At Your Service

Need an answer to a tenancy or other issue that affects where you live? See our information leaflets below

Feedback and Complaints

Feedback & Complaints

We want to provide the best possible service and always want to do better. We ask customers for feedback, so we can learn and improve.

 

Types of feedback

  • General feedback or suggestions about how we could do things differently
  • Positive comments if we have done something well
  • A complaint about our service

 

How to give feedback

  • Respond to our satisfaction surveys – postal, face-to-face or over the phone Join our resident-led scrutiny groups
  • Give online feedback
  • Come to local community or information events e.g. Annual Tenants Meeting
  • Join in activities during National Customer Service Week  
  • Just speak to any member of staff who will either deal with it straight away or refer the matter to the correct person.

If English is not your first language we will arrange for an interpreter if you wish.

 

Our promises to customers

  • We record your feedback, and where appropriate log as a complaint. Full details of the complaints process can be obtained from our offices or on the website
  • We keep customers updated on progress with any feedback they give 
  • We publish annual details of your feedback and any changes we make as a result
  • We improve our service by learning from feedback

Complaints

We hope that most problems can be cleared up quickly by talking to us. We will listen, find out what you would like to happen and agree with you what to do next. However, we understand that not all problems can be resolved and that you may wish to make a complaint. If the complaint is about a member of staff, it may be dealt with as part of our disciplinary procedure and subject to confidentiality.

 

Our complaints procedure

Stage 1: when you first contact us about the complaint We will send a written acknowledgement within 3 working days, giving you the name of the name of the manager dealing with your complaint. The manager will investigate your complaint and issue a response within 10 working days.

Stage 2: if you feel the complaint is unresolved at stage 1 - you have 28 days to contact us. We will send a written acknowledgement within 3 working days with the name of the Director or Head of Service investigating your complaint. The Director or Head of Service will investigate your complaint and respond to you within 20 working days.

Stage 3: if you feel the complaint is unresolved at Stage 2 - you have 28 days to contact us At this stage, your complaint will be considered by an appeal panel. The panel will be made up of three Board or Committee members. A Director will be appointed to deal with the paperwork for your complaint and agree a convenient time and venue for the panel to consider your complaint. You can attend with a relative, friend or representative, or even send a written statement instead of attending. You will receive copies of all relevant paperwork and information about the appeals panel. You will receive the appeal panel’s decision within 5 working days.

If we not hear from you within the timescales listed for stages 1, 2 or 3 your case will be closed.

 

Important update on how your complaint may be dealt with

From April 2013 the Localism Act put into place a new arrangement for dealing with complaints by social housing tenants against their landlords.

Councillors, tenant panels and MPs (all known as designated persons) will be able to play a more active role in resolving complaints at local level. Designated persons are there to help to resolve disputes between tenants and their landlords.

If your complaint is not resolved after Stage 3 of our procedure, the next step is for you, the complainant, to contact an MP, a local councillor or our tenant panel. If the designated person cannot help, they can refer a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

You may still refer their complaint directly to the Housing Ombudsman – without referral from a designated person – but only after waiting 8 weeks after the end our 3 stage complaints procedure.

For more information ring Patricia Carmody 0161 232 5693 or email patricia.carmody@mosscare.org.uk. Or go to do it online to give feedback or make a complaint

 

 

Adaptations and Equipment for your Home

Adaptations & Equipment for your Home

To live independently in your home, you may need to adapt it to make things easier.

Here are some typical items that could be fitted to your home:

Lever taps/Grabs rails/Sensory equipment/Walk-in showers/Stair lifts

 

Obtaining adaptations or equipment

Your local authority social care & health department are responsible responsible for providing equipment or adaptations to your home to assist with physical, mental, visual or sensory impairments.

 

How can we help?

Our Supported Housing Team will complete a referral form on your behalf and send it to your local authority.

 

Assessment Process

If your local authority social care & health department accept your application they will contact you to arrange for an occupational therapist to carry out an assessment. After the assessment they will tell you about their decision.

We will continue to monitor the process until the adaptation is completed. If your application is refused by the local authority, subject to budget, we will consider how we could meet your needs.

To contact your local authority about adaptation or equipment yourself:

• Manchester City Council Health & Social Care Team 0161 225 8250

• Tameside Adult Assessment and Customer Care Team 0161 342 2400

• Trafford Initial Assessment Team 0161 912 5199

• Stockport Social Care 0161 217 6029

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

Dealing with Domestic Abuse

We are committed to dealing with domestic abuse

The Mosscare Housing Group condemns all forms of domestic abuse and constantly seeks to provide high quality advice, support and practical assistance to tenants who are the victims of domestic abuse, within the constraints of existing resources.

We take all reports of domestic abuse seriously and work with the victim and other agencies to find appropriate solutions. Our policy aims to ensure that a fair, consistent and sympathetic service is received by everyone, irrespective of the perceived level of abuse that they are experiencing.

A new definition of domestic violence and abuse came into effect on 31 March 2013.

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour,  violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.”

This can cover, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

• psychological

• physical

• sexual

• financial

• emotional

“Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.  

“Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

We recognise that in the vast majority of cases it is women and children who are abused by men within heterosexual relationships. However, it is also important to acknowledge that abuse also takes place in same sex relationships as well as by children to parents and women to men.

 

In an emergency situation always ring the police on 999.

For advice and counselling ring the National Domestic Helpline 0800 2000 247 or Women’s Domestic Abuse Helpline 0161 636 7525

For emergency accommodation contact 0161 219 6050 (single women without children) or if you have children, ring your local authority.

