Sheltered housing

Use this guide to help you understand more about sheltered housing in Lambeth.

Facilities in sheltered housing

Most sheltered flats are one-bedroom properties, but there are a few two-bedroom options. All flats in one bedroom and two-bedroom properties are self-contained with their own kitchen, toilet and bathroom. All sheltered flats are connected to an emergency alarm call system.

Communal lounges and social activities

Most sheltered schemes have communal lounges for tenants to use. Tenants may want to meet and talk over a cup of tea or arrange other social activities like bingo, card games and keep fit. Tenants are encouraged to arrange these events themselves by forming committees. The scheme manager (SM) will give advice about setting up committees and organising events. People living locally are also encouraged to join in.

Special TV licence

Most sheltered schemes qualify for concessionary TV licences. We send a list of all sheltered tenants living on a scheme to the TV licensing centre, so there is no need for tenants on these schemes to buy a full TV licence. Tenants should check with their SM whether they are covered under this scheme.

Guest room

Some of our sheltered schemes have guest rooms for friends or relatives of tenants to use (for a small charge) for a night or two if they are visiting. They are often used when tenants are ill and they need support for a short time, and we always give priority to these cases. Tenants who want to book the guest room should speak to the SM in advance.


All sheltered schemes have laundries, which are usually in the communal building. They have a washing machine and tumble dryer. The SM will show tenants how to use the machine. Sheltered tenants are usually given a time when they can do their laundry and have sole use of the machine.

If sheltered tenants cannot do their own washing, then relatives or a home carer can use the machines to do it for them.


The rules about pets for sheltered tenants are the same as for ordinary tenants. Sheltered tenants must make sure that they arrange for proper care of any pets if they must leave their home (to go into hospital, for instance). Scheme managers can't look after pets. If a tenant must go into hospital, social services will put the pet with a private kennel. The tenant must repay the kennel charges when they leave hospital.

Repairs and decorations

Report any repairs in sheltered properties to the local housing office. If you have a problem reporting a repair or getting the repair done, speak to your SM.

Sheltered tenants are responsible for decorating the inside of their properties. If you are over 70 or disabled, and there is no other member of your family or household who can help, we will decorate a few rooms in your home under a planned programme. Your SM can tell you how to apply for this.


Sheltered tenants should not allow any person into their flat without first checking who they are. All council workers must carry identification and tenants should insist on seeing this. If tenants are in any doubt, they should refuse entry and contact their SM.

Tenants should keep their front doors closed and only use chains on the inside when they are opening the door. If sheltered tenants leave their chains on all the time, this could stop us getting in quickly in an emergency. Tenants should not leave their windows open at night or when they are away.

Entry phone systems

Some sheltered schemes have entry phone systems and the scheme manager will show tenants how to use this. Entry phones give better security to the tenants by stopping unwelcome visitors. Before allowing entry to anybody, tenants should check their identity first. If tenants are in doubt, they should not let the person in and contact their SM.