How can we help you?
Managing your home
Finding a home
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Changes to your rent
What happens if I don’t pay the rent increase?
Arrears will build up on your account and we will have to take action to recover the unpaid rent. Your home is at risk if you do not keep up to date with your rent payments.
Where can I get money advice due to the rent increase?
Money worries can be scary to tackle on your own and sometimes it is hard to know where to start. That’s why our team of qualified money advice experts are here and ready to help you. You can call them on 0300 555 6666 or find out more by visiting our money and bills page. Alternatively, you can speak to Citizens Advice Sandwell & Walsall on 0300 330 9017. To find out what extra financial support may be available to you, visit turn2us.org.uk or moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Standing orders and the rent increase.
If you pay your rent by standing order you need to contact your bank to change it to the new amount. If you want to set up a direct debit for future payments, give us a call on 0300 555 6666.
Do I have to change my direct debit mandate with my bank due to the rent increase?
Our finance team will automatically adjust your direct debit, so you don’t have to do anything. We will confirm the change in your rent increase letter.
I claim Universal Credit. Do I need to do anything about the rent increasing?
Yes. You must report your rent change to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on or immediately after 4 April 2022 using the ‘to-do’ in your online journal. Look for a notification called ‘confirm your housing costs’. Do this without delay or you could miss out on the money you are due.
I claim housing benefit. Do I need to do anything about the rent increase?
We have already contacted your local authority’s Housing Benefit team about the rent change. You do not need to contact them.
I pay service charge? Will that also increase?
The rent increase does not apply to service charges, which are increased or decreased when the cost of providing the service goes up or down.
When does the new rent start?
The rent increase takes effect from 1 April 2022. Customers who pay their rent weekly on a Monday will make their first payment of the new amount on 4 April 2022. The increase will be applied from 1 April 2022 for customers who pay their rent monthly.
What will you spend the extra rent on?
As a registered charity, the costs of providing our services are covered by the rent we receive. We re-invest all rental income in maintaining our homes, building new ones and supporting our communities. We provide a full breakdown of how your rent is spent in our annual report to customers. Click here to read the annual report for 2020/21.
How have you calculated the rent increase?
Increases in social housing rents are set by the government and are linked to inflation. On average our rents remain well below that of similar privately rented homes. Shared ownership rents are set in accordance with the terms of the lease agreement between us and the shared owner.
Why are you increasing my rent?
The rent you pay goes towards the management and maintenance of your home and providing services and support that benefit you and your community. Each year we review all rents. This is one of the terms of the tenancy agreement you signed when you became a whg customer. We believe a rent increase is necessary this year (2022) to continue providing high quality homes and services to our customers and communities.
How much is my rent going up by in April 2022?
As part of our annual review of charges, this year we have increased rents by an average of £4.35 per week. You will receive a letter from us which explains the change you will see to your own rent and when it will happen.
Feedback and complaints
I have been through the complaints process and I am still unhappy, what can I do now?
If you feel the issue is still unresolved you can contact your local councillor or MP, or refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman by calling 0300 111 3000, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk. Find out more about the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code here.
What happens when I make a complaint?
- Informal expression of dissatisfaction (EOD) – We will contact you to discuss your concerns and aim to resolve your complaint within 3 working days.
- Investigation stage – we will contact you to discuss the details of your complaint and complete a thorough investigation into your concerns. We will aim to respond to you in writing within 10 working days.
- Review stage – if you remain unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can ask for your case to be reviewed. We will ask you to provide details of the issues you feel remain outstanding or any new evidence that you have that we have not previously considered. If we agree to review your complaint, we will aim to respond to you in writing within 15 working days.
- Panel stage – if you are still dissatisfied, you can request a panel review. We will ask you to provide additional information to support your request. If we agree to escalate your complaint to panel you will be invited to attend a meeting with a member of our senior leadership team, plus two Board or committee members.