For comprehensive information about this visit www.endthefear.co.uk

We have a close relationship with several women’s refuges and will refer people as appropriate. In dealing with reports of domestic abuse, we provide a victim centred approach with individuals’ safety being its primary concern. Confidentiality is taken very seriously and we will wherever possible provide a confidential service to people requesting services for domestic abuse. See below for our contact details.

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

 

 

 

Equality and Diversity

Equality & Diversity

The Mosscare Housing Group has a long standing commitment to equality and fairness and a zero tolerance approach on all forms of discrimination, harassment and victimisation.  Everyone who comes into contact with the Group has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

We will challenge unfair treatment and all forms of discrimination related to the nine protected characteristics: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief (includes non belief); sex (man or woman); sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual).

 

Our legal obligations

The Group complies with the following: The Equality Act 2010; The Equality Act Codes of Practice; The Human Rights Act 1998;The Regulatory Framework for Social Housing Providers.

 

Our scope
We ensure equal and fair practice in recruitment, employment and service delivery.  We promote a culture of tolerance and respect at work and in our communities. We advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in the following ways:


As an employer

To be an employer of choice having highly skilled and motivated staff who have the opportunity to learn and develop for the benefit of our customers.

• Adopt a zero tolerance approach and challenge all forms of discrimination.  This includes racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic incidences

• Take positive action to address under representation in employment and improve equality of opportunity for people who share a protected characteristic

• Engage our staff, customers, representatives and partners in developing our Equality and Diversity Strategy

As a service provider

To place customer service at the heart of decision making, ensuring resources are appropriately targeted and reflect the diversity of our customer base.

• Ensure our services, offices, facilities and venues that we use are, as far as is reasonably possible, accessible to all

• Develop service standards in consultation with our resident scrutiny groups

• Monitor and report on our practices to ensure they are fair and accessible to all

In our partnership work

To work in partnership with residents and other stakeholders to create neighbourhoods and places where people choose to live, work and visit.

• Publicise that our offices are 3rd party hate crime reporting centres and work closely with the Police and our partners to deliver a responsive service 

• Work in partnership with local community groups to promote equality

• Involve residents in our decision making processes for new partners and procurements

Monitoring

Our Boards have overall responsibility for monitoring the effectiveness of the Policy.  Our Chief Executive chairs our Equality and Diversity Working Party meetings where we review progress on our Equality Action Plan.  Our Chief Executive and our Board Equality and Diversity Portfolio Holder, reports to the Boards on progress made on our Equality Action Plan.

 

We invite comments, compliments and complaints

If you feel we are not living up to our Equal Opportunities Policy Statement, please let us know.

If you are not satisfied, contact The Equality and Human Rights Commission, Arndale House, The Arndale Centre, Manchester, M4 3AQ. Tel: 0161 829 8100. Email info@equalityhumanrights.com

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

Get Involved and Have Your Say

Get involved & have your say!

We want to improve our services for residents and the wider community. You can help us do this by getting more involved in what we do about such things as:

-Repairs and maintenance of your home 
-Anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood
-Paying rent
-Customer service standards

How can I get involved?

You don’t always have to come to a meeting, it could be at a community event or even from your own home.

-Surveys – online, by phone, by text or post
-Meet our staff days &  get to know what we do
-Join a local community group or set up a new one!
-Write for our newsletter/website
-Be a mystery shopper
-Check our performance by joining a scrutiny group
-Join estate walkabouts
-You can suggest other ways

What’s in it for you?

• Chance to influence and make decisions with us

• Improve and sustain your community

• Learn new skills and improve those that you already have

• Personal and career development if you are looking for work or training

• Try new activities, meet new people…..and have some fun!

How can we support you?

• We will provide training and help you develop new skills

• We provide reasonable travel and care costs if you have dependents

• Fundraising and grants advice for your community

• We support accessibility needs  e.g. language or mobility


Find out more about being involved

The more involved you are, the more opportunities you have to shape and change our services. You can contact your Tenant Panel to find out how they started as mystery shoppers and see what a difference they have made by emailing tenant.panel@mosscare.org.uk or tenant.panel@mossbank.org.uk  or ring Teyei Chollom on 0161 232 5400 or text 07725 66381 or email involvement@mosscare.org.uk or Involvement@mossbank.org.uk 

Or go to Do it Online to tell us how you would like to get involved.

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk www.mosscare.org.uk

 

Getting a Home with us

Getting a Home with us

We provide quality housing in over 4,500 social rented properties in Manchester, Stockport and surrounding areas. Most properties are available only through an online ‘bidding’ scheme which will feature properties owned by us, other partner housing associations and the local authority.

You need to decide which area(s) you would like to apply to live in and then register with the relevant online bidding scheme(s). 

• For homes in Manchester,  contact www.manchestermove.co.uk

• For homes in Stockport, contact www.homechoice.stockporthomes.org/

• For homes in Trafford, contact www.traffordhomesearch.co.uk

• For homes at Carrbrook in Tameside, we keep our own list, ring 01457 831630 for more details.

To register with a scheme, you need to complete an online form, answering all the questions and providing all the evidence required. Once you have registered, you can log in to their website and see which homes you are eligible for.

Each scheme works differently and although the word ‘bidding’ may be used, no money is involved. ‘Bidding’ refers to the properties you ‘show an interest in’. If your ‘bid’ is successful and the property is owned by us, we will contact you. You can view the property before you provisionally accept our offer. You can still bid for other properties until you have signed a tenancy agreement. However, you need to accept an offer within 48 hours of it being made to you. If you choose not to accept the offer, you can carry on bidding for other properties.

