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Current Tenants

Homeswapper

As long as you have a clear rent account and you are not an introductory tenant you may be able to find a more suitable home by exchanging your home with another tenant.  It is down to you to market you home and to attract interest.  This can be done easily by simply decluttering and touching up the décor within your home.  The interest your home will attract on the website will be dependent on how you present it to other tenants.  We would recommend that you check the website on a regular basis to see what properties have been added to the site so that an opportunity is not missed.  This option would also provide you with the ability to move outside of Reading to other areas if this is something you can consider while retaining your security of tenure.  In some areas over 80% of all social housing moves are facilitated via this scheme.

Visit the Homeswapper website to register and search for a match. Registration is FREE for Reading Borough Council tenants – if you are a registered provider tenant you may have to pay a small fee.

Tenant Incentive Scheme - under occupation

It is more important than ever, due to the shortage of available social housing, for Reading Borough Council to ensure the best use of our stock.  There are a number of tenants who are residing in homes larger than they need.  Reading Borough Council offers incentives for those who are under occupying their homes and who would like to consider a more suitably sized property along with a tailored support service for each household.  The incentive on offer to all under occupiers residing in a Reading Borough Council property is £1,000 plus other payments towards removals and essential items.  If you are interested in moving to more suitably sized accommodation and would like to discuss this in more detail you can contact the Under Occupation Officer on 01189 372192.  If you are unsure if this is something you would be interested in please call so that we can discuss how we can support you with this.

If you are a tenant of a Registered Provider and you are under occupying contact your landlord to find out what incentive they are able to offer.

Repairs and Condensation

If you find a repair in your property you must address it immediately, ignoring a repair issue can cause it to worsen would could cause further damage to the property or a risk to you and your family.

Reading Borough Council has a landlord duty to repair your heating, plumbing and any structural defects.

Not reporting or addressing a repair is a breach of your tenancy.

To report a repair please call:

  • Monday to Friday 9am-5pm 0800 318 296
  • Monday to Friday 4pm-9am and anytime at weekends
  • For emergencies only please call 0118 937 3737

For more information please see the How to ‘Report a Repair’ factsheet.

Damp, condensation and mould are common problems in many properties. Damp or mouldy environments may cause respiratory health problems to worsen. It is important that you take steps to reduce damp and mould in your property, please follow this link to find out more about types of mould and what you can do to reduce this in your home:

Rent payments

You can pay your rent weekly, fortnightly, monthly or four-weekly, as long as you pay in advance. It is easiest to pay by Direct Debit.

Arrears

Contact us as soon as possible if you fall into arrears. We will need details of your income and outgoings to create a plan you can stick to.

If you do not contact us, we will take action to recover the money - we will add any court fees to the money you already owe. You should also contact us if are in arrears when you move out - you will still have to pay them.

If you are fall into arrears with your rent and you do not make any effort to address this you will not be able to be considered for a move via Homechoice at Reading.

Rent-free weeks

There are three rent-free weeks in a year except for those on licence agreements. Rent-free weeks fall on bank holidays. If you are in arrears, you will have to pay through these weeks.

Customer Online Services (COS)

If you are a council tenant, you can now access your rent account on line via the Customer Online Services (COS). This will allow you to view your weekly charges and any payments made, make a payment onto your account, update your telephone number and suggest a repayment plan if you are in arrears.

If you are interested in using this service please contact the Rents Helpline on 0118 937 2784 for further details. If you already received your user name and password, you can access COS here - https://housing.reading.gov.uk/housingportal/

Disabled Facility Grant

You may be eligible for help if you - or someone you live with - cannot use essential parts of your home because of a disability. Contact our Access Team to arrange an appointment with an occupational therapist. They will assess your needs and see if you need extra equipment.

The grant could help you:

  • install a stairlift
  • build ramps or widen doors
  • adapt your kitchen or bathroom

Disabled Facility Grants cannot be paid for work already started or completed. We have produced a guide to adapting your home to help with the process.

http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/1506/Adapting-Your-Home-with-a-Disabled-Facilities-Grant/pdf/Adapting-your-own-home.pdf

If your home needs minor repairs or adaptations to make it ready for someone to be discharged from hospital you may be eligible for a hospital discharge grant.

http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/1507/Hospital-Discharge-Grant-factsheet/pdf/Hospital-discharge-grant.pdf

Homefinder

Homefinder UK is an easy to use online service that helps to match applicants with properties belonging to other local authorities and Registered Providers throughout the UK giving you more choice over where you live how much rent you pay and access to employment.  It may be easier to access social homes outside of the South East if this is a priority for you.

Who can join

Homefinder is open to all households in housing need.

How it works

Properties are advertised on the Homefinder website, once you have completed the online registration form it is sent to Reading Borough Council to confirm the details you gave. Once approved you will be provided with log in details and will be able to bid for homes.

How to join

Apply online here. If you need any help please contact the Housing Needs Outreach Worker on 0118 937 2311.

Useful Numbers

Council Services Telephone Numbers

  • Tenant Services   0118 937 2161
  • Housing Support   0118 937 2161
  • Rents Team    0118 937 2784
  • Repairs Team   0118 937 3757 (Mon - Fri 8am - 6pm)
  • Repairs Out of hours  0118 937 3737 Emergencies only
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Team 0118 937 2147
  • Homechoice   0118 937 2172
  • Housing Advice   0118 937 2165
  • Rent Guarantee Scheme  0118 937 2233
  • Housing Benefit   0118 937 3707
  • Council Tax   0118 937 3727
  • Environmental Issues   0118 937 3787 (block cleaning, rubbish, graffiti, pest control)

All details of services provided by Reading Borough Council can be found on the website.