- You can contact the Housing Ombudsman for advice at any stage of your complaint by calling 0300 111 3000 or emailing email@example.com.
What do I do if I need a handrail or other changes in my home?
If you or a family member are struggling with day-to-day activities in your home, you may need some adjustments. To request a home visit to discuss this, call us on 0300 555 6666. There are usually three options:
- Minor adaptations – small changes (like rails) which can be installed by our repairs and maintenance team.
- Major adaptations – more complex changes such as installing a stairlift or level-access shower. Your local authority is responsible for these and will arrange an assessment by an occupational therapist.
Manage your home online
I can’t log in to my online account. What should I do?
If you have already registered, you can ask for a password reminder here. This will be sent to the email address you use to log in. If you no longer have access to this email address, you will need to contact us.
What devices can I use to access my online account?
You can use various devices including a computer, laptop, mobile phone or tablet – so you can log in any time, from the comfort of your own sofa! If logging in from a computer or laptop, you can use recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari web browsers. But you will not be able to access this online service using Internet Explorer.
What do I need to register to manage my home online?
You just need to be a current whg customer – a tenant (or joint tenant), leaseholder or shared owner.
Neighbourhoods and communities
What can I do if I’m experiencing domestic abuse?
If you are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse, you may well be worried about staying at home with someone who is harming you. There is #NoExcuseForAbuse in any situation, no matter what pressures people are under. If you feel you are at risk of abuse, there is lots of help and support available – whatever your gender. In an emergency, always call 999 and press 55 if you are unable to talk. Find out more about how we can help you by checking out our domestic abuse policy here.
I’m struggling to pay my rent. What should I do?
We are here to help you, so if you are having difficulty affording your rent, please get in touch as soon as possible – don’t wait for debt to build up. It will be a lot easier for us to support you if you tell us as soon as you think you may be in financial difficulty. We will discuss how we can help, and our money and bills team may be able to offer support.
What happens if I go into arrears?
Your rent payment is due in advance. It is important that you keep up to date with your rent, as it is part of your tenancy agreement. But, if you are struggling to keep up with your payments, please get in touch with us straight away so we can discuss how we may be able to support you. Our priority is keeping you in your home, so we will do our best to work with you to resolve the situation.
I’ve made a payment so why does my online account say I am in rent arrears?
Recent payments may take up to three days to appear in your account. It may also appear in arrears if you pay by direct debit but the latest payment has not yet been taken. You should also be making every effort to bring your account into one payment in advance, to be in line with your tenancy agreement. This will ensure that your account will never be in arrears as long as you are maintaining your regular payment.
How do I make a payment?
Pay online The quickest, easiest and safest way to check your rent account and make payments is online. Sign up or sign in to get started. Call us Call our Customer Service Team on 0300 555 6666 (Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-1pm) Direct debit Easy and convenient, direct debit payments can be made weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly or every calendar month on a day of your choice. Paying by direct debit means your rent is always paid on time and any changes are managed without the hassle of you having to visit your bank. The direct debit guarantee keeps payments secure and protects you in the rare event there is a mistake. To set up a direct debit you need a bank, building society or credit union account. (If you do not have an account, our Money and bills team can help you set one up.) Simply complete a direct debit form and return it to us. It will then take up to 10 working days for us to take the first payment. We can also set up a direct debit for you over the phone. Just call 0300 555 666 (Monday-Friday 8am-6pm). We will then send you a rent statement every 13 weeks, but you can contact us to get a copy any other time.
How can I check my rent account?
The quickest, easiest and safest way to check your rent account is online. Sign up or sign in to get started. Alternatively, you can ask for your latest rent statement by calling us on 0300 555 6666 (Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-1pm) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (we usually respond within five working days).
Rent a home with choose & move
Can I get a whg home straight away? If not, how long will I be waiting?
Demand for our homes is high, so it is unlikely you will move into a new home straight away. If you have a critical need, you may move quicker than others. Waiting times also depend on which band you are in and what type of home you are looking for. For more information, visit our choose & move page and read the FAQ ‘What is a band?’
