Repairs and Maintenance
If you are looking for an update on your repair you can call our Repairs contractor Gilmartins on 01582 394 968 or our gas Contractors Robert Heath on 0203 697 4494 between 8.30a.m. And 5 p.m. They do have an out of hours team but this is for emergency repairs only.
Replacement of bulbs are resident’s responsibility. This is something you will need to try and do yourself or ask a relative or friend to change. Please be careful when replacing the bulb. If you have replaced the bulb and it is still not working please call Gilmartins. If you live in one of our independent living schemes please speak to your ILO if you require assistance.
If you’re a tenant, we maintain your heating system, so we’ll need to get our specialist contractor out to inspect and repair. You can call Robert Heath on 0203 697 4494.
If you’re a lease holder, we don’t maintain your boiler unless it’s part of a communal heating system. You will need to get out your own contractor to have a look at this.
Please contact the contractors who carried out the works in the first instance either Gilmartins or Robert Heath. They will contact ourselves if a surveyor from Mount Green needs to come and inspect the works carried and to arrange follow on works.
To report an emergency repair, contact Gilmartins for a day to day repair or Robert Heath for gas emergencies.
Yes, you can decorate your home and you are responsible for decorations and keeping the inside of your home in good order. If you are altering or adding to the fixtures and fittings you may need to get written permission. You must leave the property in the condition that it was provided to you in.
Blocked sinks and toilets are the responsibility of the resident. If you find that the toilet is blocked due to the drains then please report this to Gilmartins.
These surveys are often carried out by specialist surveyors who are employed to survey the inside and outside of your home, including communal areas where appropriate. This provides Mount Green with the information needed to determine when your home is due for major works, such as those referred to below.
Once we have the information from the main stock condition survey, and have identified what works are needed and where, we will visit your property to check the information is correct and to prioritise which properties need to be done first. Since the stock condition survey was carried out, the condition of the item being replaced may have deteriorated or you may have replaced it yourself. If we can only do a certain number of replacement items in a particular year, we also need to visit to see which should be done first.
We will also visit to work up detailed plans. This may include designing and measuring up the new kitchen or bathroom, for example, or checking what type of new boiler you need in the house. This may be carried out either by a member of staff from Mount Green or an external contractor.
To update and improve your homes we always try to undertake major works such as kitchen, bathroom, heating upgrades, window or roof replacements as part of a planned programme.
Before we start a new programme, we carry out a pre-validation survey before instructing our contractors to carry out the improvement works. This approach allows us to complete the works more efficiently, safely and replacements are generally carried out when they are needed, based on their anticipated lifecycle, so all residents are treated fairly and equally.
By completing major works in this way we also ensure that the work we do provides better value for money, and we are able to provide continuity in terms of materials and quality of workmanship. Additionally, this approach allows us to communicate more clearly with residents so that residents know what to expect from us and when.
In order to plan the work that needs to be done over a 5-30 year period we aim to undertake a stock condition survey on each property every five to seven years. This information is also used by Mount Green to allow us to plan financially for major works over the short, medium and long term.
The delivery of our planned works programme is managed internally by Mount Green team members, supported by consultants where necessary. We tend to use a mix of contractors to carry out any works depending on the type of work required. From time-to-time works may need to be carried out by specialist sub-contractors.
Whilst we try to plan and communicate when major works are due, we also sometimes need to prioritise works, such as the fire safety works programme, which therefore can change the planned works.
Cyclical decorations are internal and external decorations carried out to the communal areas of the building, such as the communal doors and hallways, or the communal areas outside. Cyclical work also includes cleaning, painting or repairing gutters, soffits and fascias around a building. (Soffits and fascias are the boards along the eaves of a roof, where the gutters are attached to, which prevent rainwater and small animals or birds getting into the roof).
Cyclical works are carried out a regular basis, generally between 5 and 7 years. We assess the condition of the property, and only carry out works where needed.
A routine repair is a day-to-day repair that can wait without posing a risk to your health and safety or cannot cause further damage to your home in the short-term. Planned works are where we replace the whole bathroom or kitchen as it has reached the end of its natural life – generally 20-30 years in the case of a bathroom or kitchen and 15 years for a boiler.
