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HomeCome tenants handbook

Key in house door

Welcome to the HomeCome tenants handbook

The handbook tells you:

  • About your rights (the services you can expect from HomeCome Limited, your landlord, and Leicester City Council, the managing agent for repairs, maintenance and dealing with tenancy issues),

  • About your responsibilities (what we expect from you)

  • How we plan to keep you informed

  • How you can get involved

Issuing this handbook is part of meeting our commitment to improve services to our customers. We want to develop and improve the services you receive from us by working closely with you. We will regularly review the handbook and update it when necessary.

Together with your tenancy agreement, the handbook forms the basis of your relationship with HomeCome and Leicester City Council. It is important that you keep this handbook in a safe place and that you take the time to read and understand the items set out in this booklet.

The handbook is not a legal document, but it is provided to help you understand the rights and responsibilities under the terms of your assured shorthold tenancy agreement with HomeCome.

Your tenancy agreement sets out the obligations of HomeCome. You are responsible for ensuring the behaviour of yourself, your family, your visitors and your pets does not cause nuisance and annoyance to others.

As the managing agent, Leicester City Council is responsible for ensuring your home is maintained and kept in good repair as defined in the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Sections 11-15.

Introduction

HomeCome Limited is a private housing company that works with Leicester City Council to provide good quality homes for rent at affordable levels for people on the Council’s Housing Register. The Council is a board member of HomeCome.

The landlord is HomeCome and Leicester City Council is the managing agent on behalf of HomeCome. This means that HomeCome buys its management and repairs service from Leicester City Council.

As a HomeCome tenant you will receive the same level of management and repairs that Leicester City Council’s tenants receive.

Your tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), not a Secure Tenancy. This means that your tenancy agreement is for a six-month fixed term period initially. After this time, it will become a periodic week-by-week tenancy.

As HomeCome own some properties and lease others, this makes a difference to your tenancy agreement. You will have been told if the property is HomeCome owned or leased before you accepted the offer of a tenancy:
  • If it is HomeCome owned there is every expectation that you can stay in your home for a long time.
  • If it is HomeCome leased, you may be asked to leave before the lease ends.
This was discussed when you attended the sign-up appointment, and you will be given advice and assistance when a lease comes to an end.

Your tenancy agreement is a legal agreement between you and HomeCome Ltd. (your landlord). It provides you with the right to possession of the property for a designated period, provided you keep to the terms of the agreement.

It also sets out the terms and conditions of your agreement, your rights, and the responsibilities of your landlord.

You are a private tenant of HomeCome and this will affect your rights compared to a Leicester City Council secure tenant. You will not have the right to:
  • buy your property – Right to Buy only applies to Secure Tenancies
  • mutually exchange or assign your home to anyone else
  • improve your property and potentially benefit under the Right to Improve
  • move under the Right to Move, though you can still apply for housing from Leicester City Council, other Councils and directly from Registered Providers
  • there are limited rights to succession. This depends on whether your tenancy is a joint tenancy or, in the case of a sole tenancy, whether it is a fixed term or periodic tenancy. For further information please see the Department of Communities and Local Government website for ‘Model agreement for a shorthold assured tenancy and accompanying guidance’ available for private tenants.
If you have any queries about your tenancy, please contact the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service on 0116 454 1007, option two. This is the number you need to ring for all initial enquiries relating to your tenancy.

Service Improvement

Helping us to improve services

We want you to get involved in making decisions which will affect the way we manage your property and the services you receive. You can help us to identify improvements to our services or your area. This will help us set priorities, so we can use the resources we have in the most effective way. We know that everyone lives their lives differently and has different priorities. So, to make it easy for as many people as possible to get involved, there are a number of different ways for you to make yourself heard. There is a wide range of choices on how you can be involved, from informal involvement such as:
  • completing surveys at home
  • reading and commenting on communications we are proposing to publish
To attend formal meetings or focus groups and service improvement panels.
Many areas have Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations and estate inspections. You can get involved at a level to suit your individual circumstances. For further information on how you can get involved, contact your local Neighbourhood Housing office on 0116 454 1007, option two.

