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HOME RUN COMPLAINTS AND SUSPENSION PROCEDURE

 

We aim to provide an efficient and responsive service to both student and landlord, though our primary focus is to ensure that students are provided with accommodation that complies with our Minimum Standards.

This Complaints and Suspension document is a mechanism to ensure that complaints about Home Run landlords are dealt with fairly and quickly.

A complaint can be initiated in different ways:

• An Advice Worker can refer a case to the Student Support Services Manager.
• A student can make a complaint to the Student Support Services Manager.
• The Student Support Services Manager can initiate a complaint if there is a catalogue of events raised by students or if a serious breach of the Minimum Standards occurs.
• Any complaint made to Home Run about a landlord must be in writing.
• The Student Support Services Manager will write to the landlord advising them that a complaint has been made against them, providing them with details of the nature of the complaint.
• The landlord will be given 30 days (from the date of the letter) to respond. If the landlord does not respond, the landlord will be suspended from advertising any property with Home Run until contact is made with the Student Support Services Manager.
• The landlord may have the opportunity to meet with the Student Support Services Manager to put their case.

Some of the most common issues that, if not attended to, may lead to suspension:

REPAIRS

Priority One – Emergency repairs

Any repairs required in order to avoid danger to health, risk to the safety of residents or serious damage to building or residents’ belongings must be attended to

within 24 hours of report of defect (gas leaks, major electrical faults).

Priority Two – Urgent Repairs

Repairs or defects which materially affect the comfort or convenience of residents

within 3 working days of fault being reported (complete breakdown of heat and hot water systems).

Priority Three – Non urgent day to day repairs

Repairs affecting the structure and services but not regarded as prejudicial to the safety, health or security of the tenants or structure of the building

within 7 working days of reporting (direct water penetration, kitchen appliances breaking down).

 Priority Four – Day to Day repairs

Other reported repairs which do not fall into the above categories and do not prevent the reasonable occupation of the premises

within 28 days (furniture repair, re-tiling).

Where a dispute occurs between the landlord and the tenant as to when a repair was reported, the accepted date shall be the date when it was reported in writing to the landlord.

Landlords who do not comply with the above timetable schedule where reasonably possible will have all properties removed from the Home Run list. We recognise that certain repairs will not be rectified within the specified time, but within those deadlines, if required, the landlord must be able to provide evidence that parts have been ordered/contractors notified.

DEPOSIT DISPUTES

For deposits taken on or after 6th April 2007:

Damage deposits (if taken) must be protected in accordance with mandatory Tenancy Deposit Protection (if letting on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy) under the Housing Act (2004). (See Home Run Minimum Standards point 1.10)

Landlords have 30 days after tenants sign a Tenancy Agreement AND pay a deposit to register the deposit with one of the three Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes.

Failure to protect a deposit may result in immediate suspension.

At the end of a tenancy landlords must refer to the appropriate Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDPS) rules regarding the return of deposits.
• The process to return a deposit should be initiated in line with the appropriate scheme rules.
• If a landlord wishes to make any deductions they must comply with the procedure of their chosen TDPS.
• If an Advice Worker gets involved regarding a deposit dispute and writes to the landlord (to gather all details of the case) a further 14 days can pass to try and resolve the dispute satisfactorily.

  1. The tenant may lodge a complaint if a deposit is still not returned beyond this date.
  2. The tenant may lodge a complaint at any stage.

Any breaches of tenancy or allegations of harassment must be put in writing to the Student Support Services Manager. This will be treated as a complaint.

 • The Student Support Services Manager will write to the landlord advising them that a complaint has been made against them, providing them with details of the nature of the complaint.
 • The landlord will be given 14 days (from the date of the letter) to respond. If the landlord does not respond, the landlord will be suspended from advertising any property with Home Run until contact is made with the Student Support Services Manager.
 • All parties may be invited to meet with the Student Support Services Manager.
 • The Student Support Services Manager will take the decision whether to uphold the complaint. If a complaint is upheld, the landlord will be suspended from advertising any property with Home Run.  If a complaint is valid but the landlord has rectified the problem a note of the complaint will be held on the database but the landlord may not be suspended.
 • Once a decision has been reached all parties will be written to and made aware of any outcomes.
 • Regardless of whether a tenant is willing to make a formal complaint the Union Advice Centre will keep a register of complaints against landlords, including a list of landlords who are reluctant to return deposits. If there is a series of issues reported to Advice Workers the Student Support Services Manager can use their discretion to cease advertising vacant properties of particular landlords until further notice.

SUSPENSION

If the Student Support Services Manager is considering any allegation against a landlord Home Run is notified. The landlord is notified of the nature of the complaint and that a suspension is being considered. The landlord will also be advised they have 14 days to respond before the suspension is put in place.

Once the Student Support Services Manager is able to consider the evidence they may consider a range of penalties which may include:
  • that there is no case to answer
  • that the landlord is advised a note of the issue will be logged on the database
  • that actions and remedies are required
  • that a temporary suspension is put in place
  • that a landlord is suspended
  • that a landlord is permanently suspended

The landlord will then be notified why the decision has been taken and advised of their right of appeal to the Union Management Committee.

A suspension will stand for 3 years from the date the landlord is notified of this decision.

In certain circumstances it may be considered appropriate for a suspension to be permanent.

A student who is not happy with a decision not to suspend a landlord has similar recourse to the Union Management Committee.

APPEALS

The Landlord will be able to present their case in writing to the Union Management Committee.

The Student Support Services Manager will present the case in writing to the Union Management Committee.

Any decision taken by the Management Committee to suspend, reinstate or permanently remove landlords cannot be appealed.

A suspension will stand for 3 years from the date the landlord is notified of this decision.

Temporary suspensions will last until works are carried out or the matter rectified.
 

Home Run, Union House, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ
Tel: 01603 592505, Email: homerun@uea.ac.uk

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