For you

    Your rights explained
    Being a tenant brings both rights and responsibilities. These are set out in detail in your tenancy agreement, but here are some of the most popular questions about your rights.

    Starter tenants

    If you are new to One Housing then you will have been granted a Starter Tenancy for the first 12 months of your tenancy. This limits the amount of security of tenure you have and your rights.

    You will receive one of the following two tenancies upon the successful completion of the Starter Tenancy:

    • Fixed Term Tenancy Agreement, or
    • Assured Tenancy Agreement

    Your Housing Officer would have already advised you which of these tenancies you are eligible to receive.

    Can we bring your Starter Tenancy to an end?

    If we have any concerns during the first 12 months due to serious anti-social behaviour, we will ask the court to give us back possession of the property. This can be done very easily without us having to explain our reasons to the court.

    If you fail to pay your rent or look after the property we may request the court gives us possession and we would have to prove our reasons to the court.

    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 or
    • buy your home.

    Your housing officer will visit you at six weeks, six months, and again at nine months during your Starter Tenancy. They will work with you to assess whether you are having any difficulties and if you need any extra support. At nine months into your Starter Tenancy, we will decide whether to grant you a more secure form of tenancy.

    In exceptional cases, we may extend the starter tenancy for a further six months to allow you more time to put right the reasons why anti-social behaviour is being caused.

    Fixed term tenants

    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 had an assured or secure tenancy that started after the 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 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 One Housing’s stock. There will be a final review eight months before the end of the fixed term.

    If at the end of the five years, your home still suits your needs, we may give you a new fixed term tenancy.

    Please see our Tenancy Policy if you would like to see more detailed information on when you may be required to move to a new home.

    Assured tenants

    Can you end my tenancy without my agreement?
    We can't end your tenancy without your consent unless you break a condition of the tenancy agreement. If this happens we can only try to end your tenancy by getting a court order. We will always try to resolve any issues directly with you first, and only use legal action as a last resort.

    Problems that can cause us to end your tenancy include:

    • you living elsewhere rather than using our property as your only or main home
    • 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
    • falling behind with your rent and/or regularly making late payments
    • damaging your home or not looking after it
    • behaving antisocially or annoying your neighbours
    • been convicted of using your home for a criminal offence
    • seriously breaching any of the terms of your tenancy agreement.

    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 can't do so while you are still living there
    • you live in a home specially adapted for old or disabled people and you don't need these facilities
    • you succeeded to a tenancy from a relative (not a partner) and the home is larger than you need.

    Can my tenancy agreement be changed?
    We can change the weekly rent, service charge and the services covered by the service charges. For any other changes, we must let you know in advance and give you time to talk to us about it. After that we have to give you four weeks' notice before making the changes.

    Can I have a joint tenancy with someone else?
    A tenancy can be held jointly by two people. If you have a joint tenancy, the tenancy agreement (which includes paying the rent) applies to all tenants. If one person moves out, you must tell us immediately. If both joint tenants agree, one person may be able to convert to a sole tenancy at our discretion. If you have a sole tenancy and want to change to a joint tenancy with your partner then this may be possible as long as:

    • you are not behind with your rent
    • you have not broken any conditions of your tenancy
    • you have both lived at the property for a year or are married.

    Can I pass on my tenancy to someone else?
    You can only pass on your tenancy to someone else if you have a court order to do so (for example as part of divorce proceedings) or with written permission from your landlord if the terms of your tenancy allow it (such as through assignment by mutual exchange or to a qualifying successor).

    If you don't meet these conditions - we have the right to take legal action against you to evict any unlawful occupants living in the property.

    Always refer to your tenancy agreement where your rights and responsibilities are provided in detail.

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