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Beginning the journey to a new home
Your Tenancy Journey is designed to help those who are considering a tenancy for the first time. It will guide you through the key elements of finding a SARH home, from the initial search and application process through to moving in and beyond.

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Register to Apply for a home
In order to start applying for a new home, you must register with our online service. You will then be provided with information which you can use to log in and start your search.

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Applying for a home

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Ready to move?
You should make sure you are ready to move in the event that your bid is accepted. You will need your first week of rent up front and you may be asked to move in at very short notice. If you don’t hear from us straight away, don’t worry!

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Paying your rent and Money Advice
You should make sure that you are aware of what you will have to pay for when you have moved in, and the payment methods available. There are a number of commitments you will have to consider such as rent, service charges, Council Tax and energy and water bills. SARH offers a free Money Advice service to help you better manage your finances and spend more efficiently.

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Being a SARH Customer
When you have accepted an offer for a property you will be asked to meet with a Housing Officer to discuss your Tenancy Agreement. They will clearly explain the agreement and what is expected of you as a tenant and answer any questions you may have.

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Repairs, improvements and maintenance
We understand that you might want to make some changes to your home when you move in. There are also a number of services SARH can provide to help you if you need any special aids, adaptations or alterations in your home, or if you need to request a repair.

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Learning new skills
Learning a new skill, finding a fresh hobby or developing a new interest could prove the first step to a better you. That’s why SARH is so committed to services like our Community Learning Programme.

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In Your Neighbourhood
SARH neighbourhoods should be clean and safe places where people want to live. The SARH Community Involvement Team engages with local and rural communities, partners and other organisations to help build community spirit and support our neighbourhoods.

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Tenancy Journey workshops
Now that you have completed this introduction to getting a home with SARH, you are ready to attend a Tenancy Journey workshop in order to learn more.
1. Beginning the journey to a new home

There are 10 key steps to Your Tenancy Journey which outline some of the most important things covered in our Tenancy Journey workshops, so you know what to expect on the day. You can find out more about them and how to enrol when you have reached step 10.
SARH has affordable homes to rent across Stafford Borough and surrounding areas to suit a wide variety of people with a range of needs. SARH rents are typically lower than privately rented homes.
Homes include apartments and houses. In addition we offer a wide range of self-contained apartments and bungalows that have been specially designed as part of our Independent Living schemes.

2. Register to Apply for a home

To register for an affordable rented home you will first need to complete a Housing Registration form online.

More information about registering to apply can be found on our website. Please contact us if you require any assistance with this process.

3. Applying for a home

Most of our homes are let through Choice Based Lettings (CBL), where you can apply (previously called ‘bidding’) for SARH homes that suit your needs.

To apply for an affordable rented home you will first need to complete an online Housing Registration Form. See below for the information you will need to complete this form.

A member of your family, a friend, carer or support worker can apply for homes on your behalf.
Please contact us us if you require help with part or all of the application or registration process.

We use a ‘band’ system to assess and prioritise applications. This enables us to find the right property for your needs as soon as possible.
Applications are shortlisted by band and then date order. So the person in the highest priority band who has the earliest date will normally be offered the property. Find out more about Housing Need bands.

SARH have a selection of properties available to let immediately without following the above process. See Homes Available Now.

4. Ready to move?

If your application is accepted, you are expected to let us know whether the property offered is suitable within 24 hours. If you accept, you should make arrangements for the property you will be leaving, such as notifying energy suppliers and other relevant organisations.
Once you have accepted your new home, SARH will contact you to make arrangements for you to sign your SARH Tenancy Agreement so you can move in. During this meeting, all the tenancy conditions will be clearly explained to you. We will also accompany you on a viewing of the property. Find out more about preparing to take on a home.
If you have not heard from us within 48 hours after applications have closed (23.59pm each Tuesday) then your application this time was not successful. However, sometimes SARH may get in contact days or weeks after applications have closed if a property to suit your needs later becomes available. You can continue to apply for homes as often as you like in the meantime.

5. Paying your rent and Money Advice

Your main commitment to SARH is rent. SARH has to follow government guidelines to decide how much rent should be paid on our properties. These include the size of the property, the location, the value and how local average earnings compare to national average earnings.
The rent we charge pays for the services we provide, such as maintaining and improving your home, housing management and the cost of running SARH. Find out more about rent and payments.
You can pay your rent in a variety of easy, flexible ways, including on our website, by Direct Debit, via post or in person. Find out more about payment methods.
There are a variety of other commitments you will need to make as a SARH Customer, including Council Tax and utility bills. You can find out more about these at the workshop.
Don’t forget that you may also need to consider a number of other fees like a TV Licence, a phone line and broadband internet.
If you need any assistance with money management, you can speak with our free, impartial SARH Money Advice team.

6. Being a SARH Customer

The tenancy conditions will be fully explained to you at the initial sign up. They are important. The main things SARH expect are paying your rent on time, looking after your home and garden and being a good neighbour by showing consideration and not causing a nuisance.
If you want to learn more about being a SARH Customer, you could attend one of the ‘Your Home, Your Neighbourhood, Your Tenancy’ sessions through our Community Learning Programme.

7. Repairs, improvements and maintenance

When you move in, you might want to make some changes to your home. There is no need to ask SARH for permission to paint and redecorate to taste.

Some more major works such as fitting a shower, installing a kitchen or changing windows at your own expense will require written permission from SARH. We will need to know in advance if you are considering undertaking such works. Please note that SARH has a Home Improvement programme which may already include some of these improvements. Find out more about home improvements.

SARH Customers or anyone who lives with them on a permanent basis with a disability that prevents them from living an independent life, can request an aid or adaptation that will help you to live as independently as possible. Find out how to apply for an aid or adaptation.

If you have a problem with your home, we provide the facility to request a repair online. Find out more about repair reporting and time scales.
SARH is generally responsible for maintaining your home. This includes repairing the structure and exterior of your home, the supply of water, gas and electricity and facilities for heating, hot water and sanitation.
However, SARH customers are responsible for the general upkeep of their home and garden. There are things you can do to help keep your home in good general condition, like taking steps to avoid damp and condensation problems.

8. Learning new skills

As well as providing you with a home, SARH can offer support with a wide range of life skills. Our Community Learning Programme is at the heart of this.
Through the year we help to deliver free to attend short courses and one-off events designed to help people improve their chances of landing a job or finding a new direction in life.
We also offer advice at the Tenancy Journey workshop on improving your job prospects, with tips for applications, CVs and interviews.

9. In Your Neighbourhood

The SARH Neighbourhoods Team engages with local and rural communities, partners and other organisations to help build community spirit and support our neighbourhoods.
Find out more about our estate standards.

10. Tenancy Journey workshops

Our Tenancy workshops are designed to expand on the information described here. The sessions are aimed at groups of between 5 and 10 people, offering potential tenants a relaxed environment in which they can get all the information they need and ask any questions.
These sessions are by invitation, or you can register your interest by getting in contact.
You could also attend one of the free ‘Your Home, Your Neighbourhood, Your Tenancy’ sessions through our Community Learning Programme.

If you have any questions about the information provided on this page, the Tenancy Journey workshop or being a SARH Customer in general, please contact us.

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