Our tenant handbook

This handbook contains information to help you enjoy living at The Orchard. We hope it answers some of the questions you may have and shows you where to find further help or information you may need. 

OFFICE HOURS:                               

MONDAY – FRIDAY           9.00 am – 5.00 pm

Support Manager: Beatrice Boussard 

020 8455 3223  

Finance and Buildings Manager: Amanda Peters

020 8458 5173

The Orchard is sheltered housing in the heart of Hampstead Garden Suburb, designed for people over 60 to live independently but benefiting from additional security and support.  

We offer: 

  • A flat that is safe, warm and easy to maintain
  • The opportunity for social life and new friendships 
  • Help from our Managers if you are ill or have an accident 
  • Overall maintenance of the buildings

For your safety, security and comfort

Managers, Beatrice Boussard and Amanda Peters are here to help you live as independently as possible in your own home and to make your life secure, comfortable and enjoyable. They are responsible for the day-to-day running of the buildings and monitoring the well-being and needs of the tenants. Beatrice is responsible for tenant related matters and Amanda deals with the finance and building maintenance. Both Managers will of course respond to an emergency.

The Managers work Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Whenever the Managers are off-duty, continuous support is provided by a specialist Telecare call-centre contracted to provide support to tenants if required.

Beatrice (Tenant Support Manager) can visit you regularly during a difficult time, stay in close contact with anyone who may be temporary unwell, have recently been discharged from hospital, or need to organise support during recovery. In Beatrice’s absence, Amanda will visit. Your Manager can arrange for our telecare service to call you at weekends and bank holidays if the need arises to check on your well-being. (Tenants may have to pay an extra charge for this service)

The Managers are here to help you in a variety of ways.  If you want to discuss any issues or problems, you can be sure they will respect your privacy and confidentiality. They can help with contacting and make referrals to Barnet Adult Social Care or other organisations for adaptations to your home, assisting with completing forms for entitlements such as housing benefits, Council tax support and Attendance Allowance, and generally providing information about services that are available.

Unfortunately, Managers cannot do everything. They are not nurses, and they are not allowed to change dressings or give medication, but they will know where to refer you to the appropriate service or organisation.

Shopping, cooking and laundry are not part of the Managers’ duties, and you are also responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of your flat.  However, Beatrice can put you in touch with a carer or cleaner to assist with these areas if the need arises.

Managers are not allowed to handle your money, so please don’t ask them to do so, either for safe-keeping or for any other reason.

Support plan

When you arrive and have settled, approximately a month at The Orchard, Beatrice the Tenant Support Manager and a member of the Management Committee will meet with you in your flat to write up a Support Plan and discuss any problems or risks you may face. This plan will be reviewed with you annually, and a copy will be kept on your file. Reviews can take place more regularly if needs or circumstances change.

The Support Plan will record your age, any medical conditions, names and contact details of your doctor, and someone you may wish to be contacted in the case of an emergency i.e. your next of kin. You will be asked to sign a statement agreeing, under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), that your health and medical information can be shared with our telecare provider to enable them to provide continuous care.

We request that tenants keep us up to date with medical conditions and medications in case of an emergency. These details will also be kept on file.

How you can help the managers to help you

1. Keep the Tenant Support Manager informed of any changes in your circumstances:

  • emergency contacts
  • medical conditions
  • Mobile and home line numbers

2. Advise the Manager if you are going to be away overnight or for a longer period as our telecare provider must be updated. (Mainly for fire evacuation and health and safety)

3. Report any dangerous incidents or circumstances immediately to a Manager or to our telecare provider if the Managers are off-duty

4. Look out for your neighbours

If you need help

Your telecare Alarm System works at all times of the day and night.  If the Managers are off-duty, call-centre staff will respond to any alarm calls. The pull cords within each flat are tested annually during the support plan review meeting. For the tenants with a neck or wrist alarm, the Tenant Support Manager will test these monthly.

To operate the Alarm System:

  • Pull an orange cord in any room or communal area
  • Manager / the telecare provider will respond via the two-way Speech Unit
  • If you can, explain the problem or issue
  • If you are unable to speak, they will automatically assume you need help and will call emergency services.