We ask residents to report repairs and maintenance issues direct to our contractors:
- Gilmartins on 01582 394 968
- For gas repairs, such as a gas boiler, call Robert Heath on 0203 697 4494
- For lift repairs, call Rubax on 01925 849200
If you have a repair issue in your bathroom or kitchen such as a broken handle, storage cupboards coming apart or a damaged worktop, the Gilmartin’s operative will attend to make a routine repair. It is not necessary to replace the whole kitchen or bathroom if a repair can be carried out.
If the repairs operative is unable to carry out the repair, they will report this back to Mount Green. We will then arrange for a surveyor to assess the work required and determine whether a replacement is needed.
Yes. When we tender our contracts, we will generally focus on quality over cost, and we specify products and materials that are of high quality and are durable. Where possible we give residents a degree of choice with particular regard to kitchens and bathrooms. As part of our internal processes, a qualified surveyor must sign off all major works to ensure we achieve the required level of quality and meet current standards and regulations.
Pay My Rent
If you feel you need additional support and advice with managing your tenancy or dealing with your arrears, please contact us as soon as possible and we will do our best to help you.
We take arrears very seriously and we will make every effort to come to an affordable and realistic agreement with you to pay any outstanding arrears. Don’t panic – we appreciate things can be difficult at times, so please do contact us as there may also be other benefits, support or advice you are eligible for.
The answer is some of them. Please see the following:
- We will not usually accept residents in arrears on to the transfer list. If you fall into arrears whilst on the list, you will usually be suspended from the transfer list.
- We will not normally carry out tenancy changes such as mutual exchanges and creating joint or sole tenancies until any arrears are cleared
- You may have your garage license agreement ended or suspended.
- Any compensation payments or rent adjustments will be offset against your arrears and in line with our Rent Collection Policy
- Planned improvements to your home, such as new kitchens and bathrooms, may be postponed.
We use the same formula used by all registered providers for setting our rents. This is normally determined by the Government or our Regulator, the HCA.
If you have had a change in Housing Benefit then you should contact us straight away and we will let you know what you need to pay. Remember, you must always notify Housing Benefit if your circumstances change.
Types of Tenancy
This comprises a 12 months starter tenancy – almost like a ‘trial period’ – followed by an assured shorthold fixed term tenancy for five years. An assured shorthold tenancy is a tenancy that gives a tenant the legal right to live in a property for a period of time. In this case the tenancy is set for five years and this is known as a fixed term tenancy.
An assured shorthold tenancy is a tenancy that gives a tenant the legal right to live in a property for a certain period of time.
The non-shorthold version of the assured tenancy gives tenants long-term security of tenure, and tenants are entitled to stay in the property until either they choose to go, or the landlord can gain possession if a tenant breaks any terms of the tenancy agreement.
This is the same as our assured non-shorthold tenancy, offering a long term security of tenure, but tailored for those over 55 living in our Independent Living accommodation.
We offer a starter tenancy in a small number of our housing schemes in which support services are provided to tenants with a learning disability and/or other disabilities by a preferred provider of Surrey County Council.
If you want or need to move home you can consider a home swap via mutual exchange. A mutual exchange is where you can exchange homes with another Mount Green resident or a resident of yours or another local authority, or other housing association. This provides a great opportunity for you to move to a home of your choice without having to wait for us to offer you a transfer. Not all residents have the right to exchange so please contact us to check if you are eligible before looking for another property.
What must I do?
It is your responsibility to find a partner to exchange homes with. Once you have found an exchange partner, please fill in our application form.
How can I find a swap?
Mount Green is a member of Homeswapper, the national home swap service. This means we pay a fee so you don’t have to. Homeswapper is for social residents in rented properties who want to swap homes. If you live in a council house or housing association property you are eligible to swap. However, you cannot move without both our consent and the consent of the other landlord.
You can register your home online and find properties via the Homeswapper website.
If you have been given a starter tenancy and are finding you require a different housing need (due to issues such as overcrowding), you could apply for a transfer in addition to looking for a mutual exchange. You must contact your Local Authority to apply for this transfer.