Affordable rent properties

Affordable rent properties are usually new build or renovated properties rented at 80% of the market rent and initially targeted at working households. They are highly sought after so check on our website for properties that you would like to bid for and register in good time with the appropriate choice based lettings scheme so you don’t miss out.

Existing tenants

Please note that if you are an existing Mossbank Homes tenant who wants to move you can apply to Mossbank for a transfer. If you are a Mosscare Housing tenant, you need to apply through the relevant choice based lettings scheme that applies to the area you want to move to.

Homeless applicants

If you are currently registered as homeless and live in Manchester City Council Single or Family Homeless accommodation, you need to check with your caseworker that you are registered for re-housing.

Otherwise if you are homeless in

• Manchester ring 0161 234 4692 (0161 234 5001 out of hours)

• Stockport ring 0161 474 4237

• Trafford 0161 912 2230

• Tameside 0161 331 2700

Which applications will not be considered?

If you have contravened a previous tenancy agreement, for example, by having rent arrears or anti-social behaviour, your application will be refused. Applications that contain misleading or inaccurate information will not be considered.

What about confidentiality?

The people who will have access to your personal data will be our lettings scheme partners and our staff who are directly dealing with your application. You have the right to see what information is held about you on file.

Will my application be treated fairly?

We are committed to equal opportunities and welcomes housing applications from people of all backgrounds, irrespective of ethnic origin, race, nationality, religion, disability, political or sexual orientation, age, gender, marital status, HIV or AIDS status, class, appearance, responsibility for dependents or any other matter which causes a person to be treated with injustice. We monitor the ethnic origin of housing applicants and review it annually against the new tenancies we grant.

To contact us Telephone:  0161 226 4211 Email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

Help with Paying your Rent

Help with paying your rent

Your rent pays for your home – we do not want you to lose it. If you have problems paying your rent, ring us on 0161 226 4211 immediately. We have a team of experienced staff who can help with budgeting and benefits advice. We can also refer you to agencies that provide training and return to work opportunities.

Benefits

You may be entitled to housing or other state benefits if you are: Retired, unemployed, long term sick, disabled, on a low income.

Please contact your local authority to find out if you qualify for benefits:

• Manchester City Council:  0161 219 6100

• Stockport:    0161 217 6015

• Trafford:   0161 912 2220

• Tameside:   0161 342 3708

Major changes to the benefits system are taking place. Benefits will soon be replaced by one single benefit called Universal Credit. The main change is that it will be paid monthly to you and has to be paid into an account. Other changes involve claiming benefits online and a cap on how much benefit can be claimed.

It is your responsibility to claim for any benefits you are entitled to and to renew any claims or respond to letters you receive.

If you need advice you can contact:

• Department of Work and Pensions:  0800 055 6688

• Citizens Advice:    08444 111 444

Problems paying your rent

Ring the Rent Team on 0161 226 4211 if you have problems paying your rent. We can help you in the following ways:

• Completing a benefit calculation to check how much benefit you should get

• Helping you complete benefit forms and making appeals against benefit decisions

• Making arrangement for you to reduce your arrears based on what you can afford

What if you owe rent?

If you don’t pay your rent you may lose your home and there are other serious consequences. If you fail to pay off arrears, you will receive a Notice Seeking Possession. This is the first step towards losing your home. Court action will be taken if the amount of arrears is not cleared or substantially reduced by the time the Notice Seeking Possession expires (28 days after it has been served). This means that we will ask the court for a Possession Order to take back your home.

If payments are received through an agreement or the arrears are reduced, the court will be asked to grant a Suspended Possession Order. This will mean that you will incur court costs that will be added to your debt. If the terms of the Possession Order are broken, we will apply to the Court for a Warrant of Eviction.

Further consequences are:

• A County Court Judgement ordering you to clear the debt may make it difficult for you to obtain credit or hire purchase

• We will pursue the debt after eviction and may use a debt collection agency

• We will not provide a satisfactory reference to other landlords or mortgage lenders

• We will not accept you on the re-housing list in future.

Don’t ignore rent arrears ring the Rent Team on 0161 226 4211 for advice

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

Home Ownership

Home Ownership

Would you like to buy or part-buy your home but never thought it was possible?

We have a range of home ownership schemes that you could take advantage of, whether or not you are currently a tenant with us.

Help to Buy – Shared Ownership

Part-buy/part-rent schemes (also known as Help to Buy – Shared Ownership) mean you can get on the property ladder by choosing what you can afford to buy now and buy more later.

For instance, you might choose to buy 50% of the property and rent the remaining 50%. You can always buy a bigger share or buy the property outright at a later stage.

Our most recent development at The Key in Openshaw, offers 3 and 4 bed properties built to an exceptionally high quality specification and suitable for an urban lifestyle– just right for getting your first foot on the property ladder.

Alternatively, if you are over 55, (60 in some cases) you may be interested in part-buying/part-renting a home in a supported environment,  where there are other older people, communal facilities and a scheme manager on hand to help in an emergency. For these schemes, the maximum you can buy is 75% and the remaining share is rented on a leasehold basis. This way you don’t have the worry of maintaining your property – we manage the external structure and surrounding gardens.

Preserved Right to Buy Scheme

Under this scheme, if you are a tenant with us, you could buy your house with a discount of up to £75,000, subject to certain conditions.

You might be eligible for this scheme if your property was transferred by the local authority to us and you have held a secure tenancy with us for a certain length of time (this varies depending on when the tenancy started). There are other criteria concerning financial status, rent arrears and residency which also have to be met.

