Have you just moved into your new home? Do you have problems with your gas, electricity or water? Click here to view answers to our frequently asked questions.

What to expect in your new home

Our promise

Our promise to you is to do all that we reasonably can to make sure that your new home is safe, secure and in a condition that meets both our lettings standard and legislation.  This means that when we give you the keys to your new home, it will be ready for you to live in immediately. 

All gas, electricity and water supplies will have been checked and the relevant safety certificates provided to you at your sign-up meeting. Your heating system will also have been checked to make sure that it is safe and working.

Meeting the standard

When a property becomes empty, we carry out an inspection and complete all necessary works and checks to bring the property up to our ‘lettings standard’ (which is detailed in this leaflet).

When you move in, it is a good idea to review the lettings standard checklist to make sure that all of the requirements of our lettings standard have been met. If you find that your new home does not meet our lettings standard, please contact our Customer Contact Centre on 020 8080 6587 or talk2us@barnethomes.org to let us know. We will then visit your home to inspect it and arrange for any outstanding work to be completed.

You will receive a call within the next couple of weeks from someone at Barnet Homes to see how you are settling in and check that there are no issues with the property.

Decoration and furniture

Internal decoration can be of a poor standard when tenants first move in.  This may be because of the works we carry out whilst the property is empty but also because the property may not have been decorated for some time by the previous tenant.  We will not decorate your home as part of the works that we carry out before you move in.

If you want to change the way the property is decorated, you will be responsible for this.  At your sign-up meeting we will give you some vouchers that you can put towards your decorating costs to help you make the home your own. 

Carpets and floorings are normally removed from properties and you will need to buy these for your new home and pay for them to be fitted. You must have permission from Barnet Homes before laying laminate, wooden or ceramic flooring. If you don’t get our permission first, you may have to pay for the removal of such flooring.

We do not provide furniture or white goods (such as fridges, ovens and washing machines).  If you need assistance with buying these items, we can put you in touch with organisations that may help.  Adaptations such as ramps, level access showers and wet rooms will usually be left in properties as they are expensive to take out.

Home improvements

Although we encourage you to decorate your property, if you want to carry out other improvements to your home you must first have our permission to do so. This is because we must make sure that any changes you make are made in a safe way, do not damage the property and do not cause issues for your neighbours.  Home improvements include:

  • Adding anything to your home (such as a pond or decking)
  • Changing your home (such as through partition walls)
  • Changing fixtures or fittings or heating, gas, electric or water systems
  • Putting up a radio or television aerial, a satellite dish or a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera
  • Decorating the outside of your home
  • Fitting security grills to doors and windows

This forms part of your tenancy agreement. We will not unreasonably refuse to give our permission without a good reason but if you do not get our permission we may ask you to remove the improvement and you will need to pay for this.

You must have the permission of Barnet Homes before laying laminate, wooden or ceramic flooring.

  • For flats: wooden, laminate or ceramic flooring is not permitted for floors that are above the ground floor because of the noise nuisance it can cause for neighbours. You may have to pay for the cost of removing such flooring if you do not have our permission first.
  • For houses: wooden, laminate or ceramic flooring may be permitted for floors that are above the ground floor.

If you wish to lay laminate flooring, please download, complete and return this permission form to talktous@barnethomes.org before starting any work. Please note if you live in a flat above the ground floor permission will be denied.

Our lettings standard

Our lettings standard describes the condition in which your property should be in when you first move in. You can use the column on the right to check whether your new home meets the required standard.  If any requirements on the list have not been met, it is important that you let us know so that we can put this right.


  • All locks on front and back doors have been changed.  Any glass in the doors is free from cracks (some small chips may remain)
  • The new tenant has been given a key for each lock on the front and back doors
  • Front entry door has a number and a post box or letter box that is securely fitted
  • Internal doors all open freely and have working handles which are securely fitted


  • Windows above the ground floor are fitted with window restrictors (so that windows cannot be opened fully)
  • Windows open and close freely and are secure in their frame
  • Window panes are not cracked or damaged
  • Keys for some window locks have been provided to the new tenant
  • Window vents move freely

Floors and stairs

  • All floors are level (within reason) and ready for new floor coverings
  • All noticeable trip hazards have been removed
  • Skirting is securely attached to the wall
  • Stairs are free from damage, apart from wear and tear. If present, any bannisters, balustrades and newel posts are securely fitted
  • Bathroom and kitchen floors are covered with vinyl, tiles or similar flooring, which may be stained

Walls and ceilings

  • Internal walls and ceilings are free from major cracks and major holes (they may have smaller cracks and holes)
  • Where the walls are tiled around worktops, baths, wash hand basins and sinks, there are no tiles missing and no cracked tiles.  Tiles may not match in colour
  • There are no leaks coming from the walls or ceilings
  • Where damp or mould is identified, this has been treated. Some stains from mould and damp may remain


