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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

At SW9 there are a number of issues that come up so regularly we have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help you resolve issues outside of working hours.

  • Estate Services enquiries

    1. I have lost my fob key; how do I go about getting a replacement?

    In the event you have lost your fob key, a fee of £30 per fob key is payable at our Reception. We will request your address, the amount of fob keys needed and a contact so we can notify you when the fob key is ready for collection. PLEASE NOTE: During the Coronavirus period, please call 0207 326 3700 for advice in the first instance.

    2. My fob has suddenly stopped working, what should I do?

    At your earliest convenience, you will need to present your fob at our Reception for reprogramming. We will request your address and a contact so we can notify you when the fob is ready for collection. PLEASE NOTE: During the Coronavirus period please call 0207 326 3700 for advice in the first instance. 

    3. What must I do if I need a meter reading?

    Please contact our Estate Services team on 0207 326 3700 or email us at EstateServices@sw9.org.uk for assistance.

    4. How do I report fly tipping?

    If you see any fly tipping, you can report this anonymously online or by calling Customer Services on 0207 326 3700. When reporting fly tipping, please provide us with as much detail as possible, including:

    • When it happened (if you know).
    • Where it happened.
    • What type of rubbish was left e.g. redundant furniture.
    • How much rubbish was left.
    • If it is possibly hazardous (such as a healh and safety issue or fire risk).
    • Any photographic evidence (if possible).

    5. The communal lights have stopped working, who do I speak to?

    We know that communal lights add a sense of safety and security. Whenever the communal lights stop working, please contact our Estate Services team on 0207 326 3700 or email us at EstateServices@sw9.org.uk. We will endeavour to have the lights replaces as soon as possible. 

    6. What are block inspections?

    Block inspections (also known as estate inspections) are a monthly check undertaken by our Estate Service Officers (ESOs) to review and make sure the estate is both clean, tidy and safe. This also gives us the opportunity to capture issues and rectify them, so we are providing the best service possible. You can find a full list of upcoming block inspections here.

    7. During block inspections which areas are visited and reviewed?

    The following areas are inspected by our team (please be advised this is not a comprehensive list):

    • Hard surfaces owned by SW9 (roads, pathways, bin areas, parking and garage areas, etc).
    • Grass, trees, shrubs and hedges in all communal areas.
    • Internal communal areas (especially where lights and security fittings can be found).
    • Playground areas (equipment, surfaces and surroundings). 
    • Communal areas (to ensure that residents are not storing items such as redundant furniture, cardboard boxes, bicycles, pushchairs etc). 
    • Bin stores, bike stores, in take cupboards etc (to check for repairs that need to be carried out, unauthorised storage or fly tipping, rough sleepers or cleaning issues).
    • Underground garages (to ensure that there are no dumped vehicles or furniture, for repairs issues, that communal lights are working and other health & safety issues).
    • Cleaning (to check that underground garages, handrails, windows, walls, skylights etc are all being cleaned in accordance with the specification). 

    All issues are reported to the Neighbourhood Team, as they may constitute a breach of the tenancy / leaseholder agreement.

    8. Do Estate Services Officers (ESOs) do anything else?

    ESOs also read the communal gas and electric meters quarterly. All readings are provided to Monarch (the SW9 contractor that manages communal lighting and gas). ESOs will also check that communal lighting is working and change light bulbs if required. 

  • Rent enquiries

    1. What are the different ways in which I can pay my rent?

    There are various methods in which you can make payment:

    • Online through the Allpay website.
    • Through the Allpay app available for Android and iPhone.
    • Using your rent payment card at any Pay Point or Post Office.
    • Contacting our Income Team on 0207 326 3700.
    • Setting up a Direct Debit.
    • Setting up a Standing Order.

    Please note that you will need your unique 16 digit payment reference number to make a payment. This number can be found on your payment card and it starts with 98. If you do not have a payment card or have lost it, contact our Income Team who will be able to order one for you or provide you with the number. Please do not use the details of a payment card for a previous address.

    2. How do I set up a Direct Debit?

    You can set up a Direct Debit by contacting our Income Team on 0207 326 3700. Please note we are unable to set up Direct Debit with a Basic account or Post Office account. Please contact your bank to make payment using our bank details and quoting your unique payment reference.

