Our office is open 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Thursday, 09:00 to 16:30 on Friday
General enquiries - 01332 346477
Repairs 01332 346477 – To report repairs during office hours
Out-of-hours emergency repairs 0116 257 6727 – To report emergency repairs outside of office hours
Anti-social behaviour reporting line 01332 614919 – a 24 hour message service which guarantees a response within one working day
Your first point of contact is the customer call centre that will assist with your enquiry or direct you to the right person.
Each area has a housing officer and income officer to help you with tenancy enquiries and rent payment.
Enter your postcode to found out who your housing officer is:
|Moving in checklist|
|Sort out your rent payment method|
|Apply for housing benefit|
|Register for Council Tax|
|Arrange contents insurance|
|Contact utility companies|
|Get spare keys cut|
|Set up TV licence|
|Get landlord permission for aerial/dish|
|Get landlord permission for any pets|
Arrange for gas, electricity, water and other services by contacting the service suppliers for your new home.
The gas supply may be disconnected until the supply company has reset your meter - you do not have to pay any outstanding debt yourself.
Once you have at least £2.00 credit on both your gas and electric meters please contact us and we will send an engineer as soon as possible to reconnect your gas, carry out the safety check and ensure your heating and hot water are working correctly.
Contact your local council to advise that you have moved into your home and arrange for payment of your council tax.
You may qualify for benefit to cover council tax if your income and savings are below a certain level. Contact your local council for further advice.
It can be very expensive if your personal belongings are damaged by a leak or mishap in the home. You are very strongly advised to arrange home contents insurance as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to insure your furniture and personal possessions against fire, flood and theft. You could also be liable for damage to other properties, for example if your washing machine leaks.
A few pounds a month could save you from a costly bill. Ask us for details of cheap and effective schemes.
Derwent Living does not keep spare keys for your home and will charge you for a lock change if you lose your keys. This can be very costly and will require a payment in advance.
Get a spare set made and leave them with someone you trust in case of emergency.
Your tenancy agreements states that that you must pay your rent in advance. For weekly tenancies payments must show on your account by Monday of each week, regardless of which method you use to pay. You can arrange with us to pay by a different frequency fortnightly, four-weekly or calendar monthly as long as the rent is being ‘paid in advance’ by the right amount.
Your quarterly statement is delivered with Derwent life, if you have arrears ("AR") on your statement at any point during your payment cycle and you are not paying extra on top of the rent that is being paid, call us on 01332 346477 to find out more about paying rent in advance.
Your rent may also include a service charge, to cover communal services such as cleaning, lighting and landscaping.
Contact us straight away if you are having problems paying your rent and let us help you. We can talk over the phone, meet you at our office or visit you at your home.
Failure to pay outstanding rent arrears can result in eviction and a court judgement to repay the arrears you owe. We can always work things out if you speak to us and agree a payment plan.
Submit your application as soon as you sign your tenancy agreement. Any delay could cause a gap in your benefit resulting in rent arrears which you are responsible for.
Housing Benefit will only pay from the day you move into your home so move in as soon as you sign your tenancy agreement.
Housing benefit is usually paid four weeks in arrears which means that for customers paying their rent by this method, their accounts will show in arrears. With sweeping changes to benefits, we're asking customers to get their accounts in credit now, to avoid unnecessary rent arrears due to delays when processing changes to claims or shifting over to Universal Credit. You need to be paying the minimum amount of £3.70 each week until your account is in 4 weeks credit when your housing benefit payment has been made.
To protect tenants and make sure that rent is affordable the Government gives guidance to housing associations. This sets a maximum permitted increase each year. Derwent Living will review your rent in accordance with this guidance.
The setting of rents will be fair and consistent and at a level that ensures that we meet our obligations to our customers. For a copy of our Rent setting policy or further information please contact us.
You must immediately advise Derwent Living and the Housing Benefit team of any changes in your household as these can affect your Housing Benefit entitlement and lead to rent arrears.
We can estimate entitlement based on your circumstances and advise you of how much rent you should pay.
As your landlord, we are responsible for keeping your property in good repair. We also maintain the shared parts of our housing schemes, such as corridors, lifts and landscaped areas. All of this work is paid for by rent and service charges.
Please report repairs promptly and arrange an appointment for us to inspect your property and complete the work.
We set targets for completing repairs depending on the type of repair and will advise you of this and schedule an appointment when you get in touch.
Some repairs are not the responsibility of Derwent Living.
If you are responsible for a repair you should make arrangements to have work carried out by a suitably qualified person. Contact us for further advice on your repair responsibilities.
It is our legal responsibility to ensure that your home is safe by providing you with an annual gas safety certificate.
We will carry out an annual gas service and make an appointment for you by letter when it is due.
In order for us to comply with the law on gas safety, if, after notice, you do not provide reasonable access to your property we can take legal action in order to carry out the service. This is to ensure that you and your family are safe. You could be recharged for this and could incur other penalties from a court.
Please avoid this by working with us to find a suitable time to carry out these essential works.
As a tenant you must keep your home in good condition and maintain your garden if you have one. Please do not leave items in communal areas that are a fire risk or a trip hazard to others. Dispose of household waste responsibly.
