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Benefits
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What is under-occupation? 

Under-occupation is where a household is living in a home that has more bedrooms than it needs. Therefore the home is not occupied to its full capacity – or under-occupied.

We aim to make the best use of our homes. Where possible we try to avoid under-occupation so that we can provide customers with the most suitable homes for their needs. To do this we use a calculation to work out how many bedrooms a household requires. You can find this calculation in our Allocations policy.

Your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit could be reduced if you a living in an under-occupied home. Click here to read Citizens’ Advice guidance about the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.

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What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a modern benefits system for people in work, looking for work or unable to work. It brings together six older benefits and helps make sure you’re getting the financial support you are entitled to in one place.
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What will I get on Universal Credit?
On Universal Credit, most people will be entitled to at least the same amount they received from their existing benefits, or more. You can use an independent benefits calculator to estimate how much you could get on Universal Credit. If the amount you are entitled to on your existing benefits is more than you will get on Universal Credit, where eligible you will receive an additional amount to your Universal Credit. This is called transitional protection. You can get this top up if you have received a Migration Notice letter from DWP and claim by the deadline date on your letter.  
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When will the final payments for existing benefits be?
The date of your final payments from your existing benefits depends on whichever of the two factors below comes first.
  • The deadline date on your letter
  • When you make a claim to Universal Credit
If you claim tax credits, your entitlement will end as soon as you make a claim to Universal Credit. If you do not make a claim by the deadline, your tax credit entitlement will end on the day before the deadline.
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What if I don’t want to claim Universal Credit?
Tax credits are ending so you will not be able to continue receiving support in this way. Once the DWP send you a letter – called a Migration Notice – your tax credits will end whether you make a claim for Universal Credit or not.
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I’ve not had a letter about the move to Universal Credit, should I just make a claim?
You do not have to do anything until you personally receive your migration letter from the DWP informing you that you need to claim. If you claim UC before you receive this, you will not be entitled to any transitional protection – this is additional top up money you could receive if you will be worse off on Universal Credit.
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I’ve received my migration letter but I’m going to struggle to make a claim before the date in the letter – what should I do?
Contact the DWP Migration Notice Helpline on 0800 169 0328, explain why you are going to struggle and request an extension. You can also speak with one of our Money Advisors on 0300 555 6666 for more advice.
Building and fire safety
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What should I do if I have a disability that will make it hard for me to evacuate in the event of a fire?
Please let us know as soon as possible so that we can work with the fire service to provide you with additional support and information.
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Can I set off fireworks in my garden?
Large public displays in communal spaces are the best and safest way to enjoy fireworks. In the majority of our properties we allow fireworks. If you do decide to have your own fireworks display make sure you do not set fireworks off near your home or on a balcony. Follow the safety tips and guides at https://www.wmfs.net/safety/fireworks/
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Can I have a barbecue in my garden?
Yes, in the majority of our properties we allow you to have a barbecue, provided it is not indoors or on a balcony. Place your barbecue on level ground, well away from anything flammable like sheds, fences, trees or tents. Carefully supervise children and keep pets away. Barbecues give off carbon monoxide fumes for several hours after they go out, so don’t bring them indoors with you.
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What should I do if there is a fire in my house?

Alert everyone in your home that there is an emergency. Leave quickly, closing your doors behind you. Follow your evacuation plan. If there is smoke, crawl along the floor, where the air will be clearer. Once you’re safely outside, phone 999 for the fire brigade.