Why get involved?

  • Housing services will be improved and offer greater value for money over time if residents are fully involved in monitoring, evaluating and influencing the services, in how they work and how they are delivered.
  • We want you to be involved in helping to make local decisions. This will help to make the area a better place for you to live in. We also want to ensure that the services we provide for you also provide value for money.

Getting involved at local level

Estate Inspections

We encourage HomeCome tenants to get involved in estate inspections. You can find out by contacting your housing officer, if any inspections have been scheduled and are taking place in your area.

Inspections involve officers from the local neighbourhood hubs and local councillors, and sometimes other partner organisations who work with us, such as the police.

Insurance

You are responsible for insuring your personal items in your own home.
HomeCome and Leicester City Council staff are not able to offer any legal advice to HomeCome tenants. You are advised to contact a solicitor to seek independent legal advice.

Data Protection

Any personal data that you provide will be processed in accordance with current data protection laws. It will be used by Leicester City Council and our partners to deliver and improve services and fulfil our legal duties. We will not disclose any personal information to anyone else unless required or allowed to do so by law. Read more about how we use personal data in our privacy notice on our website.
Person writing on paper with laptop next to them

Paying your rent

To assist you in paying your rent Leicester City Council offers the following facilities:

Bank standing order

Contact the Income Collection Service on 0116 454 1010 to obtain a bank standing order mandate. You will need to complete and sign this form and then send it to your bank.

Bank direct debit

Contact the Income Collection Service on 0116 454 1010 to obtain a bank direct debit mandate. You will need to complete and sign this form and then send it to your bank.

Telephone

Payment can be made using your bank debit or credit card. Call the Income Collection Service or the automated payment line on 0116 454 1010. This line is open 24 hours a day.

Pay point and at the post office

Take your invoice either to the Post Office or to a retailer where a pay point sign is displayed. The invoice will be scanned and you can pay the due amount on the invoice.

Online

You can pay online through the Council website.

Difficulty paying rent

If for any reason you are unable to pay your rent. It is important to speak with someone as soon as possible to avoid the situation getting worse. The Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service on 0116 454 1007, option three will be able to put you in touch with the Income Management Team, where you will be able to get advice on how you can reduce your debt.

Important: if you fail to meet your rent payments you may be served with a notice to quit. If this happens, your tenancy could be brought to an end and a court order obtained for possession of the property.

Repairs and maintenance

person holding electric drill to window hinge

Reporting repairs or maintenance requests

If you want to make a request for a repair or maintenance to the structure of your home. You can contact us via our new Housing Online website:
  • Housing Online website which allows you to view, report and make enquiries about repairs to your council home. Housing Online can be accessed 24/7 and allows you to view your rent account and access other Housing services.

Housing Online can be found by going to our housing page and clicking on the Housing Online link.

Before you can use Housing Online, you must first complete a one-off sign-up process. Go to the Housing Online page and click sign up - here you can enter your email address and choose a password. You will then receive an email with a link to verify your details. To do this you must ensure the details match exactly.

Please note: if you need to report a critical emergency repair, you can continue to contact us via the usual phone number, 0116 454 7007.

Struggling to use Housing Online?
If you are struggling to use Housing Online, please contact the Housing Online Support Team on 0116 454 0990. Please ensure you provide us with the reference number, as well as your name and address details.

Housing Online support team
Our Housing Online Support Team will be available between 8.30 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30 am to 4.30 pm on Friday, to help you if you are unable to use Housing Online. Our team will work with you to ensure that you can still report your repairs.

Who is responsible for maintaining items at your property?

As part of the Council’s agreement with HomeCome, housing services have a responsibility to carry out certain repairs to HomeCome tenants’ homes. Other repairs are the responsibility of the tenant.

