Your questions

Here are some questions we're often asked

Please Select

Rent

Where can I find my rent account number?

If you have a payment card for your rent your account number will be on this.

 

If you don’t know your rent account number and need to know it, just contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Do you have garages available to rent?

Yes, we have a range of garages available at sites across the West Midlands.

 

All of our garages are secure and available at reasonable rents.

 

To make an enquiry about renting a garage contact us.

 

Can I pay my rent using a cheque?

No, unfortunately we aren’t able to accept cheques for rent payments.

When is my rent due?

If your rent is charged weekly it is due on Monday, if you are charged monthly your rent is due on the 1st of the month. You can set up a Direct Debit to automate your rent payments so you don’t have to worry about them. Just call us on 0300 790 6530.

Can I pay my rent using a card?

Yes, you can pay your rent using your card online by using My Account.

I have overpaid my rent, what should I do?

The best way to monitor your rent payments is by using My Account. If you think you have overpaid you can request any credit is refunded to you by using My Account or contacting us.

Can I check my rent account online?

Yes, you can check your rent account and transactions any time, 24/7, on My Account, our customer portal.

 

Visit My Account to log in or register.

I’m struggling to pay my rent, what should I do?

If you are struggling to pay your rent it is really important that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can help.

 

You can also access free financial support through the Money Advice Service.

What is a Direct Debit guarantee?

The guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that take part in the Direct Debit scheme. The efficiency and security of the scheme is monitored and protected by your own bank or building society.

 

If the amounts to be paid or the payment dates change we will notify you ten working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed.

 

If an error is made by us or your bank or building society, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount paid.

How do I cancel my Direct Debit?

You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by writing to your bank or building society.

 

Direct Debit payments can be cancelled at any time but a bank will require at least one day’s notice before your next payment date.

 

Please also send a copy of your letter to us.

Repairs

I missed a repair, what should I do?

You will need to rebook your repair. The easiest way to do this is on My Account.

Can I change the locks on my home?

Yes, if you are a tenant or leaseholder you can arrange to have the locks on your home changed with a locksmith. If you are a joint tenant both tenants will need to agree to the change and have new keys. Locks on shared entrances can’t be changed.

What do I do if I get locked out of my house?

If you get locked out of your home contact us as soon as you can.

Am I liable for damage to my home?

If the damage was caused by you, your family or visitors then you will be liable to pay for any repairs. For more information about repairs visit our dedicated repairs page.

Can I cancel a repair on My Account?

Most repairs can be cancelled up to 24 hours before.

 

Some repairs, such as gas inspections and services, can’t be cancelled because it is crucial that we do this work.

Will the person coming to do my repair have ID?

Yes.  All our repairs operatives and contractors carry identity cards so you can be sure of their identification. If you are ever unsure about someone’s identity contact us.

Is my repair an emergency?

Emergency repairs are needed when there is an immediate health and safety risk to you or the structure of your home has been damaged.

 

Emergency repairs that should be reported immediately include:

  • Gas leaks
  • Uncontainable water leaks
  • Complete loss of heating and hot water
  • Electrical or fire risk
  • Property security

If you provide misleading or false information which makes us believe your repair is an emergency when it isn’t, we may charge you for the call-out.

Got an emergency?

Call us straight away.

0300 790 6555.

Who will do my repair?

Most of the repairs we carry out in your home will be done by Citizen repairs operatives.

 

For other repairs we may use contractors to do the work for us, for example engineers to work on your gas central heating and specialist contractors for some of our planned programme of work.

 

You will be told who will attend when you book your repair.

How quickly will my repair be done?

We aim to complete your repair within 12 working days.

 

Some jobs need specialist materials or contractors. If this is the case, we will aim to complete your repair within another 12 working days.

 

Emergency repairs are completed within 24 hours or made safe until a permanent repair is possible.

At what times do you do repairs?

When you report a repair, we offer you a choice of appointment slots between 8am and 4.30pm.

 

Emergency repairs are completed within 24 hours or made safe until a permanent repair is possible.

Finding a home

I am homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, what should I do?

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless you need to get in touch with your local council as quickly as possible.

 

The council will look into your situation to decide what help they might be able to give you.

 

Before making an application check if you’re entitled to homeless help.

Do you have garages available to rent?

Yes, we have a range of garages available at sites across the West Midlands.

 

All of our garages are secure and available at reasonable rents.

 

To make an enquiry about renting a garage contact us.

 

What is the waiting time to rent a home?

Your local council manages the housing waiting list in your area. The time you wait for a home will depend on the demand in your area and other factors like the size of the home you want.