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What should I do if my smoke detector isn’t working?
If your smoke alarm is faulty it’s really important you let us know on 0300 555 6666.
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Who is responsible for landlord health and safety at whg?
whg has a designated landlord health and safety lead. You can find the full details in our Responsible Persons statement. Click here to view.
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How often do you carry out building safety checks on my block?
We carry out regular cyclical checks, tests and assessments on the key safety systems within your home and building. These will include:
  • Visits by the Neighbourhood Impact Officers
  • Quarterly communal fire door and annual flat entrance door inspections
  • Fire alarms, lifts and emergency lighting.
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I live in a block. What should I do if there is a fire?
  • If you are in your flat and believe there is a fire elsewhere in the building you can stay put, as long as you think it is safe to do so. If you smell smoke, see a fire, feel unsafe or are instructed by the Fire Service to leave, you should get out and stay out.
  • If you discover a fire in your flat, get everyone in your flat to leave, closing any fire doors. Stay out of your flat and go to a safe space away from the building. Do not use the lifts. Once it is safe to do so call the fire service on 999.
  • If you are in a communal area and believe there is a fire, you should get out, stay out, and call the fire service on 999.
  • If you feel unsafe for any reason, leave the building. Follow the fire escape signs and close all doors behind you. Do not use the lift.
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What does ‘stay safe’ mean?
‘Stay safe’ means that if there is a fire in your block you can stay put, as long as you think it is safe to do so. If you smell smoke, see a fire, feel unsafe or are instructed by the Fire Service to leave, you should get out and stay out.
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What are my responsibilities regarding fire safety?
The Fire Safety Act says that residents of individual properties in multi-occupied buildings, have a legal responsibility for keeping fire doors closed and making sure that self-closing devices and the door is not tampered.
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How do I check my fire door?
It’s important to check your fire door regularly:
  • Check for signs of damage to either side of the door, the frame and hinges as well as the overhead closing device. Where you have seals installed on your door check these are free from damage.
  • Open your door and fully release it. The door should shut fully into the doorframe without you having to shut it.
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What do I do if I think a fire door is damaged?
You can report any damaged fire doors to us on 0300 555 6666.
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Why are fire doors important?
Fire doors help to prevent fire and smoke from spreading into other areas of a building and onto escape routes.
Changes to your rent
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What can I do if I am a shared owner struggling to pay my rent?
It’s really important that you let us know if you are struggling to pay your shared ownership rent as we can’t help you if we are not aware of your situation. You can also seek advice from Citizens Advice or Money Helper or gain practical help from Turn2us.
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Why are you increasing my rent?
We know times are tough. However, we have had to increase rents to cover the cost of our services and repairs and investment in our homes. Rising costs mean it would not be possible to continue providing the same level of service to our customers without a rent increase.
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When does the new rent start?
The rent increase takes effect from 1 April. Customers who pay their rent weekly on a Monday will make their first payment of the new amount on 1 April 2024. The increase will also  be applied from 1 April 2024 for customers who pay their rent monthly.
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How have you calculated my rent increase?
The government sets the maximum we can increase our rent by. This is 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. We understand this rent increase may not be easy for you. We do not take any decision to increase rents without considering the wider impact for our customers.
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What if I can’t afford the rent increase?
We’re on your side and want to help you remain in your home. If you are struggling to pay your rent please make sure you talk to us sooner rather than later. Remember the sooner you tell us, the faster we can help you. Call us on 0300 555 6666 or click here to visit our cost of living support page. We understand that the cost of living is affecting everyone in different ways. We won’t judge you and will do our best to help.
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I pay a service charge. Will it increase?
Our service charges reflect the actual cost of providing those services to you. Costs for things like energy and maintenance contracts have increased which means we have had to increase your service charge. We have done our best to keep this as low as we can and regularly monitor our spending on contractors and suppliers to make sure we can give you the best services at the best price.
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I claim Universal Credit. Do I need to do anything?
You will have received an annual rent charge review letter from us. You need to keep this letter safe and use it to report your rent change to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on or immediately after 1 April 2024. It’s a good idea to set a reminder or make a note to do this. If you don’t you could miss out on money you are entitled to. You can report the change through your Universal Credit online account from 1 April.
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I claim Housing Benefit. Do I need to do anything?
We have already contacted your local authority’s Housing Benefit team about the rent change. You do not need to contact them.
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Do I have to change my Direct Debit?
We will automatically adjust your Direct Debit, so you don’t need to do anything. We will send a separate letter to your rent review letter confirming what your new Direct Debit will be.
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Do I have to change my standing order?
If you pay your rent by standing order you need to contact your bank to change your payment to the new amount. If you want to set up a direct debit for future payments you can do this yourself quickly and easily online. Alternatively you can give us a call on 0300 555 6666.
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How do you spend my rent?
As a not-for-profit organisation, all rent we receive is used to provide our services and repair and improve homes. We provide a full breakdown of how your rent is spent in our annual report to customers. Click here to read the latest report.
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What happens if I don’t pay the rent increase?
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.
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How are you improving the repairs service?
We have invested an extra £5m and 20 additional colleagues have been recruited to the service so we can carry out more repairs each day. Following customer feedback we have introduced a ‘Repairs Booster Team’ who complete multiple repairs during a single visit. We have also launched a new repairs satisfaction survey to gather your feedback. We have now almost cleared the backlog of repairs that we had. Thank you for your patience while we focused on getting these done. Click here for repairs updates and waiting times.
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How can I get a rent statement?
You can find out the balance of your rent account and see recent transactions quickly and easily. Click here to manage your home online.
Damp and mould
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What should I do if I discover damp or mould?
It’s really important that you let us know so we can work with you to resolve the problem. Give us a call on 0300 555 666 or report it online.
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What can I do to get rid of damp and mould?
To kill and remove mould, wipe down or spray walls and window frames with a fungicidal spray or mould killer that carries a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ‘approval number’, and ensure that you follow the instructions for its safe use. You can get these from local supermarkets, or we can provide one for you. Dry-clean mildewed clothes, and shampoo carpets. Do not try to remove mould by using washing up liquid, bleach or vacuum cleaner.
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How do I know if my mould is due to condensation or damp?
It is not always easy to tell but there are some key differences between condensation and other forms of damp. Condensation is usually found on north facing walls. It can also be found on or around windows and in areas where there is not much air movement, such as corners or a room, in cupboards or behind furniture.  It is more likely to leave black mould. Other kinds of dampness, such as rain or plumbing leaks, usually leave a stain mark.
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How can I reduce the amount of condensation in my home?
You can reduce the amount of water produced in your home by keeping lids on saucepans while cooking and drying clothes outside when possible. We realise that this is not always possible. If you do dry clothes indoors try to limit this to the bathroom, with the door closed and extractor fan in use or window open on vent – also do this when you have a shower. If you use a tumble dryer, make sure it’s vented to the outside. Contact us for advice if your dryer does not have an outdoor vent.
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What causes condensation?
Condensation happens when moisture in warm air comes into contact with a cold surface and turns into water droplets. This happens more in rooms where there is a lot of moisture, such as in bathrooms and kitchens, or in rooms where there are a lot of people. Our everyday activities add extra moisture to air inside our homes – for example just one person sleeping can add half a pint of water to the air overnight.
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What is the best way to ventilate my home?
The simplest way to bring in fresh air is to open your windows and doors.  You should also keep window vents open to allow moisture to escape and use your extractor fans. Tell us if they’re not working, or if you don’t have a fan in your bathroom or kitchen, as we may be able to fit one for you.
Feedback and complaints
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What happens when I make a complaint?
  • If we think we can resolve your complaint quickly without the need for a formal complaint investigation, we will contact to let you know. If early resolution is possible (within 5 working days) we will give you the option of how you would like to proceed.
  • Formal complaints – we will acknowledge all formal complaints within 5 working days of receipt.
  • Stage 1 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 of acknowledgement.
  • Stage 2 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 and what you feel we could do to put things right. We will aim to respond to you in writing within 20 working days of acknowledgment.
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I have been through the complaints process and I am still unhappy, what can I do now?
  • You can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service at any point during the complaints process. It cannot investigate your complaint whilst it is going through our complaints procedure, however they may be able to help us in reaching a resolution.
  • You can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service via telephone on 0300 111 3000, email at info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk, their website at www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk or via post to; Housing Ombudsman Service, PO Box 152, Liverpool L33 7WQ).
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How do I give feedback or make a complaint?

