Advice and Support

ENERGY ADVICE SERVICE

AHP have an Housing Energy Advice Officer, working with tenants to tackle Fuel Poverty affecting our tenants across Aberdeenshire.

The signs of Fuel Poverty are often missed and our advisor is trained to identify those affected and if you think you fit any of the following criteria affects you, then you may benefit from a call or home visit from our Housing Energy Advice Officer. To make a referral please e-mail or call us on 01224 548000.

Fuel Poverty Checklist

Vulnerable groups

  • Elderly,
  • Young children
  • Long term medical conditions or those living with a disability

The sign

  • Home too cold/draughty
  • Fuel bills too high
  • Using a prepayment meter
  • Staying in bed to stay warm
  • Only heating one room
  • Signs of damp

Simple and Quick Energy Saving Ideas

  • Hang washing out to dry rather than use the tumble drier
  • Do not over fill your kettle - boil only the amount you need
  • Try turning your room thermostat down by around 1 degree as this could save you up to 10% on your heating bill
  • Use low energy light bulbs
  • Try taking a shower instead if a bath as this uses less than half the hot water
  • Make sure your taps are turned off as a dripping hot tap is wasting hot water
  • Turn off your appliances at the wall and do not leave them on standby
  • Close your curtains at dusk
  • Set your hot water storage cylinder to 60 degrees Celsius
  • If you have a hot water storage tank make sure it is insulated
  • Switch off lights when you are not in the room
  • Cook with your microwave
  • Keep lids on the pans when cooking
  • If you have a fan oven always choose the fan setting
  • Make better use of the natural light, keep windows clean and clear of large ornaments or creeping plants

Switch Your Energy Supplier

One of the easiest ways to save money on your fuel bill is to check if you are on the cheapest tariff available to you. If you are not you should consider changing your energy supplier. The easiest way to find out about the best deals available is to go online and check out some comparison web sites. You can also contact the fuel suppliers directly.

Questions you should ask before your switch

  • How much will I pay per unit?
  • Is there a standing charge?
  • How can I pay my bills?
  • Is there a discount if I switch my gas and electricity supply?
  • What is the cost per unit?
  • Is there a cancellation charge?
  • Is there likely to be any increase in the future

DEBT AND FINANCIAL ADVICE

If you are struggling financially please contact your Housing Officer who can refer you to other agencies for independent debt and financial advice.

Alternatively you can contact the organisations below directly -

Citizens Advice Bureau
Visit their website to find out where is the closest office or out reach service to you - http://www.cas.org.uk/bureaux.

The main offices covering the Aberdeenshire Area are –
PETERHEAD
Town House
Broad Street
Peterhead
AB42 1BY
Tel: (01779) 471515
Email: bureau@banffcab.cabnet.org.uk

TURRIFF
Masonic Building,
Gladstone Terrace
Turriff
AB53 4AT
Tel: (01888) 562 495
Email: advice@turriffcab.casonline.org.uk

STONEHAVEN
9 Cameron Street
Stonehaven
AB39 2BL
Tel: ( 01569) 766 578
Email: bureau@kamcab.casonline.org.uk

WESTHILL
Suite 2,
1st Floor Offices,
Westhill Shopping Centre
Old Skene Rd,
Westhill
Tel: (01224) 747714

Other Agencies working in Aberdeenshire

GORDON RURAL ACTION
HUNTLY
Huntly Business Centre
55 Gordon Street
Huntly
AB54 8EQ
TEL: (01466) 793676

INVERURIE
49C Market Place
Inverurie
AB51 3PY
Tel: (01467) 624421

CASH IN YOUR POCKET PARTNERSHIP
Huntly House
74 Huntly Street
Aberdeen
AB10 1TD
Tel: (01224) 200221

GRAMPIAN CREDIT UNION
224 Holburn Street
Aberdeen
AB10 6DB
Tel: (01224) 576990

HOT SPOT PETERHEAD
1-3 Kirk Street
Peterhead
AB42 1RT
Tel: (01779) 871450

THE MONEY ADVICE SERVICE (MA)
Tel: 0300 500 5000
Online – www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

NATIONAL DEBTLINE SCOTLAND
Freephone 0808 808 4000
Online - www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

TENANCY INFORMATION

Tenant handbook

Our tenant handbook is issued to every tenant when they move into their property, you can also download a copy here.