The following tables below show areas of responsibility.

Outside your home


Location Area Are Leicester City Council responsible? (on behalf of HomeCome)
Communal areas Communal areas, such as lifts and stairs Yes
Roof Chimney and chimney stacks Yes
Roof Roof structure and coverings Yes
Roof Guttering, rainwater pipes and clips Yes
Roof Fascia, soffit and barge boards Yes
Walls and canopies External walls and rendering Yes
Walls and canopies Foundations Yes
Walls and canopies Concrete canopies over doors and windows Yes
Walls and canopies Internal decoration No
Walls and canopies Filling non-structural plaster cracks and small holes No
Windows Window frames, external sills (unless already painted as part of the frame design and seal) Yes
Windows Glazing Yes
Windows Glazing where caused by criminal damage and reported to the police Yes
Windows Window ironmongery Yes
Windows Window vents Yes
Doors Outside doors, frames, other boards and threshold strips Yes
Doors Outside door locks and ironmongery Yes
Doors Door entry system Yes
Doors Maintain, repair or replace letter plate

Note
: we will complete these repairs to fire doors
No
Doors Repair or replace door numbers No
Doors Repair or replace spy hole No
Doors Replacement of keys and locks that
have been lost or stolen

Note: Tenants will be re-charged for replacements if we complete the work.
We will carry out this work for disabled
tenants and OAPs.
No
Doors Repair or replace security door chain No
Doors Maintain, repair or replace doorbell No
Pipes and drains Soil and vent pipes and clips Yes
Pipes and drains Drains and gully surrounds Yes
Pipes and drains Gully grids No
Pipes and drains Drain blockage – the first time only Yes
Pipes and drains More than first drain blockage if caused by faulty pipework Yes
Pipes and drains More than first drain blockage if pipework not faulty Yes
Pipes and drains Inspection chambers Yes
Gardens and boundaries Gardens -
Gardens and boundaries Garden walls Yes
Gardens and boundaries Fencing, but only to match original standard for that part of the estate Yes
Gardens and boundaries Front, side and rear gates, including ironmongery Yes
Gardens and boundaries Paths, steps and other means of access if forming part of the property Yes
Gardens and boundaries Line posts of rotary clothes driers if fitted No
Gardens and boundaries Car hardstanding and gates Yes
Garages and outbuildings Garages and outbuildings Yes
Gain entry Gaining entry to the property by breaking in   

Inside your home

Location Area Are Leicester City Council responsible? (on behalf of HomeCome)
Doors Internal doors, ironmongery and threshold strips (unless affected by rotor woodworm) No
Doors Maintain, repair or replace internal door

