Your tenancy agreement


All Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust residents in rented accommodation have security of tenure provided that you do not breach your tenancy agreement.

Your right to occupy

You have the right to occupy your home without interruption or interference from us for the duration of your tenancy (except for the obligation to give access to our employees or contractors). This is providing that you comply with the terms of the tenancy agreement.

The 'only or principal home' rule

It is a legal condition that your home is used as your sole or main place of residence. If it becomes apparent to us that you are residing at another address, you may lose your security of tenure. We can end your tenancy by issuing a notice of seeking possession and then applying to the county court to end your tenancy and reclaim possession of the property.

This means that you will put your security of tenure at serious risk if you:

  • sublet your home to someone else and move away;
  • give your home to someone else and move away;
  • are away from your home for a long time and show no reasonable intention of returning.


If you wish to take in a lodger, permission must be sought and granted in writing. If permission is granted, you must provide us with the details of the lodger.

As the resident, you will be responsible for the behaviour of any other individuals living in your home.

Taking in a lodger may affect your benefits. If you would like more information and/or advice, please contact us and we will put you in touch with our Money and Benefits Advisers.

Breaches of tenancy

In the event that we wish to seek possession of your home because of a breach of tenancy, we must issue you with a Notice of Intention to Seek Possession in writing. The notice will clearly state our reason for seeking possession. We will give you one month’s notice before we apply to court for a hearing date. Whether we proceed to a court hearing or not after this period will depend on whether you have put right the breach of tenancy agreement, and/or whether you are taking the necessary action to address the breach. For instance, if you are in rent arrears but reach a payment agreement which you than adhere to with us within the one month period, we will take no further action.

It is in your interest to comply with the tenancy agreement to avoid losing your home.

As a social housing provider, we are committed to doing all that we can to avoid evictions as a result of rent arrears. Read more about paying rent and service charges and money, benefits and debt advice.

Joint tenancy and relationship breakdown

If you have a joint tenancy and your relationship breaks down, please contact us for advice on how this could affect your tenancy.

Either party in a dispute can apply to the County Court for an order to transfer the tenancy into their sole possession. Your solicitor can give you further information on the procedures involved.

Succeeding a tenancy

If you were originally a joint tenant with your partner and he/she dies, you would automatically become the sole tenant. Similarly, if you die, your partner automatically becomes the sole tenant. This is called succeeding to the tenancy.

Please note: If you succeeded to the sole tenancy in this way, you cannot subsequently pass it on to another relative or anyone else. As the landlord, we can take possession of the property again. For more information about succeeding to a tenancy please contact us.