FAQ's

What is a tenancy agreement?

What is a breach of tenancy?

What is a Starter Tenancy?

What will happen to a tenancy if a tenant dies?

How can I remove myself or the other joint tenant from our tenancy?

What if I can't maintain my garden?

Can I put someone else on my tenancy with me?

Can I take in a lodger?

Do I need permission to make alterations to my home?

What is a mutual exchange?

How can I apply for a mutual exchange?

What is a tenancy agreement?
Your tenancy agreement is the legal contract that you and ourselves sign before you are given the keys to your home. Your tenancy states what our obligations are to you and your home and lists the conditions that you must abide by. A copy of our tenancy agreement can be downloaded from the tenancy agreement page.

What is a breach of tenancy?
This is when a tenant fails to abide by one of the conditions in their tenancy agreement. If you are unsure whether you are in breach of your tenancy you should contact your Neighbourhood Services Advisor to discuss this. You can find out who your Neighbourhood Services Advisor is by going to your neighbourhood team page.

What is a starter tenancy?
A starter tenancy is a type of assured short-hold tenancy that acts as a ‘probationary’ tenancy for the first 12 months. If at the end of the 12 months there have been no breaches of tenancy, it will automatically convert to a full assured tenancy on the first anniversary of your tenancy start date. Starter tenancies help us to tackle anti-social behaviour more quickly and efficiently, so your homes and communities are a nicer place to live. This is because they allow us to end a tenancy without the expense of Court proceedings if there are any breaches to your tenancy agreement which are not resolved. You can find out more about starter tenancies on our tenancy agreement page.

What will happen to a tenancy if a tenant dies?
If you hold a joint tenancy and the other joint tenant dies, you will be able to keep the tenancy in your sole name. This is called survivorship. If the tenancy is in a single name the spouse, partner or relative of a tenant may be able to take over the tenancy when the tenant dies, this is called succession. To succeed a tenancy there are various criteria that must be met. These include:

  • there has been no succession of the tenancy before
  • the successors must have lived with the tenant for the last 12 months before the tenant's death

If you have a live-in carer, it is unlikely that they will be able to take over the tenancy if you die. However, we will look sympathetically at their housing situation to see if we can help.

If a sole tenant dies and there is no relative, partner or spouse living at the home with the right to succeed, the next of kin has the responsibility of ending the tenancy. In the event of a tenant dying we will accept two or four weeks written notice (from the following Monday) from the next of kin. The property should be clear before the notice expires and keys are returned, if the next of kin are unable to do this Teign Housing would carry out this work, but will look to claim the expense alongside any unpaid rent from the deceased's estate.

How can I remove myself or another joint tenant from a tenancy?
If both parties agree to one person removing their name from a joint tenancy, it may be possible for you to remove one name from the tenancy and have it remain in one sole name, this is called an assignment. Both tenants will need to contact their Neighbourhood Services Advisor to discuss the implications of this. You will both be asked to sign an application form and return it to us. Once we have received both forms you will be invited into our office at Market Square, Newton Abbot to sign the legal document to assign your tenancy. You can find out who your Neighbourhood Services Advisor is by going to your neighbourhood team page.

If you are unable to agree who should keep the tenancy, you must apply for a Court Order. At a hearing, a judge will decide who will become the sole tenant of your home. To start this procedure you should seek legal advice from Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor. Unfortunately we can not assist with this process. If you are also undergoing divorce proceedings you may wish to discuss, with your solicitor, the matter of including your tenancy within your divorce.

What if I can't maintain my garden?
It is a condition of your tenancy that you keep your garden maintained to a good standard. Unfortunately we can not assist with maintaining private gardens and so you may need to investigate asking a friend, relative or reputable contractor to do the work for you. If you are finding managing in your current home more of a struggle and are considering moving to a home that would be better for your needs, please contact your Neighbourhood Services Advisor to discuss how they could help. You can find out who your Neighbourhood Services Advisor is by going to your neighbourhood team page.

Can I put someone else on my tenancy with me?
You may be able to add someone to a tenancy if the other person is:

  • your spouse or civil partner
  • your partner and you have lived together for a period of 12 months or more

We will not normally grant a joint tenancy to a parent and their child. If you have a joint tenancy, you share the tenancy and the conditions apply to you equally. This means you are both responsible for paying the rent or any arrears and you are both responsible for any breach of the tenancy conditions. If you would like to discuss adding someone else to your tenancy, please contact your Neighbourhood Services Advisor. You can find out who your Neighbourhood Services Advisor is by going to your neighbourhood team page.

Can I take in a lodger?
In some circumstances we will allow tenants to take in lodgers. Before you agree to this, please contact your Neighbourhood Services Advisor to discuss the conditions and implications this may have on you. You can find out who your Neighbourhood Services Advisor is by going to your neighbourhood team page.

Do I need permission to make alterations to my home?
Yes. Before undertaking any work you must request written permission from us. You should either e-mail us at: info@teignhousing.co.uk or write to us at Teign Housing, Collett Way, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4PH with details of what you would like to do. We will acknowledge your letter within five working days and respond in full within 20 working days.

We do not refuse permission for reasonable requests to carry out alterations, but we do insist that any rent arrears are cleared before we grant permission for works.

What is a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange is a mutual agreement between two parties who wish to exchange properties. Any property damage highlighted during a property inspection must be repaired and any rent arrears must be cleared before the exchange takes place. A mutual exchange takes, on average, about six weeks to complete and you must not move until we advise you to do so. To find out more about mutual exchange you should go to the mutual exchange page.

How can I apply for a mutual exchange?
A mutual exchange form must be completed by each applicant and sent back to us. If your exchange partner is with another social landlord you may need to complete forms for them as well. Please complete the online form or download an application form from the mutual exchange page.