Note: We will repair or replace items for
doors with sliding mechanisms.
No
Doors Repair and replace picture rails No
Doors Repair and replace skirting boards No
Windows Internal timber, UPVC or Tile window sills Yes
Windows Window vents Yes
Windows Cleaning UPVc windows No
Windows Oiling UPVc window hinges No
Walls Internal walls Yes
Walls Major plaster work, plaster air vents and cornice Yes
Walls Minor repairs to plasterwork, eg. Cracks and small holes (under 6 inches or 1500mm square) Yes
Walls Wall tiles and grouting, to match existing tiles as closely as possible Yes
Floors Concrete floors (not including floor tiles) Yes
Floors Vinyl floor tiles (self- levelling compound will be used for repairs,
except in bathrooms and kitchens: where tiles are replaced every effort will be made to match existing tiles, but complete matches cannot be guaranteed)
Yes
Floors Loose floor coverings and fitted carpets No
Floors Repair or replace laminate flooring No
Floors Floorboards and joists Yes
Ceilings Artex ceilings (patching only) Yes
Fireplaces Fireplaces Yes
Fireplaces Sweeping chimneys Yes
Staircase Staircase, bannisters and handrails Yes
Bathroom Bath panels. (Replacements may not match existing panels). Yes
Bathroom Wooden airing cupboard panels, frames, door and shelving Yes
Bathroom Boxing in of internal pipe work Yes
Kitchen Kitchen cupboards (cupboards through fair wear and tear will be replaced) Yes
Kitchen Cupboard drawers (through fair wear and tear will be replaced) Yes
Kitchen Cupboard door catches, handles and hinges (through fair wear and tear will be replaced) Yes
Kitchen Worktops (through fair wear and tear will be replaced) Yes
Hallway Hat and coat rails (including boards) No
Hallway Repair and replace skirting boards No
Electrical Items Electrical wiring, sockets and light fittings Yes
Electrical Items Wired in smoke alarms Yes
Electrical Items Independent battery-operated smoke alarms Yes
Electrical Items Replace electrical plugs No
Electrical Items Electrical Consumer Unit (fuse box) Yes
Electrical Items Electric storage heaters Yes
Electrical Items Electric fires Yes
Electrical Items Electric meter and supply of electricity No
Electrical Items Immersion heaters Yes
Electrical Items Disconnection and reconnection of electric No
Electrical Items Extractor fans Yes
Electrical Items Disconnection and reconnection of washing machines and dishwashers No
Plumbing Water service pipes, overflow pipes and
water tanks
Yes
Plumbing Blocked sink, bath and hand basin Yes
Plumbing Blocked toilet – the first time only,
unless the drain is faulty
Yes
Plumbing Taps, stop taps and wheel valves Yes
Plumbing Sink unit Yes
Plumbing Wash hand basin Yes
Plumbing Toilet flushing systems Yes
Plumbing Repair or replace a toilet seat and
cover
No
Plumbing Bath or shower tray Yes
Plumbing Repair or replace shower curtain No
Plumbing Repair or replace shower rail No
Plumbing Repair or replace shower hose No
Plumbing Maintain, repair or replace shower
head
No
Plumbing Maintain waste pipes, traps and wastes No
Plumbing Repair or replace plug and chain No
Plumbing Shower, if owned or leased by
HomeCome
Yes
Plumbing Seal to bath and sink unit/ tiles joint Yes
Plumbing Bleeding of radiators Yes
Plumbing Disconnection and reconnection of
washing machines and dishwashers
No
Plumbing Repair and maintenance of washing
machine and dishwashers (including
leaks)
No
Gas Gas pipework Yes
Gas Supply of gas and gas meter Yes
Gas Gas fires, unless they belong to the
tenant
Yes
Gas Radiant for gas fires Yes
Gas Radiant for gas fires owned by the tenant Yes
Gas Gas water heaters Yes
Gas Radiators, valves, time clocks and thermostats Yes
Gas Gas boilers Yes
Adaptations for disabled people Home adaptations for disabled people – contact ‘Adult Social Care Services’ Yes
Adaptations for disabled people Internal decoration Yes

Home security

Area Are Leicester City Council responsible? (on behalf of HomeCome)
Extra doors or window locks Yes
Security door chains and spyholes Yes

Home energy efficiency

Area Are Leicester City Council responsible? (on behalf of HomeCome)
Draught proofing to windows (unless already provided as part of the frame design) Yes
Draught proofing to external doors (unless already provided as part of the frame design) Yes
Separate hot-water cylinder jackets No
Low energy light bulbs

Note: we will change bulbs in sealed fittings for elderly and disabled tenants
No
If you damage the property, you must tell us - damage caused by a deliberate action or through your neglect will result in you being charged for the appropriate repairs. Criminal damage caused by you, your household or your visitors may result in further sanctions including court action and possible eviction. 
Damage caused through ‘fair wear and tear’ should still be notified to allow the landlord or property owner to assess whether repair, replacement or re-instatement is necessary.

Major works

‘Major works’ describes work carried out by the landlord to the buildings or estates in which tenanted and leasehold properties are located. We will establish whether or not the works require statutory consultation before any work is carried out.

Please note: Minor repairs will be carried out as part of the day-to-day service.