I’m homeless. Can I apply for a property with you?
If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, please contact your local authority in the first instance. If you are in the Walsall borough this will be Walsall Council, who will provide housing advice.
I’m interested in your properties outside Walsall. How do I register my interest?
We allocate all our homes outside the Walsall area to the local authority where the property is located. You should register with the relevant local authority who will then refer you to whg for a home if applicable.
I am not eligible for the choose & move service. What can I do?
If you do not meet the criteria, we offer various alternatives such as shared ownership or market rent homes. To find out more, call our friendly Customer Service Team on 0300 555 6666.
I am disabled. Do you have homes that suit my needs?
We offer homes to people with disabilities who might need an adapted or purpose-built property. Our choose & move service is designed to match you with a home that suits your requirements. You will be asked to provide any relevant information when you register so we understand your needs.
Why do I never see larger homes advertised?
Homes with four or more bedrooms are rarely available. So we contact applicants requiring such properties directly, based on how critical their housing need is and/or how long they have been on the waiting list. If appropriate we will allow you to apply for homes that may be suitable for your need or improve your current circumstance due to the waiting times of larger homes.
Do I need home contents insurance if I rent a whg home?
We are not responsible for any belongings in your home. You need to ensure you have home contents insurance to protect you in case of fire, flood, theft, vandalism or burst pipes. We advise taking out cover through the Home Contents Insurance scheme we offer to all customers, or you can arrange cover yourself with another insurance provider.
This is my first home. What do I need to know?
If this is your first tenancy, you will benefit from a series of helpful pre-tenancy videos available in the guidance section of choose & move. These videos will help prepare you for your new home and give helpful advice about renting with us. You will also need to attend an interview where we’ll talk about money management and finances, to see if you might need extra support from us.
What is Rent in Advance?
We ask that you have the money available to cover your first rent payment when you get the keys to your home. We will not accept cash at the sign-up appointment. You must make the full payment unless it has been discussed in advance and, due to extreme circumstances, we have approved for it to be spread over a longer period. You must tell us before the key handover day if you cannot make a full payment, to ensure the handover goes smoothly.
What is a Tenancy Sustainability Assessment (TSA)?
Before you move into one of our homes we may need to make sure you are fully supported to ensure your tenancy with us is successful. We may contact you to make an appointment (which may be in person or a video call) and let you know what you will need during this appointment. If a TSA is a requirement of the tenancy and you do not attend the appointment, we may withdraw our offer of a home.
Why can it take a little longer to move in after I have been offered a home?
We aim to allocate a home to you as soon as we can. This means there may be someone still living in the property until their notice expires, or we may need to carry out repairs and refurbishments to bring it up to standard before letting you move in.
Why did I not get a home, even though I applied before other applicants?
In most cases the choose & move service does not work on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, unless a home is fast-tracked. If the applicant at the top of the list is not offered the home for any reason, it will be offered to the next person on the list. Although you may not be top, that does not mean you won’t be offered a home – but it will depend on the circumstances of those above you on the list. You can apply for a home at any time before the advert end date. However, unless it is a fast-track home, the final shortlist will only include those who have been on the waiting list the longest.
Before I can move into a whg home, what documents do I need to send and how?
Before we can offer you a home, we will need some documents from you. We will tell you what you need to provide and you can upload them by computer or via ‘documents’ on your mobile phone. Examples are:
- Photo ID such as a driving licence
- For any children living with you, proof you are in receipt of Child Benefit, their passport or birth certificate
- Proof of right to rent
- Evidence from a medical specialist to support any health conditions on your application. We may ask for further documents, depending on the household circumstances.
