help

FAQ

Tenancy FAQ

What is my rent balance?

Please call to find out your rent balance

 

What is my rent payment reference number?

Your payment reference number is the 11 digit number that starts with 50 at the top of most letters we send you. If the letter only has a 9 digit reference starting with a 7 or an 8, you can put 50 at the front to create your payment reference number.

 

How do I remove my partner from a joint tenancy?

We advise that when considering ending a joint tenancy you seek independent legal advice. There is a CAB in Woking town centre. We are unable to just ‘remove’ tenants from a joint tenancy, this is something that has to be done through the courts, it is usually included in divorce and family proceedings. Some good guidance on the matter: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN05149/SN05149.pdf

As you will see WBC might want to grant a new tenancy to a remaining tenant but it does not have a clear policy on this so care must be taken.

 

How do I purchase my property?

You can purchase the council property from the council as long as you have been a tenant for a minimum of 3 years. We can send you the relevant forms in the post or you can find these on the website. Read more about it on our Right to buy page.

 

Can I swap my property with another property?

Mutual exchanges can be carried out with other resident’s within WBC and also other housing association and councils around the country. You must register your property on Homeswapper to do so and ensure that you are not an introductory tenant and that your rent account is not in arrears. Mutual exchanges are a voluntary move so properties are accepted as they are seen by each party. The council does not offer any assistance with finding a property to swap with, this is all down to the tenant themselves. Once you have found a potential property to swap with you can contact the housing team for application forms, we then have up to 42days to complete this process for you.

 

My bins haven’t been emptied, what do I?

Please contact the councils waste contractor AMEY on 03332 340978. Alternatively you can log missed collections on their website.

 

Do I have to request landlord’s permission to make changes to me home?

Yes you will have to request landlords permission to make any changes to the property. You can request landlords permission via email or letter, the Housing team with then either grant or decline the request.

Rent FAQ

What is my balance?

You will need to contact us to get your balance

 

What is my rent reference number?

Your rent reference number starts with 50 and is 11 digits long, you should be able to find it on any letters that we send you, if not, please give us a call

 

Rent payments – what is my responsibility?

The tenancy agreement that you entered into before you moved into the property sets out your legal obligations to your landlord. Whatever type of tenancy you have, it is always made very clear that it is your responsibility to ensure your rent payments are up to date. Remember your rent is due weekly and in advance. If you are unable to make a payment - tell us immediately. We will do everything we can to help you to stay in your home, but we have no legal obligation to house you if you refuse to pay your rent or do not work with us to sort out the problem.

What can you expect from New Vision Homes?

​All our staff will work with you to help you manage your rent account and provide advice and support if you have problems paying rent. They will work to the standards set out in our Service Standard Statements. Copies of these are available on request.

I can’t pay my rent, who should I tell?

As soon as you realise you will not be able to make a rent payment you should contact us to discuss your rent arrears, or to arrange an appointment for someone to meet you and provide you with advice and support.

The Rent Officers within the Income Recovery Team on 0300 373 0373 option 3 are your first point of contact. They will:

  • confirm your rent balance and give you advice on how to pay your rent
  • be responsible for the monitoring and management of all rental income
  • write to you should you get into arrears
  • agree a payment plan if formal legal proceedings have not begun
  • advise you about the legal implications of not paying your rent
  • work with you to identify possible support that might be available to you
  • work with you to help maximise your income
  • either help you with advice on how you can manage your finances and look at ways you can resolve any debt issues or, if appropriate (and with your agreement), signpost you to an agency which specialises in this field such as Citizen Advice, Step Change, Christians Against Poverty etc.

REMEMBER; regardless of how much you owe and whatever debts you have, help is available to assist you, supporting you through the process. Where there are benefits you can apply for, we will assist you to make your application and some of our partner agencies can also help you challenge benefit decisions

 

If I am in rent arrears, how much will I have to pay?

If you are unable to clear the debt by a one-off payment, we will ask you how much you can afford to pay and assess your offer against the amount of the arrears and your payment history.

We will not ask you to pay an unreasonable amount that will make your situation worse but you may have to provide us with details of your income and expenditure.

 

What will happen if I ignore my rent arrears?

When you receive a letter, email, text message or telephone message from us informing you that you are in arrears it is important that you contact us immediately. If you do not work with us to resolve the problem we may take legal action against you that could ultimately result in an eviction and you could lose your home.

