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Help and Advice

Welcome

Finding the perfect private accommodation doesn’t have to be a chore. But it’s important to remember that there is more to consider than just the size of your bedroom. Our Housing Guide will help you avoid all the common mistakes thousands of tenants make each year when moving into their new private house.

Our Housing Advice page is designed to help you have all the information you need to find a suitable home in the area of your choice. Open up any of the following guides to help you when you are looking to rent a home.


 

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When you have found a property you like

You should arrange to view the home as it gives you the chance to see if it is the right home for you. It gives the landlord a chance to meet you. It is important to bear in mind that landlords will be looking to see if you are or can be a suitable tenant.

A private landlord will not normally ask for fees and will usually be flexible on the cost of the rent, however you should always try and talk to the landlord and agree the rents wherever possible.

A letting agent may ask for fees and you should ask in advance of viewing a home what the fees are. Never be pressured into making any payments if you are unsure on the home.

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Going to view the property

It is a good idea to go and view the property as there are many things to think about. Things like:

  • The area.
  • How close it is to the shops, schools, community resources.
  • How far you need to travel to get to work and to see family, etc.

You will have a lot of information to think about within a short space of time. Write down questions you would like to ask the landlord or agent at the property. Take a pen, paper and a copy of the agents property details (if available) with you.

If you have a physical disability check you can access the property. It may also be useful to take a tape measure with you so you can measure any narrow walkways, you need to check that your furniture will fit into the rooms or through doorways.

If there is a loft and only if it is possible and safe to access you should look at the loft space to ensure no furniture is stored or left behind by past tenants.

When viewing the home it is essential to make sure you take enough time to check both the outside and inside of a home as closely as you can.

It is important that you are not rushed, either by those viewing with you or the landlord or agent that is showing you around. You will stand a far better chance of identifying problems before you into the property.

The home could be your next home and taking a few extra minutes to check the property is right for you is certainly worthwhile. You do not have to be a qualified surveyor to do this. Go to Section 3 – What to look for and follow the simple check list.

If you will be claiming the Local Housing Allowance (Housing Benefit) then you should also check how much Local Housing Allowance you will receive and how much you may need to pay to cover any shortfall.

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What to look for a simple check list

The Exterior

  • The roof looks sound, there aren't any tiles missing.
  • The gutters and pipes aren't broken or leaking.
  • The window frames aren't rotten.
  • The windows aren't broken or cracked.

The Interior

  • No signs of damp, e.g., dark patches, peeling wallpaper or flaking paint.
  • Few signs of condensation such as mould on the walls.
  • There aren't any signs of pests, like slug trails and mouse droppings.

Gas & Electricity

  • The plugs don't get hot when switched on. Check there are plenty of sockets.
  • The wiring doesn't look old, there aren't any frayed cables.
  • The gas fire heats up properly and isn't heat stained (if it is it may be dangerous).
  • Date gas appliances last serviced and have been shown the valid Gas Safety Certificate.
  • The cooker works!

Plumbing

  • There is hot water.
  • The taps all work properly.
  • The bath and basins aren't cracked and the toilet flushes properly.

Security

  • The external doors are solid with five-bar mortice locks.
  • The internal doors all have locks.
  • The windows all have locks.
  • Does it have a burglar alarm? Use your bargaining powers to get one. It is in the agent's/landlord's interest as well as your own.
  • Does it have a smoke detector?

Print out Check List:

PDF Format
Word Document

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Safety Issues

Gas Safety Certificates

From 1st April 2009, the law requires all agents/landlords to ensure all gas appliances in a property are safe and checked every year by a person registered with the Gas Safe Register and provide each tenant with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate.

If you are a new tenant, then you should be issued with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate before you move in. Any gas safety record given to you after 1st April 2009 will only be valid if the engineer is registered with Gas Safe Register.

gas_safe

Click on the Gas Safe logo link for more info!
The Health & Safety Executive has a Gas Safety Advice line on
0800 300363
In the event of an emergency call
0800 111999

Electricity

Many agents/landlords may hold a NICEIC certificate which proves that the property has had an electrical check within the last five years. Although this is recommended, it is not a legal requirement.

Socket Calculator

The Socket Calculator has been brought to you by Electrical Safety First.

For more safety information visit http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk

Visit the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service for more information. 

