Diocesan property

Below you'll find helpful guidance on different aspects of diocesan property management.

If you're unsure of the ownership of a property, please contact the Property Department at propertyenquiries@oxford.anglican.org.

Contact details
 

Who do I contact at the Diocesan offices to report/discuss an issue with the parsonage house?

Report any maintenance issues via email

 

Living in a clergy house - FAQs

Internal housing
Decoration
What decorating is allowed?
  • Make your home uniquely yours with internal decorating within these guidelines
  • Opt for pastel colours for walls; choose a white matte finish for ceilings and brilliant white for gloss work.
  • You can benefit from a £500 decoration grant for each quinquennial survey reimbursement upon submitting receipts.

Please avoid textured finishes and refrain from painting kitchen or utility room units.

Floor finishes
What type of floor finishes do I need to provide?
  • Personalise your space with your own floor finishes, excluding "wet areas."
  • If you opt for laminate flooring, it requires consent, and removal and adjustments are at your cost upon departure.
  • It's a good idea to consult the Property Team before using non-carpet materials.
  • Consider non-wool carpets for allergy prevention.
Pets
What pets am I permitted to keep?
  • Please limit your furry friends to two pets i.e. 2 cats or 2 dogs.
  • Non-domestic pets should stay outside with prior approval from the Buildings Committee.
  • Some properties have restrictions or covenants for specific animals. Please check with the Property Team at the Diocesan Offices.
  • Any pet structures i.e. chicken coops are required to be removed upon leaving.

Cat and dog flaps

  • If you'd like cat/dog flaps in external doors, seek approval from the Property Team.
  • Be sure to cover costs and obtain written consent before installation.
Kitchen appliances
Are any kitchen appliances provided in diocesan houses?
  • There's no Diocesan-provided kitchen equipment.
  • Upon moving in, you'll receive a £300 cooker grant; just remember, removal is your responsibility.
  • Any alterations for larger cookers should be at your cost and require prior approval from the Property Team.
Fixtures and fittings
Am I able to remove or alter any fixtures and fittings in my home?
  • Before making changes to fixtures, get in touch with the Property Team.
  • This applies to kitchen appliances and white goods.
Electrical wiring and equipment
What is the policy regarding electrical equipment and wiring within a parsonage house?
  • Keep an eye on your electrical equipment and make sure it's well-maintained.
  • Avoid altering wiring or associated equipment, as it's illegal under legislation.
  • If your property loses power, try the following steps;

1. Check with neighbours to see if they have lost electricity as it might be a power cut and then contact your electricity supplier to report the loss of power.

2. Check the fuse board to see if any of the circuits have tripped and reset if possible. If not possible unplug all appliances, lights etc from the property and see if the trip will reset.

3. If you still are unable to restore power, please contact the Property Team. Please be aware, if it turns out the power failure is down to an appliance you own, the Diocese will invoice you for the callout and repair.

Security alarm systems
Does the Oxford Diocese provide security alarm systems for new members of Clergy?
  • Requests for bell only alarm systems need to be sent to the Property Team.
  • Please note that occupants cover repair costs due to misuse.
Telephones and Broadband
Who pays for installation of telephone & Broadband and ongoing line rentals?
  • Please organise your own telephone and broadband installation.
Utility bills
Who pays for my Council Tax & Water Rates?
  • The Diocesan budget covers council tax and water charges.
  • You'll be responsible for electricity, gas, and oil; we obviously encourage switching to green energy if possible.
  • Don't forget to inform the Property Team when you're leaving the property and close your accounts and transfer the name to ODBF.
Boilers and heating systems
Who pays for servicing my boiler?
  • The Diocese takes care of annual boiler servicing, and our engineers will be in contact with you to arrange access.
  • Gas cookers and personal gas appliances are not serviced but will be checked on annual inspection.
  • Keep an eye on heating oil levels, and remember, clergy are responsible for costs and damages.
Chimney sweeping
Who pays for sweeping my chimneys?
  • The cost of chimney sweeping is covered by the clergy.
  • Regular sweeps are essential for safety.
Multi fuel burning stove
Can we fit a multi fuel/wood burning stove?
  • While discouraged, you'll need permission for installation.
  • Compliance with building regulations is required, and there's no Diocesan contribution; reinstatement to the original layout is expected upon leaving.
Wall tiles
Am I allowed to change wall tiles, or to paint them with a proprietary paint?
  • There is no need to replace or paint wall tiles unless they're in poor condition.
Curtains and blinds
Who provides curtains and blinds in my home?
  • The responsibility for curtains and blinds lies with you, and there's no reimbursement from the Diocese upon leaving.
Roof void
What can I store within the roof?
  • It's advised not to use the roof void for storage due to structural concerns. The Diocese are carrying out an insulation programme and access is essential to complete this work.
Windows & doors glazing
Who is responsible for accidental damage to glass in windows and doors?
  • Accidental damage to windows and doors is covered by the Diocese; you'll only pay the excess.
  • There's no cost to you for broken seals or structural related damage. Please advise the property team if there are issues at your property.

