Tenancy Services Team
As a tenant of the Council you will either have been granted an introductory or a secure tenancy. As long as you do not break any of the tenancy conditions which you agreed to when you signed up for your tenancy, you have a tenancy for life with us and you can enjoy all the rights that come with your tenancy. Tenant’s rights are at the centre of everything we do and we aim to keep you informed of our involvement in your tenancy.
We are responsible for providing lots of housing management services to you. Our services start when you sign up for your tenancy and we will help you with any problems or changes to your tenancy throughout your time as Council tenant. Please let us know if there are any:
- Changes to your household, for example people move in or out of your home, including requests for successions and assignments of tenancy.
- Requests for permissions as set out in your tenancy conditions, such as property improvements, lodgers, pets, running a business.
- Problems with neighbour nuisance or anti-social behaviour.
- If you do not keep to your tenancy conditions we may take action against you. We will always contact you before we take any action to discuss our concerns with you.
Void Property Officers
If you are looking to transfer to another one of our properties and you are successful bidder on Hampshire Home Choice, we will contact you to arrange a time for you to view the property and will also make all the arrangements for you to sign up for your new tenancy with the Council. Also, if you are giving notice on your current tenancy we would visit you to carry out an inspection of the property and answer any questions you may have about moving.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about your tenancy please contact the Tenancy Services team:
Tel: 01962 848 197 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Car parking on some of our housing estates may be limited, so please park considerately. You must only park your car on the public highway, in a designated parking area or a garage. Communal parking areas are generally not designated for specific properties. Please do not park on grass verges, open spaces, garage forecourts and do not block access routes for emergency vehicles.
You may be able to construct a hard standing within the boundary of your property, but you must get our permission first. You must also get permission from Hampshire County Council for a dropped kerb and access across a pavement, where necessary.
If any tenant is a victim of a crime, such as homophobic crime, racist crime, or general crime, they should contact the Police, but also advise the Council of the problem. It is likely that if a crime is perpetrated against a tenant whilst in their home, or whilst in the vicinity of their home, the person committing the crime may be in breach of their Conditions of Tenancy and it may be possible to either ensure that they do not repeat their actions or potentially that they could be evicted.
Where there are issues of community safety we always welcome the input of our tenants. This may be instances where a security light is required or a door entry system to a block of flats. We do work with the Police on resolving community safety issues and we would be happy to take up any suggestions from our tenants.
Winchester's Community Safety Partnership, involves the City Council, the Police and other local bodies.
Nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour
Your tenancy conditions state you have agreed to ensure you, members of your family and other residents or visitors to your property, do not cause a nuisance and annoyance to neighbours or other residents of your community.
We aim to encourage everyone to have due consideration for all of their neighbours. We will actively defend people’s rights to live in their home free from nuisance and harassment.
We will try to resolve nuisance problems without taking court action, if possible. Even when legal action is taken, we will continue to talk to the people involved and try to get them to reach an agreement to change their behaviour or settle a dispute.
You should contact your Tenancy Housing Officer if the problem continues and explain how you have tried to resolve it. We will discuss with you how best to manage your complaint and may ask you to complete log sheets with the date, time, duration and nature of the problem. Log sheets can be used as evidence in court, so you should make a note of all incidents and relevant information. For help and advice about completing log sheets, please contact your Tenancy Housing Officer.
When we receive your complaint, we will contact everyone involved to make them aware and give them the chance to respond to the allegations. We will warn people if they are breaching their tenancy conditions and this will hopefully prevent further problems. If the problems do continue, you should log the information and contact your Tenancy Housing Officer.
Right of Succession
When a secure tenant dies the tenancy may be passed on. This is called a succession and, by law, only one succession is allowed. Therefore, if you have succeeded to the tenancy, it can not be passed on to another family member when you die.
