Click the button below to access our latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and guidance    Download Here

FAQs

Making It Simple

At Touchstone we know how important your home is to you. We have compiled some frequently asked questions to help guide you through your tenancy with us as smoothly as possible.

Who can stay in the property? +

Only customers and permitted occupiers who are listed on the tenancy can live in the property. ‘Live’ is defined by a guest staying longer than two weeks.

Can I change my energy supplier? +

Yes, however you need to let us know in writing or via email.

Can I decorate my home? +

Usually that’s no problem, you just need written permission from us first – otherwise you might be charged for re-decorating it back to the original state.

Can I install a Sky dish or Virgin TV? +

Please check with us first and we’ll need to authorise it in writing. If you go ahead without asking us, you may have to pay for the dish to be removed etc.

Can I make alterations to my home? +

Very rarely, so please check with us first and we’ll need to authorise it in writing. If you go ahead without asking us, we’ll have to charge you for any works to restore the property to its original state.

How can I pay my rent? +

Rent is generally paid by Standing Order. Contact us if you need any details or have a follow up question that isn’t covered elsewhere in this guide.

My partner or friend wants to move in to the property. What should I do? +

Anyone living at the property needs to be listed on the tenancy agreement and vetted by us. If you’d like to add another person to your tenancy agreement, please contact us. Please also be aware of the administration fees (shown in the fee schedule). Please ensure you have our written approval before any new tenants move in.

What do I do if I want to leave the property temporarily? +

If you need to leave for more than 28 days, please notify us in writing. If you forget, it could have serious insurance consequences and you may be charged for any costs.

Can I have a pet at the property? +

Each property is different so before you go ahead we need to confirm that everything is fine in writing.

Can I change the terms of my tenancy? +

For any queries about your tenancy agreement, please contact us.

Someone has moved out of the property. How do I remove them from the tenancy agreement? +

Please contact us as soon as possible.

Who insures my belongings? +

The building’s insurance does not cover your personal belongings, so please arrange your own contents insurance.

Who do I call in an emergency or if I have maintenance issues? +

In the first instance please call your property manager. If the incident occurs outside of office hours and there is damage that requires urgent attention, please call our Emergency Helpline on 01772 667182.

Who do I report communal issues to? +

Please contact us.

What do I do if I have a complaint? +

Please contact us in the first instance. If we can’t resolve it, you can ask for a copy of our complaints procedure.

Any other questions? +

Please contact us.

How do I find out who supplies my energy? +

Gas: Call the Meter Point Administration Service
Telephone: 0870 608 1524

Electricity: Contact the local electricity distribution company. Then ask for the company's Meter Point Administration Service (MPAS).

North Scotland: 0800 048 3515
Central & Southern Scotland: 0330 1010 300 
North East England & Yorkshire: 0845 070 7172
North West England: 0800 195 4141

Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales & North Shropshire:  0330 1010 300 
East Midlands & West Midlands: 0800 096 3080
South Wales & South West England: 0800 096 3080

London, South East England & Eastern England: 0845 601 4516
Southern England: 0800 048 3516
Northern Ireland: 03457 643 643

How much is my council tax and what band am I in? +

Please either contact your local authority or, for banding visit www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands

Where can I park? +

If it’s not clear, please contact us.

What do I do if my phone line isn’t connected? +

If you know your supplier, please contact them. If not, call BT on 0800 800 151.

What happens if I can’t pay my rent? +

Rent is due on the date advised in your tenancy agreement. If you think you may have any difficulties paying your rent, please contact us as soon as possible.

Can I advertise my house with Air B&B? +

No, this is against the landlord’s wishes. 

Can people temporarily stay at the property? +

Friends and family are welcome to visit for up to two weeks. If it’s any longer than that then please contact us first.

What do I do when my child reaches 18? +

Once they become an adult, you’ll need to add them to the tenancy agreement. So please contact us to sort it out.

What do I do if I’ve lost my keys? +

Please contact us straightaway. Or if it’s out of office hours, please call our [Emergency Helpline]. If your keys can be linked to you or the property, please also inform the Police. You can check the charge for replacement keys on our fee list.

What if I need to leave before my tenancy expires? +

Your tenancy agreement is for a fixed period, so you need to stay at the property until the expiry date. If you need to vacate before then, unfortunately you’re legally responsible for the rent right up until the expiration date – as well as any re-letting fees.