How do I know that my application for a home will be treated fairly?
choose & move, which has been designed in line with our Allocations Policy, automatically allocates you a band related to your circumstances. Unless a home is fast-tracked, properties are generally offered to those who have been waiting the longest within their band. Sometimes properties are not advertised on choose & move but offered directly to applicants. This may be if they have a very specific housing need, their move is critical due to their circumstances or the home has been allocated to the local authority to place someone in it. We advertise homes to different bands to ensure we meet the housing needs of people in a wide range of circumstances. To ensure you are offered a home when you are at the top of the shortlist, please give accurate information and supply the correct documents to confirm your circumstances.
What is a fast-track home?
These are homes we consider should be released on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. We will let you know which ones are fast-tracked so you can apply straightaway.
What is a local connection?
We work closely with local authorities to meet housing need in their areas. Some authorities specify that applicants must have a local connection to that community. The definition may differ between authorities but examples include having immediate family in the area or working/volunteering there. There may be exceptions to this in some cases but these will be governed by the local authority.
Why has my application been suspended or cancelled?
This may happen for various reasons, as detailed in our Allocations Policy. If we need to suspend your application, we will contact you to explain why. Common reasons are:
- You supplied false information on your application to obtain a home fraudulently
- You refused a home offered to you based on information in the advert or which you could have found out before the property was offered – such as the home’s location and surroundings or its advertised features
What is a shortlist and why is it important to my application?
Once the advert for a home has closed, a shortlist will be created of applicants who may be offered it. We have to shortlist more than one applicant as, once the home is viewed, the applicant may decide it is not suitable. We will then work down the list until an applicant accepts the property and all their documents are approved.
How will I be updated on the progress of my application for a home?
When an advert has closed our team works through all applications to shortlist them. This can take time, depending on how much needs to be done on the home. We know it can be an anxious time so, as soon as we have information, we update the ‘applications’ section of Myhub. If you are top of the list for a home you have applied for, we will contact you to talk about next steps. To ensure you don’t miss out on a home you love, make sure all your details are up to date and you have uploaded all necessary documents.
Can I change my mind about a home I have applied for?
Yes. You can apply for as many homes as you like and withdraw your application while applications are being reviewed. We recommend you research the area that the home is in to ensure it is suitable for your household as, if you are shortlisted and refuse the property, this may affect your future applications.
Once I’m registered with choose & move and see a home I like, how do I apply for it?
Once you have been placed in a band, you can see properties that may be suitable for you in choose & move’s ‘available homes’ section. If you spot a home you like, you can apply for it. The advert will say what date you can apply until and give you details to decide whether it might be right for you and your household. You can apply for as many homes as you like and withdraw your application if you change your mind. It is important you are sure that the home you have applied for is suitable for you as, if you refuse a home you are offered, you may have your application suspended.
Once registered, can I apply for a home if I don’t have access to the internet?
whg colleagues cannot apply on your behalf but, when you sign up to choose & move, you can request for choose & move to automatically apply for homes on your behalf. When you sign up, make sure you or whoever is supporting you to register requests the system to auto apply. Just click on the ‘auto apply’ section and let us know why you want this service. One of our team will contact you to discuss next steps to ensure you don’t miss out on a home you love.
When are new homes added to choose & move?
We currently advertise all our homes every Thursday. Each advert includes the date it closes or if it is a fast-track home. We occasionally release available homes on other days, depending on circumstances.
Can I make changes to my details on choose & move?
Yes. You can make changes to your details, including contact information, in your Myhub account by clicking on ‘main applicant/my details’. If the changes are about your circumstances, such as adding a household member or information that could influence the type of home you need, click on ‘circumstances’. Remember that changing your circumstances could affect what band you are in and, if so, you may be given a new band award date.
What is a band award?
A band is the category you are placed in after you have registered for a home with us. A band is calculated based on your current housing situation and the circumstances of you and your household. We will advertise our homes to each band in rotation to ensure everyone can apply for an affordable home. We will only advertise homes to you in ‘browse homes’ that you are eligible to apply for and we will put on the advert which band will be prioritised. If your circumstances change you must update your application immediately, as we may withdraw an offer of a home if your information is not accurate. We will ask for documents to support your application and cannot offer you a home if these are not received.