Right to Acquire Scheme

Under this scheme, if you are a secure or assured tenant, you could buy your house with a discount of up to £10,000, subject to certain conditions.

You would be eligible for this scheme if your property was built or purchased by us using public funds after 1997. There are other criteria concerning financial status, rent arrears and residency which also have to be met.

If you are interested in any of the above schemes, or you would just like to find out more, please contact the Sales Team on: 0161 232 5628.

To contact us Telephone:  0161 226 4211 Email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

 

How To Pay Your Rent

How to Pay Your Rent

How much do I pay?

Your tenancy agreement tells you the amount you need to pay. Your rent increases every year if you are an assured tenant, or every two years if you have a fair rent tenancy. This is to pay for the increases in our costs for providing you with repairs and other services. Check your tenancy agreement to see which tenancy you have. We will give you at least 4 weeks’ notice in writing before your rent increases.

When do I pay?

All our tenancies start on Monday and your rent is due from the date you move in. You must pay that rent to us on that day and on every week after that. Or you can pay four weeks’ rent on the first Monday and thereafter, every four weeks. Check your tenancy agreement to see on which date your tenancy began.

Arrears

You must NOT pay your rent in arrears. The best way to avoid arrears is to set up a direct debit as soon as you move in. Ring us 0161 226 4211 to set this up.

How do I pay?

To pay your rent it is useful to have your 8 digit tenancy ID number which you will find on the top right corner of your last rent statement or on your rent card. If you do not have this, ring us on 0161 226 4211.

• Direct Debit - Ring us 0161 226 4211 we will set this up for you

• Telephone - Ring us 0161 226 4211 with your bank debit card handy and we will process your rent payment. Or you can call All Pay on 0844 357 8321 (automated) or 0844 5729 with your bank debit card and tenancy ID number to hand

• Smartphone App - From your Smartphone you can download the All Pay app

• Online - If you have not already registered to ‘Do it online’ ring us on 0161 226 4211 or go to ‘Do it online’. Or visit www.allpay.net with your bank debit card and tenancy ID number to hand

• In person - You can pay in person using your rent card at any post office, shop or garage where you see the Pay Point logo  When you have paid you will get a receipt. Make sure you keep the receipt as proof of payment

• Cheque - You can bring in a cheque or post one to our head office address. Make sure you write your name and address on the back of the cheque

• Standing Order - Ring us 0161 226 4211 as you will need our bank details to set this up. You will need your tenancy ID number

Your rent account

We will send you a rent statement 4 times a year. This will show all the payments you have made and whether you owe any rent.  Please note if you receive housing benefit this is normally paid 4 weekly in arrears so your statement will show an arrears balance.

You can also check your rent at 'Do it online’ ring us on 0161 226 4211.

What if you owe rent?

If you don’t pay your rent you may lose your home and there are other serious consequences. If you fail to pay off arrears, you will receive a Notice Seeking Possession. This is the first step towards losing your home. Court action will be taken if the amount of arrears is not cleared or substantially reduced by the time the Notice Seeking Possession expires (28 days after it has been served). This means that we will ask the court for a Possession Order to take back your home.

If payments are received through an agreement or the arrears are reduced, the court will be asked to grant a Suspended Possession Order. This will mean that you will incur court costs that will be added to your debt. If the terms of the Possession Order are broken, we will apply to the Court for a Warrant of Eviction.

Further consequences are:

• A County Court Judgement ordering you to clear the debt may make it difficult for you to obtain credit or hire purchase

• We will pursue the debt after eviction and may use a debt collection agency.

• We will not provide a satisfactory reference to other landlords or mortgage lenders.

• We will not accept you on the re-housing list in future.

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

 

How Is My Rent Set?

How is my rent set?

The rent for your home is set depending on what type of tenancy or lease you have and when it started. The sections below explain how the rent is set for each of these. Your rent is set according to the property and the tenancy type and cannot be changed depending on your personal circumstances.Rents are set in accordance with the Housing Act 1988.

Retail prices index (RPI)

Rent increases are linked to the increase in the retail prices index (RPI), which is the amount by which the average prices of everyday goods increases. For most residents we have to use the retail prices index from the previous September.

Target rent

If you have an assured tenancy or a secure tenancy we set a target rent for your home. The target rent is calculated using a formula set by the Government. This formula takes into account the value of your home as well as local wages. The target rent increases by the retail prices index plus 0.5% each year.

If your rent is below the target rent, it increases slightly faster than inflation each year until it reaches the target rent. If your rent is above the target rent it will increase by less than inflation until the target rent catches up.

Assured tenants

You are likely to be an assured tenant if you first rented a property from us after 15 January 1989. Check your tenancy agreement to confirm if you have an assured tenancy. The rents for assured tenants normally increase at the beginning of April each year.

When we increase actual rents for our assured tenants we follow Government guidelines, which restrict the increase each year depending on whether your current rent is above or below the target rent for your property.

If your current rent is below the target rent, your rent will increase each year by the retail prices index plus 0.5% plus £2 per week until it reaches the target rent. If your rent is higher than the target rent for your property then your rent will increase by the retail prices index plus 0.5% minus £2.Full guidance about this is available from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Secure tenants

You are likely to be a secure tenant if you rented a property from us before 15 January 1989. You should check your tenancy agreement to confirm if you have a secure tenancy.

Every two years a rent officer from the Valuation Office Agency sets what is known as a ‘fair rent’ for your home. The rent you pay can never be above the fair rent.