Gas servicing

Gas hob
Leicester City Council on behalf of HomeCome will carry out an annual check on your gas appliances. This includes those in properties connected to the Council’s District Heating System.

However, you are responsible for making sure these are kept in good repair at all other times. If your gas appliances are damaged, you must report it to the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service as soon as possible. If you do not do this, not only could you be putting your own life and the life of anyone who lives with you in danger, but you could be risking the lives of neighbours and other residents.

Where HomeCome tenants refuse the Council access to undertake annual gas checks we will gain entry and shut off the gas supply.

If you smell gas or fumes telephone National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

Heating systems

Leicester City Council is responsible for the repair and maintenance of items in HomeCome properties.

HomeCome tenants must not carry out repairs, move or remove items connecting the system. This includes radiators, piping and tanks. Requests for repairs or general maintenance to the system should be made to the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service, as should faults in other types of heating systems. A 24-hour reporting service is provided for emergency repairs.

Harassment

Harassment comes in many forms such as:
  • Nuisance
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Racial harassment
  • Harassment
  • Domestic violence
  • Anti-social behaviour
HomeCome and Leicester City Council do not tolerate harassment in any form. Such behaviour is against tenancy conditions and includes the behaviour of HomeCome tenants, members of their family and visitors. Anyone found to behave in this way will be dealt with and may be evicted.

If you have a problem relating to harassment from anyone you should report this to the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service. If the harassment is severe, you should also report it to the police on 0116 222 2222.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence can take many forms. It can be:
  • Physical e.g. hitting; pushing; slapping; kicking; biting
  • Psychological e.g. threatening to do, or not do something
  • Emotional e.g. name calling, isolating someone from their family/ friends; criticising/weight/looks/dress
  • Sexual e.g. being forced to have sex
  • Financial e.g. withholding money for bills; making someone account for every penny spent; not being allowed to have a job.
Anyone can experience domestic violence from a partner, ex-partner, child, parent, other relatives, carer. Domestic violence is a crime and you do not have to put up with it.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse you should report it to the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service. They will be able to provide advice and referrals to support services, such as, United Against Violence and Abuse (UAVA). You can contact their helpline number: 0808 80 200 28 or email them.
Alternatively, you can access the Leicester City Councils’ website for more information and who to contact. If it is an emergency and you and/or family members are at risk of, or threatened with injury, please contact the police on 999.

Anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is behaviour which causes someone else harassment, alarm or distress. Types of anti-social behaviour can include:
  • Vandalism
  • Excessive noise
  • Verbal abuse
  • Uncontrolled pets and animals
  • Using and selling drugs

Anti-social behaviour is against tenancy conditions and includes the behaviour of HomeCome tenants, members of their family and visitors. Anyone found to behave in this way will be dealt with and may be evicted. There are many options available to help tackle anti-social behaviour.

However, if we are not told about it there is nothing we can do. Non-criminal matters can often be sorted out at an early stage by simply talking to the person or persons concerned and explaining what it is you are unhappy about. At no time should you retaliate or do anything to provoke or ‘get back’ at another person as this will make it very difficult to prove who is at fault.

There are different ways of reporting anti-social behaviour depending on what it is.
  • To report excessive noise or uncontrolled pets and animals telephone the Environment and Planning section of Leicester City Council on 0116 454 7000.
  • To report drug problems telephone the Police on 0116 222 2222.
  • For other anti-social behaviour reports telephone the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service on 0116 454 1007 and select the relevant option.
  • Alternatively, you can access the Leicester City Councils’ webpage for further information about ASB.
  • You can also report your noise and pollution issues through the Leicester City Councils’ MyAccount portal.
Leicester City Council on behalf of HomeCome tenants has many options available for tackling anti-social behaviour, including:
  • Warning letters
  • Interviews
  • Referrals to support agencies
  • Acceptable Behaviour Contracts
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Orders
  • Injunctions
  • Evictions
The action taken will be appropriate to the type of anti-social behaviour that has occurred. In all instances evidence is needed to support a claim of anti-social behaviour. Without evidence we are unable to take action against an alleged perpetrator.