Are your homes furnished?

Our homes are generally not furnished. Sometimes white goods will be included. This will be made clear when the home is advertised.

Can I get a home if I am not on benefits?

Yes, you don’t have to be on benefits to qualify or a home. As long as you have the funds you can apply for a home to rent or buy. More information is available on our find a home page.

Will I need documents to prove I am eligible for a home?

Yes, we do need to see information about your income and expenditure and other paperwork to be able to offer you a tenancy. More information is available on our rent a home page.

Do you offer housing for under 18s?

We can’t normally offer housing to you if your are under 18. If you live in Herefordshire and are under 18 you may be eligible for our Citizen Young People service. Find out more on our dedicated Citizen Young People page.

Do you offer housing to people affected by homelessness?

Yes, we offer support through our services at the Gateway in Coventry and our Citizen Young People service in Herefordshire.

Visit our dedicated supported housing page to find out more.

What happens if I accept an offer?

If you decide to accept an offer we make we will advise you when you will need to bring in your supporting documents.

 

You will be asked to pay first week’s rent before you move in.

 

Once we are happy that you can manage the tenancy and you have paid your first week’s rent we will arrange a date to hand over your home to you.

How soon do I need to respond to an offer?

If you get an offer of a home it is important to reply as quickly as possible. You may lose your offer of accommodation if you do not make contact with us.

 

You could also lose the offer if you don’t produce any of the documents we ask you for.

 

When you contact us we will arrange for you to view the home with one of our housing officers.

 

If you do not turn up to the property viewing we may withdraw our offer.

Moving in

When are my bins collected?

Your local council is responsible for collecting your bins. Contact them to find out what your collection days are.

How can I find the best energy deals?

It’s always worth checking to see if you could save money on your energy bills.

 

There are a range of comparison sites which will help you do this, such as uSwitch.com.

How can I find out who my energy supplier is?

It’s important you let your energy suppliers you have moved in as soon as possible.

 

It’s easy to find out who they are.

  • To find out who your gas supplier is visit  findmysupplier.org
  • To find out who your electricity supplier is call 0800 096 3080.

Will my post come to my new address?

It’s important that you get your mail redirected from your last address to make sure you don’t miss any important documents. This won’t happen automatically.

 

You can get your mail redirected by contacting Royal Mail. Visit royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/redirection to find out more.

Do I need to get home insurance?

Yes. We cover the structure of your home but it’s important that you protect your belongings. This includes your furniture, flooring and decoration. You should arrange to get home insurance as soon as possible.

 

We are part of a scheme called My Home Insurance, which is available to anyone living in social housing.

 

Visit thistlemyhome.co.uk or call 0345 450 7288 to find out more.

Support

What is the Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service?

Every Citizen tenant gets access to our Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service – a free, independent service which gives you 24/7 access to confidential telephone counselling, advice and support.

 

Visit our dedicated page to find out more about the service and how to access it.

Will I have to give personal information to get support?

No. When you contact the Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service you can give as little or as much information as you want to.

 

If you do provide information we will not be aware that you have contacted the service or what for.

 

Will you know I’ve accessed the Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service?

No. This service is provided independently by Life & Progress.

 

We will not know that you have accessed the service, or what for. You don’t even have to provide personal information to Life & Progress to be able to access support.

What help is available to help me manage my debts?

If you need advice managing debt or support with budgeting or advice we are here to help.

 

If you are struggling to pay your rent it is really important that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can help.

 

You can also get free, confidential support with your finances by using the Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service.

 

You can also access free financial support through the Money Advice Service.

My Account

Can I check my rent account online?

Yes, you can check your rent account and transactions any time, 24/7, on My Account, our customer portal.

 

Visit My Account to log in or register.

Can I register for My Account online?

Yes, you can register for a My Account easily by matching some personal information.

 

Just visit My Account to set up an account.

Can I cancel a repair on My Account?

Most repairs can be cancelled up to 24 hours before.

 

Some repairs, such as gas inspections and services, can’t be cancelled because it is crucial that we do this work.

I’ve forgotten my username and password, what do I do?

Don’t worry, it’s easy to reset this information on My Account.

What is My Account?

My Account is our dedicated, secure customer portal.

The quickest, easiest way to report a repair, pay your rent and access a range of other services is online.

Once you are logged in you can:

  • Book or review a repair
  • Pay your rent
  • View your rent statements
  • Report anti-social behaviour
  • Make other enquiries about your tenancy.

You can register online by answering some security questions about your account.

Visit My Account now.

My tenancy

Can I rent my home out while I am away?

No, subletting your home would be a breach of your tenancy agreement.

