Ash Citizens Advice

Your Questions Answered

I have been living in my privately rented flat for years. I generally have a good relationship with my landlord, but I just cannot get them to carry out various repairs that have built up. How can I get them to act – and what exactly do they have to do?

This must be a very frustrating situation. The law states that your landlord must provide accommodation that is safe, healthy, and free from things that could cause serious harm. (this is for England only). You do not say exactly what repairs are needed. If you have problems such as electrical wiring that you think might be faulty, or there’s damp, or an infestation by pests, the landlord has a legal obligation to put things right.

Landlords are also responsible for the maintenance of the general structure, and fittings such as boilers and radiators; basins, baths, and toilets; and the drains.

The first step is to contact your landlord again, in writing. Include photographs of the problems. Keep a record of all communications and evidence relating to the disrepair.

 If that does not prompt any action,  advisors at Citizens Advice can help you  with next steps. These could include contacting your local council who have dedicated officers for dealing with  privately rented properties in disrepair or asking for a visit by the environmental health team.

Tenants can take their landlords to court to force them to carry out repairs. However, it is worth getting some advice and thinking carefully before embarking on this route. You can contact us by email at ashcab.org.uk or call 01252 315569.

UPDATE from the Ash Office

Ash Citizens Advice  helps people deal with the problems they face in everyday life and covers a range of topics including legal, consumer, employment, housing, benefits, debt and much, much more.  If you would like to find out more about Volunteering or would like an application pack, please call  on 01252 330080 or email admin@ashcab.org.uk.

Every year Citizens Advice puts thousands of pounds back into the pockets of hard-pressed families, the unemployed, homeless, and poorest communities it serves. It does this by helping them to manage their money, claim their full financial entitlements and avoid the costs of getting into debt. This money is critical to their lives and to local business. Without money people cannot afford the essentials of life and without spending, local business cannot thrive. You can help us to keep local markets buoyant by supporting our work with people in need in your community. Citizens Advice Ash is looking for Corporate Partners to work alongside us in the local community.

Citizens Advice Ash is currently open for telephone Advice, Mon—Thur 9.30am to 4pm .

Ash CAB – Your Questions Answered

I have been living in my privately rented flat for years. I generally have a good relationship with my landlord, but I just cannot get them to carry out various repairs that have built up. How can I get them to act – and what exactly do they have to do?

This must be a very frustrating situation. The law states that your landlord must provide accommodation that is safe, healthy, and free from things that could cause serious harm. (This is for England only)

You do not say exactly what repairs are needed. If you have problems such as electrical wiring that you think might be faulty, or there’s damp, or an infestation by pests, the landlord has a legal obligation to put things right.

Landlords are also responsible for the maintenance of the general structure, and fittings such as boilers and radiators; basins, baths, and toilets; and the drains.

The first step is to contact your landlord again, in writing. Include photographs of the problems. Keep a record of all communications and evidence relating to the disrepair.

If that does not prompt any action,  advisors at Citizens Advice can help you  with next steps. These could include contacting your local council who have dedicated officers for dealing with  privately rented properties in disrepair or asking for a visit by the environmental health team.

Tenants can take their landlords to court to force them to carry out repairs. However, it is worth getting some advice and thinking carefully before embarking on this route. You can contact us by email at ashcab.org.uk or call 01252 315569.

UPDATE from the Ash Office

Ash Citizens Advice would like to welcome Louise Seabrook Scrase, who will be the new Chief Officer for the Bureau. Louise has been volunteering with the bureau and is excited to be part of the highly skilled team delivering support and advice to our community. She is very much looking forward to working with the people of Ash

We currently have a vacancy for a Money Advice and Benefits Caseworker as part of a highly skilled and experienced casework team providing money and benefits advice to prevent homelessness across the borough of Guildford. You can find out more about this role by visiting our website ashcab.org.uk or e mail admin@ashcab.org.uk or call 01252 330080.

Ash Citizens Advice  helps people deal with the problems they face in everyday life and covers a range of topics including legal, consumer, employment, housing, benefits, debt and much much more.  If you would like to find out more about Volunteering or would like an application pack, please call  on 01252 330080 or email admin@ashcab.org.uk.

Every year Citizens Advice puts thousands of pounds back into the pockets of hard-pressed families, the unemployed, homeless, and poorest communities it serves. It does this by helping them to manage their money, claim their full financial entitlements and avoid the costs of getting into debt.

This money is critical to their lives and to local business. Without money people cannot afford the essentials of life and without spending, local business cannot thrive.

You can help us to keep local markets buoyant by supporting our work with people in need in your community.

Citizens Advice Ash is looking for Corporate Partners to work alongside us in the local community.

Citizens Advice Ash is currently open for telephone Advice, Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 4pm

News from Ash Citizens Advice

I live with my two children and partner in a small semi-detached house. During the winter we use more heating and electricity as we’re home more. Do you have any tips on how I can keep the cost of my energy down during the winter?

There are a few things you can do to save some money during the winter period. Check when your energy contract is due to expire. If you’re at the end of your contract use energy compare by Citizens Advice to see if you could save money by switching supplier or tariff.

If you’re on a prepayment meter you could save money by replacing your meter with one that lets you pay after using energy rather than in advance. Most suppliers won’t charge for removing a prepayment meter, though many will run a credit check or ask for a deposit.

You may also be eligible for certain grants and benefits these could include Warm Home discount or help with energy debt.

Here are a few practical tips to help keep costs down:

· Using a timer for your heating, lowering your thermostat and using radiator valve controls could save you over £100 per year

· Changing light bulbs to more efficient ones could save £50 over the lifetime of the bulb

· Turn appliances off standby mode to save around £30 a year

· Seal cracks in floors, skirting boards and add draft excluders to letterboxes, doors and windows.

· Some energy suppliers also offer grants to allow improvements to your home, like insulation or a new boiler. What help you can get depends on your circumstances and what would help your home. You don’t need to be a customer of one of these suppliers to apply but you’ll Need to check your eligibility. If you would like help with the any of the issues above, please contact Ash Citizens Advice on 01252 315569.

Citizens Advice Ash is an independent local charity. We depend on local funding from local authorities, local charitable trusts, local businesses and private donations. Our highly trained volunteers, who give their free time to help local people, are currently working from home providing free independent telephone and email advice service. We have recent funding from the CO-OP to help us continue to provide this service post the pandemic, helping us to return to face to face services in a safe and secure environment . If you would like to support us you can do this by going to the CO-OP website and becoming a CO-OP member https://www.coop.co.uk/membership?

Citizens Advice Ash is open Monday to Thursday 9.30 am to 4 pm for telephone advice (01252 315569). Email advice is available via our website: www.ashcab.org.uk.

By Sandra Luff