How to report anti-social behaviour

As a HomeCome tenant please report the problem to the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service. They can provide advice and assistance in resolving the problem.

If the incident is a crime and/or an emergency, it should be reported immediately to the Police.

Living in your home

Family sat on sofa with TV remote in hand

Alterations to your home

You are not allowed to make any alteration or addition to your home, including external painting without written permission from your landlord. Any enquiries should be made in the first instance to the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service.

Bottled gas storage

Some tenants may be using gas cylinders for heating and cooking in their home. There are two types of fuel available for this:
  • Propane – in orange or green cylinders
  • Butane – in blue cylinders
Due to the risk of explosion, under no circumstances must Propane cylinders be stored or used in any HomeCome property. This is specifically important for those in tower blocks, flats and maisonettes as the consequences of an explosion is greater. Butane cylinders may be used in properties other than tower blocks, flats and maisonettes but are subject to the following conditions:
  • Must be contained within a unit specifically designed for this purpose
  • The cylinder container:
    • must be fire resistant,
    • of an adequate size,
    • strong enough to support a fully loaded cylinder,
    • well ventilated
Where it is identified that these conditions are not being met, Leicester City Council on behalf of HomeCome will instruct tenants to remove the cylinder from their home and if this is not done, will serve an ‘at risk’ safety warning notice in line with the gas industry unsafe situation procedure.

Installation of cookers and washing machines

Where you have to provide your own cooker or washing machine you are responsible for the installation of these.

Graffiti

To report graffiti, please report online.

Pets

You will need written permission from your landlord to keep a pet in your house, (please see Clause 2.7 of your tenancy agreement). Where pets are allowed these must be kept under control in the property, communal areas, streets and parks. If a pet causes a nuisance to residents, you could be in breach of your tenancy conditions.

Please contact the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service for further information on keeping pets.

Wheelie bins and collection of household rubbish

If you have any enquiries relating to:
  • Wheelie bin replacement
  • Wheelie bin collection
  • Emptying of communal bins
  • Recycling
  • Bulk collections (for example old fridges and furniture)
  • Removal of household waste
Contact the Waste Management Line on 0116 454 7002 or email.

You can also go online to report Waste Management enquiries by using Leicester City Councils’ My Account.

Ending your tenancy

You may end your tenancy at any time by giving at least four weeks’ notice to your landlord, HomeCome Ltd. The tenancy must end on a Monday.

You must provide your landlord with a forwarding address.

You must remove all rubbish and personal items when you leave the property. If you do not remove all personal items and they have not been removed within 14 days of your landlord giving you written notice to do so, and if it is still considered to be abandoned, it will be disposed of.

General safety guidance

Tenant safety

Leicester City Council, on behalf of HomeCome, is aware of health and safety issues surrounding the properties we manage and have a dedicated team responsible for maintaining or improving safety levels.

Here are some suggestions that you may find useful within your own home and which may help us to provide safe housing to our residents.

Asbestos

Asbestos can be potentially hazardous to health but only when it is in poor condition and is releasing fibres into the air. The use of asbestos as a building material was banned in 1974 but as most HomeCome properties were built before this date it is likely many homes do contain asbestos in some of their construction materials. If you are concerned there may be disturbed asbestos in your property report this to the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service.

Condensation

Condensation is the water produced when warm, moist air or steam comes into contact with a cold surface like windows, walls or floors. It can cause mould to grow, which may damage items like clothes and bedding as well as spoil decorations.

Why do we get condensation?
Every home has condensation at some time – usually when lots of moisture and steam are being produced: e.g. at bath times, when cooking a main meal or when clothes are being washed or dried. The air can only hold a certain amount of water vapour. Warm air can hold more water vapour. Coming into contact with a cold surface causes the air to be cooled and the water vapour to be turned into water droplets – condensation.

