Contacting us

Our office is open 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Thursday, 09:00 to 16:30 on Friday

Address
Derwent Living
1 Centro Place,
Pride Park,
Derby DE24 8RF
Important numbers

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

Here to help

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:

What is your postcode?
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  
Forward mail  
Set up TV licence  
Get landlord permission for aerial/dish 
Get landlord permission for any pets  
Click to set

Services and utilities

Arrange for gas, electricity, water and other services by contacting the service suppliers for your new home.

Important numbers

If your gas is off

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.

Council Tax

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.

Contents insurance

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.

Spare keys

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 rent

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.

Please do not send cash in the post to pay your rent. For more details about how to pay your rent call 01332 346477 or visit derwentliving.com.

Your rent may also include a service charge, to cover communal services such as cleaning, lighting and landscaping.

Ways to pay
  • 'Any day' direct debit (the most hassle-free way of paying)
  • Over the internet at derwentliving.com

Difficulties paying your rent

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.

Housing Benefit

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.

We can
  • Agree a plan with you to clear your arrears within a reasonable timescale
  • Advise you how to get independent advice to help you to manage debts, and make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to
  • Advise you on how much your housing benefit may be
  • Explain what happens if legal action starts, what you need to do and where you can get help.
You should
  • Ask us if you need help to fill out your Housing Benefit form
  • Get a receipt for everything that you give to the Housing Benefit team
  • Provide all evidence of your income and identification or your claim will be cancelled
  • Keep in touch with the Housing Benefit team to check the progress of your claim
  • Advise Derwent Living of any delays with your housing benefit

How we set your rent

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.

Changes in your household circumstances

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.

Things that can change your benefit entitlement
  • People moving in or out of your home
  • Starting and stopping work
  • Having spare bedrooms
  • Having adults in your home who are not a partner e.g. children over 18
  • Any type of income or savings
  • Changes in other benefit entitlements e.g. Working Tax Credit.

Looking after your home

Reporting repairs

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.

To report a repair

Repair responsibility

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.

You are responsible for
  • Any installations you have made yourself
  • Replacing glass, lock changes and replacement keys
  • Repairing any damage caused by a forced entry from the police
  • Replacing bulbs, fuses and supplying additional electrical sockets and gas points.

Gas safety

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.

If you can smell gas
  • Do not turn on/off lights/sockets or light any matches. Light switches spark and can cause an explosion
  • Open windows and doors. This will allow any gas which has built up in your home to escape
  • Turn off the gas supply. The main on/off lever can be found next to your gas meter
  • Ring the national grid on 0800 111 999

Upkeep of your home, garden and communal areas

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.

Chargeable costs

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.

Access for repairs and inspection

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.

Living in your home

Your tenancy agreement

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:

  • Adding or removing a joint tenant
  • Relationships and your tenancy
  • Transferring your tenancy
  • Exchanging tenancies
  • A need for a move
  • Family rights
  • Support for victims of domestic violence

     

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

Occupying your home

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.

Sub-letting

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.

Aerials and satellite dishes

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.

Pets

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.

Alterations

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.

Anti-social behaviour

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.

What should I do about anti-social behaviour?

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.

Help and Support

Support services

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:

  • Debt advice
  • Employment and training
  • Family support
  • Access to furniture schemes
  • Life skills
  • Mental and physical health support

Ask your housing officer for further details or call the general enquiries number.

Adaptations

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.

Your views count

Resident involvement

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.

Email the resident involvement team at getinvolved@derwentliving.com or call 01332 346 477.

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

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.

Our customer commitments are
  • We will return your call within one working day
  • We will resolve your phone query at first point of contact
  • We will acknowledge your complaint by phone within two working days
  • We will offer a resolution to your complaint within 10 working days
  • We will complete any ‘emergency’ repair within 24 hours
  • We will complete any repair classed as ‘urgent’ within five working days
  • We will give you an appointment date and time slot for your repair and keep it
  • We will not close your anti-social behaviour (ASB) case without your agreement and we will report customer satisfaction with our ASB service
  • If you report a repair which needs inspecting a maintenance surveyor will visit you within seven working days
  • We will respond to reports of ASB by victims, including those made to our 24 hour reporting phone line, within one working day and discuss how to proceed with you and make sure that you understand the options available.

Leaving your home

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.

Before you leave

  • Allow us to inspect your property during the notice period so we can quickly reallocate it to someone who needs it
  • Hand back your keys on the day your tenancy ends
  • Leave your home and garden in a good condition and put right any repairs for which you are responsible
  • Remove all your possessions including carpets, furniture, curtains
  • Leave a clear rent account
  • Give us a forwarding address.

After you leave

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.

Complaints and feedback

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 will
  • Ensure a full and fair investigation
  • Be effective and efficient in handling complaints
  • Learn from your valuable customer feedback and improve our services
  • Ensure that this policy is well publicised and easy to understand.

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

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.

Please call 01332 346 477 or email info@derwentliving.com