Fire Safety

On 1 January 1997 the final phase of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 came into force. This means that furniture and furnishings supplied in let accommodation must reach the standards of fire and safety requirements in the Regulations. All residential premises including flats, bedsits and houses where furniture is supplied as part of the let are covered by these regulations.

The type of furniture covered by the regulations are: any upholstered furniture including chairs, sofas, children's furniture, beds, head boards (if upholstered), mattresses, scatter cushions, seat pads, pillows and even garden furniture if it is upholstered and can be used in the dwelling. Carpets, curtains and duvets are not covered by the regulations.

Smoke Alarm Maintenance

Babysitting Safety

Downloads

Chimney Safety

Carbon Monoxide

If you have gas appliances in your house, Carbon Monoxide is a possible danger. It's invisible and odorless, but it can kill.

Watch out for.....

  • Gas flames that burn orange or yellow rather than blue.
  • Sooty stains on or around your appliances.
  • Solid fuels that burn slowly or go out.

Know the symptoms....

  • Unexplained drowsiness.
  • Giddiness when standing up.
  • Headaches.
  • Sickness and Diarrhoea.
  • Chest pains.
  • Unexplained stomach pains.

Carbon Monoxide? Be Alarmed! Campaign

In October 2008, the Carbon Monoxide Consumer Awareness Alliance launched a new national campaign aimed at cutting the number of deaths and injuries caused by Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

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Household Costs

What bills you need to pay for

  • Find out what is included in your rent. For example, does it include Gas, electricity or council tax? If not, you will be responsible for paying these bills.
  • If possible, ask the previous tenants what they paid for gas, electricity and water.
  • Take readings of the relevant meters as soon as you move in and notify the relevant suppliers when you moved in and what the meter reading are.

If you are unsure about how to do this and you have a support worker ask them for help

Insurance

  • You should always get your belongings insured just in case you have an accident or get burgled.
  • Shop around to find the right insurance package for your requirements.

Council Tax

  • You are normally responsible for the council tax unless it’s included in your rent or you are exempt. If you are a single person or on benefits you need to check if you can get Council Tax reduction.

TV Licence

You will need a licence if you use a TV receiving equipment to watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV.

‘TV receiving equipment’ means any equipment which is used to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV. This includes a TV, computer, mobile phone, games console, digital box, DVD/VHS recorder or any other device.

To check if you need one go to:

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Contracts between you and the landlord

The protection you have largely depends on your status as an occupier. However, an Assured Short Hold Tenancy Agreement (England) or Short Assured Tenancy (Scotland) are the most common. These can be made for a specific period of time, for instance, one academic year, but they will not usually be made for a period of less than 6 months. Please note that if you are staying with the owner of the property then you will not be a "Tenant" and should therefore not be required to sign a contract. If you are sharing a house then you may be asked to sign a joint tenancy or a separate tenancy. If you sign a joint tenancy then you will all be responsible for each other's debts and damages. If you have your own contract then if there are any disagreements, the argument is between yourself and your agent/landlord and should not involve your housemates. Points to Note Rents must be agreed before the contract is signed since this is a binding agreement. Remember-you can negotiate with the agent/landlord over rents; opt out clauses etc. if you are not happy with the agent's/landlord's suggestions. You cannot give notice during the period of the contract, if no such clause has been added to the contract. If you leave before the end of the fixed term then you (or your housemates) remain liable for the remaining rent. Always try to get your contract checked – Trading Standards, Citizen's Advice or your support worker will be able to assist you. Remember to get a copy of your contract! Agents/Landlords must comply with relevant legislation on Notice to Quit and Termination of Tenancies. A Notice to Quit also has to contain prescribed information. An agent/landlord cannot simply evict a tenant without a Court Order and this will only be granted on certain grounds. See your rights Downloads CLG Assured & Assured Shorthold Tenancy Guide

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Your Rights

Your Agent/Landlord is responsible for........

  • Keeping in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling house, including drains, gutters, and external pipes.
  • Keeping in repair and proper working order the installations for the supply of water, gas, and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, and for heating rooms and heating water.
  • Providing a rent book if statute so requires (e.g. where the rent is paid weekly).
  • Providing you with the agents/landlords full name and address.
  • Providing you with a copy of the valid current Gas Safety Certificate (see Standards).
  • Allowing you to "peacefully enjoy" your accommodation (unless there is an emergency).
  • Agents/Landlords have the right to enter the property at reasonable times to carry out the repairs for which they are responsible and to inspect the condition and the state of repair of the property. They must give at least 24 hours notice in writing of an inspection. It would be helpful to set out the arrangements for access and procedures for getting repairs done in the tenancy agreement.
  • Providing you with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

You are responsible for being a good tenant.........