Where the rent officer sets a fair rent below the target rent for your property, the lower fair rent will be applied. Where the rent officer sets a fair rent which is higher than target rent, then we will apply the lower rent.

The rent is increased in the same way as for assured tenants as described above – except that your rent can never go above the fair rent. The rent increase will be subject to the same guideline limit of retail price index plus 0.5% plus £2.

If you are not satisfied with your new rent, you have the right to appeal to the Rent Assessment Committee or Residential Property Tribunal. Telephone:  0845 100 2614 or 0161 237 9491 Fax: 0161 237 3656 Email: rpnorthern@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk or write to Residential Propert,  First Floor, 5 New York Street,  Manchester M1 4JB www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/residential-property

Shared owners who pay rent

If you are a leaseholder and own a share of your home you are likely to be a shared owner and will pay rent as long as Mosscare owns a share of the property. The details are set out in your shared ownership lease agreement. Rents are normally increased each April or October based on the 12 month change in the retail prices index (RPI). Your lease agreement will say how and when your rent is increased.

Other residents who pay rent

For other social housing residents who pay rent we will normally apply a rent increase of RPI plus 0.5% unless there are individually negotiated terms, such as with some key worker and shared ownership lease agreements.

To contact us Telephone:  0161 226 4211 or  email: mailto:information@mossbank.org.uk or mailto:information@mosscare.org.uk

 

Moving Out of Your Home

Moving out of your home

Giving notice of your moving out date

You need to give us four weeks’ notice in writing or call into one of our offices and complete a form with your Neighbourhood Officer.

The notice period will begin on the first Monday after your notice that you are moving out is received. If in exceptional circumstances you cannot give 4 weeks’ notice (for example, you are fleeing domestic violence) you will still need to contact us to tell us you are leaving or have left the property.

During the notice period

You need to do the following:

• Contact the supplier(s) of your  gas and electricity to arrange for meter readings (if appropriate) and get a final bill

• Contact your local council tax department to tell them you are moving

• Arrange for your mail to be re-directed to your new address because after you have moved out we will not be able to pass on any mail to you. You need to give the Royal Mail at least 7 days’ notice to use their mail re-direction service and they charge for the service. Ring the Royal Mail on 0845 7740740

• Arrange for the removal of your belongings in good time before you hand the keys back to us. We cannot store any items after your moving out date

• Make sure you leave your property clean and clear of rubbish or furniture.

Returning your keys

Return your keys by 12 noon to us on the day you have told us you will move out. If you do not do this you will be charged extra rent. Alternatively, the locks may be changed and you will be charged for this.

If there is a burglar alarm in the property, please supply us with the alarm code when you return the keys.

If you have a furnished tenancy with Mosscare Housing, you must leave our furniture in the property when you leave.

Joint tenancies

If you have a joint tenancy and you give us notice to quit, this brings the tenancy to an end after the 4 week notice period and all occupants have to have moved out by the moving out date. If one of the joint tenants wants to stay in the property, they will need to contact their Neighbourhood Officer.

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

 

Pest Control

Pest Control Problems

If you have a problem with pest control you will need to organise to have your home treated to eradicate the problem.

If you are a Mosscare Housing tenant and have problems with rats, mice, cockroaches, beetles, fleas, squirrels and ants (inside properties) you can book a free treatment by ringing 0161 234 5000. The treatment will be paid for by Mosscare unless the problem is caused by misuse of the property. Treatments can usually be booked in within 10 days.

For any other pest problems, for example, wasps, contact your local council for help.

• Manchester City Council 0161 234 5000 or visit www.manchester.gov.uk/

• Trafford Council 0161 912 2000 http://www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/residents.aspx

• Tameside Council 0161 342 8355 or visit www.tameside.gov.uk/

If you are a Mossbank Homes tenant for problems with pigeons and/or squirrels in your roofspace you can book a free treatment, ring 0800 0279598. Mossbank will pay for the treatment unless the problem is caused by the misuse of the property.

For all other pest problems, such as rats, mice, cockroaches or bedbugs ring Stockport Council 0161 217 6017 or 0845 644 4305 visit http://www.stockport.gov.uk/who will provided this treatment free of charge.

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk 

 

Say NO to Hate Crime

Say NO to Hate Crime

In accordance with the Equality Act 2010 and our Equality & Diversity Policy, we offer protection for any person with a protected characteristic such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion & belief (including non-observance, sex and sexual orientation.) See our film Say NO to hate crime.

 

ALTERNATIVE SUB-CULTURE HATE CRIME

It is an option for any individual police service to add additional categories under 'Alternative sub-culture hate crime'. From April 2013 GMP records Goths and Emos as an 'Alternative sub-culture related hate crime' following on from work carried out in partnership with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

Hate crime or harassment is any crime committed against a person or property that the victim (or any other person) believes is motivated by the offender's hatred towards that person because of any of the abovementioned protected characteristics.

Mosscare is a 3rd party reporting centre and as such incidents can be reported to our staff in confidence and they are trained to deal with such reports. This can be helpful where residents do not feel comfortable going to a police station. You can remain anonymous.

You should report any incidents of verbal abuse, physical abuse, threats of violence, hate mail, social media content or nuisance behaviour if it is perceived to be motivated by hate.

What will we do?

We will act with your permission to do one or more of the following 

  1. Interview the person you say is harassing you
  2. Issue a warning for breach of tenancy if they are one of our tenants
  3. Work with other agencies to resolve the issue
  4. Pass the information to the police
  5. Start legal proceedings
  6. Arrange for removal of offensive graffiti within 24 hours of reporting

We will keep you informed at all stages of the process. We maybe able to help you security lighting and CCTV, fireproof letterboxes or alarms and lifelines.

