Facilities in Sheltered Housing
Communal lounges & social activities
Most sheltered schemes have their own communal lounge for tenants to use. Tenants may just want to meet and talk over a cup of tea or arrange other social activities like bingo, darts, card games and keep fit. Tenants are encouraged to arrange these events themselves by forming committees. sheltered housing officers will give advice about setting up committees and organising events. Elderly people living locally are also encouraged to join in.
Special TV licence
Most sheltered schemes qualify for concessionary TV licences. We send a list of all sheltered tenants living on a scheme to the TV licensing centre. There is no need for tenants on these schemes to buy a full TV licence. Tenants should check with their sheltered housing officer whether they are covered under this scheme.
Some of our sheltered schemes have a guest room. This is for friends or relatives of tenants to sleep overnight for a day or two if they are visiting. This is often used when tenants are ill and they need support for a short time, and we always give priority to these cases.
We make a small charge for the room. Although linen is often provided, visitors must bring their own towels. Visitors should leave the room clean and tidy. There are no cooking facilities. Tenants who want to book the guest room should speak to the sheltered housing officer in advance.
All sheltered schemes have laundries, usually in the communal building. They have a washing machine and tumble dryer. The sheltered housing officer will show tenants how to use the machine. Sheltered tenants are usually given a time when they can do their washing and have sole use of the machine.
If sheltered tenants can not do their own washing, then relatives or a home carer can use the machines to do it for them.
The rules about pets for sheltered tenants are the same as for ordinary tenants. Sheltered tenants must make sure that they arrange for proper care of any pets if they have to leave their home (to go into hospital for instance). sheltered housing officers can't look after pets. If a tenant has to go into hospital, Social Services will put the pet with a private kennel. The tenant must repay the kennel charges when they leave hospital.
Paying rent and getting benefits
See the section on rents and benefits in this site. If you have any problems with your rent speak to your sheltered housing officer. If you apply for any benefits, the sheltered housing officer can help you fill in the forms should you be unable to do this yourself.
Repairs and decorations
Report any repairs in sheltered properties to the local housing office. If you have a problem reporting a repair or getting the repair done speak to your sheltered housing officer.
Sheltered tenants are responsible for decorating the inside of their properties. If you are over 70 or disabled, and there is no other member of your family or household who can help, we will decorate a number of rooms in your home under a planned programme. Your sheltered housing officer can tell you how to apply for this.
Good security on sheltered schemes is in everybody's interest and sheltered tenants should follow security rules.
Sheltered tenants should not allow any person into their flat without first checking who they are. All council workers must carry identification and tenants should insist on seeing this. If tenants are in any doubt, they should refuse entry and contact their sheltered housing officer.
Tenants should keep their front doors closed and only use chains on the inside when they are opening the door. If sheltered tenants leave their chains on all the time, this could stop us getting in quickly in an emergency. Tenants should not leave their windows open at night or when they are away.
Entry phone systems
Some sheltered schemes have entry phone systems and the sheltered housing officer will show tenants how to use this. Entry phones give better security to the tenants by stopping unwelcome visitors. Before allowing entry to anybody, tenants should check their identity first. If tenants are in doubt, they should not let the person in and contact their sheltered housing officer.
If a sheltered tenant wants to leave their belongings to anyone, then they should think about making a will. Council staff are not allowed to advise you about this but the local Citizens' Advice Bureau can help or will put you in touch with a solicitor.
If tenants want to leave special instructions about their funeral, they should do this in writing. They should leave the instructions with the person the tenant has agreed will act for them when they die. The sheltered housing officer needs to know how to contact this person. The information is kept on the tenant's confidential file.