Questions & Answers

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How to Apply

Q1. How do I apply for housing?
To apply for Social Rented Accommodation you will need to be assessed under Northern Ireland Housing Executive Selection Scheme and pointed on the common waiting list. You will usually be able to apply for housing if you are over 18 and have local connection to Northern Ireland. 

If you would like an aplpication form posted to you  please call us on 02890 690250 
or alternatively email us at info@trinityha.org
Please complete this form and return it to your local Housing Executive office.

You can also download the application form on this stie, please see the Apply For Housing Page for more details.

Rents and Charges

Q1. What if I pay my rent late or have financial difficulties?
You are breaking the conditions of your tenancy agreement if you pay your rent late.  If you have money troubles, please contact us and we will tell you what to do and give you advice.
Q2. Will my rent increase?
Our rents should be affordable to people on low incomes and will be cheaper than rents charged by private landlords.  However, we must make sure that rents cover our costs.  If we change your rent, this will usually apply from April.  We will write to you at least 28 days before you must start paying the new amount.
Q3. Rent & Rates
Your rent is the money we charge you for providing you with your home and our services to you, including repairs and maintenance.  You pay rates to your council for your local services.  

We collect this from you on behalf of the council.  You pay this at the same time as your rent.
Q4. Service Charges & Support Charges
Tenants (and leaseholders) pay service charge if they live in certain types of building where there are shared facilities or services.  The charges cover:
  • Repairing and maintaining the building and shared areas inside the building
  • Cleaning shared areas, including windows
  • Providing lighting and heating in shared areas
  • Maintaining and landscaping shared gardens; and
  • Insuring the building

Support charges are for any special services you receive:
  • services of scheme co-ordinators and other specialist staff; and
  • providing emergency alarm systems and any other special facilities.
Q5. Heating charges
If you live in a sheltered or supported scheme you may pay a separate heating charge to us for the heating you use in your own flat.
Q6. How to pay
  • To pay by cash: At any post office, shop or garage displaying the Paypoint sign. You must pay cash and show your rent payment card. Please ensure that you always get a receipt with each payment made. Use your rent payment card to ensure payment is allocated correctly.
  • To pay by cheque: Send a cheque or postal order to our head office. Never send cash. Please allow three days for your payment to reach us on time.
  • To pay by bank: You can pay through your bank. To arrange to pay your rent by direct debit contact Trinity Housing on 028 9069 0250.
  • To pay by Housing Benefit: By Housing Benefit direct payment. If you claim Housing Benefit, it can be paid direct to us. However, if your Housing Benefit does not cover the full amount of rent, you still need to pay us the difference.
Q7. Cheques
Cheques or postal orders must be made out to Trinity Housing Ltd. (or to The Post Office Ltd if you are paying at a post office). Write your name, address and rent account number on the back.

Tenant Participation

Q1. How can I get involved?
It is the policy of the Association to offer a flexible approach to tenant involvement.
So that you can choose the manner and level of participation that suits you, recognising local circumstances and the varying needs and preferences of individuals and particular customer groups.
The level of involvement open to you ranges from receiving information about decisions taken, through to tenants being actively involved in decision making.
If you have ideas or feedback regarding any of the Associations publications or the website, please email or write to the address below.
Telephone – 028 9069 0250
Email – info@trinityha.org

If you are interested in becoming involved with our Tenants Forum please contact the Association and speak to your Housing Officer.
 
Q2. What is the Tenants Forum?
The Tenants Forum meets throughout the year and is made up of tenants from Sheltered and General Needs Schemes. The Forum is used for tenant consultation and participation. The Forum discusses a variety of issues from repairs and maintenance to policy setting, and is involved in decision making.   The Association welcomes applications to join the Tenants Forum and if you are interested in becoming involved please contact the Association –
Telephone – 028 9069 0250
Email – info@trinityha.org

Complaints

Q1. Complaints Procedure When The Service Is Provided By An Organisation Other Than Trinity Housing

If the service you receive is provided by an organisation other than Trinity (such as a Health and Social Care Trust or other voluntary agency) and you wish to complain about their service, you may wish to consider in the first instance seeking recourse through their complaints policy and procedures. If you require further information, please contact Trinity Housing.

Q2. Neighbour Nuisance And Antisocial Behaviour
Anti-Social Behaviour
Trinity Housing is committed to dealing effectively with reported instances of anti-social behaviour.
 
If you feel you are a victim of Anti-Social Behaviour who can you turn to?
 