 

External housing
TV aerials
Does the Diocese provide TV aerials?
  • If you need to repair or replace TV aerials, that's on you, and seek consent for additional TV sockets.
  • Satellite dish placement requires planning permission, and installations by cable companies must be agreed upon.
Security lights
Who is responsible for external security lights?
  • The Diocese provides LED external security lights, and no external electrical work by occupants is allowed.
Drains/blocked drains
My drains are blocked, what do I do?
  • If you encounter blocked drains due to misuse, the cost is on you.
  • Emergency contact details for Drain specialists are provided on the website for assistance.
Cesspools/septic tanks
Who pays for emptying our cesspool/septic tank?
  • The Diocese covers the cost of emptying; regular maintenance is recommended.
Rainwater goods
Who is responsible for cleaning out the rainwater goods on my home?
  • The Diocese is responsible for cleaning; please let us know if you notice any blockages.
Garden maintenance
What if I am unable to cope with my garden?
  • It's your responsibility, but don't hesitate to seek help from the Parish if needed.
Garden sheds
Am I provided with a garden shed?
  • No new sheds are provided; repairs are only done if there's a safety concern.
Garden compost
Am I allowed to construct a compost heap within the garden?
  • You're welcome to use compost; just ensure control and cleanliness and removal when you vacate.
Fences
Do you provide garden fences to control and retain family pets?
  • There's no fencing provided for pet control; it's your responsibility.
Garden planting
What recommendations are available when planting in my garden?
  • While you're free to plant, avoid placing new trees or large shrubs near the house, please report issues with ivy and creeping plants.
Trees
Who is responsible for maintaining trees growing within the boundaries of the property?
  • You're responsible for fruit trees and shrubs; the Diocese handles other trees.
  • Promptly report any tree problems.
Electric cars and EV charging point
If I have or want to have an electric car, how do I arrange for an electric vehicle (EV) charging point to be installed?
  • The Diocese welcomes and encourages the installation of EV charging points, but you must seek permission from the Property Team.
  • The financial responsibility is on you and check with your electricity provider for incentives.
  • Professional installation is required, and make sure to obtain relevant certificates, providing copies to the Property Team.

 

Moving in to your home
Initial meeting
  • Please arrange a meeting with the Diocesan Surveyor for a property inspection and agreed works.
  • Schedules of works will be sent, and efforts will be made to complete them before you move in.
Ingoing decoration grant
What decorating will be carried out for me?
  • Enjoy an up to £1000 grant for internal decoration.
  • Reimbursement is upon submitting receipts or a direct payment to the decorator.
  • Feel free to use pastel colours; it's recommended to avoid strong paints for easier redecoration.
  • Just keep in mind the restrictions on textured paint, kitchen units, utility room units, and wall tiles.

 

Moving out
Useful checklist
  • Arrange a meeting with the Property Team before leaving for feedback.
  • Provide utility service providers and meter readings.
  • Transfer utility accounts to the Diocesan Board of Finance.
  • Make sure to retain sufficient heating oil, leave central heating on minimum during winter, and remove all possessions while cleaning the property thoroughly.
  • Redirect post and provide a forwarding address.
  • Grass cutting and hedge maintenance will be arranged by the Diocese; just manage shrubs and borders.
  • Return the main front door key, with other keys in the kitchen drawer.
  • The Churchwarden is responsible for property inspections during vacancy.

 


Disabled Adaptations

These are available for residents; consider works after consultation with Archdeacon’s office, People Department, Social Services and/or Occupational Therapists, and let the Property Team know.

Page last updated: Friday 19th January 2024 9:21 AM
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