If things haven’t gone as you expected or you’re unhappy with something we did, please let us know. We’ll work with you to understand what happened and do our best to put it right.

You can do this by filling in our feedback form. Click here for more information about feedback and complaints.

Gas and electrical safety
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Does it matter if my house is a mess?
Not at all! Our engineer will be there to carry out a safety check, not to assess the state of your home. There is no need to tidy up – as long as they have access to the areas they need to get to.
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Will your gas engineer or electrician carry ID?
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.
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Why are electrical safety checks important?
Electricity fires affect 20,000 homes in the UK every year. Electrical products cause 89 per cent of the fires, while 11 per cent are caused by faulty wiring. Most of these incidents could be avoided by regular inspection and maintenance of electric systems.
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Why are gas safety checks important?
Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly and without warning, as you cannot see it, taste it or smell it. Every year around 15 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed or maintained.
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Will my electrical safety check be really disruptive and messy?
No, we won’t be drilling into your walls or doing anything that will affect your décor. We will perform visual checks of your fuse board and all accessories, such as sockets and switches, to identify any visible signs of defects, damage, or deterioration. We will also test each light switch and socket. We might unscrew a few switches to check the wiring, but this shouldn’t cause any damage
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What do I do if I smell gas?
If you think you have a gas leak or can smell gas, leave the house and phone the National Gas Emergencies number immediately on 0800 111 999. If you’re at home, and you can do it safely, turn off your gas supply.  Don’t smoke, don’t turn any light switches on or off and don’t use any naked flames.
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My smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector isn’t working properly. What should I do?
Let us know immediately by ringing us on 0300 555 666 or report it at manage your home online.
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Do I get a copy of the gas safety certificate for my home?
This will be posted to you a few weeks after your gas safety check.
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What happens if I don’t let you in for my gas or electrical safety check?
Gas and electrical safety checks are a legal requirement and your tenancy agreement also states you must allow us in to carry out these important checks. If we are unable to gain access we may take legal action against you to permit entry to your home.
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Do I have to have a gas or electrical safety check?
Yes. We know that you may not want to take time out to let us in but failing to do so can put lives at risk
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What should I do if I need to rearrange my gas or electrical safety check?
We understand that life is busy. If the appointment time doesn’t work for you, please let us know as soon as possible. You can rearrange your appointment by calling us on 0300 555 6666 and we will work to find a time that suits you. You can also rearrange your electrical safety check online.
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Do I need to do anything to prepare for my gas check?
Yes. Please make sure you have enough credit on your gas and electric prepayment meters, if you have them. You will also need to make space around the boiler and move any belongings or furniture that may be in the way. This will help our engineer work safely and complete the work on time.
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Do I need to do anything to prepare for my electrical check?
Please move any furniture away from electrical sockets to provide easy access for our  electricians and make sure you have enough credit on your prepayment meter, if you have one.
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What happens during my gas check?
During your inspection we will service all gas appliances and systems that we’ve installed or that we own. We will also test your CO detector. You’re still responsible for the condition and safety of any of your own appliances.
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How long will my annual gas check take?
Your gas check will take between 45 to 90 minutes.
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What happens during an electrical check?
We will check that all sockets, circuits and lighting are in working order, and don’t create any hazards for everyday use. We will also repair any faults that may be putting you in immediate danger – this is to make sure that your home is safe for you. We will also check to see if your smoke detectors are present and are in working order
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How long will my electrical safety check take?
It usually takes around three to four hours to complete.
Manage your home online
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How can I check my rent account?

The quickest and easiest 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 enquiries@whgrp.co.uk (we usually respond within five working days).

