Types of tenancy agreements
An Assured tenancy
These are either weekly or monthly tenancies that have no fixed period of time stated so are often referred to as lifetime tenancies.
Some existing customers who transferred from a local authority under a large scale voluntary transfer arrangement (LSVT in 1995) have an Assured Tenancy with preserved rights which give similar rights to their former Secure tenancy including the Preserved Right to Buy.
We cannot end your assured tenancy without your consent unless you break a condition of the tenancy agreement. If this happens, your tenancy can only be ended if we are successful in obtaining a Court Order. We will always try to resolve any issues directly with you first, and only use legal action as a last resort.
Issues that can will cause us to consider ending your tenancy include:
- falling behind with your rent and/or regularly making late payments
- behaving antisocially or annoying your neighbours
- been convicted of using your home for a criminal offence
- you are living elsewhere rather than using our property as your only or main home
- damaging your home or not looking after it
- the death of the named tenant - if you are also living there the tenancy will not necessarily pass on to you automatically if the named tenant dies
We might have to offer you suitable alternative accommodation when we have to end your tenancy, if
- we need to demolish, rebuild or refurbish your home, and we cannot do so while you are still living there
- you succeeded to a tenancy from a relative (not a spouse or partner) and the home is larger than you need.
These are older lifetime tenancies granted before 15th January 1989 for Housing Association customers or granted to Council customers. Housing Solutions customers who transferred to us from the Council at LSVT in1995 became assured customers with preserved rights.
These are short term contractual agreements that do not provide any security of tenure but allow occupation for a specific purpose.
An agreement to allow occupation without any security of tenure.
Licences will be used: For temporary decant situations; or hostel accommodation or other accommodation where the occupant does not have exclusive possession or we have no intention to create a landlord and tenant relationship.
Caravan Act Licences and Mobile Home Act Statements.
These are agreements that allow caravans or mobile homes to be stationed on plots and land belonging to or managed by Housing Solutions.
A Periodic Assured Short hold tenancy
These are weekly (or monthly) assured short hold tenancies which can be brought to an end after an initial 6 months by either a customer or landlord by serving a section 21 notice or if there are any breaches of tenancy at any time, by obtaining a valid Possession Order. The customer can usually end the tenancy at any time by giving a notice to quit.
When will it be used: For key worker and market rent properties: properties approved for regeneration or possible disposal to let on a short term basis, or for some specialist supported housing to enable us to better manage customer’s changing care and support needs.
An Assured Short hold Starter tenancy
If you are new to Housing Solutions, you will be granted a periodic assured short hold tenancies (starter tenancy) for an initial 12 month probationary period. This limits the amount of security of tenure you have and your rights.
While you are a Starter tenant you do not have a legal right to:
- transfer or exchange your home
- take in lodgers or sublet part of your home
- make improvements
- buy your home.
You be will visited at six weeks, six months, and again at nine months during your Starter Tenancy. We will work with you to assess whether you are having any difficulties and if you need any extra support in order to sustain your tenancy. At nine months into your Starter Tenancy, we will decide whether to grant you a more secure form of tenancy.
Your starter tenancy can be extended for a further 6 months where there have been breaches of tenancy and we wish to continue to monitor your how you are conducting your tenancy.
Starter tenancies may be ended by serving a valid Section 21 Notice or by a valid Possession Order on one of the grounds in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.
Fixed Term Assured short hold tenancy
Following the successful completion of your Starter Tenancy you will be granted a Fixed Term tenancy:
- if you were new to social housing, or
- you held an assured or secure tenancy that started after 1 April 2012 when you became a starter tenant with us.
We usually grant fixed term tenancies for five years. During this period you do have the same rights and security as assured tenants.
We cannot end the tenancy before the end of the fixed term without proving to the court that you have breached your tenancy in some way, for example, by not paying your rent or by causing serious anti-social behaviour.
Towards the end of the five year period, we will discuss any changes in your circumstances. If the property no longer suits your needs, if for example you have become overcrowded or you have more bedrooms than you need, we will offer you advice and guidance to help you to find a new home that better meets your needs which could be within Housing Solutions’ stock.
At the end of the five years, if your home still suits your needs and there are no breaches of your tenancy, we may give you a new fixed term tenancy.
Obligations and responsibilities
All our customers should have their own copy of their Tenancy Agreement as this is the legal contract between us as your landlord and you the tenant.
