We can provide help and advice and assistance on a wide range of housing issues to
council tenants and other local residents.
If you are not sure which One Stop Shop you should contact, please telephone our
Contact Centre for advice:
- What can be done if my neighbours aren't cleaning the common stair areas?
- What can be done if neighbours leave refuse in the common stair areas?
- Can I keep pets in my council house?
- How often do you service council tenants’ gas heating?
- What do I do if I have a gas central heating fault?
- What do I do if I think I have a gas leak?
- Is house insurance included with the rent or do I need separate insurance?
- How do I pay my housing rent?
- Do I still have to pay rent if I am a pensioner?
- Am I allowed to take in a lodger if I rent a council property?
- What will happen if I stop paying my rent?
- I’m being evicted from my council property. What can I do?
- How can I give up the tenancy on my council property?
- Where and when do I hand in the keys when I move out of a council property?
- What happens if a council tenant dies?
- When are the local housing offices open?
What can be done if my neighbours aren't cleaning the common stair areas?
What can be done if neighbours leave refuse in the common stair areas?
Can I keep pets in my council house?
You will need to get written permission from us if you would like to keep any animals in your council house. You are responsible for the behaviour of any animals owned by you, anyone living with you or by anyone visiting you. Pets must be supervised and kept under control at all times.
How often do you service council tenants’ gas heating?
By law, we must service your heating every year.
Our contractors will contact you with a date when they intend to call at your property. You must provide access between 8:00am and 5:00pm from Monday to Friday.
If you do not make an arranged access with our contractors or keep the appointment:
- you will not be able to use any gas appliances until we have carried out the check
- we will take action to enter your home to make the appliances safe
- You will be charged the cost of us having to force entry and change the locks
What do I do if I have a gas central heating fault?
What do I do if I think I have a gas leak?
If you smell gas then you should report this to British Gas Transco as soon as possible. You can call them on 08001 11999.
You should also open windows and doors and turn off the gas at the meter.
Do not use electrical switches or naked flames until an engineer has visited and said your home is safe.
Is house insurance included with the rent or do I need separate insurance?
We have insurance to cover the building. You will need to arrange your own home contents insurance for your furniture and possessions.
We offer a low cost contents insurance that can be paid with your rent. Contact your local One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub for more information.
How do I pay my housing rent?
Do I still have to pay rent if I am a pensioner?
Yes, all tenants including pensioners must pay rent.
If you have a low income, you may be able to get Housing Benefit to help with paying your rent.
Am I allowed to take in a lodger if I rent a council property?
If you would like to take in a lodger, you must write to us for permission. We will normally agree unless it would lead to overcrowding.
If you take in a lodger:
- You are still responsible for paying your rent
- The amount of money you charge the lodger must be reasonable
- If you receive benefits, taking in a lodger may affect your claim and you may have to pay income tax
- If you receive Housing Benefit or any Council Tax reductions, you must tell us you have a lodger
- You are responsible for your lodger's behaviour
The lodger will also have to leave the property if you leave or end your tenancy.
What will happen if I stop paying my rent?
If you do not pay your rent, we will take legal action against you. This involves us going to court to get a decree against you. This could result in you being evicted from your home, or your wages and bank account being frozen.
If you are having difficulty paying your rent, or you believe you may be entitled to Housing Benefit, please contact your local One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub.
I’m being evicted from my council property. What can I do?
If you are being evicted due to non-payment of rent, you should contact your local One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub immediately for advice.
To avoid eviction you will have to pay the full amount stated in the eviction decree. You should also contact the Homeless Team on 01324 503600. They can give you advice about finding alternative accommodation.
How can I give up the tenancy on my council property?
Please contact your local One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub. You must give us 28 days notice that you would like to end your tenancy.
If you have a joint tenancy, the other tenant will have to give notice at the same time. If they wish, they can continue with the tenancy in their name only.
If you are married, your husband or wife must agree with ending the tenancy even if they are not a joint tenant. This must be put in writing.
Where and when do I hand in the keys when I move out of a council property?
Keys must be returned to your local One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub. You will be told when to return the keys. You will be charged rent on the property until the keys are handed in.
What happens if a council tenant dies?
If a tenant dies you need to contact the local One Stop Shop for that property as soon as possible to make arrangements to terminate the tenancy.
If they were the sole tenant of the property, the tenancy will end automatically. We normally allow one week where we do not charge any rent to clear the property. If it will take longer than this, we can grant an additional three weeks, but a charge will be made against the estate.
Your Neighbourhood Officer at your One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub can provide help and advice.
When are the local housing offices open?