Frequently Asked Questions

Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayQ. What will happen to Weslo if there is a yes vote?
A. Weslo will no longer be your landlord, your tenancy agreement will be with Link but the same staff will deliver your services. You would not need to sign up to a new tenancy agreement.

Q. Is Weslo in some kind of difficulty?
A. Weslo is not in any legal or financial difficulty, they wish to improve your homes and services and keep rent increases to a minimum. This could be done by Weslo, but it would take a long time and rents would rise and may become unaffordable. Improvements would happen much more quickly with Link.

Q. Does this mean there will be changes locally to staff or services?
A. All staff are protected and will transfer to Link. There may be some staff structure changes if the transfer goes ahead, but these changes would be to ensure better services for you.

Q. How can I share my views on this or gain more information?
A. Contact TPAS Scotland your ITA. There will be no change unless tenants vote yes, however you giving us your opinions throughout the process is vital to ensure your views are at the heart of this process.

Q. Is it a done deal?
A. No! Weslo wants to hear your views about what you think needs to be done to your homes and services to shape the future – get involved and let us know how you feel about this proposed change.

Q. What is the role of TPAS?
A. Our role is to provide you with independent, impartial information and give you the opportunity to ask questions. We will never tell you how to vote.

Q. Will my rights as a tenant change?
A. Your rights will not change. You will not be asked to sign a new tenancy agreement and will continue to have a Scottish Secure Tenancy with all the associated rights and responsibilities continuing unchanged.

Q. Do I have a vote in the decision?
A. Yes, all tenants and joint tenants have a vote in the secret ballot which is likely to be in March 2021.

Q. If the proposal goes ahead how will I report a repair, make a complaint, or make a general enquiry?
A. Just the same way as normal, there will be no change in day to day communications.

Q. What improvements are being planned?
A. Link must put in place plans to maintain and upgrade its homes, other improvements depend on what you and other tenants tell us are your priorities.

Q. What will happen with my rent?
A. Link will be offering a rent guarantee for a period of time. The Weslo Board will scrutinise Link’s business case to assess its offer on affordable rents for the long term, and the formal proposals that we send to you in January for consultation will spell this out.

Q. Can I buy my home?
A. No – the Scottish Parliament changed the law a few years ago so no social tenant can buy their home anymore.

Q. Will the Tenant Participation Committee and the Board continue after transfer
A. Link are proposing that there will be an Area Committee and we hope that tenants will be interested in this. This Committee will monitor what Link is doing locally for the Weslo tenants – making sure they make the improvements they have promised.  The current Weslo Board will not continue – Link Group has its own Board that will be responsible for delivering services and investment for Weslo tenants and will take feedback from the Area Committee.

Q. What improvements in my home will I get and when?
A. See the map in the consultation document – focusing on kitchens, boilers, electrics and external works. Give us our views on your priorities.

Q. Will Weslo be taken over by the Council?
A. No. The transfer has to be to a Registered Social Landlord – a housing association which Link Group is.

Q. Can I use Link’s offices and services now e.g. in Edinburgh or Falkirk
A. No – you can’t use their service until transfer happens in 2021.

Q. Has tenants’ rents been squandered on unnecessary repairs?
A. No. Going forward the repairs service will be part of Link Property in-house repairs service which has a strong reputation for quality processes and repairs. The Weslo repairs staff will transfer and you will have the same repairs staff.

Q. I am an owner why can’t I get a vote?
A. Weslo is a Registered Social Landlord and legislation means that the social tenants only have the right to vote on the transfer.

Q. I am an owner – can I change factor
A. Your factoring agreement is set by your title deeds. You should take independent legal advice on any changes you wish to make. All the obligations that Weslo currently has for owners will be passed to Link Group who have a strong factoring service based in Falkirk.

Q. I am a private / Mid Market rent tenant – why can’t I get a vote?
A. Weslo is a Registered Social Landlord and legislation means that the social tenants only have the right to vote on the transfer.

Q. I am a private / Mid Market rent tenant – will the services change?
A. Link has a strong track record in private and MMR services and the services will transfer to Link. Your tenancy will be transferred to Link but your rights will not change. Services will stay the same or improve.

Q. What has happened to mean that this is being proposed at all?
A. Welso undertook a stock condition survey of all the social rented homes and found that a considerable amount of investment is needed over the next 30 years, and much more than Weslo has been investing recently. The transfer will enable that investment, and improvement in services to happen without large rent increases.

Q. Why have you chosen Link and who made the decision?
A. Link Group has been chosen through a process of competition where six other Registered Social Landlords were asked to partner with Weslo. Weslo set clear criteria for the partnership and Link offered the best option for tenants and staff.

Q. Why do I not have a choice in the decision about which new landlord to select?
A. The choice of new landlord is a decision for the Board in the first instance, but ultimately it is the social tenants whether this goes ahead – it is not a done deal – the tenants decide.

Q. What will happen with my rent arrears
A. Any debt owed to Weslo with be transferred over – this will include, rent, rechargeable repairs and legal expenses

Q. What will happened with any credit I have in my rent
A. Any credit it accounts with be transferred over

Q. Will I still be able to use my rent card to pay my rent
A. Yes tenants will still be able to pay their rent using existing rent card. Link will work with Weslo Housing team to promote direct debit as preferred payment method with the additional support for those tenants who may require a financial health check – this would include benefit entitlement, accessing bank accounts, affordable credit or other money advice.

Q. Once transferred over, how long will it take for the work to be started and where will it be starting first
A. Work will commence in the later part of 2021. Much of the 2021 will be used for surveying and planning specific projects, and Link will get in touch with all tenants during 2021 about the programme and timing.

Q. What is included in the external works ?
A. It is intended that the external works are agreed on following consultation with tenants regarding what is considered to be the priority, for example in some areas fencing may be considered the priority whereas in others it might be common paths and landscaping. Works are programmed to commence in 2022 to allow a programme of consultation to commence in 2021 and works to be specified and procured.

Q. What about Links allocations policy, eg do they have a transfer list and how this impacts on Weslo tenants?
A. Link’s current allocations are customer led through our Choice Based Lettings system – HomeHunt – which is operated across a number of partner landlords– Link is due to launch our inhouse Home Connections CBL on 1 May 2021. When the transfer of engagements is concluded, WESLO tenants would be eligible for priority pass as a transfer to any Link properties. The Weslo arrangement with West Lothian CBL system will remain in place. Weslo tenants will be able to access Link properties with transfer priority from day 1.
If there are tenants who want to be considered for Link Property, Weslo tenants are encouraged to complete the on line form for Home Hunt just now and they will be picked up and recategorized as part of the data migration for the new system. Here is the link for applications www.homehunt.info.

Q. If transfer does not take place until May – will rents increase on 1st April this year? If Yes vote would rent increase from 2023 or 2024 with link?
A. No rent increase will be applied in April this year. In the event of NO vote, rent will be increased by Welso from June2021. If it is a YES vote there will be NO rent increase with Link until April 2023.

 

If you have any other questions please contact us at weslofuture@weslohm.co.uk or speak to your housing officer.

 

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