Scroll tp top

Tenant Advice

As a Southside Housing Association tenant you have full security of tenure. You have the right to stay in your home for as long as you wish provided you do not breach the terms of your Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement.

If you have misplaced your tenancy agreement, or would like it in another language or format (such as Braille or audio tape) please contact us.

To assist you moving in we would advise you to do the following:

  • If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, please ensure you have completed a new claim or a change of circumstances with a member of staff. Our Welfare Rights Team are available to help you claim all of the benefits you are due.
  • Set up a direct debit payment to pay your rent by the 28th of each month or confirm with staff which method of payment you intend to use. Learn more about paying your rent here.
  • Move into the property on your date of entry and confirm with Financial Services that you moved in on the date of entry
  • Arrange contents insurance for your furniture, decoration and belongings as the Association only provide the Building Insurance. If you are interested in taking contents insurance please go to the Thistle Tenant Risk Website at thistletenants-scotland.co.uk.
  • Take note of your gas and electricity meter readings. There are a number of companies which supply gas and electricity and it is your own choice who to use but it is important that you do so immediately to ensure you are not held accountable for any outstanding debt by the former tenant.

Responsibilities:

  • Pay your rent and other charges on the 28th day of each month.
  • Take care of your property, keep the inside properly decorated & carry out any repairs you are responsible for.
  • Take care to see that your rubbish is properly bagged and put in the bin store or other proper place allocated for it.
  • Ensure that everyone in your household and your visitors behave responsibly. They must not cause nuisance to neighbours, or harass or threaten other people, including our staff.
  • Ensure that you are not overcrowding the property.
  • Let us know in writing at least 4 weeks before you intend to leave.
  • Write to us asking permission if you want to carry out any alterations to your home.

Breaches:

A breach of tenancy is the term used when you fail to keep to the terms of your Tenancy Agreement, for example, not paying your rent or harassing your neighbours.

You and your family can be taken to court and ultimately made to leave your home if you breach your tenancy.

Anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour is deemed as a serious breach of your tenancy agreement.  Southside Housing Association will start legal proceeding against any tenant who regularly engages in Anti-social behaviour will may result in the loss of their home.

  • Anti-Social behaviour means causing or likely to cause, distress, nuisance or annoyance to any person or causing damage to anyone’s property.
  • Harassment of a person includes causing the person alarm or distress.
  • You must not make excessive noise.
  • You must not behave in an abusive manner towards any of our employees, agents or contractors of Southside Housing Association.
  • You must not use or carry offensive weapons.
  • You must not use or allow the house to be used for illegal purposes. This includes but is not limited to the following: storing or dealing in controlled drugs, running a brothel, storing or dealing in stolen goods and illegal gambling.

Problems with your rent

If you get into difficulties with your rent, contact the Rent Team as soon as possible.  We may be able to help you to sort out the problem by:

  • Changing payments to fit in with your salary cycle e.g. weekly
  • Coming to an arrangement, which allows you to pay off arrears in instalments
  • We are happy to agree a payment plan with you if you wish to pay your rent weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

If a genuine problem exists, we will work out a realistic arrangement for repayment of the arrears taking all your circumstances into account.  However, if we make an arrangement with you it is important you keep to it.

IF YOU DO NOT, WE WILL TAKE LEGAL ACTION TO REPOSSESS YOUR HOME.


Abandonments

It is extremely important that you let us know if you intend to leave your home unoccupied for more than 28 days.  If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit, it will not be backdated for more than 4 weeks, and in this instance or if you are in receipt of Universal Credit, please contact both your Housing Officer and our Welfare Rights Team if you are planning any extended absence.

If we believe you have abandoned your home, or if you are not living in it as your only or principle home, we will serve legal (abandonment) notices to end your tenancy.

If you do not contact in writing within 28 days we can end your tenancy, force access to your home, dispose of your possessions, and then re-let the property.


Sub-letting and Lodgers

Southside Housing Association does allow sub-letting in cases where a tenant cannot live in their home for a limited period of time, but does not wish to give up the tenancy.  We do impose conditions where a sub-let is approved.  You cannot sublet your property without the Association’s approval.  You should contact the Housing Officer to discuss the details and to apply for permission.

If you wish to take in a lodger, you should also contact your Housing Officer asking for permission.

Where the request for sub-letting or taking in lodgers would result in overcrowding, we will not be able to give permission for this.

All requests for permission to sub-let or take in a lodger will be considered within 4 weeks and we will not withhold our consent unreasonably.


Pets

Tenants in multi-storey flats are not allowed to keep dogs.  “Multi-storey” means any tower block of 7 floors or more with lift access.

All other tenants should apply in writing for permission to keep a household pet or any other type of animal.

Permission will be given under certain conditions:

  • Your pet is not prohibited by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
  • You will supervise and keep your pet under control
  • You will not allow your pet to foul or cause damage to the house, common areas or neighbour’s property

If you do not keep to the conditions as detailed above, then permission to keep your pet will be withdrawn.

