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Frequently Asked Questions | FAQs

FAQ

All on one page the most commonly asked questions, answered. We hope these answer many of your queries, but if you have further questions please get in touch.

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Unique

Zetetick is a unique housing charity, supporting vulnerable adults to sustain their tenancies and become valued members of their local communities. 

Quality

Since the formation of the Charity in April 2007 we have seen the lives of many tenants change for the better – significantly so.

Reputation

We specialise in seeking properties from the open private rental market to meet the specific needs of our tenants. These can range from bungalows to high-rise flats, subject to all our quality checks.

FAQS

Your Questions Answered

Funding

Rents and Charges

How will rent be funded and paid?

Our rents (excluding the Tenant Service Charge) are funded via the tenant’s entitlement to Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. As from 2019, funding of exempt accommodation will change and may require your Local Authority to ‘top-up’ your rent using Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP). There may be a financial assessment charge made by the Local Authority (LA) that will need to be funded by the tenant. All Housing Benefit will be paid directly to Zetetick Housing.

How much is the tenant service charge and finance assessment

Our charge is £20 per week, subject to annual reviews. The LA financial assessment is calculated based on the tenant’s income, so we cannot state what this may be in advance. In most cases, tenant contribution is zero.

What does the service charge pay for?

Under Housing Benefit rules, the use of water and personal use of heating & lighting is not eligible for HB funding. Therefore we adopted the Government recommended calculations and these may change from time to time.

Who pays the house bills, utilities etc?

This is a choice for the tenant/s. The utility bills can be placed in the tenant’s name and for the tenant to fund these directly. However our default position is for Zetetick Housing to manage and fund all utility bills on behalf of the tenant/s.

There are certain charges that the tenant must pay for directly. These include TV licence; pay-for TV, internet installation & charges, ongoing house telephone (ZH will fund installation only) running costs i.e. calls and line rental.

Who pays for maintenance and repairs?

All maintenance/repairs are managed and funded by Zetetick Housing. When assessing each referral an allowance for repairs is calculated based on likely demand, so will vary according to tenant assessed behaviour and need.

Does Zetetick make a charge?

Yes. We charge within the rent agreement a management charge that covers the administration costs of the charity and the service provision to our tenants. This charge is funded via Housing Benefit or DHP.

We have a personal budget/direct payment, can you help us?

Yes, subject to certain conditions. In order to ensure the tenancy is affordable we must achieve exempt accommodation status for the service – see questions on ‘exempt accommodation’ and ‘can we choose the support provider’.

The use of the direct payment to contract either Zetetick Housing directly or one of our nominated Support Providers will meet our exempt housing eligibility criteria.

We want to employ our own Personal Assistant (PA) can Zetetick house us?

Yes, subject to certain conditions. In order to ensure the tenancy is affordable then we must achieve exempt accommodation status for the service – see questions on ‘exempt accommodation’.

In summary there are two elements that need to be addressed:

That some direct support is contracted with Zetetick Housing.
That the PA’s are in part or wholly managed through an approved quality Support Provider.

Our Accommodation

About our accommodation

Can anyone get a house from Zetetick?

No. We support people who are in receipt of social care support that enables our services to be treated as Exempt Accommodation.

What is exempt accommodation

This is where the Landlord providing the accommodation is a Local Authority (Council) or a not-for-profit organisation (Charities) that also provides support to its tenants either directly or by a third party on behalf of the Landlord.

Where do you get your houses and where are they based?

At present we source and lease all our properties from the private rental market. We currently have properties in the South London boroughs and on the South coast – Brighton & Lewes areas.

Do you own and buy properties?

No. It is our long-term plan to purchase properties, but in the short/medium-term we will continue to lease properties.

What types of homes do you provide?

Because we lease from the open market we can offer almost all types of properties from studio flats to large detached houses. We are not restricted by empty housing stock as we don’t own any properties. All new referrals for housing are treated as bespoke services and we source accommodation based on the housing specification for each new tenant.

I was promised a home for life

The term ‘home for life’ has long since gone from Government strategies. Most local Councils only offer short-term tenancies, even though they own the property, so that they retain flexibility in future to change arrangements. Council housing is very limited and often have long waiting lists.

Why Zetetick and not the Council?

Council housing is very limited with very long waiting lists (over a year in most cases). Housing Associations work in partnership with Councils to plan and build housing stock based on local plans. These plans are pre-allocated years in advance and do not offer the flexibility to provide accommodation for unplanned immediate need. Zetetick Housing fulfills this local demand and bridges this gap in social housing need.

