rubbish there or on the estate.  Your local authority may provide a collection service for a small fee.

Please note that when Catalyst removes items of rubbish from an estate costs will be passed on to residents. Please do not store any rubbish, flammable or dangerous items in your home or garden.

If repairs are required or an inspection needs to be made of your home, you must let our employees or our agents and contractors have access. We will give you reasonable notice of this, normally in writing.

We are responsible for providing buildings insurance for your home and for flats, we are responsible for providing insurance cover for the block where you live. Under the terms of your lease you must have this insurance and premiums are recharged to you as part of your service charge on an annual basis. The sum insured is based on the cost of rebuilding your property and not the current market value.

If you live in a house and complete final staircasing, and therefore own the property in full, you will be responsible for getting your own buildings insurance.

If you require a copy of the buildings insurance schedule you should contact your Housing Services Officer on 0300 500 6262who can ask our insurance brokers to send you a copy.

Making an insurance claim

If you wish to make a claim under our buildings insurance you should contact our insurer JLT’s helpline on 020 8108 9653. Please provide them with relevant information regarding the incident, for example:

1. Date of the incident

2. What actually happened and why

3. If a leak, date repaired and by whom

4. Damage caused by incident.

It is your responsibility to insure your home contents. We recommend that you take out home contents insurance with a reputable company.

You need to be covered by a TV Licence no matter what device you use to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV. If you have any questions about TV Licences or to set up a payment call 0300 790 6138, quoting ref: GAL.

Notify your contacts and service providers of your new address and telephone number including your bank, DVLA and insurance providers.

You need our permission in writing before you have a TV aerial or satellite dish fitted to your home.

When you move in, we will give you our ‘Law Card’. This entitles you to free, confidential legal advice 24 hours a day by calling the number shown on the card.

For a small charge the Royal Mail will re-direct your post to your new address for a certain period of time.

Over time you may require information about a number of things, opposite is a list of other information available to you which can be accessed via our website or by calling Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.

There are no covenants in relation to pets for freeholders.

For shared owners and leaseholders who live in flats, it is requested that permission is applied for at the first point of sale.

Other leaseholders are not subject to requesting written permission for pets under the terms of their lease, however, their lease will state whether pets are allowed.

Assistance dogs
Written permission is not required for:

  • Assistance dogs
  • Guide dogs

Please contact us if you require further information.

Information for sharedowners, leaseholders and freeholders

Your charges are calculated by looking at how much services have cost during the previous year and then estimating the cost for the coming year.  If we know there are going to be changes to contracted costs we will take these in to account.

Your final account compares the estimated charge to the actual charge for the services provided for the last service charge year.

This shows whether there has been an over or underpayment of service charge for the last year. These are sometimes referred to as ‘reconciled accounts’.

If you have overpaid the difference will be credited to your account and then either:

  1. Left on your account.
  2. Used towards clearing in part/full any debt on your account.
  3. Used towards clearing in part/full an outstanding recharge.
  4. On request we can send you a refund as along as points 2 and 3 do not apply.

If you have underpaid the difference will be charged to your account.

You will be required to pay the shortfall by increasing your next service charge payment. If you pay your service charge by direct debit, the underpayment may be added to your next payment.

This is an amount paid regularly by the leaseholder to pay for any works which may need to take place in future years. This is sometimes called a reserve fund.

Some leaseholders pay a cyclical fund. This is to cover the cost of redecoration of the communal parts of the building. 

No, these funds will remain in the fund for the benefit of the scheme.

Your lease specifies that your ground rent is due and payable on or before the first day of the start of each new service charge year. You will receive at least one month’s notice prior to the start of the new service charge year when your ground rent is due. The amount of the ground rent will be specified in your lease.

At least one month before the start of the new service charge year, we will send you an annual bill showing what the estimated service charge will be for that year.

The annual estimate will be charged to your service charge account in 12 equal monthly instalments throughout that year. Your service charge is payable monthly in advance.

Within six months of the end of a service charge year, we will send you the audited service charge account for the previous year showing the actual spend compared to the estimate.

Any difference between the estimated and actual cost will be posted to your service charges account.

Information for tenants

The way in which your service charge is set depends on your tenancy agreement. We calculate your service charge by looking at how much services have cost in the previous year and use this to estimate the costs for the coming year. If we know there are going to be changes to contracted costs we will take this in to account.

If your tenancy started between 2010 and November 2019, you will have a variable service charge.

This is also the case if your tenancy started before 2010 but you agreed to changes to your tenancy agreement in 2010.

Having a variable service charge means that if we estimate your service charge incorrectly we will correct this in the following year’s service charge. For example, if the cost of the service was £200 but our original estimate was £220, the £20 overcharged would be refunded through the following year’s service charge. The same would apply where we have undercharged for a service in any particular year.

If you have an older tenancy agreement or licence and didn’t agree to the changes, or your tenancy agreement started after 1 December 2019, then you will be paying a fixed service charge. This means where we have underestimated the charges in any particular year, you will not be charged for any shortfall.  However, if we have overestimated charges in one particular year, we won’t refund the difference.

The surplus will be deducted from your next year’s estimated service charge.

The deficit will be added to your next year’s estimated service charge.

Leaseholder management

Gas safety checks are required to make sure the gas appliances in your home are working properly. Faulty or poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

What is a gas check?

An engineer will check the gas appliances you have asked them to look at.

How long does it take?

The check and service only takes about 40 minutes. Afterwards, you will get a record to show that your gas appliances are safe to use.

How do I arrange the check?

To arrange a gas safety check for your home, visit the Gas Safe Register website or call 0800 408 5500.

You will be able to find a registered engineer who is legally qualified to work on gas appliances. You should compare quotes from around three different engineers before hiring someone.

What to do in an emergency

If you smell gas, or think that there may be a gas leak:

  • report it immediately to the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999
  • don’t use electrical switches
  • shut off the gas supply at the meter
  • put out all naked flames
  • open doors and windows
  • leave the house

Top tips for gas safety

  • Always follow the operating instructions for your gas appliances
  • Make sure where and how to turn off your gas supply
  • Never install a gas appliance yourself. Get a gas safe register engineer to do it
  • Get your appliances regularly checked by a gas safe register engineer
  • If you think an appliance might be faulty, turn it off and call us to report it

We insure the building you live in. This protects the structure of your home against major accidents or disasters.

Under the terms of your lease it is usually our responsibility to insure the building you live in. The insurance is in place to cover costs in the event of major accidents to the structure of your home.

This means that the outer walls, roof and communal areas will be covered if there is a fire, storm, flood, leak or gas explosion.

The cost of your buildings insurance is based on the rebuild value of your home and is paid through your service charges.

If you would like a copy of your certificate of cover or more information about the building insurance provided please contact us.

Contents insurance

As a homeowner you are responsible for insuring your personal belongings and your home contents (carpets, furnishings, white and electrical goods etc).

We offer all our residents a competitively priced home contents insurance policy through Avia.

For further information please contact us and ask for a Protect Your Home leaflet.

We can fix any outstanding issues – known as defects – that might appear in a newly-built home after you have moved in.

What is a defect?

A defect is different from a repair. It usually means something has not been finished properly in your home or there is a fault with a component (such as a door entry system, heating controls, light switches/fittings etc). A defect can also be a problem to do with the structure of your building (such as shrinkage or settlement cracks in plasterwork or badly fitting windows and doors).

Defects do not include everyday maintenance, accidental damage, wear and tear or misuse of equipment.

What is a defects period?

New properties have what is called a ‘defects period’ when the builder is responsible for repairing certain faults and problems.

The defects period is typically 12 months after the handover of your property to Catalyst. It is not 12 months from the date you move into your home.  When you move in, we’ll tell you how long the defects period is for your property.

Which homes have a defects period?

Defects periods apply to all new build homes and other properties if there is some unexpired warranty (see below).

How do I report a defect?

If you discover a fault, please call us as soon as possible on 0300 456 2099.

If the builder is responsible we will ask them to put it right. If you are responsible for it, you will have to pay for any repairs or maintenance. The contractor who built your home will contact you to arrange a time to visit your home and sort out the problem. Some defects may not be put right straightaway – but we’ll tell you if there is going to be a delay and why.

What happens at the end of the defects period?

At the end of the defects period we will inspect your home. Before the visit, you might want to make a list of any defects you know about. You may be asked to sign a list of defects, but only sign this if you’re happy that everything is included.

If defects are not included in this list, they will not be dealt with by the builder and then can only be repaired under warranty (see below).

Extended warranty

Newly built homes also benefit from the National House Building Council (NHBC) warranty, the Building Life Plans Claims (BLP) or a similar plan. This warranty is an insurance policy which comes into effect 12 months after the completion of the building. NHBC cover lasts up to 10 years and BLP cover lasts up to 12 years. When you purchase your home your solicitor will normally give a copy of the NHBC certificate to you and your mortgage lender. You need to keep these documents safe in case you need to make a claim.

If you are planning improvements or alterations to your home you might need to let us know before work begins.

Generally you can carry out minor works such as putting up shelves or decorating without our permission.

But if you want to carry out any structural changes such as taking down or putting up walls/partitions or building an extension, you will need our permission before you start any work.

You will also need to comply with any building regulations and/or planning requirements and any works must be carried out by a reputable builder. We will need to see details of your plans and who will be carrying out the work and you will need to send us copies of all invoices and receipts.

Shared ownership and Equity Loans

If you are redeeming an Equity Loan, selling a shared ownership property or Staircasing your home will be valued by a surveyor. The value may include any home improvements you have done. This may not always reflect the full cost of the improvements but it will reflect any value added to your home by the improvements.

To benefit from any adjustment to the value of your home you will need to register your improvements with us first.

More information

Contact us to find what improvements you need to register with us

You can change the names on your lease if your circumstances change.  

What you need to do

  • Instruct a solicitor to act for you.
  • Tell us in writing the details of the transfer – whose name is being removed from the lease or added to it
  • provide confirmation that your joint leaseholder, or proposed leaseholder, consents to the change in ownership.
  • If you have a mortgage, contact your building society or lender, to let them know. They may need additional information from you as well.
  • Satisfy us that you can continue to pay the costs of your shared ownership home.
  • Send us all the paperwork we need.

What we will do

If we agree to the changes you will need to provide us with the following documents and pay any associated costs:

  • a signed copy of a TR1 form available from your solicitors
  • on completion of registration, a copy of the Land Registry document
  • licence to Assign and Charge – this is the formal document that changes a name on a lease.

