Your home, your tenancy

As Newark and Sherwood District Council tenant you have a variety of rights which are set out in your Tenancy Agreement. Below is a brief summary of the rights and responsibilities of tenants.

Tenants' rights

  • you can live in your home without interference from us for the length of your tenancy as long as you (and your friends, relatives and any other person living in or visiting your home) follow the conditions of your Tenancy Agreement
  • an exception to the above is if our employees, contractors, or subcontractors need to come into your home as a condition of your tenancy agreement, to ensure you are complying with the terms of this agreement, or to adhere to our health and safety regulations as your Landlord
  • you have a right to information from us about your tenancy and about our repairing obligations, our policies and procedures on tenant consultation, housing allocation, rehousing, mutual exchanges, tenancy transfers and our performance as a landlord
  • if you pass away, whilst you are a secure tenant, your tenancy can pass to your spouse or civil partner, as long as they occupy the property as their only or principal home at the time of your death - please speak to us if you are in this circumstance
  • if you are a secure tenant you have the right to take in a lodger as long as the property does not become overcrowded and you must notify all the relevant authorities including the Council that administer any benefits you are claiming
  • if there is a disagreement about the conditions of your tenancy which we cannot sort out with you, the court has the power to make the final decision
  • you cannot be evicted without obtaining a court order – which can be obtained for legal reasons such as rent arrears or antisocial behaviour and you will be given notice in writing explaining why
  • you have the legal right to have certain types of repairs, known as qualifying repairs, carried out in specific timescales

Mutual exchange

You have the right to mutually exchange your property with another tenant of Newark and Sherwood District Council, any other council tenant, or a tenant of a housing association.

A mutual exchange is a legal right, detailed in the Housing Act 1985, and is when two or more tenants swap properties with each other and in doing so, pass on any legal interest in the tenancy. When a mutual exchange takes place, each tenant takes on the original terms of the tenancy agreement of the person they have swapped with.

To swap your home you need to:

  • find someone to swap homes with
  • get written permission from us
  • complete the legal paperwork

The District Council are part of a national scheme called Homeswapper – please contact us if you require advice or guidance.

Right to buy

In certain circumstances you have the right to buy your home. Please contact the District Council for details.

Our responsibilities to you

  • we will keep the structure and exterior of your home in repair and keep essential installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation and heating in repair and proper order
  • we will comply with the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation when dealing with personal data and protect any information we hold about you from accidental or unlawful disclosure
  • we must notify you of any changes to your Tenancy Agreement, ask for your comments and give you at least four weeks’ notice under sections 102 and 103 of the Housing Act 1985
  • we have the right, upon giving you 24 hours’ written notice, to come into your home at all reasonable times to inspect it or to carry out work in your home or an attached property
  • we will have properly served on you, any notice relating to your tenancy if we:
    • give it to you personally
    • post it to you at the tenancy address
    • deliver it or leave it at the property
    • give it to someone acting on your behalf

Four Million Homes

A programme has been launched to provide social housing tenants with free knowledge, guidance and training on your rights and how to stand up for them.

Four Million Homes provides free advice on a wide range of issues such as social housing resident rights, the services landlords are required to provide, repairs and maintenance for your home and communal areas.

For more information and helpful advice please visit the Four Million Homes website.

Housing Ombudsman

The Housing Ombudsman have a wide range of information on their website regarding your rights as a social housing tenant. For more information, please visit the Housing Ombudsman’s occupancy factsheet.

Additionally, at any point, you can contact the Housing Ombudsman for advice or support if you are unhappy with our housing services. The Ombudsman investigates complaints in a fair and independent way - it does not take sides. It is also a free service. The Ombudsman usually expects you to have given us chance to deal with your complaint before you ask them to investigate any complaint you have. More information is available on its website.

Information on how to leave us feedback or make a complaint is available on our tenant feedback webpage.