FAQs

Frequently asked questions

  • What do I do if I have an emergency repair outside working hours?

    Call our 24/7 repairs help desk on 0300 555 0302.

  • What should I do if I am not happy with Black Country Housing Group’s service?

    Please tell us. We take our customers’ views very seriously and we will always try to solve any problems you may have. We have a Complaints Policy and Procedure to help us deal with all complaints fairly.

    Click here to make a comment or complaint.

  • Can I home swap?

    Yes. As a resident of a housing association you can swap home with another resident either of the same association, another housing association, or a local authority or council. Go to our Homeswapper page for more detailed information.

  • How does BCHG carry out repairs?

    We have a legal responsibility to maintain the structure of the property as well as the installations of services such as water and heating. We also carry out some internal repairs, while others are the responsibility of the tenant.

    Repairs are categorised into Emergency, Urgent and Routine work. The Association has target times for each of these categories. You will be informed which category your repair falls under when you ask for the work to be done.

  • How can residents get involved?

    It's important to Black Country Housing that we provide the best service and that means putting our residents at the heart of what we do. We offer a range of ways that residents can involved in the future planning and improvement of our housing services. Please speak to your Customer Relations Manager for more information.

  • Can I make alterations / home improvements?

    You must write to your Customer Relations Manager with what you are intending to do, why and when. You will normally be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and or repair. You will normally be responsible for the reinstatement of any improvements/alterations after you leave. The exception to this is if is if the adaptation was funded as a Disabled Facilities Grant by the Local Council. We may need to visit your home to assess what you are intending to do. Do not make improvements unless you have receievd permission as this is a breach of your tenancy agreement.

    Our Homeforce team will be happy to quote for any works that are approved by us.

  • Can I keep a pet in my BCHG home?

    We want to encourage responsible pet ownership. You are permitted to keep household pets as long as you meet our conditions - please speak to your Customer Relations Manager for more information.

  • Smart Meters
    • Smart meters have a built in sim card that automatically sends readings to your energy company and your in-home display or app.
    • You have our permission to ask your gas and electricity providers to fit smart meters in your home. Energy companies should offer you smart meters by 2020.
    • Smart meters allow you to monitor your energy use, potentially saving you money on your fuel bills.
    • Estimated bills are eliminated if you have a standard meter and top ups are simpler if you pay-as-you-go.
    • All the information you need about the roll out of smart meters is in one place at www.smartenergygb.org
  • What is a housing association?

    A housing association is a not-for-profit organisation. Its main business is providing affordable homes to rent. Any money left over from its work is ploughed back into building or buying new homes for social rent, and improving its existing properties and services.

  • Who can apply for housing with a housing association?

    Anyone can apply to be housed by us. However, it is our priority to provide housing to those who are most in need of it. To make sure this happens fairly, we use a system of points within 3 bands. If we can’t accept you onto our waiting list we will explain why and you will have the right to appeal against the decision.

  • How do I apply for housing?

    The first thing you must do is to register with the Local Authority for the area or areas in which you wish to live. Your circumstances will be considered and if accepted you will be placed in a band along with other applicants who have similar circumstances.

    We do maintain some limited waiting lists. These are mainly one and two bedroom apartments and specialist housing for Retirement Living. For more information please go to our Find a Home page

  • Can I go on your waiting list?

    In order to manage expectations, we only accept applications from those whose needs meet our current waiting list criteria. To see if you are eligible to apply to go on our waiting lists, click here.

  • What are your Service Standards regarding Gas Safety?

    Emergency Response: Attend within 4 Hours. Examples Carbon monoxide, Gas leak, major escape of water (leak) that cannot be contained.

     

    Urgent Response: Attend within 24 Hours . Examples are no heating, or not hot water or both

    Routine Response: Attend within 5 days . Examples are a containable escape of water from the central heating/hot water system, a single radiator not working, banging noise, faulty thermostat but can still user the heating manually,  heating and hot water coming on together, the boiler making a noise.

     

    Parts Needed: Engineers do carry commonly needed parts however If a first time fix is not possible, parts will be ordered for delivery as soon as possible. Once Liberty have the parts they will confirm the return appointment.

     

    Vulnerable Customers: We will apply a common sense approach to prioritising vulnerable customers within the response times set out above.

     

    Smell gas? Call Cadent immediately on 0800 111 999

    Liberty Gas 0300 555 0302, option 1. 24 hour call centre

     

    New customers moving in:

    We cap the gas at void properties, meaning when you sign up for a property there will be no heating or hot water.