We will then update the leaseholder or equity loan details on our database.

If you need more information about transferring ownership, please contact us.

 

Capital works are repairs and improvements to the outside of your building and other parts as set out in your lease.

We are responsible for renewing and repairing the structural parts of your building, such as the roof and windows. We are also responsible for entry phones, lifts, decorations to the outside of your building and carrying out estate repairs.

When we need to consult

We are required by law to consult all our leaseholders:

  • when the cost of capital works is likely to be more than £250 per leaseholder and
  • if there is a long-term agreement which costs more than £100 per leaseholder per year

Paying for capital works

As a leaseholder you contribute towards the payment of capital works through part of your service charge, which is held in a special reserve fund. If there is not enough money in the reserve fund for all the capital works, leaseholders will be expected to pay the difference. We will work with you to provide a range of options for paying any additional costs.

We will also make sure that the work is carried out by a reputable contractor and that the costs for the works are fair and accurate.

If you would like more information about our capital works programme, please contact us.

Leaseholders rights and obligations

You have the right to challenge a service charge or any part of it
by asking a First-tier Tribunal to decide if the service charge is reasonable or payable.

You have the right to a summary of all service charge income and expenditure for a financial year. This should be provided within six months of the end of each accounting year.

You can ask for a summary of the insurance cover held by us for where you live. We have 21 days to provide it. In addition, you have the right to inspect the actual policy document and proof of payment of the insurance premium or the right to be sent copies of these. Again, we have 21 days to comply and a charge may be made for copies.

Management charges are charges payable by you under the terms of your lease. These charges are not service charges or ground rent. Typical examples are charges for permission to alter or adapt a flat, to sublet and interest or fees for late payments. You have the right to challenge any management charge at the RPT and ask the RPT to decide if the charge is payable and/or reasonable. You can challenge whether you have already paid the charge or not. If the management charge is calculated by a formula in the lease, you can ask the RPT for an order to vary the lease.

Forfeiture cannot be used for small debts under £350 or unless a debt has been outstanding for more than three years.

Possession cannot be taken without an order from a court or First-tier Tribunal.

Leaseholders of a scheme collectively have the right to take over the management of their scheme. There is no need to prove fault and no payment of compensation has to be made to the landlord. A detailed procedure has to be followed and advice should be sought.

This is the right for a group of leaseholders to compel the sale of the freehold of a scheme, irrespective of the landlord’s intentions. As long as certain qualification criteria are met, the landlord cannot refuse.

The leaseholders will have to pay a price valued according to a formula and should seek the advice of a qualified valuer.

Generally, you may buy further shares at any time after the first year of your initial purchase. Any subsequent purchases of additional shares may be bought after three months, providing the lease has been in existence for a year.

There are some leases which are exempt and do not allow for Shared Owners to staircase to 100%, often these are in ‘Rural Exemption Zones’. Please check with Catalyst Homes for confirmation.

Making improvements to your home

An improvement or alteration is anything you do to change the structure or fixtures and fittings of the property. This includes replacing kitchens and bathrooms, removing internal walls, adding extensions or conservatories and any other major works. 

You have the right to carry out improvements to your home once you have gained our written permission. We will not normally refuse permission but we will expect you to show that the work will be carried out safely and to a good standard.

If you want to build an extension or remove interior walls we will require a copy of the plans, confirmation that you have planning permission from the local council and, if necessary, Building Regulations approval.

Our Maintenance Inspectors can visit you to provide you with advice about the improvements or alterations you want to make. Please call our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262 or email consents@chg.org.uk to arrange an appointment.

Any improvements you make will not affect the rent that you pay to us. You may also be entitled to compensation for the improvements you have made if you move out of the property. 

Ongoing repairs to the improvements you have made to your home will be your sole responsibility. We will confirm this to you in writing when we provide approval for the works to be carried out.

When you move out we will expect you to either leave any improvements you have made in good order or return your home to the way it was before.

When you move out you may be able to claim compensation for the cost of certain improvements you have made to your home. The types of improvements you can claim compensation for are;

  • New kitchens
  • New bathrooms
  • New central heating systems

We will only pay compensation to you if at the time of the work being carried out you supplied us with;

  • Three quotations from competent people or contractors
  • Have met all our terms and conditions stated in our written permission letter agreeing to the work
  • Kept hold of all invoices and receipts

Compensation will not be paid if you did not obtain our written permission to carry out the improvements or if you cannot provide us with proper receipts that show the original cost of the work.

You must claim compensation within 28 days of your tenancy ending. You cannot claim if your tenancy ended because you purchased your home or if we are ending your tenancy by taking you to court.

We use a formula, which takes into account the amount you paid for the improvements and how long ago they were carried out, to work out how much compensation to award you. The formula we use is as follows;

Cost of improvement ÷ expected useful life x no. of years life left

So if you installed a new bath for £300, it’s expected useful life would be 12 years and you moved out four years after the installation we would use the following calculation:

£300 ÷ 12 x 8 = £200

We will not pay compensation that comes to less than £50 and the amount you can receive is capped at £3000.

Useful life

The useful life of an improvement is the number of years we would expect it to last for before needing to be replaced or have maintenance work carried out on it.

Improvement Expected useful life
Thermostatic radiator valves 7 years
Draft proofing outside doors 8 years

Kitchen sinks

Storage cupboards in bathrooms or kitchens

Work surfaces for preparing food

Improvements to security (excluding burglar alarms) 
10 years
Insulating pipes, water tanks or hot water cylinders 10 years
Central heating or hot water systems, baths, showers, hand basins or toilet 12 years
Rewiring or providing power and lighting to electrical fittings (including mains operated smoke detectors) 15 years
Loft and cavity wall insulation 30 years
Double glazing, secondary glazing or replacing windows 30 years
Extensions, porches, conservatories or carports 30 years

 

Our repairs service

Before you moved into your home the windows were checked and approved as meeting our quality standards. This means that the windows are secure, free from defects and have no outstanding Health and Safety issues.

During your tenancy, we will undertake repairs to your windows if:

  • The locking mechanism fails, affecting the security of your home
  • The window seals fail, allowing draught or rain water into your home
  • The hinge or restrictor fails and affects the opening or shutting of the window
  • The mastic seal to any external face of the window frame fails
  • The glazing is broken by an act of vandalism and you have a crime reference number from the local Police.
  • The glazing seals breakdown, causing misting between the glass panes
  • Health and safety repairs are required to secure your home in an emergency.

The following are your responsibility. We will not:

  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Repair windows hinges, handles and locking mechanisms damaged by misuse or neglect
  • Replace missing keys
  • Replace any broken glazing
  • Repair any damage caused by you, any member of your household or your guests, even if the damage was accidental.

Inspection service

When you report a repair we may send our Inspector to your home to specify what works are required.

The Inspector will:

  • Identify the repairs that we will carry out
  • Take measurements, note model numbers etc.
  • Identify if replacement parts are needed
  • State the number of repairs needed.

The Inspector cannot:

  • Order repairs to be carried out which are not our responsibility
  • Order a new window if repairs can be undertaken to fix the existing window.

Before you moved into your home the bathroom was checked and approved as meeting our quality standards. This means the bathroom was less than 30 years old, is in a clean, good working condition, and that there were no outstanding health and safety issues. During your tenancy it is your responsibility to keep your bathroom in this condition until you move out or the kitchen is replaced on our 30 year planned maintenance programme.

During your tenancy, we will undertake repairs to your bathroom if:

  • There are leaks from pipes
  • A leak that is our responsibility to repair affects the bathroom pipe boxing, bath panel, decorations, tiling or flooring
  • Your taps, shower or toilet drips or fails to work correctly
  • The bath, toilet or basin becomes unstable
  • Silicone seals around the bath or basin fail
  • The toilet becomes blocked and it is the only working toilet in your home*
  • The extractor fan stops working
  • Health and safety repairs are required.

*Although we may complete this repair for you, you will be recharged for this service.

The following are your responsibility. We will not:

  • Repair or replace sanitary ware due to cracks or chips
  • Repair or replace plugs, chains, toilet seats or toilet roll holders
  • Remove build up of limescale
  • Control or remove any build up of mildew/mould growth
  • Unblock toilet, basin, bath or shower waste pipes
  • Replace cracked or broken wall tiles
  • Repair any damage caused by you, any member of your household or your guests, even if the damage was accidental.

Inspection service

When you report a repair we may send our Inspector to your home to specify what works are required.

The Inspector will:

  • Identify the repairs that we will carry out
  • Take measurements, note model numbers etc.
  • Identify if replacement parts are needed
  • State the number of repairs needed
  • Confirm the bathroom installation date is in line with our records.

The Inspector cannot:

  • Order repairs to be carried out which are not our responsibility
  • Order the full refurbishment of your bathroom
  • Arrange for the installation of additional tiling or showers.

Before you moved into your home the kitchen was checked and approved as meeting our quality standards. This means the kitchen was in a clean, good working condition, offers the required level of storage and that there were no outstanding health and safety issues.

During your tenancy it is your responsibility to keep your kitchen in this condition until you move out or the kitchen is replaced on our planned maintenance programme.

During your tenancy, we will undertake repairs to your kitchen if:

  • There is a leak that is our responsibility to repair that affects the structure of the kitchen cupboards, worktop, decorations, tiling  or flooring
  • Your taps drip or fail to operate correctly
  • Silicone seals fail around the worktop
  • The extractor fan stops working
  • The door and drawer fronts become loose due to fair wear and tear
  • Health and safety repairs are required.

The following are your responsibility. We will not:

  • Replace missing or damaged shelves, cupboards, handles, drawer fronts,  plinths or cupboard doors
  • Replace worktops, cupboards, doors or shelves where the laminate surface becomes chipped
  • Replace missing cupboard legs or collapsed cupboards
  • Remove grease or mould on or within cupboards or on worktops or tiles
  • Replace cracked or broken wall tiles
  • Unblock your sink waste pipe
  • Repair any damage caused by you, any member of your household or your guests, even if the damage was accidental.

Inspection service

When you report a repair we may send our Inspector to your home to specify what works are required.

The Inspector will:

  • Identify the repairs that we will carry out
  • Take measurements, note model numbers etc.
  • Identify if replacement parts are needed
  • State the number of repairs needed
  • Confirm the kitchen installation date is in line with our records

The Inspector cannot:

  • Order repairs to be carried out which are not our responsibility
  • Order the full refurbishment of your kitchen.