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What details do I need to sign up to manage my home online?
You need to be a current whg customer – a tenant (or joint tenant), leaseholder or shared owner.   You will need to provide your email address, which you will use to sign in.   We will ask for your National Insurance number or your whg Account Reference number, and your date of birth and post code. This is so we can verify your identity.   Click here to sign up.
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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.
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I can’t log in to my online account. What should I do?
If you have already signed up, 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.
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What devices can I use to access my online account?
You can use almost any device with a web browser, like a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or computer – so you can log in any time, from the comfort of your own sofa!   If you are using a computer or laptop, you can use recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari web browsers. Internet Explorer is not supported.
Mutual exchange
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Can I swap my home?
You need to have a secure or assured tenancy to have the right to a mutual exchange. You also need to ensure that:
  • You aren’t in debt with your rent
  • The other person’s landlord is happy for the exchange to happen
  • You aren’t moving to a property where you will be overcrowded or have more space than you need
  • You get our permission in writing and there is no ongoing legal action relating to your tenancy (eg) a Possession Order or injunction
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What is a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange is a home swap between two social housing tenants. It can happen for many reasons, such as needing more (or less) space, moving for work or to be closer to family. It’s a great option for customers who can’t access or don’t want to wait for the normal allocation process. It gives you more control and means you’re able to choose a home that suits your needs better in a place you want to live.
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Who can I swap my home with?
You can swap your home with:
  • A whg customer
  • A customer of another registered social landlord (usually a housing association)
  • Someone who lives in a council-owned and managed home.
It’s important to remember that you won’t be able to swap with a private housing tenant – both homes need to be social housing properties.
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How long does a home swap take?
Once you have found someone you want to swap with and filled in your mutual exchange form, we have a maximum of 42 days to tell you whether your application has been approved or refused.
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Why should I use HomeSwapper?
We have a huge demand for properties. Finding a swap through HomeSwapper means you won’t have to wait months on a housing waiting list and you will get to choose the home you want for yourself. Once you find someone to swap with, we will approve your request within 42 days.
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How do I join HomeSwapper?
Go to the HomeSwapper website and click Register in the top right hand corner. Then follow the simple steps to complete your registration. The service is completely free for whg customers, although we will need to approve your application before you have full access. If you can fill in as much information as possible about your home and the home you are looking for, the system will be able to match you with your ideal properties automatically.
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Do I have to pay for HomeSwapper?
No. Joining HomeSwapper is free for whg customers.
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Do I have to swap in my local area?
No. You can swap homes with any other council or housing association tenant that lives anywhere in the UK.
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What can I do if I’m struggling to use HomeSwapper?
There are lots of useful guides on the HomeSwapper website. If you need help you can email the helpdesk at tenants@homeswapper.co.uk
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Do I need permission to swap my home?
Yes. You must have permission from us before you move.
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I need to move urgently. Can I exchange and then get permission?
No. It is important that you wait until you have signed for your new property before you move in. If you move in before this you will be classed as illegally occupying and could risk losing your home.
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What if my new home is not in a good condition?
It is your responsibility to inspect the property thoroughly before you agree to move. You should agree with your exchange partner how they will be leaving the property and who is responsible for any outstanding repairs or rubbish.
Neighbourhoods and communities
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What does whg say about pets?
whg encourages responsible pet ownership and if we have any concerns about the way a pet is being kept, we reserve the right to withdraw our permission for the animal to stay within the home. It is your responsibility to keep your pets under control and make sure they are not a nuisance to anyone. From 1 February 2024 it is a criminal offence to own an XL Bully dog in England and Wales unless your dog has a valid Certificate of Exemption. Find out more about the ban on XL Bully dogs. whg will not give permission for any XL Bully dog to be kept as a pet unless the owner can evidence that they have a valid Certificate of Exception. You must be able to show a valid certificate at the time of asking or within 5 days of the request. If we find out that any of our customers are keeping an animal in their home without our permission or in breach of these Conditions, we will ask them to remove the animal and the animal must be removed permanently from the home.  
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Who is my local Community Housing Officer?
The best way to find your Community Housing Officer is to contact customer services with your address on 0300 555 6666.
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How can my Community Housing Officer help me?
Perhaps you have a housing or personal issue and you’re not sure who to contact or how we can help? Our dedicated team will work with you to understand your current challenge and how best you can resolve it. It doesn’t always have to be a challenge either, perhaps you have an idea that would benefit you and your neighbours? Whatever it is, reach out and let them know.
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Why do you have Community Housing Officers?
When it comes to your home, we understand that not everything can be done over the phone or online. We want your Community Housing Officer to be another point of contact for you and your neighbours, when you need it. We hope this personal approach will help us to continue building strong relationships with all our customers wherever you live.
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What can I do about noisy neighbours?
Noise nuisance is a common complaint but not normally considered antisocial behaviour unless it is excessive and regular. Some noise is part of everyday life, especially if you live in a block of flats. This includes things like car horns, doors slamming and children playing.  The first step is to have a chat with your neighbour as they may not realise that their noise is affecting you. If this does not resolve the issue please let us know as there are steps we can take. Your council also has a duty to investigate noise levels that could be harmful to health. If you believe this to be the case you should ring your council’s environmental health team. If you believe the noise might be due to a domestic incident, for instance you can hear shouting, screaming or banging, you should call the police on 999.  
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Can I make an anonymous report of ASB?
Yes, you can. However, it may limit the actions we will be able to take on your behalf as it is very difficult for us to investigate cases of ASB or take action against perpetrators without your support.
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How do I report antisocial behaviour?
You can report ASB to us on 0300 555 6666. If you believe a crime is being committed, or if you have been threatened or assaulted please report it to the police immediately. In an emergency call 999 or non-emergency call 101.
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Who is responsible for dealing with ASB?
Many local organisations – including the police, local authorities, and social housing landlords – have different powers, roles and responsibilities to help and support those experiencing ASB. We work closely with partner agencies to tackle issues jointly, giving us greater powers to improve people’s lives
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How does whg deal with antisocial behaviour?
We will respond to and start an investigation into all reports of ASB from customers as quickly as possible, and always within five working days. We work with our partners, including the police and local council, to take proportionate action against those causing ASB where the issues are evidenced. We will use the full range of enforcement tools and legal powers available where it is reasonable and proportionate to do so. This could include formal warnings, legal actions, tenancy actions, or referrals internally and to our partner agencies where support needs are identified.
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What grounds maintenance services can I expect to receive as part of my tenancy?
If you have a communal outdoor space and pay a service charge for grounds maintenance, this will cover fortnightly grass cutting (April to October), monthly maintenance of flower beds with pruning in summer and winter, hard surface maintenance four times a year and leaf clearance from November to March. We will also pick up litter on every visit.
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I want to get rid of some old furniture. How can I do this?
  • Some charities, like the British Heart Foundation, will collect your items free of charge if they are in good condition to be sold in their shops.
  • Local councils offer “bulky waste” collections.
  • Make some extra cash by selling it online on sites like Ebay and ask the buyer to collect it in person. Or you could try Gumtree or Facebook market place.
  • Give your furniture a makeover by painting or varnishing it.
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My bin isn’t big enough for all of my rubbish, what do I do?
You can save space by flattening plastic and cardboard items. If your bin is still too small, your local council may be able to give you a bigger one. Apply for a bigger bin from Walsall Council here.