     

    Turn on, test and service  – Customer must have a gas supplier in place and if there is a prepayment (top up) meter there must be credit on the meter.  Please give 48 hours notice of moving in to help manage Engineers’ diaries.

     

    If you have your own gas cooker, for safety reasons it must only be connected after Liberty have turned on and tested the gas. You must only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to connect your cooker.

  • How do I sell my Shared Ownership home?

    Please Contact the Operations Department on operations@bchg.co.uk

    Our Tariffs

    1. Standard Information Pack

    (We aim to provide within 5 working days of payment receipt).

    To include:-

    · Set of frequently asked questions about the development, covering the topics of the lease and lease parties, insurance, service charge and ground rent, maintenance and expenditure and notices.

    · Copy of the last 3 year’s service charge account (where available)

    · Memorandum and articles of association for the residents management company (if applicable)

    · Risk assessment (If applicable)

    · Fire assessments (If applicable)

    · Asbestos report (If applicable)

    · Statement of leaseholders/freeholders account

    (PLEASE NOTE THAT THE STANDARD INFORMATION PACK DOES NOT INCLUDE RESPONSES TO BESPOKE ENQUIRIES)

    £250.00 plus VAT

    2) Financial Information Pack

    (We aim to provide within 5 working days of payment receipt)

    To include: -

    · Copy of the last 3 years' service charge account (where available)

    · Copy of the current years budget

    · Statement of leaseholders/freeholders account

    £120.00 plus VAT

    3) Bespoke enquiries (excluding additional documentation)

    Up to 20 questions (we aim to provide within 10 working days of payment receipt).

    £250.00 plus VAT

    4) Copy of insurance certificate and summary of cover (where available)

    (We aim to provide within 5 working days of payment receipt).

    £40.00 plus VAT

    5) Copy of insurance certificate and full insurance policy documentation (where available)

    (We aim to provide within 5 working days of payment receipt).

    £40.00 plus VAT

    6) Copy of Fire Risk Assessment (where available)

    (We aim to provide within 5 working days of payment receipt).

    £40.00 plus VAT

    7) Copy of Asbestos report (where applicable)

    (We aim to provide within 5 working days of payment receipt).

    £40.00 plus VAT

    8) Copy of General Risk Assessment (where available)

    (We aim to provide within 5 working days of payment receipt).

    £40.00 plus VAT

    9) Deed of Covenant (when processed by BCHG)

    Full preparation of deed by BCHG, including execution

    £250.00 plus VAT

    10) Consent to transfer/Certificate of Compliance (when processed by BCHG)

    £100.00 plus VAT

    11) Notice of Assignment and /or charge (when processed by BCHG)

    £100.00 plus VAT

  • What can I do about noise nuisance?

    What is noise?

    Noise is a part of everyday life, but can be a nuisance when the level and frequency invade your right to peace and quiet.

    It can be a breach of tenancy or lease if there is enough evidence gathered to prove this and if it does not stop, legal action could be taken.  

    How we may be able to help:

    • We will listen to your concerns
    • We will speak to neighbours
    • We will look at your noise diary and tell you if we think the noise is anti social
    • We may offer mediation.
    • We may speak to the person concerned
    • We may contact the local authority to ask if they have witnessed noise nuisance.
    • We will take action if we find the noise is statutory (falls under a written law) and is not the result if everyday living

    What you can do to help:

    • Ask yourself if you are being reasonable
    • Speak to your neighbour if safe to do so
    • Don’t shout or be abusive—if you are angry this won't help
    • Keep a diary
    • Record the noise
    • Contact your Environmental Health team at the council
    • Take legal action, for example a citizens prosecution under the Environmental Health Act

    What will Environmental Health do?

    • Asses how loud the noise and how long it lasts
    • Look at the area you live in
    • Assess how frequent  the noise is and the time of day
    • Look at whether the noise is deliberate
    • Check action taken by the alleged perpetrator to stop the noise
    • Check the activity causing the noise
    • They will not investigate irritations or annoyances
    • A statutory nuisance is a matter to be decided by the Local Authority

    Legal Action:

    If the local authority is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, they will serve an Abatement Notice, imposing a legal duty for action to be taken about the noise. If the noise doesn't stop, the local authority can issue  court proceedings.

    If entered into court, evidence from an Environmental Health Officer will not be classed as conclusive evidence of statutory nuisance. It is only one of the factors that the court will consider.  The court will decide if the noise is a nuisance or not.

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