Emergency services or Managers will be able to enter your flat using the master key.

Please ask Beatrice the Tenant Support Manager if you would like a pendant alarm (below right) or Fall alarm sensor for extra peace of mind.

You can pull on any orange cord for assistance and use a pendant alarm.

In case of fire - we have a stay put policy

Please make yourself familiar with the Fire Procedure which should be displayed prominently on the inside of your front door. Please refresh your memory from time to time on what to do in the case of a fire.  (A copy of the Fire Procedure is also at the back of this Tenants’ handbook).

Smoke and heat detectors are in all flats & communal areas. During out of hours, our telecare provider will alert the emergency service to the location of any fire. 

PLEASE DO NOT PULL THE ALARM CORD as in these circumstances this will only block the phone line and could delay the response time of the emergency services.

If you have hearing problems and would like a flashing/vibrating adapted fire alert device, please ask Beatrice Boussard the Tenant Support Manager.

Doors and keys

You have been given a key to your flat and a key fob which is required to access the buildings at all times, our doors are automatically locked.

The non-automatic fire doors to the gardens can be opened from the inside only.

To exit the buildings, the swing entrance doors open by pressing the green button (internally) to release the lock.  The folding doors open automatically on approach without the need for any action by the user.


Master keys to all flats are kept in a safe and secure place for use in an emergency.

Additional locks, bolts or chains MUST NOT be fitted to your door as these would impede emergency access.

A Manager will never enter your home without your permission except in the case of an emergency. We will endeavour to contact you to advise you of an emergency situation within your flat.

If you find that you have locked yourself out of your flat:

  • When staff are off duty, but you are still in the building, you can contact our telecare provider via the orange pullcords located in the laundries, toilets, computer room (block B), communal room (block A).
  • When staff are off duty, and you are outside the building, press the HELP button on the intercom system at the main entrance doors.  Our telecare provider will respond. They will arrange for Barnet Assist to attend to give you assess to your flat.

There are cost implications to the Orchard for each call out. If tenants persistently lock themselves out the Orchard will seek reimbursement for these costs.

In these circumstances we would request that the tenant purchases a keysafe which will be fitted outside the front door of your flat.

Door entry system

Anyone who calls to see you or make a delivery can contact you in your flat by using the intercom at the entrance doors. They will need to enter your flat number and press ‘CALL’ on the intercom panel.

You will hear a message through your two-way Speech unit (located in the living area of your flat) “Front Door, Front Door” and the red light on the speech unit will light up.

Press and hold down the left hand side speech button, to ask who the caller is. Release this button to hear their response.


To release the door, PRESS the RIGHT-HAND ‘BUTTON’


Looking after your flat

Moving in:

You are expected to make your own arrangements for moving in and to meet any costs involved. If you would like to carry out improvements or redecorate your flat, please discuss this with Amanda Finance and Buildings Manager and await written consent prior to carrying out alternations.

Adaptations and flat upkeep:

You are responsible for keeping your flat in good decorative order and in a good state of cleanliness. If you require any aids or adaptations or financial assistance, please discuss with Beatrice Tenant Support Manager, who will be able to assist you with the application and referral to Barnet Adult Social Care.

Orchard Housing Society responsibilities:

The Orchard is responsible for the hot water and central heating system, fire and alarm system, electric heater in living area, fridge/freezer and cooking appliances. We will repair or replace each of the above items if required.

Private works carried out inside your flat:

If you plan to have any electrical work carried out, once consent is given, it must be a qualified electrician who can supply the relevant certification for the works. A copy of which must be provided to Amanda, Finance and Building Manager.  

General upgrading and maintenance of buildings and equipment is carried out on an ongoing basis.

How to report repairs:

Please advise Amanda, Finance and Buildings Manager of any property issues in person, via telephone or email.

Handyman service:

A handyman visits once a week to carry out small maintenance jobs, for which The Orchard is responsible.

The tenants can make private arrangements with the handyman.

