Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most by our tenants.
Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 – Changes that Affect All Tenants
Provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 come into force in May 2019 and November 2019. These result in a number of changes to your tenancy with the Association.
We are writing to all tenants to advise of these changes. We are also issuing information regarding the information we currently hold about who lives in your home.
It is essential that you check this information and advise us immediately if the details are incorrect.
You must also inform us immediately if there are any changes to your household in the future – we can only take account of any changes from the date we are made aware of them.
Detailed information is available here or by contacting the office.
MEHA allows tenants to pay rent through many methods:
- Through Direct Debit (see How Do I Set Up a Direct Debit)?
- Online via Self-Service (Santander BillPay)
- By Telephone 0800 093 8823 or 0131 337 3222
By Telephone 0800 093 8823 or 0131 337 3222 or request a form here
Call Novus Property Solutions on 01506 242 120 or 0800 093 8823
What constitutes an emergency repair?
An immediate and significant threat to life or property.
If you wish to contact your housing officer, please click on their name:
Officer name: Graeme Plews
Areas covered (Citywide): The Bowling Green, The Quilts, Niddrie Hays, Niddrie Mill, Hyvots Bank and Little Road.
Officer Name: Joanne Picken
Areas covered (South East, West & North West): Telford, Ferry Road, Greenlaw Rig & Hedge, Sutherland Street & Borthwick Place, Tressilian Gardens, Oxgangs and Oxgangs Road North.
Officer Name: Claire Treger
Areas covered (South East): Niddrie, Marischal, Newcraighall and Sandilands Close.
Officer Name: Lesanne Drummond
Areas covered (South, West, North West & Fife): Muirhouse, Currie, Balerno, Ratho & Ratho Station, Sighthill, Redhall, South Queensferry and Fife
Bank Standing Order
You can arrange to have your payment made directly from your bank account to the Association. This means that you don’t have to worry about remembering to make the payment each week or each month, the money is taken automatically from your account and transferred to us.
If you want to start paying by Bank Standing Order, please contact your Housing Officer and ask for a form.
If you pay by Bank Standing Order, you do have to remember to advise your bank to increase the payment when the annual rent increase is applied in April.
You can sign up now to pay Direct Debit from your bank account – this is a secure payment method, and means that you don’t have to worry about making any changes required to your payments in the future. We can deal with that for you, but of course you will always be notified of any changes before they are applied.
If you want to pay by Direct Debit, please contact the office or fill out the Direct Debit Form here and post in to the office.
If you are on a limited income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit and should submit an an application to City of Edinburgh Council. Your Housing Officer can give you advice about this and can also help you to submit a claim.
You can use your Payment Card to make payments at any Post Office. You can also use the same card to pay at any outlet using Payzone – this includes many supermarkets, local shops and garages, whichever is most convenient for you. (The fact that many of these outlets are open late at night, and at weekends, should make it easier for you to pay at a time that suits you).
Payments you make using the Payment Card are credited to your rent account within one working day of you making the payment.
The Association’s office is not a cash office, therefore we would discourage you from calling at the office to make payments – however, we will accept payments in the office in exceptional circumstances.
If you are experiencing any difficulties paying your rent, either because you find it hard to use any of the payment methods outlined here, or because you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact your Housing Officer immediately.
The Association has a Policy that outlines how it deals with non-payment of rent. You can access the Policy by clicking here. Please note that our arrears policy is currently under review.
Our aim is to assist tenants who are experiencing difficulties paying their rent – however we will take firm action (including legal action) against any tenants who do not make and keep arrangements to pay their arrears.
We would also encourage you to contact other agencies for independent advice, particularly if we are taking legal action against you. Click here.
The Association maintains comprehensive buildings insurance for all its properties – the Association is responsible for the costs of repairing any damage to the fabric of the building (for example, following a fire or storm damage).
However, the Association does not take out insurance to cover your personal belongings. You are required, therefore, to take out insurance that would cover the cost of replacing all your personal belongings should these be damaged or stolen. This includes all furnishings, floor coverings and personal items.
The Association can provide you with information about an insurance company that offers reasonably priced insurance for housing association tenants. It is called Thistle Insurance Services. Please click on the link below to be directed to their website.
You are not obliged to use Thistle Services, however we would urge you to arrange insurance cover.
Please think about how you would replace your belongings if these were damaged or stolen and arrange cover.
