We want you to live in your home happily and safely during your tenancy with us. When you move in, you will sign a Tenancy Agreement which is a legal document describing your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
What is a ‘secure’ tenancy?
A secure tenancy gives you certain rights. For example, the right to stay in your home as long as you keep to the terms of the tenancy. You have the right to:
- have certain repairs carried out by your landlord;
- make improvements to your property;
- exchange your home with another secure tenant;
- transfer to another landlord;
- know the rules on allocation, transfer and exchange; and
- buy your home from the Council.
There are conditions attached to these rights which are covered in your Tenancy Agreement.
What is an ‘introductory’ tenancy?
An introductory tenancy is a probationary tenancy lasting 12 months. After this period your tenancy will usually become ‘secure’ if you have complied with the conditions you agreed to.
What are ‘tenancy conditions’?
Your full tenancy conditions are listed in your Tenancy Agreement. In summary, you must:
- Move into the property
- Pay the rent every week in advance
- Make sure you, your family or your visitors don’t give your neighbours cause for complaint
- Give employees of Lewisham Homes and authorised contractors reasonable access to carry out inspections and repairs to the property
- Take reasonable steps to prevent any damage to the property
As an introductory tenant, you cannot:
- Take in lodgers
- Sublet any part of the property
- Carry out improvements to the property
- Exchange your home with another tenant
- Vote on transferring your home to a new landlord
- Buy the property from the Council
It is quicker and easier for Lewisham Homes to evict introductory tenants if they do not keep to the terms of their tenancy. To discuss your Tenancy Agreement, contact us.
What if I break my Agreement?
We will work with you and other agencies where necessary to resolve any problems you may have in adhering to your Tenancy Agreement. If this doesn’t work, we may take steps to evict you.
As joint tenants you are both equally responsible for paying the rent and meeting the conditions of your tenancy. Either joint tenant can end the tenancy and this may end the entire tenancy. If your relationship breaks down and one of you decides to move out, you will both still be responsible for your property and the rent until the tenancy is transferred to one person. You can transfer the tenancy with a court order or by the out-going tenant providing written permission to Lewisham Homes.
Passing on your tenancy (succession)
This is where your tenancy automatically passes to your partner or a relative if you die. A succession can only happen once. Therefore if you take over the tenancy after your partner or a relative died, it cannot be passed on when you die. If someone in your household thinks they have a right to succeed, they must tell us in writing within 28 days of the death of the tenant and we will assess the grounds for succession. If the property is bigger than the person actually needs, we can insist they move to smaller accommodation. This does not apply if the person succeeding to the tenancy is the husband or wife.
Transferring the tenancy (assignment)
This is where you give up your right of tenancy to another member of your family during your lifetime. Please talk to us before assign your tenancy because this action could result in you losing your home!