For repair/maintenance of tenants’ items by the handyman, separate arrangements must be made by the tenant concerned, though help in making such arrangements can be given if required.


A central TV aerial serves each flat with digital channels.  Everybody over 75 is entitled to a free TV licence, this is currently under review by the BBC and the government.  Your flat has an aerial for Sky TV, but you will need to acquire your own Sky box and pay to access the channels. Unfortunately, the Orchard does not qualify for a concessionary TV license. So, if you watch TV via any means, (including laptop, tablet etc.) you must apply for your own licence.


Most flats have a socket for a landline telephone.  Connection of a new landline, if required, can be arranged but this will be at your own expense.


We regret that no pets are allowed at The Orchard.

Cost of living in The Orchard


Your monthly payment by standing order covers the various costs of running The Orchard, including Managers’ salaries, alarm systems (support charges), heating, hot water, lighting, water charges, and building and garden maintenance.

There is no Cessor of Rent clause in your tenancy agreement. This means that your rent continues to be payable throughout your tenancy regardless of whether the flat is used or has become uninhabitable due to flood, fire or any other cause.

The Orchard Housing Society is in no position to accept persistent rent arrears, and you will be expected to make some mutually acceptable arrangement to clear any arrears that do arise.  If you are experiencing financial difficulty, please make an application to claim housing benefit from London Borough of Barnet or contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.  You can speak to Beatrice Tenant Support Manager about your entitlements and she can assist you with completing the forms.


To protect yourself you should insure the contents of your flat against loss or damage by taking out a Contents Insurance Policy.  In addition, you need insurance that will pay for alternative accommodation whilst your flat is being repaired if it becomes uninhabitable due to fire, flood or other causes. Many policies cover these risks and you should make sure that you are adequately covered for both. The Orchard Society cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred in either of these circumstances, whatever the cause.

Council Tax:  

The current policy of Barnet Council is that Council Tax is payable on your flat and continues to be payable throughout your tenancy.

Other expenses: 

Electricity, Telephone, TV licence (if aged under 75) Sky TV (if required). If in receipt of Housing Benefit any shortfall in rent will be the responsibility of the tenant.

Communal facilities at The Orchard


Laundry Facilities: Closed on Sunday


  • £1 per wash
  • 20p for dryer

Opening times (Monday - Saturday):

  • First wash - 8.30am
  • Last wash - 6.30pm


  • Building block A - Ground floor next to flat 4
  • Building block B - Ground floor next to flat 30


  • Building block A - 2 washing machines and dryers (both coin operated)
  • Building block B - 1 washing machine and dryer (both coin operated)

Guest rooms:

We have three guest rooms available. Please arrange room bookings with Beatrice, Tenant Support Manager.

  • Guest room 1  - en suite shower room and toilet, kettle - £15
  • Guest room 2 - en suite toilet with washing basin, kettle - £12
  • Guest room 3 - en suite shower room and toilet and kitchenette - £17 for one bed / £23 for double bed 

Computer room 

In Block B: on the ground floor next to Flat 26 there is a computer room suitable for a small number of people to hold a meeting, meet socially or run a small activity. A computer with internet access is available.

Communal room  

Block A: large communal room next to the Tenant Support Manager’s office. A variety of activities are organised (the timetable is located outside the communal room door) You can meet other tenants of the Orchard socially during the hours of 9 am and 11 pm. A bookcase is available for tenants to donate books for other tenants to enjoy.

Bookings for the communal room are listed on the notice board outside the communal door


Barnet mobile library visits on Wednesday mornings, 10 – 12.30 and parks in the Orchard car park.

Car parking 

The car park is available for our tenants and their visitors. Please ask the Tenant Support manager for a tenant, visitor or carer parking notices. It is your responsibility to collect the notice from Beatrice, the Tenant Support Manager and hand it to your visitor or carer visiting you. We have received authorisation form Barnet and HGST and we are planning to extend the car park next year in 2020.


You are welcome to use the front and back gardens.  We have two gardeners, who visit weekly.

Allotments within the grounds are available for a small annual fee, although there may be a waiting list. Please ask Beatrice for further details.