Report hate crime here or ring us 0161 226 4211

 

Sheltered Housing

A guide to sheltered housing

Are you a single person or a couple, aged 55 or over, looking for a new home?

Supported Housing offers you all the comfort of independent living, with the added peace of mind of on-site support.  Sheltered housing is not like a care home. Residents live independently in a development schemes with self-contained flats. Schemes have communal spaces for residents to meet and socialise.

There are other benefits of living in a sheltered housing scheme:

• All schemes have managers who are available during office hours

• 24 hour on call emergency service

• Secure door entry system • Communal lounges and gardens some with free computer facilities

• Many schemes are close to local shops, facilities and public transport

• Regular social events

• Guest room for overnight visitors are available for a small fee Affordable rent and charges

• Lifts (on schemes for people over 60 only)

• Allocated parking areas for residents

Scheme Manager Support

Scheme managers help residents keep safe and secure. With their help, residents manage their tenancy and develop or maintain an independent lifestyle which includes:

• Planning and reviewing any support that might be needed

• Welfare advice

• Monitoring the condition of flats

• Reporting repairs and arranging access

• Undertaking security and health & safety checks

• Monitoring the condition of flats

• Involving residents in decisions about their tenancy

What do you pay for?

You are pay for:

• Your rent and a service charge

• Electricity and water bills

• Council tax (unless you are exempt)

• TV licence (if you are under 75 years of age- but sheltered schemes usually benefit from a reduced fee)

To apply for a sheltered property

All applications must be completed online at contact www.manchestermove.co.uk or ring our Supported Housing Team on 0161 226 4211 for more information.

 

 

Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour

Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)

It covers any behaviour, by an individual or group, which makes another person or group feel harassed or threatened. It includes a variety of behaviours that can blight the quality of community life. ASB may include nuisance, annoyance, harassment or criminal activity. It is behaviour that lacks consideration for others and may cause damage to the community whether intentionally or through negligence.  

Anyone can be affected by ASB, not just people living in a property that we own or manage but also anyone living or working in these neighbourhoods.

Our Approach to ASB

We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhoods where we have properties. We will use whatever means available to put a stop to it, which may include not renewing starter tenancies, evicting tenants or supplying evidence to support a criminal prosecution. We also train staff in how to deal with complaints of anti-social behaviour.

Reporting ASB

If you report ASB incidents to us we will:

• Listen to you in a professional and polite manner

• Offer you a face-to-face interview if required

• Explain the process to you clearly

• Discuss with you the issue of confidentiality

• Agree with you what method we will use to contact you and how often

• Give you the contact details of the person dealing with your case

• Be open and honest with you throughout the process

• Offer support for your needs

• Keep in touch with you throughout

• Get details of our next of kin/support

How we prioritise ASB

Priority 1: 1st interview with complainant offered within 24 working hours

• Hate crime related incidents

• Actual or threat of violence or damage to property

• Domestic abuse

• Abusive and / or threatening behaviour to staff

• Safeguarding

Priority 2: 1st interview with complainant offered within 3 working days

• Noise

• Misuse of communal areas i.e. drug use, groups of youths/gangs, litter, noise

• Verbal abuse / harassment / intimidation

• Criminal behaviour

• Prostitution / sexual acts / kerb crawling

• Vandalism / damage to property

• Drugs / substance misuse / drug dealing

Priority 3: 1st interview with complainant offered within 5 working days if needed

• Garden nuisance

• Pets and animal nuisance

• Litter / rubbish / fly tipping

• Vehicle nuisance

To report ASB

• You can report ASB on our website

• You can email information@mosscare.org.uk.

• You can report ASB on 0161 226 4211

• You can visit one of our offices

 

 To contact us telephone 0161 226 4211 or email us at information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

 

Taking in a Lodger

Taking in a Lodger

Your tenancy agreement has a clause about taking in lodgers. The detail of each clause varies from agreement to agreement but generally it says that before taking in a lodger you must tell us. If we have a good reason, we may tell you that you can’t take in a lodger.

Taking in a lodger means that you continue to live at the property as your main home, but that you let someone stay with you. That person pays you something while they lodge with you. Typically people take in lodgers because they have a spare bedroom.

If you want to take in a lodger you must

  1.  Tell us and give us the details, such as the lodger’s name, gender and date of birth.
  2.  Tell us when they move in and when they move out.
  3.  Decide what occupancy agreement you want to use with your lodger. We tell everyone who wants to take a lodger in, to get proper legal advice about any occupancy agreement. You can not create a tenancy!
  4.  Get legal advice on how you can make a lodger leave if you need to.
  5.  Tell us what charge you want to make. We will tell you what we think is a reasonable charge.
  6.  Decide what checks you will carry out on anyone who will be a lodger.
  7.  Get proper advice about how the income from a lodger might affect how much benefit you receive.

Be clear about

  •  Arrangements for paying utility bills and the council tax.
  •  Arrangements for paying for items like, toilet rolls and washing up liquid.
  •  Arrangements for keeping your home clean and tidy.
  •  Whatever rules you want to set about how you expect your lodger to conduct themselves.

Remember that their conduct will reflect on you as you are responsible for anyone staying with you or visiting you.

Contact your Neighbourhood Officer on 0161 226 4211 for advice about taking in a lodger.

