Your Council Tenancy

Tenancy Agreement

The terms and conditions of your Council tenancy are included in your Tenancy Agreement. Please refer to the Tenancy Conditions Handbook

It is important that you fully understand your responsibilities as a Council tenant.

If you have any queries regarding your Council Tenancy Agreement please contact housing.enquiries@redbridge.gov.uk.

Your rights as a council tenant

Welcome Pack

The following useful information comprises your "Welcome Pack"

Welcome to your new home with the London Borough of Redbridge.

We hope that you settle quickly and  make this property your home.

Below is information regarding your home, rent account, places to help you with furnishings and contact telephone numbers.

If you need to discuss your rent account, please call the duty line:  020 8708 7676 during office hours or you can register for My Housing Account where you can view your:

  • rent account
  • balance
  • pay your balance
  • view your charging and payment history
  • print statements

Your Housing Officer will be in touch within four weeks to make an appointment to visit you. If you have any problems or queries and need to contact us before then please call 020 8518 2400 or email housing.enquiries@redbridge.gov.uk

For repairs contact Morrison  Tel: 0800 393994  or  020 8498 8000

To commission your boiler, please call the above number and select option 3

Remember you are responsible for contents insurance, tv licensing, utilities, council tax, telephone and broadband.

We wish you good luck in your new home.

Please make sure you know where the following are:

  • Electric meter
  • Gas meter
  • Fuse box
  • Stop cock (for water supply)

 

To find out who your utility suppliers are please call

British Gas             0333 802 9802
EDF                          0800 096 9000
EON                         0345 303 3040
Npower                  0800 073 3000
Scottish                  0800 027 0072
Essex water           0345 782 0999
Thames Water      0800 980 8800

For repairs please contact Mears on  0800 39 39 94.

This page sets out the standard that our properties will meet when they are let to new tenants.

Working in conjunction with Housing Officers and the Empty Property Co-ordinator we will endeavour to undertake all works before the tenant moves into the property. However, where works are not of an urgent nature we may give an undertaking to carry them out after the tenant has moved in. In those cases, a target time for completion will be given.


Health and safety

  • all gas and electricity supplies and appliances will be safe to use, and appropriately certified
  • all asbestos present in the property will be identified and, where necessary, will be removed in accordance with the required standards
  • the property will be assessed for and free from dampness and any other visible structural defect that affects the safe occupation of the property
  • all new tenants will be provided with advice on dealing with, or minimising, condensation
  • any smoke, heat, or carbon monoxide detectors will be checked for operation and replaced if necessary. If they are required they will be installed
  • an Energy Performance Certificate will be issued to the incoming tenant on occupation.

 

Heating, hot water and plumbing

  • all systems for heating and supply of hot water will be checked to ensure they are safe and operating correctly
  • where central heating is not fitted, this will either be installed as part of our improvement programme or whilst void
  • all plumbing services will be checked to ensure they are watertight and in good working order
  • all accessible and working stopcocks will be labelled to identify their purpose. The incoming resident will be shown the location of all stopcocks.
  • gas fires to be removed as a matter of course. Surrounds and hearths will also be removed; openings will be blocked off and vented, made good and left ready for decoration

 

Kitchens

Kitchen units will be checked to confirm they are operationally sound, clean and fit for use. Where replacement units are required, we will usually supply the same number as originally provided.

  • kitchen sinks should be fit for purpose and taps should be securely mounted and fully operational
  • missing or broken standard wall tiles will be replaced, and if possible, will match existing tiling
  • where necessary, worktop joints will be raked-out and replaced with suitable mastic
  • where ever feasible and economic we will install facilities to enable a washing machine to be connected
  • facilities will be provided to enable the connection of either a gas or electric cooker for the incoming tenant, subject to gas and/or electric supplies currently being provided to the dwelling
  • if a non-standard kitchen has been fitted by the previous tenant, these will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with regard to renewal. Consideration will be given to its likely life and ease of maintenance
  • where necessary, a Decent Homes standard kitchen will be fitted, at the discretion of the Voids Coordinator / Contract Auditor
  • there will be at least two double socket outlets in all kitchens. Consideration will be given to fitting additional sockets (surface mounted) as required to suit the potential number of resident appliances

 

Bathrooms and toilets

All properties will be provided with a bathroom and toilet.
Bathroom and toilet facilities will be free from damage.