Any tenant within a multi-storey block who does not adhere to the ‘No Dogs’ Policy will be subject to legal action.

Pets can be a source of complaint from neighbours, with the more common complaints including dogs continually barking or fouling on common areas and pavements.  Please be a responsible dog owner: do not leave dogs alone in your home, ensure they are walked properly and you clean up their mess, otherwise you risk a fixed penalty notice or fine.

Fixed penalty notices of £80 are issued under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 to offenders who let their dogs foul and do not immediately “bag it & bin it” appropriately.

The penalty increases to £100 if not paid within 28 days. The “bag it & bin I”’ campaign is actively promoted throughout the city. Signs are mounted to lampposts and affixed in problem areas.


Legal Action and Eviction

If the Association wishes to repossess your tenancy it must follow legal procedures.  Legal notices must be service on all members of the household who are over 16 years of age, stating the grounds for the recovery of the property.

The Association believes Court Action to terminate a tenancy is the very last resort where all other alternative solutions have failed.  If you face legal action you should always contact the Association immediately to discuss the matter.  You should also seek independent legal advice as you are entitled to defend any action taken against your tenancy.

It should be noted that if we have to start court proceeding then you will be held liable for the court expenses which could be in the region of £400.00 plus.

If you feel we have not met our responsibilities as your landlord please contact us to let us know.

In most cases problems are resolved quickly and efficiently. Please make a complaint if feel the matter has not been resolved.

Before going ahead with any alteration or improvement in your home no matter how small, you must obtain permission from us. We encourage all tenants to discuss their proposals with a member of the repairs and maintenance team to obtain their advice before making a formal application in writing.

Requests will either be refused permission or granted permission subject to certain specific conditions. If permission is granted you must then complete the work to the Association’s satisfaction, then advise us when work is completed and allow access for inspection. Records of the process will be kept and if required used to clarify maintenance responsibilities at a later date.

Improvements will not be authorised by us in newly built or refurbished properties until expiry of the defects liability period.


Some common examples of alterations which require our permission include:

  • Replacement doors or laminated floors
  • Replacement or additional kitchen units
  • Installation of fixed fireplaces, shower, garden sheds or garages
  • All alterations to electrical or gas systems including additional sockets
  • Alterations to plasterwork, artex or tiling
  • Installation of satellite dishes.

Please note that alterations might also require Planning Permission and/or a Building Warrant, both of which are granted by Glasgow City Council. It is your own responsibility to apply for these.  Obtaining consent from us does not mean that you will get these other permissions, and vice-versa.


Compensation for Alterations & Improvements

Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, Scottish Secure tenants may be able to receive compensation from their landlord for improvements which they made to their home on or after 30th September 2002. For you to qualify for this compensation:

  • We must have approved the improvement; and
  • Your tenancy must have ended

You can apply for compensation when you know your tenancy is coming to an end. We recommend you let us know about this as early as possible. You will not receive compensation if your home is being repossessed by the Association.


What you can claim compensation for

  • The cost of materials (but not appliances such as cookers or fridges); and
  • Labour costs (but not your own labour)

Decorating the inside of your home does not qualify for compensation. You will usually need to give us a receipted invoice to show how much your improvements cost. If you have not got an invoice, tell us straight away and give us a rough idea of the total cost.


How to claim compensation

You must make a claim in writing within the period starting 28 days before and ending 21 days after your tenancy comes to an end.

We will need to know:

  • Your name & address;
  • What improvements you have made;
  • How much each improvement cost; an
  • The date the improvements were started & finished.

We may wish to inspect the improvement. If you make a false claim or claim for more than the real amount, we may take legal action against you.


How we calculate compensation

  1. We will start with the cost of the improvement and may ask you to provide proof of the amount you have spent. It is a good idea to keep a copy of any bills in a safe place and you may want to send a copy to us when the work has been done.
  2. If you had financial help such as a grant to help make your improvements, we will take the amount of this grant from the cost of your improvements.
  3. The value of any improvement you have made falls as the improvement gets older and as you get use out of it. The compensation you get will take the age of your improvement into account.
  4. We may also reduce your compensation if we believe you paid too much for the improvement or the quality is higher than it would have been if we had done it.
  5. We may also increase or reduce your compensation depending on the condition of the improvement when your tenancy ends.
  6. We can also take any money you owe from the compensation you are entitled to (for example, for unpaid rent).

If you do not agree with our decision

You can ask the Association to reconsider its decision within 28 days of giving it to you. The decision must then be reviewed independently.

All Southside Housing Association tenants sign a Good Neighbour Agreement which explains your responsibilities as a neighbour and highlights how we will work together to make sure your neighbourhood is and remains a clean, safe and secure environment.

Learn more about on policy on Anti Social Behaviour here: Anti Social Behaviour Policy March 2019

 

“I was very pleased at how quick the repair was fixed and what a nice lad that fixed it!”

Resident of St Andrews Crescent