Or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

Tenancy Support Service

Tenancy Support Service

If you are an asylum seeker or refugee and are having difficulties settling down into your new life here, we can help. You could receive support for up to 2 years that would be suited to your needs. The ending of support is planned and agreed with you.

How can we help?

We will support you with your tenancy and help you develop skills to stay independent.

We can help you with:

Housing

  • Setting up and maintaining a home
  • Filling in benefit forms
  • Replying to letters about your tenancy
  • Reporting repairs
  • Dealing with antisocial behaviour and harassment

Liaison

  • We can contact other organisations, agencies and companies on your behalf;
  • We can contact other departments here on your behalf. 

Independent living & life skills

  • Helping you to access education, health services, community groups and leisure activities;
  • Providing information on cultural events

Finances

  • Help with managing money and debt
  • Help you open a bank account
  • Help with sorting out arrears payments and benefit claims.

Who do we help?

We work mainly with Somali households and have a Somali-speaking support worker. However we can also help other asylum seekers or refugees.

How can I access this service?

Please contact the Supported Housing team on 0161 226 4211. We will identify the help you need or refer you to someone else who can help you. You can also ask somebody else to contact us on your behalf.

 

  

Transfer or Exchange Your Home

Transfer or exchange your home

Transfer to another property

You can request a transfer to another of our properties or for a move to a property owned by another social landlord. To request a transfer to another of our homes, contact your Neighbourhood Officer for an application form which you must complete and return to us. Ask us if you need help with filling in the form. For your request to be considered, you will have to have been a tenant in your present home for at least one year and have not have rent arrears on your account. In very extreme cases of need, for example, fear of violence, this can be waived. If this is the case, you must provide full information and detailed evidence.

Transfers to another social landlord’s property

To transfer to a home owned by another social landlord, you will need to re-register for housing with the relevant local authority where the property is located.

• For homes in Manchester,  contact http://homes.manchestermove.co.uk/

• For homes in Stockport, contact http://www.stockporthomes.org/main.cfm

• For homes in Trafford, contact www.traffordhomesearch.co.uk

For homes elsewhere, you need to contact the relevant local authority.

Exchanging your home with another tenant

If you want to move, you may be able to exchange your home with another of our tenants or with a tenant of another social landlord. Sometimes known as a ‘mutual exchange’ or a ‘swap’, it offers you a better choice for finding a new home and often means you can move quicker than registering for re-housing.

How do I apply?

You need to find a tenant who wants to exchange their property with you. You can do this by using the FREE HomeSwapper Scheme. Go to http://www.homeswapper.co.uk/

What happens next?

Once you have found another suitable tenant who wishes to exchange homes with you, you should contact your Neighbourhood Officer for a ‘mutual exchange application form’, complete the form and return it to us.

Once we have received your form we will give you a decision within 42 days. If we agree to the exchange we will inspect your home to identify any repairs and who is responsible for paying for them.

If the applications are accepted, an exchange date will be agreed when both parties will sign new tenancy agreements and move homes.

Exchanges to a property owned by another social landlord

The tenant you wish to exchange with, will be asked for the same information as you have been asked for. The other landlord will also be asked to give their consent to the exchange. If there is any reason why consent is not given, you will be notified as soon as possible. If both landlords consent, an exchange date will then be agreed when both parties will sign their new tenancy agreement and move homes.

Why an exchange might be refused

There are a range of reasons why an exchange will not be possible. These are things which might apply to either party involved in the exchange, such as, possession proceedings, under occupation, rent arrears, money owed to us, the condition of your property or an issue relating to the suitability of the property being applied for.

You cannot exchange your property if

  1. If either tenant has an outstanding court order against them granting the landlord possession
  2. If a Notice of Seeking Possession has been issued against either tenant for reasons such as rent due, tenancy conditions breached, neighbour nuisance, property misuse, furniture supplied misused, fraudulent methods used to get the tenancy, or a previous assignment had been granted involving the payment of a premium by either tenant.
  3. If the proposed tenant substantially under occupies the current home
  4. If the house forms part of a house not normally let for housing or it was let to someone as a consequence of their job
  5. If the accommodation concerned has been adapted for use by the physically disabled and the proposed tenant is not registered disabled
  6. If the landlord only deals with a specific client group and the proposed tenant does not meet the requirements of that client group

 

To contact us telephone:  0161 226 4211 or email: information@mosscare.org.uk or information@mossbank.org.uk

 

 

Data Protection

 

Data Protection - A guide to information we hold about you

To provide you with the best and most appropriate services we need your help in giving us accurate and up to date personal information. This guidance tells you what we do with your information in line with the Data Protection Act.

It explains:
• What Data Protection is
• What information we collect about you
• How we use the information you give us
• How we protect your personal information
• Who we share your information with, and why
• The importance of accurate information
• How you can access the information we hold about you
What is Data Protection?
We comply with the Data Protection Act, 1998, not only because we have a legal duty but also because it helps us know our customers better and protect their information more securely.
To do this we will follow the principles of the Act which state that data should be:
• Fairly and lawfully processed
• Processed for limited purposes
• Adequate, relevant and not excessive
• Accurate and up to date
• Not kept for longer than necessary
• Processed in line with your rights
• Kept secure regardless of whether it is an electronic or physical file
• Not transferred to other countries outside of the EEU without adequate protection Because we also collect ‘sensitive’ information about people, such as, their ethnicity and religious beliefs, we take extra precautions to protect this information. Whenever we collect personal information about you, we will ask your permission and ensure what we do with your information is appropriate.
What information do we collect?
We begin the process of collecting information about you and, if appropriate, your family when you apply to us either directly or through one of our Choice Based Letting partners.

