AIDS AND ADAPTATIONS
At MVH, we want our tenants to live safely and comfortably, and we understand that due to age or illness, homes may need to be adapted to ensure this happens.
If you have a physical disability which is making it difficult for you to manage daily activities in your current home, MVH and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council can help.
We can issue works for new wet rooms, stair lifts, ceiling track hoists, and ramp access to many of our properties. On average, we fit 25 wet rooms, 15 stair lifts and 6 ramps every year.
Our trusted assessors can arrange for small adaptations. They will book an appointment for them to assess your property and then pass the information onto the Aids & Adaptations Surveyor to issue the works to either our Property Services Team or Contractors.
If larger adaptations are required then the works are assessed by our Adaptations Surveyor first to cost up, and if this number is over our financial limit, then it would be passed on to the Local Authority for a DFG (Disabled Facility Grant).
If the grant is accepted, the local authority will arrange all the required works through their contractors.
Here is how the process works:
Step 1: Ask Social Services to arrange an Occupational Therapist’s Report. You can arrange this through your social worker or by a self-referral to your local authority.
Visit Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s website to find out more about occupational therapy and disabled facility grant services in your area.
Or contact the Occupational Therapist at Social Services – this can be done by phoning the local authority on 01685 725000 and asking for the Duty Desk.
Step 2: Occupational Therapist Assessment and Adaptations
The occupational therapist will assess your property and submit a report to MVH suggesting the work that needs to be done.
We’ll then assess whether the work is possible as some properties may not be suitable for adaptation. If this is the case, then alterative accommodation may be required to suit the tenant’s needs.
If we can support the adaptation, the whole process may take several weeks before work can commence.
MAINTAINING YOUR HOME
We want you to enjoy living in your home. To make this happen, our tenants, as well as ourselves at MVH, have responsibilities that ensure your home is safe and secure.
We are required by law to carry out annual gas safety inspections on the gas appliances we own.
If you’ve installed your own gas appliance, you’ll need to arrange your own annual safety check and provide MVH with a copy of the safety certificate.
It’s essential that you let the gas service engineer into your home to carry out this important work. If you don’t give us access to carry out the gas service, there’s a legal process we’ll follow that will allow us entry to your home. If we need to use these powers you’ll be charged the full legal costs as well as the cost of forcing entry. You’ll also be in breach of your Tenancy Conditions and therefore your tenancy with MVH will be at risk.
Check out our Gas Safety advice.
All our homes are fitted with at least one smoke detector which will either be hardwired or battery operated. You’re responsible for replacing any batteries.
If you need help to test your smoke alarm battery because you’re an older tenant or are less mobile, contact Safer Merthyr Tydfil on 01685 353999. If you think the smoke alarm if faulty, please contact us immediately to report the problem.
Check out our Fire Safety advice.
DAMP AND CONDENSATION
Condensation happens when moisture in the air comes into contact with a cold surface such as a window. The more moisture there’s and the colder the surface the more likely you’re to have condensation. Therefore, you’ll see it more when you cook, dry clothes, or have a bath and shower. If you don’t wipe away condensation you’ll get mould and mildew spores.
Following these simple steps can minimise condensation:
- Produce less moisture by drying your washing outside, cover pots and pans when cooking, or if you have a tumble dryer, make sure the vent leads to the outside
- Wipe away the moisture, just opening a window isn’t enough, you’ll need to make sure you wipe away the moisture daily
- Ventilate to remove moisture, if you have extractor fan, make sure you use it
- Heat your home a little more, we understand that if money is tight, turning on your heating more may not be an option, but keeping your heating on low for longer periods can be cheaper than turning it on and off
For more information about condensation, its causes and solutions read our ‘Condensation leaflet’.
If you have a problem with pests, contact Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council on 01685 725000. The cost of the treatment is the tenant responsibility.
You’re allowed to keep a pet in your home providing they don’t cause a nuisance to your neighbours. We don’t permit tenants in high rise blocks to keep pets, and tenants of low-rise flats with a communal area need to write to us for permission.
