Alarms already in situ when you move into apartment — Scope | Disability forum
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Alarms already in situ when you move into apartment

Jeffers1308 Community member Posts: 9 Listener
I am a disabled person who moved into sheltered accommodation in April 2015
When I moved in there were 2 alarms already in my apartment, an Okey Each Day alarm which I pressed a button to say I was OK, each morning,and a Tunstall alarm with a pendant, which is HARDWIRED into the property.

The Okey Each Day alarm which basically was a landline plugged into a socket, was scrapped by my landlord on 3 April 22, leaving me with just the Tunstall Hardwired alarm.

The OKED alarm was according to my landlord being covered by HOUSING BENEFIT which I am in receipt of, since I moved in.

The other alarm I am paying for.

I raised this question with the landlord 

Why isn’t the other hardwired alarm being covered by HB, to which I received this reply from them,

according to them I am paying a Personal Alarm charge ??

So I looked at my tenancy agreement signed 13/4/15 when I got the keys, and it states things that I must pay for, ie communal heating etc, which they class as standing charges, in this list was something called a SHELTERED ALARM CHARGE, nothing about a PERSONAL ALARM CHARGE at all.

So I rang my local council to ask why they were covering the now scrapped alarm on HB, but they were not covering the only alarm in my apartment, the HARDWIRED one with pendant, and I was astonished by their reply,

Housing Benefit DOES NOT cover EMERGENCY ALARMS as they put it, so now there is an OVERPAYMENT on my account for this alarm.

Who is responsible for this overpayment, myself who knew nothing about it, or the landlord?

Another question out of this issue is,

with the remaining alarm, if I pull the pull cord or press my pendant, I personally aren’t asking for the emergency services, it goes to the people who are monitoring the alarm and they determine what services I require surely, 

So when does an alarm for care purposes become an emergency alarm that is not covered by HB.

Sorry for the rant



  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello @Jeffers1308 and thanks for your post today, I can understand why you're feeling frustrated, well done for uncovering what's happened.

    I'm afraid I'm not too sure about who would be responsible for the overpayment, or the alarm, but I can suggest that you have a search on Advice Local, under the housing topic, for a professional adviser who might be able to help.

    I've also marked your post as unanswered so that our members can share their thoughts. Keep us updated with how you get on, and let us know if we can help with anything further. 

    Online Community Coordinator

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  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger

    Hi @Jeffers1308. Welcome to Scope’s forum. It is great to see you have joined us. How are you today? Please don’t be sorry for the rant, I am glad you felt able to trust us today.

    I can hear how it has affected you that when you moved into sheltered accommodation, you began with two alarms and one of these has been removed, leaving you with just one.

    It sounds even more stressful that you have been trying to resolve this and have been told you now have an overpayment on your account for the alarm that you were initially told was covered by your housing benefit.

    Unfortunately, this is not an area of my expertise. This means I can only hope someone with more knowledge in this area will be able to respond to you soon.

    In the meantime, I am just wondering if you have any evidence that your landlord said it would be covered by your housing benefit? Just because I am thinking this might help you when addressing it with your local council.

    I have also found some resources that you might find useful in addressing your questions. These are:

    I hope you find these resources at least semi-helpful. The overall gist I get from these resources is that there is conflict around who pays, especially with the rise in living costs but an emergency alarm system providing 24-hour help as necessary is a common feature often in-built into sheltered accommodation.

    Take care for now and I will look forward to hopefully hearing from you again soon 😊

    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.


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