    3. Can I amend my Direct Debit at any time?

    Your Direct Debit can be amended at any time by contacting the Income Team in advance, so that the amended amount can be taken in time. It takes 12 working day for a Direct Debit to start or be amended.

    4. How do I set up a standing order?

    You will need to instruct your bank using our details below and quoting your unique reference payment number to make sure that payment is going into the correct account. If you are unsure of this number please call the Income Team before setting up the standing order to avoid our inability to credit your payment to your account.

    • Bank and Branch: HSBC, 16 King Street, London, WC2E 8JF
    • Account Name: SW9 Community Housing
    • Sort Code: 40-04-09  
    • Account Number: 92197952
    • Reference: Your unique payment reference

    5. Where can I get a payment card for my rent?

    Rent payment cards can be requested by contacting the Income Team on 0207 326 3700 or via email at Rents@sw9.org.uk

    6. How do I access my rent statement?

    Rent statements are sent out to all residents on a quarterly basis. This is called a Statement of Accounts, which shows the activity on your rent account for the past three months. Rent statements may also be requested by visiting the SW9 Office Reception (where a printout may be provided) or by calling the Income team to have one sent to you by email.

    7. If I have credit on my rent account, can I claim money back?

    A refund of credit on your rent account is only possible if a minimum of a month’s credit can be left. This is to ensure that your rent account is in advanced payment.

    8. What should I do if I’m finding it difficult to pay my rent?

    If you fall into any difficulties paying your rent, please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible. We will help you as best we can, as your tenancy is our priority.

    9. Is there anyone I can speak to about benefits?

    We have a Welfare Officer who can advise and help you to apply for benefits that you may be entitled to. Please contact the office to book an appointment.

    10. Can I see a breakdown of my rent, so I know what it is I am paying for?

    In your rent statement, we provide a breakdown of your rent including the services you are paying for (maintenance, pest control, etc.) and how much you are being charged for each service provided.

    11. Why is my rent different from my neighbour?

    The total rent you pay may differ from your neighbour as tenancy types and tenancy start dates must be considered. As these factors may be different from your neighbour, it is quite likely that your rent will be different in comparison.

    12. When is my rent due?

    Your rent is due every Monday in advance according to the terms of your Tenancy Agreement. Please contact us if you wish to make special arrangements such as paying monthly, fortnightly, etc.

    13. When should I report to Universal Credit new rent changes?

    It is important to report via your journal to Universal Credit your new rent as soon as it has happened on the day. For example, this year’s new rent will be changed on 6th April 2020 and you will need to submit this information on your journal on the same day. Please note your landlord is unable to do this on your behalf.

    14. I am a Universal Credit claimant. How do I inform Universal Credit of my new rent (housing cost)?

    You will need to do this via your journal. Go to your “To Do List”, then “Report any changes to your housing cost”. 

    You are required to only report your new rent including eligible service charges but NOT ineligible service charges. Failure to comply with this guideline will result in a delay in the processing of your new rent from the 6th of April 2020. If you make a mistake you can change it.

    You will be asked the following questions:

    • “Has your rent changed?” (Yes/No) – Note: If the claimant answers “No”, no further
    • questions will be displayed
    • “Have your service charges changed?” (Yes/No)
    • “When did your housing costs change?” (DD/MM/YYYY)
    • “How much will you be charged for your new rent (excluding service charges)?”
    • “How frequent is your new rent?” (Weekly/Fortnightly/Four-weekly/Monthly/Quarterly)
    • “How much will you be charged for your new service charges (eligible)?”
    • “How frequent are your new service charges?” (Weekly/Fortnightly/Four-weekly/Monthly/Quarterly)

     

  • General Leasehold enquiries

    1. Am I allowed to keep pets in my property?

    If your lease allows you to keep a pet, please contact Leasehold.Enquiries@sw9.org.uk and we will consider your request. If you are considering keeping a dog we will need to know the size and breed of the dog and if you currently have any other pets in the property. You will also need to provide an undertaking that you will take full responsibility for your pet. This will include not causing a nuisance to other residents in the building or damage to the communal areas.

    2. How can I find out how many years I have left on my lease?

    To confirm the unexpired terms remaining on your lease please contact Leasehold.Enquiries@sw9.org.uk

    3. What should I do if I want to sell my property?

    If you are a shared owner and wish to sell your property please contact Resales@networkhomes.org.uk. For all other sales enquiries please contact Leasehold.Enquiries@sw9.org.uk.

