Your tenancy agreement sets out your legal rights and responsibilities as a council tenant.
It also explains the actions that we can take if you breach these conditions.
We offer an introductory tenancy on a 12 month probationary period to show that you are responsible to maintain a secure tenancy.
If you do not breach your tenancy, it will be converted automatically after 12 months to a secure tenancy.
If you breach the introductory tenancy, we can extend it for a further six months or end your tenancy.
A Secure Tenancy gives you more rights including:
If you have a joint tenancy you share the tenancy, and the tenancy conditions apply to both of you equally.
We will not normally offer a joint tenancy to a parent and child.
Changes to your tenancy
If you have recently changed your name and want this to be reflected in the Councils housing records, you will need to complete the Application for Name Change Form (pdf)
If you would like to add someone to your Tenancy Agreement, you need to complete the Application Form for a Joint Tenancy (pdf).
If you would like to remove someone from your Tenancy Agreement, you need to complete the Application Form for a Sole Tenancy (pdf)
You can also get copies of all the forms at the Civic Centre
Succession of Tenancy
You may be able to pass your tenancy on when you die, this is known as succession.
A wife, husband or civil partner can succeed along with a close family member, if they have been living with you continuously for the last 12 months.
Proof of occupation will be required and you may be asked to move to alternative Council accommodation
If you believe that you have a right to succeed a tenancy, you need to:
- complete the Succession to Tenancy Application Form (pdf)
- provide proof that you have lived in the property for the 12 months up to the date of the tenant's death
End your tenancy
Your tenancy can only be ended if:
- we give you four weeks’ written notice because you no longer live in your home as your main home
- you give us four weeks written notice for your tenancy to end on a Monday
- a Court order for your tenancy to be transferred from one person to another as a result of a domestic dispute or marriage breakdown
- we are granted a County Court order to evict you
If you have a joint tenancy and one of you ends the tenancy, this will end the tenancy for both of you.
You need to leave your home in a satisfactory condition so that we can re-let the property to someone else who needs it as quickly as possible.
Before leaving, you need to:
- clean and tidy the house (including the loft or shed if you have one)
- clear furniture
- leave a plug and chain for each sink, hand basin and bath
- leave sinks, wash hand basins, baths, shower trays and toilets in a sanitary condition
- make sure electric sockets and light fittings are working
- not leave any bulky rubbish or unwanted items in or outside the house
If you do not leave your home in a satisfactory condition we will carry out the work to bring it up to the required standard. We will charge you the cost of doing this work.
You must return all keys to all locks of the property. There will be at least two front door keys and at least one key for every other lock.
Your keys must be returned to the Civic Centre by 12 noon on the Monday your tenancy ends. If keys are received after this deadline we will charge you for another full week’s rent.
If a council tenant has died, you need to tell us as soon as possible by:
- telephoning Contact Harlow on 01279 446655
- emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- in person at the Civic Centre
Once you have reported the death, you will need to give us:
- details of the tenant’s next of kin (closest relative)
- a copy of the Death Certificate
- your address and contact details, or the details of the person dealing with the deceased affairs if this is not you
- a date to return the keys
If the tenant was receiving Housing Benefit, this ends on the first Sunday after the date of death.
Rent in full will continue to be charged until the tenancy is formally ended and all keys have been returned.