Your tenancy agreement
When you moved into your Luminus home, you signed an agreement with us setting out your rights and responsibilities as our resident and ours as your landlord. Some of these rights and responsibilities depend on the type of agreement you have with us.
Transferring assured tenancy:
If you were a secure tenant of Huntingdonshire District Council on 20 March 2000, when the housing stock was transferred to us, you probably hold an assured tenancy with ‘enhanced’ rights, including the ‘preserved’ right to buy your home.
Re-let assured tenancy:
If you became our tenant, or an Oak Foundation tenant, after 20 March 2000, you probably have an assured tenancy, without enhanced rights.
For the first year of your Luminus tenancy, we give you an assured shorthold ‘starter’ tenancy. During this period you will be regularly reviewed on the conduct of your tenancy and if at the end of the term you have achieved the required standard you will be offered a 5 Year fixed Term tenancy.
Fixed Term tenancy:
Following a successful starter tenancy, instead of a lifetime tenancy, your tenancy is for a five-year fixed term. Consideration will be given to a longer fixed term for tenants who regularly demonstrate their commitment to being actively involved in the community.
Changing who is on the tenancy agreement:
If you are a sole tenant and you get married or become a civil partner, we may allow you to become joint tenants.
If you are joint tenants and one of you wants to leave, we may allow you to take their name off the tenancy, if all the tenants agree.
We will make these changes by ‘assignment’. However, please note that we will always say no if you owe us rent.
If you are having relationship difficulties or suffering from domestic violence, talk to your Neighbourhood Officer. They can explain your partner’s housing rights and discuss your options with you. We will keep what you tell us in strict confidence and put your safety first.
When a tenant dies:
If an assured (but not an assured shorthold) joint tenant dies, the surviving tenants can sometimes continue with their tenancy, depending on the circumstances.
If your husband, wife, civil partner or common law partner dies and it’s their name on the tenancy agreement, providing you let us know in writing, you can stay in your home if you were living with them at the time. This is called a ‘succession’. However, there can only be one succession to a tenancy – unless an earlier succession took place when the property belonged to the District Council.
If the tenant had no partner, we may allow a member of their family to take on the tenancy – providing they were living there for a year before they died. But we may offer a more suitable property.
In all these cases, you must write to let us know as soon as possible, as time limits may apply.
Passing on the tenancy:
With our written permission, you may be able to pass on (‘assign’) your assured tenancy to someone else. This would apply when:
- you’re swapping homes with them in a mutual exchange
- when a divorce court says you must, or
- you want to pass the tenancy to someone who would have the right to succeed if you died (see When a tenant dies).
You cannot pass on your assured shorthold tenancy.
Your 'Fixed term' tenancy has a fixed term of five years, following a probationary year. During this time, you can enjoy your home fully as a Luminus resident.
When your fixed term is due to end, we will review your use of your home and we will either give you a new fixed-term agreement, ask you to move to a more suitable home through Home-Link, or ask you to move elsewhere. We will give you at least six months’ warning if we want you to move and we will help you to look at your options. If you think our decision is wrong, we will explain how you can appeal.
When you’re ready to end your assured or assured shorthold tenancy, you must write to us giving at least four weeks’ notice. Your tenancy must end on a Monday.
When you give us notice, we’ll write to explain the process, sending you key tags so you can label all your keys.
During your notice period, we’ll visit to check your home and see if you’re responsible for any repairs or damage. We may also arrange to visit with possible new tenants.
When you move out on the agreed Monday, you must return all the keys by noon. If you return them later, we’ll charge you another week’s rent. Don’t forget to leave us your forwarding address, in case we need to speak to you later.
We expect you to leave your former home clean, rubbish-free and clear of all your belongings – including the gardens, roof space and any outbuildings. However, you may be able to leave items in good condition, if the new tenant wants them – ask the member of staff who visits about this.
If you leave the place in a mess and we have to spend money sorting it out, we will send you a bill for completing this task.
Fixed term tenancies
You may end your tenancy at any time by giving us 4 weeks’ Notice in writing. If you have a joint Fixed Term tenancy, Notice needs to be given by both tenants to end the tenancy. The four weeks’ Notice must end at noon on a Monday. You must sign and date the Notice and give us a forwarding address.