No as, The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 includes a provision to abolish the Right to Buy.
Under section 1(1) of the Act, right to buy ended for all tenants of social housing in Scotland on 1 August 2016, unless a valid application to purchase was received before that date. Further information on the changes is available from the Government’s website.
If your income is low, you may be eligible for housing benefit. The City of Edinburgh Council is responsible for the administration of housing benefit, but we can provide assistance with completion of the necessary application form. You can access information on housing benefit by clicking here.
We will assist you as much as we can with housing benefit claims, but paying rent remains your responsibility – you must make sure that claims are submitted on time and that all required information is provided. Failure to do so may result in your claim being delayed and could lead to rent arrears which you would have to pay.
What is Universal Credit?
The Government is going to simplify the benefit system so there are fewer different types of benefit paid.
A new benefit, ‘Universal Credit’, will replace these benefits and will be paid as ONE SINGLE MONTHLY PAYMENT:
- Working tax credit
- Child Tax credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance (previously called incapacity benefit)
It does not include:
- Disability Living Allowance (although this benefit will change too)
- Carer’s Allowance
How will Universal Credit be paid to me?
The Government wants people who get certain benefits to take more responsibility for managing their money.
Therefore the payment will be made directly to residents. This means that instead of Housing Benefit being paid directly to Manor Estates it will be paid to you as part of the Universal Credit payment, and you will be responsible for paying us.
If you are likely to lose money because of changes to the rules about how many bedrooms Housing Benefit will pay for, or because of the benefit cap, you will have to make up the difference yourself.
Act now…don’t wait
Universal Credit for single applicants has now been rolled out to many areas. The full service has already rolled out in Fife and is due to roll out in Edinburgh in October 2018.
Find out more about Universal Credit on this website.
Try this useful Universal Credit Planner – by answering a few questions you will be able to find out what changes YOU need to make and how to prepare.
Make sure you’re ready for Direct Payments – start thinking about what payment method you will use to pay your rent, and how you will manage your money in the future. There are lots of ways to pay that you could consider; including direct debit, standing order, via Post Office Payment Card or over the phone.
You can also watch this video from Money Advice Service which has some really useful tips on how to get ready for Universal Credit.
This video shows the service as of April 2016. Changes and additions will be made over time but the general service will remain the same. It covers:
- Setting up an account and claiming Universal Credit.
- GOV.UK Verify.
- Completing to dos.
- Using your journal.
- Other functions.
- Using your account with your work coach.
When you are prepared, you’ll need to apply for Universal Credit online using any device such as a mobile phone, tablet, PC or laptop, as long as you have access to the internet. You can also contact your Housing Officer on 0131 337 3222 for a home visit. There are also computers available are your local library.
Remember…It’s your responsibility to pay your rent on time. If you are experiencing any problems paying your rent please contact us straight away.
The Association owns 3 retirement housing developments – at Tressillian Gardens, Sutherland Street and Greenlaw Rig.
These developments are specifically designed for people aged over 60, although applications from younger people will be considered where their health or other circumstances would be improved by living in retirement housing.
Each of the developments is staffed by a Retirement Housing Manager between 9am and 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am and 3.30pm on a Friday. In summary, the manager’s role is to ensure that all tenants receive excellent tenancy management and property maintenance services in respect of the provision of their home and that all the community facilities offer a welcoming, secure and comfortable environment. They will also help tenant to access whatever type of support they require by signposting to other agencies. The manager also plays a crucial role in helping the tenants organise social activities.
Is there an out of hour’s service provision for retirement housing estates?
Yes. The Community Alarm and Telecare Service (CATS) currently provide the emergency response service out of hours.
This service includes:
- 24 hour emergency response. Where required, CATS will attend and deal with any emergencies along with.
- Daily inactivity monitoring.
CATS can also offer enhanced services to tenants who require it, for example, specialist equipment or additional monitoring for tenants who are prone to falls.
In all the developments, accommodation is self-contained with all facilities required for independent living. The properties are equipped with emergency pull-cords in every room, which can be used to alert CATS, should the tenant require assistance. There is also a system of activity monitoring, which would alert CATS if someone has not been up and about.
The manager service is provided by staff employed by Manor Estates Housing Association.
Yes, including a centre where a range of social activities take place.
Manor Estates is committed to ensuring that all tenants have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their homes.
