Information for Tenants

Your home is important to you and Cowley RMO and Lambeth Home Ownership Department provide a range of services to you as one of our Homeowners.
The below pages hold all the information you need to know about your homes.

New Tenants

Your Tenancy Agreement

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a tenant. A tenancy agreement outlines our obligations to you such as carrying out repairs and outlines many of your obligations to us, your landlord, such as the need to pay rent, and not to cause nuisance, harassment or damage.

In addition, it sets out other conditions relating to the tenancy, such as the rules on keeping pets and installing satellite dishes. If you break the conditions of your Tenancy Agreement, or allow others to do so, we may take legal action to evict you from your home.

CRMO on behalf of the Council offers what is termed an ‘Introductory Tenancy’. This is a 12-month probationary tenancy after which the tenant will become a secure tenant, provided you meet the conditions of your tenancy agreement.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INTRODUCTORY AND A SECURE TENANCY

An introductory tenancy gives you many of the same rights as a secure council tenancy; however you can be evicted more easily. In addition, introductory tenants cannot:

  • Exchange their tenancy with any other tenant
  • Transfer the tenancy, unless they are ordered to by a court or in other very rare circumstances
  • Exercise the right to buy (however, the period of introductory tenancy may count towards the right to buy)
  • Take in lodgers or sublet all or part of the property or make improvements to the property without the Council’s permission

YOUR OBLIGATIONS AS AN INTRODUCTORY TENANT

As an introductory tenant you must:

  • Pay the weekly rent in advance
  • Keep the property clean and well decorated
  • Respect the neighbours and not cause a nuisance
  • Make sure that anyone living at or visiting the property does not cause a nuisance
  • Keep the garden in a neat and tidy condition
  • Allow Council and CRMO workmen into the property to carry out inspections and repairs and
  • Give the council four weeks’ notice to end the introductory tenancy.

The introductory tenant has other responsibilities that will be explained when you sign the tenancy agreement.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU MOVE IN

When you are moving in to your new home we will:

 

  • Endeavour to provide you with your new keys on the Wednesday before your tenancy commences.
  • Where applicable, have your redecoration allowance ready when you collect your keys.
  • If you have an individual boiler or heating system, we will provide you with a copy of a Gas Safety and Electric Certificates.
  • If you have a communal boiler or heating system, we will provide you with an Electric Certificate only.
  • Provide you with a Cowley Residents Welcome Pack, including a tenancy handbook and a copy of your tenancy conditions.

Paying your Rent & Service Charge

It is important to keep up to date with your rent payments and seek help as soon as you encounter any problems. This chapter sets out how we intend to collect rent and what standards you can expect from us.

Following the recent amendments in legislation to the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012, we no longer charge an additional fee to pay rent using your credit card.

Keep reading for information about the different ways to pay.

Pay Online

You can now pay your rent online by following the below link which will redirect you to Lambeth’s website:
https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/council-tenants-and-homeowners/pay-your-rent-and-service-charges
You will need your bank details ready to be entered.

    Direct Debit

    As an introductory tenant you must:

    • Pay the weekly rent in advance
    • Keep the property clean and well decorated
    • Respect the neighbours and not cause a nuisance
    • Make sure that anyone living at or visiting the property does not cause a nuisance
    • Keep the garden in a neat and tidy condition
    • Allow Council and CRMO workmen into the property to carry out inspections and repairs and
    • Give the council four weeks’ notice to end the introductory tenancy.

    The introductory tenant has other responsibilities that will be explained when you sign the tenancy agreement.

    Paypoint

    You can now pay your rent in cash at PayPoint outlets across the country, including newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations.

    Just take your existing rent or garage swipe card to a PayPoint with your rent payment. Make sure you keep a receipt and check your payment against your next rent statement.

      Pay by Phone

      You can pay your rent by credit or debit card by calling 020 7926 0690/97.

      You will need your nine-digit rent payment reference number, which you can find at the top of your rent statement or any rent arrears letters we may have sent you

        Pay by Standing Order

        To make regular automatic payments direct from your bank account, contact us on 020 7926 0690/7 or visit the Cowley Office for a standing order mandate form or more information.

          Pay at the Cowley Office

          Payments can be made in person via card or cash at the Cowley office during our opening hours.

            Pay at any Post Office

            You can pay at any post office branch using your rent payment card. Hand your card and payment to the cashier, and they will credit your payment and give you a receipt.

              Pay by Post

              If you prefer to pay by post please send a cheque made payable to London Borough of Lambeth.

              Write your name, address and rent reference number on the back and post it to:

              Cowley House
              147 Brixton Road
              London
              SW9 6LZ

              Do not send cash through the post.

