Your Tenancy

Tenancy Policy

All 'New social housing tenants' will be offered a 12 month Starter Tenancy (with the exception of sheltered housing tenants who live in a sheltered scheme where there are communal facilities).  For further information on starter tenancies please click on the link Your Starter Tenancy Explained.pdf 77KB. Following successful completion of a 12 (or 18 month extended starter tenancy) a 5 Year Fixed Term Assured Shorthold Tenancy will be granted.

Existing social housing tenants (who started their tenancy before April 2012) will keep their Assured tenancy rights.  However, if they choose to bid for an 'Affordable Rent' property, it will be offered on a 5 Year Fixed Term Tenancy.  For further information on fixed term tenancies please click on the link Fixed Term Tenancies Explained.pdf 93KB

What are Affordable Rents?

A property let on an Affordable Rent will be let at a rent of up to 80% of local private market rents.  For further information about our rent policy please click on the link  Tenancy and Neighbourhood Policy.pdf 696KB

This section describes some of the important parts of your Tenancy Agreement.  It explains what you can and can’t do with your home and it explains how your tenancy can be passed to other people.

The Tenancy Agreement is legally binding. By signing it you agree to abide by its terms.  You have also accepted the responsibilities of being a householder.

To fulfil your obligations, we expect you to:

  • Pay your rent;
  • Look after the property;
  • Behave appropriately; and
  • Be a responsible householder.
Lodgers and subletting

You must have our permission to take in lodgers or sublet all or part of your home. (A lodger is someone who lives as part of your household. Subletting means that the person(s) look after themselves entirely.) We would normally give permission unless it would cause overcrowding in your home. If you do not get permission from us, we may apply to a court to repossess your home.  You are responsible for the behaviour of your lodgers and subtenants whilst they are in your home.

If you are going away

You must have our written permission to go away from your home for 28 days or more. If you do not then you may lose your rights under your Tenancy Agreement. You should also make sure your rent is paid and that someone is able to look after your home while you are away. We understand that this may not always be possible if you live alone and are away from home due to an emergency such as being taken into hospital suddenly.

Damage

You must not damage your home or interfere with any security and safety equipment, such as hard wired smoke detectors. If you, or your visitors or your pets, damage our property, we will recharge you for repairs or replacements. We may also apply to a court to repossess your home.

Improvements

You must have our written permission to make improvements to your home. This could include installing your own central heating, building a conservatory or putting up a shed. We will not refuse your request without good reason, but we may insist that the works are carried out to a certain standard, and we may also inspect them. You may need to get planning permission and building regulations approval from the local authority.  If you end your tenancy, you may be able to get compensation for any improvements you have made. The amount will be worked out in line with government guidelines.

Pets and animals

You must have our permission to keep any pets. We will not give permission to keep any wild or dangerous animals.

More information, and details on how to request permission, can be found here.

Running a business from your home

You must have our written permission to run a business from your home. If you run a business without our permission we may apply to a court to repossess your home. If your business causes nuisance, we may withdraw our permission to run the business.  You should also check if you need planning permission from the local authority.

Succession

Succession is passing the tenancy of a property to another family member if you die. That person is called the ‘successor’. Succession can happen provided that:

• The successor has been living with you for the past 12 months (you will need to provide proof of this);
• It is the first time the property has been passed from one member of your family to another; and
• It will be the successor’s only home.

Succession applies to joint tenancies where, if one partner dies, the tenancy is passed to the remaining partner. If it is considered that the property is not suitable for the successor we may offer another, more suitable property. Sometimes we may agree to family members staying in the property even when there is no right of succession.

Assignment

Assignment is handing over tenancy of your property to another family member if you do not want to live there any longer. You may be able to assign it provided that:

• The family member has lived with you for the past 12 months (you will need to provide proof of this); and
• You have not succeeded to the tenancy from someone else.

Before you assign your property you must check with us to make sure that you are entitled to assign it. You will then need a solicitor to draw up a ‘deed of assignment’, which will be sent to us.