General Tenancy Information
What is a tenancy agreement?
When you are allocated a Council property the Council enters into a legal agreement with you. This is called a tenancy agreement.
There are two types of tenancy agreement which depend on whether you are allocated a property on a permanent or a temporary basis, These are:
1. A secure tenancy
If you are allocated a permanent tenancy you will be given a secure tenancy.
Most Council tenants have secure tenancies. The tenancy agreement between you and the Council will normally give you what is called ‘security of tenure’. This means that you have the right to use and enjoy your home and this can only be taken away if you break the conditions of the tenancy agreement. Security of tenure also gives you certain rights such as the right to exchange your home with another tenant, in most cases the “Right to Buy” your home, the right to be consulted and the right to carry out improvements and alterations (with permission).
What is a demoted tenancy?
If you are a secure tenant you may have your tenancy demoted to a non-secure tenancy if you are found to be guilty of anti-social behaviour or a serious breach of your tenancy agreement. The demotion will normally be for a period of one year and will be re-instated to a secure tenancy if no further offences are committed within this period. If your tenancy is demoted in this way one result will be that you do not have the Right to Buy your home until it is reinstated to a secure tenancy.
2. A non-secure tenancy
If you are offered temporary accommodation (e.g. homeless households) you will be given a non-secure tenancy. Non-secure tenants do not have all the rights and benefits of a secure tenant. You may not have a secure tenancy if:
• You are under 18
• You have been given your home as temporary accommodation
• You have broken the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement - and your tenancy has been demoted.
Changes to tenancies
There are a number of changes that can be made to your current tenancy.
Changing from a sole tenancy to a joint tenancy
You may wish to share the responsibilities of your tenancy with someone who lives with you. This is would be changing your tenancy agreement from a ‘sole’ to a ‘joint tenancy’. It is also possible to remove somebody from a tenancy agreement subject to certain conditions (this would be changing from a ’joint tenancy’ to a ’sole tenancy’). In certain circumstances these changes may not be approved by the Council.
Succession to a tenancy
If you die, a spouse or relative may be able to take over the tenancy. This is known as succession. Legally there can only be one succession.
• A spouse has an automatic right of succession
The following people have a legal right of succession if they have permanently lived with you for at least 12 months at the time of your death.
• Your partner.
• A close member of the family (child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew).
When a tenant dies, the surviving husband, wife or partner will be entitled to succeed to the tenancy (providing there has been no previous succession).
If there is no husband, wife or partner, the tenancy can pass to a qualifying family member if they lived at the property continuously for the 12 months prior to the tenant’s death (providing there has been no previous succession).
If the tenancy passes to a qualifying family member when the tenant dies and the property is larger than they require or is adapted for a disabled person, we may move them to another more suitable property (if it is considered reasonable). However, all such cases will be individually considered by the Council’s Community Services Committee.
If the tenancy passes to a spouse or partner, we will try not to move them if they wish to remain in the property.
Under the Council’s agreed policy, one further succession to a qualifying family member (as defined above) may be considered. We therefore allow greater rights to pass on your home than the bare legal minimum single succession.
In the event of the death of a tenant, you need to provide a copy of the death certificate to the Applications Officers, and if you wish to apply to succeed to the tenancy, you may need to prove that you have been resident at the property for the past twelve months. The Applications Officer will discuss this with you.
If you are moving to a new Council home or you are a tenant already and not coping well on your own we may be able to help you. We offer advice and support via Mosaic Homes. Please contact an Applications Officer for further information on this service and to discuss options available to you.
Our sheltered housing schemes are also a form of supported housing. Please click here for further information.
Who to contact
If you wish to make make changes to your current tenancy please contact the Housing Management Team· By telephoning: 01268 882200· By email: firstname.lastname@example.org· You may also use the above methods of contact to inform us of your intention to terminate your tenancy.
The Tenancy Agreement
When you sign your tenancy agreement you enter into a legal contract with the Council and agree to become a tenant. The tenancy agreement contains all the rights and responsibilities which apply to you and the Council.
These responsibilities apply not only to you, but also to your partner, children, relatives, friends and any other person invited to or visiting your home. If you or anyone from your household (invited or resident) causes a nuisance, you as the tenant will be responsible and risk losing your tenancy.
The tenancy agreement allows you to live in your home without interference or interruption from the Council, except for certain circumstances such as:
• A breach of the tenancy agreement.
• Access is required to inspect the property or carry out repairs or other works to the property or adjoining property.
• The property requires major works or redevelopment.
• The property is no longer occupied as your main and principal home.
The tenancy agreement also sets out details of the weekly rental of the property and any additional charges (e.g. heating) that may be applicable to the property you are being allocated.
In addition it sets out who the agreement is between i.e. it can be a sole tenancy or a joint tenancy between two or more parties.