KEYS AND FOBS
We don’t keep spare keys to your home. Please make sure you get a spare key cut if necessary and keep it in a safe place. It could be useful to leave it with a trusted friend or relative who lives nearby.
If you forget or lose your key and a forced entry is necessary, you’ll be responsible for the cost of the repair or lock change.
BURST AND LEAKING PIPES
If you discover a burst or leaking pipe:
- Turn water off at the stopcock
- If the electrics are affected turn off the electricity at the consumer unit (if it isn’t affected by the water)
- Switch off the central heating and the immersion
- Open all taps to drain the water, but remember to collect water for drinking and flushing the toilet
Report the burst or leak to our Customer Services Team immediately on 0800 085 7843.
During the winter weather, water pipes can freeze – this can cause problems for your boiler, toilet cistern, sinks and basins. To help prevent frozen pipes:
- Keep the heating on low
- Periodically run the taps and flush
If pipes become frozen:
- Contact MVH immediately on 0800 085 7843
- Turn off water at the mains
- Turn off boiler
HOME CONTENT INSURANCE
We insure your home but not your contents. It’s your responsibility to insure your contents, such as electrical equipment, furniture, and jewellery from the risk of fire, theft or damage.
We strongly recommend that you take out contents insurance so you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your items are covered.
Check out our Home Contents Insurance advice.
ENCLOSING YOUR FRONT GARDEN
CREATING A SPACE OF YOUR OWN
We’re delighted you want to enclose your front garden. As a Mutual, one of our main priorities is to provide more opportunities for us all to take greater responsibility and enjoy the benefits that come with it.
There are some simple terms and conditions – these are there to support and assist you and are not a barrier.
We’ve also included a design guide which, if you keep to, will mean you won’t need planning permission. However, if your garden is close to the junction of a road, you may need permission from the Highways Team in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council as well.
Contact us on 0800 085 7843 to start the process.
GARDENS AND COMMUNAL AREAS
It’s your responsibility to ensure that your garden (this includes trees and hedges) is kept in a good condition. Hedges and trees should not exceed 6ft in height – hedges should be trimmed to ensure they aren’t causing an obstruction.
You must keep your garden free from refuse and rubbish. Most household waste can be disposed of at your local council recycling depot.
This non-native weed is highly invasive and capable of exposing weakness in buildings, foundations, concrete and tarmac and taking over your garden.
What to do if you have Japanese Knotweed in your garden:
- Let us know. We have a program of works to deal with this and we’ll include your home in these works.
- Don’t cut it, dig it out, burn it, or put it in your garden waste. It can spread very easily.
For more information and advice read our ‘Japanese Knotweed leaflet.’ in the download box above.
WHAT IS A MUTUAL EXCHANGE?
A mutual exchange is where one tenant swaps with one or more tenants with the agreement of MVH. This may be a quicker way to move properties or downsize your current home.
SWAP YOUR HOME
As a MVH assured tenant, you have the right to swap your home with another one of our tenants, a tenant of another housing association, or local authority. If you find a property that you think may be suitable, it’s up to you to contact that tenant whom you wish to swap with.
Both parties will then need to complete a mutual exchange application form and return it to MVH. We’ll then visit your property to undertake an inspection before we can agree to an exchange. You’ll also need to undertake a thorough inspection of the property you propose to move in to assess its overall condition and ensure that the property meets your requirements.
You’ll need to think carefully before applying for a mutual exchange, if you do exchange, you take on the responsibilities of the previous tenant. You’ll become responsible for the repair and maintenance of any alterations, fixtures, or fittings made by the previous tenant. This may include doors, laminate floor, showers, sheds, kitchen fixtures, wall or floor tiles etc., this will be your responsibility and not MVH.
Please note: You must not plan to move without our written consent.
The application needs to be printed, completed, signed, and returned to us. You can drop it into our reception or by post to:
Merthyr Valleys Homes Ltd, 22 Lansbury Road, Gellideg, Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 1HA
Assured short hold tenants don’t have the right to undertake a mutual exchange.
We may refuse permission for certain reasons, for example, if your house is too big or too small for the family you want to exchange, or there are overdue debts (arrears) in either household.