Innisfree committed

to the Irish community

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about our housing services that does not appear below please use our on-line form to submit your question.

How do I become an Innisfree tenant?

Sheltered Housing

Innisfree hold an internal waiting list, who are over 60 and interested in Sheltered Housing.  To be considered you will need to either get one of Innisfree’s approved referral agencies to complete an application form or register for sheltered housing with Brent council.

General Needs

You will need to contact your local council and asked to be placed on their housing list. Most applications need to be completed on line. If you need support with completing an application on line you will need to contact the local authority directly to request an appointment.

House Share

If you are interested in a room in one of our house shares you will need to get either one of Innisfree’s referral agencies to fill in the referral application.

Please note a room in a shared house is offered on a short term basis and you will need to meet the criteria in order to qualify for this type of housing. If you qualify for a room in a shared house this does not give you any entitlement to be housed in any of Innisfree general needs homes.

Alternatively, you can contact one of the Irish advice agencies or your local council’s housing advice service.

Brent Irish Advisory Service;
www.biasbrent.co.uk

Telephone: 020 7916 2222

London Irish Centre;
www.londonirishcentre.org

Telephone: 020 8741 0466

London Irish Care (Formerly Hammersmith Irish Centre)

[email protected]

Haringey Irish Centre;
www.haringey-irish.com

Telephone: 020 8885 3490

Rent

How much rent do I pay?

This depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your home, location, type of property and services provided.

Will my rent change during my tenancy?

Yes it will change throughout your tenancy but you will always be notified of these changes.

When and where do I pay my rent?

As an Innisfree tenant your tenancy agreement states that your rent is due weekly and in advance. You can pay you rent by bank standing order or using one of the allpay facilities; www.allpay.net. These include an allpay card at a post office or Pay Point outlet, online, text or telephone. If you need help with this, please contact Robert Ambrose our temporary Income Officer http://www.innisfree.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/staff-members/.

Can I get help with my rent?

If you are on a low income or receiving benefits, you might be entitled to claim housing benefit to help you with your rent. You can get help filling in the form from your housing officer or Income Officer or at the local council office. It is your responsibility to ensure that your claim for housing benefit is processed quickly and you can help the process by making sure you have all the information that the council needs such as a copy of your tenancy agreement and proof of your income.

Moving home

How can I get a transfer to another property?

All Innisfree tenants can apply for a move but because we are a small landlord, only a small number of empty homes become available each year. We also have to give most of these homes to councils to nominate new tenants to us.

If there are health reasons for a transfer a medical form must be completed by the applicant’s GP or another practitioner.

Can I swap my property with another person?

Yes, tenants have the right to an exchange. This is an arrangement whereby two public sector tenants agree to exchange properties, with the consent of their landlord. We pay a subscription for any Innisfree tenant to register so is at no cost to you. More information on the criteria and guidelines can be found on the following website www.homeswapper.co.uk or discuss with your housing officer.

What do I need to do if I want to give up my tenancy with Innisfree?

If you want to give up your tenancy with us you must give us 4 weeks’ notice that you want to leave. You must inform us of the date you will be leaving and ensure that the rent is paid in full up to this date including any arrears on your account.

Before you move out you must leave the flat in a clean and tidy condition and that all furniture and belongings have been cleared out. If you have any unwanted items you must arrange for the Council to collect them before you go. Your housing officer can provide you with more information to help.

Repairs

How should I report a repair to Innisfree?

In the first instance you should always report a repair to a member of staff at the Innisfree office. Innisfree provides tenants with a handbook leaflet which explains the responsibilities and processes in more detail.

How long will I have to wait for the repair to be carried out?

Guidance on timescales can be found here.

What if it is an emergency?

Innisfree have an out of hours emergency service who will respond only to major leaks or burst pipes; blocked drains; loss of electrical power; gas or heating/ hot water ( when no other form of heating exists). The contractors will normally make safe until a full repair assessment can be made. Tenants will be charged for improper use of this service.

Why should tenants pay for repairs?

If a repair is required due to negligence or damage caused by you or your family, Innisfree will expect you to arrange for the works to be done to an acceptable standard. If you fail to make good any damage caused you will be recharged and in some cases we will commence legal action under the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Where can I get advice on energy and fuel bills?

The Home Heat helpline is available to anyone who has queries with regard to their energy use. Visit the Home Heat website for free factsheets and leaflets or call 0800 33 66 99 to speak to an advisor.

Follow the link to read more about Innisfree’s Affordable Warmth Strategy.

Complaints

What can I do if I am not happy about how I have been treated?

We aim to give an excellent service to our customers at all times. However, we know that on occasions mistakes can happen or our services will not be of an acceptable standard. As a result you may wish to complain. Wherever possible, we will aim to resolve your complaint at the first point of contact.

If you are still dissatisfied please refer to our Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions leaflet which highlights the stages of our Complaints Policy and shows you what you can do next.

Tenant involvement

How do I get involved?

Tenants are active in a number of ways at Innisfree. We have tenants on our Board of Management, as members of our Tenant Scrutiny Panel (TSP) and we hold meetings at schemes and at our office so we can find out what you think of our services.

Our Tenant Scrutiny Panel is made up of up to 12 tenants from sheltered and general needs homes who meet our Chief Executive roughly every six weeks. They provide valuable feedback on our services, look at policies and procedures, write articles for the newsletter and help recruit key staff.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact us in the first instance by e-mail [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pets

Can I keep a pet?

Your Tenancy Agreement is very clear about first obtaining our permission to keep a pet. Permission is at our discretion and if we do agree to let you keep a pet, this permission can be withdrawn at any time if the pet causes a nuisance or annoyance to neighbours. Registered assistance dogs will automatically receive consent which lasts for its working life. To apply for permission, contact your Housing Officer.

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