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What can I do with large waste items, like my old fridge?
Our Neighbourhood Services Team do not offer a bulky waste collection service. You can safely dispose of your rubbish for free at your local council’s waste and recycling centre. There are two household waste and recycling areas in Walsall:
  • Fryers Road Household Waste Recycling Centre, Bloxwich
  • Merchants Way Household Waste Recycling Centre, Aldridge
If you struggle to get to a waste and recycling centre, your local council may offer a bulky items collection service for a small charge.
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Who is responsible for clearing up fly-tipping?
If the rubbish has been dumped on your local council’s land, it is their responsibility to clean it up and you should contact them. However, if the rubbish has been dumped on whg land, you should report it to us online at https://manageyourhomeonline.whg.uk.com/ and we will investigate to identify perpetrators and take appropriate action
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How can I report fly-tipping?
You can report fly-tipping to us so we can take the appropriate action. The best way you can do this is online.
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What is the punishment for fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and carries a fine of up to £20,000. If the case goes to Crown Court, the fine can become unlimited and the offender may be imprisoned. It is a breach of your tenancy and could result in Notice Seeking Possession being served on you which could prevent you from being rehoused. We will also recharge perpetrators for the removal of unwanted waste. If you are found to be using your vehicle to dump illegally, your vehicle could be seized as we work closely with Walsall Council.
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What is fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of rubbish, or unwanted objects. This includes leaving black bags on landings, by the bin sheds, on the footpath or on grassed areas. You might imagine a mattress or a fridge freezer, but fly-tipping isn’t just large amounts of waste. Even smaller items like bags of household waste are classed as fly-tipping.
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Who is responsible for maintaining trees?
We are responsible for looking after trees in public open spaces on our land. Local councils are responsible for trees on their land. You are responsible for trees in your garden.
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My bin hasn’t been collected. Who do I report it to?
Bin collections are the responsibility of your local authority. If your bin was missed you will need to contact them. If you have a communal bin which has not been collected because it is overflowing you can contact us.
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Who do I talk to about a problem with parking?
If you have an issue with parking on whg land you can contact us on 0300 555 666. If you are concerned about parking on a public road you will need to contact your local council.
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Who do I report flytipping to?
You can help us to identify and prosecute offenders by reporting flytipping to either your local council or us on 0300 555 6666. If you live in Walsall you can report it to: flytipping@walsall.gov.uk or on 01922 653355.
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How often is my block cleaned?
Communal areas up to and including the third floor in our high rise blocks are cleaned five days a week, from Monday to Friday. Communal areas above the third floor are cleaned weekly. If you live in a low rise block they are cleaned twice a week. Our wellbeing schemes are cleaned five days a week from Monday to Friday.
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How often is the communal grass cut?
The schedule for grass cutting is based on 16 cuts between 1 April and 31 October each year. This is usually done every two weeks but can change due to adverse weather.
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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.
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Who should I tell about pest problems?
You are responsible for dealing with infestations caused by conditions in your home, such as rubbish or uncleanliness. This might include ants, fleas or bedbugs. Visit British Pest Control Association for guidance and details of local pest control specialists. We are responsible for infestations that are a result of external conditions. This might include squirrels in your loft, wasps or bees. Contact us to arrange a visit to your home. If we discover a pest infestation that you are not responsible for, we will arrange pest controllers and tackle the issues that have caused the infestation. If we determine that the pests are due to rubbish or uncleanliness in your home, we will ask you to arrange your own pest control. If we need to arrange pest control right away, this will be charged to you.
Pests and infestations
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Will whg get rid of bees or wasps that are in my home?
If you have wasps in your home, we will arrange for pest control to carry out a course of treatment. Bees are not considered as pests and are essential pollinators. They are not normally aggressive and if left alone are unlikely to sting.  However, if you are being troubled by bees let us know and we will investigate the issue.  
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Will whg get rid of rats or mice?
If you have rats or mice in your home that you believe you are not responsible for, it’s really important you give us a ring so we can carry out necessary pest control works. You should also ring us if you spot rats or mice in your communal areas.
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Will whg pay for pest control?
Where we do not believe the customer is responsible for the infestation, for example, if a pest has entered the home through a gap or crack in the wall or floor, we will arrange and pay for pest control.  Where the customer is responsible, but we need to carry out pest control works due to the impact on our property, this is arranged and recharged to the customer.
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Is whg responsible for getting rid of pests?
Responsibility for removing pests from your home and preventing infestations is shared between yourselves and us. If the infestation is due to conditions in your home, such as rubbish or uncleanliness, it is your responsibility to deal with the pests. Where we do not believe the customer is responsible for the infestation, for example, if a pest has entered the home through a gap or crack in the wall or floor, we will arrange pest control and any repair required. We also contact the customer following the works to make sure there has been no further infestation.
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What can I do to prevent infestations?
No one wants uninvited guests so prevention is always best. You can keep them at bay by keeping bin lids shut, putting rubbish away correctly, storing food in sealed containers and keeping your home clean and tidy. More advice is available here.
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What should I do if I have a pest problem?
If you have an infestation in your home that you believe you are not responsible for, or believe there is a pest problem in a communal area, it’s really important that you let us know. We can work with you to tackle the issue and arrange for pest controllers to visit.
Planned investment works
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Why are you carrying out investment works?
We are always investing in our homes to keep them in good repair. Our new contractors will help us carry out these works in a really effective and efficient way.
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My neighbour is having improvement work done. Why aren’t I?
You may not get the same work done as your neighbour, as works vary from property to property according to age and condition. For example, dependent on condition we aim to replace kitchens every 20 years and bathrooms every 30.
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When will I find out if my home is due for planned investment works?
If your house has been flagged as needing an upgrade, such as a new bathroom or kitchen, you will be contacted directly in advance of the works starting. You will not need to contact us in order to be considered for these upgrades.
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What do I do if I am unhappy with the work carried out by my contractor?
We use fully approved contractors to carry out all repairs and we continuously monitor them to ensure a prompt, high quality and value for money service. You can report any defects within the first 12 months to your contractor’s customer liaison officer.
Rent a home
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How do I apply for a whg home?
You can check your eligibility for our housing waiting list by taking our online questionnaire – click here. whg has a very high demand for homes. Waiting times depend on what type of home you are looking for but can be at least a year, and in some cases much longer.
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Who can join our housing register?
To sign up to our housing register 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.
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What if I need help registering?
Signing up is simple and easy to do, so we encourage you to try it first. If you still need help, call us on 0300 555 6666.
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Can I get a whg home straight away? If not, how long will I be waiting?
Demand for our homes is high, so you will not be offered a home straight away. It can sometimes take years to be offered a home. Waiting times depend on what type of home you are looking for. If you are in urgent need of housing please contact your local authority for further guidance and support.
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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.
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What can I do if I am unhappy about the decision that has been made about my application for housing?
If you are unhappy with an allocations decision, or believe you have been treated unfairly, you have the right to challenge our decision. This can be done through our complaints process.
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I’m a customer and my home is no longer suitable. I’d like to move to another whg home. How do I apply?
You can check your eligibility for our housing register at whg.uk.com If your circumstances mean you are not eligible, the quickest and easiest way for you to move is to sign up with HomeSwapper. If you feel your home is no longer suitable due to a disability or medical issue, our aids and adaptations team may be able to help. Depending on your circumstances it may be more appropriate for you to join the council’s list.
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What is overcrowding?

