Your tenancy agreement
Moving into your home can be an exciting but busy time. We’ve got lots of helpful info and advice to help you enjoy your tenancy with us.
Before you move into your home, you’ll need to sign something called a tenancy agreement. This is a legal document that explains Home Group and your responsibilities during the tenancy, what services we’ll provide and what all of your rights and responsibilities as a customer are. Here you'll find answers to some of the questions you might have.
What are the different types of tenancies?
Assured shorthold tenancy - this is the most common type of tenancy if you rent from a private landlord or letting agent in England.
Assured and secure tenancy - this type of tenancy is pretty much permanent as long as you live in your property as your main home, keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement and pay your rent on time - secure tenancies aren’t offered to new customers.
Starter tenancy - this is more of a trial or ‘probationary’ tenancy, it’s very much like an assured customer tenancy but we could choose to end the tenancy without having to go to court - don’t worry though, we’d only do that as a last resort if you break the terms of your tenancy agreement. If you stick to the terms, then your agreement gets changed to a full assured tenancy after 12 months.
Fixed term tenancy - in some areas, we can offer what’s called a fixed term tenancy - these are just for new customers and last for a minimum of five years, as long as you keep to the terms of your agreement. After five years, we generally just renew the agreement. We’d only have to ask you to leave if your home if it’s no longer suitable because there’s been a significant change in your circumstances since you first moved in (for example, a smaller home might now be a better fit for you).
Joint tenancy - if more than one person signs the agreement then this is called a joint tenancy - you now both have equal rights and responsibilities for the property (for example, if one person fails to pay the rent and moves out, the person left behind is still responsible for the debt). Please note any court action can still be taken against both customers.
Equitable tenancy - if you need to move into your new home when you’re aged 16 or 17, we can give you an agreement for under 18s - this means your tenancy is held ‘in trust’ until you turn 18, then you’ll change onto a different agreement, like the ones listed above, after your 18th birthday.
Are service charges covered by housing benefit?
What are my housing rights as a customer?
To keep your home safe, there might be times when we might need to access it. This could be for something like a boiler service. As part of your tenancy agreement you’ll need to let us in to do this. We’ll always give you notice of when this will happen and won’t ever enter your home without telling you beforehand. We’ll always write to let you know when we’d like to come round, and why.
What happens if I breach my tenancy agreement?
A breach is doing anything that goes against what you’ve agreed to do in the tenancy agreement. If you do break the agreement we might be forced to take legal action and you run the risk of being evicted from your home. This is an absolute last resort and we’ll always make every effort to work with you to resolve the situation before this stage.
Luckily, it’s very rare that anything like this happens. We think our policies are fair and would rather help our customers than see them in any trouble. If you’re worried in any way that you might be about to breach your agreement, please contact us by joining our Live Chat or visiting our get in touch page and one of our team will be happy to have a chat with you.
Am I allowed to sublet my home?
Can I get a copy of my tenancy agreement?
You will have been given a copy of your agreement when you first moved in, but if you think you might have lost your copy then you can contact us by joining our Live Chat or visiting our get in touch page and ask for another one to be sent out.
Can I change my tenancy agreement?
Yes, there are certain circumstances where you can change your tenancy agreement (for example adding or changing a name). Have a read of our rules around your tenancy to find out more about your options, and remember we’re always here to listen if you’d like to chat through the situation.
How do you use my rent?
Your rent helps us put money back into the housing we provide and the neighbourhoods our customers live in. We use your rent in four ways:
- To pay for repairs to your home if something goes wrong
- To save up for larger, planned repairs such as new roofs or windows
- To cover the cost of our services for you and other customers
- To build new homes and help more people feel safe and comfortable
We do have to make sure your rent is enough to cover our costs but we also think it’s important that our rent charges are affordable for anyone on a low income, so we’re always trying to find a balance. We rely on the rules the government sets and limits for housing association rents but we also review your rent every year to make sure we’re keeping everyone happy.
What are service charges?
As well as your rent, you might pay something called a service charge. Your service charge is the money you pay for services or facilities for your home or any shared areas - read our information on service charges to find out more.