Moving house can be very stressful and requires careful consideration of the both the house and the area you’re moving from and too. Our homes are not just about bricks and mortar, but about us as people, our families, or friends and local social networks. They are about access to our social activities, e.g. gardening, or local clubs, churches or even walks around a familiar area. You can visit HomeArgyll for further information on buying and owning a home. Our Advice Seek advice from family and friends before making up your mind Consider all the alternatives listed above Be certain this is what you want for your long term interests Contact us for independent advice Make sure you make the final decision Do research starting with the useful information that can be found at the end of this section Moving for Older People - Things to Think About Understand your existing house How much is it worth? Are there outstanding loans I need to pay? Is it in good condition; how much would you need to pay to get it in good condition? How much does it cost to heat? Be selective about where you want to go How close to friends, family, shops, etc do you want to live? Consider transport issues both now and in the future Consider location and access Do you feel safe in the neighbourhood? Is it pleasantly located away from noisy businesses or busy roads? Is access up a hill or stairs, is there a ramp, car parking? Is it a tourist area? If so find out what it’s like in the winter - services may not be available all year round. Specialist housing or in a mixed community Sheltered Retirement housing Are specific disabled facilities required? If not is the new house adaptable for the future? How much do you want to pay to buy the house? Take ongoing repairs and heating costs into account Think about keeping some money back for other activities Moving for Young Disabled People - Things to Think About Why do you want to move? When do you want to move, this year, next year, sometime......? What’s important to you in your ideal home? Do you want to share with other people or have your own home? What area do you want to live in? Would you need help and support in a new home? What about transport – How would you get out and about? What sort of home would be best? Flat or house Community supported houses Housing Association Private rented Owner occupation Do you need special adaptations? Wheelchair access Additional lighting Ramp access Level access showering What is available locally? Speak to friends and other people who have experienced moving in the past Renting a house from a Housing Association Housing Associations manage all the socially rented housing in Argyll and Bute. Housing Association are also known as Registered Social Landlords and their houses called social housing or public housing. This sector includes all the houses once known as Council houses. How to Apply to these Housing Associations There is a single common housing register if you want to apply to the following five Housing Associations. The associations work in partnership and provide a common application process called HOME Argyll. Find the contact details of a Housing Association in Argyll and Bute. Our Advice Housing Associations offer long term security for their tenants If you want a housing association home APPLY to HOME Argyll as well as any relevant specialist association HOME Argyll provides the Council with a good indicator of unmet demand for social rented housing. This means your needs are recorded in ‘the system’ Realistically you may be waiting for a long time before a suitable house is found. In the interim period you should pursue other options. Renting a house in the Private Rented Sector Private sector landlords, whether they are individuals or businesses, offer homes to rent at a profit. All types of housing are available subject to the dictates of the market. Almost all landlords are required to register with the local authority. Private sector landlords can rent to whoever they wish, providing they do not discriminate against prospective tenants in relation to race, sex, sexuality, religion or disability. Some landlords will ask for a deposit. Argyll and Bute Council run a rent deposit guarantee scheme to help prospective tenants facing difficulties with deposit payments. Any deposit taken by a landlord MUST be placed with one of the three tenancy deposit schemes and information provided to the tenant. Most private rented homes are Short Assured Tenancies for a fixed term of not less than 6 months. The landlord can take back the property at the end of the contract period provided the paper work has been done properly. Rent is set by the landlord to reflect the local market. Benefit may be available in the form of the Local Housing Allowance. This may, or may not, cover the whole rent. Legally landlords must provide houses which meet the ‘Private Rented Repairing Standard’ although sometimes this is not the case – particularly in flats where co-operation with other owners requires joint decisions to be made on common repairs. Should you have an issue with your rent or the repair of your property, the Housing and Property Chamber - First-tier Tribunal for Scotland may be able to assist. Our Advice Choose your landlord carefully Ensure your landlord is registered with the Council If more than 3 unrelated people share then a separate House in Multiple Occupation licence is also required. Argyll and Bute council run a voluntary Landlord Accreditation Scheme. Ask if your prospective landlord is a member. Understand your rights and security. Find out about your rights as a private tenant from Shelter Scotland. Information from Scottish Government Always arrange to view the property before making any commitment. In flats take a look at common areas such as roofs, access ways, backyards, etc. Unsuitable Housing If the stresses of living in an unsuitable house are becoming intolerable, you may be considered ‘homeless’. You can contact your area homeless team for information on homelessness assessment. Our Advice You don’t have to be without a home to be homeless Contact the Council if you think your accommodation is unsuitable Independent housing advice is available on Freephone 0800 731 8337 Moving to another owner occupied home Moving to an owner occupied house involves many different choices and questions to be answered. These notes consider two circumstances. When an elderly home owner is looking to move to smaller or retirement housing When a disabled young person is considering moving to their own home from the family home. Our Advice Contact Housing Services for specialist advice It’s never too early to start to think about What sort of housing you want What sort of support you may need Where you want to live Whether you want to live with others or in your own place Even if you don’t want to move at the moment, it’s time to start thinking. Further Advice AgeScotland Private Tenant’s Rights Shelter Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities part of the UK charity, the Mental Health Foundation Housing Options in Scotland: help disabled people to resolve their housing issues, by working on finding tailored solutions for individuals. Landlord Registration - Information and advice on whether your landlord is registered and what you can do if you have issues with your landlord. Tenancy Deposit Schemes - Details of the approved tenancy deposit scheme providers.