Tenancy Services

Frequently asked questions to our Tenancy Services Department.

1. Can I apply for a house with Wishaw and District Housing Association?

Yes.  Anyone aged 16 or over has the legal right to apply to Wishaw and District Housing Association for housing and to be assessed and accepted onto the waiting list, regardless of where they currently live or whether they are currently tenants or owners.  Wishaw and District Housing Association operates an open waiting list via the North Lanarkshire Common Housing Register, which means that anyone in housing need has an opportunity at all times to apply for housing.  Access to the Common Housing Register is by completion of one application form, which can be returned to any of the partner landlords.  This means, for example, if you have completed a form and handed it into the Council, we can access your housing information if you have asked for housing in our areas.

2. How do I get on Wishaw and District Housing Association's waiting list?

You will have to complete an Application Form to get onto the waiting list of  Wishaw and District Housing Association and all other North Lanarkshire Common Housing Register Partners.  Applicants will only have to fill in one form and the details are passed electronically onto all the other landlords who have stock of the size and type in the chosen areas.  This means applicants will have easier access to a range of social housing and benefit from a simpler application process.

3. How long will it take me to get a house from Wishaw and District Housing Association?

We really cannot give a definite answer because it depends on many different things, including how many points you are awarded, where you want to live and how many houses we have of the type you need.  The points awarded determine where you are placed on the list but your position can regularly change depending on other applicants being added or removed, as well as your own housing needs changing.  However, when you apply or your circumstances change we will discuss your options and how these may affect how long you may wait.

For more information please refer to our leaflet Appying for a House with Wishaw and District Housing Association.

4. Can I put my name against an empty house?

No.  There is no need to do this, provided the house type and area are already noted on your application.  It is this information that is used to generate our waiting list, and we use this to contact the applicant who is first on the list for any particular house.  We take into consideration any medical adaptations or other factors that may make the property suitable or otherwise.

5. How is my rent set and who sets it?

Your rent is set in accordance with the Rent Setting Policy approved by our Board of Directors.  The structure is points based.  This means that rents are set based on an amenity point score for each property multiplied by a monetary value per point, to generate the rental income needed to run the Association.  This is reviewed annually and all tenants are consulted on any proposed increase.  Our Board of Directors approves the increase each year and tenants are given one months notice.  The rent is increased from the 1st April each year.

6. How do I pay my rent?

At the beginning of your tenancy you will receive a rent payment card from Allpay.  This card enables you to make payments at the Post Office, any shop displaying the PayPoint sign, via the internet or a dedicted call centre, by telephoning our office or by Direct Debit.  In addition you can set up a Standing Order via your bank or make payments by cheque.  If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit you can arrange to have this paid directly to us.

7. Can I get help to pay my rent?

Yes, depending on your financial circumstances.  In general, if your income is low or you are claiming other state benefits you may get Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent.  We would encourage anyone who is unsure of their entitlement to complete and return a Housing Benefit form.

8. What do I do if I fall behind with my rent?

If you are having any difficulties meeting your rental payments you should contact your Housing Officer to discuss and make a suitable arrangement to get your payments back on track.  We are happy to come to instalment agreements which suit us both.  We can put you in touch with other agencies who may be able to help you.  Whatever you do, don't put it off!

9. What happens if I don't pay my rent?

Unfortunately, if you do not contact us and continue to miss rental payments we will have no alternative but to raise legal action.  This means that you could lose your home.  It is therefore better that you maintain contact and work with us to resolve any financial difficulties.

10. Do I get any rent free weeks like the Council?

No.  The Council spreads their annual rent charges over 48 weeks, giving two free weeks in summer and again in winter.  Wishaw and District Housing Association divides its annual rents over 52 weeks, so although there are no free weeks the weekly rent is reduced.

11. Do I need permission to keep a pet?

Yes.  If you wish to keep a pet you must complete and return a Permission Form to your Housing Officer.  Whilst permission will not be unreasonably withheld we will take into account the type of pet and the size and type of house you live in.  If permission is granted, it will be subject to you meeting conditions relating to responsible pet ownership including nuisance to neighbours.  Full conditions will be confirmed to you.

12. What can Wishaw & District Housing Association do about anti-social behaviour?

Wishaw and District Housing Association believe that our tenants have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes and will take positive and decisive action to deal with cases of anti-social behaviour.  We will work in partnership with other investigation agencies including the Police and the Council's Anti-Social Investigators to investigate or prosecute cases of serious anti-social behaviour.  This may mean using legal powers including Anti Social Behaviour Orders and even eviction, to resolve matters.

13. Can I exchange my house?

Yes.  You can apply for permission to exchange your house with the tenant of another social landlord.  This includes other Associations, Co-Operatives and a Local Authority.  You do not have to have the same landlord, but when another landlord is involved you need the permission of both landlords before exchanging.  Permission will not be unreasonably withheld, but may be refused if you or the other party have breached your tenancy agreement or the family size is inappropriate.  Full conditions will be confirmed to all applicants and if the exchange is refused reasons will be given and confirmed in writing to applicants.

 

For more information on this subject, please visit our mutual exchange section on the website.

14. Who is responsible for my building insurance?

Wishaw and District Housing Association arranges building insurance for all its tenanted stock.  The cost of this is included in your rent, therefore you do not have to arrange separate building insurance.

15. What do I need to do to terminate my tenancy?

If you are leaving the property for any reason you must inform us in writing at once.  Your Tenancy Agreement requires that you give a minimum of 28 days written notice to terminate your tenancy.

We will formally acknowledge your termination notice immediately after receiving it and thereafter confirm to you the date your tenancy will end.  You will also be advised of any outstanding rents up to the date of termination.

An inspection of your home will be carried out prior to you leaving.  You will be advised in writing  of any repairs and decoration, if any, you will be expected to carry out prior to handing in your keys.
Keys should be handed into our office on or before the termination date.