Shared owner information

If you are an Advance shared ownership customer, use the menu links below to find further information about the services we provide and your responsibilities in your home.

If you can't find the information you are looking for or have any additional questions about anything you have read, please contact your Housing Officer or our Customer Services Team. They will be happy to help. If you live in one of our properties and are interested in getting Support or Employment services from Advance, please email our Customer Services Team or call 0333 012 4307. They will be happy to help with any questions.

You can now view and manage parts of your tenancy online through MyAdvance including

  • Getting in touch with us
  • Checking your tenancy details, including rent statements
  • Makin payments to Advance
  • Telling us about repairs or maintenance your home needs
  • Keeping your contact details up to date

Our easy to use guide gives step by step instructions for how to use each of the features that the portal has to offer.

Our Shared Ownership Customer Pack gives information for all customers living in Advance properties. Click below to read more:

Report a repair

Request a Repair

It’s important that you are happy in your home and let us know as soon as possible if anything goes wrong.

Our dedicated Customer Service Team will take the details of your repair and arrange an appointment at a mutually convenient time; making it easier for you to plan your time.

Repairs can be reported by contacting:

The Customer Service Team from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Call Freephone on: 0333 012 4307

You can request a call back during office opening hours and we will call you back at no cost to yourself.

If you prefer you can contact us by email.

S20 Consultations

Every repair request over £250 raised for your home goes through this process. We do this to ensure we do not spend your money on items you do not want.

Letter 1 – you have 30 days to agree the work needs doing – call us on 0333 012 4307 email or write to us.

If you want to do any jobs yourself please say. If you know of another contractor you would prefer to use, please tell us. We will contact them to confirm they have all the right papers and register their details for payment.

Letter 2 - You have 30 days to decide if you agree with our quote and date and time and costs will be clear to you before we start anything.

We do our best to make sure you are ready and able to cope and will keep in touch and visit some jobs afterwards to check you are happy.

Rights and responsibilities for shared owners

To live in your own home

People can stay with you who are not on the lease for 3 weeks. After that you need to let us know as it may affect your benefits.

To keep up-to-date with repairs and maintenance

If something goes wrong, please tell us. The sooner we know there is a problem, the sooner this can be fixed.

If we ask to come in, please let us. We will not be there unless it is really important.

If you want make changes to your home – please tell us, we own the home as well.

We will maintain your home in relation to the agreed lease repairs and maintenance.

Your garden and outside area – if you can’t manage let us know and we will work with you to find support locally.

Advance will always remember you live here. We will not turn up unless you have agreed.

We will make sure your home is as good as it possibly can be but within the amount we are allowed to do for you.

We will let you and your support team know if people need to visit.

To contact Advance for re-sale support and advice

If you want to move home, let us know and we can help you with that process as much as possible and agree on options for you.

Tell us about anti-social behaviour

Please try not to upset people around you, like neighbours or people coming to visit. If someone upsets you tell us, we can help.

Stay up-to-date with access rent and service charge information from Advance

If you cannot pay your rent or personal top up element we need to know otherwise we may have to go to court to resolve this.

Any information about benefits and changes – we’ll let you know and work out what that means for you financially.

We will tell you when things change in Advance and who you can talk to and by when you will hear back, if we need to check out information.

We will meet with you once a year to talk face to face and discuss any issues you may have and to check on your current rent and service charge payment arrangements as well as update you on your sinking fund amounts.

Looking after your home

To keep your home in peak condition you, your household and any visitors should:

  • Take care of the property and use anything in your home which belongs to us only for the purpose intended
  • Take care of any fixtures, fittings or furnishings that were provided as part of your tenancy
  • Try to solve minor problems and report faults promptly and allow us to access your home so that repairs can be made within agreed timescales
  • Keep the inside of your home clean and decorated
  • Do not fly tip or dump rubbish
  • Remember you are responsible for the actions of your household, pets and visitors, whether you are aware of their actions or not. 

Security

Home Insurance

All customers are responsible for insuring the contents of their home. We will not accept responsibility for any damage to uninsured possessions.

Caller Identification

  • As with any person you do not know requesting entry into your property, always ask to see identification before you open the door
  • Never be afraid to ask the caller to wait whilst you look up the company phone number. You can confirm their credentials with the company before you let them into your home
  • Advance works with contractors to ensure they work safely and respectfully, including training them on Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults. All contractors will wear a uniform and carry identification when visiting your property.

Adaptations to your property

If you need to make changes to your home because your needs have changed or you are a new resident, you may be able to get a grant through us from the Government. Minor Adaptations Grants, also known as Physical Adaptation Grants (PAG’s) or Disabled Facility Grants (DFG) can be carried out on our properties.

In order for us to apply for a grant an Occupational Therapist’s report must be submitted to us. The report should say why and what changes are needed and how much this will cost. The grant may be up to 10K. No additional service charges will be set against your home. We will need to approve all such applications and may inspect afterwards.

