Your tenancy agreement
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Your tenancy agreement

Tenancy agreement and house keysWhen you rent a home from Leeds City Council, you become a council tenant and we will give you a tenancy agreement. Your tenancy agreement sets out what we, as the landlord, must do and what you, the tenant, must do - all the rules about living in your property such as:

  • Paying your rent on time.
  • Taking good care of the property and reporting repairs.
  • Keeping the garden tidy and the interior clean and in a good state of decoration.
  • Having consideration for other people living around you.
  • Keeping pets at the property.
  • Making alterations to the property.

If you, other members of your household or your visitors break the terms of the tenancy agreement, we may take legal action against you. This could result in you losing your home.  Examples of how you could break the terms of your tenancy agreement are:

  • Not paying your rent on time.
  • Not looking after the property.
  • Causing anti-social behaviour and hate crime.
  • Keeping pets where there are restrictions.
  • Making changes to the property without permission.

We give an introductory tenancy to new tenants who have not held a previous tenancy with a social landlord. If you are given this type of tenancy, it will last for a trial period of one year. As long as there are no problems during this time, you will become a secure tenant after the first year, with the extra rights this gives. If you break any of the terms of the tenancy agreement, we may take legal proceedings which could result in you losing your tenancy and your home. Please read the Welcome To Your Introductory Tenancy Agreement (PDF 780kb)​​

Click to expandAm I allowed to add or remove someone to/from my tenancy?

If you want to add someone to, or remove someone from, an existing tenancy this will require a change in your tenancy.

There are two options available to tenants to help with your request:

1. Granting a new tenancy
We can choose to give you a new tenancy as a joint or sole tenant to reflect your change.

If you want a new tenancy for these reasons we will assess each request on its own merits and inform you of the decision in writing.

What we will consider?

When considering whether to grant you a new tenancy agreement, we will look at several criteria including:

  • The size and type of the property you live in
  • Whether you have followed your tenancy agreement (e.g. paying your rent, kept the property in good condition etc.)
  • How long you have lived at the property
  • If you have used up the right of succession at the property
  • If you are wanting to add someone to your tenancy, your relationship with the person you want to add – spouses, civil partners and partners will usually be granted a new agreement

Whenever we grant a new tenancy in these circumstances you will need to attend an appointment to sign your new tenancy agreement.

Due to changes in how Housing Benefit is calculated, when you sign a new tenancy agreement this may affect the level of housing benefit you are entitled to. For more information, visit our Housing Benefit page.


2. Assigning the tenancy
You may be able to assign your sole tenancy to a joint tenancy (or vice versa); you will need to meet the legal requirements for an assignment and this will require a legal document to be drawn up and sealed by our Legal Services.

For further details about assigning your tenancy, please see the Successions and Assignments section.

If you want to add or remove someone from your tenancy agreement, please contact your local housing office.

Further information can also be found in the Adding or removing someone to/from your tenancy leaflet (PDF 194KB).

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Click to expandSuccessions and Assignments

A succession is when someone else takes on your property after your death. Succession is a legal right if you meet the necessary criteria:


  • Joint tenants: if a joint tenant dies the other tenant remains as the tenant. In law this is counted as a succession
  • Spouse or Civil Partner: if a spouse or civil partner of the deceased were living with the deceased tenant then they will be able to succeed to the tenancy
  • Family Members: other family members may be able to succeed if they have lived with the deceased tenant for at least 12 months.

Both secure and introductory tenancies can be succeeded to. A succession can only happen once; after this you will have no right to succeed to the tenancy. If you succeed to a property that is too big for your household then you may need to move into more suitable accommodation – we will help you with this.

If you think you have the right to succeed to a tenancy, you need to inform us.

Assignment – when you may pass on your tenancy to someone else
An assignment happens when a tenant lawfully passes on their tenancy to another person. This means the tenancy is transferred by a Deed of Assignment to another person. This can only happen for secure tenants. You can only assign your tenancy to someone who would be eligible to succeed to your tenancy; assigning your tenancy also counts as a succession and can only be done once.

If you wish to assign your tenancy to someone else please contact your housing office. Assigning your tenancy to someone else would mean you no longer have any legal right to the tenancy; we recommend you get independent legal advice prior to assigning your tenancy.

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Click to expandRights and Responsibilities for Introductory Tenants

​As an introductory tenant it is your responsibility to:

• Pay your rent and other charges on time.
• Make sure that you, or your visitors, do not behave in a way which causes nuisance or annoyance to anyone else.  This includes harassment.
• Take good care of your home, the fixtures and fittings, keep the garden tidy and the interior clean and in a good state of decoration.
• Report repairs without delay if they are the responsibility of the Council and allow access to housing officers and contractors.
• Give the council four full weeks’ notice in writing, if you wish to end your tenancy.  Your home must be left in good condition and the keys returned to the office.

As an introductory tenant you have the right to:

• Have your home repaired.
• Succeed to the tenancy.
• Get information on passing your tenancy to another person.
• Be consulted about issues that affect your tenancy.