- We undertake to ensure that all tenants recognise that they are required to comply with all terms of the Tenancy Agreement and that the Association will take appropriate action against those who do not.
- We will use a range of measures to deal with complaints.
- We will take propmpt action to prevent an escalation of complaints.
- We recognise the need to adopt different approaches, depending on the specific circumstances of individual cases.
- We will work in partnership with other agencies as appropriate.
If you are experiencing problems with a neighbour that you feel you cannot approach them about directly, please contact your Housing Officer.
City of Edinburgh Council can also offer advice and assistance.
The Association provides welfare benefits advice through a partnership arrangement with Link Housing. If you think you could benefit from this service, please contact your Housing Officer in the first instance.
We are currently working in partnership with Changeworks and Home Energy Scotland to offer fuel debt advice, information on warm home discounts and support to tenants. If you are interested please contact your Housing Officer.
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2018 to 2019 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
Are you in receipt of the guarantee element of Pension credit or are you on a low income and meet your energy suppliers criteria for the scheme?
The money is paid on to your electricity account and is paid around march/April the following year. There are some suppliers who will pay the money onto the gas account but not all.
The usual payment is onto the electricity. Applications are submitted online and they are made between September and March. This scheme is a stand-alone scheme and it does not affect a your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payments.
If you would like more information please contact your Neighbourhood Housing Officer on 01313373222 or 08000938823.
In your first instance, your housing officer.
When you want to end your tenancy, there are a number of things you need to do. You should:
- Make sure you give us 28 days written notice as required in your tenancy agreement.
- Give us access to your house to carry out a repairs inspection before you leave.
- Reinstate any alterations which are your responsibility.
- Remove all floor coverings and underlay throughout.
- Arrange to have any large items, such as furniture, fridges, cookers etc, that you are disposing of uplifted by the City Council to avoid littering the street.
- Remove all your fixtures and fittings and fill any holes in walls and ceilings.
- Reinstate any torn or damaged wall coverings.
- Give your gas and electric utility companies at least 48 hours notice for arranging final meter readings.
- Return the keys for the external doors of the property together with any keys / fobs for access to communal access doors, external cellars, gates etc. (Tenants on the sheltered estates should return 4 sets of door keys and the electronic key fob).
- Carry out all repairs and redecoration that are your responsibility otherwise they will be charged to you.
- Most importantly, leave your house in a clean and tidy condition throughout.
You can find details of our Property Standard here.
We will recharge the cost of removing any floor coverings and household items left in the property and the cost of any necessary cleaning or repairs.
The Edinburgh House Exchange website is a new service, designed to bring together tenants who are looking to swap their home.
As a Manor Estates tenant, you can register free for the House Exchange service at www.houseexchange.org.uk. When you register you will be asked to provide some details including your current property and the type of property that you are looking for.
Once registered, the information you provided will be checked and approved by your landlord. Your login details will then be sent out in the post and your property will appear in the database. From there you can search the site and find someone to swap homes with.
Please note that you must be a Scottish Secure Tenant before your request for a mutual exchange will be considered by your landlord.
For more information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0131 529 5080 and ask to speak to an adviser. You can also download a form from this link if you are having trouble getting online to register.
Once you are successful in finding someone to swap houses with, you will need to apply to Manor Estates and the other tenant’s landlord for permission to exchange. Contact your Housing Officer for further details.
Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 tenants have the right to have certain urgent repairs carried out within a given timescale. Failure to have the repair carried out within that timetable means you can call out an alternative contractor and could be entitled to compensation.
Our Right to Repair leaflet is currently under review.
List of Alternative Contractors
|Contractor Name||Contractor Address||Repair Type|
|Novus Property Solutions||3A Inchmuir Road
Whitehill Industrial Estate
Tel : 01506 242 120
Builder / Externals
|Response Building Maintenance Services (Scotland) Ltd.||Caputhall Road
Deans Industrial Estate
Tel : 01506 411 555/01506 414 188
Builder / Externals
|Lothian Gas||Unit 5 Dryden Glen
Tel : 0131 440 4666
If you intend calling out one of our Alternative Contractors you should inform the Association so we can ensure they have the necessary information to allow them to proceed with the work. You should only use this option if your repair falls within the scheme for Qualifying Repairs.
We will automatically award you any compensation that is due under the Right to Repair scheme; you do not have to apply.