We are dedicated to providing you with a professional and timely service.
If you wish to carry out improvements, alterations or additions to your home we need to be informed to ensure it adheres to your tenancy agreement.
You must obtain our written permission before starting any work.
The Associations home improvement plan
Ensuring that our properties are in good order is one of our long term objectives and is a key part of the Association’s ongoing 30 year major works improvement plan.
This makes sure all our customers have a home to live in which meets what is known as the Decent Homes Standard.
The improvement plan includes:
We will always let you know in advance if we plan to undertake any major maintenance work to your home and will offer you as much choice as possible.
If you have an enquiry regarding any of the improvement programmes please contact us.
Or you can sign up for a My Place Portal account, which will list any programmes up and coming on your property in the next year, along with showing you your rent details, repair history and allow you to make rent payments.
Rent must be paid in advance in accordance with your tenancy agreement or lease. This means your rent account must not be in arrears between payments regardless of how you pay e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.
It’s important that you keep up-to-date with your payments. If you’re having problems paying your rent please contact us, we are here to help you find a solution.
Living in a Retirement property
This section will explain the unique services we can offer you and the team who are there to help.
The Housing Officer provides a range of services for tenants, shared owners and leaseholders including:
- Visiting new tenants at the start and throughout their tenancy where appropriate.
- Investigating complaints about anti-social behaviour, offering guidance, and in some cases taking appropriate action. Find out more about our approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.
- Investigating complaints about tenancy fraud. For example, when a tenant moves out of their house and then takes on tenants of their own to live at the property, this is often called sub-letting the whole of the property.
- Contacting tenants who are behind with their rent and taking appropriate action. They can offer advice if you are having difficulties paying your rent. They can make an agreement for you to make regular payments to clear your arrears. They can also make a referral to our Free Money Advice Service.
Permission to keep pets in your home
We require our tenants to complete a request form to obtain permission to keep a domestic pet.
Please be aware there are some properties/schemes/tenancy types where we can not allow animals.
Permission will not normally be refused for those requiring an assistance dog; further guidance on such requests can be found here.
Buying your rented home
Find out if you are eligible to purchase your home, through either the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes.
Voluntary Right to Buy
What is the Voluntary Right to Buy?
The Voluntary Right to Buy (VRtB) is a scheme where assured tenants of housing associations will have the chance to buy their homes discounted to the same value as Council tenants enjoy under the Right to Buy.
The Autumn 2017 Budget confirmed the Government’s intention to proceed with a large-scale regional pilot of the VRtB scheme in the Midlands. It is operated on a voluntary basis by housing associations and underpinned by a national agreement between the National Housing Federation and the Government.
The Government is funding the discounts, and income from sales, plus the discounts will be spent replacing homes on a one for one basis at a national level.
The Midlands pilot is being launched to test the policy, and Grand Union Housing Group (GUHG) is taking part.
Why is it called voluntary?
The voluntary aspect of the scheme is in relation to the housing associations taking part. It has been left up to each individual housing association whether they wish to take part in the scheme.
Which properties does the VRtB apply to?
Our properties in Northamptonshire, Northampton, East Northamptonshire, South Northamptonshire, Kettering, Corby, Daventry, Harborough and Wellingborough are in scope for the pilot.
The pilot is for “general needs” properties, which does not include supported housing. Tenants living in supported housing cannot apply.
You can view GUHGs VRtB policy here. In some cases, we may not be able to sell you your own home, but we will work with you to offer you an alternate property where you can “port” your discount to. Please see our policy for further detail
Am I eligible to apply for the VRtB?
Tenants are eligible if:
- They can prove they have been a tenant of social or affordable housing for at least three years (this need not have been with the same landlord, or continuous); and
- They currently hold an un-demoted secure tenancy, an assured tenancy, or a Localism Act fixed term tenancy; and
- They can demonstrate that the property is their main home and they have resided in it for at least the last 12 months; and
- If they are applying for jointly with up to three family members, these applicants can also demonstrate that it is their main home and it has been their residence for at least the last 12 months. No joint applicants can be added to or removed from the application during the process without voiding the application, requiring a reapplication by the tenant(s). Joint applications where any applicant is ineligible will be voided: and
- They, and any joint applicants, have the right to reside in the UK, and can demonstrate that they meet the immigration status checks.
Your VRtB discount is worked out in an identical way to the statutory Right to Buy for council tenants. You can view the Right to Buy discount calculator online at https://righttobuy.gov.uk/right-to-buy-calculator/. The discount you receive will be based on the type of property you live in and the length of time you have been a public sector tenant. As part of your application you will be required to submit details of all public sector tenancies you have had, and these will be added up to create a qualifying period upon which the discount will be based. The maximum discount a tenant can receive is capped at £80,900.
Costs to consider
As part of buying your home, you will have to consider the following costs:
- Legal costs – solicitor/conveyance
- £250 application fee
- Mortgage broker fee
- Land registry fee
- Stamp Duty if applicable
- Removal costs
Once you are the homeowner, a number of responsibilities will become yours:
- Freeholders : all maintenance and repair costs
- Home insurance
How do I apply for the VRtB?
Tenants will need to make an initial application via the Government’s VRtB website https://midlands.righttobuy.gov.uk to obtain a Unique Reference Number (URN).
The gateway on the website will open at 9am on 16 August 2018 and will be open for one calendar month.
A limited number of URNs will be available and not every applicant will be able to receive one. Please note that even if you do receive a URN there is no guarantee that you will be able to buy your home. This depends also on the eligibility of your home and its affordability to you.
Applicants will be chosen at random by ballot after the gateway has closed. The ballot has been chosen to ensure fair distribution of the limited numbers of URNs.
Once the ballot has closed, GUHG will release details on how to progress with your application.
- Government VRtB webpage https://righttobuy.gov.uk/am-i-eligible/
- Government Right to Buy Agents righttobuy.gov.uk/agent-service
- Citizens Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
- Mortgage Advice Bureau https://www.mortgageadvicebureau.com/
Think twice before getting advice from any agency that asks you for money to help you. They may be asking you to pay for advice you could just as easily get free of charge from one of the resources above.
Rubbish bin collection
Aragon Housing Association is not responsible for weekly bin collections. This is the responsibility of your local authority.
Find out who to contact using the Gov.uk postcode search tool.
Home contents Insurance
We strongly advises that you take out home contents insurance cover against damage whether through accident, fire, theft, vandalism, burst pipes or other household risks.
The Rental Exchange
Many social housing tenants find it difficult to access financial services such as affordable loans, open a bank account, get a credit card or apply for a mortgage.
Often this is because not enough information is held on their credit file. A credit file or score is a personal history of the credit an individual has had. Different organisations use this information to decide whether to give someone access to their services.