Notice boards 

There are notice boards in each of the entrance halls, displaying useful information and details on forthcoming events and activities.

Rubbish collection  

Rubbish and recycling bins are adjacent to the car park.  Please use them between 8am and 6pm to minimise disturbance to other tenants.

  • Large paladin bins in bin bay- General daily waste
  • Green bins in front of bin bay- Garden waste
  • Green recycling bins opposite bin bay- paper, plastic, tins, glass etc.

Please ensure all large items, beds, furniture, electrical etc are disposed of correctly & not dumped around the site. This is not the responsibility of the Orchard.

Additional external services


Wiltshire Farm Foods is a local, family-run firm delivering frozen meals to your door for you to keep in your freezer and heat up as you need them.

(A few of the Orchard tenants already enjoy this service and recommend it)

CONTACT:      WILTSHIRE FARM FOODS (Tel. 020 8202 9776)

IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH HOUSEHOLD DUTIES e.g. cleaning, laundry, ironing

Barnet Adult Social Care can provide additional hours if you already in receipt of a care package. This will be means tested and may incur an additional cost.

The Tenant Support Manager also has details of private carers and cleaners that she can provide.

The managers are not able to take on any responsibility for the above services.

If The Orchard is no longer the right place for you

If you find at some future date that the accommodation you have at The Orchard no longer suits you, or that you need support that cannot be provided. Please discuss your situation with the Tenant Support Manager who will help you make contact with suitable organisations.

You are required to give one full month’s written notice of the termination of your tenancy.  The flat should be left clean and in good condition, cleared of all furniture and possessions.   All keys should be returned to a Manager.

Management of the housing society

The original Orchard was built in 1909 as part of Henrietta Barnett’s overall plan for Hampstead Garden Suburb.  It aimed to provide good accommodation at a fair rent to elderly residents of Hampstead Garden Suburb who had a housing need and were able to live independently.  

It was rebuilt in 1970, funded by contributions from Suburb residents and a mortgage from the London Borough of Barnet.  Barnet have the right to nominate tenants for nine of the flats.

The Orchard Housing Society Limited in its present form was instituted in 1972, a not-for-profit housing association with charitable status.  It is now a registered social landlord under the Regulator of Social Housing.

Management Committee

The Orchard is governed by a Management Committee made up of unpaid volunteers whose activity is controlled by the Rules of the Society and a Code of Conduct.  Representatives of the Tenants’ association are full members of the Management Committee. Managers attend Committee meetings by invitation, but are not entitled to vote.

The tenants association

A long-established Tenants’ Association is one of the groups facilitated by The Orchard management. The aim of the Association is to promote the welfare and common interests of tenants, administrated and constituted along National Organisation guidelines, updated to reflect recent Localism and Data protection legislation (GDPR regulations).

All tenants are welcome to participate in social events and meetings; to elect committee members and 3 tenants’ representatives, who sit on the Management Committee of the Orchard.

The Association is a useful forum to liaise with Tenants’ Representatives, tenants survey, and meet your neighbours.

We all look forward to meeting you! we circulate occasional newsletters and internal ballot papers to interested tenants, if you are interested, please let us know.

For the latest information on the Tenant’s Association, check the notice boards or ask the Managers.

The officers of the Association are:

  • Norman Simons                               Chairman
  • Celia Wright                                     Treasurer
  •  Christine Hutchison                         Secretary

Data protection

You have the right under the Data Protection Act 1984 and GDPR May 2018, to see the information that the Orchard HS holds about you. If you disagree with any of this information, you have the right to correct it or to record your disagreement.

Tenants are asked to keep the Managers informed of any changes to the names, addresses and telephone numbers of their Next of Kin (NOK) family and friends.

This information is given to our telecare provider Call Centre, for which you give your signed consent when moving in.

Equal opportunities policy

We will ensure that dignity, equality and justice are central to the way in which we work, that the distinctive, diverse and unique contributions that our employees and our tenants bring are valued, whatever their race, colour, ethnic origin, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexuality, physical or mental disability, state of health, appearance, marital or family circumstances, and that we will not improperly discriminate between them.

