Supporting our tenants with advice, whether that’s about their tenancy or their wellbeing is very important to us at Merthyr Valleys Homes (MVH) that is why we always do everything we can to ensure you feel supported and understood.
As a tenant of MVH, you’ll receive and sign a tenancy agreement, this will list your rights and responsibilities as one of our tenants.
Important: If you have any questions regarding your tenancy with us, please contact us or your Community Housing Officer. You’ll also need to notify us immediately of any changes in your circumstances.
TYPES OF TENANCY
There are only two types of tenancy:
- Assured Shorthold (New tenants)
- Assured Tenancy
New tenants will be on an Assured Shorthold tenancy for 12 months. If the tenancy has been conducted in a satisfactory manner during the 12 months, then the tenancy will automatically convert to an Assured Tenancy on the 12-month anniversary of the tenancy start date.
RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Important: Assured Shorthold tenants don’t have the same rights as Assured Tenants – please refer to your tenancy agreement for full details.
You have certain tenant rights that are fully explained in the tenancy agreement. These rights include:
- Right to occupy
- Right to take in lodgers or sublet your home (Assured Tenants only)
- Right to make improvements to include right to compensation (Assured Tenants only)
- Right to repair
- Right to consultation
- Right to information
- Right to exchange including mutual exchange (Assured Tenants only)
- Right to succession
Before you exercise these rights, please check whether our permission is required.
There are a few tenancy conditions that each tenant must comply with outlined in the tenancy agreement, and include:
- Paying your rent on time
- Reporting of repairs
- Using the property as your only or principle home
- Allowing access to MVH staff or contractors hired by MVH- (please remember to ask members of staff for identification)
- Maintaining your home and garden
- Use of communal areas
TENANCY SUPPORT SCHEME
MVH Homes provides tenancy support for the local area. This service can be provided to our tenants and to tenants of other housing associations, private landlords and owners/occupiers.
The Tenancy Support Scheme is funded through the Welsh Assembly and co-ordinated via the ‘Single Access Point’ Supporting People team.
‘The ‘Single Access Point’ partnership involves the council, housing associations, as well as advice and support agencies.
HOW CAN TENANT SUPPORT HELP YOU ?
We can help with the following:
- Budgeting and debt management
- Claiming benefits and maximising income
- Help to get counselling, mental health and drug/alcohol services
- Help with accessing training/education and employment
- Assistance with organising repairs to your home
- Help to make sure your home is safe and secure
- Help to deal with disagreements with neighbours and others
- Help to improve life skills
- Help to access professional help (Social services, GP etc.)
- Help to build your confidence
- Help for parents struggling to access childcare and related support in order to attend courses/work etc
HOW DO I APPLY FOR TENANCY SUPPORT?
If you’re known to any agency (such as Social Services, Shelter, South Wales Police etc), ask them to complete a ‘Single Access Point’ referral form with you.
If you’re our tenant or that of another housing association, ask your Community Housing Officer to help you.
If you’re not involved with anyone like this, please contact the ‘Single Access Point’ administrator on 01685 724690.
The ‘Single Access Point’ form asks for things such as:
- Your personal details
- Information about your housing circumstances
- Information about your support needs
- Your signed authority to make the referral and share your information
Once the ‘Single Access Point’ Supporting People team have received your form, they will decide which agency may best suit your needs and with your agreement, pass on your details. This agency will then contact you to complete an assessment, and if this is us, we aim to complete this within 5 working days.
Once accepted onto a support scheme, a personal support plan will be agreed with you. Support can be provided for as long as you need for up to 2 years.
All information provided is confidential and will only be shared with relevant people with your consent.
THE HOUSING TEAM
Our Housing Services cover the management of your home, and this includes:
- Dealing with problems of antisocial behaviour
- Managing estates and communal areas
- Assisting you to move into your new home and to move out
- Providing advice and assistance with sustaining your tenancy
All tenants have a Community Housing Officer, and you can contact them to discuss any problems or queries you may have about your tenancy.