Can I get a copy of my tenancy agreement?

Yes, the easiest way to get this is by logging an enquiry in My Account.

Can I have an extra key?

You can have extra keys to your home cut if you want to. If you need a fob or key to a communal door, an alley gate or post-box we can arrange this. There will be a charge for this.

Can I have a pet in my home?

We allow pets where we can but it depends on the type of home you are living in. The easiest way to ask whether you can have a pet in your home is by using My Account or contacting us. We will let you know as soon as we can.

Does a marriage or civil partnership automatically add someone to my tenancy?

No, you will need to contact us to tell us that you want to add someone.

 

Adding someone to your tenancy agreement is an important decision. If you add someone else to the tenancy agreement they take on the same rights and responsibilities as you.

 

If you want to make any changes to the agreement you would both have to agree to the changes. This includes removing either of you from the agreement.

 

If you want to add someone to your tenancy agreement you would need to write to us with their name, age, sex and relationship to you. We will normally be able to add someone as long as there have been no major tenancy breaches and there are no rent arrears.

My details have changed, what do I need to do?

To update your details you will need to write to us with the details of your name change and a copy of official documentation confirming this. Please don’t send the original documents as we will not be able to return them.

 

We will contact you to confirm the change has been made.

What happens once I have given notice to end my tenancy?

When we receive the notice your housing officer will arrange a visit. If there are any repairs that need to be done before you leave these will be arranged.

 

Our team will also talk to you about the reasons you are leaving and your experience as a customer. This will help us to improve our services.

 

We will discuss your rent account and make arrangements with you to clear any arrears before you leave. If you pay by Direct Debit we will tell you what needs to be paid on your next payment and when you should cancel it.

Can a tenancy be passed on if someone passes away?

We may be able to pass a tenancy on to someone else – this is known as succession. There is more information about this in your tenancy agreement. The law of succession can be very complicated. Contact us and we can guide you through the process.

 

Please note the right of succession only applies once. If someone has already taken over the tenancy there is no further right to succeed to a tenancy.

My family member has a home with you and they have passed away, what do I do?

We understand that dealing with the loss of a relative is difficult and there is a huge amount to think about.

 

If your relative has passed away and they live in one of our homes you need to contact us to let us know as soon as you can.

 

We will talk you through the process of ending the tenancy or passing it on to someone else if we can.

What is the notice period to end my tenancy?

If you want to end your tenancy you should contact us.

 

The notice period is normally 28 days but check your tenancy agreement to make sure what your notice period is.

Money and benefits

What help is available to help me manage my debts?

If you need advice managing debt or support with budgeting or advice we are here to help.

 

If you are struggling to pay your rent it is really important that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can help.

 

You can also get free, confidential support with your finances by using the Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service.

 

You can also access free financial support through the Money Advice Service.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It replaces:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit

Instead of receiving any of these benefits individually, Universal Credit means you are paid one amount to cover them.

Visit this Money Advice Service guide to Universal Credit to find out more.

I’m struggling to pay my rent, what should I do?

If you are struggling to pay your rent it is really important that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can help.

 

You can also access free financial support through the Money Advice Service.

How can I find out which benefits I’m entitled to?

Depending on your circumstances you could be allowed to claim some benefits to help you pay your rent and cover other costs. It’s important to make sure you get all of the help that is available to you.

 

There are a range of free online tools to help you work out which benefits you are entitled to.

 

Check the Government’s Benefits Calculators.

My home

How do I get compensation?

If you want to make a complaint and think you should be compensated the easiest way to log this is by using My Account.

You can also contact us to make a complaint. For more information on our complaints process visit our giving us feedback page.

Do I need to get home insurance?

Yes. We cover the structure of your home but it’s important that you protect your belongings. This includes your furniture, flooring and decoration. You should arrange to get home insurance as soon as possible.

 

We are part of a scheme called My Home Insurance, which is available to anyone living in social housing.

 

Visit thistlemyhome.co.uk or call 0345 450 7288 to find out more.

How do you make decisions about when you make improvements to homes?

We plan this work based on the age and condition of our homes, which we are constantly assessing. If we are going to complete work on your home we will let you know in advance what we’re planning and when it’s likely to happen.

 

The replacement of kitchens and bathrooms is done on a regular cycle.

I’m struggling to get around my home, what can I do?

You could be eligible for a change to your home to make it easier for you to get around.

 

We can complete minor adaptations, like fitting grab rails. For more significant adaptations, like stair lifts and ramps, your local council will need to complete an occupational therapist needs assessment.

 

Visit our guide to aids and adapations for more information.

