FAQs

Below is a list of some Frequently Asked Questions that relate to existing Two Castles homes.

If you can't find the answer to your question you can send us a question.

Click here to be taken to the Ask A Question page.

Can I have visitors?

Yes, you can have visitors, although you are responsible for their behaviour.

Can my family have keys?

Yes. You are provided with three sets of keys when you become a tenant. We recommend that you pass a set to your family as key holders, so that we can contact them in the event of an emergency.

Can I keep pets in my home?

Yes. You can keep domestic pets in your home as long as you receive prior written permission from us, and as long as keeping the pets do not contravene any laws such as the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Residents are responsible for the behaviour of any pets owned by themselves, anyone living in their home or anyone visiting their home. For more information, you should contact your area office.

Can I redecorate my home?

Yes. You may decorate the internal areas of your home to your own individual tastes and style.

If you have any further queries regarding the above, please contact our Maintenance Department at the relevant area office.
 

Can I have an electric scooter in my home?

We will try to accommodate you wherever possible. Some of our schemes are more difficult than others due to the nature of site. You must obtain permission from your local office before bringing the scooter onto the development. We will not normally refuse permission without good reason, but you must nevertheless obtain permission. In most circumstances the scooter must be kept in your own home and charged using your own electricity. To obtain permission, or to find out more, contact your local office.

Will the terms of my tenancy change?

The terms of your tenancy are within your tenancy agreement. The rights you have are either rights given to you by law or contractual ones and these cannot be changed without consulting you.

I am having problems with my neighbours, what can I do about it?

Neighbour problems, anti-social behaviour and harassment take place in various forms. They can range from a barking dog, loud music or worse still, violence. If you experience problems please contact your Housing Officer to ask for help and advice.

Normally we will ask you first if you have tried to sort things out, for example by asking your neighbour to turn their music down. We will tell you what you need to do, what evidence we may need and how we can take action. We promise to take your problem seriously and thoroughly investigate.

Where we cannot help you we will tell you why and how else you might solve the problem.
 

How do I report a repair out of hours?

You can report an emergency repair by either phoning your local office or by phoning 0845 543 6417 for our out of hours emergency repairs call out service.

How quickly will you do my repair?

We have three categories of repair: Emergency - should be carried out within 24 hours. Urgent: - should be carried out within 7 days. Non urgent should be carried out within 28 days. Details and examples of these three types of repairs can be found on our website under your home/repairs/ when will my repair be done?

I am interested in getting home contents insurance

We work in cooperation with the Northern Housing Consortium to promote an affordable home contents policy. Please speak to your housing officer for further information.

I'm finding it difficult to keep up with paying my rent. What should I do?

Contact us now, so that your situation does not get serious. We deal with rent arrears in a firm, but fair way. It may be that we can agree an arrangement to repay an agreed amount of arrears over a longer period, rather than all at once.

For further information on what to do if you are in arrears please click here.

Can we pay our rent online?

Currently our website does not allow for this. However we are looking to add this facility in the near future. However, we do have a range of other methods.

Please click here to see more information on how to pay your rent.

Can you smoke in the house and are there any restrictions for visitors?

Smoking in your own home is permitted. Smoking is not allowed in communal areas such as lounges, corridors etc. Visitors are expected to observe any restrictions in force.

How do I apply for a transfer if I already live in a Two Castles Housing Associations home?

For a transfer within Two Castles please contact your local area office. For a transfer outside of Two Castles, either contact your local area office or if a Common Housing Register exists in the local authority area in which you live, you should apply to the local authority then you can be considered for vacancies in all the participating landlords' properties.

How can I check what is happening with my repair?

Contact the Property Services team at our offices.

What does my rent include?

Apart from paying to live in your house, (your rent) we MAY include a service charge for communal services, for example a charge for any heating and hot water provided by communal systems. This will be shown separately from your actual rent, but you make one payment to us made up of both rent and service charge.

Can I buy part of a house?

If you live in rented accommodation you cannot, given current law, buy a part share of your home. As a tenant in rented accommodation you may have the right to buy your entire home from us under the current law. For further information please contact your local area office. You can buy part of a home under our home ownership scheme, please click here for more information on home ownership.

Are mutual exchanges possible - can I swap homes?

If you are one of our tenants, one of the Council’s, or another housing association and you have a secure or assured tenancy agreement, then you qualify for a home exchange. For more information speak to your local office.

How do I keep track of my rent payments?

We will record your payments on our computer each time you pay. We send you a statement twice a year which shows what rent you have paid. You can also ask for a statement at any other time. You should also keep a check on payments yourself. Keep any receipts you are given and check your bank statements.