This means

  • Acting in a "tenant-like manner". This means you should perform the smaller tasks around the house such as mending the electric light when a fuse blows; unblocking the sink when clogged with waste, cleaning the windows when necessary.
  • Not damaging the house, if you do then you and your guests are responsible for the repairs.
  • Put the bins out for collection! Remember to find out the collection day from your local council. Put the wheelie bin out - and bring it back in again - it's illegal to leave it on the street.
  • Securing the property when you go away. Make sure you lock all the doors and windows!
  • Reporting all repairs needed to the agent/landlord (preferably in writing). The agent's/landlord's responsibility to repair begins only when they are aware of the problem.
  • Giving the landlord or appointed tradesmen access to carry out  any repairs that you have reported.

Downloads

Harassment and Unlawful Eviction

At the end of your fixed term tenancy, if the agent/landlord does not renew the tenancy and you continue to stay at the property. Then your tenancy automatically becomes a periodic tenancy. This means your rent, your rights other responsibilities remain the same.

If your agent/landlord would you like to leave your home and end the tenancy then they must follow the correct legal process. This will include giving you:

A valid written notice with the prescribed information, such as  example,

  • Date notice served.
  • Date the property is required back.
  • Landlord details.
  • Tenants details.
  • The address of the property that is given notice on.
  • The correct notice section
  • The notice is at least 2 clear calendar months of the due rent.
  • Any deposit paid is protected in one of the approved government scheme and you have been provided with the prescribed information and informed which scheme the deposit is held in.

If the above information been provided and the correct notices have been served and you have not secured alternative accommodation. Then the landlord will need to apply to the court for a possession order. Please note, if it gets to this stage then the courts may award costs against you to the landlord.

If you are evicted without the Agent/Landlord following the above procedure then the agent/landlord is committing a criminal offence, under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

In addition, if the agent/landlord (or someone acting on their behalf) interferes with your peace or comfort either with unannounced visits, by not fulfilling his/her responsibilities for basic repairs (as listed above), disconnecting utility supplies etc. then this may amount to harassment which is also a criminal offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

If you are in danger of eviction or suffering from harassment by your agent/landlord then you should contact your local Council's Housing Advice Team, or your Council's Anti-Social Behavior Team. Citizen's Advice can also help as well.

Downloads

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Making sure you are safe

Here are a few pointers in checking the security of the property.

  • Is the property in a 'good' area?
  • Is the property set back from the road? Is the street lighting good?
  • Are the front and rear doors solid?
  • Have the doors got good locks e.g five lever mortice locks?
  • Is there a chain on the door? If not, can the agent/landlord fit one?
  • Are the curtains of your room see-through? Insist on thicker ones if they are.
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Protecting your deposit

New Tenancy Deposit Law

You will normally be required to pay a deposit to the agents/landlords as security in case you damage the property or furnishings. It can also be used to cover unpaid bills, rent or missing items. Most agents/landlords will ask for a sum that is the same four weeks or a calendar month's rent. The maximum a agent/landlord can charge by law is a sixth of the annual rent payable in England and Wales. The deposit should be refunded normally within 28 days after you have vacated the property, provided there are no problems with the condition of the house. In order to ensure that you get your deposit back:

  • Ensure that you have a written statement from the agent/landlord explaining what is covered by the deposit. If the agent/landlord gives a verbal explanation, write to him/her to confirm the details.
  • Ensure that you have a receipt for monies paid.
  • Ensure that you have a full inventory (a list) of furniture. Get the agent/landlord to sign it. You may wish to take photographs.
  • Take reasonable care of the house and furniture during the tenancy.
  • Towards the end of your tenancy write to the agent/landlord inviting him/her to inspect the property.
  • Pay all the bills.
  • When you leave return all the keys to the agent/landlord and make a written request for the return of your deposit. Keep a copy of the letter.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

From April 2007, deposits paid by tenants who have assured shorthold tenancy agreements will be safeguarded by a government sponsored scheme, who will facilitate the resolution of any disputes that arise in connection with such deposits.

