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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs
Questions about Lettings
Tenant Questions about Right to Acquire
Questions about Shared Ownership and Low Cost Home Ownership
Queries on Repairs


General

Why has the waiting list been closed until January?
Housing services provided by Manningham Housing Association are very popular at the moment. All of our resources are being channelled into satisfying those already on our lists. But as soon as we can, we'll open the list again.

How do I become a tenant of Manningham Housing?
Ask for a housing application by post, by telephone or call into our office. Complete the application and we will write to advise you of the outcome of your application.

How long do people stay on Manningham's waiting list?
It depends on what property you are looking for, Generally, our large family properties (such as 5-bed and 6-bed units) are rarely vacant. So if you are waiting for one, you may have to wait for at least 4 years. Secondly, properties in highly sought after areas rarely become vacant. So if you are waiting for a property in such areas you have to wait for at least 4 years. Other properties become vacant routinely. In 2003/04 we only had 87 vacant properties to let out of about 800 properties that we manage. So, annually 10% of our properties tend to become vacant but there are over 1000 eligible applicants on our waiting list. Accordingly, the average waiting time is a year!

How do I pay my rent?
We offer a variety of ways to assist you to pay your rent - GIRO payments, Standing Orders, doorstep collection of rent, electronic swipe cards, cash or cheque payment at our office, cheque payment through the post, and recently, online payment through our web site!

Can I buy the house that I rent from Manningham Housing?
The government offers a variety of schemes to tenants of social landlords to assist them to become home-owners. Right to Acquire is a scheme whereby if you have been a tenant for two years and you live in a property built on or after 1st April 1997, you may be entitled to buy your current home. There is also Voluntary Purchase Grant for social housing tenants living in homes built before 1st April 1997. Housing Associations have discretion over which properties to offer for sale under the Voluntary Purchase Grant.

How can I get involved in managing my home and neighbourhood?
Manningham Housing is deeply involved in community initiatives, and offers a variety of ways to enable tenants to participate in making decisions that affect the management of their homes. You can become a Board member, sit on our Consumer Panel and Tenants Jury, run a local Tenants/Residents Association, or join Manningham Tenants Association. Resident meetings and initiatives are held several times in the year.

Why do I need to pay 2 weeks rent?
To keep your rent account in line with your tenancy agreement.

Will I get my 2 weeks rent back?
Only at the end of the tenancy, provided the rent account is in enough credit.

Why do I need to pay my rent if I am on Income Support?
It is the tenant's responsibility to pay their rent when Housing Benefit stops.

Can someone else move in with me?
You must contact your Housing Officer in writing with full details of who is applying and for length of residency.

What about telephone and utility connection charges?
Tenants are responsible for all utility connection charges and bills from tenancy start date.


Lettings

Must I register with Bradford Homehunter?
Your application will not be considered if you cannot prove that you have registered with Homehunter.

When will I hear from you after submitting my application?
You will hear from us within 14 working days.

How many points must I score before I can go on MHA's waiting list?
The minimum number of points is 120. If you score anything less than 120 points we will write to advise you that your application has been cancelled.

Apart from points, is there any other way of getting on Manningham's waiting list?
Yes, if you can pay your rent without Housing Benefit, and you complete the economic section of our application form, you can get on our waiting list. Similarly, if you are a key worker, for instance, a teacher, nurse, etc or you are active in the community in some official voluntary/charitable role, or you need to give or receive documented support within the community of your choice, then you can be placed on our waiting list, if you complete the community section of our application form. 5% lets economic and 15% lets community.

How long is the waiting list?
The length of time varies. It is not possible to give a definite answer, you need to contact the Lettings Department.

How do I know whether I will be shortlisted for appropriate vacancies?
You will only be shortlisted if you get on to our waiting list and you score the top point for the vacant property, or you are the next top scorer.

Why didn't I get enough points to get on your waiting list?
Lettings Department assess on applicants housing needs and circumstances, and the information provided.

How can I be re-housed by Manningham Housing Association?
You must complete our housing application form. Copies are available at out office, and you can also visit our website to complete one on-line or download and complete it and return it to our office.

How quickly will I be re-housed if I get on your waiting list?
Usually, it takes 6 to 18 months before we can re-house those who score the top points.

If my application is cancelled, can I re-apply later?
Yes, you can, if your situation changes and you have additional information that can qualify you for a minimum of 120 points.

Why have I not been offered the house?
All applications are assessed on housing needs, as there are far more applications than available properties.

