Before you move in

Taking on a tenancy is an important decision and there are some things we want you to consider before you do.

You need to think about whether you can afford the property and if it is the right property to meet your needs.

This section will help you to understand what you need to do before you take on a tenancy and what that means for you.

It is important that you can afford to live in your new home. This means being able to pay your rent and other household bills and expenses without going into debt.

We will ask you about your income and outgoings to see if you can afford the property. We will need to see proof of your income including any wages or benefits you receive.

We want you to live in your property for as long as you want; so before you move in we will talk to you about any extra help and advice you may need. If we think you need extra help we may require you to commit to this before we offer you a tenancy.

You also need to consider the how suitable the property is for you. Are you in the right area; near family, friends and work? Can you afford the commute if you aren’t near work and schools?

Is the property the right size? Do you have enough rooms for all the members of your household? If you have too many rooms your housing benefit will be reduced.

You will also need to pay a week’s rent in advance of moving in. You will need to have this money ready before the sign up.

When you get your offer of accommodation it is important to reply as quickly as possible. You may lose your offer of accommodation if you do not make contact with us.

You could also lose the offer of accommodation if you don’t produce any of the documents we ask you for.

When you contact us we will arrange for you to view the property with one of our housing officers.

If you do not turn up to the property viewing we may withdraw the offer of accommodation.

If you decide to accept the offer of accommodation we will advise you when you will need to bring in your supporting documents.

You will be also asked to pay first week’s rent before you move in.

Once we are happy that you can manage the tenancy and you have paid your first week’s rent we will arrange a date to hand over the property to you.

The tenancy agreement is a legal contract between us that sets out the things both you and us as your landlord can and cannot do.

We both have responsibilities as part of the tenancy agreement and someone will go through these before you move in. It is important that you ask about anything you are
unsure of.

As this is a legal document you will be asked to sign it and we expect you to keep to the terms of the tenancy agreement at all times.

If you break the terms of the tenancy agreement you could lose your home.

We want all  of our customers to be happy with their new home. We spoke to customers and agreed the minimum standards homes should be when you move in.

Sometimes this may not be possible because of the layout of your home or planned improvements to your homes or neighbourhood. These standards also don’t apply to customers
who have got their new home through a mutual exchange.

If you think these standards have not been met, please tell us before you sign your tenancy agreement.

Before you move in all of the repairs to make your home safe, secure and clean will be done. If your home has been boarded up for security reasons or has gas that needs to be turned on these
works will be done on the day you move in.

We do not decorate homes. We want you to be able to decorate your home to your own style and taste. You may be able to get some vouchers to help towards the cost of decorating. This will depend on the condition of the property.

The property will be secure, in good repair, clean and clear of rubbish when you move in.

Outside your home

  • Path, steps, handrails, ramps will be safe.
  • Garden fencing, walls and boundaries, installed by WM Housing, will be safe and in good repair.
  • Dividing fencing is your responsibility apart from the first privacy panel. Where the boundary is not clearly defined, we will mark it with post and wire dividers along the boundary.
  • Gardens will be clear but may not be planted or have the grass cut.
  • Outhouses will be secure and clear.

Doors and windows

  • Front and back doors and all internal doors will be in good condition with all locks and handles working properly.
  • Two keys will be provided for external front and back doors.
  • All windows will be in good repair, easy to open, watertight and secure.
  • Any damaged windows will be replaced before you move in. Except where security screens have been fitted, these will be removed and the glass replaced on the day you move in.

Floors and stairs

  • Floors will be even and safe.
  • Floor boarding will be firmly fixed and in a safe condition.
  • Stair handrails will be adequate and securely fixed.
  • Washable coverings to the bathroom and kitchen will be in reasonable condition
  • Carpets and laminate floor covering left by the previous tenant will only be left in your home if it is in a good condition. Any maintenance is your responsibility, we will ask you to agree to this or it will be removed.

Kitchen

  • Each kitchen will have a mixture of base units, wall units and worktops.
  • All kitchen units, doors and drawers will be in good working order.
  • All worktops will be in good repair.
  • Where available space will be provided for a fridge and washing machine.
  • Tiling and sealant will be complete and in good condition.
  • Each property will have either a gas or an electric cooker point.
  • There will be a minimum of two double socket outlets.

Bathrooms and toilets

  • Each bathroom will have a bath or shower, wash hand basin and toilet. This does not apply to all bedsits.
  • All bathroom fittings will be clean, in good condition and in working order.
  • Tiling and sealant will be complete and in good condition.
  • Showers will be in working order.

Gas and electric services

  • The gas and electric services will have been inspected and tested.
  • Your gas supply will be switched off for safety and will be reconnected on the day you move in. We will explain how to use any gas heating system and issue you a gas safety certificate.
  • You must contact the gas and electricity suppliers before you move in to reconnect your services. We will not be able to reconnect the heating system if the power is not connected. If the property has a pre-payment meter there will need to be a credit on the account for us to turn on and test the system. You will need to arrange this.

Cleaning

  • All rubbish, old carpets and furniture will be removed.
  • Your home will be clean and free of any stains, grease or dirt and floors will be swept and cleaned.

Other information

  • Your home will have a smoke alarm.
  • We will check the properties energy efficiency rating and issue an energy performance certificate.
  • We will check you have settled in by contacting you within four weeks from the start of your tenancy. We will try to help with any problems that may have arisen.
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