Frequently Asked Questions
The icons below feature our frequently asked questions.
The icons below feature our frequently asked questions.
There are two possible options for tenants to buy their home: the Right to Buy scheme, and the Right to Acquire scheme.
This applies only to tenants who were living in their home when the property was transferred from the council to Poplar HARCA. The current maximum capped discount is £112,300.
The Government’s website provides a useful overview of who is eligible for the Right to Buy scheme.
This applies to tenants who signed up to a Poplar HARCA tenancy and have been a social tenant for 3 years or more. Poplar HARCA, like many other housing associations, offers Right to Acquire with a maximum discount of £16,000.
The Government’s website provides a useful overview of who is eligible for the Right to Acquire scheme.
Our step by step timeline outlines the process of the Right to Buy and Right to Acquire schemes.
If you are using a mortgage to help purchase your home, your lender will have processes they need to complete. Your solicitor or conveyancer should usually do a number of searches for other information about the property, mainly from the local council. The speed at which these searches take place is not under our control.
Stage 1: Admitting or denying your application
After you have completed your application, Poplar HARCA has four to eight weeks to let you know if you qualify for Right to Buy or Acquire your home.
Stage 2: Telling you how much we will sell you your home for
If you do have the Right to Buy or Acquire your home, Poplar HARCA has twelve weeks to value your home and tell you how much we will sell it to you for. This is called the Section 125 Offer Notice.
Stage 3: You decide
Once you receive this notice, you have twelve weeks to let us know if:
If you ask to have your home re-valued, you will receive a new Offer Notice. The first Offer Notice and information you receive will explain the re-valuation process in more detail.
Once you receive the new Offer Notice you have another twelve weeks to let us know if you want to buy your home at the new price.
Stage 4: Drawing up the plans and lease
Once you let us know that you want to buy your home, Poplar HARCA must draw up the plans and lease as quickly as possible.
Stage 5: Completing the purchase
You must complete the purchase as quickly as possible.
Stage 6: Landlord’s prior notice to complete
Poplar HARCA will issue a landlord’s prior notice to complete and you will have 56 days to complete the purchase of your home.
Stage 7: Landlord’s final notice to complete
If you haven’t bought your home after the prior notice runs out, Poplar HARCA will issue a landlord’s final notice to complete and you will have a final 56 days to complete the purchase of your home.
Stage 8: Closing your application
If you still haven’t bought your home after the final notice runs out, Poplar HARCA will close your application and you will have to apply again.
Please bear in mind that other factors outside our control may affect the speed of the process.
Right to Buy
Please complete all of the forms below:
Right to Acquire
Please complete all of the forms below:
This is what you can expect from us inside blocks and out on your estate:
Twice a year
For information on the collection of household waste please visit the Tower Hamlets website.
You can reduce your waste by making use of Tower Hamlets Council‘s recycling facilities. Their website includes information on recycling bags and purple recycling bins, and collections for food, garden, commercial and bulky waste.
No, items cannot normally be left in shared areas. If items are left in shared areas, they must:
You will normally be given 24 hours to clear items. After 24 hours, items will be removed and disposed of. The cost of doing so may be recharged to you.
There are lots of ways to get rid of large items of furniture or other bulk rubbish:
Fly-tipping is illegal and costs Poplar HARCA residents over £250,000 a year.
Please report fly-tipping in confidence on 0800 035 1991 or email@example.com.
Offenders can be prosecuted and fined hundreds of pounds.
Depending on whether you have dumped rubbish before, and depending on the amount of rubbish you have dumped, we will either recharge you for the removal or we will send you a warning letter. Usually a warning letter will be sent for the first instance of a few black bags or less being dumped.
All recharges will be subject to the current VAT rate and a £25 admin fee. Recharge amounts are dependent on external factors, however, we will not charge you any more than our contractors would charge us.
If the URS is full contact Streetline on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7364 5004
We look after 2,500 trees, 200 communal green areas, 700 shrub areas and 15 pocket parks across our estates.
If you have a private garden or outside area you must keep it tidy and free of rubbish. Poplar HARCA is not responsible for any work in private gardens.
You must not cut down any tree without prior written permission from us.
Please contact the Housing team on 0800 035 1991 or email email@example.com
We regularly carry out inspections jointly with residents.
The issues looked at will depend on what is most important to local residents but usually will cover estate services, communal repairs, grounds maintenance, refuse collection and recycling, cleaning of communal areas and antisocial behaviour, as well as security and environmental improvements.
The frequency is agreed with residents in each area, usually in line with Estate Board meetings. For more information contact your local Estate Board.
We will ask you to provide us with written permission to talk about or share anyone else’s information.
This is because:
• we have a legal responsibility to protect everyone’s personal data.
• we have to make sure that we act in the best interests of all our residents.
We have a template letter of authorisation you can use.
Most fires start through cooking, smoking or electrical faults including white goods. There is lots of valuable home fire safety information on the London Fire Brigade website. This includes how to register white goods so that in the event of known faults, the manufacturer can contact you.
You can also email or phone us to request a copy of our resident fire safety booklet which contains valuable tips on how to stay safe.
