Starting your tenancy

Once you have received a written offer of a property we will make you an appointment to meet one of the customer service team for the tenancy sign up. You will meet your tenancy management officer within four weeks following the sign up.

Each tenant will need to bring the following items to the meeting. Inability to provide these will prevent the sign up from going ahead:

  • two recent passport sized colour photos
  • photo ID (eg passport or driving licence)
  • proof of your national insurance number (eg payslip or benefit letter)
  • rent in advance as set out in your offer letter and our Rent Arrears Policy.

We will normally be able to give you the keys to your new home on the same day, but we will tell you if this isn't possible. Your tenancy will start the day after you receive the keys to your new home.

Your tenancy agreement

The Icon for pdf Tenancy Agreement [1.24MB] contains information about your rights and responsibilities. It is a legal contract so it is essential that you familiarise yourself with it before you attend the sign up, so you know the terms and conditions that you are going to agree to. If you breach the conditions set out in the tenancy agreement we can take legal action to enforce the agreement or to end the tenancy.  The Icon for pdf Tenancy Handbook [473.36KB] provides further useful information on the topics covered in the tenancy agreement.

Introductory tenancy

All new tenants will have an introductory tenancy, this is an initial tenancy offered to you for a period of 12 months. During this time you must demonstrate to us that you are able to sustain a tenancy and maintain all the conditions set out in the tenancy agreement.  If you fail to do so we can extend the introductory tenancy by a further six months or end the tenancy. If you pass the introductory period you will be offered a flexible-secure tenancy.

Paying your rent

Rent is charged weekly and must be paid in advance, and this is why we request payment in advance at sign up.  We encourage all tenants to pay by Direct Debit. We can also help you set up a Direct Debit when you come in for the sign up.  If you chose not to pay by Direct Debit you can pay by phone, in person at the Civic Centre or at the post office once you receive your rent card. Please don't wait for your rent card before making your next payment as this can take several weeks to arrive.  If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (housing costs element) we still expect payment in advance at sign up and then it is your responsibility to complete a change of circumstances form for Housing Benefit or notify the Department for Work and Pensions, via the Universal Credit Helpline, of your new rent and address so that they can amend your claim.  If you claim Universal Credit please remember that you need to pay your rent as a priority out of your monthly entitlement. If you need help with budgeting please let us know at sign up.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Anti-social behaviour is defined as:
•    conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person
•    conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person's occupation of residential premises, or
•    conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person
As a tenant you are responsible for your own behaviour as well as the behaviour of your children, anyone else who lives with or visits you - it is your responsibility to ensure that no anti-social behaviour is caused.  If we have evidence of anti-social behaviour then we may take action to extend or end your introductory tenancy.
If you experience anti-social behaviour in your new home you can obtain further advice.

Repairs

Prior to granting you a tenancy we will have undertaken void works at the property to ensure it is safe for you to occupy and that fixtures and fittings (e.g. baths, toilets, sinks, kitchen units)  are in good working order. This includes gas and electric checks. Once you move in you may identify repairs that need addressing, if this is the case you should report these via our Customer Service Team on 01932 838383.   As a tenant you are responsible for keeping fixtures and fittings clean and in good condition, and undertaking minor repairs and redecoration inside your home.  At the time we let the property to you we may provide you with a decoration pack so that you can redecorate yourself, we will only do this if the current standard of decoration is poor.  

Settling in visit

Your tenancy management officer will visit you at home within four weeks of the start of your tenancy. This visit is an opportunity for us to check that you have moved in and whether you might need any additional support in the early part of your tenancy.  The visit is also an opportunity for you to raise any concerns or queries that you might have.  We will visit you again at approximately eight months from the start of your tenancy, this visit will determine whether we grant you a flexible-secure tenancy at the end of the introductory period.

Money advice and tenancy sustainment

If you are concerned about managing any aspect of your tenancy or you need advice with budgeting or welfare benefits then we can help.  It is better to ask for help early on in your tenancy so we can provide you with the right support.  Talk to the Customer Services Advisor about your concerns at sign up or contact the Tenancy Management Team on 01932 838383.

Insurance

It is your responsibility to take out home contents insurance to protect your belongings.

Alterations to your home

New Runnymede Borough Council tenants will be on an introductory tenancy during their first year.

During this time you are not allowed to make alterations or amendments to your home, other than redecoration. 

Once you become a flexible or secure tenant you may make alterations only with written permission from the council.

The issue of making alterations to your home is covered in your tenancy agreement and you are contractually obliged to adhere to its terms. 

If you are planning any improvements you must ask the Council to ensure your proposals are safe, acceptable, and do not alter or in any way disrupt services or the structure of the property.    

Within the walls and floors of your home there will be pipework, electrical cables, and possibly asbestos etc.  These are all safe if not disturbed, but can cause damage or substantial risk if not managed and dealt with properly.  Prior to carrying out any work or improvements other than basic redecoration you must contact the Council for the necessary permission.  You will be asked to provide a full description of the works proposed, including drawings and illustrations where necessary.  You should not start any works without written consent.

A gas safety inspection must be carried out every year and it is essential that you provide access for this to be done.