A. Your co-operative

Welcome to Ross Walk Co-operative Housing Association. Formed in 1978, we own around 120 homes in the Belgrave area of Leicester. We’re more than a housing association, we’re a housing co-operative which means that you are more than a tenant, you’re a tenant member. This gives you the power to elect your management committee which decides the policy of the Co-op. It is made up of elected tenant members and people with special skills who are invited to help us who are not paid for their work. Being a Co-op means surplus money must be put back into the organisation for the benefit of all the members. It also means you do NOT have the right-to-buy your home. The day-to-day work involved in managing your home and tenancy is carried out by the Leicester-based PA Housing. The Co-op has a contract with PA, called a Service Agreement, which sets out what services they will provide, and how much the Co-op will pay for them.

B. Responsibilities

The Tenancy Agreement is the legal document you sign before you move in.

Depending on when you moved into your home, and whether you have a single or joint tenancy, there are different types of agreement. The agreement sets out in detail the terms of your tenancy and it’s important you understand it. If you need a copy or help understanding it please contact us (section 5). In summary your main responsibilities are to:

  • pay the rent and other charges on time
  • take care of the property, keep the inside properly decorated and do any repairs you are responsible for
  • ensure that everyone in your household and your visitors behave responsibly. They must not overcrowd their property, cause nuisance to neighbours, or harass or threaten other people
  • let us know if you are going away and leaving your home unoccupied for more than 4 weeks
  • let us know in writing if you plan to leave. You must do this at least 4 weeks beforehand, and leave the place in good condition.

Our main responsibilities are to:

  • consult you on any proposed changes to the tenancy
  • keep your home in good repair
  • keep in working order all pipes, drains, gutters and installations inside your property for heating your water, gas or electricity supply.

We have the right to:

  • change your rent or other charges provided we give you appropriate notice
  • be let into your home to carry out inspections or repairs, to service appliances or carry out safety inspections.

You have the right to live in your home without being unnecessarily interrupted by us and you can ask us to review any decisions we make that you don’t agree with.

As we are a Co-op Housing Association you do NOT have the right to buy your Co-op home. 

C. Household changes

Relationship breakdown – If you are in a relationship that is breaking down, it may have an impact on your tenancy and it’s important you contact us so we can discuss your options. You should know that only a court has the power to force you to move out of your home and that joint tenants have equal rights to remain in the home but either one may end the tenancy. If you are not joint tenants, the person named on the Tenancy Agreement has the right to ask their partner to leave the home. However, a married partner can stay until a court decides who must leave. If you are not joint tenants and the person named on the Tenancy Agreement leaves the home, the remaining partner does not automatically have the right to stay. We are happy to discuss how your situation may affect your tenancy with us and do what we can to help. The details of any conversation you have with us will be confidential. You can also go to a specialist who can advise you about your particular situation. For example:

  • advice agencies such as Leicester’s Zinthiya Trust or the Citizen Advice Bureau
  • Relate (relationship counselling) for family problems
  • the Council’s Housing Department about your housing options
  • a solicitor for your legal rights.

Death – When a tenant dies it is important that we know straightaway so relatives or friends need to tell us so we can discuss next steps. Some of these steps are set out in law, such as a joint tenant will automatically keep the tenancy. Others are down to our discretion such as situations where there is no joint tenant where a partner (married or unmarried including same sex couples) may be allowed to take over the tenancy. This is called a succession. In certain circumstances, such as where a home is left under-occupied, we have the right to re-house a successor in a different home. Our policy only allows for a tenancy to be passed on once on the basis of succession. This means that if you become the tenant because a member of your family passed it on to you, you cannot pass it on to someone else. Marriage/Partnership – If you get married or form a partnership during your tenancy we may allow your partner or spouse to become a joint tenant. We will investigate their rights and previous circumstances before agreeing. A partner must have lived with you for at least 12 months for us to consider this.

D. Moving In

The start date of your tenancy is shown on the tenancy agreement we ask you to sign. From that date on you are responsible for the property and for paying rent. You must make sure that any housing-related benefits, if you qualify, is paid for your new home. If you do not move in immediately you must still pay the rent. When you take up your tenancy, you will sign a Tenancy Agreement and we will tell you about:

  • the start date and your tenancy conditions
  • the services we provide
  • how to pay your rent
  • how to report a repair

We will also tell you about how to download and use the MyPA app (see section 5) and organise for our contractor to ensure services such and gas and electricity can be used and paid for by you. We will give you:

  • a copy of the Tenancy Agreement
  • various useful advice leaflets covering a range of topics including gas servicing, repairs, being a good neighbour, joining the management committee and useful numbers. These are also available on your Co-op’s website.
  • information about benefits. We can sometimes help you with any application forms you need to complete
  • all sets of keys we have. We do not hold spares. You are responsible for getting further sets, and getting into your home if you get locked out or lose your key.
  • an up-to-date inspection record for any gas installations provided by us in your home
  • details about the Co-op and a list of Management Committee meeting dates.