Decant policy

Disturbance Payments (Permanent Decants)

13.16 Tenants who are required to move permanently due to demolition, redevelopment or improvement works have a statutory entitlement to disturbance payment if they occupied the property at the time of acquisition by WHBC. The purpose of the payments is to reimburse tenants for all reasonable costs they have actually incurred as a result of having to move. There is no minimum length of occupation required but the tenant must be in lawful occupation of the property on or before the date of displacement.

13.17 Disturbance payments are paid in addition to any Home Loss Payment due to the tenant.

13.18 To avoid the tenant having any financial inconvenience, WHBC will try to meet the costs directly with contractors and suppliers wherever possible. Where the tenant makes the initial payment and claims reimbursement from WHBC, receipts or reasonable evidence must be provided for all costs before payment is made. In some cases, we may agree a lump sum disturbance payment with affected tenants to meet the costs of moving and to avoid the need to submit receipts for each item.

13.19 Examples of costs that will be covered where a tenant is permanently decanted include:

Removal and storage costs –WHBC will either arrange the removal or storage with a company directly, or reimburse the costs, but require two quotes to be obtained. Boxes can also be provided to help with packing.

Deposits – we will provide any necessary deposit if required for any temporary accommodation we have agreed to until permanent accommodation is available. However, the occupier will incur the cost if the deposit is not returned in full due to a fault of the occupier. This will be deducted from any other compensation payments due to the tenant.

Disconnection and reconnection of washing machines and other plumbing – where applicable we will arrange for the disconnection and reconnection cost of a washing machine and other plumbing e.g. dishwasher.

Telephone, Satellite/Cable TV and internet connections – we will reimburse any costs for reconnections at the decant property.

Disconnection and reconnection of cooker – where required, we will arrange for this to be done by our contractors or we will cover the cost of disconnection and reconnection work carried out by a registered Gas Safe fitter. Where the decant is from a property with a gas supply to a property with an electric-only supply or vice versa, WHBC will provide a new cooker up to an agreed maximum value (set out in Appendix 1).

Redirection of mail – if the tenant arranges re-direction of mail, we will reimburse the cost for all household members for up to 6 months.

New school uniforms - where decanting results in the need for a child to change schools, we will assist with the cost of one new uniform per child where the school requires a uniform to be worn. We will require confirmation from the school on the uniform requirements.

Replacement of security locks and alarms –we will remove and refit security locks and alarms or reimburse any costs incurred if the tenant has to employ a contractor. Installations must be by an approved locksmith and compliant with current building regulations.

Rehoming for pets - in the event of a tenant being unable to take a pet to their new home due to restrictions placed on the property, we will reimburse reasonable rehoming costs. Only households that have requested permission to keep a pet as per the WHBC tenancy agreement and are keeping the pet in line with the tenant obligations will be eligible.

Adaptations within the home – we will cover the cost of the removal and refitting of adaptations approved by an Occupational Therapist (OT) and undertaken by an approved contractor.

Carpets and floor coverings – where possible, households are expected to re-use the floor covering in their homes. We will arrange for the uplift and refitting of carpets, underlay and/or laminate flooring. If this is not possible or partially not possible, WHBC will cover reasonable costs of replacement floor covering, up to an agreed maximum value per room (Appendix 1)

Curtains and window covering – households are expected to re-use their current window covering and make any alterations to the length and width. We will arrange for curtain rails to be removed, altered and refitted. Where this is not possible, we will cover reasonable costs of replacement window coverings, up to a maximum value per window. (Appendix 1).

Light fittings – existing light fittings will be transferred and refitted. Where additional fittings are required in the new home we will only cover the cost of basic lampshades.

Compensation for Improvements – any improvements the tenant has made to the property such as a new bathroom, will be compensated for if the tenant had received our prior written permission and in accordance with WHBC’s Policy.

Decorating costs – where there is evidence of disrepair e.g. damp, filling holes or covering uneven surfaces we will redecorate the affected area. If we are not able to redecorate we will cover any reasonable costs to do the work.

Loss of wages – we will reimburse the tenant for loss of wages or income where time off is unavoidable due to displacement. We will require written confirmation from the tenant’s employer/and or proof of any loss of wages/income where the tenant is self-employed.

Survey fees – we will reimburse leaseholders for any reasonable survey and related fees incurred as a direct result of having to purchase another home.

Home contents insurance – WHBC will consider meeting any reasonable additional home insurance costs that tenant/leaseholder is subject to and is associated with a decant.

TV License costs – where a qualifying tenant has previously benefited from a free TV license scheme as a result of the exemption for residents of sheltered accommodation blocks – but they do not qualify in the home they are moving to as a result of the decant, WHBC will consider compensating the tenant accordingly. Each case will be considered on its merits.