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About your Tenancy

On this page:
Your Tenancy Agreement
Rights and Responsibilities
What you need to know

Your Tenancy Agreement

The Tenancy Agreement sets out the Council's rights and responsibilities as a Landlord as well as the tenant’s rights and responsibilities.
Your Tenancy Agreement is an important legal document, please keep this in a safe place.
There are two different types of tenancy:

  • Introductory tenancy
  • Secure tenancy

Introductory Tenancy

If you have not been a Council tenant before, you will be given an Introductory Tenancy. This is a temporary or probationary tenancy that lasts for 12 months and means that you have fewer rights than a secure tenant, and it is easier for us to evict you if we need to.

Your tenancy will be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that you are conducting your tenancy in a satisfactory manner. If you breach your tenancy, we may extend this by another 6 months.

Secure Tenancy

All introductory tenants will automatically become secure tenants on the first anniversary of the date their tenancies commenced if they have conducted their tenancy in a satisfactory manner.
A secure tenancy gives you more rights.

Rights and Responsibilities

If you are an Ashfield District Council tenant or you have been offered a Council tenancy it is important that you know your rights and responsibilities. You also need to be aware of the Council's obligations in respect of your tenancy and your home.
The table below sets out rights and responsibilities:-

Your Rights
  • To be consulted about the way we manage your property and any changes that may be made.
  • To make alterations or improvements with our written permission.
  • To live in the property as your principle home.
  • To exercise your legal rights as a tenant.
  • To have any repairs that are our responsibility carried out.
  • To take on a lodger as long as we have granted permission. We will take into consideration the house make-up and the capacity of your home.
Your Responsibilities
  • To pay your rent and other charges on time.
  • To keep the inside of your home and your garden in a satisfactory condition.
  • To ensure your household/visitors/pets do not cause nuisance to your neighbours.
  • To give us access to complete any repairs, annual service works or to allow employees and contractors to go about their duties.
  • To raise awareness of repairs needed. Not to alter the property without written consent. Inform us of any struggles you face with your tenancy, so we can signpost you to the relevant support agenices.
  • To adhere to your tenancy conditions to prevent court action being taken against you.
Our Rights
  • To request access to the property to carry out inspection or repairs. We will give you reasonable notice of our intention, unless it is an emergency situation.
  • Ask the courts to end your tenancy if you break the conditions of your tenancy agreement.
Our Responsibilites
  • Consult with you about important changes to the management of your tenancy.
  • To deal with your complaints.
  • To maintain service standards.
  • To ensure the tenancy agreement is being adhered to at all times.
  • To act on any repairs that are our responsibility.

The documents listed below also explain roles and responsibilities.

If you have any further questions about your tenancy please contact our Tenancy Services Team on Tel - 01623 608999 or email:- housingadmin@ashfield.gov.uk.

What you need to know

  • How to look after your property
  • How to look after your garden
  • Right To Succession
  • Assignment
  • Right To Exchange
  • Right to take in a lodger
  • Tenancy Fraud
  • Tenancy Policy

How to look after your property

Applying for permission to carry out alternations
As a secure tenant, you have the right to improve your home as long as you get written permission from us first. However, if you are an introductory tenant your rights are restricted.
A written request may either be in a letter format or by email. You must address your request to your Housing Management Advisor. Once the request has been received, we will write to you with 28 days with our decision.
A home visit may be necessary to discuss your request in detail. If permission is not granted, the reasons for this will be documented in the decision letter. It is important to note that if you do have rent arrears, permission may be refused.
You must not start work until we have given written permission and all work must be carried out by a competent person. Gas fittings must be carried out by an installer who is 'Gas Safe Registered' (formerly CORGI). Electrical work must be carried out by registered NICEIC installers.

Reporting Repairs
You must report any repairs or damage to our Technical Services Section HERE.

Property Condition
It is your responsibility to clean your property and to ensure this is kept to a good standard. This includes decorating your property and not causing damage.

Planning Permission
Work affecting the outside of your home may also need planning permission or Building Regulation Approval from Ashfield District Council (this includes satellite dishes on flats). You are responsible for applying to for such approval. Where possible we will advise you approval is required.
Please note we would not allow externally insulated and rendered properties to have any item fitted to them.

How to look after your garden

Maintenance of gardens is the tenant's responsibility.
When you sign for your home, if your home has a garden, you will be advised which parts of your garden you are responsible for.
Gardens should be kept clear of rubbish and kept to an acceptable condition at all times, including keeping grass short and trees/hedges on your boundary at a reasonable height.
You must gain permission for any alterations to the garden before you carry out the work, including fish ponds, erections of garden sheds, external lighting, paving etc.
Please contact your Housing Management Advisor on Tel: 01623 608999 to discuss any alterations in more detail.

Right to Succession

Members of your family may have the right to take over or succeed to your tenancy when you die. By law there can only be one succession to a tenancy, so this will not apply if you succeeded to the tenancy.

Assignment

Assignment is a transfer of tenancy to another person, which is generally as a result of a request from the sole/joint tenant to hand over their tenancy (assign it) rather than as a result of the death of the tenant. There can only be one assignment to the tenancy

The legislation around Assignments and Successions are a complex area, therefore please contact our Housing Management and Tenancy Services Team on Tel - 01623 608999 who will be able to explain the legal process to you and answer any questions you may have.

Right to exchange

Every secure tenant has a right to swap your home with another one of our tenants, a council tenant or a tenant of a housing association. This is known as a mutual exchange. You must obtain our permission first.

Right to take in lodgers

A lodger is someone who lives in your home as they are part of your family and pays you rent. We may allow you take in a lodger but you must get our written permission first. A lodger application form is attached for you to complete and return.

As a tenant you are responsible for the behaviour of anyone you invite into your home. Your tenancy could be at risk if they cause a nuisance.

Tenancy Fraud

This is a criminal offence and can lead to eviction.

Tenancy fraud is usually one of the following;

  • Sub-letting your home (or part of it) to someone we know nothing about
  • Not living in the property as your main home
  • Telling us lies about who you are or the circumstances you’re in so that we let a property to you
  • Key selling - passing on your key to someone else for a one-off payment.

If you suspect that someone is committing tenancy fraud, you can call us in confidence on 01623 608999 or email us on corporateadmin@ashfield.gov.uk.

For more information on any of the above, please contact the Housing Management and Tenancy Services Team on 01623 608999.

Tenancy Policy

The council has developed a Tenancy Policy which explains:-

  • The types of tenancies that we will grant
  • The arrangements for the creation of tenancies, the ending of tenancies and the assignment and succession of tenancies
  • Our approach to tenancy management, including interventions to sustain tenancies, preventing unnecessary evictions and tackling tenancy fraud

This Tenancy Policy fulfils the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and the social housing regulator’s requirements for social landlords to have a Tenancy Policy.

This policy has been developed with due regard to the Council’s Housing Tenancy Strategy. It has also been subject to consultation with tenants.

A copy of the policy can be requested by contacting our Housing Services Team on Tel: -01623 608999 or by emailing corporateadmin@ashfield.gov.uk.

If you have any queries concerning the policy, or wish to discuss any of the issues it raises, please contact the Service Manager – Housing Management and Tenancy Services on 01623 608888 or via email at n.moss@ashfield.gov.uk.