Although the information we collect may vary, typically it may include:
• Name and address • Dates of birth for you and people who live in your household
• National Insurance details
• Telephone and contact information
• Employment and income details
• Information about your housing needs
• Details about your health and any support requirements

How do we use the information you give us?
Over time we will collect your information in different ways and use it for:
• Housing management services
• Repairs and maintenance to your home
• Collection of rent & service charges
• Your care and support needs
• The prevention and detection of crime
• Research and statistical analysis
• Equality & Diversity monitoring
• Monitoring our performance
• Regulatory purposes
• Legal reasons
How do we take care of your personal information?
We go to significant lengths to protect your personal information from unauthorised access, loss or compromise. The information we collect from you will be stored in paper files and on our computer systems. Our computer systems have strict access controls in place and are located in secure facilities. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to protect our systems and your information from attack. We will also make sure that only staff who need to, can access  your information. Financially sensitive information such as your credit card numbers and bank details that we process for rent payments are transmitted securely over the internet using encryption software and protected using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

Sharing
There are times when we share information but only that which is relevant either because we have a legal obligation or to make sure you get the best possible service. For example we may share with:
• Repairs contractors
• Care/support agencies
• Electricity and water suppliers
• Government agencies providing welfare benefits
• Social Services
• Law enforcement and fraud prevention agencies
• Debt collection agencies.
We will never sell or provide your information to other companies wanting to sell you products or services.
Importance of accuracy
As you get older your needs may change so we will update our information to make sure we can provide services that meet your needs, such as, adaptations to your home. To do this our neighbourhood team may visit you, or we might ring you or ask you to complete an online survey, to find out if your circumstances have changed. Any new information will be protected in the ways already outlined.
What are your Data Protection rights?
You can access your information, including anything from electronic files to photographs and call recordings, at any time by making a Subject Access Request. To do this, you must send an administration fee of £10, to: Data Protection Officer, Mosscare Housing Ltd.,101 Great Western Street, Moss Side, Manchester, M14 4AA.
If you need the information in large print or have other accessibility needs please tell us. If your disability mans you cannot make your request in writing, ring our Customer Service tea on 0161 226 4211 to make alternative arrangements.
Response times
Once we have received your Subject Access Request, administration fee and checked the validity of the request, we will write to you with all of the information we hold about you within 40 calendar days. If you want someone other than yourself, for example, your solicitor, to make a Subject Access Request, we will make extra security checks before we respond to the request.
Errors
If any of the information we send is incorrect or inaccurate, please tell us so we can make the necessary changes.
Find out more
To find out more about the Data Protection Act, contact The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF Telephone 01625 545 700
We are registered with the ICO and notified them of the reasons why we will collect, store and manage personal information. A copy of our Data Protection registration is available at www.ico.org.uk

 

Pets

 

Pets in Flats/Apartments

If you live in a flat or apartment you must seek permission from us if you want to keep a pet. While we recognise the benefits of responsible pet ownership, our guidelines have been designed to ensure that nuisance is not caused to neighbours or suffering caused to pets. The following is a list of the sorts of pets that are allowed and those that are not.
You are strongly advised to check with your Neighbourhood Officer before you get a pet.
Pets allowed: Goldfish; hamster; small caged birds; rabbits (if you live in a ground floor cottage flat); reptiles/amphibians (non-venomous); spiders/arachnids (non-venomous) and guide dogs and hearing dogs for people with visual or hearing impairments
Pets not allowed: Dogs; cats; rabbits; farm animals and any animals registered under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (1976).
Visit  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1976/38  for more information.
Residents with pets
If you already own a pet that is not causing any nuisance you will not be asked to re-house it. If your pet is causing a nuisance, you will have to re-house your pet or lose your property. Please refer to the ‘pets’ section of your tenancy agreement. If you already keep a pet but intend to get an additional one (that comes under the ‘pets not allowed’ list), permission will not be granted. If you have got another pet from this list since our pets’ policy has been introduced, you will be asked to rehouse the animal.
 

 

Lodgers

Taking in a Lodger

Your tenancy agreement has a clause about taking in lodgers. The detail of each clause varies from agreement to agreement but generally it says that before taking in a lodger you must tell us. If we have a good reason, we may tell you that you can’t take in a lodger.

Taking in a lodger means that you continue to live at the property as your main home, but that you let someone stay with you. That person pays you something while they lodge with you. Typically people take in lodgers because they have a spare bedroom.

If you want to take in a lodger you must

  • Tell us and give us the details, such as the lodger’s name, gender and date of birth.
  • Tell us when they move in and when they move out.
  •  Decide what occupancy agreement you want to use with your lodger. We tell everyone who wants to take a lodger in to get proper legal advice about any occupancy agreement. You cannot create a tenancy!
  • Get legal advice on how you can make a lodger leave if you need to.
  •  Tell us what charge you want to make. We will tell you what we think is a reasonable charge.
  •  Decide what checks you will carry out on anyone who will be a lodger.
  •  Get proper advice about how the income from a lodger might affect how much benefit you receive.

Be clear about

  •  Arrangements for paying utility bills and the council tax.
  •  Arrangements for paying for items like, toilet rolls and washing up liquid.
  •  Arrangements for keeping your home clean and tidy.
  •  Whatever rules you want to set about how you expect your lodger to conduct themselves.

Remember that their conduct will reflect on you as you are responsible for anyone staying with you or visiting you.

Contact your Neighbourhood Officer on 0161 226 4211 for advice about taking in a lodger.