Before you moved into your home the external doors were checked and approved as meeting our quality standards. This means that the doors are secure, have unique keys and are free from defects.

During your tenancy, we will undertake repairs to your external doors if:

  • The locking mechanism fails, affecting the security of your home
  • The door seals fail, allowing draught or rain water into your home
  • The door swells or twists, stopping it shutting securely or remaining weather tight
  • The mastic seal to any external face of the window frame fails
  • The glazing is broken by an act of vandalism and you have a crime reference number from the local police
  • The glazing seals breakdown, causing misting between the glass panes
  • Health and safety repairs are required to secure your home in an emergency
  • Where fitted, the door closer fails or needs adjusting.

The following are your responsibility. We will not:

  • Replace missing keys to external doors
  • Replace any broken glazing (unless caused by vandalism)
  • Renew any locking mechanism due to neglect or misuse, including damage caused by letting the door slam in the frame
  • Provide emergency access in the event of you being locked out
  • Repair any damage caused by you, any member of your household or your guests, even if the damage was accidental.

Inspection service

When you report a repair we may send our Inspector to your home to specify what works are required.

The Inspector will:

  • Identify the repairs that we will carry out
  • Take measurements, note model numbers etc.
  • Identify if replacement parts are needed
  • State the number of repairs needed.

The Inspector can’t

  • Order repairs to be carried out which are not our responsibility
  • Order a new external door if repairs can be undertaken to fix the existing door.

Dampness can be caused by water entering your home from the outside. This will be caused by:

  • Leaking pipes, wastes or overflows
  • Rain seeping through the roof where a tile or slate is missing, spilling from a blocked gutter, penetrating around window frames or leaking through a cracked pipe
  • Rising damp due to a defective damp course or where there isn’t a damp course or where the outside ground level is higher than the damp course

This form of damp is different from condensation because the cause of the damp tends to leave a tidemark and it will be much wetter nearer the source of the problem.

In all instances of damp caused by disrepair, we will carry out the necessary repairs to ensure that the defect causing the problem is corrected. Please contact our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262or email the repairs team to report the problem.

The repair and maintenance of your home is a joint responsibility between you as our tenant and us as your landlord.

We are committed to keeping all of our homes in excellent condition, both now and in the future. We do this by:

  • planning long-term programmes to repair and modernise homes
  • repairing empty homes to a high standard ready for new tenants; and
  • providing a fast and effective day-to-day repairs service for all our tenants, backed up with advice and help from our Technical Services Advisors and Maintenance Inspectors.

We maintain the structure and outside of your home and the installations such as central heating, water heating, sanitary ware (toilet bowls and cisterns for example) and those supplying gas, water and electricity. In certain blocks of flats and other properties, we are also responsible for repairing or replacing shared installations such as lifts, rubbish chutes and shared lighting.

What repairs are you responsible for?

Although we are responsible for repairing many items within the home, the following items are your responsibility:

  • Keys, including keys to meter boxes and cupboards, radiators and window locks
  • Internal doors
  • Handles on doors inside your home
  • Cupboard handles and catches
  • Hinges on doors, cupboards or kitchen units inside your home
  • Plugs and chains to sinks, hand basins or baths
  • Pull chains or handles on toilet cisterns
  • Blocked toilets, sinks and drains if you have caused the blockage
  • Toilet-roll holders
  • Toilet seats
  • Doorbells, unless attached to a door-entry system
  • Replacing cracked or broken glass windows and doors (unless due to a structural fault)
  • Battery-operated smoke alarms
  • Clothes lines and posts or rotary clothes dryers (except for certain blocks of flats)
  • Dustbins and recycling boxes (except for certain blocks of flats)
  • Containers used to collect rain water (water butts)
  • Garden sheds or greenhouses left by a previous tenant
  • Minor cracks to plaster
  • Repairing or replacing garden gates and fencing if your property has its own garden that is not shared by other resident
  • Decorating
  • Aerials and sockets (except on certain blocks of flats that have a shared aerial)
  • BT/Phone connections
  • Curtains batons
  • Any other item not fitted by us (including gifted items)
  • Any repairs you have caused by neglect or deliberate damage, including broken windows and outside door locks

We have a legal duty to carry out a safety inspection and service once a year of all gas appliances we have provided in your home. You must allow us access to your home once a year to carry out this safety check and service. If you do not allow us access to carry out the check we will seek a court order and all costs associated with us gaining access will be charged to you; these are currently in the region of £800. Please remember this is for your personal safety. Don’t put your life and the lives of your family and neighbours at unnecessary risk.

Call our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday or email repairs@chg.org.uk

We will generally respond to the following faults or repairs within 20 working days, although we may set aside certain work that we will do in the future as part of our planned work.

What is covered?

  • Aerials and sockets on certain blocks of flats that have shared aerials
  • Carpentry
  • Paths and drives that are part of the original property
  • Brickwork repairs
  • Gutters
  • Extractor fan broken in a kitchen or bathroom
  • Fences and gates to certain blocks of flats where the gardens are shared

We will ‘make safe’ or complete the following faults or repairs within 24 hours of you asking.

What is covered?

  • Total loss of electrical power
  • Unsafe power, lighting, sockets or electrical fittings
  • Total loss of water supply (this is normally the water company’s responsibility)
    • Total loss of gas supply (this is normally the gas company’s responsibility)
    • Blocked flue to open fire or boiler
    • Total loss of heating or hot water in winter months (between 1 November and 30 April)
    • Total loss of heating or hot water in summer months (between 30 April and 1 November) where a child under five, an adult over 60 or a vulnerable person lives
    • Blocked or leaking foul drain, soil stack or toilet (if this is the only toilet in the property)
    • Making the home secure after a break-in or vandalism
    • Serious burst or leak
    • Dangerous structural fault

Call us on 0300 500 6262 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday or email repairs@chg.org.uk

We put each repair that is reported to us in order of priority, based on how urgent it is. 

When you report a repair, you will need to:

  • Tell us your name, full address and contact phone number
  • Give us as much information as possible about the problem as this will help us to make sure that we order the technician, parts and so on. Many boilers have a display panel which will show a fault code if the boiler has a problem. Please make a note of the code before reporting the problem to us; it will make arranging a repair easier and quicker

It is more cost-effective and efficient for us to do some larger repairs, such as replacing windows or boilers, on a whole block or estate at a time, or street by street, rather than in one or two houses. This may sometimes cause a delay in us dealing with a fault you have reported, for example if you have a broken window but we are due to replace all the windows in your block soon, you may have to wait a bit longer than usual. When you report the problem, we will tell you if there will be any delay.

Please note that emergency repairs will just make a problem safe in the short term, and that you will probably need extra work doing at a later date.

 

Our tenancy policy

We aim to offer a lifetime relationship with all of our customers.

We do this by providing the best level of customer service possible and by helping to improve life chances. We also offer different types of accommodation and tenancy types as and when our customers’ circumstances change.

We also have a responsibility to make the most effective use of our homes and to protect customers’ quiet enjoyment. We believe that these objectives can best be served by offering most new tenants a fixed-term tenancy, enabling a formal review of the landlord and tenant relationship.

The key principles of our approach are:

  • Be transparent about the types of tenancies we offer;
  • Explain the types of tenancies we give and the length of them;
  • Make sure we issue tenancies that are compatible with the purpose of the accommodation and the needs of individual households;
  • Detail the circumstances in which we may or may not reissue the tenancies at the end of the fixed term;
  • Clearly set out the process for reviewing our decisions;
  • Make sure we do not directly or indirectly discriminate on the grounds of any Protected Characteristic defined in the Equalities Act 2010 or any other legislation.

Most new tenancies that were signed between 1 April and 9 December 2012 began with a 12 month Starter Tenancy. If the tenancy was maintained successfully in the starter period and none of the exclusions or exceptions in sections 4 and 5 applied, we then issued a five-year fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy.

Most new tenants signing an agreement on or after 10 December 2012 sign a six-year fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy with a break clause at the end of the first year. The break clause allows us to review the tenancy at the end of the first year.

We will continue to offer a lifetime tenancy in the following circumstances:

  • Where we are required to do so by law or regulation.
    The Localism Act 2011 provides certain protection for those who were lifetime tenants at the point the Act came into force. The Tenancy Standard, which forms part of the regulatory framework, also provides certain minimum standards.
    Therefore we will offer a lifetime tenancy:

– where a secure or assured lifetime tenant of a social landlord is moving to one of our properties let on a social rent and immediately before moving to Catalyst, they held a tenancy which began before 1 April 2012;

– to secure or assured lifetime tenants who are required to move to alternative accommodation during redevelopment or other works. We shall, on their return to settled accommodation, offer a further lifetime tenancy, including if they are forced to move to affordable rented stock, which would normally be let on a fixed term tenancy.

  • Where we have entered into a contractual commitment to do so.
  • To those entering our sheltered housing schemes. Where the tenant is new to Catalyst and is not protected by the Localism Act or the Tenancy Standard, they will be offered a starter-to-lifetime tenancy, allowing us to review the tenancy at the end of the first year.
  • To existing secure or assured lifetime tenants of Catalyst moving within our stock to a property let on a social rent, regardless of the start date of their tenancy.
  • Where the Wornington Green Residents Charter applies. Adult household members will be offered a starter-to-lifetime tenancy, allowing us to review the tenancy at the end of the first year.

We will review the tenancy before the end of the fixed term to decide whether to offer you a new fixed-term tenancy. We would normally expect to offer you a further fixed term of five years.

Where, in exceptional circumstances, we decide not to offer a new fixed-term tenancy, we will offer assistance and advice appropriate to the circumstances. Please contact us to discuss moving options.

We give succession rights for up to one succession. Where fixed-term tenancies are concerned, a successor can succeed to the remainder of the fixed term. We offer contractual succession rights to family members in certain circumstances.

A copy of our Succession Policy is available on request.

Payment options

A Direct Debit is the perfect way to keep on top of household budgeting. So it’s the ideal way to pay your rent and or service charge to us. Your payment is made automatically, which means you never have to worry about forgetting to pay. And not only is it convenient for you, it’s also really safe and reliable.

Why pay your rent this way?

Direct Debit makes perfect sense. It’s totally secure and you are completely protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. This means you get an immediate refund from your bank or building society in the unlikely event that a mistake is made.

You may already be using Direct Debit to pay for your mobile phone and satellite TV, and the same great benefits will apply when you pay your rent and or service charge by Direct Debit too.