How will I know what band I’m in?
Once you have completed or updated the ‘circumstances’ section on Myhub, you will be told your band straightaway and you can check this in ‘circumstances’ at any time.
What is a band award date?
When you first sign up and are allocated a band, you will be given a band award date. This tells us where you are on the waiting list in the band you are given. Generally, people with the highest band award date will get shortlisted for homes they apply for. If updating your circumstances alters your band, you will have an updated band award date. Changing details that do not alter your band will not change your band award date.
How long will I be waiting for a whg home?
Demand for our homes is high, so it is unlikely you will move into a new home straightaway. If you have a critical need, you may move quicker than others. Waiting times also depend on which band you are in and what type of home you are looking for. For more information, read ‘What is a band?’
I have forgotten my choose & move log in details. What can I do?
Go to chooseandmove.whg.uk.com, type in your email address and click ‘forgotten password’. You will be sent a link to reset your password.
What if I need help registering for the choose & move service?
choose & move is simple and easy to use, so we encourage you to try it first. If you still need help, call us on 0300 555 6666, Option 0.
Is there a cost to register for choose & move?
There is no cost to join choose & move or to apply for available homes. However you should consider the costs involved in running a home, in case your application is successful.
How long will it take me to sign up to choose & move?
The service is simple and quick to use, so it should only take around 15 minutes to complete your application and be placed on the waiting list for a home. We will need some documents from you before you can be offered a home, but you will be put on the waiting list as soon as you complete your application.
What will I need to sign up to choose & move?
You will need:
- National Insurance numbers of everyone aged 16 and over who will be moving with you
- Dates of birth and details of any medical issues for everyone in your household and anyone who will be moving in with you
- Your rent account number, if you are already a whg customer
- Details of your current landlord, if you are renting a home elsewhere.
How do I access choose & move?
Head to chooseandmove.whg.uk.com and click on ‘check if you are eligible’.
Who can join the choose and move waiting list?
To sign up to choose & move you must meet the eligibility criteria set out in our Allocations Policy. This is based on your right to rent and other information about your household, including your personal and financial circumstances.
What is choose & move?
choose & move is a free online service where you can sign up to our housing waiting list and we advertise our affordable and social rented homes. To apply for a home, you must be eligible. You can find out if you are eligible by taking the eligibility questionnaire If eligible, you need to sign up and complete the registration process, so you can be put on the waiting list.
How do I apply for a whg home?
You can apply through choose & move. There are no costs involved. You can apply for as many homes as you like but only those you are eligible to apply for. Your application will not be accepted if you do not meet the criteria. For instance, some homes may have age restrictions but these will be clearly marked on the advert. Homes are advertised on choose & move in the ‘browse homes’ section. If there are no homes displayed in this section there are no homes available for you to apply for.
Can I redecorate or make alterations to my home?
What do I do if I find faults in my new-build home?
If you have moved into one of our newly built homes, any faults or problems that need fixing within the first 12 months are known as defects. You need to report any such faults to us, so we can arrange for the developer to put them right.
What can I do about damp and condensation in my home?
Condensation (which can cause damp and mould) tends to occur in rooms with lots of moisture in the air, such as bathrooms and kitchens. To limit the problem:
- open windows or switch on extractor fans when bathing, cooking, washing up or doing the laundry
- dry wet clothes outside or in a room with the window open
- keep your home heated to a comfortable temperature.
What should I do if I think there is a gas leak?
Get out of your home, calmly warn your neighbours and call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 (but make sure you are well away from the leak before using your mobile phone).
What are you doing to fix the delay on repairs?
We understand how frustrating it is when appointments are cancelled, especially when you have waited a while or made special arrangements. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time and are pulling out all the stops to improve our service by:
- doing extra checks on our stores to make sure we have the right materials in stock
- appointing two new contractors so we can do more repairs each day
- teams working longer so we can see as many people as possible
- giving as much notice as possible when appointments need to be rescheduled.