Independent Living Service
Independent Living accommodation is designed with the needs of older people in mind. Our Independent Living accommodation includes unfurnished homes which provide comfort and security and at the same time give residents full independence.
The majority of Independent Living schemes have communal facilities such as community rooms for social activities and laundry facilities with washing machines and dryers. Some of our properties also have a guest room available for the use of residents’ visitors at a nominal charge.
Our Independent Living schemes are looked after by an Independent Living Officer (ILO) and a Neighbourhood Officer (NO). The ILO visits each scheme weekly and provides housing related support and assists with emergencies when on site. Each flat is fitted with a 24-hour emergency pullcord system linked to a telecare community alarm. Every Independent Living resident pays a monthly Independent Living Charge to cover the cost of this support, as well as their rent and service charges. Some Independent Living schemes also have a personal heating and/or electric charge.
- A customer service team providing housing management support.
- A small team of Independent Living Support Officers to act as key contact.
- Assistance in sustaining all aspects of your tenancy.
- Respond to and carry out checks to the telecare community alarm system.
- Carry out risk based tenancy and wellbeing reviews to help identify areas that you need help and support in.
- Regular welfare checks to ensure your safety and wellbeing.
- Assist you to get support from other organisations and agencies.
- Look after the general running of your scheme, including safety, security and reporting communal repairs.
- To seek your views on the services we provide.
- Respect your privacy, confidentiality and independence.
It is not the responsibility of the Independent Living Officer to:
- Carry out any nursing or personal care services.
- Counselling or befriending services.
- Do your personal shopping or cleaning.
- Provide any transportation.
- Collect your pension or handle your personal money.
- Collect your prescription for you or administer medications.
- Help you make or witness your will.
- Report your repairs or give contractors access to your property.
The Independent Living team have access to a master key for accommodation at your scheme. This will only be used in extreme emergencies and if the Independent Living Support Officer needs to access a property to go to the aid of the resident. If required, this key may be used by the emergency services. For this reason, please do not add any additional locks or chains to your property.
The support service gives us the flexibility to move staff from scheme to scheme to ensure adequate cover is in place. When the team is off-duty, attending meetings and training courses or away from the scheme, the telecare community alarm system is linked to the Mole Valley call centre who will deal with any emergencies that arise.
Yes, every Independent Living resident has to pay the Independent Living charge. You can read more about why and what is included here.
We accept direct applications for our Independent Living homes. Fifty percent of our homes are filled by the borough council and 50% from our waiting list. You can also join us by swapping with another social housing tenant or transferring from our general need homes.
Our aim is to create Independent Living schemes that offer a safe, harmonious and balanced community for older people, taking into consideration age, gender and support needs. Allocations will be undertaken in line with Mount Green’s allocation policy.
You will need to prove that your partner has lived with you, with permission from Mount Green, for at least a year. Any requests for changes will go through an approval process. A new Joint Tenancy will not be granted if there are any outstanding rent arrears or any other tenancy breaches. Please talk to your Neighbourhood or Independent Living Officer as a first step.
First of all, please try talking to your neighbour to resolve the issue and if appropriate contact the Police if a crime has been committed. If you are you are unable to resolve the issue, please contact your Neighbourhood Officer or Independent Living Officers who will explore other remedies to prevent an escalation occurring.
This Dear Neighbour leaflet encourages residents to open up dialogue with neighbours whose behaviours may be affecting their quality of life.
Mount Green no longer offer an internal transfer service however we do offer advice and support around the housing options available to you.
You can consider applying for a transfer by lodging a housing application via your local authority. You may need to supply relevant information including medical evidence. You can also register for a mutual exchange for free via Homeswapper by clicking here.
Please contact UK CPM directly on 0345 463 5050 as they directly manage our controlled parking schemes.
Welfare Benefit Service
There are many changes, but three affect housing benefit directly:
- The Bedroom Tax – introduced in April 2013
- Benefit cap – introduced in April 2013
- Universal credit – rolling out from 2013 – 2019
If you have one ‘spare’ bedroom and you claim housing benefit, it will be reduced by 14% of the rent and any eligible service charges. If you have two or more spare bedrooms, you will lose 25%.
According to the criteria, you will be allocated one bedroom for:
- Each adult couple
- Any other person aged 16 or over
- Two children of the same sex under the age of 16.
