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Understanding your tenancy

The tenancy agreement that you signed when you became a tenant is a legally binding document. It sets out both your and our rights and responsibilities. These will depend on what type of tenancy you have.

If you are unsure about any of the details in your tenancy, please contact the Customer Advice Team.

As a tenant you are agreeing to:

  • pay your rent in advance
  • look after your garden and common areas including the bin areas
  • keep the property in a good clean, tidy condition and proper decorative order
  • not allow anyone within your household or visiting your property to act in an antisocial way
  • tell us if there is any change in your household
  • tell us if you are leaving your property for more than four weeks
  • allow us to carry out an inspection before you leave your home and give a forwarding address
  • occupy the property as your main home
  • ask for permission to make any alterations or improvements to your home
  • ask to transfer or assign your tenancy to someone else, and
  • ask for permission to keep a lodger

These conditions apply to everyone who lives in the home. This includes children, relatives, friends or guests living or visiting your home. You will be responsible if they break any terms of the tenancy.

Terms of your tenancy

  • Transferring your tenancy

    You can transfer your tenancy through a mutual exchange by swapping with another council or housing-association tenant or through the courts in divorce proceedings.

    Find out more about transferring or swapping your home.

  • Shared areas
    • If you pay a service charge, the cleaning will be done by one of our contractors, otherwise you and the other tenants in your building must keep the hallways and stairs clean.
    • You should not store anything in the shared areas.
    • If you pay a service charge, the gardening will normally be done by our grounds maintenance contractor, otherwise you and the other tenants in your building must keep the garden tidy.
  • Lodgers
    • You can take in lodgers as long as you do not overcrowd your home.
    • A lodger is someone who shares your home with you but they do not become a tenant. For example, they may rent a bedroom and share the kitchen and living space with you.
    • You are responsible for their behaviour and could lose your home if they cause a nuisance.
    • If you are an assured tenant you need our permission to take in a lodger. If you have a secure tenancy, you can have a lodger but you must let us know.
  • Only or main home

    The home that you rent from us should be your only or main home. If you live somewhere else most of the time, you could lose the home you rent from us.

  • Overcrowding

    If your family grows you can apply for a transfer to larger accommodation. As a general rule, your home would be considered overcrowded if there are more than:

    • two people living in a bedsit
    • three people living in a one-bedroom property
    • five people living in a two-bedroom property

    Children under 12 months old are not counted and those under 10 are counted as half a person.

    If a child over 10 years old shares a bedroom with an adult or another child of the opposite sex, this also counts as overcrowding.

  • Pets

    You can only keep pets if you have written permission from us and in properties where it is suitable to keep a pet. For example, you would normally need direct access to outside space or your own garden to keep a dog.

    If your pet(s) cause a nuisance to others, you will be asked to find them another home.

  • Subletting

    This is when you give someone the right to use part of your home. You need to get permission from us before doing this.

    You cannot sublet your entire home. If you do, you could lose your tenancy rights and we could apply to repossess your home.

  • Death of a tenant

    If you die, your partner (husband, wife or someone you lived with as if you were married) can take over the tenancy as long as they were living at the property with you at the time.

  • Running a business

    You need to get our written permission if you want to run a business from your home.

  • Car parking

    You should park only in specified car parking areas, not on pavements, footpaths or verges. Your vehicle must be taxed and you must not carry out major vehicle repairs in parking areas.

    There are a number of places where you have to pay a parking charge. Disabled parking bays will be clearly marked and are only for use by people with a valid disabled parking badge.

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