Why is it taking so long to complete repairs?
Our repairs team is completing more than 200 appointments every day, but we know some of you are having to wait longer than we would like. This is due to a number of factors. Currently, there is a national shortage of building materials (like doors, timber and glass) which means we have to cancel some appointments at short notice if we find we don’t have the materials to complete the job. Labour shortages are also making it difficult to recruit skilled tradespeople to carry out repairs. In addition, customers are reporting more repairs, leading to longer waiting times. We continue to prioritise emergency repairs, so non-urgent repairs may be delayed.
What happens on the day of my repair appointment?
On the day you must make sure we are able to get into your home so we can carry out the work. Anyone we authorise to enter your home will carry identification. Always ask to see it before letting callers into your home and be aware there may be bogus callers operating in your area. If you have any concerns, call us on 0300 555 6666 to confirm they are who they say they are.
When will my repair be completed?
We aim to make safe an emergency repair within three hours of you reporting it, and complete it within 24 hours. If your repair is not considered an emergency, it will be scheduled for the next available appointment.
How do I report a repair?
The quickest and easiest way to report a repair is using our online service. Sign up or sign in to use our live booking system and get your appointment in the diary. Alternatively, you can call us on 0300 555 6666 (Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-1pm). Emergency repairs can be reported 24 hours a day on the same phone number. You can also email us on email@example.com (we usually respond within five working days). When reporting a repair, you need to tell us your name, address, contact phone number, as much information as possible about the repair and how our repairs team will be able to get into your home. Before booking a repair, please double-check it isn’t your responsibility to fix here. Remember, if it is an emergency and there is immediate risk to safety, security or health, call us on 0300 555 666.
What repairs are whg responsible for?
We are responsible for repairing your home’s structure and fixtures to keep the property in good condition. Find out more here.
What repairs am I responsible for?
You are required to keep your home in good decorative order and ensure fixtures and fittings are maintained so they do not cause a danger to anyone or damage the property. We do not charge you for items that break through normal wear and tear. But you will be charged for the cost of any repairs needed due to damage or neglect. Find out more here.
How do I cancel a repair appointment?
You can cancel a repair online up to 24 hours before the appointment. Just go to the repairs section of ‘Manage Your Home Online’, press ‘Cancel’ and follow the instructions on screen. If you need to cancel on the day the repair is due to take place, you must call us on 0300 555 6666.
What happens after I book a repair?
If the repair is our responsibility, we will be in touch within one working day to book an appointment to do the work at a time to suit you. We offer these time slots for appointments:
- morning, 8am-2pm
- afternoon, 12-6pm
- all day, 8am-6pm
- late afternoon, 3-6pm
- avoiding the ‘school run’, 10am-2pm.
Shape what we do
How will I know if my contribution makes a difference?
We are committed to sharing how customers are influencing and shaping our services. You can get the latest updates in Round Your Way or on our website.
I would like to become more involved, but would need some support. Can you help with that?
Please get in touch and tell us how we can support you. We want to make sure our engagement activities are accessible for all customers.
I don’t have much time to get involved, so are there options for me?
As we want to give everyone the opportunity to share their voice, our menu of engagement activities is designed so you can get involved ‘on the go’. This might be a quick survey or poll but, if you have more time, you can take part in ‘customer voice’ activities at community events or workshops, in your home on a video call or with other customers in focus groups at our offices.
How can I get involved in more whg community activities?
Will I get paid for being an involved customer?
No, it is a voluntary position but we offer various incentives and cover expenses to ensure you are not left out of pocket. For example, we can support with childcare costs. Getting involved is also a great opportunity not just to influence services affecting you and your home, it is also a chance to get to know fellow whg customers, develop new skills and gain valuable experience to boost your job prospects.