By signing the Tenancy Agreement you have agreed to certain conditions concerning the way you behave as a tenant.
Please keep to the conditions of your tenancy agreement. The main conditions you need to comply with are:
- Living at the property as your main and principal home
- Paying the rent and service charge due on time
- Not causing nuisance and anti social behaviour
- Reporting all repairs in your property to Housing Solutions in a timely manner
Please do ensure that you are aware of all your conditions of the tenancy.
If you persistently fail to meet your obligations then this may mean that Housing Solutions will take possession action against you in the County Court which could put your tenancy and home at risk.
Customers are also responsible for certain repairs to their home, these repairs responsibilities can be found here https://www.housingsolutions.co.uk/rent-and-repairs/repairs/repair-responsibilities/
In return Housing Solutions will:
- Maintain the outside of your home to ensure it is safe, secure and weather-tight
- Carry out certain repairs to the internal parts of your home including all electrical and gas works, any plumbing or leaks to your roof
- Maintain and clean internal communal areas and provide a grounds maintenance service to the communal areas we own
- Investigate complaints of anti-social behaviour
- Deal effectively and efficiently with any complaints
- Carry out internal and external decoration of common parts on a rolling programme
- Update kitchens, bathrooms and roofs on a rolling programme
- Carry out regular inspections to communal areas
- Keep you updated with any changes to the services we provide
- Carry out the necessary checks to ensure our properties are not used in a fraudulent way.
Residents are also responsible for certain repairs to their home, these repairs responsibilities can be found here.
A tenancy can be held jointly usually between two people. Joint tenants are both responsible for complying with the conditions of tenancy which includes paying all the rent and any arrears. Either joint tenant can apply for housing benefit or the housing element of any Universal Credit claim.
We will consider an application for a joint tenancy:
- If your partner has been living with you for at least 12 months or you have got married and they have no interest in another property i.e. holds a tenancy or is an owner of a property.
- You are not in arrears with your rent
- You are not in breach of any other condition of your tenancy
There is no legal right for Housing Solutions to grant joint tenancies but it is our policy to consider requests made by partners whether married or unmarried. Housing Solutions will not permit joint tenancies between siblings or parents and children.
Marriage / Relationship
If your marriage or relationship breaks down, the County Court may have to decide who would have the tenancy, if agreement cannot be reached. In these situations you should always seek independent advice from a solicitor or the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
What happens if the tenant dies?
- If the deceased tenant held a joint tenancy, then the remaining tenant will automatically succeed by survivorship and become the sole tenant.
- If a sole tenant dies and they were a successor then there can be no other succession by law.
- If a sole tenant dies and they were not a successor, and they have a spouse (or partner) then there will be an automatic right of succession.
- If a sole tenant dies with no spouse or partner, and they were not a successor, then there is a contractual right for a family member to succeed to the tenancy, if the following criteria apply:
- They are the tenant’s parent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece.
- They can prove that they have lived at the property as their main home for at least 12 months before the date of the tenant’s death.
If the deceased tenant’s family member succeeds to the tenancy and they are under occupying the property, then we will work with them as we would except them to transfer to smaller, more suitable accommodation. This does not apply if the spouse or partner succeeded.
Assignment (passing on the tenancy)
Assignment means passing on your tenancy to somebody else.
You can pass your tenancy onto someone else if you have an assured or fixed term tenancy in the following circumstances:
- When a court has ordered the transfer as part of the divorce or separation proceedings
- When you have Housing Solution's written consent to carry out a mutual exchange
- When your tenant agreement allows you to assign the tenancy to someone who would be a qualifying successor
Lodgers and subletting
You may be able to apply for permission to take in a lodger as long as you do not overcrowd your home and this does not conflict with your Tenancy Agreement. Remember, if your lodger causes a nuisance, you, will be held responsible.
If you leave your home permanently for any reason you must make sure the lodger leaves as well.
If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and intend to take in a lodger, you must notify your local council’s Housing Benefit office or the DWP as the benefit you receive may be affected.
The law does not allow you to sublet the whole of your property as you hold a social tenancy unless you have Housing Solutions’ consent. This would only be granted in exceptional circumstances
Affordable rent scheme
The Affordable Rent Scheme allows Housing Solutions to :
- Let properties at rents of up to 80% of those charged in the private sector
- Offer tenancies for a fixed term instead of life in these circumstances