  • we will replace toilet seats and missing plugs and chains from baths and wash-hand basins
  • all joints around fittings will be sealed with suitable waterproof mastic
  • all broken/missing standard wall tiles will be replaced and if possible, will match existing tiling
  • walls around the bath will have a tiled splashback
  • where an electric shower fitted over a bath, or associated wiring, is unsafe and beyond economic repair it will be removed
  • where we have installed a shower, over a bath, full height tiling will be provided to adjacent walls, and a shower rail
  • where necessary, a Decent Homes standard bathroom will be installed at the discretion of the Voids Coordinator / Contract Auditor
  • an extractor fan will be fitted in all bathrooms

Windows and doors

  • Any missing or poorly fitted DIY doors will be replaced
  • all broken, cracked, or blown/misty panes of glass/ double glazed units will be replaced, where practicable and safe to do so within the scope of the void works
  • all windows and doors will be checked to ensure that they open and close properly and all associated furniture is fit for purpose
  • an appropriate number of keys will be provided for all window locks
  • two sets of keys will be provided for front and back external doors (if a door has two locks, two copies will be provided for the Yale key only)
  • where door entry systems are fitted, the handset will be tested for operation, where practicable. Handsets will be replaced if obviously damaged. Defects will be dealt with via the service contract and all efforts will be made to complete works during the void period, and prior to re let
  • a 5 lever mortice lock will be fitted to timber front doors, if not present. Where there is direct access to a back door, the lock will be changed.

 

Floors

Floors should be level and safe.

  • where carpet gripper and underlay are present, these will be left for the incoming tenant if they are in good order
  • floor tiles in the kitchen and bathroom will be replaced if they are broken or missing, to include patching if appropriate
  • kitchen and bathroom floors will be completely re-tiled or re-covered if appropriate to reduce any potential slip hazard
  • any missing/defective skirting will be installed/replaced. Reasonable efforts will be made to match existing profiles

 

Stairs

Stairs and balustrades will be checked and repaired to ensure they are safe, and meet current Health and Safety regulations. Missing balustrades will be replaced.

 

Decoration

Walls will be made good in order to receive decorations, requiring only a reasonable amount of preparation by the new resident.

  • consideration will be given to undertaking some painting and redecoration
  • if necessary and at the discretion of the Voids Coordinator / Contract Auditor, where walls are excessively stained or in poor decorative order, papers will be stripped and walls left ready for decoration. If this occurs in an entrance hallway, a mist coat of white or magnolia will be applied.
  • if necessary and at the discretion of the Voids Coordinator / Contract Auditor, where ceilings are excessively stained or in poor decorative order, they will be washed down and/or sealed and two full coats of white emulsion applied
  • polystyrene tiles and coving will be removed and the ceilings/walls made good, where necessary

 

Cleanliness

The inside and outside of kitchen units, cupboards and drawers will be thoroughly cleaned, along with all works surfaces and the sink. All cleaning residue will be rinsed away.

  • all bathroom fittings (toilet, sink and bath) will be clean and where possible, limescale will be removed. Toilets will be clean in all areas, including the back, front and around the U bend. Floors will be disinfected
  • all paper and polythene will be removed from new sanitary ware
  • all shower curtains left by the previous resident will be removed
  • internal and external windows will be clean and washed down, where practical.
    all doors, including the front door, doorframes, architravings and side casing, will be clean
  • radiators will be clean around the front and as much as possible behind
  • all skirting boards will be washed down
  • all storage cupboards will be swept and mopped
  • stairways and steps will be swept and clean
  • all tiled areas will be clean
  • all cobwebs will be removed
  • electrical sockets, light fittings and switches will be thoroughly cleaned
  • all floors will be swept and mopped, with attention paid to removing scuffmarks
  • all floors will be mopped with disinfectant All rooms will be deodorised
  • all garages, sheds/ancillary buildings and lofts will be cleared