  • You can choose your payment date if paying monthly, so you have better control over your finances. You can also pay weekly on a Monday
  • You can enjoy peace of mind – as payments are made automatically so they are never forgotten and are always paid on time
  • You can cancel the Direct Debit at any time, so you are always in control
  • You don’t have to fill out loads of forms, just give us a call and we will do the rest.

To set up a Direct Debit please call Customer Services on 0300 500 6262. Please have your bank account details with you when you call.

We calculate monthly Direct Debit payments using the following formula:

  1. Weekly rent x 52 weeks of the year = Annual rent
  2. Annual rent / 12 months= Monthly rent

You can pay with a debit card online at www.allpayments.net

Please keep your receipts or payment reference number as proof of payment. If there is a problem regarding a payment you have made, we will need the receipt or reference number to trace and check your payment.

Payments by standing order can be set up weekly, fortnightly or monthly on a date to suit you. Unlike direct debits you will need to let your bank or building society know when your payments change.

Your bank or building society will need the following information:

Bank account name: AHG RENT

Sort Code: 20-05-03

Account number: 20102016

For the reference number please quote your tenancy number in the box titled bank account to be credited.

You can pay us in several ways using your payment card:

Online: You can pay with a debit card online at www.allpayments.net

Allpay Payment App: You can download the free allpay Payment App onto your smart phone from the Apple App store, Windows Phone store or Google Play.

PayPoint: You can pay in cash at any retailers displaying the PayPoint logo.

Post Office®: You can pay with cash, debit card or cheque at the Post Office®. Cheques should be made payable to “Post Office Limited” (please note that some branches no longer accept cheque payments)

By phone: You can call Allpay to pay by Debit or Credit Card 
on 0330 041 6497*. You will need the 19 digit reference number shown on
your Allpay Payment Card. 
Alternatively, if you need to confirm the amount to pay, you can call Customer Services on 0300 500 6262. Customer Services will then advise you on the amount.

* Many organisations use 03 numbers as an alternative to more expensive 08 numbers.Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. 

If you have lost your payment card, contact Customer Services on 0300 500 6262 to order a new card.

Please keep your receipts or payment reference number as proof of payment. If there is a problem regarding a payment you have made, we will need the receipt or reference number to trace and check your payment.

If you have a tenancy for a property owned by Hertfordshire County Council you can arrange to have your rent directly taken from your salary.

Please contact a member of the Housing Management team for more details on 0300 500 6262.

All cheques must be made out to ‘Catalyst Housing Limited’. For security reasons, we do not accept cash payments at our head office.

Please do not send cash through the post or put it through the Head Office letterbox.

Planned maintenance works

Planned maintenance covers a number of replacements and renewals, for example:

  • Gas and electrical central heating systems
  • Electrical consumer units
  • Kitchens
  • Windows and doors
  • Bathrooms
  • Roofs
  • Redecoration of communal areas
  • Passenger lifts
  • Car park resurfacing.

When we replace kitchens and bathrooms, we’ll give you a choice of colours units and floor coverings.

If you are a customer who rents your property from Catalyst you do not have to pay for planned maintenance. If you have replaced your own kitchen or bathroom, at your own expense and they are in good condition, we may not include them in our programme. Please check with our Customer Service Team if you are thinking of replacing your kitchen or bathroom, as we will need to discuss and approve this with you before you go ahead.

We keep a record of the condition of all our properties. Surveyors may need to visit and inspect your home at times to ensure our records are up-to-date. Please make every effort to give our surveyors access to your home so that we can renew items due for replacement when required.

Please note: maintenance is scheduled based on condition and estimated lifespan and this may not necessarily be the same as your neighbour.

Any improvements to your home can be an exciting prospect but we also understand that you may be worried as maintenance work can be disruptive.

Our Resident Liaison Officers (RLOs) are dedicated to supporting you through the improvement works to your home offering advice and help.

Before works starts, the RLO will:

  • Visit you to introduce themselves, talk through the proposed work and advise you on how to prepare for it
  • Make sure you know when the work will start
  • Ask you about any special requirements you may have
  • Help with any choices.

The RLO will make regular visits to support you through the process, a surveyor will also visit you regularly to ensure you are happy with the service.

All of our contractors will:

  • Carry company ID badges and must present these to you on every visit
  • Treat you and your home with courtesy and respect
  • Tell you at the end of each day who to expect the following day
  • Leave you with a supply of fresh water, a safe electrical supply and cooking and toilet facilities at the end of each day
  • Keep you, your family and visitors safe from the hazards that building works can generate
  • On average complete kitchens and bathrooms replacements within seven to eight working days.

We appreciate your help during this time, particularly with the following:

  • Access to your home at the agreed dates and times
  • We require at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to rearrange an appointment
  • Clear any work areas, including cupboards of any belongings before we arrive (we will help you with any heavy items/furniture)
  • To keep children and pets safe, do not leave them unattended and please keep them away from the work area and any tools
  • Please do not smoke in the areas where our contractors are working
  • Treat our contractors with courtesy and respect

Rent support

We’re here to help. It’s really important that you let us know so we can help.

We’ll work with you to understand your current situation and income, and help you to find out about any benefits or help you might be entitled to.

If your home is in London, please contact us on 0300 456 2099 or you can email us on contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk and if your home is in the Home Counties please call 0300 500 6262 or email info@chg.org.uk

If you can’t make your usual appointments, it’s important you let the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) know as soon as you can.
The DWP has made special arrangements for people who can’t attend their appointments because they’re self-isolating.
If you’re told that any of your benefit payments are likely to stop, please let us know as soon as you can. We’re here to help you.

We understand it might not be possible for you to pay us how you normally would, however, there are several ways you can pay.

We understand daily life may be different at the moment, but it’s important you continue to pay your rent each month. If you’re having trouble paying, please contact us as soon as possible so we can help.

Ways to pay
Paying by Direct Debit

  • You can set up a Direct Debit to come out of your account on the 1st or 15th day of the month
  • To set this up, simply call us on 0300 456 2099 if your home is in London or 0300 500 6262 if your home is in the Home Counties. Alternatively you can email income@chg.org.uk and provide us with your bank account details
  • If you need to change the amount you’re paying on a Direct Debit you’ve already set up, please contact your Income Specialist.

Paying by Standing Order

  • You’ll need to set up your Standing Order, or changes to one you’ve already set up, directly with your bank
  • You can do this by calling your bank, using online banking or on your bank’s mobile app.

Paying with your debit or credit card

  • If you prefer to pay your rent or service charge with your debit or credit card each month, please call 0300 456 2099 if your home is in London or 0300 500 6262 if your home is in the Home Counties .

Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Due to the current coronavirus situation, it may take us a little longer than normal to answer your call. Thank you for your patience.

Although we don’t offer a ‘rent holiday’, there are other ways we can help.
We understand this is a financially worrying time for a lot of people, and many are affected by loss of work and income.

Please contact us if you need help or advice through this difficult period. If your home is in London, please call 0300 456 2099 or you can email us on contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk and if your home is in the Home Counties please call 0300 500 6262 or email info@chg.org.uk

We’re here to help. It’s really important that you let us know so we can help.

We’ll work with you to understand your current situation and income, and help you to find out about any benefits or help you might be entitled to.

If you need help and your home is in London, please  contact us on 0300 456 2099 or you can email us on contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk and if your home is in the Home Counties please call 0300 500 6262 or email info@chg.org.uk

We appreciate that your income may change due to the current situation.
You do still have a responsibility to pay your rent – and we’re here to help you.

It’s important you contact us so we can help you to set up a payment plan, and help you to access any benefits you might be entitled to.

We understand that this is a worrying time, but we are here to help you. As part of our service, if you miss a rent payment, we’ll contact you to check in with you and see how we can help you. We would also encourage you to contact us as soon as you’re aware that you may struggle to pay your rent and bills. We have a team of experts ready to help you  – please contact us as soon as you can.

We understand that this is a difficult financial time for lots of our customers. If your direct debit is missed, we’ll contact you via telephone and letter to let you know, and to see what we can do to help you. We encourage all our customers that know in advance that their direct debit will not go through to contact us as soon as you can. There are lots of ways our financial support teams can help you – including advice, support and accessing benefits you may be entitled to.

Yes. Although, we have temporarily stopped all home energy visits – offered by Green Doctor and Agility Eco  due to the current crisis. Green Doctor are now offering online video and telephone advice for all customers living in London, Berkshire and Oxford, who would still like to receive energy and money saving advice.

You can contact the Green Doctor to access a free home energy online video or telephone advice by contacting them on 0300 365 3005 or greendoctorsldn@groundwork.org.uk

You can also find out more about how to save energy on our energy saving tips page. 

Repairs

Yes. If you have an appointment booked for a boiler service or electrical safety inspection, this will still go ahead.

If your annual gas and electrical inspection is due, our contractors will contact you directly to arrange for this to be undertaken in the usual way.

From 29 March 2021 our full repairs service returns, including emergency, external and communal repairs. If your repair was already underway, we’ll contact you to rearrange your appointment

We are planning for a higher volume of calls as we make these changes. Please be aware that you may have to wait slightly longer for your repair. We remain committed to giving you the earliest possible appointment that fits with your schedule. See our repairs guide on how we’re keeping everyone safe. You can also report your repair online

It’s very important for the health and safety of our customers, colleagues and contractors that the social distancing two metre rule is followed.

If the social distancing guidance isn’t followed – by you or anyone else in your home – during an essential visit, our colleagues and contractors will give you a polite reminder and ask you to keep a safe distance.

If this reminder is ignored for a second time, they will advise you that they are stopping work and will leave your property immediately.

If you’re self-isolating, or have coronavirus symptoms, please let us know before your appointment. We will either reschedule the appointment or make sure that our engineer who carries out the service wears protective clothing.

We recommend that you test your smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms weekly by pressing the “test” button.

If the alarm does not sound, please contact us to let us know so that we can repair or replace it.

Repairs and maintenance

We are committed to keeping all of our homes in excellent condition both now and in the future. We do this by:

  • redecorating the internal and external communal areas regularly. You may have to contribute towards the costs and we will consult with you before any works start.
  • providing a fast and efficient day-to-day repairs service backed up by expert advice and assistance from maintenance staff.

In the case of flats our repair responsibilities are usually confined to the main structure of the building in which you live including communal areas, walls, foundations and the roof. If your home is a flat, all electrical, plumbing, and drainage that is common to the building is also our responsibility.