Will you keep me informed regularly of my position on the waiting list?
We will write to all waiting list applicants twice a year to let them know the progress of their application.

Can I contact you at anytime to discuss my application?
No, you do not need to contact us, we will contact you if we have to. However, if you have any additional information, just post it to us and we will acknowledge it within 14 working days. Strictly speaking, we cannot afford the time to be discussing application progress with telephone callers or office visitors. So please, do not even try! We are not available to discuss progress of application.

Can I ask my MP or Councillor to support my application?
Feel free to ask anyone to support your application but you will not get any extra point unless the information they provide is in line with our letting policy.

What happens if I am not re-housed within 18 months?
We carry out a review of our waiting list every year. At the time we can raise the minimum threshold if we feel that 120 points are too low to give any applicant a realistic chance of being re-housed in the near future. We will advise you of your position on the waiting list, or cancel your application if you do not meet the new threshold.

Can I apply to other Housing Associations as well as Manningham?
We advise all our applicants to register with Bradford Homehunter and all other Housing Associations of their choice as we cannot guarantee that you will be re-housed by us.

How much are your properties to rent?
Rents vary according to size of property - Speak to a Lettings Officer.

Where are the empty properties?
Even if properties are empty the Lettings Team have applicants ready to move in.

Where are you building new houses?
Contact our Lettings Team or Customer Service Officer for up to date list of proposed developments.

I have seen your board go up, can I buy one of these properties?
Speak to Lettings Team or Customer Service Officer


Right to Acquire

Can I buy the house and when?
Yes, you can if you are living in a property built after 1st April 1997.

Can I buy with someone else?
Yes, you can buy with someone else as long they have been living with you for 12 months before submitting the application form for RTA.

How much discount will I get from MHA?
The Government has publishes the discounts and the discount that applies for RTA is currently £9,000

Will I get more discounts due to length of my tenancy with MHA?
No, the discount is set by the Government.

Am I allowed to sell - and when can I sell it?
Yes, you can sell your house. However, if you applied to purchase your house on or after January 18th 2005 and sell within 5 years from the date of purchase you should anticipate repaying an amount. Please ask your Housing Officer for more details on this.

Will I get another rented house from MHA or other Housing Association, Local Authority if I owe my property?
Everyone is free to apply for social housing if only they meet the criteria.

If my house does not qualify for the RTA in this house then can I apply for a transfer to another scheme/area that qualifies for RTA?
Yes, you can depending on availability please contact your Housing Officer.

Can I buy out of Bradford District?
No, the RTA only applies to the house you are currently living in. But this is not the case if you are applying for Shared Ownership or any other home buy product. In these two cases you can buy outside of Bradford District.

Will I be able to buy the house despite my house being built prior to 1st April 1997?
No, you can not buy your house if it was built before 1st April 1997 as this rule is set by the Housing Corporation - please refer to RTA booklet.


Low Cost Home Ownership and Shared Ownership

My house is too small. I need a larger property to suit my needs. I am currently a homeowner.
Our eligibility criteria allow the following people to apply for shared ownership:

*Although the schemes are intended mainly to assist 1st time buyers in some circumstances previous home owners may be eligible to apply, eg where:

Once I have purchased a property via Shared Ownership Scheme will the property be freehold?
The property will be sold on a long term lease, normally for a period of 125 years. You will therefore be the Leaseholder. The property becomes freehold when you purchase the property outright which can be done after 1 year.

I used to own a property with my previous partner, from whom I am now separated. For this reason, I am not a first time buyer. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can. All that we ask is that you provide evidence of your circumstances via confirmation from your solicitor and estate agent that you have sold or accepted an offer on your previous home.

I am currently on benefits and wish to apply for Shared Ownership. Is this possible?
The main aim of Shared Ownership is to attract people who cannot afford to purchase a property on the open market outright. Your application will be assessed based on your affordability. You are welcome to apply, however, if your income (or savings) are insufficient to fund the purchase of the share and ongoing expenses then you are unlikely to be offered a shared ownership property.

I am currently the tenancy holder of my rented property and claim benefits however my eldest son works full time and would like to purchase a house via shared ownership for us to better our lifestyle. How can we do this?
As long as your son has lived with you as a family at your current address for a minimum of 12 months and he is registered on the electoral roll then you are very much welcome to apply.

I have been living in my property for a year and wish to purchase the remaining 75% share of Manningham Housing Association so I can own my property outright. Can I do this?
Yes, as long as you have lived in property for a period of 12 months.