 

Gardens

Morrison will assess the level of works required, to achieve the following standard:

  • clear all rubbish from front and rear garden areas, paying particular attention to removal of broken glass, sharps, etc.
  • trim all grass areas, rake up all cuttings and remove from site
  • cut back any overgrown bushes and trees
  • to maximise the benefit of cultivation these works should be undertaken as near to the end of the void period as feasible
  • remove all debris from property when complete
  • any unsafe sheds/ancillary buildings will be removed. Any resultant uneven / unsafe ground will be made good
  • recycling and refuse bins to be left clean and empty
  • ponds will be filled in unless the incoming resident wishes to keep it; if so this must be recorded on file. (include photos)

Works will be agreed by the Empty Property Coordinator / Contract Auditor prior to commencing.

 

Footpaths

All footpaths will be repaired where they represent a hazard to residents and visitors.

 

Fences and gates

Where boundaries belong to London Borough of Redbridge, they will be repaired or if necessary replaced in a similar style to ensure the property is secure, but work will only be undertaken prior to occupation in cases where a safety risk is present. Where a boundary fence is deemed a hazard and does not belong to the Council appropriate representations will be made to the owner. Consideration will also be given to ‘making safe’ a fence not belonging to the Council if it presents as an immediate hazard with appropriate liaison taking place with the owner.


General

Consideration will be given to recharging the outgoing resident with regard to any malicious damage, unauthorised alterations, or in fact any works required to bring the property to a lettable standard, including cleaning and clearance.

 

The communal areas of the block are not for the storage of your personal items. Any items such as prams/pushchairs, carpets, rugs, plants, furniture, bicycles, children's toys, footwear etc will be removed and disposed of.

It is the responsibility of Redbridge Housing Services to ensure that fire safety regulations are adhered to. This is an approach that we have adopted for all housing stock and is in conjunction with the need to carry out Fire Risk Assessments on each and every block. Communal areas are to remain free of combustible materials, items that may give off toxic fumes in the event of a fire and articles that may prevent easy access/exit. The London Fire Brigade have advised that carpets will add to the loading of risk associated with fire safety.

These areas are owned by the council and it is a matter of Trespass if you have placed any belongings here. Whilst we appreciate the fact that, in many cases,  residents are trying to improve their surroundings, residents do not have the right to place belongings, fixtures or fittings in the communal areas. It may also be the case that an insurance policy may be void if the residents' belongings are a contributory factor in the event of a fire or other incident.

Some items are likely to present a health and safety risk to residents in the form of a trip hazard.

Any items that remain will be removed and disposed of; the residents responsible will be recharged.

 

This information is based on the booklet ‘Asbestos in the Home’ published by the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions in 1999.

Asbestos fibres are strong and resistant to heat and chemicals. This has lead to their use in a wide range of building materials and products, often as fireproofing.

Properties built since the mid 1980's are very unlikely to contain asbestos in the fabric of the building. Properties built after 1990 are extremely unlikely to contain asbestos anywhere in the building. Asbestos cement has been widely used as a cladding material and can still be found in buildings such as garages and sheds.

Why may asbestos be a problem?

When asbestos materials age or become damaged they can release fibres into the air. These can be breathed deep into the lung where they may stay for a long time, causing possible damage. When very high levels of these fibres are breathed in there is a risk of lung diseases, including cancer.

People who have worked with asbestos for many years as part of their job or have washed the dusty clothing of those who worked with asbestos are most likely to be affected. Workplace regulations now protect such people.

Is everyone exposed to asbestos?

There is a very low level of fibres in the air everywhere because asbestos has been used widely. Exposure to this low level of fibres is unlikely to harm people's health. 

Levels of fibres may be higher in buildings containing asbestos materials, especially where the materials are damaged. It is very unlikely that the levels of asbestos fibres found in buildings will be harmful, but if you have damaged asbestos materials in your home you should seek advice on appropriate action to take.

