Absence from your home
Are you going away for a couple of weeks? If so, read our frequently asked questions below which will tell you everything you need to know and do before you go.
Did you know you may be able to swap your home with another housing association resident?
Why do I need to tell you I’m going away?
If you are going away for more than 3 weeks, it’s a good idea to let us know the dates that you’ll be away and how we can get hold of you in an emergency. If you are away for more than 6 weeks, you must let us know. Letting us know is a term and condition of your tenancy agreement, but more importantly, we need to know so that we can contact you if there is an emergency, like a leak coming from your home.
We often receive reports that homes are empty or abandoned which we will then investigate. It’s important to do this so that we can make the best use of our properties but if we get that call whilst you’re away and we’ve been notified, it saves both you and us the time and hassle of carrying out an investigation.
If you are going away for less than 3 weeks, it’s up to you whether you tell us, but we think it’s a good idea if you do. Hopefully, we won’t have to get in touch, but it will give you some peace of mind that we have the best way to get hold of you if we need to.
If you claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you’ll need to get in touch with them to let them know you’re going away as this can impact your claim.
When should I tell you?
A few days before you go away is fine with us. Once your travel arrangements are made and your bags are packed, just give us a call or send us an e-mail to let us know.
We understand that things happen that can make it difficult to let us know in advance, like bereavement or illness. If this happens or if you’re unable to speak to us, a friend or family member can let us know on your behalf.
How should I let you know?
You can use any of the options listed in the ‘contact us’ section which can be found at the top of this page or by clicking here. We think the easiest way is to pick up the phone and give us a call or to pop us an e-mail.
What information do I need to give you?
We try to keep this as simple as possible. All we need to know is:
- How long you will be away for and your return date
- Why you are going
- Your contact details and the best way to get in touch with you in an emergency
- The details of anyone looking after your home whilst you are away
Can a friend or family member house sit whilst I’m away?
This is usually fine but please do let us know beforehand, so we can discuss this with you. It’s important to remember that you are responsible for your visitor’s behaviour and how they look after your home whilst you’re away.
I’m going away for an extended period. What do I need to do?
If you are planning on going away for a long period, you’ll need to get in touch, so we can discuss this with you. If you are leaving the country for a long period and you’re unsure about if or when you’ll be coming back to your home or if the property is no longer your main home, we will need to talk to you as this could be a breach of your tenancy.
If you rent from us, it’s a legal requirement that your Southern Housing Group home is your only home. If that changes, you’ll need to return the property to us or we may have to take legal action to get the property back.
Is there anyone else that needs to know I’m going away?
If you claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you’ll need to let them know as this may impact the amount of money you receive.
It’s also a good idea to check with your home contents insurance about cover whilst you’re away. This is usually fine for a holiday but its worth checking for a longer period.
You may also want to check out Police.uk who have some hints and tips on how to keep your home safe whilst you’re away.