PROCEDURE
Step 1:                  In the first Instance you should notify your Scheme Co-ordinator or your Housing Officer. 
                               You should provide as much details as possible. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and log it on the Association’s Anti-Social Behaviour Register.
Telephone: 028 90 690250
Email: info@trinityha.org
 
Step 2:                  Trinity Housing will undertake an investigation. We will identify and interview all interested parties.
 
Step 3:                  Advice and Support will be provided to you. Your Housing Officer will decide on the best course of action such as gathering additional evidence, mediation, issuing warning letters etc.
 
Step 4:                  If the problem persists Trinity Housing will take legal action. This might include issuing proceedings for possession, injunction or applying for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.
 
USEFUL CONTACTS 
Noise Pollution
·         Contact your Local Council.  Under the Pollution Control and Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 your local Council can deal with excessive noise disturbances. They have the power to serve the person responsible with a Noise Abatement Notice.
Further information can be obtained from your Local Council for example:
Belfast City Council
Telephone: 028 90 373006
 
Seek Mediation
·         The Mediation Network Northern Ireland can put you in touch with a trained mediator in your area. The mediator’s role is to encourage each party to talk freely, explain their point of view, find common ground and identify an agreed way forward.
Further information can be obtained from:
Website: www.mediationnorthernireland.org.uk
Telephone: 028 90 438614
 
Contact the Police
The police can take action about any ant-social behaviour which is a criminal offence and can prosecute someone who has:
·         Attacked another person, causing physical and/or psychological damage.
·         Wilfully damaged someone else’s property.
·         Behaved in a threatening or abusive way in order to intentionally frightening, intimidate, cause harassment, alarm or distress another person.
 Non-emergency and general enquiries
Telephone: 0845 600 8000
 
Contact Victim Support Northern Ireland
·         Victim Support Northern Ireland is a charity which helps people affected by any type of crime. They offer a free and confidential service.
Further information can be obtained from
Website: www.victimsupportni.co.uk
Telephone: 028 90 244039
 
Take Legal Action
·         Start a criminal prosecution in court which could lead to the perpetrator being fined or imprisoned.
·         Take civil court action to claim compensation and / or apply for an order to stop the perpetrator continuing with their behaviour
If you are considering taking court action you will need the help of an experienced legal adviser, for example a Citizens Advice Bureau.
Further information can be obtained from:
Website: www.citizensadvice.co.uk                                                       Telephone: 028 90 236522
Q3. Other Useful Addresses

Housing Rights Service, Middleton Building,
4th Floor, 10-12 High Street, Belfast BT1 2BA
Tel: (028) 9024 5640

Citizens Advice Bureau, 6 Calendar Street, Belfast
Tel: (028) 9050 3000

Or contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau Office

Q4. How do I make a complaint?
Complaint to a Manager
You can make a complaint to the relevant manager who will investigate your complaint and respond within 10 working days. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome you can ask for your complaint to be taken to stage 2.
 Complaints to the Chief Executive
 If you remain unhappy please put your complaint in writing to the Chief Executive giving details of any communication and action to date. It would be useful if you include comments on what you feel would be a satisfactory solution to the problem. A reply will be sent to you within 10 working days of receipt.
 Complaints to the Board
If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome you can write to the Chair of the Association’s Board who will review and investigate your complaint and reply to you within 15 working days, or as mutually agreed.
 NEXT STEPS
 If your complaint has not been settled to your satisfaction you can ask the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints (The Ombudsman) to investigate. The Ombudsman will normally expect that you will have used Trinity Housing’s internal Complaints Procedure before bringing a complaint to his office.
 The Ombudsman is completely independent of Trinity Housing. Trinity Housing will co-operate fully in the course of any investigation carried out by the Ombudsman. 

House Sale

Q1. Application to Purchase
  • You must apply in writing to the Association if you wish to purchase your home.
  • On receipt of your letter we will forward an application to you.
  • We will notify you of the purchase price within 12 weeks from the date of receipt of your completed application and relevant documentation.
  • You must confirm that you wish to purchase the property within six weeks of the offer.

Any request for a re-valuation must be made in writing within one month of the offer being made. (The District Valuers re-determination is binding on both parties).
If the properties is re-valued within a two year period you will be charged for the second valuation.

Q2. Background
The House Sales Policy (including Equity Sharing) operated by the Association complies with guidance issued by the Department for Social Development within the provisions of the Housing (NI) Order 2003, extended in 2009.
Q3. Eligibility to Purchase
Tenants who have been secure tenants for five years or more can apply to buy their home. This period includes previous tenancies and time spent as an Introductory Tenant.
Q4. Those Not Eligible to Purchase
Squatters and those under investigation as regards anti-social behaviour are exempted.

Tenants in rent arrears will not be excluded on these grounds, however, no sale will be completed until all arrears have been paid.