The presence of a gate or grille can prevent the emergency services from reaching you quickly and could result in entrapment. The London Fire Brigade recommends that they should be left unlocked at all times that residents are in the property. In case a gate is inadvertently locked, keep a spare key in a designated location in your home and ensure that all members of your household know where this is.
You should not fit security gates without expressing permission from Poplar HARCA. We have a right to remove them and re-charge you if you do.
Because communal areas serve as escape routes they should be kept clear of anything that can burn or give off smoke. This is especially important when communal areas are enclosed as there is a risk of smoke logging. Bags of waste, buggies, shoes etc. should be kept inside homes. Bulk items such as furniture awaiting collection pose a particular arson risk and should not be left in communal areas.
If a fire breaks out on your balcony, it could spread much faster than a fire inside the building. Ideally you should keep your balcony completely clear, but plants and a few items of patio furniture are acceptable.
Never barbecue on your balcony or store barbecue fuel such as gas cylinders, starter fuel or any other flammable substances.
White goods such as fridges and tumble driers must not be stored on balconies. They are not suitable for outdoor use and pose an ignition source.
Never use a barbecue (including a disposable barbecue) on balconies, in indoor communal areas or inside your home. You will also need prior permission from us to barbecue in outdoor communal spaces.
Position barbecues away from fences, trees or other combustible materials and never use flammable liquids such as petrol or spirits – solid fire lighters are safer.
Have water, sand or a fire extinguisher to hand and keep children and pets away.
Smoke alarms save lives. You should fit one on every level of your home. If you are a tenant and don’t have these, please contact us and we will install wired-in smoke alarms for you.
If you are a leaseholder, it is advisable to fit wired-in smoke detection on each level of your property. If you rent out your home this is likely to be required in order to obtain a landlord license. Battery smoke alarms with a ten year battery life can be purchased relatively cheaply from DIY or hardware stores. The London Fire Brigade will also fit a battery alarm free of charge if you sign up for a home fire safety visit via their website or by calling 0800 028 4428.
This may indicate a fault but most likely a spent battery. If you are a tenant, please contact our Repairs service. If you are a leaseholder, it is your responsibility to repair the alarm/change the battery.
You can smoke in your home, but be especially careful to dispose of smoking materials safely.
Smoking is not permitted in the communal areas of Poplar HARCA residential blocks. This is a legal requirement introduced under Smoke Free legislation.
Cigarette ends have the potential to start a fire if they land on anything combustible. If you smoke on a private balcony, do not drop cigarettes over the side of your balcony as this could result in fire on a balcony below you. If you smoke on your balcony, use an ashtray and dispose of smoking materials carefully as you would indoors.
If you are a Poplar HARCA resident, your tenancy or lease will be at risk if you are found smoking in communal areas. If you are the tenant of another landlord, we will press the landlord to take action.
Call us on 0800 035 1991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org outlining your questions or concerns and the relevant team will get back to you. In an emergency, always ring 999.
You’ll be asked to prove your identity and address so that only residents have access to the block.
New fob keys cost £10.
They are free if:
Yes – additional fobs cost £10 each.
We will only issue fobs to the leaseholder.
Poplar HARCA does not cover contents as part of our tenancy agreements. It’s a good idea to consider what a home contents insurance policy would cover you for in order to help you make an informed decision on whether you need one.
Contents insurance is designed to help protect your possessions. No matter how careful you are, there’s always a risk that your belongings could be broken, damaged or stolen so home contents insurance can help provide peace of mind.
To help you decide whether home contents insurance is right for you, Poplar HARCA has teamed up with Thistle Tenant Risks, and Allianz Insurance plc who provide the My Home Contents Insurance Scheme, a specialist Tenants Contents Insurance policy.
The My Home Contents Insurance Scheme can offer you insurance for the contents of your home including cover for items such as furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes, bedding, electrical items, jewellery, pictures and ornaments.
Get in touch with us at email@example.com or on 0800 035 1991 and ask for an application pack.
The National Housing Federation is an Appointed Representative of Thistle Insurance Services Ltd. Thistle Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 310419. Registered in England under No. 00338645. Registered office: Rossington’s Business Park, West Carr Road, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 7SW. Thistle Insurance Services Ltd is part of the PIB Group.
Use our resident portal, MyHARCA. You’ll need your payment card.
Download the Allpay app.
You need a UK registered phone, your payment card and a current debit card. Register here.
Set up a direct debit by filling out this online form, or call us on 0800 035 1991.
You set this up with your bank.
Use your address or account number as the reference.
Poplar HARCA’s bank details are:
Apply on MyHARCA.
Gov.co.uk provides lots of useful advice on the different benefits available. Click on the links below for more information.
You can get advice on debt and borrowing money from The Money Advice Service
There are also a range of free services available locally:
Island Advice Centre
Island House, Roserton Street, E14 (off Castalia Square)
Tel: 020 7987 9379
The Community Centre, 52 Old Castle Street, E14 7AJ
Tel: 020 7392 2953
789-791 Commercial Road Unit 2, St Anne St, E14 7HG
Tel: 020 7392 2953
Bromley By Bow Centre
St Leonards St, E3 3BT
Tel: 020 8709 9757
Tower Hamlets Law Centre
789 Commercial Road, Limehouse, E14 7HG
Tel: 020 7538 4909
Your credit score, also known as a credit rating, affects your ability to borrow money or get financial products such as credit cards.
