Living in your home
Who lives there
The property must be your main or only home. If you do not live in the home we will take action to end your tenancy.
When you filled in your application for housing you told us who will be living with you – your household. This can change over time, and you must let us know if someone moves into or out of your home. This includes family members who count this as their home but don’t live there all the time. We need to know this so that we can:
- make sure the home is not getting overcrowded;
- let all adults in the household know if we are going to do anything that may affect their rights; and
- be sure who might have a right to take the tenancy over if anything happens to you.
If you want to take in a lodger, you must get our written permission first. To get our permission, contact your housing services officer.
Going away from home
If you are going to be away from your home for four weeks or more, you must let us know, even if someone will be looking after your home. You will continue to be responsible for paying the rent while you are away.
Going away in cold weather
If your home is going to be empty for any length of time during cold weather you must let us know. This is so that we can take appropriate action if we have reports of frozen or burst pipes. You must make sure your water is turned off and the pipes drained. If you want us to do this we will charge you. If you don’t know where your stopcock is, ask your housing services officer.
Make a note of where your stopcock is located.
Before you go you must make sure your home is ‘frost-proof’. See the Repairs and Maintenance section for what to do to make your home frost-proof.
Going away and not telling us
If you go away from home and don’t tell us, we might think you have moved out and are not coming back. We would then take steps to recover your home. This could mean that you lose your home and anything left in it. We do not need to go to court to do this, but we must send a notice to the property telling you what we intend to do. We can force our way into the home and change the locks if we think the house or its contents are not safe or secure.
If you do not respond to the notices we send to the property we can end your tenancy after four weeks. If you have left anything in the property, we will store them for up to six months, but only if it is worth more than the total of the cost of storing it and any amounts you owe us (for example, unpaid rent). Otherwise we will simply sell or dispose of your belongings.
We can also take action to end the tenancy of a joint tenant who has left the home leaving another joint tenant there. The remaining tenant will take over the tenancy in their name only.
Subletting your home
You might want to sublet your home if you have to go away for a few months but intend to come back. If you are thinking about doing this you must get our written permission first. We will ask for information about the arrangement and how long you intend to be away. We will not generally give permission for you to sublet your home for more than six months. To get our permission, contact your housing services officer.