Tenancy rights and responsibilities
This is a summary of the main rights and responsibilities set out in your tenancy agreement.
- Rent and service charge
You are responsible for paying the rent and any other charges under your tenancy agreement. This can include a service charge, which covers the cost of maintaining items such as door entry systems and for cleaning and gardening in shared areas.
We will give you clear information on how much rent and service charge you must pay. We will tell you in advance about any changes in your rent and service charge payments.
Customers who claim Housing Benefit are responsible for providing the Government with information to make sure their claim is up-to-date and in payment.
For more information, please refer to our ‘Your rent and service charge’ leaflet.
- Using your home
We want you to enjoy your home, but there are certain things that you, your family and your visitors must not do in our property. These include:
- not damaging or putting graffiti on our property, and
- not running a business from your home without our permission.
There are also some things that you, your family and your visitors must do:
- You must keep your home clean,and redecorate when needed.
- You must allow our staff or representatives to come into your home to carry out any inspections or repairs.
- You must keep your home free from vermin, such as mice. For more information on pest control, please visit the Government website.
- You must allow us access to your home so we can carry out an annual gas safety check.
- You must not dispose of nappies, cooking oil, wipes or other rubbish using the drains or toilets in your home.
- If you have a garage provided by us, you may only use this for vehicles. You must not store other personal items in garages.
We are only responsible for insuring the structure of your home against loss or damage as a result of fire and other risks. We do not insure your personal possessions.
You should therefore arrange your own contents insurance to protect your possessions. For more information, please refer to our ‘Insuring your property and contents’ leaflet.
- The area around your home
There are some things that you, your family and your visitors must not do in the area around your home:
- You must not put or store goods in the shared areas, as this causes a fire risk.
- You must not put up any buildings, such as sheds or garages, anywhere on your property without our permission.
- If you have your own garden, you must keep it neat and tidy.
- You must not throw anything from a window or balcony.
- You must not carry out any major car repairs or park illegal or broken-down vehicles on the land around your home or on the road.
- Nuisance and harassment
All our tenants have the right to enjoy life in their own way as long as they don’t disturb the people living near them.
You are responsible for the behaviour of every person living in or visiting your home, including in shared areas. You, your family and your visitors must not disturb or cause a nuisance or annoyance to any other person including your
neighbours and our staff, agents or contractors.
Examples of nuisance and harassment include:
- using or threatening to use violence
- using abusive, racist or insulting words or behaviour
- damaging or threatening to damage another person’s home or belongings
- writing threatening or abusive graffiti
- loud music that causes a disturbance to neighbours.
- Domestic abuse
You must not harass or use mental, emotional, sexual or financial abuse against anyone who lives with you.
- Ending your tenancy
You must usually give us at least four weeks’ notice in writing if you want to end your tenancy, unless your agreement says otherwise.
When you move out, you must leave your home and garden clean, empty, free of rubbish, tidy and in a good condition. Any items left inside the property once the keys are returned to us may be disposed of without further notice.
If you wish to end your tenancy, please contact us.
- Standards to expect when moving into your home
Before you move into your home it should meet certain standards. We will carry out work on your home to bring it up to these standards before you move in. You can view a full list of these standards here.
- Your rights
You can stay in your home for the length of your tenancy as long as you keep to the conditions of your tenancy agreement.
We are responsible for repairing and maintaining your home to keep it in a safe condition. This means we will carry out
the repairs you request and will make these changes within set times. You may be entitled to compensation if we do not complete certain repairs on time.
We will not change your tenancy agreement without your permission.
We will consult with you about any planned maintenance and improvement work that we intend to carry out on your home.
- Lodgers and subletting your home
A lodger is someone who lives in your home but does not have full use of any part of your house, apart from their bedroom.
You may take in a lodger as long as:
- you have our written permission
- your home does not become overcrowded as a result (your tenancy agreement tells you how many people are allowed to live in your home)
- you tell us the name, sex, and age of any lodgers, and you tell us which bedroom they will have.
If you have a starter or assured short-hold tenancy, you are not allowed to sublet any part of your home or take in a lodger.
If we have given you permission to have a lodger, you will be responsible for their behaviour. It is your responsibility to tell your local housing benefit office that you have a lodger in your home. If you receive Universal Credit, you should also inform the Department for Work and Pensions.
If you ask your lodger to leave and they won’t, you will need a court order to evict them.
You cannot sublet the whole of your home. If you sublet your home, you will have broken your tenancy agreement and may be prosecuted, as illegal subletting is a criminal offence.
If you are getting housing benefit or a single person’s discount on your Council Tax, you must also tell your local council if you sublet or take in a lodger.
- Moving home
You may apply to move to another property or exchange your home with our written permission. You cannot exchange your home if you have a starter tenancy or assured short-hold tenancy. You may not be able to exchange your home if:
- you, or the person you want to swap with, owe us rent
- the home is too large or small for your needs
- the home you want to move to has been adapted for a special purpose, such as or a disabled person, or
- we have a court order to take possession of your home.
If you die, it may be possible for your tenancy to pass to someone else. This is known as ‘succession’. A tenancy may also pass from one person to another in certain limited situations, such as if you agree a home exchange. This is known as ‘assignment’.
You may only carry out a succession or assignment with our permission, and by completing the necessary legal paperwork.
If you would like more information on either of these issues, please contact us.
- Running a business from your home
If you would like to run a business from your home, you must first get our permission in writing. We may say no if the business will annoy your neighbours or if your tenancy agreement does not allow this. You may also need planning permission from the local council.
- Changes in the size of your family
You must let us know about any permanent changes in your household, for example, if you start living with a partner or if you have a baby. If you claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you must also tell your local council and the Department for Work and Pensions.
- Being away from your home temporarily
If you live in any of our properties, you must let your Neighbourhood Officer know if you are going to be away from your home for a month or more.
If you are going to be away and you are on Housing Benefit, you must also tell your local council.
- If your relationship breaks down
If one partner decides to move out of your home, we do not have a duty to re-house them. If you cannot agree who should stay in the property you will need to get legal advice and talk to us about it.
You must get our permission in writing before you can keep a pet.
If you would like to request permission to have a pet, please download and complete our application form.
We have the right to withdraw our permission if your pet becomes a nuisance.
- What happens if you break your tenancy agreement?
If you break any of the terms in your tenancy agreement, we may have to take court action against you. This may result in you losing your home.
If you need to request any repairs to your property, please contact our Customer Services Centre on 0800 432 0077.