Information for tenants
Our mission is to support you to live your later life to the full.
We give you an assured tenancy so you have peace of mind and security.
Our schemes have a strong sense of community and residents enjoy a variety of hobbies and interests whilst living independently.
Your tenancy agreement
Your tenancy agreement is the legal contract between you and Sussex Housing & Care.
It provides information about your responsibilities as a resident and ours as a landlord, including living in your home, repairs, maintenance and access, respecting others and your rights as a tenant.
Your scheme manager will issue the tenancy agreement at the sign-up meeting and is able to answer any questions or queries you may have about its content.
Here is a sample tenancy agreement:
Assured Tenancy Agreement SAMPLE.pdf[pdf] 531KB
What if I want to move?
If you’re looking to move home there are a number of options available to you, including for example:
- Internal transfer – transferring to another of our properties for medical, mobility or to be closer to immediate family. This is subject to meeting an eligibility criteria and certain conditions including your conduct and rent history;
- Mutual exchange – this is when you swap tenancies with our permission, here is our mutual exchange policy - Mutual Exchange Policy v1 2018 [pdf] 581KB. You would need to find another Sussex Housing & Care resident who is happy to swap properties with you and we can then support your move. You can also mutally exchange with residents living in other social properties. To do this please register your property on the home swapper website;
- Registering with your local authority;
- Private rented sector; and
- Care home
If you are thinking about moving, our scheme manager will be happy to share with you more detail about these options.
How can I add or remove a joint tenant?
We expect you to always keep us up to date with who’s living in your home. Informing us that a person has moved in or moved out of the property does not mean they have been added or removed from the tenancy agreement.
Adding a joint tenant
If you hold a sole tenancy with us and live in a property suitable for more than one person, in most cases a joint tenant can be added if you’ve not breached your tenancy, are not in rent arrears and the new tenant:
- Is the husband, wife or civil partner of the current tenant
- Is the cohabitee of the current tenant and has lived at the property with the current tenant for at least 12 months
- Agrees to take on the rights and responsibilities of the new tenancy.
You'll both need to sign a new tenancy agreement, saying you accept the new terms.
Removing a Joint Tenant
If you hold a joint tenancy with us and want to change this to a sole tenancy, both tenants must agree to the change. You'll also need to meet the following conditions:
- Both joint tenants give their written consent by signing a document
- The sole tenant agrees to take over the rights and responsibilities of the existing tenancy
- There are no rent arrears on the tenancy
- There are no breaches of the tenancy.
How can I end my tenancy?
If you want to end your tenancy you must give a minimum of one month or four weeks written notice (depending on your tenancy type).
Please complete an end of tenancy form: End of Tenancy Notice Form.docx [docx] 45KB
- We'll write back to you to confirm the date the tenancy will end.
- We'll visit you to inspect your property before the tenancy ends.
- You must pay your rent up to the date your tenancy ends, even if you move out before then.
- You must pay off any rent arrears or rechargeable repairs in full.
- You must return your keys to the scheme manager before 12 midday on the day your tenancy ends. If you do not, we will continue to charge you the full rent.
You're responsible for clearing your home, removing any rubbish and leaving the home in a reasonably decorated and clean condition.
You mustn't remove any fixtures or fittings. We'll expect you to restore any original fixtures and fittings that you have removed without our permission.
If we have to remove rubbish or carry out repairs or replacements, we'll charge you the cost. You must also remove all your belongings from your home. If you don't, we'll charge you for clearing them.
What happens if a resident dies?
We acknowledge that this can be a difficult and upsetting time for family members and we will assist in making this process as simple as possible.
Here are some first steps to take:
- Let us know when the resident died and provide the scheme manager with a copy of the death certificate.
- If the person was a sole tenant, complete an End of Tenancy form and give this to the scheme manager: End of Tenancy Notice Form.docx [docx] 45KB
Things you need to know
- Rent is payable until the representative of the resident legally ends the tenancy.
- Housing Benefit stops on the date of death.
- All belongings and furniture must be cleared and the property should be left in a reasonably decorated and clean condition.
- You'll need to cancel the gas and electric supply.
- All keys should be handed in to the scheme manager by 12 midday on the day the tenancy ends.
In certain circumstances the tenancy can be passed to a family member if that family member was living with the deceased at the time. Contact your scheme manager to find out whether this would apply in your circumstances.
Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour
We are able to support residents who may be experiencing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). We believe every resident has the right to live without the fear of ASB, nuisance and harassment and take reports of these very seriously.
What is ASB?
"Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person, conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or conduct capable of causing housing related nuisance or annoyance to any person."
Examples of ASB may include, but are not limited to:
- Assault and threats of violence
- Criminal activities
- Noise which is a statutory nuisance
- Sexual offences
- Verbal abuse/harassment/intimidation
- Use of weapons
- Cuckooing (which is coercive takeover of the home of a vulnerable tenant)
Some examples of what is not ASB may include, but is not limited to:
- Children playing
- Cooking smells
- DIY noise and day to day noise (such as walking about, closing doors, washing machine)
- Pet fouling
- Lifestyle clashes
- Parking issues
- One-off parties or gatherings
This does not necessarily mean we are not able to help, but it may not be classified as ASB.
How do I report ASB?
Anyone can report ASB to us. Before doing so if the ASB relates to noise nuisance, try talking to the person concerned. In many cases, they may not be aware that their behaviour is causing a nuisance and a polite discussion can often resolve the matter.
If you do not feel comfortable approaching the person(s) in this way then please contact us - there are a number of ways you can do this:
- Contact your scheme manager.
- Complete the contact us form on our website
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling on 01323 875240.
When you make a report you will be asked to provide certain information about the ASB so we can find out more about it and agree if and how we plan to deal with the issue.
What to do in an emergency?
If an incident is serious or life threatening you must call 999 immediately and speak to the emergency services. If you have reported a matter to the police, either via 999 or the non-emergency 101 number it is important that you let us know and provide us with the reference number and the names of any police officers you have spoken to.
In many cases we will need to work in partnership with others to tackle the ASB as they may have the expertise and powers to help resolve the matter. We work with the police, local authorities (such as the environmental health department), mediation services, social services and voluntary organisations.
Useful websites for tenants
Here are some links to a variety of websites for useful information and advice to support you to live later life to the full.
- Shelter provide housing advice, for example on repairs, tenancies and eviction.
- Citizens Advice provide free advice, for example on housing, benefits and universal credit. Citizens Advice West Sussex and Citizens Advice East Sussex.
- Age UK provide advice and support for older people.
- Adult social care provide support to adults and you can request an assessment.
Visit the East Sussex Adult Social Care website.
Visit the West Sussex Adult Social Care website.
- STEPS is a free and confidential housing support service for people aged 60 and over provided by East Sussex County Council.
- Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme, this is a service from East Sussex County Council which provides emergency help in certain situations.