Preparing for your tenancy

If you have never lived in a Council property before, you may have some questions about what will happen if you are selected for an offer of housing and what will be required of you once you move in. It is useful to plan ahead and give some thought to your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, your budget for expenses such as rent, Council Tax, gas and/or electric bills, furnishings, living costs, etc. and to have an understanding of what the Council must do as a Landlord to assist you with your tenancy.

Below are some frequently asked questions which may help you prepare and plan for taking on a Council tenancy.

If you are selected for an offer of housing you will be contacted by the Area Housing Team responsible for the vacant property. At that time your Housing Application details will be checked to ensure your circumstances have not changed. You will be asked some questions about how you propose to pay your rent and furnish the property and, should everything be in order, you will be formally made the offer.

When keys are available you will be given the opportunity to view the property with a Housing Officer, following which you will have 48 hours in which to decide if you wish to accept it. When the repair and maintenance checks are complete you will be asked to come into the relevant area office and sign your Tenancy Agreement. This sets out the rules and responsibilities of a tenancy in order that you understand what is required of you as a tenant and what is required of Aberdeen City Council as a Landlord. You will be required to pay up to 2 weeks rent at the lease signing. If you are in receipt of benefits, or entitled to help with your housing costs you will be required to complete the necessary forms and provide evidence of your income.

If you decide to refuse the property you will be asked to explain clearly the reasons why you have done so in order that any future offers can be amended to take this into account. Please be aware that applicants are made one offer of suitable housing only and, if refused, your application will be deferred for one year. It is important, therefore, that you keep your application as up to date as possible.

When you accept a Council tenancy you are required to sign a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement. This document sets out the rights and responsibilities which we have as a Landlord and you have as a tenant. It might be useful for you to have a look through the document provided here:

 

  • Provide you with a copy of your Tenancy Agreement which sets out all the terms and conditions of your tenancy in full, including the use of the house and common parts, respect for others, permissions and proposed changes or alterations, repairs and maintenance and any other general provisions.
  • Carry out a full maintenance inspection to the property prior to you moving in to ensure that it is wind and watertight and meets the appropriate letting standard for habitation. If repairs need to be done to bring the house up to that standard they will be done before your tenancy begins. Any works in addition to this will be done after you have moved in.
  • Repair and maintain the structure of the property you live in. This includes all pipes, wiring, fixtures and fittings for heating, drainage, power and lighting, all the external parts and any internal fixtures and fittings originally provided by us. We maintain all common areas and facilities in blocks of flats or maisonettes where the Council is the majority owner. We also maintain communal gardens and open areas around our properties. We are not obliged to carry out repairs which are due to willful damage or negligence by yourself or others in your property. In such circumstances you will be required to rectify any damage or will be recharged for the work by Aberdeen City Council.
  • Consider requests from you to make changes to your tenancy, including adding another person to your tenancy, taking in a lodger, sub letting or exchanging your property; carrying out internal alterations or improvements to your property; erecting or installing any external structures within the land pertaining to your property. We will advise you of our decision in writing within the timescales indicated in your Tenancy Agreement and will explain our reasons in full if permission refused.
  • Support you if you need help with any aspect of sustaining your tenancy using our Housing Support and Resettlement Service
  • Provide contact details of your designated Housing Officer so that you know who to contact in the event of any queries or difficulties relating to your tenancy.
  • Move into the property, furnish, decorate and live in it as your only or principal home. You might want to consider budgeting for this or starting to gather items in advance as this can be a major task if unprepared. There are a number of charitable organisations which can help with this.
  • Pay rent weekly/monthly in advance. It is important that your rent is kept up to date or your tenancy can be at risk. We can set up DD and SO arrangements for convenience or you can pay your rent using the Online Payment Facility, Telephone Automated Line, at any outlet with the Paypoint logo or in person at Woodside, Kincorth or Mastrick Access Points. When you sign for the property you will be required to pay up to 2 weeks rent in advance and make a formal payment arrangement to confirm how you will pay thereafter.
  • If you think you may be entitled to claim any benefits to help towards your rental charge, you must ensure any application is completed and any supporting documentation provided, prior to your tenancy starting.
  • Register for Council Tax and make arrangements to set up a gas and/or electricity account with your chosen supplier.
  • Seek permission if you wish to make any changes to the terms of your Tenancy Agreement or with who is living with you, carry out out alternations to the fixtures and fittings or structure of the property, or erect any external structures within the land pertaining to your tenancy
  • Ensure you or those living with you take care to prevent damage to the property. Any wilful damage or neglect will be recharged to you, even if it was not you personally who caused it.
  • Ensure you or those living with you do not behave in an anti-social manner or in any way which might cause nuisance or annoyance to neighbours. Everyone is entitled to enjoy their home but it is important to respect those who live around you and ensure that they are not affected by your lifestyle.
  • Keep your property clean and in good decorative order. Along with your neighbours, keep any common parts of the block clean such as shared landings or stairs. All residents of a shared block must play a part in ensuring that they keep their environment clean and tidy.
  • Keep your garden area tidy and well maintained. We operate a Garden Maintenance Scheme to assist elderly, disabled and tenants who are medically unable to maintain their gardens.
  • Ensure that you dispose of refuse correctly and on the appropriate collection days to ensure that your property and any communal areas are kept in a sanitary and hygienic condition. Information on recycling and waste disposal days can be found on our website at Waste and Recycling

The right to buy ended for all tenants of Social Housing in Scotland on 1 August 2016 under the Housing Scotland Act 2014.


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