 

How do I tell you about changes I want to make?

The easiest way to do this is through My Account.

 

Alternatively you can contact us.

Can I redecorate my home?

Yes, you are free to decorate your home as you wish.

 

If you want to change something more fundamental, like installing a new kitchen or bathroom, you should contact us.

 

For more information on what you need to tell us about visit our guide to making changes.

 

Neighbours

How do I report noisy neighbours?

If we are told about anti-social behaviour we will always do what we can to deal with it.

 

Sometimes it is not possible for us to help even if noise levels are upsetting or disturbing you.

 

To find out more visit our dedicated anti-social behaviour page.

 

What can you do to help with anti-social behaviour?

If we are told about anti-social behaviour we will always do what we can to deal with it.

 

Sometimes it is not possible for us to help even if something is upsetting or disturbing you.

 

If you contact us about anti-social behaviour we will:

  • Listen to you and be honest about what we can do
  • Agree an action plan with you and tell you what we can do and what you can do to help to resolve things
  • Keep  you informed of any progress and expect you to keep in contact with us until the matter is resolved
  • Treat information in strict confidence.

How do I report anti-social behaviour?

The easiest and quickest way to report anti-social behaviour is by using our customer portal, My Account.

 

You can use My Account to:

  • Report anti-social behaviour
  • Send and receive secure messages

You can also contact us to report anti-social behaviour.

 

If you are concerned for someone’s safety you should call 101 for non-emergencies or 999 for emergencies.

What do you class as anti-social behaviour?

We believe everyone should be able to live the way they wish as long as their actions don’t impact negatively on others.

 

To see what we do and don’t class as anti-social behaviour and how we can help to deal with this, visit our dedicated anti-social behaviour page.

 

Privacy

How do I make a Subject Access Request?

You have the right to access your personal data and supplementary information. This right allows you to be aware of and verify the lawfulness of the processing. For more information about this subject download and complete the Subject Access Request Form to allow you to see your personal data.

What are my rights concerning my information?

Legislation gives you certain rights regarding your data.

 

 

The right to be informed

 

You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data. When we collect data from you we provide you with Privacy notices which details:

  • The purposes for processing your personal data
  • Our retention periods for that personal data
  • Who it will be shared with

The right of access

 

You have the right to access your personal data and supplementary information. This right allows you to be aware of and verify the lawfulness of the processing. For more information about this subject download the Subject Access Request Form to allow you to see your personal data.

 

Right of rectification

 

The GDPR includes a right for individuals to have inaccurate personal data rectified, or completed if it is incomplete.

In certain circumstances we may refuse a request for rectification.

 

Right to erasure

 

The GDPR introduces a right for individuals to have personal data erased. It is known as “the right to be forgotten”.

The right is not absolute and only applies in certain circumstances.

 

Right to restrict processing

 

You have the right to request the restriction or suppression of your personal data. This is not an absolute right and only applies in certain circumstances.

If we agree to your request to restrict processing we will store your personal data, but not use it, however this may impact on the services we can provide to you.

 

Right to data portability

 

This right allows you to obtain and reuse your personal data for your own purposes across different services. It allows you to move copy or transfer personal data easily from one IT environment to another in a safe and secure way, without hindrance to usability.

 

Right to object

 

You have the right to object to:

  • Processing based on legitimate interests or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority (including profiling)
  • Direct marketing (including profiling)
  • Processing for purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics

If you think the data we hold is inaccurate or incomplete, or you want to exercise any of these rights, you can make a request verbally or in writing, and we will respond within a month of receiving the request. You can do this by contacting our customer service centre.

How long do you keep my information?

We will only ever keep your information as long as we need to.

 

Our Data Retention Schedule sets out how long we keep your information.

 

It breaks down the periods we keep data based on the type of information it is.

 

Read our Data Retention Schedule here.

Who do you share my information with?

Sometimes we need to share your information with suppliers.

 

Depending on the service they provide on our behalf will determine the data we share with them.

 

Rest assured, when we share data with them, we take a number of steps to ensure your data is kept safe and secure.

 

We review this list on a weekly basis.

 

Access our full list of suppliers here.

How do you keep my data safe?

During your tenancy we collect lots of personal and sensitive data, and we take keeping your data safe very seriously. To accomplish this, we have our own expert teams and use a mature information security management system so that your data will be treated appropriately and won’t end up in the wrong hands. To achieve this, we use a three-layered approach: People, Processes and Technology.

How will you use my information?

We take your information very seriously.

 

Our privacy notices set out what information we collect, why we collect it, who we share it with and how we safeguard it. This varies slightly depending on the service we are providing.