Rules around your tenancy
Here are some frequently asked questions around tenancy rules.
We want to provide the best service and by working together we can help make sure you love your home and neighbourhood. Here you'll find some of the questions we get asked most frequently about rules around your tenancy.
Can I add or remove names from my tenancy?
In some circumstances, depending on the conditions in your tenancy agreement, you may be able to add another person to the tenancy or change a joint tenancy to being in the name of just one person.
You’ll need to contact us using the form below to request any changes though. We’ll always try to say yes and would only have to say no if there was a very good reason. If we did have to say no, we’d tell you why.
How can I remove a name from my tenancy?
If you want to end a joint tenancy but stay in your home, please contact us using the form below as the process differs between England and Scotland because of differences in the law.
We can normally remove a name and change to a sole tenancy if there’s a court order telling us to (such as after a divorce or separation), if there’s a Deed of Assignment or, in Scotland, an Application for Assignation, signed by both customers. This is where you both agree that only one of you should stay in the property. If you and your partner break up and can’t agree on who gets the tenancy, a court can help decide.
In exceptional circumstances we may be able to take a name off a tenancy if the person has been absent continuously for at least 12 months e.g. following relationship break down.
If one of the named tenancy customers dies, the living customer will keep all of the existing rights to your home, as long as they’re living in the home at the time. This is called survivorship and represents a succession to the tenancy.
If any of these circumstances apply to you, please contact us using the form below so we can advise you of your next steps and update our records where needed.
How can I add a new name to my tenancy?
The process of adding a person to your tenancy is called assignment.
You’ll usually be able to apply for a joint tenancy (where more than one person has signed the tenancy agreement) with your civil partner or spouse if they’re living at the same property as you. We’d need to check that it doesn’t go against any of the terms in your tenancy agreement.
Some of the things we’ll need to check are that:
- No one is being pressured or paid to change the tenancy
- There are genuine reasons for the change in tenancy
- Everyone involved fully understands and accepts the responsibilities of changing the tenancy agreement
- All pre-tenancy checks come back clear (this might be to check for any issues such as anti-social behaviour or rent arrears)
- You’ve shown us any documents we need e.g. proof of residence
- The property won’t be too full if we change to joint tenancy
You may also be able to apply for a joint tenancy with another family member living in your home, like a sibling or parent. This is a bit more unusual and we’ll need to know all of the details before one of our senior managers can give you permission.
Whoever it is that you’d like to add, you should make sure you understand that it’s a serious commitment. You’ll be responsible for the actions of each other. If you’ve got a joint tenancy you will both have equal rights over the tenancy and responsibilities. If one customer breaks their agreement or doesn’t pay the rent and then moves out, the other customer is still responsible and still needs to pay any rent arrears. When this happens, any debt recovery action can still be taken against both customers.
What to do if I have problems with a joint tenant?
If you have any issues with a joint customer tenancy, first try to fix it between yourselves. Most problems can be resolved by talking through them. If you can’t and you’re not sure what to do next, you can always contact us by joining our Live Chat or visiting our get in touch page - we’ll talk through the issue and help you work out the best option for everyone.
Remember, because it’s a joint tenancy, you’re both equally responsible for the tenancy by law. That means you can’t just walk away. If one person breaks the agreement, you’ll both still be responsible.
If you’re really struggling to get along and there are any unresolved issues, you can choose to end the tenancy on your own or, as a last resort, take things to court. We’d strongly suggest that you get legal advice if you’re thinking about this option. As a Home Group customer, you have access to free legal advice.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please contact us by joining our Live Chat or visiting our get in touch page - we’re here to help and can work with you and anyone else involved to find the best way to keep you and your family safe in your home. Remember there are lots of organisations out there that can offer you support, including Women’s Aid and Men’s Advice Line.
What is subletting?
Subletting is when you let out all, or part, of your rented home to someone else. This is allowed, with our permission, under some circumstances.
If you are not allowed to sublet, or you do so without our permission, this could break the terms of your tenancy or lease agreement. This is unlawful subletting and in England it is a criminal offense.
The rules for subletting differ in Scotland and England. You can find more information in "am I allowed to sublet?" below.
Unlawful subletting stops our homes going to the people who really need them. If you suspect one of our homes has been sublet without our permission, please let us know by:
- contacting our customer service team
- speaking with your housing manager
We will always treat reports of unlawful subletting in confidence.
Am I allowed to sublet?
You can’t sublet the whole of your home to someone else. That means you can’t move out completely and move someone new in. You might be able to rent out one of the rooms in your home to someone else, but you’d need to contact us to get our permission before you do.
If you’re thinking about subletting or taking in a lodger, you might want to check out information put together by Citizens Advice, to make sure you know what your rights would be. Renting out a part of your home will change things for you and there are rules.
If you do decide to go ahead, don’t forget to contact us by joining our Live Chat or visiting our get in touch page to ask first.
Can I keep a pet or animal?
Before getting any pet you need to ask permission
Pets are part of the family and are great for your wellbeing. We love animals, but you must ask us before getting a furry, scaly, or feathery friend. This is to make sure:
- You have the right type of home for your pet
- Your pet doesn’t have a negative effect on your community, such as nuisance noise or dog fouling
We will be as flexible as we can with your request. But there are exceptions, and customers are not allowed to keep any breed of dog banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
How to ask for permission
Complete the online form, and select "permission to keep a pet" from the drop down menu.
What animals do you need permission for?
You need to contact us if you are considering getting any animal as a pet, including:
- Fish including Gold Fish
Taking care of your pet
There is a lot to think about when getting a new pet. Before you request permission, make sure you know what it takes to keep your pet happy and healthy. Visit the RSPCA for pet care advice.
We ask all our pet owners to sign an acceptable behaviour agreement. This makes sure pets are well looked after, and don’t annoy your neighbours. If you’re not able to stick to this agreement we may ask you to rehome your pet.
You must also follow any legislation that applies to your pet, such as microchipping your dog.
XL Bully breeds
We are no longer accepting requests to keep XL Bully breeds of dog.
If you already have one of these dogs, and previously received permission from us, then you must comply with relevant legislation:
Are you concerned about a dangerous dog in your community?
If there is immediate danger: Contact the police on 999.
Will I need to pay an additional deposit for my pet?
If we haven’t taken an extra deposit for your pet but you leave a mess when you move out, you still might need to cover the cost of professional cleaning.
What happens if I get a pet without permission?
If you break these rules and keep a pet in your home without asking us first, we’ll need to ask you to rehome your pet immediately and, in extreme cases, you might be faced with eviction. This is because you’ll have broken the terms of your tenancy agreement.
This also includes breaking any of the rules set up for keeping a pet. We really want you to be able to keep your pets but we can’t do that if it’s negatively affecting your neighbours.
If you’re found to have been breaking any laws you may also be prosecuted in court for animal cruelty, so it’s really important you always check with us first. We’ll judge each request on a case by case basis and would never say no without a good reason.
If you have any questions please contact us by joining our Live Chat or visiting our get in touch page.
Complete the form below to request a change to your tenancy
Thank you for getting in touch.
We aim to be back in touch within 72 hours (excluding weekends).