                Gas & Electricity in Your Home

                Once you accept your tenancy, you will need to contact the property’s energy supplier. If you wish to change energy supplier you will be responsible for arranging your own utilities connection.

                You will need to take a reading of your current meters and pass this information on to the new suppliers. You will need to show a copy of your tenancy agreement that you signed at the office. You should allow seven working days for the supplies to be connected.

                Gas Safety in Your Home

                Cowley RMO aims to provide you with safe and reliable heating and hot water systems. This charter sets out clear advice and information regarding what services are available and standards you can expect from us.

                Service appliances: (Residents)
                By law we must carry out Gas Safety Checks to all tenanted properties that contain an individual boiler. All Gas Safety Checks for communal boilers/ heating systems will be carried out by Lambeth Council.

                For any suspected gas leak, please contact Transo Ltd urgently on 0800 111999.

                About Gas Servicing

                Should you experience problems with either your heating or hot water system or wish to have your system serviced; Cowley DLO can be contacted on 020 7926 0690.

                Outside of normal working hours please contact Lambeth Out of Hours on 020 7926 6666.

                About gas safety checks

                • We will complete a gas safety check every 12 months as is legally required.
                • We only employ Gas safe registered engineers who carry identification
                • We will aim to arrange convenient appointments, including evenings and weekends.
                • We will visit your property twice by appointment, to ensure the service is completed.
                • We will provide you with a copy of the gas safety record (CP12)
                • We will make safe all heating related leaks within two hours.
                • We will aim to repair gas central heating and water heaters within 24 hours between the months of November and April and within 3 days between May and October.
                • We will provide temporary heating if we are unable to meet these time scales.

                IF you fail to provide access for gas safety checks

                • We will make two appointments to visit you, however if access is still not provided, your gas safety check will be placed in to ‘referred to council’ status.
                • This status is the first step towards obtaining a court injunction to ensure access is provided.
                • We will write to you requesting you make contact with the estate office within 14 days to arrange a suitable appointment.
                • If no contact is received we will write to you again suggesting an appointment time and date.
                • If no contact is still received we will write to confirm that if no appointment is arranged within 7 days, a court injunction will be sought.
                • If no contact is still received we will make an application to the county court to obtain an injunction to complete the necessary checks. The injunction will allow us to force entry into your home and recharge you the cost of doing so.

                Household Insurance

                Cowley RMO does not provide household contents insurance for its residents.

                It is recommended that you arrange your own insurance. Lambeth Council does operate competitive insurance cover through Housing Insurance Services for both Tenants and Leaseholder’s.

                For further information, please contact 01962 844 454.

                Dog Ownership

                Dog ownership appears to be on the rise on our estates. As a nation of dog lovers that could be a good thing but we’re also seeing an increase in reports of dog nuisance.

                We’ve recently been alerted to cases of dogs barking at unsocial hours, dog fouling in communal areas and, occasionally, dogs having been used to frighten our residents.

                The Dogs Trust explains: “The way that a dog behaves is more to do with how it is brought up than anything else, including its breed.”

                It’s clear then that we can’t blame our dogs if they’re misbehaving – it’s all down to us! But Tenancy Enforcement believe that some problems are due to lack of knowledge. We, therefore, produced a pets and dogs policy.

                This policy includes clear guidelines on dog ownership and sets out requirements that include dog micro-chipping and a dog audit to encourage responsible dog ownership.

                Our 2013 Tenancy Conditions includes detailed rules relating specifically to pet ownership. A resident must get permission from Cowley RMO to keep a dog and this will only be granted by us if the property is suitable.

                All dogs must be micro-chipped and we require your up-to-date details.

                Dog ownership permission can be withdraw at any time if you do not follow the guidelines for responsible dog ownership.

                Moving Out

                You are required to give us written notification of when you intend to vacate your property with at least 4 full weeks’ notice.

                Keys must be returned to the estate office before 12 noon on the day in which your notice to end your tenancy expires. Keys returned later will incur additional full week’s rent.

                We expect you to leave you home in a clean and safe manner. All of your personal belongings should be removed. Any repairs not due to fair wear and tear and that are your responsibility, will be recharged to you. Please refer to the ‘repairs service chapter’ in the tenant’s handbook.

                Once notice of you vacating the property is received and the keys have been returned we expect to take vacant possession of the property. If vacant possession is not given, we will initiate possession proceedings to obtain the property back and all costs incurred will be recharged to you.

                Get in Touch.

                XDHSCowley1@lambeth.gov.uk

                0207 926 0690 / 0697

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