You can check your score for free – and if it’s not great, there are ways you can improve it.
Poplar HARCA is part of the Rental Exchange. We provide rental payment records to Experian. Paying rent on time, can help improve your credit rating.
The Rental Exchange has been developed with advice from regulators and consumer groups, and fully complies with all relevant laws, including Data Protection.
Information about health priority is here.
Priority on health or disability grounds will only be awarded after an assessment if someone in the household has:
Poplar HARCA has an overcrowding reduction plan to help tenants.
Poplar HARCA tenants with an assured tenancy living in an overcrowded home will be offered one home that is the right size for your family.
We cannot say when an offer will be made, and it could be in any location, for any type of property and any tenure e.g. affordable rent. If you refuse the offer it will not affect your housing application.
It’s a home swap between two social housing tenants, each must have a secure or assured tenancy.
Find out more and register on the Homeswapper website.
A Notice is served if Poplar HARCA has evidence that you have breached your tenancy agreement. For example:
Poplar HARCA is responsible for repairs and maintenance in communal areas, and you are responsible for many repairs and maintenance inside your home. Check your responsibilities here.
If you are a leaseholder or shared owner of your home you should consult your lease for further information.
An emergency repair is classified as:
Examples include the breakdown of heating and hot water during the winter or a severe water/gas leak. For more information, read our Repairs Policy.
We aim for contractors to arrive within an hour to carry out a full repair. Sometimes it is necessary to make the issue safe and then arrange a separate appointment for a full repair or replacement to be carried out.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can report an emergency at any time. If you report a repair that is not an emergency outside of office hours you may be told to contact us when the office reopens.
The quickest and easiest way to report non-emergency repairs is through MyHARCA.
We will charge you for any repair or replacement that is needed as a result of inappropriate action or inaction by you, a member of your household or a visitor to your home. We may also charge you if we carry out a repair that is your responsibility.
We offer morning (8am – 12noon) or afternoon (12noon – 5pm) appointments from Monday to Friday. We are flexible so if you need our operatives to avoid the school run, or need a more specific time just let the Repairs Team know when you report the repair and we will do our best to arrange it for you.
All of our contractors carry identification which they will show you when they arrive for an appointment. If you have any doubts please call the Repairs Team who will be happy to verify whether or not the operative is who they say they are.
We replace items when, due to fair wear and tear, they are no longer in a functional condition and it is no longer possible to repair them. Our Property Services team assesses the condition of items and refers them for replacement when needed. We will contact you to let you know if a replacement is necessary and arrange a convenient appointment.
We have a legal responsibility to service your boiler every year to make sure that it is working properly and is safe. We will let you know two months before the service is due so that a convenient appointment can be scheduled. It is very important that you keep the appointment and allow our contractor to complete the service so that we can make sure your home is safe and that your boiler will continue to work as it should. If you do need to change an appointment let us know so we can book a more suitable one for you.
Every year we carry out a wide range of safety checks in the communal areas of blocks and individual homes to make sure they are safe. This includes:
You can help us to keep all our homes safe by reporting concerns as soon as they arise, keeping communal areas and private balconies clear and testing your smoke detectors regularly.
Condensation is caused by water vapour in the air hitting cold surfaces such as walls, and mould often grows on damp surfaces when this happens. Some water vapour is normal, but too much can cause problems. By keeping your home well ventilated you can reduce water vapour and by keeping your home heated you can avoid cold surfaces for water to form on.
To prevent condensation and mould from forming, remember our mould acronym:
Most blockages are caused by inappropriate items (e.g. nappies, wipes, sanitary products, fat, food debris) being flushed down toilets or poured down sinks. Hair and soap can also build up in bathroom drains. Using a plug guard, regularly checking plug holes and taking care to scrape plates well before washing will help to keep your drains clear.
We aim to carry out an electrical test in every tenant’s home, every five years. A test will usually take two operatives 2-3 hours to complete. It is very important that you keep the appointment and allow our contractor to complete the testing as it is an essential part of our approach to safety in residents’ homes. If you do need to change an appointment let us know so we can book you a more suitable one.
If you smell gas in your home you should immediately contact the gas emergency service provider by calling 0800 111 999.
You should also:
You must have Poplar HARCA’s written permission before installing a dish.
Sky and other subscription services can be accessed through block communal dishes. Your subscription company will advise you when you sign-up to their service.
Poplar HARCA will normally refuse requests to install a satellite dish unless there is no communal system.
If permission is given:
It is a breach of your tenancy agreement or lease if dishes are installed without permission.
You will be recharged the whole cost of remedying any damage caused.
You can apply for succession by filling in this form.
You can also get advice about your right to succeed.
MyHARCA is the quickest way to pay your rent, view your statements and report a repair.
You can also apply for a parking bay, report ASB and get in touch with us.Sign In