Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Are all new tenants given a starter tenancy?

    All new tenants are given a starter tenancy, apart from:

    • Existing tenants who are transferring to another Fortis Living property
    • Existing secure or assured tenants from a local authority or another housing association
    • Successors to existing assured or secure tenancies
    • Tenants who are carrying out a mutual exchange (a swap).
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  2. Can I appeal any decisions made about my starter tenancy?

    You do have the right of appeal against the following decisions:

    • to grant you a starter tenancy
    • to extend a starter tenancy
    • to end a starter tenancy

    If you wish to appeal please write to the Executive Director of Housing Care and Communities within 14 days of the date of the decision letter.

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  3. Why do Fortis Living use Starter Tenancies?

    We use them to make our new tenants understand the importance of keeping to the terms of their tenancy agreement.  Under the terms of a starter tenancy we can also take enforcement action to protect communities from anti-social behaviour and tackle serious tenancy breaches. We will only do this where it is justified and reasonable to do so.

    We are committed to working with others to help make our neighbourhoods safe, clean and peaceful places to live and work.  Our starter tenancy is part of this work.

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  4. What happens at the end of my Starter Tenancy?

    Your tenancy will be reviewed at nine months when we will decide whether your tenancy can be converted. If conversion goes ahead you will be offered a five year fixed term tenancy.  If you are in older person’s accommodation and successfully complete your first year, you will be offered an assured lifetime tenancy.

    If there are problems we will discuss them with you and tell you what you need to do next.  We may decide not to convert your tenancy and will write to tell you this.  We may serve you with a Section 21 Notice which will end your tenancy after two months and you will no longer have the right to live in the property.  In exceptional cases we may extend your Starter Tenancy for another six months.

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  5. Why might my Starter Tenancy be extended?

    It may be extended to give you the opportunity to comply with the tenancy agreement terms.  We will support you through this.  If your behaviour continues to be unacceptable or the breaches remain unresolved, it could lead to you losing your home.  During this time, we may visit you more often.

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  6. What is a Starter Tenancy?

    A starter tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy that is in place for a probationary period of 12 months. If you stick to the terms of your tenancy agreement during this time, it will be converted to an Assured Lifetime Tenancy or a Fixed Term Tenancy agreement. If not you may lose your home.

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  7. What does a Starter Tenancy mean to me?

    It means you are in a probationary period for one year from the start of your tenancy. As long as you don’t breach the conditions listed in your agreement, after 12 months we will review it and convert it to an Assured Lifetime Tenancy or a Fixed Term Tenancy. This means you can stay in your home.

    To help everything progress smoothly we will review your tenancy at 6 weeks, four months and nine months. This will include some home visits and inspections of your home, to make sure that you are keeping to the terms of your agreement and are not causing nuisance to others. This is also your chance to talk to us about any aspect of the services we provide.  If there are problems, we may need to visit you more often and bring along our Enforcement Team or Arrears Recovery Team if needed.  Failure to allow access for these visits could lead to us ending your Starter Tenancy.

    During the first year of your tenancy you will have:

    • No right to transfer or mutually exchange your home.
    • No right to take in lodgers or sublet part of your home.
    • No right to assign the tenancy, except by way of a court order.  This means you cannot do a mutual exchange (Swap)
    • No right to make alterations or improvements.
    • No right to buy or acquire your home.
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  8. How do I apply for housing?

    We advertise our social rent and affordable rent properties through a number of choice based lettings schemes. To find out more about these schemes, and to register visit our Rent page.

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  9. How do I apply for a dropped kerb?

    Permission for a dropped kerb is the responsibility of your local County Council. They will be able to explain the process, provide details of the cost involved and any application forms needed. To find out more contact your local County Council.

    You will also need to put the alteration request in writing to us at - Assets Department, Progress House, Midland Road, Worcester, WR5 1DU

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  10. How do I claim housing benefit?

    To find out if you might be able to make a claim for housing benefit contact one of our welfare beenfits advisors, you can find thier details on the benefits and Universal Credit pages of this website. If you are struggling to pay your rent please get in touch. There are many ways we may be able to help and the sooner you seek help the more we can do to help you. To find out more contact us.

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  11. I'm struggling to pay my rent, what should I do?

    There are many reasons why paying your rent can become a struggle.  A change in benefits or a loss of income can suddenly mean you can't make ends meet. The first thing to do is speak to one of our welfare benefits advisors.

    There are many ways we may be able to help and we can offer advice about any benefits you may be eligible for.  Remember, the earlier you seek help, the easier it is to sort out any problems.

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  12. Can I add someone on to my tenancy?

    If you wish to add someone on to your tenancy, please contact us for advice and an application form. An application will only be considered if there are no rent arrears on the account and the person you wish to add has been at the property for more than 12 months. For more information, and to see if an application would be considered, please contact us.

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  13. I am struggling to get around my home, can you help?

    Any tenant can apply for an adaptation to their home, to help themselves or a member of their household. There is no age limit but there must be a recognised need for the adaptation.  Fortis Living can help directly with minor adaptations such as fitting grab rails but any major adaptations will need to be assessed by your Council's Occupational Therapy Service. Please contact us for more information and advice. For more information about our adpatation service visit www.careandrepairworcestershire.co.uk

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  14. How do I mutually exchange?

    Fortis Living is a member of the nationwide scheme, HomeSwapper, a website which enables housing association tenants across the country to advertise their property and look for a suitable swap. There is no membership charge for Fortis Living Tenants to use this website. For more information about a Mutual Exchange visit our mutual exchange page.

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  15. Do I need permission to keep a pet?

    Yes. You will need to complete an application form and wait until you receive written permission from us. We need to know what type of property you live in, and the type of pet you would like, including the breed. You can find an application form and more information on our keeping a pet  page, if you have anymore queries contact us.

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