We will not ask the spouse or partner of a deceased tenant to move. However, we will offer you alternative accommodation if you have succeeded to a tenancy and you are not the spouse or partner of the deceased tenant and the accommodation is too big for your needs. We will obtain a court order if you refuse to move. Each succession case is different and requires to be investigated by a Tenancy Housing Officer.
You can request joint to sole by using our Joint to Sole Tenancy online form.
You can request succession of tenancy using our Tenancy Succession online form.
A tenancy may be assigned (transferred) to another person under certain circumstances. These are:
- Qualifying successor – If you are a sole tenant and you have not already succeeded to the tenancy, you are able to assign your tenancy to someone who would qualify as a successor
- Property Transfer Order – You can seek a Property Transfer Order through the court. If granted, the tenancy will be transferred to the person named by the Judge. This usually applies for divorce proceedings.
- Mutual exchange – You are able to exchange your home with tenants of another local authority or registered social landlord. You will need to formally apply to exchange your home and obtain approval before you are allowed to move.
To assign your tenancy to a qualifying person please use our Tenancy assignment online form
You need to give Housing Services four weeks' written notice to end your tenancy. However, if you are transferring to a property owned by Winchester City Council or a partner housing association, you may give two weeks' written notice. You can give notice on any week day (Monday to Friday). However, the notice period will only start from the date we recieve your notice. We have a printed termination form that we prefer you to use. However, you may write a letter to us instead. Termination forms are available from the Customer Service Centre, support staff for older people's housing and the Tenancy Team.
We will write to you confirming we have recieved your notice. We will advise you of the date your tenancy will end and when and where you should return the keys. You must pay your rent and other charges during your notice period and your rent account must be clear when the tenancy ends. During the notice period we may need to visit and inspect the property. This may include taking a video or photographs of the condition.
You must ensure that we are given vacant possession of the property on the termination date.
Giving notice when a tenant has died
In the event of the tenant’s death, the next of kin must give us four weeks’ written notice and include the death certificate. Where a power of attorney exists, written notice may be given on behalf of the tenant if you send a copy of the relevant documentation.
Tenants wishing to downsize
If you would like to down-size to a flat or maisonette we may be able to offer financial and practical help. A council tenant who is willing to give up their family home and move into a one or two bedroom flat or maisonette, may qualify for a one off cash payment under the tenants incentive scheme. If you wish to take advantage of the scheme, please contact a member of the Tenancy Team.
Applying for a mutual exchange
If you want to apply for an exchange, all parties will need to complete an application form, which is available from the Customer Service Centre or the Tenancy Team. Once all applications have been received, we have six weeks to approve or decline your request. During this time, we will inspect your property and send you a copy of the condition report for your records. In all cases, the incoming tenant must accept the condition of the property before the exchange is approved. Depending on the condition of the property, the exchange may be refused or made subject to certain conditions.
We could take action against you for rent arrears or anti social behaviour in line with our policies, which may result in you losing your home, if you do not get in touch with us or you fail to pay as agreed.
Notice Seeking Possession/Notice Requiring Possession
We will serve you with a Notice Seeking Possession (or a Notice Requiring Possession, if you have an introductory tenancy). This is the beginning of a legal process to repossess your home.
We will start court proceedings at the end of the four week Notice period if there remain breaches of your tenancy conditions. You may be liable for our legal costs. You will be notified of your court date and we advise you to attend the hearing.
We will apply to the court for a date to take possession of your home if you do not keep to the terms of the court order.
We will apply to the court for a warrant to evict you from your home if you have further breached your tenancy conditions, this will be after the date fixed by the court.
Introductory tenants who are taken to court will lose their home. The court has no discretion but to give us an immediate order for possession of your home, if we have followed our procedures correctly.
Housing advice and homelessness
The Council and other registered social landlords may not have an obligation to provide you with permanent housing if you are evicted from your home, even if you have children. You may be found to be intentionally homeless.
If you are threatened with eviction or have been made homeless, you should contact our Housing Needs Section urgently for advice.