COMMUNITY HOUSING OFFICER ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The following issues can be reported/raised with the Housing Officers at MVH:
- Advice on how to apply for accommodation and the bidding process
- Post-tenancy visits for new tenants to include tenancy advice
- Telephone Welfare calls and tenancy home visits for existing tenants to include tenancy advice
- Referrals for support to Supporting People
- Referrals for financial advice to our Income/Benefits Team
- Reporting complaints
- Basic advice on rent and housing benefit claims
- Generic tenancy advice ie/ Successions, Mutual Exchanges, Assignments, Joint and Sole Tenancies, lodgers etc
- Reporting repairs
- How to make an official complaint
- Making improvements/alterations to your home
COMMUNITY HOUSING OFFICERS
- Phillip Rudman
- Robert Davenport
- Ian Akehurst
- Paul Cope
- Janine Hopson
- Dawn McInnes
COMMUNITY SAFETY TEAM
We want our tenants and their neighbours to live safely and comfortably in their homes without fear. Therefore, we are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour.
WHAT IS ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR?
Anti-social behaviour are actions that cause, or are capable of causing harassment, alarm or distress to others. This may be one or a combination of some of the following:
- Excessive noise nuisance
- Verbal abuse
- Hate related incidents
- Vandalism and damage
- Dogs barking inside or outside the property
- Off road bikes being driven around the estate
- Drug and substance misuse
- Alcohol related nuisance
- Domestic abuse
- Physical violence
- Prostitution / sexual acts
- Threatening behaviour
- Misuse of communal areas
We’ll not treat anti-social behavioural matters relating to residents going about their normal everyday activities unless this constitutes a breach of their tenancy. Examples of issues which may upset or disturb people, but which cannot be dealt with as anti-social behaviour are:
- Flushing toilets
- Cooking smells
- People smoking in their own home
- People talking at normal volume in their home
- Washing machines or other household appliances
- Babies crying or playing
- Children playing or arguing
- Riding skateboards or bikes
- People being inconsiderate or thoughtless
- People looking or staring
- Cats straying into other gardens
WHAT CAN YOU DO ?
If you’re being disturbed by behaviour that’s causing you nuisance from a neighbour, if possible, approach your neighbour and explain that you’re being troubled by their behaviour. Most people will be glad to do what they can to change their behaviour informally. Approach the matter carefully if you think your neighbour might react angrily to a complaint.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCING ASB?
All reports of ASB will be treated confidentially and handled with discretion and sensitivity. You can report anonymously, but this may limit our ability to investigate and deal with the issues you report.
It’s a good idea to keep a simple diary of the ASB with dates, times and details of the problems to help any future investigation.
If you’re experiencing ASB, contact our dedicated ASB line on 01685 727888 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or come into the office. We’ll investigate the matter and take action against those responsible for causing ASB. We’ll provide you with support throughout.
Our stance against ASB
ASB can put a tremendous amount of strain on people and, if left unchecked, it can ruin a community, with disputes between neighbours being a common problem. There are a whole range of laws governing ASB, which can lead to legal action being taken against the perpetrator(s).
Our tenancy agreement states that allowing or causing nuisance or harassment may lead us to seeking a legal remedy against your tenancy. This may result in repossession proceedings, and you could lose your home.
You’re also responsible as the tenant for other occupants and visitors to your property. You must not allow them to cause nuisance, harassment, or annoyance to other residents or the community.
MVH is part of The Merthyr Tydfil Community Safety Partnership which takes a multi-agency approach and works to reduce ASB throughout the County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil; making the borough a safer place to work and live in is the commitment of the partnership.
SHOW ASB THE RED CARD
ASB undermines our communities and can create an area where residents may feel fearful or neglected. Respect for each other and for the areas in which you live promote strong and prosperous communities.
Help us show that ASB isn’t acceptable and help us beat the problem.