    4. I want to make improvements to my property, what must I do?

    Please send details of the desired improvements with as much information as possible (such as approvals, plans, etc.) to the landlord Network Homes: Leasehold.Service@networkhomes.org.uk for the attention of Terais Latore.

    5. What is required if I want to sublet?

    If you have been granted a shared ownership lease you are not permitted to sublet. Leaseholders who own 100% of their property can request a Subletting Application Form by contacting Leasehold.Enquiries@sw9.org.uk

    6. Is it possible to extend my lease?

    You must be a long leaseholder of a flat or maisonette and have owned the property for at least two years. Please send a written request to LegalServices@networkhomes.org.uk, who will guide you through the process and also advise you on the associated fees.

    7. How do I know if there are any planned works for my building?

    Planned works or Major Works (which is any item of repair or replacement to your building that will cost you more than £250.00 including VAT) will be subject to a formal statutory consultation process; otherwise known as a Section 20. During this process we will serve at least two Notices which will detail the works we intend to carry out and the estimated costs for your building. During the consultation period you will have an opportunity to provide any observations you may have.

    8. Can I get a copy of my building insurance?

    To obtain a copy of your building insurance, please request it via our email address Leasehold.Enquiries@sw9.org.uk. We will respond with an attachment for your records.

  • Leasehold payment enquiries

    1. What charges am I liable for as a leaseholder?

    As a leaseholder you will be responsible for paying both service charges and ground rent. Some leaseholders will also be liable for major works charges.

    2. What are service charges, ground rent and major works?

    Service charges are paid by leaseholders as a contribution towards the costs of running the building. This covers maintenance and communal charges such as heating, hot water, etc. Ground rent is an annual fee payable to the freeholder (SW9) as a condition of your lease for the land your property is on.

    3. How can I pay my charges?

    There are various methods in which you can make payment:

    • Online through the Allpay website.
    • Through the Allpay app available from an Android and iPhone.
    • Using your rent payment card at any Pay Point or Post Office.
    • Contacting our Income Team on 0207 326 3700.
    • Setting up a Direct Debit (our preferred method of payment).
    • Setting up a Standing Order (by instructing your bank to make payment to our HSBC account number 92197952, sort code 40-04-09 and payable to SW9 Community Housing ensuring you quote your payment reference). 

    4. What date does an estimated service charge start?

    Your estimated service charge is issued from the 1st of April of each year to reflect the new financial year. The new service charges are an estimate. Six months from this date the actual charges will be released.

    5. When is the financial year from and to?

    Our financial year runs from the 1st of April to 31st  of March.

    6. What charges am I liable for as a Shared Owner?

    As a Shared Owner you are liable for service charges and rent. Unlike Leaseholders, Shared Owners do not pay ground rent.

    7. How can I pay my charges as a Shared Owner?

    Please refer to Question 3 in this section for a comprehensive list of methods on paying your charges.

    8. I am experiencing some problems as a Shared Owner, what can I do?

    If there is a change to your circumstances or you have any general enquiries, please contact us on telephone 0207 326 3700 or at SharedOwner.Income@sw9.org.uk

    9. How do I get a breakdown of my service charges?

    You will be able to see this in your annual estimated increase/decrease letter sent to you in March and your final accounts letter in September. Quarterly statements are sent out and these also show the breakdown. However, if you have mislaid any of these documents you can contact the Income team:

    • In writing to our address at 6 Stockwell Park Walk, London, SW9 0FG.
    • By calling 0207 326 3700 and selecting option 4.
    • By emailing Leasehold.Income@sw9.org.uk

    10. If I fall into arrears on my charges what can I do?

    If your circumstances change at any time, please contact us as soon as possible. This will allow us to work with you on establishing a realistic payment plan taking into account the income and expenditure of your household as well as signposting you for support, if this has been identified as necessary.

    11. What are actual service charges?

    These are the actual costs for the services you received for the previous financial year. For example, in September 2020, you will be notified of your actual service charge for the previous financial year April 2019 to March 2020.

    12. What are estimated service charges?

    At the start of the financial year (April), we will estimate what your annual charges will be based on previous actual service charge costs.