It contains useful information to help you get the most out of living in your AHP home, such as the main services we can offer you, how to contact us, and what to do in an emergency.

Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement (SST)

The Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement is the legal agreement we have with every tenant, you will have signed two copies when your tenancy commenced. AHP retain a copy on file and you will have received the other original signed copy.

We recommend you keep your SST in a safe place, it is a legal document and states all the conditions and terms referring to your tenancy.

You can also download a template copy here for your reference or call the office and request a copy to be posted to you. It contains information on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and covers the following areas:

  • Use of the house and common parts
  • Respect for others
  • Subletting, Assignation and exchange of your tenancy
  • Repairs, Maintenance, improvements and Alterations
  • Ending the tenancy
  • After the tenant’s death
  • Information and consultation
  • Complaints

Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)

What is Antisocial Behaviour?
Section 143 of the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 provides that a person engages in Antisocial Behaviour if they:

“act in a manner that causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress; or pursue a course of conduct that cause or is likely to cause alarm or distress,” to at least one person who is not of the same household.

You can find a more detailed definition on the Aberdeenshire Council website: http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/antisocial/whatis.asp

Your Responsibilities

When you moved into your AHP property you signed a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement (SST), this is a legal document which means you have agreed that:

“ You, those living with you, and your visitors, must not harass or act in an anti-social manner to, or pursue a course of anti-social conduct against, any person in the neighbourhood. Such people include residents, visitors, our employees, agents and contractors and those in your house. “

In particular, you, those living with you, and your visitors must not:

  • make excessive noise. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of televisions, hi-fi's, radios and musical instruments and DIY tools;
  • fail to control your pets properly or allow them to foul or cause damage to other people's property;
  • allow visitors to your house to be noisy or disruptive;
  • use your house, or allow it to be used, for illegal or immoral purposes;
  • vandalise or damage our property or any part of the common parts or neighbourhood;
  • leave rubbish in unauthorised places;
  • allow your children to cause nuisance or annoyance to other people by failing to exercise reasonable control over them;
  • harass or assault any person in the house, or neighbourhood, for whatever reason. This includes that person's race, colour or ethnic origin, nationality, gender, sexuality, disability, age, religion or other belief, or other status;
  • use or carry offensive weapons;
  • Use or sell unlawful drugs or sell alcohol.

How to report ASB

If you are affected by ASB in your neighbourhood then it is important to let AHP so that any appropriate actions can be taken.

In the first instance we recommend you contact your Housing Officer by calling our office on 01224 548000. If you would prefer someone to call you back please complete the contact form here and a member of staff will contact you.

If the incident is related to criminal activity please call Police Scotland on 101 (Non e emergency) or 999 in emergency situations, so that immediate action can be taken. Please ensure you note the Police reference number.

Contents Insurance

the property owner, AHP’s insurance covers damage to the building, but this does not cover any of your household contents (floor coverings, furniture, electrical goods etc).

We strongly recommend you take out your own contents insurance so that in the event of a break-in, fire , flood or other incident, your belongings will be covered.

Thistle Tenant Risks offer contents insurance specially tailored for social housing tenants, you can find out more on their website: http://www.thistletenants-scotland.co.uk/

Keeping a Pet

You must first receive written permission from AHP before keeping any animals in your home. You can call the office to request a copy of your permissions to be posted to you.

The conditions of your tenancy agreement allow you to keep up to two domestic pets, which excludes any cloven hoofed animals or fowl.

You are responsible for ensuring your pet is not a nuisance to your neighbours, including fouling, noise or smell.

Alterations to your home

If you wish to carry out any alterations to your home or garden, you must first receive written permission from AHP.

You can call the office to request a copy of the permissions to be posted to you.