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Frequently asked questions

Can I keep pets?

You may keep pets that are for the type of property you live in. You will need to keep them under control so they do not create a nuisance to other residents or pose a risk to anyone visiting your property.

For further information please speak to your housing manager.

Do I have to have a home check?

A home check is an opportunity for you to discuss any problems you may have and is not something you should be worried about. We will arrange the visit at a time which is convenient to you but it is important you allow us to carry out this visit.

We will need to ensure your tenancy details are up-to-date and our properties are being looked after. Home checks may be carried out for a number of different reasons, either at your request or because we have a need to see you, or your property. Your housing manager will always explain the purpose of their visit.

What are my responsibilities for my garden?

The condition and appearance of your garden has a direct impact upon your estate and the lives of your neighbours. You must keep all garden areas tidy, ensure they do not become overgrown and are free from rubbish, non garden furniture and household appliances. If we have to carry out work to tidy up your garden you may be charged for the cost.

Can I have satellite TV installed?

If you live in a house or a bungalow, in most cases you will be able to have satellite television installed. However you will need to get written permission from your housing manager first as this is treated as a ‘tenant’s own improvement’.

If you live in a flat you need to get consent as there is a limit on the size and number of satellite dishes which can be erected.

Do I need a TV license?

You need to be covered by a valid TV licence if you watch or record TV as it is broadcast. This includes the use of devices such as a computer, laptop, mobile phone or DVD/video recorder.

If you would like more information please call 0300 790 6078 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk

Can I smoke in my own property?

Yes, you can smoke in your own property. However we ask you kindly not to when a council employee is visiting or working. If you do not refrain from smoking within the room our employees are working, they have the right to leave your property, and any incomplete repair, if you refuse to stop when asked.

All of our employees have been instructed not to smoke within your home to help protect your health.

It is against the law to smoke in any communal areas.

If you are interested in quitting smoking why not visit the NHS website at http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree. The site lists free local NHS support services. You can also telephone the free NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 022 4332.

Do you carry out estate inspections?

Your housing officer carries out regular inspections of your estate and will ensure any problems identified are resolved as quickly as possible. On some estates the housing officer is supported in this work by an estate assistant who will also carry out important jobs like removing litter, emptying communal bins, removing graffiti and undertaking fire safety inspections in the communal areas of flats.

You may be invited to join your housing officer on an estate walkabout. This is your opportunity to point out any problems on the estate affecting your enjoyment of where you live. Your housing officer will work with other council services and partner agencies to find solutions to these problems.

Can I run a business from my home?

What about meter readings?

Please make a note of your meter readings when you move in, so that you are sure you are charged the correct amount when you receive your first bills.

If you need any advice on your heating bills, heating system, or energy efficiency, you may want to contact our Dudley Energy Advice Line on 01384 817086.

Is the property furnished?

Most tenancies with Dudley council are let unfurnished.

The only exceptions at present are our homeless families emergency accommodation, which has essential furnishings, and some sheltered accommodation, which may have cookers and/or refrigerators provided.

Furnished accommodation is more often available in the private sector, and may be advertised in the local press or through Estate Agents.

In some circumstances, new council tenants who are on certain benefits may be entitled to a grant or loan. Advice may be obtained from Jobcentre Plus or the Citizens Advice Bureau.