Adaptations Grant Process

  • Advance resident visits Doctor and is referred to Occupational Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist visits resident and produces ‘Referral’, the ‘Referral’ is then sent to us
  • Specialist Mechanical equipment requires a service charge agreement
  • Drawings and Schedule prepared and sent out to Occupational Therapist and Client for approval
  • The job is sent out to Contractors for tender
  • Government to approve funding or Fast Track Schemes
  • We visit the site with the contractor when works commence and interim inspections
  • We visit the site with the Contractor when works are complete
  • Satisfaction questionnaire is sent to resident to gauge the quality of service and work

The above process could take a maximum of 6 to 12 months, although Fast Track Schemes can be completed in a shorter time scale (dependant on individual needs and circumstances).

What will the grant pay for?

There are various adaptations which the Government will fund; here are just a few examples:

  • Clos O Mat
  • Ramps
  • Scooter Stores
  • Level Access Showers
  • Dropped Kerbs
  • Adapted Kitchens
  • Hoists
  • Rise & Fall Baths

Staying safe in your home

Asbestos

Building materials containing asbestos were used very widely from around 1930 to 1980, and particularly from 1960 onward. It was used because asbestos fibres are strong and resistant to heat and chemicals. When asbestos becomes damaged it releases fibres into the air which can cause problems if inhaled.

Textured Coatings: Familiarly known as “Artex”, this product was used extensively during the 1970’s and 1980’s as a decorative ceiling or wall covering and can contain a trace element (1% or less) of asbestos. Because the content is considered very low this product is unlikely to release any fibres, but care should still be taken not to disturb or damage this product.

AIB: Was used as a fire retardant layer of insulation, it was most commonly used behind electrical consumer units, boilers and gas fires.

Advance Responsibilities

Asbestos is dangerous only when disturbed, it can remain functional and safe while it is maintained and in good condition.

Advance is committed to protecting employees, contractors and tenants alike by ensuring that asbestos is not disturbed. Advance manages a database containing records of asbestos surveys and locations identified.

Advance are committed to managing asbestos in our properties:

  • We will conduct asbestos surveys on all properties built prior to 2000.
  • We will monitor asbestos which is in good condition and is therefore safe to remain in the home.
  • We will remove asbestos which poses a threat to the residents living in the property

What you can do

Do it yourself (DIY) activities such as sanding or drilling may disturb products containing asbestos and release fibres into your home. It is vital that you ask our permission before carrying out any home improvements or maintenance so we can check our records for existing asbestos information.

If you are at all concerned that you may have damaged or ageing asbestos in your home please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 0333 012 4307.If you suspect that a surface contains Asbestos and if the surface looks damaged, report this to the customer service team so this can be investigated.

  • Don’t carry out any DIY activities that may damage asbestos-containing materials
  • Don’t sand, scrap, drill or break anything you think may contain asbestos
  • Don’t walk through debris that may contain asbestos, it will contaminate other areas of you home

Fire safety

Here are some key tips to ensure you remain safe from fire:

Never smoke in bed!

If you’re feeling drowsy, are drinking alcohol or are taking prescription drugs, take extra care when smoking. It’s really easy to fall asleep and not notice that a cigarette is still burning. Don’t light up if you need to lie down and never smoke in bed.

Chip pan fire safety

Around 16,000 domestic fires every year are started by chip pan fires. Use a deep-fat-fryer instead or better still, use oven chips. If you have a chip pan fire never put water on it, don’t tackle the fire yourself. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so. Get out, stay out and call 999.

Regularly check your smoke alarm

A smoke alarm could save the lives of you and your family in a fire. Always test your smoke alarm regularly and replace a flat battery straight away.

Don’t leave cooking unattended

More than half of accidental fires in the home are started in the kitchen. It is easy to be distracted while cooking and leave things unattended. Avoid cooking if you’re tired, have been drinking alcohol or taking medication that can make you drowsy.

Get a free home-fire-safety check

Did you know you can get a free home-fire-safety check? Call your local fire service on their general enquiries number and they will visit to fit smoke alarms and give safety advice on keeping your home and family as safe as possible.

Fire Safety Reminders for flats

The following is an extract on advice from the Fire Brigade if you live in a purpose built flat.

Escape route:

  • Have an escape plan, which you practice and ensure all members of your household are aware of this plan.
  • The best route is normally the way in and out.
  • Keep communal areas and balconies clear so that they don’t block your escape and cause a fire risk.
  • Always keep door and window keys where everyone can find them.

If your flat is affected by fire or smoke and your escape route is clear:

  • Get everyone out, close the door and leave calmly
  • Don’t use the lift
  • Call 999, give them your address details and let them know which floor the fire is on.