You are responsible for damage to your property, garden or communal areas. If you fail to keep them clean and tidy, we may charge you for any work required to resolve the situation. We will give you the opportunity to remedy the situation first.
Your tenancy agreement requires you to provide your landlord with access to your property for repairs and inspection with reasonable notice (we will let you know a time and date when we require access).
If you repeatedly fail to provide access we may apply to a court to gain access and you could incur other penalties imposed by the court. If an appointment is not convenient and we will rearrange it.
If there is a risk to the safety of residents or of serious damage to our property, we may be forced to gain entry to your property in an emergency and will take all reasonable precautions to protect your rights and your property. Please contact us for further advice.
The tenancy agreement which you have signed is the contract between Derwent Living and you and sets out your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Keep it in a safe place and make sure that you understand it. Please contact us if you require any further advice about changes to your tenancy:
You must give us four weeks written notice if you wish to leave your home. See the ‘Leaving your home’ section of this handbook or view the information leaflet online at www.derwentliving.com
As a tenant you must occupy your home as soon as the agreement begins (unless we have agreed otherwise) and to live there as your only or main home.
If you are going to be away from your home for more than 28 days, you must let us know in writing.
Derwent Living does not permit sub-letting of tenancies as this is unfair to other people who may be in housing need. If we receive a report of sub-letting we will investigate and may take legal action if you cannot provide evidence that you are using your home as your main address. We are also required to report any potential benefit fraud to the appropriate authority.
Please seek our advice before installing an aerial, satellite dish or cable television. In some areas planning permission or development restrictions are in place and you could incur the cost of removal if written permission is not obtained first.
Please seek our advice before bringing a pet into your home. Pets are not permitted in some types of property. For further details please ask for a copy of our Pet policy or ask your housing officer for advice.
You must obtain permission in writing from Derwent Living before making any alterations or additions to your home. A surveyor may require details of the proposed work and inspect it for satisfactory completion.
You are responsible for any unacceptable behaviour carried out by you, your family, or by any other people living in or visiting your home. We take anti-social behaviour very seriously and will always investigate and take action when appropriate before closing the case.
It is usually a good idea to try and resolve matters in a friendly way with your neighbour before things get out of hand.
If you experience anti-social behaviour contact your housing officer. You may prefer to use our anti-social behaviour message service on 01332 614 919. This guarantees you a response within one working day.
We will agree the action that will be taken and keep you informed of progress. We will survey your satisfaction with our service.
If you witness a crime or an emergency you should always report it to the police first.
Support services If you need some assistance with your tenancy please get in touch with us. We can help with disability needs or a change in your financial or other circumstances.
We can assist you with a wide range of support services:
Ask your housing officer for further details or call the general enquiries number.
If you are unable to live comfortably in your home due to mobility problems, or other issues relating to a disability or poor health, we may be able to help by carrying out permanent adaptations to your home. We don’t provide portable aids ourselves, but we can help you contact organisations that may be able to help.
If you discuss your health with your doctor they may arrange an assessment by an occupational therapist.
Derwent Living may carry out minor adaptations such as handrails, small ramps, or alterations to door entry systems, but major works will require an application for funding to your local authority.
We may require a letter of support from other agencies or professionals. If you do not qualify for help from us, we will help you identify other organisations that may be able to help you.
If your home is not suitable for an adaptation, we can offer advice on other solutions such as moving to a home more suited to your needs. Please contact us for advice.
We are keen to involve all our customers in improving the services we provide. Whether you’d like to attend regular meetings or just answer occasional email surveys, there are ways you can be involved that suit you and your needs, which are constantly being improved and updated.
So whether you live in rented, shared ownership, leasehold property or a retirement scheme, make your views count.
Together we can find the best way to suit your particular interest and availability.
All customers can claim reasonable out of pocket expenses related to their involvement activities.
Customer commitments allow you to see exactly how Derwent Living is performing in the area where you live. As well as finding out if you’re getting the best level of service, you can also compare against the other areas in which we operate.
You must give Derwent Living four weeks notice in writing if you intend to end your tenancy.
If you do not give written notice and move out of the property, you will continue to be liable for rent and other costs until the tenancy is terminated.
You may be charged for any cleaning, repairs, replacements or clearance of possessions left behind.
You should arrange a payment plan with Derwent Living for any outstanding rent at the end of your tenancy. If you leave with unpaid rent, our income management team will contact you to arrange payment.
If a payment plan is not agreed we will use a tracing and debt collection agency to recover the debt. This could affect your credit rating and ability to obtain housing in future.
For more information please call 01332 346 477.
We try to ensure that our customers are satisfied with our services. In cases where customers are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, we have a complaints policy which explains our approach to resolving service complaints.
We will handle complaints in a positive way, welcoming them as opportunities to improve the way we work. We commit to giving customers the highest standards of service at all times.
We also have a number of ways to collect feedback from customers through satisfaction surveys. We use the information provided to improve our services. Our full complaints policy is available by request or by visiting www.derwentliving.com
Further information is available for all the topics covered in this quick-start guide plus other services by Derwent Living.
Information leaflets and policies are available to download on our website. Alternatively we can send you individual leaflets if you are interested in a particular area of service.