Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Advertisement

Advertising

FAQ Lettings Service for Council Tenants

What do you mean by ‘lettings service’?
Our Lettings team is here to help you and provide support when you settle into your new home. We can give advice and refer you to other agencies for assistance.

Please note: To find out more about the process of being allocated a home, please visit the Birmingham Home Choice website.

These Frequently Asked Questions explain more about the process of letting properties from the council, from being offered properties and viewings to moving in.

THE LETTINGS PROCESS

How do I join the council’s housing register?
When can I start viewing properties?
What if I can’t attend my arranged viewing?
Who will show me the property?
What do I need to take along with me to a property viewing?
I want to accept the offer. Will I get the keys on the same day?
How long will it take to complete my letting?
How can I pay my rent?

MOVING IN TO YOUR NEW PROPERTY

What will I do about furniture?
Will I get any support after signing up for my tenancy?
Do I get any help with moving costs?
How are the security screens removed from my property?
Will I have gas and electricity when I move in?
What happens if I move in and my gas and electric isn’t working?
What happens if I need repairs to my property?

OTHER

My first language is not English. How can you help?
How long do I have to live in my property before I can apply to buy it?
Can I become more involved in helping to monitor the lettings service?
How else can I share my views on the lettings service?
Who do I contact to find out more about the lettings service?

THE LETTINGS PROCESS

How do I join the council’s housing register?
We ask you to fill in a housing application form so that you can join the housing register. You can get a housing application form from your local neighbourhood office. You can also download a form from www.birmingham.gov.uk/finding-a-home.

When can I start viewing properties?
Through Birmingham Home Choice, you will only be invited to view a property when you have been successfully shortlisted. A number of other applicants will be viewing the property at the same time. In line with our allocations policy, the property will be offered to the applicant with the highest number of points who wishes to accept the tenancy.

Find out more on the Birmingham Home Choice website.

Either before you view the property or at the viewing, we will give you a leaflet explaining the level of repairs that are covered under the Empty Property Repairs Standard. The Empty Property Repair Standard states the minimum work required before we can let the accommodation to a customer.

What if I can’t attend my arranged viewing?
Every effort should be made to attend your viewing at the correct time and date. We will rearrange a viewing in exceptional circumstances.

Who will show me the property?
A housing officer from the local housing team or a concierge officer will show you the property. If you are viewing sheltered accommodation, a support officer may attend the viewing to give you further information.

What do I need to take along with me to a property viewing?
You will need to bring two proofs of identity for the main applicant(s) and one proof for all those moving to the property, as named on your housing application. You will also need to bring proof of income/benefits for the main applicant(s).

I want to accept the offer. Will I get the keys on the same day?
No, but you will get the keys at the lettings interview, when all the repairs have been completed in line with the Empty Property Repairs Standard. We will contact you with an appointment date and time for your lettings interview.

How long will it take to complete my letting?
Your lettings interview should take about an hour. During this time we will:
  • advise you of the rent for the property and tell you the different ways you can pay your rent
  • help you to complete a Housing Benefit claim if necessary
  • explain your conditions of tenancy and your rights and responsibilities as a tenant
  • give you support in arranging your electricity, gas and water supplies
  • confirm any repairs that will be completed after you move in
  • give you information about the home insurance scheme
  • provide you with details of housing department services to enable you to report repairs and obtain assistance in maintaining your tenancy
  • refer you to other services such as debt advice or tenancy support.

You will also receive a copy of your tenancy agreement and other important documents.

How can I pay my rent?
If you are eligible for housing benefit, an application form will be completed and forwarded to Benefit Services.

If you are paying rent you can pay:
• By direct debit
• Online at www.birmingham.gov.uk/payrent
• Via the telephone using a debit/credit card (0121 464 2001)
• At the Post Office.

Learn more about Ways to Pay Your Rent.

MOVING IN TO YOUR NEW PROPERTY

What will I do about furniture?
The properties are let unfurnished and will not be newly decorated. However, in certain circumstances you may be able to get help with furniture from the Department for Work and Pensions or some charitable organisations.

If you are in receipt of benefits, you can contact the Ladywood Furniture Project on 0121 455 7616.



Will I get any support after signing up for my tenancy?
Yes – we have a tenancy support scheme to offer advice and support with managing your tenancy. To access the scheme, you will need to be referred to the service by the lettings officer.

Do I get any help with moving costs?
We will assist with costs if you are moving as part of a clearance programme, moving out temporarily for repairs or releasing a large house under our Wise Move scheme.

How are the security screens removed from my property?
The lettings officer will arrange a convenient time to have these screens removed at your sign up interview.



Will I have gas and electricity when I move in?
In most cases you will move in with a live electrical supply. We will arrange reconnection of the gas when you move in. This is called a turn on and test. We must give our gas contractor a minimum of one working day’s notice to arrange a gas test.


What happens if I move in and my gas and electricity isn’t working?
If the issues are with the meter, you will need to contact the supplier directly. Birmingham City Council has a contract with Scottish and Southern Energy to manage the gas and electricity supplies to its empty properties. You can telephone them on 08457 444 555.

If the issues are not with the meter and you have missed your ‘turn on and test’ please contact the local void team to reschedule on one of the telephone numbers below:

Erdington, Perry Barr and Sutton Coldfield: 0121 303 7062
Hall Green and Selly Oak: 0121 303 7554
Hodge Hill and Yardley: 0121 303 1561
Ladywood: 0121 675 1394
Northfield and Edgbaston: 0121 464 5606


What happens if I need repairs to my property?
Please see our repairs page for information.

OTHER

My first language is not English. How can you help?
We will first ask if family members or friends can assist you and accompany you to meetings. If this is not possible, we will arrange for an interpreter to assist you.


How long do I have to live in my property before I can apply to buy it?
If you moved in before 18 January 2005, you need to have two years’ secure tenancy before you have the right to buy. If you moved in on, or after, 18 January 2005, you need five years’ secure tenancy before you have the right to buy.

You can find out more about buying your home by reading our Home Sales FAQs.

Can I become more involved in helping to monitor the lettings service?
Yes you can – we value feedback from customers as it helps us to improve and develop our services. If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved, please contact your local lettings team (see below.)

How else can I share my views on the lettings service?
You can record your views on your New Tenants Survey form and return it to us in the prepaid envelope or email your comments to HOUVOIDPOLICY@Birmingham.gov.uk.



Who do I contact to find out more about the lettings service?
Please contact your local lettings team using one of the telephone numbers below:

Erdington, Perry Barr and Sutton Coldfield: 0121 303 7062
Hall Green and Selly Oak: 0121 303 7554
Hodge Hill and Yardley: 0121 303 1561
Ladywood: 0121 675 1394
Northfield and Edgbaston: 0121 464 5606