    13. What is the impact of the estimated and actual service charges leaseholders are notified of in March and September?

    It leads to an adjustment or no adjustment on your service charge account in September of each year. The adjustment is the difference between the estimate and actual. This may result in a difference that is either a debit or a credit. It is also possible to have no change, which will be the case when the estimate and the actual is the same, thereby resulting in no credit or debit to your service charge account. You will usually be notified of these changes – credit, debit or no change – in September of each year and the adjustment will be reflected on your service charge account in October.

    14. How often is a Leaseholder’s Direct Debit amended?

    SW9 will amend Direct Debits twice every year in March and September. This is to take into account estimated and actual charges due from April and October respectively.

    15. How often should a standing order payer amend their standing order?

    Twice a year after their March and September payments so that they can start paying a new amount from April and October of each year where applicable.

    16. What do the letters on my payment reference number mean?

    A service charge account payment reference is numeric only. An “S” is in front of the same numeric service charge payment reference for a ground rent account. An “M” is in front of the same service charge payment reference for a major works account.

  • Neighbourhood enquiries

    1. What options do I have if I am an SW9 resident who wants to move?

    SW9 residents who wish to move to another property can apply to the Mutual Exchange Scheme. This provides an opportunity to move to another property within our stock or to another area. You also have the option of completing an Internal Tenancy Transfer Form which restricts you to moving within SW9 properties only. Residents can also register with the following to seek alternative accommodation:

    2. Do you provide temporary accommodation?

    No, we do not provide temporary accommodation as we are a housing association. Usually temporary accommodation is managed by the local council.

    3. What is a tenancy audit and why is it carried out?

    A tenancy audit is a visit by your Housing Officer to check and update your household details. They will verify who lives in the household. This is important in the event of an emergency while also helping to combat tenancy fraud and highlight possible safeguarding issues.

    4. How can I secure an SW9 property if I am not an SW9 resident?

    You cannot directly secure an SW9 property. All applicants must register on Lambeth Council’s housing register and start 'bidding' for available properties. Prospective tenants are then nominated to view and are offered one of our properties, subject to verification by Lambeth.

    5. I am being affected by anti-social behaviour (ASB), what can I do about it?

    Your safety, especially where you live, is important to us. If you are concerned about anti-social behaviour (ASB), you can fill out our online form anonymously. You can also contact your Housing Officer who will log your report and follow up accordingly.

    6. Is parking available in the area?

    We have parking available on the Stockwell Park Estate. You can apply for underground parking in some of our blocks but some are more popular than others. There is a waiting list containing the names of residents who require parking spaces. You will be contacted when one becomes available. Visitor Parking Permits for non-residents are available for purchase at the reception and cost £2.50 for 6 hours or  £4 for a day permit. On-street parking and garage permits are also available to SW9 residents only for a fee of £106 yearly or £51 for six months. Please note that a separate account will be set up on our system with a payment reference. You may wish to contact 0207 326 3700 or email info@sw9.org.uk for more information. 

    7. For an on-street parking permit or garage permit, what documents are required?

    The documents required are as follows:

    • Driver’s licence.
    • Vehicle Logbook (registered to the SW9 property address).
    • MOT certificate.
    • Certificate of Insurance.
    • Vehicle Tax.

    8. Can I have white goods removed?

    Yes, we provide a service through our contractors Zing, who can remove bulky white goods and furniture, etc. Please note that a fee may apply dependent on the size and/or weight of the items being removed. Please contact the SW9 Community Housing office if you require this service.

    9. How do I make a complaint if I am dissatisfied with the service being provided?

    In the event that you are not quite satisfied with our service, you can send a complaint to our dedicated inbox at Complaints@sw9.org.uk or use the online form. We will endeavour to handle your complaint in a timeframe of up to 10 working days.

     

  • Repairs enquiries

    1. Who carries out repairs for SW9?

    Our current contractors for general repairs are Chigwell (London) Ltd. They have an office next to Bedwell House if you ever want to pop in and ask any questions.

    2. How can I keep up with my repairs?

    Upon raising a repair, you will be provided with a unique reference number. This is often referred to as a “job number”, which you can quote to our Repairs Team to get the latest update on your repairs.

    3. Will I ever have to pay for repairs raised by SW9?

    Not if it was caused by general wear and tear as it is our duty to maintain the structure of your home. Please visit our Repairs Responsibility page to find out what we are responsible for. If any repair has been deemed as tenant/wilful damage then you will be either recharged for the repair or the repair will not carried out as it will be deemed as your responsibility.

