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All about your tenancy

A tenancy agreement (PDF) is a contract between us and our tenants. You should read it carefully to make sure you understand it. To find out who your neighbourhood officer is, email tenancy.council.housing@enfield.gov.uk.

You should make sure that you know your fire plan in case of an emergency, by viewing our know the plan leaflet (PDF). If you live in a flat you must not leave anything out on the landing which poses a health and safety threat or might cause a fire.

Types of tenancies

The types of tenancies are:

  • Secure tenancies - where you may stay in your property if you keep to your tenancy agreement. Your rights can only be changed through the Notice of Variation procedure, outlined in your agreement  
  • Introductory tenancies - issued to new tenants who have not held a social tenancy before. This lasts for one year and if there are no problems you will become a secure tenant. If you break any conditions of the tenancy agreement we can get a court order and evict you from your home. If there are any problems with your tenancy, we can extend the introductory tenancy by six months. During the probationary period, you cannot exchange the property with another tenant, take in lodgers, buy the property, sublet all or part of your home, or carry out alterations or improvements
  • Joint tenancies - issued if there is more than one tenant. Everyone who signs the agreement is jointly responsible for all aspects of the tenancy

If you want to end your tenancy, you must give us at least four weeks’ notice in writing and complete a notice of termination form. You will need to write to us at:

Council Housing
The Edmonton Centre
36-44 South Mall
Edmonton Green
N9 0TN

The four weeks’ notice must end on Sunday.

When ending a tenancy, you must:

  • return clearly labelled keys to us at the Edmonton Centre, as we will charge you rent until we receive them. Make sure you get a receipt as proof you have done this
  • pay the rent and any other charges up to the date your tenancy ends
  • not leave anyone living in your home when your tenancy ends
  • leave your property clean, in good repair and dispose of all rubbish
  • remove all fittings, personal belongings, gardening equipment, carpeting and laminate flooring

By following the above, you could get a clean and clear bonus of up to £250. If you are entitled to the original £200 and leave curtains, nets and blinds behind, you will be eligible for the extra £50.

You need to apply within 28 days of leaving your home. The bonus can take up to a month to be processed. If the tenant has died, it can be claimed by their next of kin, or personal representative.

We will need to inspect the home within 14 days of your notice.  You will be charged if your property is damaged, you’ve made alterations without permission, or we have to clear your furniture and belongings from the property and outbuildings, including carpeting and laminate flooring.

For more information, email tenancy.council.housing@enfield.gov.uk.

If you are receiving any benefits other than Housing or Council Tax Benefit, you will need to contact the DWP on 0845 60 60 265 to let them know you are moving. We will stop paying any Housing Benefit after you leave the property. You may also need to contact your utility companies to close your accounts and give them meter readings.

Under certain circumstances, you can apply to legally transfer (assign) your tenancy to a person who would have been able to succeed your tenancy if you had died.

If you are a sole tenant, you can assign your tenancy to your spouse, partner, family member, or a roommate who has been living with you for 12 months at the time of assignment. If you are a joint tenant you cannot assign the tenancy to another family member if they are not the existing tenant.

Effecting an assignment means that there will be no further right to succession upon the death of the tenant to who the tenancy was assigned. You must not assign your tenancy without our written permission.

If you are a joint tenant and want to transfer the tenancy into your name only, you need to obtain a court order from the County Court.

If a loved one has died, you should email their neighbourhood officer at tenancy.council.housing@enfield.gov.uk. You will need to provide a copy of the death certificate once you have it.

If the tenant was receiving any benefits other than Housing or Council Tax Benefit, you will need to contact the DWP on 0845 60 60 265. We will stop paying Housing Benefit to the relevant rent account on the Sunday after the death and will begin charging the full rent.

You may need to contact the utility companies to close the tenant’s accounts and give them meter readings.

We charge rent until you have terminated the tenancy and handed us the keys. Rent and any arrears should be paid out of the tenant’s estate. However, if we do not receive keys within a reasonable time, we may serve a legal notice. If you think there will be a delay in returning the keys, you should contact the neighbourhood officer.

Before returning the keys, please make that the property is clean and free of all belongings. When returning keys, clearly label them with the property address and what part of the property they are for. Keys should be handed to us at:

The Edmonton Centre
36-44 South Mall
Edmonton Green
N9 0TN

In certain circumstances, it may be possible to pass a tenancy on to someone else through a Right of Succession, if there is only one name on the tenancy and that person dies. It can be taken over by:

  • a spouse, partner or civil partner
  • a family member who has been living in the property for at least 12 months

If more than one family member qualifies, the family must decide who will take over. If they cannot decide, we will make the decision.

Succession can only happen once and the tenancy can only be passed to one person. If an assignment has taken place, there will not be any right to succession.

Our Registration Service works with other government departments to offer you a bereavement service to make things easier. This means they can notify other departments and organisations for you.  For more information, contact the Registration Service.

