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Tenants

  • Information for tenants
    Information for tenants

Annual Report

Our Annual Report 2017-18 (1.9MB) looks back on our performance over the last business year and showcases some of our key challenges and achievements.

Tenants' Agreement and Handbook

The Tenants' Agreement and Handbook (4MB) forms part of your tenancy agreement with the City of London Corporation. It contains the conditions of your tenancy and it is applicable to all City of London social housing tenants.

Tenancies – your rights and responsibilities

Most of our tenancies are secure tenancies. This means that under the Housing Act 1985 you have a wide range of rights. You also have some responsibilities.

Your legal rights are known as the ‘Tenant’s Charter’.

What does it cover?
The charter gives you the right to:

  • a secure tenancy
  • pass on your tenancy
  • take in lodgers and sublet part of your home
  • exchange your home
  • carry out improvements
  • repair your home
  • receive information
  • be consulted
  • buy your home

What does it mean to be an 'introductory' tenant?
An introductory tenancy usually lasts for a year. If we do not take steps to end your tenancy during this period, you will automatically become a secure tenant. You can only become a secure tenant if the house or flat named in your acceptance letter is your only or main home. If you are a joint tenant, the property must be the only or main home of at least one of you.

A secure tenancy
You are a secure tenant if you are not an introductory or demoted tenant and the house or flat named in your acceptance letter is your only or main home. If you are a joint tenant, the property must be the only or main home of at least one of you.

If you are a secure tenant, we cannot take back your home and end your tenancy without an Order from the county court. We will only take this action if you have broken the tenancy agreement you have agreed to.

If we decide to go to court, we must follow strict procedures. For example, before we go to court we must serve you with a ‘Notice of Seeking Possession’. This explains why we are taking action and which condition of your tenancy you are breaking. The court will consider your views and our views and will only make an Order if it is satisfied that our case is reasonable.

In some cases, for example overcrowding or demolition of the property, we may be able to serve you with a Notice because suitable alternative accommodation is available.

When do we evict a tenant?
We will only evict you if you break your tenancy agreement or there are other reasons that are serious enough to allow us to take this action. Before we can evict, the City of London must obtain a Possession Order from the county court. The following list explains when we can evict you. It is a short summary, so if you need more information, please contact your Estate Manager.

We can evict you if:

  • you regularly refuse to pay your rent
  • you regularly cause a nuisance or harass your neighbours
  • you allow your home to be used for illegal or immoral purposes
  • you or someone acting for you has given us incorrect or misleading information or made a false statement when you applied for the tenancy
  • you breach any other part of your tenancy agreement
  • you misuse or damage our property
  • the property is not your only or main home
  • you refuse to leave your temporary home when building work or modernisation on your own home is finished
  • you have provided false information on rights to remain and status.

We might also ask the county court for an Order if:

  • your home is overcrowded
  • we want to modernise or demolish the property.

In these cases we must offer you a suitable alternative place to live.

We can also ask the court for an Order if:

  • your home has been designed or adapted for people with special needs and you no longer need these facilities
  • you have taken over the tenancy after the death of the original tenant and the property is larger than you need.

In these cases we must show that we have a good reason for asking you to move and must offer you suitable alternative housing.

Demoted tenancy
If you engage in anti-social or illegal behaviour, but we do not evict you, we may ask the court to ‘demote’ your tenancy instead. This makes it easier for us to evict you if there are any more problems with your tenancy. If a year goes by without us taking any steps to evict you then you will become a secure tenant again.

​The right to pass on your tenancy

This section does not apply to non-secure tenants.

Members of your family may be able to take over your tenancy when you die. This is called a ‘succession’ to the secure tenancy.

Who can claim the tenancy?
You can claim the tenancy if you are:

  • a partner or joint tenant living in the property as their main home when the tenant dies, or
  • another family member or close relative who has lived with the tenant for the past year as their main home.

What if there is no partner but there is more than one close relative?
If more than one close relative lived at the property at least 12 months before the tenant died they can agree amongst themselves who will take over. If they cannot agree, we will choose the new tenant.

Who qualifies as a family member or close relative?
We will consider:

  • parents and grandparents
  • children and grandchildren
  • brothers and sisters
  • uncles and aunts
  • nephews and nieces.

The tenancy can only be passed on once following a death. If you have taken over the tenancy, you do not have the right to pass the tenancy on to someone else.

The right to take in lodgers and sublet

This section does not apply to non-secure tenants.