If your escape route is not clear:

  • It may be safer to stay in your home until the Fire Brigade arrives.
  • Find a safe room, close the door and block any gaps with soft materials to stop the smoke.
  • Go to a window and shout “HELP FIRE” and call 999.
  • Be ready to explain where you are and the quickest way to reach you.

If there is a fire in another part of the building:

  • Your home should give you some protection from fire – walls, floors and doors can hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • You are usually safer staying in your home, call 999, tell the Fire Brigade where you are and the best way to reach you.
  • If you are in the communal parts of the building leave and call 999.
  • However if you feel unsure, unsafe, can see flames or smell smoke then leave your flat and exit the building

Gas safety

Gas Servicing is an annual requirement and is a crucial part of our efforts to keep your home safe. It is included as part of your service charges. If you wish to opt out, please let us know. Provided we receive a certificate from you, we will not need to keep you on our annual register.

Advance Responsibilities

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 we must:

  • Ensure that we use only Gas Safe registered engineers to carry out work on gas installations
  • Not permit a gas appliance to be used if we suspect it to be unsafe or inadequately ventilated
  • Undertake an annual safety check on gas pipework and landlord owned appliances
  • Keep records of all inspection defects and actions taken
  • Provide tenants with records of gas servicing or safety checks

Electrical safety

Advance Responsibilities

Advance ensure the safety of your home by carrying out electricity checks within your home every 5 years. This is to ensure that all power supplies are safe. All electrical work must be done by a qualified electrician under Part P of the Building Regulations requirements. A safety certificate must be supplied after testing.

We will also complete appliance testing on the goods we have supplied at given intervals.

If you wish to opt out of any 5 year electrical checks please let us know and provided we receive the certificate from  an approved body we can remove this and the charge fro your service charges.

What you can do?

DO

  • Report any electrical problems immediately to our Customer Service team 0333 012 4307
  • Allow access to the property if an electrician needs to visit
  • Regularly check the condition of plugs, cables and extension leads
  • Check that any adapter you use is safe – it should comply with British standards and be adequately rated for the connected load
  • Try and reduce the use of extension leads and adaptors wherever possible
  • Use appliances according to the manufacturer’s instructions

DO NOT

  • Carry out your own electrical repairs
  • Take mains powered portable appliances such as radios, heaters or hairdryers into the bathroom
  • Overload sockets with extension leads
  • Use any electrical appliances with wet hands
  • Leave items such as mobile phones charging overnight.

Water safety

Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems, e.g. rivers and ponds. However, the conditions are rarely right for people to catch the disease from these sources. The bacteria multiply where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available.

How do people get it?

People contract Legionnaires' disease by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols) suspended in the air containing the bacteria. Certain conditions increase the risk from legionella if:

  • The water temperature in all or some parts of the system is between 20°C - 45°C, which is suitable for growth
  • It is possible for breathable water droplets to be created and dispersed, e.g. aerosol created by shower heads, water outlets, spa baths
  • Water is stored and/or re-circulated
  • There are deposits that can support bacterial growth providing a source of nutrients for the organism, e.g. rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and biofilms
  • Outlets which are used infrequently
  • The system contains dead ends or unused pipe work

What you can do?

There a few simple steps you can follow to help reduce the risk of bacteria and legionnaires disease in your home:

  • If you have taps or showers you don’t use regularly, run them for 5 minutes at least once a month to clear the pipes.
  • If showers are used regularly, the risks are reduced, however, you should still regularly clean and disinfect your shower head, ideally every 3 months
  • Ensure there aren’t any places where water can stay still and build up bacteria.
  • Do not adjust the temperature setting of the boiler
  • Inform Advance if your hot water is not heating properly
  • If you have been away from your home for 2 weeks or more, run your taps through for 5 minutes before using the water
  • Allow contractors access to your home to carry out test on your water - This is only carried out on a sample of properties annually
  • Keep the hot water on your boiler system at a temperature of minimum 60°C WARNING: BE AWARE OF SCALDING!

Service standards

These Service Standards are agreements made between Advance and our customers, who were involved in setting the standards and who will help to monitor and review the standards by participating in surveys and providing feedback. This is so we can continue to improve our services.

Advance is committed to providing reliable, prompt and efficient services to our customers. This leaflet sets out our service standards for our customers who have a Cleaning and Gardening service supplied by Advance and by the contractors we use. Click on the link to download and read more.

Comments, compliments and complaints

We'd love to hear what you think. Your ideas will help us to make services better for you and other customers. Please watch our short video, 'Giving us your views'.

You can download the Comments, Compliments and Complaints information below. There is a a plain English and an easy read version of this information.

 

To read our full Comments, Compliments and Complaints policy click here

We have completed our self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman's code for Housing Associations , led by the Complaints Panel and in consultation with customers. Read more here.

Follow this link and use the form to send us comments, compliments or complaints, call us on 0333 012 4307 or email: customer.services@advanceuk.org