Overcrowding is when a household has fewer bedrooms than it needs to avoid sharing, based on the age, sex and relationship of the household members.

To prevent overcrowding we use a calculation to work out how many bedrooms a household requires. You can find this calculation in our Allocations policy.

If you believe you are living in an overcrowded home you may have housing options available to you. You can check your eligibility for our housing register and find out your options online by clicking here.

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What is under-occupation? 

Under-occupation is where a household is living in a home that has more bedrooms than it needs. Therefore the home is not occupied to its full capacity – or under-occupied.

We aim to make the best use of our homes. Where possible we try to avoid under-occupation so that we can provide customers with the most suitable homes for their needs. To do this we use a calculation to work out how many bedrooms a household requires. You can find this calculation in our Allocations policy.

Your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit could be reduced if you a living in an under-occupied home. Click here to read Citizens’ Advice guidance about the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.

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Why can’t I see any properties available to bid on?
If you can’t see any properties to bid on this means there we have none available. Demand for our homes is exceptionally high. We only have a small number of properties available to rent each year and are prioritising those in greatest need. Homes will be shown here as soon as they are available to bid on. Applicants are advised not to contact us about housing availability as we are unable to indicate when properties will be advertised.
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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.
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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 nominate you to whg for a home if applicable.
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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.
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Why do I never see larger homes advertised?
Homes with four or more bedrooms are rarely available. We will 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
Rent and charges
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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.

Direct Debit
Make paying your rent simple with a regular Direct Debit. It is safe and secure and you can choose a regular date when payments will be taken, so you know when your money will leave your account. You can set up your Direct Debit online today.  Simply sign in or sign up using your name, date of birth and National Insurance or rent account number. Then follow the instructions to set up your Direct Debit.

Call us
Call us to make a payment over the phone on 0300 555 6666 (Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 8am-1pm).

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How can I check my rent account?

The quickest and easiest 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 enquiries@whgrp.co.uk (we usually respond within five working days).

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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.
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How do I set up a Direct Debit for rent payments?
Make paying your rent simple with a regular Direct Debit. It is safe and secure and you can choose a regular date when payments will be taken, so you know when your money will leave your account. You can set up your Direct Debit online today.  Simply sign in or sign up using your name, date of birth and National Insurance or rent account number. Then follow the instructions to set up your Direct Debit.
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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.
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How are affordable and social rents calculated?
The government sets the rent social landlords like whg can charge, how they should be reviewed and how much they can be increased each year. The increase is usually set at the Consumer Prince Index (the measurement of UK inflation) plus 1%.
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How are service charges calculated?

If you live in one of our blocks, you will pay a service charge for maintenance of communal or surrounding areas. This includes cleaning communal areas, external maintenance, fire safety devices, lighting, lifts, and grass cutting. Service charges can be ‘fixed’ or ‘variable’. If you pay a variable service charge, we will consult with you before making any major changes, and you can ask for a summary of costs.

Your tenancy agreement will clearly show what services we will provide as part of your rent. If you are on a ‘social’ tenancy, any service charges that you need to pay will be detailed as a separate fixed amount alongside your rent. If you are on an ‘affordable’ or ‘market rent’ tenancy, the service charge is set as part of your rent amount.

We review service charges each year and may increase them. When they increase, we always aim to stay in line with Government recommendations to help keep charges affordable for customers. If we cannot do this, we’ll explain why when we write to you.

 

Shared ownership and leaseholder service charges 

  • Some shared owners will pay a service charge for maintenance of communal or surrounding areas. This includes cleaning communal areas, external maintenance, fire safety devices, lighting, lifts, and grass cutting.
  • Shared owners and leaseholders also pay a service charge for the upkeep, repairs and improvements of buildings, and building insurance.
  • If you pay a variable service charge, we will consult with you before making any major changes to the amount you pay. Please see point 1.9 of the rent and service charge policy for more information about this.

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How are shared ownership rents calculated?
Shared owners will own part of their home and rent part of it from whg. If you are a shared owner your monthly rent and service charge amount and the maximum it can increase is detailed in your lease agreement. We will review this amount each year and it may increase.
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How are charges for leaseholders calculated?
  • Leasehold customers are those who have bought their home, usually by taking out a mortgage. They do not pay rent to whg but they are responsible for any service charges that apply to their property.
  • Leaseholders pay a service charge for the upkeep, repair and improvements of buildings, and building insurance.
  • If you pay a variable service charge, we will consult with you before making any major changes to the amount you pay. Please see point 1.9 of the rent and service charge policy for more information about this.
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What are wellbeing charges?
If a wellbeing charge applies to your home, this will be set at the start of your tenancy and reviewed every year. If your wellbeing charge will be increasing, we will explain this when we write to you.
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Rents for garages and commercial buildings
Rents for garages and commercial properties are reviewed each year and may be increased.
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Can I ask someone else to manage my tenancy for me?
Yes. You can let someone else manage your tenancy on your behalf by giving them authorised third party access.  You will need to contact us directly, either verbally or in writing to make this request. To keep your information secure we may ask you to reconfirm these details occasionally.
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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.
Repairs
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Do I need to do anything before my repair appointment?
To help us work safely on the day, please clear the area in and around the repair and ensure pets are kept away. Otherwise we will not be able to carry out any work.
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What should I do if I am unhappy about the condition of my home?

You should always report any repairs or other issues promptly. We will try and resolve the issue with you and inspect your property to work out the cause. If a repair is detected, it will be completed in accordance with our repairs policy. You can check appointment dates and find out more about any outstanding repairs using our online service. Or you can contact us by phone or email.