You should check your lease to see what is our responsibility and what is your responsibility. You should seek legal advice if you are in any doubt.

Call our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday or complete our form.

Outside of these hours call our out-of-hours emergency repair service on 0300 500 6262.

Staff are available out of office hours and on bank holidays.

When you report a repair

When you report a repair, you will need to:

  • Tell us your name, full address and contact phone number; and
  • Give us as much information as possible about the problem as this will help us to make sure that we order the correct operative and parts.

We put each repair that is reported to us in order of priority, based on how urgent it is. The following are examples of these priorities and how you can report a repair to us. Please note that emergency repairs will just make a problem safe in the short term and that you will probably need extra work completed at a later date.

Routine repair and service standard

We will generally respond to the faults or repairs within 20 working days, although we may set aside certain work that we will do in the future as part of our planned work.

  • Shared paths and fences that are part of the original property
  • Brickwork repairs
  • Gutters.

Urgent repair and service standard

We will inspect, and complete if possible, the following faults or repairs within five working days of you reporting them.

  • Leaking roof
  • Faulty shared outside door lock or door-entry phone.

Emergency repair and service standard

We will ‘make safe’ or complete the following faults or repairs within 24 hours of you asking.

  • Unsafe communal power, lighting, sockets or electrical fittings
  • Total loss of water supply (this is normally the water company’s responsibility)
  • Total loss of gas supply (this is normally the gas company’s responsibility)
  • Serious burst or leak in shared areas
  • Dangerous structural fault.

Repairs to new homes are usually managed by the builder for up to 12 months after they have been built. You should make a note of all the minor repairs that are needed and let our staff know about these during their inspection of your home. This will be just prior to the end of your first 12 months and is called the defects liability period. These repairs will be carried out shortly afterwards.

The plaster on the walls in new homes often cracks as it dries out. We recommend you do not decorate for the first nine months or so. Minor cracks can be filled before you apply paint or wallpaper. Urgent repairs such as leaks or electrical problems should be reported to our Technical Services Advisors or our Out of Hours Emergency Repair Service on 0300 500 6262 as they occur.

Over time you may require information about a number of things, on the following pages is a list of other related information available to you, which can be accessed via our website or by calling Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.

Responsibility for repairs and maintenance

Every year Catalyst Housing Limited follows a schedule on planned and responsive maintenance to keep our buildings safe and in good condition.

What is covered by our planned maintenance?

Planned maintenance covers a number of replacements and renewals and on average, every year we replace/renew:

500     Gas and electrical central heating systems

270     Electrical consumer units

250     Kitchens

150     Windows and doors

110     Bathrooms

30        Roofs

10        Redecoration of communal areas

2          Passenger lifts

2          Carpark resurfacing

When we replace kitchens and bathrooms, we’ll give you a choice of colours units and floor coverings.

How do I find out about planned maintenance at my property?

Call us on 0300 500 6262 (select option 3)

or

email (customer service team email)

Please note: If you call us or email (customer service team email) our Customer Service Team they will ask the Asset Team to send you details of the proposed works to your property over the next five years.  

Do I have to pay for planned maintenance?

If you are a customer who rents your property from Catalyst you do not have to pay for planned maintenance. If you have replaced your own kitchen or bathroom, at your own expense and they are in good condition, we may not include them in our programme. Please check with our Customer Service Team (email and phone details here as a link and number listed) if you are thinking of replacing your kitchen or bathroom, as we will need to discuss and approve this with you before you go ahead.

How will Catalyst know what planned work is due?

We keep a record of the condition of all our properties. Surveyors may need to visit and inspect your home at times to ensure our records are up-to-date. Please make every effort to give our surveyors access to your home so that we can renew items due for replacement when required.

Please note – Maintenance is scheduled based on condition and estimated lifespan and this may not necessarily be the same as your neighbour.

What happens next?

Any improvements to your home can be an exciting prospect but we also understand that you may be worried as maintenance work can be disruptive.

Our Resident Liaison Officers (RLOs) are dedicated to supporting you through the improvement works to your home offering advice and help.

Before works starts, the RLO will:

  • Visit you to introduce themselves, talk through the proposed work and advise you on how to prepare for it
  • Make sure you know when the work will start
  • Ask you about any special requirements you may have
  • Help with any choices.

The RLO will make regular visits to support you through the process, a surveyor will also visit you regularly to ensure you are happy with the service.

All of our contractors will:

  • Carry company ID badges and must present these to you on every visit
  • Treat you and your home with courtesy and respect
  • Tell you at the end of each day who to expect the following day
  • Leave you with a supply of fresh water, a safe electrical supply and cooking and toilet facilities at the end of each day
  • Keep you, your family and visitors safe from the hazards that building works can generate
  • On average complete kitchens and bathrooms replacements within seven to eight working days.

What can I do to help?

We appreciate your help during this time, particularly with the following:

  • Access to your home at the agreed dates and times
  • We require at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to rearrange an appointment
  • Clear any work areas, including cupboards of any belongings before we arrive (we will help you with any heavy items/furniture)
  • To keep children and pets safe, do not leave them unattended and please keep them away from the work area and any tools
  • Please do not smoke in the areas where our contractors are working
  • Treat our contractors with courtesy and respect

Rights and responsibilities

A tenancy agreement gives you a range of rights, some of which include the following:

  • the tenancy agreement cannot be changed without your agreement.
  • you can stay in your home for as long as you choose, as long as you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.
  • we must repair and maintain certain parts of your home and keep it in a safe condition.
  • you can have a lodger, provided you have our consent.
  • you will be given opportunities to get involved and influence services.
  • you can see information we have about you.
  • you will be treated fairly and not be unfairly discriminated against by us.

You will have various responsibilities as our tenant, these are set out in your tenancy agreement and will include the following:

  • you must pay your rent and/or service charges on time.
  • look after your home and carry out minor repairs needed, (provide link to repairs website page). If you want to make any major improvements to your home you need agreement from us. Major improvements include installing a new kitchen or bathroom, you do not need our agreement for decorations you carry out
  • you must ensure that you or anyone living in or visiting your home does not cause any anti-social behaviour, this includes harassment, or domestic abuse on anyone living in our properties or in the neighbourhood
  • you must allow our staff or representatives to enter or inspect your home, or carry out any necessary repairs. We will give you notice when we need to enter your home, unless an emergency which could put you or other residents at risk of harm
  • you must not store any goods in any communal area or obstruct any corridors, staircases, balconies or lifts
  • you must not keep or use bottled gas, paraffin, petrol or any other dangerous material in your home or in communal areas
  • if you have a garden, you must keep it tidy by cutting the lawn and trimming the hedges
  • you must give us at least four weeks’ notice in writing when you decide to end your tenancy.
  • Read about tenancy fraud

Service charges - what you need to know

A service charge is an amount you must pay for services you receive, which relate to the communal areas and the maintenance of the estate. The services your estate/block receives are shown on your individual statement. 

Your service charge may pay for items such as:

  • Grass cutting and gardening
  • Cleaning of communal areas
  • Gas, electricity and water use in communal areas
  • Window cleaning
  • Servicing and maintenance of communal television aerials
  • Laundry facilities
  • The service and maintenance of CCTV equipment
  • Parking controls
  • Testing, servicing and inspection of fire safety equipment

There are lots of ways you can pay:

  • Direct Debit – If you would like to set this up, please contact our customer services team on 0300 500 6262
  • Standing Order – Please tell your bank about the change in amount in plenty of time before your next payment is due
  • Online – with a debit card
  • Paypoint – Pay in cash at any retailers displaying the PayPoint logo
  • Post Office – Pay by cash, debit card or cheque at the Post Office. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Post Office Ltd’. Some branches no longer accept cheque payments
  • By phone – Call the Allpay automated line on 0330 041 6497 and pay by debit or credit card

For more information on how to pay, please contact us.

If for any reason you are unable to make a payment, please contact us immediately. You will receive advice on how to deal with the problem and if there is a specific reason for non-payment, it may be possible to come to an arrangement to clear the debt.

If you suffer a loss of income because of sickness, unemployment or some other change in circumstances, we will offer you advice on claiming benefits. We will also advise you on how to deal with any other debts.

It is important you contact us as soon as you think you may have a problem with making your payments. If you do not contact us we will take further action to recover the debt.

If you have a low income or are in receipt of benefits you may be entitled to help with your rent or service charge payments through housing benefit or universal credit.

We will offer you advice about claiming housing benefit or universal credit and can help you in making a claim for this or any other benefits.

You should send your claim, along with any information required, to your local council or you can contact us if you are not sure what to do.

We calculate this cost at block level and apportion it between the other properties in your block. This charge is for repair work carried out to your block and not in your individual property.

This is a charge for a service which is for the resident only and not communal e.g. utility charges for supplies in your own flat.

This fee is to cover the cost of us administering the services provided to you

One is 7% and is added to charges from management agents. These are marked ‘admin fee-management agents’ on the statement.

The other is 15% which covers the administration costs of the services we provide.

This covers the cost of tree surveys and all communal pruning and felling.

This charge covers the cost of removing fly tipped items or one-off bulky waste disposal (not for the emptying of wheelie bins). Your local council is not responsible for clearing any fly tipping in areas where the land has been adopted by us and we will therefore be charged for this service.

Where we still employ caretakers, this charge covers the cost of cleaning, gardening and/or litter picking on your estate. On some estates it will cover the cost of the scheme manager.

In some circumstances another company called a managing agent provides some or all of the services on a scheme or estate.  Where this is so the managing agent bills us for those services and this is the cost of those services.

This is quite common. An example would be where the electric bill for one block differs to another. In some cases you may see both a “scheme” charge where everyone on the scheme pays the same, such as for car park lighting and a “block” charge where only the people in the same block pay the charge.

Social distancing

It’s very important for the health and safety of our customers, colleagues and contractors that the social distancing two metre rule is followed.

If the social distancing guidance isn’t followed – by you or anyone else in your home – during an essential visit, our colleagues and contractors will give you a polite reminder and ask you to keep a safe distance.

If this reminder is ignored for a second time, they will advise you that they are stopping work and will leave your property immediately.

Are you sure they are breaking social distancing rules? They could be providing key services to others in the community that could be misunderstood as a breach.

Try and have a chat with them – obviously while keeping the correct social distance – and remind them of the rules.

