Anyone looking for stable accommodation that caters to those on a lower income may find that social housing is the right choice for them. Rent in these places is easier to afford, making them more accessible for those who don’t have the financial stability to pay privately.
If you plan on going down this route, you’ll want to ensure that the provider you go with is right for you. In particular, you want to know that they’ll keep you safe, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
Here are a few things to look out for.
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Provide Efficient Repairs
Sometimes, things go wrong in your home, and it’s not always your fault. Parts come loose, appliances grow old, and occasionally, things just stop working for no reason.
Whatever the problem is, it’s usually your landlord’s responsibility to fix it, especially if it affects your safety or quality of life. Issues like dodgy electrics or a lack of hot water simply aren’t something that a tenant should ever have to put up with.
Unfortunately, not all social housing providers are on the ball with regards to repairs. Some are slow to act while others do the job poorly and expect you to be satisfied. If you get the impression that this is the case, you’re better off avoiding said provider and going with someone else. You might not discover the truth until it’s too late, though, in which case you’ll want to take these steps to complain. With any luck, doing this will ensure you never have a problem regarding repairs again.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Before moving into a property, you likely expect it to be clean. That’s even more essential now that we’ve lived through a pandemic. It’s the provider’s responsibility to ensure this is the case, and if they refuse, you’d be wise to steer clear of them.
Likewise, if your social housing includes communal areas, such as shared stairways or corridors, these should be cleaned regularly too. There are cleaning companies like Ideal Cleaning who specialize in this, offering thorough hygiene solutions to ensure that all tenants are safe. If your provider doesn’t rely on cleaning services like this, you might not necessarily be in the safest hands.
Ensure Fire Safety
Back in 2017, the country was shocked by the Grenfell Tower tragedy which saw a block of social housing flats erupt into flames and claim 72 lives. The incident wouldn’t have been so severe if the building itself weren’t made of combustible materials that were cheaper to use.
In light of what happened, there’s been a lot of pressure on social housing providers to do more to ensure that residents are less at risk from such incidents. It does appear that the tragedy has pushed plenty of housing associations in the right direction, with health and safety now considered a significant priority. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a home from one of those providers because it’s more likely the building will be safer.
When it comes to social housing, you may feel like you don’t have much of a say in where you live. However, you’ve always got a choice, and if there’s a provider you don’t think will keep you safe, it’s best to steer clear of them. There are plenty of others out there who will look after you instead.