There are two types of scheme

  1. Custodial Scheme - a tenant pays the deposit to the agent/landlord who in turn places it into a designated scheme account. When the scheme administrator returns the deposit to either the tenant or the agent/landlord it is done so with interest at a rate specified by the Government. If they are not in agreement, a final court order will have to be obtained specifying the proportion of the deposit to which each is entitled.
  2. Insurance based schemes - a tenant pays the deposit to the agent/landlord who only transfers it into a designated scheme if there is a dispute at the end of the agreement. When the agent/landlord and tenant reach agreement or a court decides how much each party is entitled the administrator will distribute the deposit accordingly.

If an agent/landlord fails to return the deposit then the scheme will have adequate insurance cover to compensate the tenant in the event they are owed monies.

Within 14 days of receiving your deposit your agent/landlord must give you the relevant information regarding the scheme safeguarding your deposit. You should always check that the scheme has received your deposit.

Protect your deposit with the new tenancy deposit law

Points to Note: England and Wales only

You usually have to pay a deposit if you want to rent somewhere, but as you probably know, it’s not always easy to get it back when you leave. At the moment, the only way to try and get a deposit back if you have a disagreement with your agent/landlord is to go to court. But this can be costly, time-consuming and there is no guarantee that you'll get anything back at all. However, from 6 April 2007, your agent/landlord will have to use a new tenancy deposit protection scheme if they want to take a deposit from you. This means that:

  • You will get your deposit back if you're entitled to it.
  • There will be a way of settling any disagreement about your deposit without going to court.

What if my agent/landlord does not protect my deposit?

If your agent/landlord doesn’t protect your deposit, or refuses to tell you which scheme they are using, you can take them to court. The court will either order your agent/landlord to pay you back the deposit or to pay it into one of the schemes available. It will also order your agent/landlord to pay you three times the amount of the deposit as a fine.

What if I paid a deposit before April 2007?

Unfortunately, agents/landlords don't have to use a tenancy deposit protection scheme if you paid your deposit to them before 6 April 2007. If you have a disagreement with them about returning your deposit, try to come to an agreement. If that doesn’t work, you may have to take legal action. But remember, before you take your agent/landlord to court, you should get some expert advice.

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Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

What is an EPC?

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gives home owners, tenants and buyers information on the energy efficiency of their property. It gives the building a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’, where ‘A’ is the most efficient and with the average to date being D.

In addition to the rating for your buildings current energy performance, part of the EPC report will list the potential rating that the building could achieve (using the same ‘A’ to ‘G’ scale), if the recommendations that are provided within the report were to be made. It is not mandatory for anyone to act on the report’s recommendations. However, doing so may cut your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions.

Who needs an EPC?

As a tenant moving into a property, or as a buyer looking to purchase, it is the legal requirement of the existing owner to provide you with a full Energy Performance Certificate, free of charge. This law comes into effect after 1st October 2008.

Agents/Landlords and owners are only required to produce an EPC for a property that is self-contained, and the certificate is then valid for 10 years. However, an EPC isn’t required when a tenant rents a room and shares facilities.

A group of friends rent a property and there is a single contract between the agent/landlord and the group as the contract is for the rental of a whole dwelling. An EPC is required for the whole dwelling.

For further information, please visit the government EPC website here.


 

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Get an Inventory

An inventory is a detailed list of all the items that are in the house when you move in. It is in your interest to make sure a detailed inventory is carried out at the start of the tenancy and it is signed by you and the agent/ landlord. This will resolve any issues at the end of the tenancy.

An inventory can be extremely useful evidence of the condition of the property when you first move in. It provides a full inspection of the property’s contents and their condition.

If you aren’t supplied with an inventory by your Landlord or Letting Agent then you can download a free example below. You should make a list of the contents room by room, and then take photos or use video evidence to record the property contents and condition for future reference.

The Landlord/Agent and tenant(s) should both sign the Inventory and initial every page to indicate that you agree to the condition of the property contents and condition.

If at all possible, the final inventory check should be done on move out day and checked against the original inventory. This should ensure that there aren't any disputes about the extent of any damage, should there be some, as the landlord may need to take monies out of the deposit to pay for these.

When compiling an inventory it is essential that you:

  • Take your time
  • Describe the condition of every item within the property.
  • Back it up with photographic/video evidence.
  • Take a note of the gas and electric meter readings.
  • Get the landlord/agent to agree to, and sign the inventory.
  • Keep a safe copy of the signed inventory to check against when moving out.