Lodgers
Before you consider taking in lodgers, speak to your Estate Manager. You must not cause overcrowding in your home. If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you must let us know if you take in a lodger. It may affect your benefit. You may also have to pay more Council Tax.

Sublet
You can sublet part of your home, but you must get our written permission first. We cannot refuse permission without a good reason. If we do refuse, we will always explain why in writing.

If you want to challenge our decision, you can apply to the court for a hearing to decide whether our decision was reasonable.

If you sublet part of your home without our permission, you will be breaking your tenancy conditions. If you sublet all of your home, you will lose all the rights of a secure tenant and risk court action against you and the people you have sublet to; this includes potential criminal actions, in line with our Social Housing Fraud – Anti-Fraud & Prosecution Policy.

The difference between subletting and taking in a lodger is as follows:

  • A lodger usually shares your home and may have meals with you.
  • A sub-tenant has their own use of part of your home and some independence, such as cooking and washing facilities.

It is a criminal offence to knowingly sublet the whole of your property and where such an offence is suspected the City of London Corporation will investigate the allegations in line with our Social Housing Fraud – Anti-Fraud & Prosecution Policy, and this may result in criminal proceedings being brought against you.

The right to receive information
We must give you information about your rights and duties as a secure tenant - this information can be found in your Tenants' Agreement and Handbook.

We must also explain our rules for offering properties - these rules can be found in the Tenants' Agreement and Handbook.

Can I check the information I have given you?
If you want to check that the information you have given and we have recorded is accurate, you must give us reasonable notice. We will not stop you checking this information.

The right to be consulted
We must consult you about certain matters relating to how we manage your home. For example, we must consult you about maintenance, improvements and demolition if you have a secure tenancy. We will consult you if there is a major change in these areas and it is likely to affect several tenants.

How do we consult you?
We already consult you in several ways about work that is planned for your home and estate.

Depending on the type of work, we will:

  • write and explain the type of work, asking for your comments and approval, or
  • hold a public meeting (or individual meeting if necessary).

The Right to Buy your home

​This section does not apply to introductory, demoted and non-secure tenants.

You can buy your home, if you have a secure tenancy and you have spent at least three years as a public sector tenant. The year served as an Introductory Tenant counts towards this three year period.

There are a few exceptions to this, including:

  • sheltered housing
  • blocks of purpose-built housing for disabled people
  • Almshouses.

Repairs to your home
Once your signed Right to Buy application form has been received, we will only carry out emergency repairs to your home until such time as the sale is either completed or cancelled. If the sale of your home completes then you will be liable for future repairs to the inside of the dwelling.

Who can buy?
Up to three members of your family can buy your home. They must have lived in the property for at least 12 months before applying to buy. And the property must be their only or main home.

How much will I have to pay?
The price of your home will depend on:

  • valuation, and
  • any discounts you are entitled to.

Valuation
An independent valuer will give the open-market value of your home on the date of your application. Improvements you have made to your home will not affect the valuation.

Can I challenge the valuation?
If you think the valuation is too high, you can ask the District Valuer to give an independent valuation. The District Valuer’s decision will be final. Remember that it could increase the valuation.

Discounts
The discount you are entitled to will depend on how long you have been a tenant. The maximum discount is £103,900, this amount increases every year in April in line with inflation.

The time you have spent as a tenant includes:

  • time spent as our tenant
  • time spent with a listed public sector landlord
  • time spent with the armed forces.

How much discount am I entitled to?
The discount you receive will depend on how long you have been a secure tenant. Your discount will increase for each extra year you have held a secure tenancy.

If you move later on
You can sell your home whenever you like. However, if you sell in the first year, you must pay back all the discount. If you sell during the second year, you must pay back two thirds of the discount. And if you sell in the third year, you must pay back a third of the discount. After that you can sell your home without paying back any discount.

If you wish to discuss any issues regarding the purchasing of your property please contact the Home Ownership Section on 020 7332 1647/3208/3013.

The right to information about our management performance

Every year we will send you a report of our performance.

The report will cover:

  • the cost of housing services
  • levels of rent and Housing Benefit/Universal Credit
  • collecting rent and the amounts of rent owed
  • repairs and maintenance
  • planned repairs and improvements
  • empty homes
  • homelessness
  • new tenancies.

Access to personal files
You can check certain information that we hold about you or a member of your family.

If you want to look at your file, write to your Estate Manager and say what information you want to look at. You can then arrange to call at the Estate Office and look at the information.

You can take copies of letters, except those which someone else has provided and which we must keep private. Before we let you see your file, you must pay us a £10 fee.

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