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to them directly, you could always ask another neighbour to chat to them instead or drop a friendly note through their door

If you have a neighbours’ WhatsApp group, you could send a friendly reminder via this channel as well

Put up our poster to remind people about social distancing, or again maybe just drop it through your neighbour’s door.

Catalyst does not have the authority to take any action against a customer for breaking social distancing rules. However, the police do have the power to enforce these rules and can even give fines to repeat offenders and those refusing to comply.

You can contact the police on the non-urgent 101 number or via their online form to report your concerns.

Staircasing

We can help you through the process. You can help by having your mortgage offer ready and arranging for a solicitor to act for you.

You will need to get your home valued by an RICS accredited surveyor.

You will have to pay the valuation fee – even if you don’t go ahead with the staircasing. The valuation will be valid for three months.

The valuation will take into account any improvements you have registered with us – but the valuation will not necessarily reflect the full cost of the works you have carried out.

If you live in a house and buy all the shares in your home you stop being the leaseholder and become the freeholder.

This means that we will no longer own any part of your home. In most cases you become the freeholder three months after you complete the final staircasing process. You will still have to pay rent and our management fees until the staircasing is complete. You may still have to pay an ongoing service charge to us if you live on an estate with shared facilities.

If you live in a flat you will continue to hold the lease but won’t have to pay any more rent on your property. You will still have to pay service charges for the running of the building and the estate.

If you live in a shared ownership home, you might want to buy a bigger share. To help you get an idea of what you can afford, try our digital staircasing calculator for an estimation of costs. 

Staircasing calculator

If you live in a shared ownership home, you might want to buy a bigger share. To help you get an idea of what you can afford, try our digital staircasing calculator for an estimation of costs. 

Subletting


Properties owned outright are usually permitted to sublet their home subject to the terms of their lease. Any consent required by us will not be unreasonably withheld.

To sublet your home you will need to submit a request to our Home Ownership team who can discuss with you the information needed to help with your request. 

Shared ownership properties are affordable housing products and so subletting is not permitted. This restriction forms part of the fundamental clauses in your lease.

In exceptional circumstances Catalyst will consider granting you permission for a limited period of time.

Please contact us directly if you intend to sublet your home.

Lodgers are not given any exclusive use or a tenancy agreement, however their privacy should be respected.

Home owners do not need consent from Catalyst to take in a lodger. You will need to inform us of the details of the occupant/s, and you will remain responsible for compliance with the obligations in your agreement with Catalyst.

Home owners are not permitted to use their property as a guest house or for frequent lodgings such as through Air B&B.

For more information on renting a room to a lodger the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government  have published a booklet on Letting rooms in your home: A guide for resident landlords

Tackling anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour includes a wide range of behaviour that causes nuisance or annoyance to our residents, their families, our staff and others living or working in the community. It is also behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress, or using or threatening to use housing for an unlawful purpose.

It ranges from noise nuisance (such as playing loud music or carrying out noisy activities late at night) to serious crimes (such as drug dealing and violence). It can also include things like vandalism, graffiti or fly-tipping.

However, where there are minor issues considered to be everyday living or minor lifestyle differences, we may not be able to resolve these.

There are a number of ways you can report antisocial behaviour, including hate crime and harassment:

  • Contact the Police: Call the police (if the incident involves a crime)
  • Email us:info@chg.org.uk
  • Phone us:
    Direct on0300 500 6262 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
    0800 075 6699 (outside normal office hours only, please note this number is not staffed during normal working hours and so will not be responded to at this time. Please call the main customer service number (0300 500 6262) who can help with your query between 9am to 5pm)
  • Write to us: 6 Houghton Hall Business Park, Porz Avenue, Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, LU5 5UZ

When you contact us, we will undertake an initial assessment with you. This is a set of simple questions that will give us information about how the issue is affecting you and your family. We will also ask you to give us information about what you have experienced including:

  • When the problem occurred
  • Who was involved
  • How many people were involved
  • The date, time and duration of the incident
  • If you have called the police or other local services

We will use this information to decide the severity of the incident. If it is assessed as high or medium risk, the Housing Services Officer will contact you within 24 working hours to discuss what happened. They will undertake a further assessment to decide what action will best support you with the situation. After this assessment we will ask you to agree an action plan. This will include details of actions you can take to resolve the problems and what we can do to support you.

For issues that fall into the standard risk category the Housing Services Officer will contact you within four working days to review the incident and offer you appropriate advice and support.

Once your Housing Services Officer has reviewed the initial assessment they may decide the issue reported is not considered to be ASB as it may be classed as nuisance or day to day household noise. They will contact you and offer you appropriate advice on how to deal with this matter and what to do if it gets worse.

In almost every case of ASB reported to us it is important that we speak to the person who is causing it. This is to establish if they are responsible and offer them an opportunity to explain their actions. It is helpful if we are able to tell them the details of the incident but we can treat your report as anonymous when reasonable to do so.

If you do not wish us to discuss this matter with them, it will limit the action we can take. In extreme cases where there is a risk to life we may need to take action regardless of the wishes of the person reporting the issue.

We will contact any agency, such as the police, social services and the local authority, who may be able to assist us in managing an ASB issue. We will also contact any witnesses to find out what information they have and if they are prepared to make statements.

If you are finding the situation difficult to cope with or would just like someone independent to discuss the matter with, we will offer you referrals to services or information about how to access services that can give you advice, assistance or support.

This can range from debt advice to domestic violence and where possible we will look to find support tailored to your needs.

There is no one size fits all way of managing ASB and each case will be treated individually. We have a range of tools that we use to assist victims in managing ASB issues. Some examples of the type of action we will consider include:

  • Letters to the perpetrators
  • Mediation – to give all involved parties an opportunity to resolve the issue face to face in a safe environment
  • Good Neighbour Agreements – an opportunity for both parties to set their own boundaries and requirements through a document they both sign and adhere to
  • Acceptable Behaviour Agreements or parent contracts – an agreement between the police, the person committing ASB and us that lays out behaviours that are and are not acceptable

In cases where we have enough evidence to do so, or there is a risk to life, we may consider legal action. This may include:

  • Possession of a property on the grounds of antisocial behaviour
  • Injunctions or undertakings
  • Legal action in conjunction with local authorities and the police

This list is not exhaustive. It is important to be aware that ASB is often difficult to prove and in some cases it is not always possible to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the individuals involved. For this reason it is extremely important that all incidents and issues relating to a case of ASB are reported to us promptly and in detail.

Your Housing Services Officer will ask you how you would like to be contacted and how often you would like to be updated on the case and will accommodate this where possible. We will aim to keep you regularly updated on what is happening with your case.

 We will consider closing a case when:

  • There is no further action that can be taken
  • No further action is required
  • When the case has been resolved

We will always contact you to advise you of the reason the case is being closed.

Community Protection Notices allow police, local councils and housing associations to tackle environmentally antisocial behaviour such as noise or fly-tipping and issue fixed penalty tickets to those who breach them.

Local councils will be able to impose Public Space Protection Orders to prohibit certain kinds of behaviour, such as drinking and nuisance gatherings, within defined areas. Police and PCSOs will then be able to issue tickets to anyone who breaches them.

Another tool is the ‘Community Remedy’ document. It gives victims the chance to work with police and PCSOs and have a say on what low-level offenders should do instead of being taken to court. They will be able to choose from a list of pre-defined “actions”.

Under the legislation any victim who is unhappy with the response to an on-going problem by police and partners can apply to pull a ‘community trigger’. The trigger requires partners to meet, review their response and consider what more can be done. 

If you want to apply for a community trigger, please visit the relevant area from the list below:

Tenancy

From 29 March face-to-face lettings visits will be offered as required. See our 10-step guide to read about how we’ll work with you to keep everyone safe during your visit. 

From 29 March, face-to-face lettings visits will be offered as required. See our 10 step guide to read about how we’ll work with you to keep everyone safe during your visit.

Yes.
You’ll need to give us the notice period stated in your Tenancy Agreement.
Before you do this, please make sure that you’ll be able to move into your next home. Many landlords have put a hold on people signing up to a new property for safety reasons.
If you need help and your home is in London, please call 0300 456 2099 or you can email us on contactcatalyst@chg.org.uk and if your home is in the Home Counties please call 0300 500 6262 or email info@chg.org.uk

Following government guidelines released on 21 May, we have made the decision to re-open mutual exchange applications.

We’re using the government guidance on safe working and adapting our ways of working to make sure we keep you and our colleagues as safe as possible.

Tenancy types

Most tenants will have an assured tenancy, this means you have the right to live in the property as long as you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Some of our tenants have secure tenancies – usually if they have been our tenants for a long time (since before 15 January 1989) or, in a few cases, if they took over a secure tenancy through a mutual exchange.

This is an assured shorthold tenancy for an initial 12 months (the starter period). If there have been no issues with the way you have complied with the tenancy, on written notice from us the tenancy will become an assured lifetime tenancy. We may extend the starter period for a further six months if you have not managed the tenancy satisfactorily. Where we extend the starter period we will give reasons and explain what action you will need to take to address this.

An assured shorthold tenancy (AST) is granted for a minimum period of six months. At the end of the initial six months the tenancy continues as a periodic AST tenancy until it is ended by us or you. We use ASTs where we are providing properties to people who would not qualify for social housing or where the accommodation is a temporary solution prior to moving to social housing or another tenure.

We no longer offer new Fixed Term Tenancies. If you are an existing Fixed Term tenant you may be eligible for an Assured Tenancy if you’re not in rent arrears or haven’t breached your tenancy. Contact us if you have any questions on this. If you live in one of our Key Living Schemes you will be given a six- month fixed term that continues as a periodic tenancy so long as there are no breaches of the tenancy and you continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme.

Your deposit, usually one month’s rent, will be held by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). We will ensure your deposit is transferred to the DPS who will send you an information pack once this has taken place. You should keep this information in a safe place so that you can claim your deposit back from the DPS when you tenancy has ended.