Isn't the private market less secure than a Housing Association?

Not necessarily. Many Councils via their HA partners only offer AST agreements of 12 months or less. It is more common within local Council provision for short-term weekly licenses to be issued rather than the more secure and protected AST agreement.

What happens when I wanted to live independently?

Although we cannot offer a ‘home for life’ in terms of the building, we can offer and become your Landlord for life. As long as you need support to live in the community and meet our eligibility criteria then we will support and provide all your accommodation needs both now and in the future. When you are ready to move on, we will find and provide you with a new home/s that grows and changes with you.

Have you and will you evict tenants?

Yes this is possible, albeit a last resort, should the tenant’s circumstances change to such an extent that it makes the tenancy unsustainable.

Your Tenancy

About Your Tenancy

What type of tenancy do you offer?

As a general rule we offer Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreements. However depending on individual circumstances we, on occasion, offer weekly licenses.

How long are the tenancies?

These will vary according to individual circumstances. However we endeavour to offer a 3-year, less one day, AST agreement where the Head Lease rental term permits us to do so. As a general rule the rental term within our AST agreements with our tenants matches the remaining term within the Head Lease.

What happens if the owner wants their house back.

This is a natural concern for many parents in planning the future for their vulnerable son or daughter. There are no homes for life and this is a reality we all have to face up to. What is important is, not necessarily the ‘bricks and mortar’, but the organisation/s that support the tenant now and in future. Should a move be required at a future date then Zetetick Housing’s charitable aims will ensure alternative accommodation is found, protect the tenant’s rights and ensure that the move is as smooth as possible. This is achieved with the tenant and in close partnership with their responsible Local Authority, Support Provider and family members.

Home

About your Home

How good is Zetetick at finding homes

Zetetick Housing has been operating for over 12 years, has over 120 properties and supports over 170 disabled tenants. Our success in finding a home that matches the tenant’s requirements is dependent on the referral brief. Finding a bungalow in central London is almost an impossible task, whereas a two bedroom flat in a specified borough is relatively easy to find.

Are we offered a choice

Yes. We may offer and the tenant can reject up to 3 choices before the referral is removed from our list. As the property will be from the open rental market we are subject to the same market conditions as everyone else. This means that if we reject a property today then it is very unlikely to be available tomorrow if you change your mind.

Can family be involved in a chosing a home?

Yes. There are market conditions that need to be considered, in that we require all people involved in the decision making process to be available within 24 hours to view/visit a potential property. If we cannot make a decision within a relatively short period of time then the property is likely to be rented to another person. Where a suitable property has been found, but time to view is delayed, then Zetetick Housing (at our discretion) will place a holding deposit on the property to allow the tenant and family time to approve. As this is a non-refundable deposit, only one holding position will be granted per referral.

Do I need to pay a deposit?

In most cases we are able to secure a property without the need to pay a deposit. However on occasions when an ideal property has been found and the owner requires a deposit then Zetetick Housing can fund this, but reserves the right to charge the tenants a pro-rata deposit, as part of their tenancy.

Can we help select or find a property?

Yes. We welcome help from the tenant and/or their family. Where a family wishes to engage in this process we can provide them with guidance and a budget, so that they can search and view properties directly. When a suitable property has been found then a simple phone call to Zetetick Housing is all that is needed for us to take over and secure the property.

What happens if the property needs adapting?

Zetetick Housing liaises with the Local Authority and Support Provider with the provision of any adaptations required. These will be funded either by the LA or Zetetick Housing.

Our Services

About our Services

What services and support do you provide?

Zetetick Housing was set-up specifically for the purpose of supporting people who are not able to maintain a tenancy without assistance. The level of support will vary according to individual need, but in principle we will undertake as much or as little support needed to ensure the tenants fulfills his/her obligations under the tenancy agreement.

Cane we choose the support provider?

The responsibility and Duty of Care remains with the Local Authority to appoint the Support Provider. In terms of Zetetick Housing and our requirement to fulfill the exempt accommodation criteria then the Support Provider must be one of our nominated and approved provider partners.

What happens if you have a neighbour dispute issue?

Part of our services is to support our tenants to live within the community. This can on occasions mean that neighbor disputes occur for many reasons. In all cases Zetetick Housing, in partnership with the Support Provider and Local Authority will support and manage the issue to a satisfactory conclusion.

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