  • We will keep a record of the ethnic origin, gender and disability of everyone who makes an application for a tenancy.
  • We will apply our commitment to Equal Opportunities when we decide who to put forward to serve on our Committee.
  • We will endeavour to ensure that our facilities, resources and services are accessible and appropriate to each individual or group with which we work.
  • We will create an environment where all employees will be encouraged to develop to their full potential.
  • We expect potential and existing tenants, contractors, employees and shareholders to respect our vision and diversity whilst working with us.

Access to The Orchard's policies and procedures

All policies and procedures are kept in the Tenant Support office and are available to view by appointment. 

Complaints procedure

We hope you will not have cause to make a complaint while you are a tenant, but set out below is the procedure to follow should the need occur:

  • Minor matters such as small maintenance items should be referred to the Finance and Building Manager as and when they arise.
  • If the Manager does not resolve the problem within a reasonable time, the tenant should write to the Secretary of the Orchard Housing Society who will investigate the complaint.
  • If the Secretary is unable to deal with the complaint satisfactorily, the complaint should be put in writing to the Chairman of the Orchard Housing Society with a formal request for it to be considered by the Management Committee at their next meeting.
  • If, after the Committee has considered your complaint, you are dissatisfied with their decision, you have the right to take your complaint to the Independent Ombudsman, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London E14 9GE Tel: 0300 111 3000

The Ombudsman will only be able to consider a complaint once satisfied that The Orchard’s own complaints procedure has been fully exhausted and that it falls within his jurisdiction.

Useful contacts


  • Temple Fortune Health Centre 23 Temple Fortune Lane NW11 7TE 0208 2092400 and 0208 209 2401

There are more local doctors and Beatrice will provide you a list if needed.


  • Boots, 58-60 Golders Green Road NW11 020 8455 2427
  • Landy’s, 1191 Finchley Road NW11 020 8455 9469
  • Landy's Express 768 Finchley road London NW11 7TH 020 8455 3509
  • Warman Freed (open late), 45 Golders Green Rd NW11 020  8455 4351
  • Westlake Pharmacy, 1015 Finchley Road NW11 020 8455 2521

Churches and Synagogues

  • Parish Church of St Jude-on-the-Hill, Central Square NW11 0208 455 7206
  • Free Church (United Reformed and Baptist), Central Square NW11 0208 457 5898
  • Friends’ Meeting House, North Square NW11 0208 433 3195
  • St Edward’s Catholic Church, 700 Finchley Road NW11 0208 455 1300
  • Trinity Church (Methodist and United Reformed), 90 Hodford Road 0207 435 0083
  • Hampstead Garden Synagogue, Norrice Lea N20RE 0208 455 8126
  • NW Reform Synagogue, Alyth Gardens NW11 0208 455 6763
  • New North London Synagogue, The Manor House, 80 East End Rd N3 0208 349 5700

Local organisations

  • Age UK 0800 169 6565
  • Barnet Adult Social care: Duty Desk 020 8359 5000
  • Fellowship House, 136a Wilifield Way NW11 6YD 020 8455 7620
  • Citizens Advice Bureau Barnet 0300 456 8365
  • Disability Action 020 8446 6935
  • Independent Living Mobility 020 8931 6000
  • Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association 020 8455 0416
  • Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust, 862 Finchley Road NW11 6AB 020 8455 1066
  • Mobile Library 020 8359 3901
  • Post Office, 8 Ashbourne Parade, Finchley Road NW11 0AD 0345 611 2970
  • Safer Neighbourhoods Team 0300 123 212
  • Samaritans 08457 909090

Hospitals and hospices

  • Barnet General Wellhouse Lane EN5 3DJ 0845 1114000
  • Edgware Community Hospital, Burnt Oak Broadway HA8 0AD 020 8952 2381
  • Finchley Memorial Hospital, Granville Road N12 0JE 020 8349 7500
  • North London Hospice, 47 Woodside Avenue N12 8TF 020 8343 8841
  • Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street NW3 2QG 020 7794 0500
  • Whittington Hospital, Highgate Hill N19 5NF 020 7272 3070