Your deposit is repayable at the end of your tenancy as long as you have no rent arrears and the property is in the same condition as it was originally let to you. Any rent arrears and works required to the property to bring up to letting standard will be deducted from your deposit. If these costs are higher than the deposit you paid you will be invoiced for the outstanding amount. If the costs are only for part of your deposit you will receive a refund for the remaining amount

Useful links

Age UK Provide advice for older people 0800 169 6565
Citizens Advice Provide online help from the Citizens Advice which provides advice across a broad range of subjects including benefits, employment, debt, health, education and housing. 0844 411 1444
StepChange debt charity Provide debt advice 0800 138 1111
The Energy Savings Trust a non-profit organisation that provides free impartial advice that can help you save money and fight climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from your home 0300 123 1234
My Home Energy Switch Designed to help you save money on your energy bills and also offers the chance for you to choose suppliers that provide energy from renewable sources if desired. 0808 178 3492
Homeswapper A service for local authority and housing association tenants to search for mutual exchanges. Click here to read our Mutual Exchange publication.  
The Money Advice Service Advice from the UK’s Consumer Financial Education Body. 0300 500 5000
National Debtline The helpline that provides free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems 0808 808 4000
Shelter  Provide advice and support for homeless people 0808 800 4444
Turn 2 Us Advice on benefits and grants 0808 802 2000
TV Licence For information or to buy your TV licence.  
Counselling Directory Provides a network be connected with a professional
counsellor or psychotherapist.
0844 8030 240
Health and Safety Executive – Asbestos Provides details on Asbestos Health and Safety  
NHS Stop Smoking NHS help to stop smoking
Homes England The national housing and regeneration agency 030 3444 0000 http://forms.communities.gov.uk/ 
Housing Ombudsman Service Assistance with disputes between tenants and landlords 0300 111 3000 info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk
Gov.UK The new place to find government services and information.

View our current vacancies

Main facts

  • Three vacancies available
  • Accommodation for people with a mental health diagnosis/learning disability
  • The accommodation comprises a furnished bedroom with vanity unit in a shared house with communal bathrooms, kitchen, two lounges, laundry and back garden
  • Two hours of support per week
  • Closing date for applications: 29 January 2021

Visits

Non-essential visits
Non-essential face-to face include home visits, non-emergency repairs, community centre drop-ins and visiting our offices.

If you need to visit our offices, please contact us for an appointment.

From 29 March our full repairs service and some face-to-face services return. Find out more here.


Emergency repairs
We’ve been carrying out emergency repairs while keeping you, members of your household and our colleagues safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

If we do need to come into your home our teams will maintain the highest standards, following government advice, including wearing PPE and socially distancing. 

We know that you’ll continue to follow these rules with us, so we can continue to keep you and our colleagues safe.

We’ll only be visiting customers where we can’t provide the service in another way, such as over the phone or by email.

Examples of the types of visit we’ll still do are providing one-to-one support and care, and carrying out essential checks and repairs.
Our teams are adhering to social distancing and hygiene measures to keep you, members of your household and each other safe.

If we do need to come into your home, and you’ve let us know there’s a higher risk of infection as you’re self-isolating, our colleagues will wear protective clothing.

Wellbeing

We understand this is an unsettling time and there are lots of ways that we can support you.

Our Wellbeing team can connect you to vital support services, offering practical and emotional advice and help you during these challenging times. Find out more about our wellbeing project.

You only need to let us know if you’re self-isolating for the following reasons:

  • You live alone and need support while you self-isolate
  • If you are due an essential safety check in your home, or we need to access your home for an emergency repair
  • If self-isolation means you cannot work affecting your ability to pay your rent
  • You need help accessing benefits to help you financially while you are in self-isolation

Go to our financial support FAQs for more information on help with rent and benefits while in self-isolation

If you think you have mild symptoms, help protect others – do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.

Call the 111 online coronavirus helpline or visit the NHS advice page to check your symptoms and seek further advice.

We are carrying out wellbeing telephone calls for all our elderly or more vulnerable residents, to check in with them and see if they need any additional support. However, if you are worried about  someone please contact us  and our wellbeing team will arrange be in touch.

 

The most important thing to do is to follow government guidelines to help keep your friends, family and neighbours safe.

However, there are things you can do to help keep your neighbours informed with important updates. We’re regularly updating our website, social media channels and have also sent out letters and emails, but we want to make sure our communities are helping one another to stay informed in a safe way too. You can:

  • Share updates through community Facebook pages
  • Share updates in Whatsapp groups
  • Retweet our Twitter post to your followers
  • Share our Facebook post with your friends
  • Let us know your email address so we can include you in our regular email updates

Our Wellbeing team is available to help connect you to vital support services, offer practical and emotional advice and help during these challenging times. Find out more on our wellbeing team page or contact our them via our talk to us online form

You told us

‘They have to follow things up. Communicate better with the tenant about what’s happening.’ (Ealing)
‘More communication between phone staff and contractors. Make sure contractors are more informed.’ (Kensington)

We have:
– Created a dedicated telephone line for you to speak to the repairs team directly in your area
– made sure an appointment is made with you when you call with an aim to complete the repair within 7 calendar days of your first enquiry to us

‘They need to be more flexible around people who work, as I had lots of people showing up when I was working so I couldn’t get the repair done.’ (Brent)
‘Maybe have a phone call one or two hours before they are coming.’ (Ealing)

We have:
– More flexible appointment slots. You can choose from one of our 4-hour appointment slots: 8-12 noon, 12-4pm and 4-8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-1pm on a Saturday; school runs and first and last appointments of the day are also available

‘The appointments take too long, normally its three weeks. They are fine but waiting is too long.’ (Ealing)
‘Make it quicker, there is too much faffing around, and better communication.’ (Oxford)

We have now introduced a new service so:
– You will receive a text message or email confirming your appointment within 1 hour of your call
– You will receive reminder texts 48 hours before your appointment, 9pm the night before your appointment and when your repairs contractor is on their way to you
– If your repair can’t be completed on the first visit, the contractor will make a follow-up appointment during your initial appointment

In order to make sure that you receive an excellent customer experience every time, we’ll continue to capture your feedback in two ways: 
– You’ll have the opportunity to comment on your experience with our contractor 
– Within an hour of your repairs job being completed, we’ll send you a text asking you to answer yes or no if you were satisfied with your overall repairs service
If you answer no, we’ll call you to find out what’s gone wrong and ask how we can put it right for you. Each of our new repairs contractors has been set targets with an emphasis on customer satisfaction. We’ll be closely monitoring this. 

If TLF contact you to ask your feedback about our services, please take the time to talk to them. We’ll use your view to improve our services.

Anything you tell TLF is treated as confidential and we’ll only contact you to find out more if you tell TLF we can do so. TLF follow a strict code of conduct and any information you give them will be treated in line with data protection law.

For more information on how we use your personal information, please look at our privacy policy.

Your assured tenancy

Your tenancy agreement places a number of responsibilities on us, and some of them are summarised as follows.

Living in your home

We will not interfere with your right to live in your home as long as you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Repairs

We will keep your home and its fixtures and fittings in a good state of repair.

Condition of your home

It is your responsibility to keep the property clean and tidy and you must not block or obstruct any parts of the building that are used by other residents, as this could cause a fire hazard.

You must not store personal belongings in any shared areas near to the property, for example the garden, or leave any rubbish there or on the estate.

It is essential that you report any repairs to us quickly so that we can deal with them before they become any worse or cause other problems, either for you or other residents. You can report a repair by calling our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262.

What happens if you don’t keep to the conditions of your tenancy?

Breaking any conditions of your tenancy could result in us taking action to remove you from the property.

In most situations, we will work with you to find ways to resolve the issues; if this does not work we will do one of the following:

  • serve you with a two months ‘Notice requiring Possession’
  • serve a Notice to Extend the Starter Tenancy
  • seek immediate eviction (in very serious cases).

Can I appeal the decision?

Yes you can. You will have 14 days in which to appeal from the date the Notice was issued. For more information, please contact Customer Services on 0300 500 6262. You can also get information from a solicitor, Citizens Advice Bureau or law centre.

Passing on your tenancy

You cannot pass on (assign or transfer) your tenancy to anyone else without our permission in writing and this will not be given within the first year of your starter tenancy.

After the first year, a tenancy can be passed on with our permission to someone else:

  • by arranging a mutual exchange with another tenant
  • if the tenant dies; or
  • if there is a marriage or relationship breakdown (Joint tenants only).

Lodgers

Your tenancy agreement will say how many people are allowed to live in your home. You must let us know the name, age and sex of any lodger before they move in. Please note you are not allowed to take in a lodger within the first year of your starter tenancy.

You are responsible for your lodger, and should they cause any problems we may take action against you as the legal tenant.

Subletting your home

Subletting is when you give someone a legal tenancy or allow them to have control over a particular part of your home.

We will not allow you to sublet the whole of your property under any circumstances and you will need our permission in writing before you can sublet part of your home and this will not be given within the first year of your starter tenancy.

Running a business from your home

You need our permission in writing to run any kind of business from your home. We will not give our permission if we think that your business is likely to:

  • cause a nuisance to neighbours
  • lead to traffic problems; or
  • involve using and storing dangerous materials.

If you need advice about this, you should contact Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.

Joint tenancies

A joint tenant is equally responsible for keeping to the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as paying rent and not causing a nuisance.

If there is a disagreement or relationship breakdown between joint tenants, one of you cannot stop the other one from entering the home unless you get a court order. In cases where domestic abuse is involved, one partner can ask the county court to order the other tenant not to enter the home for a temporary period until a more permanent arrangement can be made. You should contact us and a solicitor for advice about this sort of problem.

Our access to your home

If you need repairs to be done or we need to undertake repairs, improvements or inspect your home, you must let our employees or our representatives and contractors into your home. We must give you reasonable notice of this. In an emergency, such as a water or gas leak, we may have to get into your home immediately,  without giving you  notice.

If you fail to give us access we may apply to court to compel you to keep to this tenancy term. Over time you may require information about a number of things, on the following pages is a list of other information available to you which can be accessed via our website or by calling Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.

You must give us 28 days’ notice in writing if you want to end your tenancy. You are still responsible for rent payments until we have let your home to someone else or until the notice period you should have given us has passed; whichever is the shortest period. You must allow us access to inspect your property before you leave.

You must ensure the following to avoid any charges being charged to you:

  • you must leave your home in a good condition and remove all your furniture and belongings
  • you must let us know your forwarding address and contact phone number when you leave
  • you will be asked to leave the keys to the property in the special key safe that will be fitted to the property before your leaving date.

A tenancy agreement is a very important document as it sets out, in legal terms, the rights and responsibilities that we have as your landlord and you have as our tenant.

It is important that you keep a copy of your tenancy agreement.

As an assured tenant you may be able to buy your home through the Right to Acquire regulations, as long as your property was built or acquired by us after April 1997. You may also qualify for a discount, which is a set amount dependent upon which local authority area you live in.

