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Stratford-on-Avon District Council
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Maintaining your tenancy

Meeting the requirements of your tenancy agreement

It is important that you meet the responsibilities of your tenancy agreement. Where you fail to meet these, your tenancy may be at risk.

You should pay your rent on time as and when it is due according to your tenancy agreement.

My landlord wishes to end my tenancy

There is a process for private landlords to follow if they wish to end your tenancy. For the majority of tenancies, a landlord will seek to end your tenancy using the Section 21 procedure.

If you receive a Section 21 notice or any other form of notice requiring you to leave your home you may eventually become threatened with homelessness.

You can receive advice from the Housing Advice Team about how to best prevent homelessness. This will typically involve looking into possibilities of remaining in your property or looking into alternative accommodation.

I am having difficulty paying my rent

You may have a change in your personal circumstances that may have an impact on your ability to maintain your rent payments. For example, you could lose or change employment.

You should seek help and advice immediately and keep your landlord informed of these circumstances.

If you are having difficulty paying your rent, you can access free advice on dealing with rent arrears at any time.

There are a number of organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau that may be able to provide you with timely advice. It is advisable that you seek such advice as soon as you are aware of changes to your circumstances.

If you are having difficulties with debts, increased costs of living, or where you are experiencing other financial difficulties, you can contact a number of debt counselling services such as:-

I am having difficulty paying my rent and I am Housing Association tenant

You must contact your Housing Association landlord as soon as you think you are going to have a problem. You must keep them informed of your circumstances. They will be in a better position to help you if you keep in regular contact with them. Most of the Housing Associations have dedicated teams and support staff to assist you if you are experiencing difficulties.

I have received a Notice on my tenancy, I am threatened with homelessness

As an assured shorthold tenant, the landlord may ask you to leave. There is normally a process that the landlord will have to follow to end the tenancy. Most follow the accelerated possession proceedings process where they are entitled to.

The landlord may need to end your tenancy for a number of reasons, and this may have nothing to do with yourself. The landlord retains the right to end your tenancy by issuing a valid Section 21 notice.

If your landlord intends to end your tenancy and you receive a Section 21 notice, you may contact the Housing Advice Team for advice.

Where you are in breach of the tenancy agreement for example, if you have fallen into arrears and you have a threat of homelessness you should also be looking to contact the Housing Advice Team as soon as possible as there may be some additional advice and assistance to help keep you in your home or to help you find alternative accommodation.

My Housing Association landlord is taking action against me as I have fallen into arrears

If you have received a Notice for rent arrears from your Housing Association landlord, they will normally need to follow the following rent arrears protocol to take action against you.

By keeping in contact with them, they can assist you in various ways. They will normally have a dedicated team and individuals specifically employed to assist you through your difficulties with the aim of doing what they can to keep you in your home.

If your Housing Association landlord does pursue action through the rent arrears protocol, it is advisable that you contact the Housing Advice Team as you will be under a threat of homelessness. Alternatively, you could contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or Shelter.

My landlord is threatening to change the locks to my home and evict me. Can they do this?

This may be a case of illegal eviction and this is unlawful and the Council will take steps to return you to your accommodation or prosecute the landlord.

If you believe that your landlord is: intending to, or has illegally evicted you, or if you are receiving harassment from your landlord, you must contact this Council immediately on 01789 267575 (this number is the emergency out of hours number in case this happens outside of the Council's opening hours).

What happens if I become homeless or threatened with homelessness from my accommodation?

The Housing Advice Team provides a homelessness service on behalf of the Council for people who believe themselves to be homeless or threatened with homelessness.

The service that they will provide to you will generally include:

  • · Enquiries in to whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • · Efforts to prevent you from actually becoming homeless if it is established that you are threatened with homelessness
  • · Assessment as to whether:
    • You are eligible for assistance
    • In priority need
    • Intentionally homeless
    • Have a local connection to Stratford on Avon District Council
  • · In certain circumstances, provision of temporary accommodation
  • · A written notification of the decision and the outcome where a homeless application is formally processed
  • · All in line with the published Housing Advice Team Service Standards

What do I need to know about repairs and maintenance responsibilities with my tenancy?

The tenancy agreement will lay out the specific responsibilities towards the upkeep and maintenance of your tenancy. It will also list the key responsibilities that your landlord will have to meet. There is a legal responsibility on a private landlord to cover and resolve most repairs that occur during a tenancy. There are some that you will be responsible for and these are normally minor repairs such as maintaining internal décor, gardens, changing light bulbs etc.

What should I do if my landlord fails to complete repairs?

There are a number of things that you should do if your landlord refuses to carry out your repairs.

At the point that you need to contact the Council, you can contact the Housing Standards Officer either through visiting any of the Council Offices, telephoning 01789 260848 or alternatively, you could email the Private Sector Housing Team on psht@stratford-dc.gov.uk.

What kind of housing standards should I expect in my accommodation?

Housing Standards in Private Rented.

I live in a shared house with other residents, are there any special rules?

There are specific rules that govern what the landlord must provide if you are living in a shared house, known as a House in Multiple Occupation (an HMO).

I am a housing association tenant and my landlord has not carried out the repairs, what can I do?

Firstly, you need to establish that the housing association has the responsibility to complete the repair. You should continue to chase up the repair through your normal channels of communication with them.

If you still feel that your landlord has not met their responsibilities in carrying out the repair, you can make a complaint to them. If you are still unsatisfied with the outcome of the complaint, you do have the right pursue a complaint with the Housing Ombusdman and refer the outstanding repair issues to this Council's Housing Standards Officer.

I live in armed forces accommodation, what rights do I have?

If you serve in any of the armed forces in the UK, you may be provided armed forces service accommodation. This may give you specific rights, particularly if you are asked to leave.

I am in tied accommodation, what rights do I have?

There are various types of tied accommodation. For example, you may be employed on a farm where accommodation is provided or you manage a pub where accommodation is provided. There are differences in the rights that you may have depending on the terms of your employment and the reasons for why the accommodation is provided.

You may be a service occupant, service tenant or hold a business tenancy or agricultural tenancy.

The exact definition of what type of tenancy, if any, you have can be complicated and you should seek full advice through the Shelter, CAB or you are free to contact the Housing Advice if you need to establish what right you have, particularly if your landlord wants you to leave.