Sign up or sign in to manage your home online.

If you remain unhappy with the condition of your home and/or our service you can make a complaint through our formal complaints procedure. Please be assured that our internal complaints team will investigate your complaint independently. The complaints procedure is free of charge to you and we will work with you to put things right if we’ve got it wrong.

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How are you improving the repairs service?
We have invested an extra £5m and 20 additional colleagues have been recruited to the service so we can carry out more repairs each day. Following customer feedback we have introduced a ‘Repairs Booster Team’ who complete multiple repairs during a single visit. We have also launched a new repairs satisfaction survey to gather your feedback. We have now almost cleared the backlog of repairs that we had. Thank you for your patience while we focused on getting these done. Click here for repairs updates and waiting times.
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How do I book a repair?
The quickest and easiest way to report a repair is using our online service. Sign up or sign in to manage your home online. You can also email us on enquiries@whgrp.co.uk (we usually respond within five working days), or you can call us on 0300 555 6666 (Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm). Emergency repairs can be reported 24 hours a day on the same phone number. Before booking a repair, please double-check it isn’t your responsibility to fix in our repairs and home maintenance guide by clicking here.  
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What repairs are whg responsible for?
We are responsible for repairing your home’s structure and fixtures to keep the property in good condition. Click here to view a full list of responsibilities in our repairs and home maintenance guide.
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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. Click here to view a full list of responsibilities in our repairs and home maintenance guide.
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What happens after I book a repair?

If you have booked your repair using your online account, you don’t need to do anything else. We will confirm your appointment by phone, text message or letter, and then we will see you on the day. Remember we don’t give appointment times for repairs in communal areas.

Although we will do our best to keep to your appointment, sometimes we may need to change it. For example, if we do not have the part needed for the repair.

A responsible adult must be in your home while the work is taking place.

If you need to make special arrangements (like booking a day off work), we recommend asking a family member or friend to help out.

If your repair worsens, get in touch as we may need to re-prioritise it.
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When will my repair be completed?
Click here to see the latest waiting times. If you report an emergency repair, we will attend the same day to make it safe and aim to complete the full repair within 24 hours.
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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. A responsible adult must be there to let us in and while work is being carried out.

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.

If we need to replace something in your home, where possible we will replace it with an identical or matching item.

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How do I cancel a repair appointment?
You can cancel a repair online up to 24 hours before the appointment. Sign in your online account, 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.
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What is a disrepair claim?
As your landlord, we are responsible for keeping your home in a good state of repair. Disrepair claims arise if we have failed to complete reported repairs that we are responsible to complete within a reasonable period of time.
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Can I redecorate or make alterations to my home?
You can redecorate your home and carry out certain improvement work on it, but you need to check with us first before you make any changes. Examples of what we will and won’t give permission for can be found in our repairs policy. Find answers to more questions like this in our repairs guide.
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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.
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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).  
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Why is it taking so long to complete repairs?
We currently have a backlog of repairs caused by a national shortage of some building materials. In addition, labour shortages are making it difficult to recruit the skilled tradespeople we need to carry out repairs.
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How are you improving the repairs service?
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:
  • We are working smarter with our stores provider to ensure we have the right materials in stock, so we can complete more work.
  • We’ve increased resource within our repairs service so we can carry out more appointments each day.
  • Our teams are working longer so we can see as many people as possible.
  • We will do everything we can to give as much notice as possible if an appointment needs to be rescheduled.
  • Following customer feedback we’ve recently introduced a new ‘Repairs Booster Team’ to help us tackle repairs quicker and more efficiently; We aim to complete more repairs using multiskilled trades during a single visit, meaning less inconvenience for you.
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Who maintains fences and gates?

We are responsible for maintaining any fence or gate we have provided. This includes any fence or gate which divides your garden from a public path or right of way. We also maintain fences and gates in communal areas.

Whilst we are responsible for defining the boundary between homes, you are responsible for any fence or gate that you have fitted yourself.