As an Introductory tenant you do not have the right to:

• Take in lodgers.
• Sublet part of your home.
• Exchange your property.
• Buy the property.
• Make any major improvements or changes to the property.

Click to expandRunning a business from your Council home

Many tenants are not aware that they are allowed to run certain businesses from their homes. However, there are many types of businesses which are suitable to be based in the home, and this number is growing as more people have access to new technology and the internet.

You must get permission from Leeds City Council before running a business from your Council home, however we will not refuse permission without good reason.

Things that you need to take into account when running a business from your home include:

  • Noise, such as loud tools
  • Smells, such as a business involving food preparation
  • Large numbers of people, for instance if customers come to the property to buy products
  • Mess, for instance if tenants are doing vehicle repairs and keeping a lot of equipment in the garden
  • Legal requirements – e.g. if you are running a gas servicing business, or a childminder.
  • Keeping dangerous substances, e.g. paint thinners etc.

If you wish to apply for permission to run a business from your Council home, please use the “Running a business from your Council home application” form in the documents section below.

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Click to expandRights and Responsibilities for Secure Tenants

​As a secure tenant it is your responsibility to:

• Pay your rent and other charges on time.
• Make sure that you, or your visitors, do not behave in a way which causes nuisance or annoyance to anyone else.  This includes harassment.
• Take good care of your home, the fixtures and fittings, keep the garden tidy and the interior clean and in a good state of decoration.
• Report repairs without delay if they are the responsibility of the Council and allow access to housing officers and contractors.
• Give the council four full weeks’ notice in writing, if you wish to end your tenancy.  Your home must be left in good condition and the keys returned to the office.

As a secure tenant you have the right to:

• Have your home repaired.
• Succeed to the tenancy.
• Get information on passing your tenancy to another person.
• Be consulted about issues that affect your tenancy.
• Exchange your home with another Council or housing association tenant provided you have obtained prior written consent from us and the future landlord.
• Buy your council home, subject to eligibility.
• Assign the property (give it to someone else) or apply for a transfer.
• Take in lodgers, sub-let all or part of the property, with the Council’s written permission.
• Make improvements and alterations to the property, with the Council's written permission.

Click to expandMaking improvements and alterations to your home

​Before carrying out improvements or adaptations to your home you must get written permission from us first. Your request should be put in writing on a form you can get from any Housing Office, One Stop Centre or Community Hub. You can also download a "Permission to make an alteration request" form (PDF 91KB).

​You should submit full details of the improvements/alteration to your local housing office to log your request for the improvements/alteration works. Your local housing officer will provide you with appropriate advice and the procedures on granting consent.

​You will receive a written response with our decision but sometimes a home visit may be necessary to discuss your request in more detail. We will check that the completed work would be safe and will assess the effect on the property and other people.

​If we do not give permission, we will give our reason. For example, the improvement may affect your safety or our ability to maintain and repair your home.

​Work should not start without permission and must be carried out by a competent person. Gas fittings must be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Electrical work must be done by registered NICEIC or ECA installers.

​Examples of improvement work can include:

• installing kitchens or bathrooms
• installing gas or electric fires
• installing showers
• installing burglar alarms
• any electrical additions or alterations, including new wiring
• installing laminate flooring
• building conservatories, sheds and garages
• installation of a ‘hard standing’
• erecting fencing
• built in wardrobes and cupboards
• removing or filling walls​​

Click to expandVisiting you at home

​As an Introductory tenant, a housing officer will visit you to make sure everything is going okay. You will be visited within the first four weeks, after six months and after nine months.

These visits offer you support and guidance on how to manage your tenancy and give you the opportunity to discuss any problems you may have.  This is also a chance for us to make sure you are following the terms of your tenancy agreement.

As a secure tenant, a housing officer will visit you at least once a year to carry out an Annual Home Visit. This is to speak to you about how things are going, and identify any support needs that you may have.

All introductory and secure tenants who have rent arrears, suffer or cause Anti -Social behaviour will be visited as required.

Click to expandManaging someone else’s tenancy

​If you would like to give permission for someone else, such as a relative, a support agency, or a designated person to deal with any issues, on your behalf, please complete and return the Advocacy Consent form (pdf 26kb).

By signing the advocacy form you are giving your consent for us to share the information we hold on your tenancy records, with the person or organisation you have named.

If you want to give permission to one or more people or organisations, you will need to complete a separate form for each.

Click to expandImprovements and alterations to your home

Before carrying out improvements or adaptations to your home you must seek permission from us. You can download a “Permission to make an alteration request form” from the documents section below.

You should take full details of the improvements/alternation to your local housing office to log your request for the improvements/alternation works.

We may request further information or arrange for an inspection before making a decision.

Your local housing officer will provide you with appropriate advice and the procedures on granting consent.

You must ensure your improvements/adaptations works meet Building Control and Health and Safety Regulations.

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