The following are some issues that relate to your tenancy agreement. It is important to be aware of how you may be affected if your circumstances change:
- Right of succession
- Running a business from your home
- Parking and caravans
The tenancy will pass to your spouse or partner. They must have lived with you for at least twelve months if you were not married, and be over 18 years. If one joint tenant dies, the tenancy automatically continues for the surviving joint tenant.
If there is no partner to take over the tenancy or the partner does not want the tenancy then it can pass to a relative if that person can show that they have lived at the property for twelve months. A relative is a mother, father, daughter, son, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, niece or nephew.
If a relative takes over a tenancy in this way and the home is too large, they can be asked to move to a smaller property. This will only happen after a suitable home has been found. If the tenancy has passed to a spouse, he/she does not have to move.
If you think you have the right to succeed, contact your Housing Officer (01322 343133). Your application will be considered sympathetically.
You have a right to take in a lodger to make better use of your home unless it leads to your home being overcrowded.
If you take in a lodger you must fill in a simple form and return it to your Housing Officer at the Civic Centre in Dartford.
If you are on Housing Benefit you must also notify the Housing Benefit Section (01322 343434), as this may lead to an alteration in your entitlement.
You have a right to sublet part of your home as long as you have written permission. Contact your Housing Officer for more details (01322 343133).
You must not move out and sublet the whole of your home. If you do so you will lose your security of tenure and your tenancy will be ended.
If you are on Housing Benefit you must also notify the Housing Benefit Section, as this may lead to an alteration in your entitlement. You are still responsible for paying the rent, even if the person subletting owes you rent.
You may keep domestic pets unless you are a tenant of an enclosed sheltered housing scheme. You must not let your pet become a nuisance. When you are outside, keep your dog on a lead and under proper control. You may be fined if your dog fouls in a public area so be prepared to use a dog bin.
If your dog causes a nuisance or harms your neighbours or others, you will have to remove it from your home and will risk possession proceedings being taken against you.
You should take out your own household insurance for the contents of your home and comprehensive 'all risks' cover for damage to your property. It is important that you have home contents insurance that provides cover for damage to your belongings whether caused by fire, flood or theft. Damage caused to the contents of your home will not be recoverable under the Council's insurance unless the Council or its agents have been negligent. This means that most accidental damage, eg: from a burst pipe inside your flat, will not be covered unless you have made your own arrangements.
If you live in a flat you should also insure against accidental damage to an adjacent property, for example, if a burst pipe damages a flat below you.
Some Council homes have paved areas and drives provided for car parking. These areas have been designed not to damage the structure of the property and there is a ramp over the kerb so that cars can get in or out. You must not park your car on any pedestrian area as this will damage the land and pavement and lead to underground pipes cracking.
Other parking spaces are provided for tenants and their visitors. Park carefully so that there is enough room for other drivers, pedestrians and emergency vehicles to pass and so that footpaths and verges are not damaged. You may also be prosecuted under the Council's Byelaws if you drive over or park on these areas. Parking is provided for taxed and roadworthy vehicles only.
You should not park lorries or commercial vehicles on estate car parks. Abandoned or untaxed vehicles will be towed away and disposed of and you may be recharged for any costs incurred.
Some parking spaces are provided for disabled people. Please be considerate and leave these spaces for those with mobility problems.
Caravans may be parked on a hard standing behind the building line. You must obtain written permission from your Housing Officer before keeping a caravan.