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Licence agreements for supported shared housing

This is a guide to understanding what a licence agreement is and your main rights as a licence holder living in our supported housing.

A licence agreement sets out your right to live in our supported housing, paying accommodation charges and service charges to us, until we give you notice to leave.

 There are detailed clauses in your licence agreement, which set out exactly what you can and cannot do, as well as what we can and cannot do. These clauses are important.

 If you need any further help you can contact your housing officer, a solicitor, your local Citizens Advice Bureau or another advice service. 

Before you move into your home you will sign a licence agreement. This is a contract between you and us, telling you:

•About the accommodation
•Our full name and address
•That we are registered with the Homes and Communities Agency
•That you have a licence agreement
•That you have the right to live in your home until a given date providing it is your only or your main home
•Your rights and responsibilities
•Our rights and responsibilities
•Your accommodation charges and any other charges that you must pay and how these charges will be reviewed

We will consult with you before we make any changes to your licence agreement.

Your licence agreement will set out the aims of the scheme and the services provided.  Support will be available from our employees or from other support providers.   

Generally, you have the right to stay in your home as long as you keep to the conditions set out in your licence agreement. Your agreement is a weekly one and is renewable. If you stop using your accommodation as your only or main home, you will no longer be a licence holder and we will have the right to end your agreement.

 We can ask you to leave your home by serving a written notice to quit.  We will normally give at least 28 days’ notice.  However, in exceptional circumstances we can give you less notice. We will do this where there is seriously disruptive or violent behaviour.

 The circumstances in which 28 days' (or less) notice is given include:

• If you do not pay your accommodation charges
•If, when you were given a licence, you made a false statement
•If you, or your visitors cause harassment or nuisance to other people or commit an arrestable offence in or near to your home
•If you or your visitors have been convicted of using your home for immoral or illegal purposes
•If you or your visitors have caused serious damage to the accommodation
•If you have broken any of the conditions in your licence agreement
•If you have been offered suitable alternative accommodation

We will make every effort to help you stay in your accommodation.  If you are to be evicted, we will inform all other organisations which are responsible for your support and give you advice and assistance.  This may not be possible in the case of an eviction at short notice.

As a licence holder you are expected to comply with the House Rules, which are current at the time and which are attached to your licence agreement.   

We will not interfere with your right to live peacefully in your accommodation.  However, you do not have total control of any part of the accommodation and our employees can enter your room by agreement

You have the right to access your own room at any time.  However, some communal facilities, such as shared kitchens or lounges, may only be available at certain times.

We recognise that certain groups and individuals are discriminated against within society. We believe such discrimination is wrong. We aim to ensure that no person or group of people receiving our services will be treated less favourably than any other person or group of people because of their gender (including gender reassignment), sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief, political beliefs, disability, age, class, unrelated criminal offences or any other condition not justified in law or relevant to our work. We have an Equality and Diversity policy.   

Your licence agreement shows details of all charges at the start of the agreement. In general our charges are lower than those charged in the private sector in your local area.

We will give you at least one month’s notice in writing of any changes to your accommodation charges. 

During your stay, part of your support package will involve identifying suitable move-on accommodation.  Provided that you have not broken your licence agreement, we will give you advice and information to help you to find somewhere else to live.  

You may pay a service charge in addition to your accommodation charge. This is to cover the cost of services such as:

• Communal heating
• Communal cleaning
• Gardening
• Communal care taking
• Maintenance of communal areas
• Maintenance/supply and replacement of communal equipment
• Maintenance of fire equipment 

We will give you at least one month’s notice in writing before we change your service charge. 

You are entitled to the following information from us:

• A summary of our policies for setting accommodation charges and service charges
•What standard of services you can expect
•A summary of service charge costs in the last year
•Certain personal information we hold about you on our computer or on paper
•Know how your support needs will be met and reviewed
•How we will deal with breaches of licence agreement and repossession
•Our policies and procedures for requiring you to move to alternative accommodation
•The circumstances in which we would pass on any information to others 

We will keep your home in good order and ensure that it is safe and fit to live in. We will maintain the structure of the building and keep the plumbing, heating and electrical systems in proper working order. Please refer to your licence agreement for details on what we are responsible for and for what you must do.

We have a programme for improving our properties. These improvements cover things such as new roofs, installation of double glazing and external re-decoration. If we intend to improve your scheme, you may be asked for your views on the changes.  

You will be consulted if we are considering any of the following:

•Changes in the management and maintenance of your home, such as the contracting out of these services
•Improvements or major repairs to your home or near to your home
•Demolishing your home
•Transferring your licence to another landlord
•Decorating the interior communal areas of your scheme or installing new communal furniture or equipment

We will also consult you in reasonable ways about the services that you receive and about the standards of those services.  

You have the right to be involved in our work and have some influence over the services you receive. The ways we will involve you include:

•Consulting you and your representatives about policies, procedures and service delivery
•Encouraging and helping the development of representative residents’ organisations and working with them
•Involving you in the development of new services  

If you have a complaint about the way you have been treated or about the service that you have received, you should let us know. We have a formal complaints procedure. 

If you enter into your licence agreement in breach of the provisions of Schedule 1 Part I of the Housing Act 1996, your rights under your licence agreement may be at risk. This may apply to you if you are related to a member of our staff or a board member and you did not tell us. 

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