Our tenancy ready service is about helping you move into your new home, and for it to get off to the best possible start.
It begins with understanding what your rights and responsibilities are as a tenant, how to maintain your home, and how to live independently, including help with budgeting.
Here's useful information and advice to help you prepare for the costs involved in running a home, or the support you may need - regardless of who you are renting from.
You can contact our Tenancy Ready Team on any of these issues.
- Tenant responsibilities
- Budgeting the cost of running your own home
- Maintaining your own home and ensuring safety
- Local information
You will have some key responsibilities as a tenant. These responsibilities are vital to understand because they mean that you and everyone else can enjoy safe, peaceful, and sustainable tenancies.
Your responsibilities will include:
- To pay the rent on time
- To not cause a nuisance or anti-social behaviour
- To not use the property for illegal activities
- To keep the property in good condition
- To report repairs to the landlord
- To allow the landlord access in an emergency or with appropriate notice.
Whenever you are offered any tenancy, think about your own income and the costs of running your own home.
The main costs to think about when budgeting for your own home will be your rent, Council Tax, and utilities, as well as a TV license, insurance, furniture, not to mention food and other essentials.
You can use the handy budgeting tool from Citizens Advice, below, to estimate these costs.
You'll have to pay your rent. If you don’t pay your rent, you risk losing your home. Most landlords will require rent in advance and some a deposit also. Start saving now to be Tenancy Ready.
If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for help to pay for all or some your rent. This help is called Housing Benefit.
You can receive Housing Benefit up to the Local Housing Allowance, which is an amount of money set by the Government. The Local Housing Allowance may not cover all your rent. If it does not cover all of your rent, you will have to pay the rest. You can work out the minimum amount of rent you will have to pay by subtracting your Local Housing Allowance from your rent. If your rent is more than your Local Housing Allowance, you will have to pay the difference from your income including any other benefits.
If your Local Housing Allowance is up to £100 a week and your rent is £200 a week, you will have to budget to pay at least £100 rent a week.
The easiest way to pay your rent is via Direct Debit. Your Allocations Officers can help you to set a Direct Debit up when your offer of accommodation is confirmed.
If you've been offered accommodation by us, here's a full guide to your council rent including the help that's available if you are on a low income.
You'll have to pay your Council Tax, which is payable in addition to your rent and covers the cost of services from your local authorities, police, and fire and rescue services.
Please be aware that a full Council Tax bill is based on two adults living in the property with no discounts. Discounts might be available to you depending on your circumstances.
When you move in, you’ll need to tell the Council Tax team you’re the new resident. Here's all the information about Council Tax.
You'll have to pay for your gas, electric, and water.
When you move in, you should immediately read your gas and electricity meters and tell the current energy suppliers you are the new resident. You can find out who the current energy supplier is by using the Find My Supplier service.
If you've been offered accommodation by us, then before you move in your gas and electric accounts will have been referred to Energy Angels, who aim to find the cheapest deals. When you move in, it will be your choice whether you stay with the current supplier or find another.
You’ll also need to tell Severn Trent Water that you are the new resident. Severn Trent Water are the only water supplier.
We have lots of advice on cutting your energy bills.
To watch TV, you'll need to pay for a TV license. To buy a TV License or find out more, visit https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/.
What else might you need when you move into a new home? Will your home be furnished, or will you need furniture? If your new home will be a council or housing association property, it will be unfurnished. Where will you get furniture from, and how much will it cost? Can family or friends support you, or could you make use of Newstarts, a local community re-use social enterprise who supply furniture? Will you be responsible for any repairs?
Understanding your spending is even more vital when you run your own home. Being in control of that will help you make better decisions, save money, prepare for emergencies, and get or stay out of debt – letting you stay focused on your longer-term financial goals.
Please contact our Tenancy Ready Officers about any budgeting issues you think you may have - we're here to help you get tenancy ready.
You'll also be responsible for the maintenance and safety of your own home.
That includes the cost of repairing any damage caused to your property, even if you didn't cause the damage yourself. Your landlord is only responsible for routine maintenance.
For example, if a friend damages a door in your property, you will have to pay for the repairs.
Before coming to do repairs, your landlord should agree a time with you in advance, and you should be there at that time.
Here are some top tips:
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly. They could save your life!
- Know your fire exits and meeting points in case of a fire or other emergency. Make sure everyone in your household knows.
- Know where your gas and electric come into your home. If you are a council tenant, your Neighbourhood & Tenancy team will show you if required.
- Know where your water stop tap is. It’s usually under the kitchen sink. If you have a leak, turn it off quickly.
- Ventilate your home to avoid damp.
- Keep your home clean and tidy to avoid pests.
- Know your bin day.
- Be security conscious.
- Report repairs and maintenance issues to your landlord promptly.
- If you're a council tenant, follow any additional guidance provided by your Neighbourhood & Tenancy team.
- Our local Homelessness & Housing Solutions service
- Our local leisure services
- Worcestershire Libraries
- Local GPs and dentists
- Our Repairs & Maintenance service (for Redditch Borough Council tenants only)
- Citizens Advice (advice & information on debt and other topics): 03444 111 303
- Samaritans: 01905 21121
- Healthy Minds: 0300 013 57 27
- West Mercia Women’s Aid (Domestic abuse support): 0800 980 3331
- Worcestershire Male Domestic Abuse: 0800 014 9082
- National LGBT Domestic Abuse helpline: 0300 999 5428
- Childline: 0800 555 111
- PAPYRUS (Prevention of young suicide): 0800 068 41 41
- Swanswell (Alcohol and drugs recovery service): 0300 303 8200
- Combat Stress (Armed services mental health support): 0800 138 1619
- National Debt Line: 0808 808 4000
For more information in the types of support available, please contact the Tenancy Ready Team.