Print out a copy of an inventory

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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

The Housing Act 2004, which was introduced in April 2006 in England and Wales was created with the intention of providing a fairer and better housing market for those renting properties. The main elements of it include;

a) Mandatory Licensing of houses in multiple occupation

A house with three of more stories, occupied by 5 or more people who form 2 or more households (a household being defined as persons belonging to the same family) is classified as an HMO in England and Wales and subject to licensing. The licensing is intended to improve standards in properties where it was felt tenants where at highest risk. Any building, which is occupied by students but managed or controlled by a Higher Education Institution, is deemed not to be an HMO for licensing purposes. Local authorities have at their discretion, but subject to approval from national government, the power to designate other sizes of properties as HMO’s, which are subject to licensing.

b) Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

This is a new system, replacing the "fitness standard for houses", and decides whether a house is healthy and safe. Local council staff will randomly inspect properties and assess the likelihood of injury or ill health calculated via 29 hazards.

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Landlord Advice
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Recycling and Waste Services in Somerset

Moving home is stressful, so Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) aims to make sorting out your recycling and refuse as simple as possible. This waste services guide for those renting in Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and West Somerset includes what to do in flats, how to order containers, which items we collect at the kerbside, and where to find answers to your waste questions. Finally, there is no need to ask your landlord for waste services – you can organise it all yourself.

 

SWP provides recycling and refuse services throughout Somerset, with kerbside collections from all homes and 16 recycling sites. We recycle 51% of all waste, including food, which our anaerobic digestion plant turns into electricity.

 

For services in North Somerset, please visit: http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/Environment/Recycling_and_waste/Pages/Recycling-and-waste.aspx

 

How to find out about recycling and refuse

If you have net access, visit the SWP website for details of collections, recycling sites and much more: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk. Or call 01823 625700.

 

Alternatively, contact your district council customer services via email or telephone for information or a collections calendar with dates of your kerbside services. Check www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/contact for contact details for all councils, including:

 

Sedgmoor District Council:customer.services@sedgemoor.gov.uk 0845 408 2543

Taunton Deane Borough Council: enquiries@tauntondeane.gov.uk 01823 356346

West Somerset Council: customerservice@westsomerset.gov.uk 01643 703704

 

Kerbside recycling services

The standard domestic service is a weekly kerbside collection of food waste collected in a lockable brown container, and a weekly recycling service using two kerbside boxes, usually one green and one black.

 

Use the food waste container for all food waste, such as cooked and mouldy food, meats, fish, cheese, bread, pasta and used paper kitchen towels. Remove all packaging from food before recycling. Never put food waste in your refuse bin.

 

Use the fortnightly recycling service green box for all paper, glass bottles and jars, and clean aluminium foil, and the black box for all food and drinks cans, aerosols, plastic bottles and cardboard. We collect only plastic bottles.

 

You can recycle textiles (clothes and also towels, blankets and sheets) but not stuffed items (such as pillows) using plastic shopping bags put on top of your recycling. You can also recycle shoes (tie in pairs and put in plastic shopping bags).

 

For full service details see http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/collections/recycling/

 

 

 

How to order recycling containers?

You can order new or replacement containers for your weekly recycling service at no cost online at http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/collections/containers/order/ or via your district council customer services.

 

Refuse services

The standard fortnightly refuse collection is in a wheeled bin or – if your home is not suitable (no storage, steep steps etc) – or we collect up to four black refuse sacks. Use the refuse service for plastic pots, tubs, trays and film, vacuum cleaner contents, cat or dog wastes and nappies and sanitary waste. Your refuse bin lid should be closed; we do not accept sacks beside the wheeled bin.

 

For households up to four people, we provide a black 180-litre wheeled bin. For smaller households we offer a 140-litre bin. For larger households of up to seven people, we provide a 240-litre bin. Contact your district council customer services if you have problems with excess waste.

 

How to order refuse containers?

Please contact your district council customer services as there may be a charge to order replacement refuse containers.

 

What time should I put out my recycling and waste?

All recycling, food waste and refuse should be put out by 7am on the day of collection and no later than the night before.

 

What if I live in a flat?

Blocks of flats may have large shared bins provided for recycling and refuse, with restrictions on the types of materials collected. Please ask your landlord for details specific to your building. In some cases, individual recycling boxes and food bins can be provided if there is an accessible, easily-seen collection point. Contact district council customer services for advice.

 

What happens if my recycling or refuse service is missed?