We manage the Housing Register for tenants looking for somewhere else to live. You may be eligible to transfer if:

  • you or someone in your household is suffering from an  illness made worse by your home
  • your home is badly overcrowded
  • you are living in a home that is too large

If you would like to transfer to another council home, you will need to complete our Online Housing Advisor. If you are a sheltered tenant, contact your sheltered housing officer.

Be it decorating the living room or retiling the bathroom, we all want to make the most of our home. However, before you start did you know that you need to get our permission first?

Your tenancy or lease says that you need to get our 'written' consent to carry out alterations, improvements or additions to your home. Mostly we will not refuse you permission, for example if you want to replace your old bathroom suite.

However, we will refuse permission if we feel the work is detrimental to the property, for example you want to knock down a partition wall, tile over a service access hatch or use the loft space as a habitable area.

If you’re considering carrying out work, email your neighbourhood officer at tenancy.council.housing@enfield.gov.uk. They will advise if you need our written consent.

Typical work requiring our consent:

  • alterations to the structure, such as removing an internal wall or removing a fireplace
  • installation of a gas boiler
  • improvements, such as replacing kitchen units or a bathroom suite, installing a shower or erecting a conservatory
  • installing laminate, hardwood or tiled flooring
  • erecting a shed or garage
  • installing a hard standing and dropped kerb
  • erecting a satellite dish or television aerial
  • removal of trees

If you've already carried out work and did not get consent, we can still provide the necessary consent afterwards. However, before we can grant consent we will need to be sure that the work is satisfactory and it complies with your lease or tenancy.

Where we need to carry out inspections of completed work, there will be a charge for the surveyor's visit. If we need to grant a licence or alter a lease, you will be expected to pay towards these.

Right to improve

If you are a secure tenant, you have the right to make improvements to your home with our written permission. If you have an introductory tenancy, you are not permitted to do this.

Improvements made by secure tenants must meet a certain standard and you will be responsible for maintaining improvements you make. We may refuse your request if the work will:

  • reduce the property value
  • make the property unsafe for the occupier
  • result in extra cost to us

If you carry out improvements without permission and damage is caused to your own, or any other property, you will need to pay to repair and return the property to its original condition. Failure to do so could result in eviction.

If we grant you permission to carry out improvements, you must follow any conditions we set. You should also make sure that you have all other permissions, such as planning permission. It is your responsibility to pay for any fees associated with this.

When carrying out work noisy work, such as drilling or hammering, this should not be done:

  • before 8am and after 6pm on a weekday
  • before 9am and after 5pm on a Saturday
  • before 9am and after 4pm on a Sunday

After work is done, we need to inspect it. We may require you to do further work to fix any issues we have noticed with the improvements.

If your tenancy is ending because you are leaving your home, you may be able to get compensation for improvements you have made. You can claim for costs of materials and outside labour, if you have an invoice and proof that you have paid.

The value of any improvement goes down over time, so the amount of compensation will depend on the age of the improvement. Compensation applies to:

  • baths, showers, wash-hand basins and toilets
  • kitchen sinks and work surfaces for preparing food
  • storage cupboards in the bathroom or kitchen
  • central heating, hot-water boilers and other types of heating
  • thermostatic radiator valves
  • draught-proofing of external doors or windows
  • double-glazing or other window replacement or secondary glazing
  • rewiring, providing power, lighting and other electrical fittings
  • security measures (excluding burglar alarms)

You have up to 14 days after your tenancy ends to make a claim. For more information, contact your tenancy manager.

Right to take in lodgers

You have the right to take in lodgers if this does not overcrowd your home. You must give us the lodger's name in writing. If you get Housing Benefit, lodgers may affect your entitlement.

We offer our tenants the ability to swap their home with another tenant under the Mutual Exchange scheme. You can apply to swap your home (PDF) if you are a secure tenant and have not breached your tenancy conditions. You will also need to register with HomeSwapper.

We exercise a discretionary policy for tenants who are under-occupying their home, with less than eight weeks’ rent arrears. This includes:

  • tenants fleeing domestic violence or other forms of antisocial behaviour, where the antisocial behaviour team or police support the application
  • tenants who want to move to a smaller property, where the exchange will remove the under-occupation charge
  • where the arrears are solely resulting from welfare reform

We also offer assistance or give you a grant of £750 if you are moving into a smaller home. This is payable after you have moved.

If we give you permission to swap, you will be expected to move into the property in its current state. Any routine repairs after you have moved can be reported and dealt with in the normal way.

You can move to a property with one bedroom more than you need. However, if you receive a housing benefit, the extra bedroom will not be eligible and you will have to make up the shortfall in your rent.

We will refuse applications with rent arrears if:

  • a possession order exists
  • more than eight weeks’ rent is owed
  • other tenancy conditions are breached
  • the exchange is to a similar size property and does not remove the impact of welfare reform

The Right to Buy scheme gives long-term council tenants the right to buy the home they are renting at a discount.

See more information about Right to Buy.