In particular, you should be aware of the following:
  • Drying clothes indoors, particularly on radiators, can increase condensation unless you open a window to allow the air to circulate. (Please remember never to dry your clothes on / close to storage heaters because of the fire risk)
  • Kettles and Pans – allowing kettles and pans to boil away, longer than is necessary, can cause excess condensation and should be avoided
  • Cupboards and wardrobes should not be overfilled with items
  • Doors – keeping kitchen and bathroom doors shut, particularly when cooking, washing or bathing, will prevent water vapour spreading right through the home and condensation reaching other rooms
  • Bathrooms – if your home has a windowless bathroom make sure the mechanical extractor fan is left running until the moisture has evaporated
  • Air Bricks – do not seal air bricks or ventilators
  • Extractor Fans – if you have an extractor fan, use it when the windows get steamed up.

What can you do about condensation?
  • Heating – you will get less condensation if you keep your home warm most of the time
  • Ventilation – you will get less condensation if you keep your home well ventilated
  • Opening windows may help reduce the problem

Energy efficiency and recycling at home

In addition to refuse collection, Leicester City Council also provides a kerbside recycling service to ensure re-usable materials are diverted from landfill and to help the city reach its recycling targets.

Detergent, shampoo, milk and fizzy drinks bottles. Please remove lids, rinse and squash.

These bins are shared by residents and it is important that residents only put the items asked for in the bins. Cardboard and plastic packaging is not accepted in these bins.

Please call the Waste Management Line on 0116 454 1002 should you need to learn more about the types of rubbish you can recycle.

Fire safety in your home

If there is a fire in your home, your safety may depend on how quickly you can get out of your front or back door. You must always keep the hallway clear of obstructions, especially things which burn easily.

If a fire breaks out in your home:
  • Do not try to put out the fire unless you are sure you can do so safely
  • Immediately leave the room where the fire is and close the door behind you
  • Tell everyone in the property there is a fire and tell them to leave the property with you
  • Close the front door and give the alarm. Do not use the lift if there is one - use the stairs
  • Where you have a private balcony, do not go onto it unless it is a designated fire escape route.
  • Call the fire brigade

If a fire occurs, however small, telephone the fire brigade by using the following procedure:
  • Dial 999
  • Give the operator your telephone number and ask for the fire brigade
    • When the Fire Brigade answers, say clearly
    • “Fire at (give name and address)
  • Wait for the Fire Brigade to repeat the address before replacing the receiver
  • Stay in your home where you will be safe unless:
    • smoke from the fire has come into your home
    • the Fire Brigade or Council staff tell you to leave.

Flooding

If your home is flooded:
  • Have your gas and electricity checked before using
  • Boil all tap water until it has been declared safe
  • Avoid contact with floodwater, it may be contaminated
  • Contact the insurers of your home contents and inform your landlord.

Frozen pipes

To prevent frozen pipes in cold weather, make sure:
  • Your home is properly insulated
  • Heating is on (low) even if you are out or away from home during very cold spells
  • All pipes are lagged (kept warm with insulating material)

If any of your pipes do freeze, turn off the water supply at the stopcock and drain down the system by turning on all the taps until there is no more water coming through.
The supply can be turned on once the pipes have thawed. If despite these precautions a pipe does burst:
  • Turn off the water supply at the stop cock
  • You may also need to turn off the electricity supply at the mains as there may be a danger of
  • water seeping into the electrical circuits
  • Turn off hot water boilers

Report the burst to the Tenants’ Advice and Repairs Service immediately.

Pigeons

Pigeons can transmit diseases such as meningitis. They are a health hazard. They also create nuisance by fouling in public areas including pavements and buildings. Bird droppings are slippery and can cause accidents. A build-up of droppings can cause damage to buildings. Cleaning and repairing this damage costs extra money from Leicester City Councils’ repairs budget. Please do not feed or in any way encourage pigeons.