  • Cupboards are in a reasonable condition. They open and close freely and all hinges, shelves, latches, handles and drawers are securely fitted. Cupboards may not match in colour
  • Worktops are clean and free from major chips (there may be smaller chips) and small holes have been made good
  • Sink is free from limescale and dirt and has a plug with chain.  An overflow is in place which is clear
  • Taps are working, not leaking and securely fitted
  • Space for a washing machine is at least 610mm wide and the items needed to connect a washing machine are in place. It is the tenant’s responsibility to safely install a washing machine
  • Space for an oven is at least 640mm space with a connection to either the gas or electricity supply.
  • It is the tenant’s responsibility to arrange for a cooker to be installed. Gas cookers must be installed by a Gas Safe qualified engineer and electric cookers must be installed by a NIECE qualified engineer
  • Space for a fridge is at least 610mm wide and the items needed to connect a fridge are in place. If there is not space for a fridge in the kitchen, space will be provided in another room. It is the tenant’s responsibility to install a fridge
  • A stopcock is in place and works effectively
  • If there is an extractor fan, it is working


  • Sealant is in place where appropriate (where the bath and wash hand basin join the walls)
  • All overhead showers above the bath have been removed (as Barnet Homes will not maintain these)
  • Toilet is free from limescale and dirt, flushes correctly, has no leaks and is securely fitted.
  • Bath and wash hand basin are free from limescale and dirt and they drain properly (there are no blockages). There will be no leaks or cracks but some small chips may remain. Plugs will be fitted for both
  • If there is an extractor fan, it is working


  • The new tenant has been given vouchers to assist with their decoration costs (if the property has not been recently decorated)


  • Electricity and gas supply (if present) will be working – using either a key or quarterly meter/s. There will be no debts on the meter/s.  If you do not move in straight away, there may be a small
  • ‘standing charge’ on the meter from the energy supplier
  • Plug sockets and light switches will be working and attached safely to walls or ceilings
  • A full electrical safety test has been completed and electrical certificate provided to the new tenant
  • A full gas safety test has been completed and gas safety certificate provided to the new tenant
  • Radiators and pipes have no leaks, are working and are securely fitted to walls
  • Heating system is working correctly, including any timers and thermostatic radiator valves.  The gas supply is capped. Tenants must contact us on 020 8080 6587 to arrange for the cap on the gas to be removed .


  • All personal items from the previous tenant have been removed (including from lofts, cellars and gardens)
  • If a vermin problem (such as mice or bedbugs) has been identified, this has been addressed
  • Kitchen units and surfaces have been cleaned to a reasonable standard (some dust may remain)
  • Floors have been swept (some dust may remain)
  • Tenants are responsible for cleaning of windows.

Outside your home

  • All decking, ponds, sheds and greenhouses have been removed (any existing communal pram sheds will remain)
  • Any TV aerials or satellite dishes that are not connected to a communal system have been removed (if they were fitted at a low level)
  • Access path to the front door is free of trip hazards and any front gates are working and securely fitted
  • Any paths and patios within one metre of the property (to the back or side) are free from trip hazards
  • The property is wind-tight and water-tight
  • Fences joining public land are not damaged and securely fitted. Fences joining a neighbour’s garden are the tenant’s responsibility)
  • Tenants are responsible for obtaining LBB refuse bins, if not already provided
  • Any rubbish outside of the property has been removed (if the property has solo access to a garden)
  • Any severely overgrown trees or bushes in your garden have been cut back (if your property has solo access to a garden).  This will not always be done before the tenant moves in


  • Carbon monoxide alarm is installed and working
  • Smoke alarm and detector are installed and working

Your responsibilities

You will be responsible for the following in your new home:

  • Internal decoration, including painting the walls and laying new flooring
  • Cleaning the inside and outside of your windows
  • Arranging your water, electricity and gas supplies when you move in (including getting a key for any meters if needed)
  • Getting permission from us first if you wish to lay laminate, wooden or ceramic flooring
  • Getting permission from us first if you wish to change your heating system
  • Maintaining your private garden (including trees) if you have one
  • Maintaining any fences and posts that border your neighbour’s garden
  • Safely installing white goods such as your cooker, fridge and washing machine (using a Gas Safe registered engineer for a gas cooker and a NIECE qualified engineer for an electric cooker)
  • Installing and maintaining an overhead shower if you want one (and getting our permission for this first)
  • Testing your smoke detectors and heat detectors on a weekly basis and replacing their batteries when needed
  • Testing and maintaining your carbon monoxide alarm
  • Arranging a car parking permit if you need one
  • Arranging home insurance for your personal belongings
  • Getting a new dustbin from the Council (if you need one)
  • Reporting repair issues in your home as soon as you identify them
  • Giving us access for gas safety check on a yearly basis as required by legislation
  • Anything else that is not included as our responsibility in the lettings standard above or in your tenancy agreement

Water Safety

The thermostat for your hot water is set at 60 degrees to minimise the risk of Legionnaire’s disease. Please do not adjust it below this temperature.

On moving in and turning on your hot water system for the first time, allow the water to heat for at least one hour before use. Then let the tap run for five minutes to flush through any stagnant water before using it.

 Useful information

  • To get the cap removed from your gas supply, contact Mears on 020 8080 6587
  • For a new dustbin or to have large items of rubbish removed from your home, contact Barnet Council on 020 8359 2000
  • For financial help to buy a cooker, fridge or flooring, contact the Barnet Crisis Fund on 20 8359 4242, who may assist you
  • For affordable furniture, contact or visit the Barnet Furniture Centre – 020 8361 6802 or info@barnetfurniturecentre.org
  • To give us feedback about your moving in experience contact our Customer Contact Centre on 020 8080 6587 or talk2us@barnethomes.org