    4. Am I allowed to make alterations to my home?

    Please contact the Repairs Team at Repairs@sw9.org.uk to discuss any alterations you may feel are necessary.

    5. I am a vulnerable resident, is it possible to have someone represent me?

    You may have someone represent you and be a contact for all repairs raised under your address. For this to happen, an Authority to Represent form will need to be completed or an individual will need to demonstrate that they have power of attorney for you. This is to keep your information safe and secure. Please note this form can be provided on request from info@sw9.org.uk 

    6. What should I do if I believe a repair hasn’t been completed or done well enough?

    If a repair is not completed and/or you are unhappy with the work, please contact us as soon as possible. This will enable us to investigate and put things right.

    7. How will I know when a repair is going to be carried out?

    You will be provided with your “job number”, date and time of the repair via a call, text or email. If you are not able to honour the repairs appointment, please contact us as soon as possible to rearrange.

    8. If my repair is not carried out when I was told it would be, what should I do?

    We apologise if this happens. Please contact our Repairs Team who will be able to find out why this was the case. If necessary we will provide you with a new convenient date for the repair to be completed.

    9. What is the Out of Hours Service?

    Our Out of Hours service is strictly for emergency repairs only. After 5pm on weekdays (outside of our office hours), any call to the Repairs Team number will be answered by Out of Hours. The details of your repair and your contact details will be taken so that a contractor can be arranged to attend the property urgently.

    10. What information must I provide when reporting a repair?

    When reporting a repair, you must provide the following details:

    • Full address.
    • Phone number.
    • Details of repair.
    • When you will be available for an appointment.

    11. Am I responsible for any repairs?

    Yes, you are responsible for minor repairs except for cases where the resident is vulnerable or has other needs. A list of your responsibilities can be found here. This includes but is not limited to:

    • Replacing toilet seats and lids.
    • Changing light bulbs inside the property.
    • Replacing internal door handles.

    12. If my house keys are lost or stolen, will I be charged to replace them?

    If your keys are lost, you will be charged for the locks to be changed and new keys issued. However, if you have been the victim of a crime, you can give us the crime reference number and we will change your locks free of charge.

  • Getting involved

    1. How can I get involved with SW9?

    As a Local Management Organisation with a resident-led Board, SW9 haa a number of opportunities each year for residents to get involved. Getting involved offers you the chance to make a difference to the services you receive, offer opportunities for personal development or provide offer family fun at key times of the year. Opportunities include (but are not limited to):

    • Board membership.
    • Scrutiny Panel.
    • SW9 Festival.
    • Christmas Party for residents.
    • Seasonal Hampers for the elderly/vulnerable.
    • Secret shopper.
    • Art Classes for children.
    • Cooking/Gardening workshops for older persons.
    • Taking part in surveys.

    2. How do I know what is happening?

    Every time we have an involvement opportunity available, we will publicise it using the following methods.

    • Our website.
    • Our Facebook page.
    • Our Twitter page.
    • Our newsletter.
    • Posters in our estate noticeboards.
    • Posters in our office reception.
    • Banners (where applicable).
    • Text messages (where applicable).

    3. Can only tenants get involved?

    No, all residents of SW9 are welcome to get involved. You can be a tenant, leaseholder, shared owner or simply live in one of our properties. Sometimes we do have certain restrictions, but we’ll always let you know about them up front.

    4. How do I become a Board member?

    Becoming a Board member allows you the opportunity to play a direct role in leading SW9 as an organisation. Our Board is Resident-led with an equal number of spaces for tenants and leaseholders. If you would like to know more about whether any spaces are currently available and what the role entails, please call us on 0207 326 3700 or email getinvolved@sw9.org.uk

    5. What does SW9 have going on for families?

    Every year SW9 hold a series of activities aimed at providing family fun. These include the SW9 Festival in the summer – which delivers a range of activities often including days out to the seaside or other attractions – and our annual Christmas Party for Residents with a Santa’s Grotto.

    6. Do I get anything for getting involved?

    As a thank you for your time, you may receive vouchers for taking part in some SW9 involvement opportunities. If this is the case it will be advertised up front. For certain activities we may also be able to assist with care costs, if you have responsibilities that would prevent you from otherwise taking part.

    7. How can I find out more?

    If you would like to know more about getting involved with SW9, you can contact us: