Rights & Responsibilities
Your Rights as a Tenant
As your landlord, Seaside Homes provides you with a Tenancy Agreement. This is a legal document binding both landlord and tenant, which makes a contract between yourself and Seaside Homes. As long as you abide by the terms of the tenancy, you are entitled to the protection of the law insofar as your tenancy allows, and you will receive the services that Seaside Homes provides to all its tenants. There is extra information about your tenancy provided in your Tenant’s Handbook.
Seaside Homes will maintain and repair your home in a condition equal to, or greater than, the National Decent Homes Standard. As long as no damage is caused by you or your household, no charge will be made as a result of repairs. Seaside Homes retains the right to recharge you for damage to your home if it is deliberate or caused by neglect during your tenancy.
Your Responsibilities as a Tenant
Moving into a new home can be both exciting and challenging with so many things to organise and arrange. It is also when your responsibilities begin as a tenant. This section provides you with all the information you will need to know.
You are responsible for your gas, electricity and water supplies and will need to get these connected as soon as you move in.
To do this you need to find out which electricity, water and gas companies supply your home and contact them to arrange supply. You will also need to agree how you will be paying your bills. For those properties with a key meter, you will need to contact your supplier to either obtain or activate the key.
Before contacting the supplier, please make a note of the meter readings as the utility company will need these when you call.
Further details and help can be found in your Tenant’s Handbook.
As soon as you move in to your home you are responsible for paying your council tax. If you are on benefits or a low income or are in receipt of Tax or Pension Credits, then you may be entitled to council tax benefit. Guidance will be provided by the Housing Management Team on the day you sign your tenancy.
Remember, if you’re circumstances change in any way, you must notify the Council Tax department immediately on:
- 01273 292000
If you have a television, you must have a licence. It is your responsibility to ensure you have a license. If you already have one, then you simply need to tell TV Licensing of your new address. If you don’t have a license and need to buy one, you must contact TV Licensing. There a number of methods to help you pay quickly and easily, whichever way suits you best. You can contact TV licensing online or by telephone:
- 0300 790 6131
- TV Licensing website (www.tvlicensinguk.co.uk)
Tenants should take note. If you do not have a TV License and you are caught watching or recording live programmes by an enforcement officer or by a detector van, you may end up in court and be fined up to £1000.
Please do not try to install a satellite dish without our prior written consent. Any permission given will be on condition that the dish is professionally installed and that no damage is caused to the structure of the property. You will need to check with the council’s planning team that your property is not a listed building or in a conservation area before an installation can be allowed. If one is installed without permission it may need to be removed at your own expense.
Please speak to your Housing Officer if you are thinking of getting satellite TV installed in your home.
Furniture & White Goods
In most cases, there will not be any furniture in your home when you move in, including cookers, fridges and other appliances. As such you will need to provide furniture and white goods yourself. Below is a list of places where you can find a selection of low cost furniture and kitchen appliances:
- YMCA Sussex Central
01273 776868 66 Blatchington Road, Hove
01273 261944 67 London Road, Brighton
01273 885505 285 Mile Oak Road, Portslade
01273 699726 9-10 York Place, Brighton
01273 426474 Drove Road, Portslade
- Furniture Now
01273 487377 North Street, Lewes
- Martlets Hospice
01273 779079 87 Blatchington Road, Hove
01273 721188 270 Old Shoreham Road, Hove
01273 673341 12 Warren Road, Woodingdean
01273 736207 97 Western Road, Brighton
In cases where you are not able to afford a cooker, fridge or other necessary items of furniture such as beds and you are on certain benefits, it may be possible to get a Crisis Loan or Community Care Grant, dependant on your circumstances from the DWP. Contact your local office for details:
- Brighton Jobcentre Plus: 01273 647400
- Hove Jobcentre Plus: 01273 368100
Seaside Homes are not responsible for losses incurred regarding any personal belongings in your home. For your own peace of mind, we recommend that you take out home insurance cover and would like to make you aware of an affordable policy that is available to Seaside Homes tenants.
This is a low cost policy recommended by the National Housing Federation for Social Housing Tenants. The rates and application form are included in the information pack you were given when you moved in. If you would like further information: please call the Housing Management team on 01273 294400.
For those of you who have communal areas in your home, we ask you consider your neighbours and keep all communal areas clean and tidy. Please be a good neighbour and try to:
- Keep the stairs and landings clear – do not block these areas with prams, bicycles or rubbish sacks. This will help avoid accidents and keep access clear in case of an emergency.
- Please place all rubbish in the communal bins to avoid vermin and unnecessary smells.
- Do not throw rubbish or other items from balconies.
- Please keep the noise down in communal areas – remember noise travels.
- Please do not allow your children to play in the corridors, stairwells or foyer areas.
- Do not damage communal services such as the entry system and fire detection equipment.
- Please be mindful of security and ensure the main entrance doors are closed at all times.
Change of Circumstances
In order for us to continue to provide you with the level of service we would like to, on occasion we may need you to update us with any changes that may affect you or your family’s circumstances. This may include:
- Change of bank account.
- Change of name (such as after you get married).
- Pregnancy or a new baby.
- Changes to who lives in your household.
- Changes to benefits.
- New support or social worker.
If you delay in telling us about any changes that may occur, this could cause problems with your tenancy that can be avoided. If in doubt, tell us.
Moving out of Your Home
You should remember that your tenancy does not just end automatically if you move out. Because it is a legal agreement, it can only be ended by you giving us notice that you wish to end your tenancy, or by notice from Seaside Homes and a court order.
Signing your tenancy agreement means that you have to give Seaside Homes at least 4 weeks notice, unless you are transferring with the assistance of the Housing Management Team and your Housing Officer.
Having given notice, you will still have to pay the rent on the property until the end of that notice period, which will be at least four weeks unless otherwise agreed with your Housing Officer.
Your tenancy will end on a Monday, so you must return the keys by 12.00pm (noon) that day, unless otherwise agreed by your Housing Officer. Failure to hand back your keys will mean that you will still be held liable for the rent until such time as they are returned. To avoid any complications, please ask for a receipt when you hand your keys back in to the Customer Service Centre at Bartholomew House in Bartholomew Square (view map – opens in new window).
Please leave the property in the condition you found it – secure, clean and free of rubbish. If the we have to clean or clear up after you or undertake any repairs that were your responsibility it is likely that you will be recharged for this.
Should you move out still owing rent or monies for rechargeable repairs, you will be expected to make an agreement to clear arrears and provide the Housing Management Team with an address that they can contact you at. Seaside Homes reserves the right to pass your new details on to a utility company who may be pursuing you for outstanding amounts. If you do not keep to any agreement in this respect with Seaside Homes, we reserve the right to take legal action to recover the debt.