Rubbish

Take care with rubbish, especially glass and tins. Broken glass should always be wrapped in newspaper or cloth before disposal. If your property has a refuse chute, please use it. Medicine bottles or containers and used hypodermic syringes can be disposed of by returning to your pharmacist.

Safety in the home

Slips, trips and falls can result in serious injury. Watch out for the following:
  • Uneven floor surface
  • Over polished floors
  • Loose rugs or carpets
  • Steps or stairs which are dimly lit
  • Steps or stairs which are hidden or obscured in any way
  • Baths which do not have non-slip sections or no-slip mats
  • Stairs which have no handrail
  • Spillage of water
  • Leaks from radiators
  • Trailing cables

Smoke detectors

HomeCome tenants should regularly check their smoke detectors to see if they are working. You should also maintain spare batteries. Under no circumstances should you cover or remove your smoke detector.
Smoke detectors do exactly what they say: they detect smoke at the earliest possible moment giving you more time to leave the property or waking you from sleep if there is a fire.

Water

Make sure you know where the stop cock is for turning off the main water supply. If your water supply is cut off for any reason, turn all the taps off and keep sinks and baths unplugged This will prevent any flooding when the water supply is restored. Please remember to always turn your water supply off before going on holiday.

Comments, compliments and complaints

Why we want to hear from you HomeCome and Leicester City Council are jointly committed to providing a high standard of service to all their customers.

Comments and compliments

So that our commitment to high standards can be maintained, we would like to know when we get it right. We welcome suggestions you may have on how we can improve the housing service you receive as a leaseholder.

Complaints

As part of our continuing effort to improve the service we provide, we also need to know when you are dissatisfied with the service you have received.
  • In person at one of the customer service centres or at any Council office
  • Via the internet on our website.
  • By phoning customer services on 0116 454 1000
  • In writing (using the comments, compliments and complaints form if it helps) to:
Comments, Compliments and Complaints
Customer Services
Leicester City Council FREEPOST (LE985/33)
City Hall
115 Charles Street
Leicester
LE1 1FZ

Leicester City Council’s complaints procedure – How it works

Housing-related complaints that fall within the remit of the Housing Ombudsman. Following new guidance from the Housing Ombudsman, from April 2021 housing complaints will be resolved using the two-stage process outlined below.

Stage one
Your complaint will be allocated to a Leicester City Council Complaints officer who sits independent to the service area’s. They will work with the service area to try to resolve is locally at the earliest opportunity.

We should reply to your complaint within 10 working days. If we need more time to complete the investigation. We will let you know when we will be able to fully respond.

We will write to you with the findings of our investigation. If you are still unhappy you can escalate the complaint to stage 2 by notifying us within 28 days.

Stage two
Another complaints officer will investigate and liaise directly with head of the service concerned. You should receive a response within 20 working days. If for any reason this is not possible, we will notify you ahead of the deadline.

If you remain dissatisfied with the stage 2 response, you may refer a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman with the support of a designated person i.e. a Councillor MP or recognised tenant panel within 8 weeks of a complaint response. After 8 weeks you can contact the Housing Ombudsman with or without the support of a designated person.

Housing Ombudsman Service,
PO Box 152,
Liverpool,
L33 7WQ

Telephone: 0300 111 3000
Email: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk Your complaint will be allocated to a Leicester City Council Complaints officer who sits independent to the service areas. They will investigate with the service concerned. We may contact you for further details.
Depending upon the complexity of the complaint, we will tell you when to expect a response from our complaints team.

If we need to extend the response deadline, we will keep you informed.

We will write to you with the findings of our investigation. If you are still not happy you can raise the issue with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman,
PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH
Telephone: 0300 061 0614
This handbook is produced on behalf of HomeCome by Housing Services’ Housing Transformation Team. If you have any comments or suggestions that you would like to make about this handbook then please contact: homecome@leicester.gov.uk.