July Forum Newsletter

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July’s Forum topics were the Pet Policy and service charges. 

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Overview

July’s forum took place and we discussed Pet Policy & services charges. The Pet Policy is currently under review and your feedback is being considered. Thank you to everyone who has been involved, your feedback will be reviewed before this is published.

We also discussed service charges, a topic requested by attendees, and we hope you found this useful.

Pet Policy

We had an open discussion about requirements of the pet policy. The main considerations were concerns/complaints about pets and who to report these too.

Some of the most common pet concerns/complaints raise were:

  • Causing damage to customer properties/other properties
  • Fouling
  • Noise
  • Fleas and vermin infestations
  • Threatening behaviour

The following action can be taken by Derwent Living if the offending pet breaches guidelines set in the tenancy agreement or pet policy:

  • Breach of Tenancy Warning
  • Housing Officer request for removal of pet
  • Breach of Tenancy – Injunction
  • Ordered removal of pet
  • Starter Tenancy – Breach of Tenancy
  • Possession via Section 21
  • Assured Tenancy – Breach of Tenancy
  • Possession Order

There are four places you can call if you have concerns. In the first instance you can call Derwent Living. We will be able to tell you if we can act and if not  sign post you to the correct place. These could include the Police on 101, the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999 or your Local Authority’s Environmental Health Department.

Changes in the proposed policy

Changes to the Pet Policy currently under review include:

  • Permission will be required for any pet in a flat/maisonette
  • In houses, bungalows & retirement living properties customers will need to sign a pet contract
  • Lastly, how customers will apply to keep a pet has changed; you will be able to do this online (coming soon), over the phone or in writing.

Again, thank you to everyone who contributed to the Pet Policy discussion. 

Service Charges

Phil (Accounts Co-ordinator) discussed his role and how service charges are worked out. He receives cost estimates provided by each department yearly. A normal scheme includes both flats and houses and some of these costs will be associated to both accommodation types, and some individual.

Its Phil’s job to ensure these costs are divided and charged to the correct accommodation type in each scheme, based on the services it receives. Due to the complexity of some scheme this has can become a difficult task.

An example of what is and isn’t a service charge and how it could be allocated is below;

Charge Included Not included House Flat
Communal cleaning Yes   Pays Pays
Fencing repairs between properties   No    
Door entry maintenance Yes   Pays Pays
Boundary fencing on communal land Yes   Pays Pays

Coming soon

The topics for the next forum are grounds maintenance and pledging to tackle domestic violence through the Chartered Institute of Housing's Make a Stand campaign. You can book your places via the website, or emailing us at getinvolved@derwentliving.com. 

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