Does the rent I am paying to the Association contribute to the payment of my mortgage or is this separate?
No. Rent charges are totally separate and do not contribute to the purchase of your home.

I am living in 2 bed accommodation at present but wish to purchase a 3 bed house. Is this possible?
Normally, allocations are based on family size so we tend to try and allocate houses to suit the needs of your family.

I have no idea how to get a mortgage or if I can afford one. How do I find this out?
The majority of high street banks can arrange appointments to discuss your options in more detail. There are also various Independent financial advisors who will be happy to assist. Please note that high street banks are your best option as other lenders tend to charge extortionate interest rates upon repayment of loan. Minimum income of £15k up to a maximum of £45k is required in order to purchase a property via shared ownership.

What is the minimum amount of savings I will need in order to apply for Shared Ownership?
Feedback from previous customers suggests that a minimum of £5,000* is needed in order to fund the following:

*Please note, this information is given for guide purposes only

What happens when I want to put my property on the market?
Under the new model lease, whilst a leaseholder owns less than 100% of the equity, the property must be resold through the Housing Association. It is requirement that you must inform Manningham Housing Association in writing to advise us of your intentions.

Will I need to value/survey my property during the process of purchasing/selling of my property?
Yes. It would be in your best interest to do so.

What about buildings and contents insurance? Who will be responsible if I only own part share of a property?
Whilst you own less than 100% of the equity, the Association will be responsible for the buildings insurance only. We are not responsible for contents. On owning 100% of your property outright, you will be responsible for arranging suitable insurance for your property.

What will happen if I can no longer afford to pay my share of mortgage and rent due to unforeseen circumstances? Will the property be taken away?
We have a policy and procedure for dealing with these circumstances and work very closely alongside mortgage providers. We would stress that if you do have any problems to contact us straight away as failure to do so could result with legal action being taken against you.

Are Shared Ownership leaseholders treated the same way as rented tenants?
At Manningham Housing Association we like to consider everyone as residents. Although you are a leaseholder we will aim to treat everyone fairly.

As a Leaseholder, what I am responsible for?
As a leaseholder, you are treated as owner occupiers. Manningham Housing Association only cover your buildings insurance. Please refer to our shared ownership policy for further information.

If I want to do any works to my property, what would I do?
The lease clearly states that you do not make any alterations or additions to the exterior of the Premises or any alterations or additions to the interior of the Premises nor to erect any new buildings thereon nor in any way to interfere with the outside of the Premises nor to remove any of the Landlord's fixtures from the Premises without the previous written consent of the Landlord.

I need an application form and further information, who can I contact?
You can apply via the following:

What other options are there available to me as a housing association or council tenant in order to help me get onto the property ladder?
As well as Shared Ownership, there are also other options as described below:

The Government has introduced a range of low-cost home ownership products branded as HomeBuy to help first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder. To find out how to buy an affordable home in your area, check the following website at http://www.housingcorp.gov.uk for further information. You can also visit the website: www.my4walls.org.uk This is the Governments Homebuy Agent/Zone Agent that provides information and applications for low cost home ownership schemes across West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. They work behalf of the Housing Corporation and are part of Yorkshire Housing Group, the largest provider of social housing in the county.


Repairs

If I want an improvement to my house e.g. fencing in front of the garden how long will it take to be considered?
Requests must be put in writing.

How do I use the central heating system?
Tenants are shown at pre tenancy meeting or at Settling in visit, or contact Maintenance Department.

How do I use the burglar alarm?
Tenants are shown at pre tenancy meeting or at Settling in visit, otherwise contact Maintenance Department.

When will my defect be done by?
Maintenance deal with ongoing repairs, a final inspection will also be done at the end of 12 months.

Why have repairs not been done on time as promised?
Could be for various reasons, contact Maintenance Department to seek further information.

What do I do if I am not happy with repairs?
If already spoken to Maintenance Department and not resolved then send in a written complaint to Complaints Officer.

Why do I need a gas safety check?
It is a legal requirement, by law we have to have one done on each of our properties every year, or when one becomes empty. The contractor will also issue you with a copy of a gas safety certificate once he has completed a gas safety check.

My home has been vandalised, do I have to pay for any repairs?
No. You do not have to pay, providing the incident was reported to the police and a valid crime number given to us.

How long will my repair take?
Each repair is put into a category (Emergency within 24 hours, Urgent within 7 days , Non - Urgent within 22 days), so depending on what the repair is we will let you know which category your job falls into.

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