What if I pay my rent late or have financial difficulties?

You are breaking the conditions of your tenancy agreement if you pay your rent late. If you have money troubles, please contact us and we will tell you what to do and give you advice. For further information please click here to find out about help if you are in arrears.

Will you let me know about anything that affects me?

Yes. We must, by law, consult you on certain matters. In addition, we are committed to keeping you informed about most other things that we do. We do this in a variety of ways: personally, by letter, through our residents' magazine Fanfare, by scheme or through residents’ representatives.

Can I pay my rent by cash at your office?

Can I have a satellite dish?

You should write to us and ask for permission - the reply will depend on where you live and building restrictions. It is important to check with your local planning office before you write to us.

How do I complete my Housing Benefit form?

If you need any advice on how to complete the form please contact your local area office.

How much notice do I have to give when I wish to leave my property?

Your tenancy is a legal agreement. This means that by law, you must give us one month’s notice. If you don't, you will still be liable for the rent and the condition of the property, even though you may already have left the premises.

In order to end your tenancy with us, you will need to do the following:

1. Write to us advising that you wish to end the tenancy.

2. Make sure you give a month’s notice.

3. Allow time for your Housing Officer to come and check that the property is in good order (this could save you from being re-charged for any repairs we have to carry out before we can re-let it).

4. Carry out any work that you have agreed with your Housing Officer.

5. Make sure you return all keys promptly on the agreed day (if you don't we may charge a fee for the additional time).

6. Let us know your new address.
 

I can smell gas - what should I do?

Contact The National Gas Emergency Service immediately on their emergency number - 0800 111999.

Someone has broken my window

It is the tenant's responsibility to replace the glass in broken windows - you should be able to claim through your house insurance. It is advisable to report the incident to the police and keep the crime reference number for your insurance company.

There may be circumstances where we can arrange for a contractor to carry out the work, but we will charge you for this. You may be able to pay us in installments.

I have lost my keys!

We do not have spare keys to individual properties. You are responsible for arranging and paying for a locksmith. It is advisable to get several quotes first - locksmiths are listed in the Yellow Pages.

Once you have had your locks replaced it is a good idea to leave a spare key with a trusted friend or relative - just in case it happens again! We cannot hold keys for you.

Can I apply to take in a lodger?

You cannot take in a lodger without our prior written consent. We would not unreasonably refuse to give consent, but we may refuse it, for example, if you are asking for an unreasonable rent or deposit, or if the property would be over crowded.

How can I apply to sublet?

Under the terms of our tenancy agreements you are not allowed to sub-let the property, however if you wish to take in lodgers you must contact your housing officer as you must have our permission in writing.

Can I apply for succession to a tenancy?

There are 3 levels of priority for someone to inherit a tenancy after a death:

Level 1: A joint tenant, a spouse or co-habitee (provided the house was their only or principal home at the time of the death, and in the case of the co-habitee they had also lived in the house for 6 months).

Level 2: A member of the deceased’s family over 16 years of age (provided the house was their only or principal home at the date of the death). Family in this context means parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, stepchild or adopted child.

Level 3: A carer over 16 years of age who is providing or has provided care for the deceased or a member of the deceased’s family (provided the house was their only or principal home at the date of the death and they had given up their only principal home before the death).

The order of priority for succession starts with qualifying people in level 1, then level 2 and lastly in level 3. If more than one person qualifies under any level, they decide between them who should be the new tenant. If they cannot agree, we will make the decision.

If anyone wishes to succeed a tenancy, they should notify us within 28 days of the death. We will process their request in accordance with the qualifying criteria outlined above.
 

How can I carry out alterations to my house?

As a tenant you generally have the right to carry out both internal and external alterations and improvements to your home and garden. You are first required, however, to seek our approval.

What is Right to Repair?

The right to repair applies to all rented properties. If you wish to know more about this, please contact the maintenance department at your area office.

Please click here to be taken to the contacts section of our website.

What are the qualifying repairs?

There are a number of qualifying repairs which can be quite detailed. You will need to discuss with our maintenance department.

What do I do if I want to make a complaint?

We take all complaints very seriously, and have a procedure to deal with complaints that are made by anyone about the service that we provide. For more information please click here to take a look at our complaints section on the website.

How do I make a suggestion/comment or compliment about a service?

We want to make sure that our services meet both our published standards and your needs as residents – so your feedback is important to us.  You can either contact your local office or use the form provided on this website.

Please click here to view the contacts section of our website.

Please click here to go to the feedback form.