The rules about the Right to Acquire are quite complicated but further information is available online, please call Customer Services on 0300 500 6262 or visit our website.

The Right to Buy does not apply to assured tenancies, but the number of years you have been one of our tenants will count towards a discount if you move to a home where the Right to Acquire applies.

Your monthly assured shorthold tenancy

Your tenancy agreement is a very important document as it sets out, in legal terms, the rights and responsibilities that we have as your landlord and you have as our tenant.

Your tenancy is a Monthly Assured Shorthold Tenancy. It gives you certainty of a minimum of six months from the start of your tenancy, provided that you do not break any of the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Your tenancy agreement places a number of responsibilities on us and some of them are summarised as follows:

Living in your home

We will not interfere with your right to live in your home as long as you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Repairs

We will keep your home and its fixtures and fittings in a good state of repair.

Ending your tenancy

We can end your tenancy in one of three ways:

  1. If you want to give notice, a two month notice period is required
  2. We have served two months notice requiring possession of the property, such notice is not to expire within the first six months of your tenancy; or
  3. By court order, which we will get from a county court if we want to end your tenancy because you have not kept to one or more of the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Condition of your home

It is your responsibility to keep the property clean and tidy and you must not block or obstruct any parts of the building that are used by other residents, as this could cause a fire hazard.

You must not store personal belongings in any shared areas near to the property, for example the garden, or leave any rubbish there or on the estate. Any items stored in shared/ communal areas will be disposed of. We will recharge you if we have to remove any of your personal belongings.

It is essential that you report any repairs to us quickly so that we can deal with them before they become any worse or cause other problems, either for you or other residents. You can report a repair by calling our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262.

Decoration

You are allowed to decorate your property. Any decoration should be done to a good standard and should be finished correctly.

Before your tenancy ends we will carry out an inspection and we may ask you to redecorate in a neutral colour if we do not feel that the decoration you have done would make the property easy to re-let.

Wall fixings

You can fix items to the walls but you must remove and make good the walls before you move out.

Passing on your tenancy

You cannot assign or transfer your tenancy to anyone else.

Right to Acquire/Right to Buy

You do not have the Right to Acquire or Buy this property.

Lodgers

Your tenancy agreement will say how many people are allowed to live in your home. You must let us know the name, age and sex of any lodger before they move in.

Subletting your home

Subletting is when you give someone a legal tenancy or allow them to have control over a particular part of your home.

We will not allow you to sublet your property or any part of the property under any circumstances.

Running a business from your home

You need our permission in writing to run any kind of business from your home. We will not give our permission if we think that your business is likely to:

  • cause a nuisance to neighbours
  • lead to traffic problems; or
  • involve using or storing dangerous materials.

If you need advice about this, you should contact Customer Services on 0300 500 6262 or email info@chg.org.uk

Joint tenancies

A joint tenant is equally responsible for keeping to the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as paying rent and not causing a nuisance.

If there is a disagreement or relationship breakdown between joint tenants, one of you cannot stop the other one from entering the home unless you get a court order. In cases where domestic abuse is involved, one partner can ask the county court to order the other tenant not to enter the home for a temporary period until a more permanent arrangement can be made. You should contact us and a solicitor for advice about this sort of problem.

Our access to your home

If you need repairs to be done or we need to inspect your home you must let our employees, representatives and contractors into your home. We must give you reasonable notice of this. In an emergency, such as a water or gas leak, we may have to get into your home immediately without giving you notice.

What happens if you don’t keep to the conditions of your tenancy?

Antisocial behaviour and non-payment of rent are the most common tenancy rules that are broken and could result in us taking action to remove you from the property.

We will work with you to find ways to resolve the situation; if this does not work, we could do one of the following:

  • serve you with a two months ‘Notice requiring Possession’
  • seek an immediate eviction (in very serious cases).

Can I appeal the decision?

Yes, you can. You will have 14 days to appeal from the date the Notice was issued.

For more information, please contact Customer Services on 0300 500 6262. You can also get information from a solicitor, Citizens Advice Bureau or law centre.

You must give us two months notice in writing if you want to end your tenancy. You are still responsible for paying the rent until the end of your notice period.

To end your tenancy you should email info@chg.org.uk or send a letter to the following address:

Catalyst Homes
Catalyst Housing Limited
6 Houghton Hall Business Park
Porz Avenue
Houghton Regis
Bedfordshire
LU5 5AZ

When we receive your written notice we will contact you to carry out a pre void inspection before your tenancy ends. It is important that you make yourself available for this appointment as we will inspect the property and advise you what is required to bring the property up to standard to ensure that you are not charged for any work that may be required.

Please ensure that you complete all the forms sent out to you before the tenancy has ended.

Once the tenancy is ended we will carry out a void inspection to ensure that property is as originally let to you. We will also check your rent account.

If all is in order we will contact the DPS and release your deposit. The DPS will then contact you directly. It is important that you leave us with a forwarding address.

To avoid losing your deposit you must:

  • ensure your rent is paid up until the last day of your tenancy; any arrears will be deducted from your deposit
  • remove all items of furniture, personal belongings, food and rubbish from the property; the cost of any removals will be deducted from your deposit
  • remove any fixings to the walls and make good any holes in the walls; the cost of us making good the walls will be deducted from your deposit
  • clean the property thoroughly throughout including carpets, marks on walls, windows and any white goods such as oven and hob; the cost of cleaning any items will deducted from your deposit
  • return all keys, fobs and parking permits. All keys must be returned on the day your tenancy ends; if all keys are not returned we will carry out lock changes and the cost will be deducted from your deposit.

If your deposit does not cover the cost of any works or arrears we will recharge you for any outstanding amount.

Rent references

We will supply rent references but there is a charge for this.

Your starter tenancy

A tenancy agreement is a very important document as it  sets out, in legal terms, the rights and responsibilities that we have as your landlord and you have as our tenant.

For the first year of your tenancy, beginning with the tenancy start date, you will be a Starter Tenant. This means that you do not have the same rights or security of tenure as an assured tenant. During this year you will receive three review visits to your home. This is to make sure you are keeping to the terms of your tenancy by paying rent, looking after your home and not causing a nuisance to others. If you meet the required standards by not breaking any terms of the tenancy agreement, we will grant you a full Assured Tenancy after a final review has taken place.

Whilst your tenancy is a Starter Tenancy, you do not have the following  rights:

  • the right to acquire
  • the right to sublet part of your home or take in lodgers
  • the right to make improvements Equality Act exemptions apply, eg ramps and handrails can be fitted)
  • the right to transfer to another property, mutually exchange or assign your tenancy.

Your tenancy agreement places a number of responsibilities on us, and some of them are summarised as follows.

Living in your home

We will not interfere with your right to live in your home as long as you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Repairs

We will keep your home and its fixtures and fittings in a good state of repair.

Condition of your home

It is your responsibility to keep the property clean and tidy and you must not block or obstruct any parts of the building that are used by other residents, as this could cause a fire hazard.

You must not store personal belongings in any shared areas near to the property, for example the garden, or leave any rubbish there or on the estate.

It is essential that you report any repairs to us quickly so that we can deal with them before they become any worse or cause other problems, either for you or other residents. You can report a repair by calling our Technical Services Advisors on 0300 500 6262.

What happens if you don’t keep to the conditions of your tenancy?

Breaking any conditions of your tenancy could result in us taking action to remove you from the property.

In most situations, we will work with you to find ways to resolve the issues; if this does not work we will do one of the following:

  • serve you with a two months ‘Notice requiring Possession’
  • serve a Notice to Extend the Starter Tenancy
  • seek immediate eviction (in very serious cases).

Can I appeal the decision?

Yes you can. You will have 14 days in which to appeal from the date the Notice was issued. For more information, please contact Customer Services on 0300 500 6262. You can also get information from a solicitor, Citizens Advice Bureau or law centre.

Passing on your tenancy

You cannot pass on (assign or transfer) your tenancy to anyone else without our permission in writing and this will not be given within the first year of your starter tenancy.

After the first year, a tenancy can be passed on with our permission to someone else:

  • by arranging a mutual exchange with another tenant
  • if the tenant dies; or
  • if there is a marriage or relationship breakdown (Joint tenants only).

Lodgers

Your tenancy agreement will say how many people are allowed to live in your home. You must let us know the name, age and sex of any lodger before they move in. Please note you are not allowed to take in a lodger within the first year of your starter tenancy.

You are responsible for your lodger, and should they cause any problems we may take action against you as the legal tenant.

Subletting your home

Subletting is when you give someone a legal tenancy or allow them to have control over a particular part of your home.

We will not allow you to sublet the whole of your property under any circumstances and you will need our permission in writing before you can sublet part of your home and this will not be given within the first year of your starter tenancy.

Running a business from your home

You need our permission in writing to run any kind of business from your home. We will not give our permission if we think that your business is likely to:

  • cause a nuisance to neighbours
  • lead to traffic problems; or
  • involve using and storing dangerous materials.

If you need advice about this, you should contact Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.

Joint tenancies

A joint tenant is equally responsible for keeping to the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as paying rent and not causing a nuisance.

If there is a disagreement or relationship breakdown between joint tenants, one of you cannot stop the other one from entering the home unless you get a court order. In cases where domestic abuse is involved, one partner can ask the county court to order the other tenant not to enter the home for a temporary period until a more permanent arrangement can be made. You should contact us and a solicitor for advice about this sort of problem.

Our access to your home

If you need repairs to be done or we need to undertake repairs, improvements or inspect your home, you must let our employees or our representatives and contractors into your home. We must give you reasonable notice of this. In an emergency, such as a water or gas leak, we may have to get into your home immediately,  without giving you  notice.

If you fail to give us access we may apply to court to compel you to keep to this tenancy term. Over time you may require information about a number of things, on the following pages is a list of other information available to you which can be accessed via our website or by calling Customer Services on 0300 500 6262.

You must give us 28 days’ notice in writing if you want to end your tenancy. You are still responsible for rent payments until we have let your home to someone else or until the notice period you should have given us has passed; whichever is the shortest period. You must allow us access to inspect your property before you leave.

You must ensure the following to avoid any charges being charged to you:

  • you must leave your home in a good condition and remove all your furniture and belongings
  • you must let us know your forwarding address and contact phone number when you leave
  • you will be asked to leave the keys to the property in the special key safe that will be fitted to the property before your leaving date.

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