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Preparing to Take on a Home

A guide for new SARH Customers.

A warm welcome from Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH). We hope you find the following short guide to renting a home from SARH helpful.

Accepting an offer and initial sign up meeting

As a new customer, it is important that you let us know within 24 hours whether the property we have offered is suitable. If we don’t hear from you either by telephone or in writing within 24 hours the property will be offered to another applicant.
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.
If you are taking out a joint tenancy agreement it is important you both attend the meeting as you will both need to sign the SARH Tenancy Agreement.
This initial sign up meeting will take less than an hour and SARH will clearly explain all the tenancy conditions. You can also ask any questions about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant of SARH.
It is important that your rent is paid on time from the beginning of your tenancy and we will do all we can to help you put a reliable payment method in place.

Documents you will need to bring to the initial sign up meeting

You will be asked to confirm your identity and should provide the following information

  1. Confirmation of your National Insurance number. This can be found on any of the following:
  • Benefits books
  • Letters from the Department of Work and Pensions
  • Wages/salary slips
  • P45 or P60 from a previous employment
  1. Two additional forms of identification, which could include the following
  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Benefits payment book
  • Birth certificate
  • Divorce papers
  • Driving Licence
  • Medical Card
  • Recent bank statement
  • Wages/salary slip
  • Recent utility bill (electricity, gas, water or telephone)

Getting to know your home

To help you to become familiar with your home, SARH will show you where the electricity fuse box, water stopcock, and gas stopcock (if the property has gas) are located and you will be shown how to turn these off in an emergency.
SARH will also offer some general advice on how to prevent some faults from occurring and how to fix minor faults yourself.
The following items are supplied when you move in. It then becomes your responsibility to repair or replace them:

  • Bulbs, fluorescent light tubes and starters
  • Door and window lock keys
  • Plugs and chains for baths, sinks and wash hand basins
  • Door numbers and letter plates

A list of any outstanding repairs will be agreed before you move in and arrangements will be made to make the repairs in the appropriate timescale.

Some SARH flats have refuse chutes to help you dispose of your household waste more conveniently. Please do not dispose of bulky items, disposable nappies, or any other items which may cause a blockage or a health hazard in the refuse chute.

The New Customer Information Pack contains a range of useful information that may apply to your home. Click here to download it.

Do I need Home Contents Insurance?

Yes, insuring the contents of your home is your responsibility. Theft, floods, fire and accidents can all have a serious impact.
Affordable, flexible schemes are available. Read more about our recommended home contents insurance

How can I ensure I am meeting my responsibilities as a tenant?

The tenancy conditions will be fully explained to you at the initial sign up.
They are important. The main things we expect are:

  • Paying your rent on time
  • Looking after your home and garden
  • Being a good neighbour, showing consideration and not causing a nuisance

What happens when I move in?

Once you have accepted a property you will need to let organisations know where and when you will be moving. These may include:

  • Your current landlord – you may need to give them notice
  • Electricity supplier
  • Gas supplier
  • Water supplier
  • Telephone company
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax
  • DSS
  • Inland Revenue
  • Television Licence Authority
  • Bank/Building Society
  • Employer
  • DVLA (Driving Licence)
  • School
  • Doctor
  • Dentist

You will also need to go to the Post Office and arrange for your post to be redirected.

At your new home, read the meters and let the gas/electric suppliers know so that you don’t get charged for any energy used by anyone else.

What about the property I am leaving?

If you are responsible for your existing electric/gas/water supply, you should read the meters in the property you are leaving and phone these through to the suppliers.

Make sure you leave the property secure and clean and return the keys to your current landlord.

Where do I go if I have any problems?

Please contact us if you require help with any part of the process.

Where can I find out about local amenities?

  • Schools – Staffordshire Local Education Authority – 01785 223121
  • Doctors, dentists, clubs, voluntary groups, places of worship and more –
  • Bus Routes – Arriva – 08701 20 10 88,
  • Staffordshire County Council – 01785 223121
  • Childcare – Childlink – 0845 650 9876
  • Ward Members – listed in the Staffordshire Newsletter and on

Other useful sources include the Yellow Pages and Thomson Local.

Who is my Member of Parliament?

Mr Jeremy Lefroy MP
Constituency Office, 15 Pearl House, Anson Court, Stafford Technology Park, Beaconside, Stafford, ST18 0GB
Tel: 01785 252477

Mr William Cash MP
House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA
Tel: 01785 811000 or 02072 196330

Who do I call in an emergency?

Only ring 999 when:

  • life is in danger
  • a serious incident or crime is actually taking place
  • there has been a road traffic collision with people trapped or badly hurt
  • you need to report a vulnerable missing person, such as young or elderly persons who may come to harm

Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111 (Call anonymously, free of charge)
MINICOM – Help line for hearing impaired people – 01785 216616
Neighbourhood Watch
Information about Neighbourhood Watch Schemes is available from PC Martin Welsh, Crime Reduction Officer.
Call 0845 330 2010 or write to him at Stafford Police Station, Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2DQ

From signing your tenancy agreement to helping you arrange low cost home contents insurance and finding out about local amenities, SARH will help you every step of the way. Find out more about being a SARH Customer.