What should I do if I’ve been burgled? +

Firstly, call the police. They’ll give you a crime reference number which your insurer will need when you contact them. Then call us. If the incident occurs outside of office hours and there is damage that requires urgent attention, please call our Emergency Helpline on 01772 667182.

What do I do about noisy or abusive neighbours? +

If you’re unable to resolve the matter, please contact the following:

  • Excessive noise: your local environmental health department.
  • Abuse or threats: the Police.

Can I arrange maintenance and deduct the costs from rent? +

No. Please refer all maintenance issues to us rather than sorting them out yourself.

Can I buy the property if I like living here? +

This will depend on the landlord, but please contact us.

How do I end my tenancy? +

Please contact us in writing at least a month in advance of the date you want to leave. (This is two month in Scotland).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs +

Getting in touch

We would like to assure you that you will be still be able to contact us throughout this difficult time.  You can contact us by phone as usual but please be aware we are experiencing an increase in calls to our property management teams so it may take longer than usual to speak with someone - we will answer your call as soon as possible. For maintenance reporting or straightforward queries we would recommend that, if you have access, you sign-up to our Customer Portal which is a simple way to access information on your tenancy, make one off payments or to report maintenance. 

Payment of Rent

We appreciate that this will be a difficult time for many people. If your employment or financial situation changes as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can register your concerns and provide guidance on help that may be available to you.  You will no doubt be aware of the various assistance that the government is proposing for individuals affected by the pandemic. Further information can be found as follows:

Universal Credit 

There is new Government support in place to help those affected by coronavirus. For the next three months there is no longer any requirement to attend an interview at a job centre to start a claim, and all applications will be dealt with online. Information can be found here.

Financial Support

You may not have previously claimed benefit or your circumstances may have changed. You can find out what financial support may be available to you on the entitled to free benefit calculator. To find out what you might be able to claim enter your details and you'll receive an estimate of your entitlement to benefits, tax credits and universal credit.

If you do experience financial problems that could affect your payment of rent, it will be easier for us to provide advice and look for a solution if you contact as at the earliest opportunity.   Please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as you can.

Reporting of repairs

Please continue to report repairs in the usual way.  In light of Government advice and limited contractor availability we have taken the decision to prioritise urgent maintenance work.  We consider this to be work that is required to stop imminent damage to the property (or adjoining properties), reduce the risk of harm to customers or the public, and to maintain key services such as power, heating, lighting and plumbing as far as is reasonably practicable. It is likely that in some instances the work instructed will be to stop the current challenge rather than being a permanent solution.

We would like to assure you that all repair items that are raised will still be recorded and responded to as soon as possible but we would ask for your patience as we manage the completion of the most urgent works.  If this is the case, your Property Manager will ensure you are kept up to date as to expected timeframes.  

If you have vulnerable people in your household, please make us aware at the time of reporting any urgent issues that might result in a visit to your home so we can plan accordingly. 

Where a contractor visits your home, we have asked all contractors to:

  • Ask you to wait in another room while the repair is taking place – always observing the government’s advice on social distancing.
  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 
  • Wash their hands or use hand sanitiser upon arrival and when leaving the property.
  • Wash down any surfaces with antibacterial products that they may have come into contact with when undertaking work.

 

Moving in and out

Government have advised as far as possible, for people to delay moving home while emergency measures are in place to fight coronavirus. If you are due to move, we will support you as far as we are able though this time.

We are aware that a number of businesses that support home moves – removal firms, inventory and inspection clerks particularly – will be severely limited in their movements and activities moving forward.  If you are about to move home, we would recommend that you check the latest position with any companies that you have made arrangements with directly and that you contact us as soon as possible to update us on your plans.  Given the restrictions on travel and social contact, our partners that would normally provide check in and check out services as well as providing information for tenancy deposit administration will also be affected.  We will try to complete the administrative tasks associated with all move-ins and outs as quickly as possible, but it is likely that these processes will take longer than normal.

Our services during the Coronavirus outbreak

We will continue to operate our services and to maintain ‘business as usual’ as far as we are able. We’ll continue to follow the guidance given by the government and will continue to provide updates to you if the situation changes.  We will do everything we can to provide you with the best service we can.  Your patience during this difficult period is very much appreciated.

What's Happening?

Join the conversation

Logos