Advice and what to do in an emergency Coronavirus: information for residents

Looking after your leasehold home

As a leaseholder you have a responsibility to keep your home in good condition and check it regularly. You should: 

  • Have a gas safety check every twelve months if your flat has a gas supply
  • Test your smoke detector every week and change the battery every twelve months
  • Check your mains stop tap and gate valves every six months
  • Check the water system (pipes, bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, water tanks, radiators) for minor leaks every three months
  • Check plugs and flexes every month for wear and tear. In addition, you need to know where the gas, water and electricity supplies come into your home and how to turn them off in an emergency
  • Report all repairs that are Hastoe's responsibility.

Antisocial behaviour and nuisance
You have the right to quiet enjoyment of your home. If you have problems with noise or another type of nuisance, please speak to the person who is causing the problem in the first instance. It may be that they do not realise that what they are doing is causing nuisance. You may be able to reach a compromise without involving other people.

If the nuisance persists, contact us. We may be able to give advice on what you can do next, for example:

  • Noise: your local Environmental Health Department has legal powers to deal with noise nuisance. Many councils now operate a 24 hour call out service to investigate and deal with complaints.
  • Dogs: dangerous dogs should be reported to the Police. Your local authority dog warden should be alerted to stray dogs.
  • Vandalism and graffiti: You should contact the local police where there is evidence of any criminal damage.

Pets
If you live in a ground floor flat with access to your own garden, you can keep one dog or cat, or one of each, without asking our permission provided you keep to the terms set out below. In any other case you must obtain our written permission before keeping pets, but please note that we will not usually allow it unless there is direct access to an outdoor space.

If you have a pet you must:

  • Always keep it under control
  • Not allow it to cause a nuisance or danger to people
  • Not allow it to damage the property
  • Not allow it to foul any communal or public area.

We receive many complaints from residents about dogs barking and fouling shared areas. It is your responsibility to keep your pet under control at all times and to make sure it does not foul any part of the estate. If it does, it is your responsibility to clear it up.

Pests
It is your responsibility to deal with pest problems. For more information on dealing with pests you should contact the environmental health department of your local council.

Parking
If you have a car or motorbike that is parked in a bay we have provided you must make sure it is roadworthy, taxed, licensed and insured. You must not park commercial vehicles, caravans, boats or trailers on any of our properties unless you have our written permission.

In addition, you may not:

  • Repair vehicles in a way that damages the premises or the parking areas
    park anywhere other than inane authorised parking space
  • Block roadways, access areas or footpaths, or cause any other obstruction
    leave untaxed, unlicensed or un-roadworthy vehicles, including those holding acorn on the premises, within parking areas set aside for residents or on the public highway.

We will consult all residents on any parking schemes that will help to prevent careless parking, arguments between neighbours, vehicles being dumped illegally and potential problems for access by emergency vehicles if routes are blocked.

Insurance

What insurance do you need?
Buildings insurance
Home insurance

There are two types of home insurance policies:

  • Buildings insurance protects against damage to the structure of the home, together with fixtures and fittings
  • Home contents insurance protects you against damage or loss of your possessions.

When you buy your flat, we automatically provide insurance cover and you pay the buildings insurance premium in the service charge.

If you need to make a claim for damage to the building please contact the insurance company directly. You can find their details in the summary of cover. We will not take any part in the claims process or the resolution of the claim unless rented property is directly affected or we have a public liability responsibility. There may be an excess, and this varies from year to year. We regularly review the buildings insurance policy to make sure we get the best value for both the association and our leaseholders.

Summary of buildings insurance cover

We do not insure the contents of your home. For your own peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you take out your own home contents insurance. We cannot deal with claims for compensation for damage to your belongings if you are not insured.

Areas outside your home

We always try to make sure that we maintain the shared areas of your home and any gardens that we are responsible for to a high standard. We want your home to be a nice place to live.

How do I know if I should be receiving this service?

Many of our leaseholders who live in flats or on an estate receive a cleaning and/or gardening service from us. This may be done by one of our estate officers or by contractor. If you are entitled to this service, you will already be paying a service charge for this. We will write to you every year and give you breakdown of the different services that you are paying for in your service charge. You can also get this information at any time from the Leasehold team.

What we will do

Abandoned vehicles
We recognise that these vehicles are often in an unsafe condition and may pose health and safety risk. They may also be a target for vandalism. We will deal with nuisance caused by abandoned and illegal vehicles for the benefit of all tenants, leaseholders and the wider community.

Bulk refuse
If you have any large items of furniture or domestic appliances that you want to get rid of (for example beds, ridges, or wardrobes) you should contact your local council to arrange for them to collect it and dispose of improperly. Most local authorities offer a free or low cost removal service for large items.

Do not use shared areas of the property for storing personal items. They may cause hazard if there is a fire. If we do find personal belongings stored in shared areas we will write and give notice that you must remove them, or we will remove and dispose of them ourselves. If we have to do this we will add a penalty fee tithe perpetrator's account.

In summary, we will:

  • remove all abandoned bulk refuse, and give priority to refuse that may be a fire hazard
  • Normally take photographic evidence before arranging clearance
  • Add a share of the costs of removal to the overall cost of your service charge unless we are able to prove who is responsible for dumping it, in which case we will charge them the full cost of removal, plus an administration fee.

Cleaning
The housing teams visit regularly to check the standard of cleaning work carried out by estate staff or contractors, often taking photographs as evidence. We will:

  • Make sure that we have inappropriate arrangement in place for providing the cleaning service
  • Treat you and your home(including any shared areas or gardens) with respect at all times
  • Make available a schedule detailing what work the cleaners should be carrying out and how often this should be taking place.

Estate inspections
The Housing teams carry out estate inspections at least once a year, and generally much more frequently. We will give you the opportunity to joining the inspections.

Garages
On some estates we have garages available for let to tenants, leaseholders and non-residents. There is usually a waiting list, and we give priority to residents. If you do rent garage you should not use it for storing anything other than vehicle, unless you have our permission.

Gardening
The Housing teams visit regularly to check the standard of gardening work carried out by estate staff or contractors. We will:

  • Mow any grassed areas regularly and keep them at an appropriate height during the growing season
  • Make sure that any flowerbeds are planted with shrubs that are appropriate to the local environment and are easy to maintain
  • Remove or treat weeds on paths and other paved areas with an approved weed killer
  • Clear leaves from paths and paved areas during the autumn months to reduce the risk of slips and falls
  • Prune hedges to keep them to an appropriate height and to stop branches from blocking footpaths, check for and remove litter.

Graffiti
We will remove offensive or obscene graffiti within 24 hours of being told about it. We will remove all other graffiti within seven days.

 

    

Contact us

If you have any questions about your home or lease that are not covered in the guide to your lease please get in touch.

Contact the Leasehold team

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