- Two children under the age of 10 regardless of their sex.
- Any other child
- A carer (who does not normally live with you) if you or your partner need overnight care.
It does not matter how the “spare‟ bedroom is used, or how large it is, the new rules will apply even if:
- You and your partner need to sleep apart because of a medical condition.
- The main residence of your children is another address but you have a spare room for when they stay with you.
Universal Credit is a means tested benefit for people of working age. It is designed to simplify the current system and make it easier for people to move into employment. You can claim Universal Credit whether you are in or out of work.
Universal Credit will replace many of the existing benefits, which includes:
- Income support
- Income based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income related employment support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Working tax credit
- Child tax credit
Universal Credit will be paid monthly in arrears to the person making the claim. If you have previously relied on housing benefit being paid to us you will now need to ensure that you make that payment yourself, in advance.
To start with, it will only be new claims that will be affected. So for example, if you are in employment and don’t claim any benefits but your circumstances change and you need some help, you will have to claim Universal Credit.
However, if you currently receive any of the benefits that Universal Credit replaces you will continue to receive those benefits until you are notified that you need to change over. This is likely to be a long process which will take until December 2019. The Department of Work and Pensions will write to you to let you know when you need to claim.
Please let us know if you start to claim Universal Credit as we’d really like to understand the impact on our residents and to help you whenever possible.
Contact us! We will help by providing information and advice or by signposting you to local or national services who can:
- Help you to move home
- Help you manage your finances
- Provide advice on taking a lodger (please contact us first)
- Help you apply for discretionary payments through the local authority
- Help you set up a bank account
- Advise you if you are entitled to additional benefits
- Help you to find employment
No, your landlord would remain the same as both organisations are going to remain separate entities, it is just that Mount Green would become a member of the Stonewater Group as a subsidiary. The conditions of your tenancy or lease would not change as a result of the proposed structure, and you would have the same level of rights and protection that you have now.
We anticipate that this would take effect at the end of December 2023, whereby Mount Green would become a subsidiary of Stonewater. This would be followed by a mobilisation period to build on our local housing association delivery model that keeps residents at the heart of what we do.
No, the new structure would not affect your rent or service charge. We would continue to review charges every year, as we do at the moment, in line with your current tenancy agreement or lease.
You would be able to continue to pay as you do now. We will tell you nearer the time if you need to make any changes in the future.
If you already have the right to buy or acquire, you would not lose the right and you would continue to be able to exercise the right in the same way as before.
There are no proposals for these to change as part of the partnership.
Mount Green would retain management of your home and services would be delivered in the same way by the same people. As we introduce improvements over time this may change, and we’ll make sure you know who any new contacts are.
Nothing would change immediately. You would continue to get in touch with us as you do at the moment, by phone, by email or via our website. We would give you plenty of notice of any changes in the future or/and in the new ways you could get in touch with us.
Through Mount Green becoming a member of the Stonewater Group, we can share resources and skills and be able to deliver an improved service to residents that retains our local connection with the residents and communities of Mount Green.
Becoming a subsidiary within the Stonewater Group would increase our financial resilience and provide:
- Greater investment in our stock, delivering improvements to residents’ homes
- Increased funds to support community-led projects
- Access to Stonewater’s Longleigh Foundation, a grant making charity dedicated to supporting individuals and communities served by the social housing sector
We have looked carefully at the consequences of this proposal and through a process known as due diligence we will ensure that Mount Green becoming a member of the Stonewater Group would be of no material detriment to Mount Green and its residents. One disadvantage is that the time and resources required to align the systems and people from both organisations may have a delaying effect on some shorter-term improvements, but this would result in efficiencies in the long term. Other than that, we have concluded, subject to residents’ views, that the proposal makes good sense.
Our Resident Engagement Strategy sets out our commitment to providing ways for you to get involved, to design, deliver and improve our services. We are keen to hear what you think, what’s important to you and how we can improve our services. This would remain the same if the proposal goes ahead and our commitment to hearing our residents’ voices and giving you opportunities to influence things remains a priority. We will work with our Resident Committee Group and other engagement channels to make sure that your voice will continue to be heard.