Your tenancy agreement is the legally binding contract which you must keep to. It is important that you keep your copy of the agreement safe as you will need to refer to it if you have any doubts about your rights or responsibilities.
We cannot change the terms of your tenancy agreement without your approval (except for changing your rent and making other changes allowed by law).
Right to stay in your home
You have the right to stay in your home as long as you follow the conditions in your tenancy agreement.
If you break one or more of your tenancy conditions, we can apply to the Court to repossess your home.
- If you haven’t paid your rent
- If you die and no-one in the property has the right to the tenancy
- If the tenancy address is no longer your main home
- If you have not allowed access to staff and contractors to carry out necessary works or gas servicing
- If you, someone who lives with you, or someone visiting you has damaged or neglected your home, harassed or caused a nuisance to your neighbours, or been convicted of using your home for a criminal offence such as drug dealing.
We will not act without considering your circumstances first and we will always try to explain the reasons for what we are doing.
In some cases, we can ask the Court to end your tenancy, but we will then offer you another home. For example, where:
- we intend to demolish, rebuild or refurbish your home, or the one next door, and you have refused to move
- you live in a home that is specially designed or adapted for someone with a disability or an elderly person; you do not need these facilities and someone who does is waiting for it
- you took over the tenancy from a relative (other than a partner) and your home is larger than you need
- you got the tenancy under a will and you were not entitled to it.
Right to pass on your home (succession)
When you die, your tenancy will pass to your joint tenant (if there is one). If you do not have a joint tenant, your husband, wife or civil partner can take over the tenancy. This is called succession.
If you do not have a joint tenant – husband, wife or civil partner – another member of your family can ask to take over your tenancy as long as they:
- have lived with you for at least 12 months before your death; and
- the property has been their only or main home.
Please note: your tenancy agreement must contain a clause stating that a family member may succeed to the tenancy in the absence of a spouse or joint tenant.
If a member of your family qualifies to succeed to your tenancy, and your home is significantly larger than they need, we may ask them to move to a smaller home.
There can only be one succession in the lifetime of a tenancy. If you became the tenant by succession and you do not have a joint tenant, your husband, wife, civil partner or other family members would not be able to take over the tenancy if you died.
Right to take in lodgers and sublet
You have the right to take in a lodger as long as you have our permission in writing first.
A lodger is someone you allow to live in part of your home with you and who has exclusive use to that part of the property. They will usually do their own cooking and cleaning. You should get legal advice before you sublet part of your home.
It is a criminal offence to sublet the entire property.
The home you rent from us must be your only and main home. If you sublet the entire property, we will end your tenancy.
Right to make improvements
You can make improvements to your home as long as you have our permission in writing before you start.
We will need you to give details of the improvements you want to make and we may put conditions on our approval. These could include:
- getting the relevant planning permission or building regulation approval from your local council
- using CORGI registered contractors for gas installations
- using approved contractors for electrical work.
For more information, please contact your Neighbourhood Officer.
Right to compensation
At the end of your tenancy, you may be able to claim compensation towards the cost of certain improvements that you have made to your home with our permission.
Please speak to your Neighbourhood Officer for more information.
Right to repair
You have the right to get small, urgent repairs carried out (costing less than £250) if we do not carry them out within the promised timescales.
You can find more information about what we will and won’t repair in our repairs section.
Right to a mutual exchange
You have the right to exchange your home with another housing association or council tenant through the HomeSwap scheme.
There are some grounds upon which we can refuse an exchange and we will explain these if we have to refuse.
Right to be consulted
We will consult you before we make changes to the way that we manage your home or carry out maintenance.
Right to complain
If you are unhappy about any of our services or contact with you, you can make a complaint.
Right to buy your home
You may have the right to buy or acquire your home at a discounted price depending on your tenancy.