Report missed collections to your district council customer services by email or phone with your name, address, postcode and daytime phone number. Do not report missed collections via social media.

 

Clinical waste

A free weekly clinical waste collection service is available to those with medical needs, using yellow plastic sacks or lockable “sharps” boxes for syringes. Please contact your district council customer services to discuss individual needs.

 

Bulky waste

Large or bulky items can be collected from homes for a fee payable in advance. Contact your district council customer services for prices and to arrange a collection. If you have good quality furniture, appliances or homeware, please consider charity or reuse options. For information: http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/more/

 

Garden waste

A fortnightly waste collection service is offered to subscribers using either a wheeled bin or compostable sacks. The service is available to residents unable to take organic garden waste (excluding soil or rubble) to a recycling centre. For price details and to subscribe to the service, contact district council customer services.

 

Where is my nearest recycling centre?

Our network of 14 free to enter recycling centres and two community recycling sites with a £2 entry fee accept a wide range of household items for recycling and disposal, including bulky waste, electrical items and domestic hazardous waste. There are charges for disposal of items not classed as domestic waste, such as rubble, soil, gas bottles, tyres and vehicle parts, and special facilities for hazardous waste, such as asbestos. For your nearest recycling site, opening times and other details, visit the Recycling Centres section at www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.

 

Fly-tipping

Fly-tipping is dumping waste on private or public land and is a crime punishable by fine or imprisonment. SWP is working actively with its partner local councils to prosecute anyone caught fly-tipping. If you have problems with waste disposal, contact your district council customer services for advice.

 

Bad weather

During severe weather, such as floods, snow or high wind, our services may be affected. For advice, check our website, social media channels or local radio.

 

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General Safety Advice
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Safety Shaun Health and Safety Videos

 

 

 

 

 

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Viewing a Property

There is a lot to consider when selecting a property and without preparation and understanding of these considerations tenants can end up living in unsuitable and sometimes unsafe conditions. This video covers key elements to consider such as budget, location, interior and exterior condition of the property and safety and security.

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Structural damage

Structural damage to a property such as cracks, broken roof tiles and broken guttering and pipes can have both long and short term issues. It is important that tenants are aware of the repercussions of these issues, such as damp, and are aware of the steps to take if their property suffers such a problem.

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Shared Accommodation

Sharing accommodation can allow tenants to save money and make friends; however disagreements between tenants can cause problems. This video covers tips on preventing disagreements and issues to work out soon after moving in such as bill payments, household chores and guests staying over.

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Security

Following basic security rules can help protect homes and possessions. This video gives tips and basic rules to help tenants keep their home secure.

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Tenancy and Unfair Terms

This video highlights the importance of viewing and understanding a tenancy agreement and both tenant and landlord responsibilities.

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Hygiene and Food Safety

Food safety and hygiene can be a serious problem in rented accommodation. This video contains straightforward facts and reminders to encourage tenants to follow important food safety and hygiene rules.

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Fire Safety

As people living in rented or shared accommodation are seven times more likely to have a fire this video is crucial to remind tenants about fire safety. The video covers smoke alarms, tips for preventing common fires and the importance of creating a fire escape plan.

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Minimising Trips and Falls

Falls are the most common accident in the home and are easily avoided. This video gives tips to minimise risks such as keeping stairs and walkways clear, ensuring ‘at risk’ areas are well lit and asking a landlord to replace uneven floors or worn carpets.

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Electrical Safety and Faults

Over 30,000 domestic electrical accidents happen every year, this video gives tips and advice to help prevent electrical accidents. It covers overloading sockets, faulty wiring and leaving electrical devices unattended.

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Damp

This video covers key problems relating to damp and condensation that often occur in rented properties and how to prevent them. It also covers rising and penetrative damp. The video emphasises responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant.

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Accidents in the Home

This video covers collisions and accidents that can occur in the home involving internal and external glass, doors and low level ceilings around the home. The video also advises viewers about safety glass and the importance of ensuring that areas containing glass panels or low level ceilings or beams are well lit.

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Cold - Heating and Insulation

With the rising heating costs and extreme winter conditions keeping a home warm can be difficult, especially for tenants in private rented accommodation. This video covers tips for keeping heating costs down, EPC, information about free or subsidised heating and insulation and landlord responsibilities.

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Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3AR
Telephone: 0845 408 5328, Email: swelt@sedgemoor.gov.uk

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