High, short-term exposures to asbestos fibres can occur during DIY work. For this reason, try not to raise dust when working with materials which might contain asbestos, and avoid sanding or drilling.

Where is asbestos found?

Building materials containing asbestos were widely used from 1930 to around 1980, particularly from the 1960's onwards. So houses and flats built or refurbished at this time may contain asbestos materials.

Asbestos has also been used in some heat-resistant household products, such as oven gloves and ironing boards. The use of asbestos in these products decreased greatly around the mid-1980's, and since 1993 the use of asbestos in most products have been banned.

It is not always easy to tell whether a product contains asbestos as modern asbestos-free materials often look similar - remember it is usually older products that contain asbestos.

Loft or cavity wall insulation does not contain asbestos.

The types of asbestos materials that may be found in homes are described below:

Insulating board (Asbestos content 20-45%)
Insulating board has been used for fire protection, heat and sound insulation. It is particularly common in 1960's and 1970's system-built housing and is found in
materials such as ducts, infill panels, ceiling tiles, wall lining, bath panels and
partitions. It is unlikely to be found in buildings constructed after 1982.

Asbestos lagging (Asbestos content 55-100%)

Asbestos lagging has been used for thermal insulation of pipes and boilers. It was widely used in public buildings and system-built flats during the 1960's to early 1970's in areas such as boiler houses and heating plants. Asbestos lagging is very rarely found in homes, especially those constructed after the
mid 1970's. The use of asbestos for thermal insulation was banned in 1986.

Sprayed coating (Asbestos content up to 85%)

Sprayed asbestos coatings were used for fire protection of structural steel and are commonly found in system-built flats built during the 1960's. The coatings were mainly applied around the core of the building such as service ducts, lift shafts, etc.

Use stopped in 1974 and the spraying of asbestos has been prohibited since 1986. Sprayed asbestos has since been removed from many buildings or sealed to prevent fibres being released.

Asbestos-cement products (Asbestos content mainly 10-15% but sometimes up to 40 %)

Asbestos-cement is the most widely used asbestos material. It is found in many types of building as profiled sheets for roofing and wall-cladding, in flat sheets and partition boards for linings to walls and ceilings, in bath panels, soffit boards, fire, flue pipes, cold water tanks and as roofing tiles and slates. It has been commonly used as roofing and cladding for garages and sheds and also in guttering and drainpipes. Use has declined since 1976, but asbestos cement is still being used, particularly in roofing and cladding products. Asbestos cement products are unlikely to release high levels of fibres because of the way they are made, unless they are subject to extreme abrasion. Damage from weathering may also release a small amount of fibres.

Other building materials and products

Asbestos has been used in a variety of other building materials, for example in
decorative coatings such as textured paints and plasters. These are still widely in
place but supply and application have been prohibited since 1988. Plastic floor tiles, cushion flooring, roofing felts, tapes, ropes, felts and blankets can also contain asbestos.

Heating appliances and domestic equipment

Asbestos was used in some warm air heating systems, electric storage heaters (up to 1976), in flameless catalytic gas heaters (up to 1988) and some early ‘coal effect’ gas fires. It has also been used in domestic equipment, such as oven gloves, ironing boards, seals on cooker doors and fire blankets, and in brake linings and pads.

How can I identify products or materials containing asbestos?

Since 1976 British manufacturers have put labels on their products to show they contain asbestos, and since 1986 all products containing asbestos carry the European label. The supplier or manufacturer of a product may be able to tell you if it contains asbestos. Often homes built at the same time contain similar materials - your neighbours may know if surveys for asbestos have been done.
Your local council’s Environmental Health Department may be able to help identify if you have asbestos products in your home, or if homes in your area have been surveyed.

Remember, asbestos-containing products can look very similar to those not containing asbestos - if in doubt seek advice

What should I do if I suspect there is asbestos in my home?

Asbestos materials in good condition that cannot readily be damaged are often
best left where they are because removal can lead to higher levels of fibres in the air for some time. Check the condition of asbestos materials from time to time to make sure they have not become damaged or started to deteriorate.
If you are planning home improvements or maintenance and have asbestos in your home, always inform builders, maintenance workers or contractors before they start work.