  • Levitt Barnard, 58 Clifton Gardens NW11 020 8458 0599
  • Melissa Conway, 1193 Finchley Road NW11 020 8201 9292
  • Simon Galway, 54 Market Place NW11 020 8731 9999


  • Golders Hill Practice, 592 Finchley Road NW11 020 8455 7809
  • Hillside Physiotherapy Practice, 151 North End Road NW11 020 8458 8822
  • Ravenscroft Healthcare Suite. 166a Golders Green Road NW11 020 8209 0922


  • Justin Coulter and Stephen Sleightholme, 746 Finchley Road NW11 020 8458 1763
  • Lee Raphael, 7a Brookland Rise NW11 020 8455 4774
  • Androula Mantovani( Home visit) 020 8883 9856 / 07800 831 363
  • Elisabeth Thomas ( Home Visit) 07960 476 783


  • Alan Nevies, 44 Hoop Lane, NW11 020 8458 3874
  • Martin Pidd, 19 Rodborough Road, NW11 020 8455 2675
  • Sutherland House, 1a Ashbourne Avenue, NW11 020 8458 7869


  • Collett Assor, Neale Close, N2 07956 956 075
  • R Beeton, 871b Finchley Road, NW11 020 8 455 6784

Alexander Technique

  • Alex Maunder, 79 Brookland Rise, NW11 020 8455 1878
  • Carolyn Simon, 12 Asmuns Hill, NW11 020 8458 2147
  • Felicity Lipman, 3 Arcade House, Hampstead Way NW11 020 8458 7637

HGS Fellowship and Fellowship House

Hampstead Garden Suburb (HGS) Fellowship is a charity with a constitution to provide help and support to all residents of the Suburb who are over 60 and anyone with disabilities.

They have a long lease on Fellowship House opposite Willifield Green, where they run the Fellowship House Club for the over 60s.  They are entirely non-denominational, and their committee has representatives from all the religious organisations in the Suburb, as well as from the Residents’ Association, the HGS Trust, Henrietta Barnett School and Abbeyfield.

Fellowship helps people who are housebound, with their shopping etc. and also have a subsidised chiropody service, which includes home visits for those who are unable to travel to Fellowship House.

The Fellowship House Club provides recreational, educational and companionable activities for members.  On Tuesday afternoons they run a programme of very diverse talks from people who have led interesting lives, seen interesting places or have had out of the ordinary experiences.  Many are or have been Suburb residents.  On other afternoons they have a Tai Chi class, a Keep Fit class, a classical music group (Friday) , Scrabble, a book club and a poetry reading and appreciation group.  There is a coffee morning every Friday and an occasional handicrafts group. They organise two coach trips each year for members.

Fellowship House also has a croquet lawn where they play in the summer, but at all times it is a wonderfully, peaceful and idyllic spot in which to just sit, rest and relax.

Tenants from The Orchard have always formed a substantial proportion of the Club members and are particularly welcome.  There are volunteers who will drive Orchard members who need transport, to and from the Tuesday afternoon meetings.  Fellowship House welcomes new members; the subscription is only £20 per year and they would greatly welcome the presence of more members from The Orchard.

JOHN MATHIAS (Chairman)   Tel:  020 8455 7334

Local transport


The H2 bus is a Hail & Ride service on a circular route out of, and back to Golders Green Station.  The bus stops at specific points along the route.  It runs every 12 to 15 minutes every day of the year, except Christmas Day.  The service starts at 6 am (6.30 am on Sundays) and runs till after midnight.

The H2 Route

Golders Green Station - Golders Green Road - Hoop Lane - Meadway Gate - Meadway - Wildwood Road - Kingsley Way - Neville Road - Spencer Drive - Holne Chase - Winnington Road - Norrice Lea - Linden Lea - Kingsley Way - Market Place - Northway - Central Square - North Square - Erskine Hill - Asmuns Hill - Willifield Way - Hampstead Way - Meadway - Meadway Gate - Hoop Lane - Finchley Road - Golders Green Station