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Your rights and responsibilities

This page has a summary of your main rights and responsibilities while you live in your home.
There are more details in your Tenants’ Handbook.

If in doubt, you should always refer to your tenancy or licence agreement for the exact terms that apply to you.

We explain more below

If two or more people sign your tenancy agreement, you are all individually responsible for paying the rent and meeting the other terms and conditions.

You must pay your rent or licence charge on time and in full. See Paying your rent.

We set your rent using a Government formula, which depends on your tenancy type. We will always give you at least four weeks’ notice in writing before changing your rent and service charges.

You can download our rent policy here.

We expect you to look after your home, carry out minor repairs and regularly decorate it. For a list of who repairs what, and how to report a repair that is our responsibility, go to our Guidance on repairs and responsibilities handbook

If you are an assured tenant, you have the right to make certain urgent repairs if we fail to meet a set timescale. This is a complicated piece of law, so you would need to call the office first, to find out more.

You must not run any kind of business from your home without getting our permission first. Be aware that depending on the nature of your business, it may affect your council tax and our buildings insurance.

Depending on the type of home you live in, we allow some tenants to keep a pet – providing you get permission first.

If you are an assured tenant, you have the right to carry out certain home improvements. However, you must get our written permission first.

If you are an assured tenant, or an assured shorthold tenant with a fixed-term agreement, you have the right to exchange homes with the tenant of any social housing landlord, providing you get our permission first.

Note that if you have a fixed-term agreement, your swap partner would only take on what remains of your tenancy.

If you need to be away from your home for more than a month, you must contact us with full details. If you have a good reason – for example, you are going into hospital, or making an extended visit to friends or family abroad – we can agree to this. However, you will need to show how you intend to pay your rent while you’re away.

As an assured tenant, or an assured shorthold tenant with a fixed-term agreement, you have the right to take in a lodger. You need to get our permission first and you must not overcrowd your home.

It is illegal to move out and sub-let the whole of your home. If you do this, you are committing social housing fraud. We will take back your tenancy and you could be fined or even sent to prison.

If an assured tenant dies, their tenancy goes firstly to any remaining joint tenants.

In certain circumstances, their home can also pass to someone else. You can succeed to a tenancy, for example, if you were the tenant’s spouse, civil or live-in partner, providing you were living there when the tenant died.

However, there are no succession rights if the original tenant was a successor already. This is because a tenancy can only be inherited once. Different rules also apply to homes that would end up under-occupied.

You can’t sign over (‘assign’) your tenancy to someone else, unless:

  • it’s because you are making a mutual exchange
  • a court orders this as part of a divorce or separation settlement.

In all of these cases, you must contact us first, to get our written permission. We will not withhold this unreasonably.

We expect you to live in your home peacefully and be a good neighbour. If you fail to do so, you are breaking your tenancy agreement and could lose your home. In the ‘Living in your home’ section of this website, you can find out more about how we handle:
  • nuisance and anti-social behaviour, and
  • domestic violence.