Asbestos materials that are slightly damaged can sometimes be repaired by
sealing or enclosing the material - seek advice on the most appropriate action.

Asbestos materials that are badly damaged or deteriorating can release dust and should be removed. Some asbestos materials (sprayed asbestos, lagging or insulating boards) must always be removed by contractors with a special license issued by the Government. These licensed contractors have to follow regulations to ensure asbestos is safely removed. Your local environmental health officer should be able to provide advice on asbestos removal and licensed contractors.
Sometimes it is dangerous to have asbestos removed - for instance, fire-protection materials - without replacing it with a suitable alternative.

Remember:
• Avoid disturbing or damaging asbestos materials in good condition
• If you have damaged or deteriorating asbestos materials in your home then seek advice
• Do not keep using oven gloves or other small items containing asbestos - dispose of them safely (see the section on disposal of asbestos).
• If you think that your warm air heating system, electrical storage heating system or flameless catalytic gas heater may contain asbestos then seek advice from your local gas or electricity supplier. If they do contain asbestos, do not attempt to dismantle these appliances yourself, but seek advice from the council.

Take care when doing DIY

If you have asbestos materials in your home, extra care should be taken when doing DIY.

Do not attempt work involving sprayed asbestos, lagging or insulating boards, as this must be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removal contractor. If in doubt, seek advice.

Please contact us before you do any DIY on council properties with asbestos materials and do not proceed until the matter has been fully investigated by the council's asset management team or appropriate officer/agency.

DIY work with asbestos materials must include the following precautions:

1. Keep other people away from the area of work.
2. Wear protective clothing (e.g. overalls), preferably disposable, and avoid breathing in asbestos dust (a disposable dust mask ’CE’ marked to EN 149 with FFP2 particulate filters is recommended).
3. Keep asbestos materials wet to avoid producing dust.
4. Work outside if possible and avoid working overhead.
5. Do not drill, cut or disturb asbestos unless absolutely necessary. Do not scrape or sand asbestos materials before painting and decorating. Some types of asbestos materials are very soft and can release large numbers of fibres if rubbed or scraped.
6. Use hand tools rather than power tools.
7. Do not use a domestic vacuum cleaner to clear up the dust. Hire an industrial vacuum cleaner that conforms to BS 5415 (Type H).
8. When you have finished work, clean up and then take off the overalls carefully to avoid raising any dust which may have collected in the fabric. In the case of disposable overalls, double-bag them, clearly mark 'ASBESTOS' on the bag and dispose of them as asbestos waste. Wash non-disposable overalls straight away, separately from other clothing, in a washing machine.

How should I dispose of asbestos?

Wet small amounts of asbestos waste and put it in a strong plastic bag - seal this tightly and clearly mark it ‘asbestos’.
Do not break up large asbestos-cement sheets - they do not need to be sealed in bags should be wrapped in polythene or similar sheeting and disposed of as asbestos waste.
Do not put asbestos waste in the dustbin - seek advice from the council about how to dispose of your asbestos waste.

Remember:
• Avoid creating asbestos dust
• Avoid breathing asbestos dust
• Asbestos material in good condition should be left alone
• If you think you may have asbestos-containing products in your house, seek advice from the council before you take any action

New Tenant Questionnaire

Keep Warm Keep Well (PDF 1.11MB)

Useful Links (PDF 248KB)

 

Moving Out

Before you move out you must:

  • give us 28 days' written notice; you can use this Tenant's Notice to Quit form (PDF 391 KB) if you wish
  • arrange for the Empty Homes Co-ordinator to inspect your property
  • not owe any rent
  • leave the property clean and tidy; remove all belongings including carpets
  • you will be charged for the removal of any rubbish you leave behind and any damage to the property

 

Privacy Notice

We're required by the government to capture certain information from tenants every time we let a property and pass it onto them.  Please see the government's Privacy Notice for tenants/buyers of new social housing (PDF 168KB).

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