Whatever legal action we take, you will have to pay court costs (the current minimum court fee for possession claims is £325 plus our solicitor’s fee of £69.50). Legal action could affect your entitlement to be re-housed in the future and a court judgment for unpaid rent arrears (a “CCJ”) will adversely affect your credit rating.

 

​I want to move. Will my arrears affect my transfer or mutual exchange application?

Yes. Your application for a transfer or mutual exchange will not normally be approved by Woking Borough Council’s Housing Allocations Team unless you have a clear rent account. In exceptional circumstances e.g. if you are fleeing violence due to domestic abuse or anti-social behaviour, your Housing Manager may recommend that you are offered a transfer if there are no other options available to you. In these circumstances the offer of re-housing will be subject to you agreeing to accept and repay your arrears as part of your new tenancy.

 

​What legal action could be taken?

Every effort will be made to help you pay your rent arrears, but if you ignore our requests, or if you fail to honour your payment plan, we will commence recovery action in the County Court. This could result in:

  • Possession proceedings – these could lead to an eviction and you will lose your home
  • County Court Judgment – this will seriously affect your credit rating
  • Deduction from your benefits – deductions are made before you receive a payment
  • Attachment of Earnings Order – deductions are made directly from your wages/salary

 

What will happen if I am taken to court?

​When we apply to the court for a possession hearing you will be sent details of the date and time when your case will be heard by the District Judge at the County Court at Guildford.

We would strongly recommend that you attend this hearing so that you can explain to the judge the reason for your arrears and your plan for paying these.

The judge will consider all the evidence before deciding on whether to give Woking Borough Council (or Thameswey Housing) possession of your home.

​The judge could consider making one of the following possession orders:

 

Immediate Possession Order - You would need to leave your home immediately.

28 Day Possession Order - You will have 28 days before you have to leave your home.

Suspended Possession Order - Possession of your home has been suspended as long as you keep to the terms decided by the court. If you fail to keep to the terms of the court order we could apply for an eviction date which could result in you losing your home.

Postponed Possession Order - This is similar to the Suspended Possession Order. The Court has granted us possession of your home but postponed the order as long as you keep to the terms decided by the court. If you fail to keep to the terms of the court order New Vision Homes (on behalf of your landlord) can take legal steps to evict you from your home.

 

I have a possession order what happens next?

​In most cases it is still not too late to keep your home. You must keep to the terms of the court order until your arrears and any court costs are paid in full. If you miss any payments we could continue with legal action to evict you from your home.

We will evict tenants who refuse to pay their rent or persistently break their agreements with us.

 

​I have received a notice of an eviction date what can I do?

​It may still be possible to keep your home. Talk to your Rent Officer to find out what you need to do to stay in your home but at this stage of the process we would normally recommend that you obtain independent legal advice either from Citizens Advice or a solicitor.

You can also apply to the County Court for a ‘Stay’. This means that you can ask a judge to consider cancelling or postponing the eviction to give you more time to pay your arrears. There is no guarantee that the judge will agree to this and there is a court fee payable for making this type of application.

 

​What will happen to my rent arrears if I am evicted?

​Even if you have been evicted or you abandon your home you still have a legal duty to pay your landlord any rent arrears owed. New Vision Homes will trace former tenants who owe us money. We use a variety of legal measures to recover rent arrears from former tenants which can lead to more court hearings and legal costs. In addition, owing rent arrears to Woking Borough Council or Thameswey Housing could prevent you from being re-housed at a later date (even if you apply to another landlord).

 

​Where would I live if I was evicted because of rent arrears?

​If you have been evicted for not paying your rent you would be homeless and the Local Authorities may decide that you have made yourself intentionally homeless. This means that they are unlikely to offer you alternative accommodation and you would have to make your own arrangements to find a home.

Garage FAQ

How do I rent a garage?

Please go to our apply for a garage page and fill out an application.

How long will it take for me to be selected for a garage?

There is a long waiting list at present, the average waiting time is roughly 6 months.

How much does it cost to rent a garage?

£10.63 per week for council tenants and £16.50 per week for private renters.

What if the garage I rent requires repairs?

Contact the repairs team on 0300 3730373 option 1 then option 2. They can then meet you at the garage to carry out repairs required.