As soon as you sign your tenancy agreement for your new home you become responsible for the terms and conditions within the agreement. Please read the agreement and make sure you understand your responsibilities as a tenant.
Your rental charge begins immediately and is due weekly in advance. Payments by any other frequency must be by written agreement between us and you.
If you are in receipt of benefits you should notify the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) and other appropriate agencies of your new address.
When you move in
As soon as you get the keys you should take meter readings for gas and electric and pass them on to the utilities companies. This will ensure you are only charged for what you use.
You must take entry to the house, occupy and furnish it and use it as your only or principal home. Your neighbourhood coach will make a new tenant visit within the first few weeks of your tenancy to ensure you are settling in and help you with any enquiries.
Ending your tenancy
Your tenancy agreement provides details of how to end your tenancy and the obligations you have in doing so.
To end your tenancy you must give us at least 28 days' notice. If you are married or live with another person we will usually also require their agreement to end the tenancy.
Notice to end your tenancy must be in writing. You can either write to us to inform us or complete a termination form at any of our neighbourhood housing offices or local community hubs.
After we receive your notice and before you leave, we will offer a pre-termination visit during which a housing asset officer will visit you and inspect your home. During this visit, you will be advised if there are any repairs or works which you need to carry out before you leave.
Examples would include replacing damaged or missing fixtures and fittings such as internal doors, light fittings or kitchen cabinets or replacing any fixtures and fittings installed by you which do not meet Council standards.
We recommend you accept the offer of a pre-termination visit, as you will be charged for the cost of works identified during the pre-termination inspection but not done, or not done satisfactorily and for any other work for which you are responsible.
Compensation for improvements
If you carried out improvements to your home yourself and received permission from us to do so, you may be eligible to claim some compensation.
The neighbourhood coach will discuss this with you at the pre-termination visit.
If you have carried out alterations or improvements without our permission we can ask you to restore the house to its previous condition at the end of your tenancy. If you do not complete the works to our reasonable satisfaction, we are entitled to do the works and recharge you the associated costs.
Gifting of goods, fixtures and fittings
From time to time outgoing tenants enter into personal arrangements with incoming tenants to gift items such as white goods, showers, glass panel doors and/or light fittings not installed by us.
Requests to do so must be made in writing to your local housing office.
We will not accept liability for any loss or damage for any such items left in the property and we will remove and dispose of items which would compromise lettable standards or health and safety requirements, and charge the cost for us doing so to the outgoing tenants.
Before you move out
- Carry out any repairs or works which are your responsibility. If you fail to do the works to our reasonable satisfaction, we are entitled to do the works and recharge you the associated costs.
- Clear the property of all your belongings including all floor coverings and furnishings. Make sure you clear the loft and garden. If this is not done you will be charged for the cost of us doing it.
- Leave the property in good decorative order.
- Make sure the house is clean by giving it a final sweep out and wash down all kitchen and bathroom fittings.
- Make sure your rent is up to date and you have no other outstanding debt to us.
Returning your keys
You can hand your keys in to any of our neighbourhood housing offices or local community hubs. Please make sure you return all the keys for the house and label them clearly with the address. You need to sign a form when you hand the keys in and you will be provided with a receipt. You must provide a forwarding address.
Leaving home without giving notice
This is called abandoning your tenancy. If we have reasonable grounds to believe you have abandoned your tenancy we will serve you with four weeks' notice that your tenancy will end. During this period, and any period prior to our discovery that the tenancy has been abandoned, you will remain responsible for the tenancy, including payment of rent and liability for any damage even if you do not live there.
Moving house checklist
Careful organisation and forward planning can minimise the stress of moving home. Use our moving house checklist as a guide:
- Arrange a pre-termination visit to allow time for any repairs which you need to carry out before you leave. You will be recharged for the cost of any outstanding work for which you are responsible.
- Make a list of everyone who should know about your move and inform them of your change of address.
- Notify Council Tax of your change of address: East Ayrshire Council, Council Tax Service 01563 554400.
- Notify the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) of your change of address, if appropriate.
- Notify telephone, gas, electricity and water services of your moving out and moving in dates, giving meter readings where required.
- Notify banks, building societies, schools, doctors and dentist of your new address.
- Contact Royal Mail and arrange for your post to be forwarded. You will be charged a fee for this service.
- Start disposing of possessions you no longer need. We will charge the cost of removing any items left behind.
- Ensure that all necessary repair works have been done before leaving the property. We will charge for the cost of any outstanding work for which you are responsible.
- Finalise arrangements with your removal company. Confirm arrival times and make sure your removers have directions to your new address.
- Check your home contents insurance - make sure you have cover from the day you move in to your new home. If you are moving to another council house you can apply to join our contents insurance scheme - call 01563 576431.
- Make sure your rent is up-to-date and that you have no outstanding debt to your landlord.
- Make sure the house is clean. Give it a final sweep out and wash down all kitchen and bathroom fittings.
- Arrange to return the keys for your current home and label them with the address.