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Who should I tell about pest problems?
You are responsible for dealing with infestations caused by conditions in your home, such as rubbish or uncleanliness. This might include ants, fleas or bedbugs. Visit British Pest Control Association for guidance and details of local pest control specialists. We are responsible for infestations that are a result of external conditions. This might include squirrels in your loft, wasps or bees. Contact us to arrange a visit to your home. If we discover a pest infestation that you are not responsible for, we will arrange pest controllers and tackle the issues that have caused the infestation. If we determine that the pests are due to rubbish or uncleanliness in your home, we will ask you to arrange your own pest control. If we need to arrange pest control right away, this will be charged to you.
Shape what we do
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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.
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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.
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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.
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How can I get involved in more whg community activities?
You can see our calendar of events, which provide all kinds of opportunities, here. Or, if you have any ideas for an activity in your community, please email us at customervoice@whgrp.co.uk
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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.
Shared ownership
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How are shared ownership rents calculated?
Shared owners will own part of their home and rent part of it from whg. If you are a shared owner your monthly rent and service charge amount and the maximum it can increase is detailed in your lease agreement. We will review this amount each year and it may increase.
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What is shared ownership?
Shared ownership is a great way to get on the property ladder when you can’t afford, or can’t borrow enough, to buy outright. You buy a share of your home and then pay rent on the remaining share. Because you only need a mortgage for the share you are purchasing, you won’t need such a big deposit. Over time you can purchase more shares in your property until you own it all.
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How much does it cost to buy a shared ownership property?
Just like buying outright, there are extra costs when buying a home. Your purchase costs will include:
  • A reservation fee of up to £300
  • A home valuation
  • Your deposit
  • Any mortgage fees
  • Your solicitor’s fees
  • Stamp duty(where applicable)
When you register interest in a home, we will give you a ‘summary of costs’ document. This sets out the purchase costs, the monthly payments, and any future costs if you choose to buy more shares or sell the home.
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Am I eligible for shared ownership?
You can buy a home through shared ownership if:
  • Your household income is £80,000 a year or less
  • You cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs
You don’t need to be a first time buyer, but you can’t own another home at the same time. If you already own a property you must have a sale agreed on it.
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Are shared ownership homes only available to first- time buyers?
You don’t need to be a first-time buyer, but you can’t own another home at the same time. You must also meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Your household income is £80,000 a year or less
  • You cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs
You can check if you’re eligible, here www.gov.uk
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Does shared ownership mean I’ll never fully own my house and will have to pay rent forever?
You can buy more shares in your home through a process known as staircasing. You can usually buy additional shares up to 100% of the value of your home. However, some of our homes in rural areas or specifically for older people are restricted so you can only buy up to 75% or 80% of the property. This is to help keep sufficient affordable housing in the area.
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Is shared ownership more expensive than renting because I have to pay rent and a mortgage?
Shared ownership often works out cheaper than renting privately because you pay a below-market-value rent to a housing association. Plus, you have the added benefit of having a stake in your own home.
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Am I allowed to decorate my home?
Yes, as you are the homeowner you are free to decorate your home to suit your personal style. However, you will need permission from us for any structural changes, such as fitting a new kitchen or bathroom.
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Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs of my shared ownership property?
As the leaseholder, you are responsible for keeping the home in good condition. You are responsible for the cost of repairs and maintenance of the home. For new-build homes, the building warranty will cover the cost of structural repairs in the first 10 or 12 years. If you buy a home through a shared ownership resale, any remaining period on the building warranty will transfer to you.
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Can I purchase a 100% share straight away?
No. The initial share you buy will be between 25% and 75%. Over time you can increase your share of your home. You can usually buy additional shares up to 100% of the value of your home. However, some of our homes in rural areas or specifically for older people are restricted so you can only buy up to 75% or 80% of the property. This is to help keep sufficient affordable housing in the area.
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What happens if I want to sell?
You can sell your shared ownership home at any time. If you have less than a 100% share, you must inform us as we have the first option to buy back your home. If we can’t find a buyer for your home within a set period of time, you are able to sell your share on the open market through an estate agent. If you have a 100% share, you’re free to sell the home yourself on the open market.
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Does shared ownership mean sharing with another person?
No, shared ownership means you own part of your home and pay us rent on the remaining shares. It isn’t a house share scheme, so only you will live there.
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What percentage of the property can I buy?
The initial share you buy will be between 25% and 75% of the full purchase price. The amount will be dependent on your circumstances, meaning it is not only affordable for you now, but in the future too.
Tenancy
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How do I end my tenancy?
If you want to end your tenancy with us, sign in to manage your home online and visit ‘Thinking of ending your tenancy?’ under My tenancy to complete a notice to quit form. Or you can call us on 0300 555 6666. Please check your tenancy agreement for details of the amount of notice you need to provide.
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What is overcrowding?

Overcrowding is when a household has fewer bedrooms than it needs to avoid sharing, based on the age, sex and relationship of the household members.

To prevent overcrowding we use a calculation to work out how many bedrooms a household requires. You can find this calculation in our Allocations policy.

If you believe you are living in an overcrowded home you may have housing options available to you. You can check your eligibility for our housing register and find out your options online by clicking here.

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What is under-occupation? 

Under-occupation is where a household is living in a home that has more bedrooms than it needs. Therefore the home is not occupied to its full capacity – or under-occupied.

We aim to make the best use of our homes. Where possible we try to avoid under-occupation so that we can provide customers with the most suitable homes for their needs. To do this we use a calculation to work out how many bedrooms a household requires. You can find this calculation in our Allocations policy.

Your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit could be reduced if you a living in an under-occupied home. Click here to read Citizens’ Advice guidance about the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.

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What is tenancy fraud and how do you deal with it?
Housing fraud – or tenancy fraud – is a criminal offence and a breach of your tenancy agreement. There are many types of tenancy fraud. Some examples are:
  • Deliberately providing false information or withholding information as part of a housing application
  • Subletting a home to someone else without our permission
  • Giving false information as part of a Right To Buy application
We have a zero tolerance policy towards tenancy fraud. We work proactively prevent tenancy fraud from occurring and our Community Housing Officers are trained to identify the signs of fraud. We work with partner organisations such as local authorities and the police to tackle fraud. If you suspect tenancy fraud is being committed, you can report it to us anonymously by contacting us. We will investigate any reports of suspected tenancy fraud received from neighbours and/or partner agencies.
Your rent in 2024: The 53 week year
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What can I do if I am not happy about Universal Credit not covering the 53rd week?
Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do as you will still be responsible and liable as the tenant to pay the extra week of rent Universal Credit won’t cover.
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What if I pay by monthly standing order?
If you pay by standing order, you need to make an adjustment to your monthly payments yourself. To calculate how much rent you should be paying each month, multiply your weekly rent amount by 53 and then divide it by 12.
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What do I need to do if I pay by Direct Debit?
If you pay by Direct Debit you don’t need to do anything. We will calculate this for you and automatically adjust your payments accordingly.
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What if I have existing arrears?
If you have an agreement to pay existing arrears, you need to add the amount you are reducing your arrears by to your newly calculated amount that covers your rent.
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What do I need to do if I am on Universal Credit?
Unfortunately, the DWP have confirmed that they won’t pay for the 53rd week. This means you will need to pay for the additional week yourself by increasing your payments using the calculation: Weekly rent amount x 53 weeks divided by 12 = monthly rent payment
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Who does it affect?
If you receive Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions will NOT cover the extra week of rent – you will need to pay it. If you are on Housing Benefits (HB, legacy benefits) you will not be impacted by this.  HB will cover this as they pay every week that it is charged.
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What does it mean for me?
If you pay your rent weekly, fortnightly or four weekly there will be an extra week of rent to pay. If you pay monthly, you need to ensure this extra week is covered in your monthly rent payment.
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Why does this happen?
Although you normally pay rent for 52 weeks a year, there are actually slightly more than 52 weeks in a year. This means that every five or six years all those extra days accumulate to add an extra week to the year.