Tenancy key facts

Your tenancy agreement is a legal document and tells you all the rules about living in your property. Different housing association tenants have different tenancies. These give you different rights and responsibilities.

New tenants may be offered an introductory tenancy, which usually last up to 12 months.

You automatically become a secure or flexible tenant after 12 months, unless we have:

  • started action to evict you
  • extended your introductory tenancy for a further 6 months

There are limits to what you can do with an introductory tenancy, for example you cannot:

  • make major improvements to your property
  • swap your property with another council tenant
  • apply to buy your property through the Right to Buy scheme

A secure tenancy allows you to live on a long term basis in the property, as long as you do not break the conditions of your tenancy agreement.

You can:

  • rent out rooms – but you cannot sub-let the whole property
  • buy your property through the Right to Acquire Scheme
  • Swap your home with another council or housing association tenant – with our permission
  • transfer your tenancy to someone else in some circumstances (see assigning your tenancy) make improvements to your home – but you’ll need permission from us for certain types of work
  • normally live in the property for the rest of your life, as long as you do not break the conditions of the tenancy.

Under a joint tenancy, all tenants share equal responsibility.

You can apply for a joint tenancy at any time if you’re married or in a registered civil partnership.

You must usually have lived together at the property for at least 12 months if you’re a cohabiting couple or related (like brother and sister).

Assigning a Tenancy

Assigning a tenancy is one of the ways a tenancy can be legally transferred or ‘signed over’ from one person to another during their lifetime.

Assigning a tenancy does not create a new tenancy and can only be done by obtaining a legal document called a Deed of Assignment.

You can sometimes assign or ‘sign over’ a council or housing association tenancy if you want to:

  • transfer your tenancy to a partner or family member who lives with you
  • swap homes with another council or housing association tenant
  • If you want to swap homes find out about ‘mutual exchange’ rules here.

If you want to assign your tenancy to a partner or family member, you must:

  • check you have the right to assign to them
  • provide evidence that they live with you
  • complete a ‘deed of assignment’

If you don’t follow the correct steps, the person you assign to could be at risk of eviction

Why your assignment might be refused

Your assignment may be refused for the following reasons:

  • You have not made an arrangement to clear any debts that you owe to us
  • The person you wish to assign to does not live with you at the property
  • The person you wish to assign to has not lived with you for over 12 months
  • The property you live in is deemed too large for the person you want to assign it to

How to apply to assign a Tenancy

You will need to complete a Request for Assignment of Tenancy form and return to us by email at hello@myblackpoolhome.co.uk or by post to Lumen Housing, 348-350 Lytham Road, Blackpool, FY4 1DW

Once we have received your application form, we will look at your case and advise you in writing if you have the right to assign your tenancy.

If we agree that your tenancy can be assigned, we will ask you to complete the Deed of Assignment documents. The person you are signing your tenancy over to will also need to complete this with you.

We will then change the details on the tenancy and a letter will be sent out to confirm that the assignment has taken place.

Things to consider when assigning your Tenancy

All tenancy rights and responsibilities pass from the original tenant to the new tenant.

When you assign your tenancy over, you will lose all of your rights to that tenancy. Please think carefully before proceeding.
The new tenant could ask you to leave the property – if you had nowhere else to go you could be at risk of becoming homeless.
An assignment of tenancy could have an effect on the households entitlement to Housing Benefit

A ‘mutual exchange’ – is when you swap your home with another council or housing association tenant.

It’s different to a tenancy transfer where you ask to move to another council or housing association home when one is available.

With an exchange, you must:

  • find someone to swap homes with
  • get written permission from Lumen
  • complete the legal paperwork

If you swap homes without permission from Lumen or without the necessary documents, you will both be at risk of eviction.

Lumen Housing is investing in Blackpool to support local regeneration and improve the choice and quality of affordable homes for local people. Our aims are to deliver affordable new build and refurbished homes focussed on meeting local housing need, supported by high quality lettings and management services tailored to meeting the needs of our customers.

We have established a set of service standards to explain how we will work to achieve that aim. The standards provide a clear framework so that you will know what you can expect from us and also what we expect of you.

Our service standards have been built around some key principles which we are committed to:

  • Being open, transparent and honest
  • Ensuring you are at the forefront of everything that we do
  • Seeking to deliver the best possible experience for those using our services
  • Treating everyone, fairly, politely and with respect
  • Making it easy for you to contact us and access our services
  • Listening to your views and acting on them in a timely manner
  • Keeping you informed and setting clear expectations of what we can deliver
  • Training and developing our staff
  • Actively promoting the values of diversity and inclusion
  • Delivering high-quality services and continuously improving


Our Service Standards

Communication and Information

We will:

  • Always be polite when responding to your queries and will try to resolve them the first time you contact us
  • Ensure the information we provide is easy to understand and accessible to the diverse needs of all our customers
  • Offer you support if you need help to understand the information we provide
  • Provide you with details of the different ways you can contact us for help
  • Work with you to keep our records of your details up to date
  • Deal with personal information in line with all relevant legislation, keeping personal information confidential and giving you access to the information we hold about you

We expect you to:

  • Treat our staff and contractors fairly, politely and with respect
  • Tell us if you feel that we are not treating you fairly
  • Keep us informed of any changes to your contact details or personal circumstances

Complaints and Feedback

We will:

  • Provide a clear, simple and accessible process for dealing with complaints
  • Listen to your concerns and be honest, fair and impartial when dealing with any complaints raised with us
  • Investigate any complaints you make promptly and give you regular updates on what we are doing to resolve them
  • Learn from our mistakes and use the knowledge gained when dealing with complaints and compliments to help improve our services

We expect you to:

  • Tell us in a timely manner if we get things wrong and how you have been affected so that we can put things right
  • Be clear about the specific reasons you are complaining and co-operate where there is an investigation

Finding and moving into your home

We will:

  • Let you know when you have been successful in finding a home and give you regular updates on when we expect your home to be ready for you
  • Provide you with all the information you need to make your tenancy a success when signing up to your home
  • Ensure all properties we let are in a safe, clean and good condition

We expect you to:

  • Provide us with relevant and accurate information when applying for a home
  • Inform us of any changes to your housing needs whilst you are in the process of applying for a home

Paying your rent

We will:

  • Provide a range of ways for you to pay your rent
  • Support you if you run into difficulty paying your rent, and provide access to welfare benefit advice, debt counselling and information about local agencies as necessary
  • Take prompt action should your rent account fall into arrears and agree repayment arrangements with you
  • Explain what will happen if you do not pay your rent or if you fail to keep to an arrangement

We expect you to:

  • Pay your rent on time and tell us immediately if you are having trouble paying
  • Work with us and keep to any arrangements we make with you to pay off arrears
  • Let us know of any circumstances that would affect your entitlement to welfare benefits


Living in your neighbourhood

We will:

  • Work in collaboration with partner agencies to improve the appearance of your neighbourhood
  • Encourage all tenants to take pride in their neighbourhood
  • Deal with incidents of anti-social behaviour promptly, appropriately and effectively, and work with partner agencies to come up with solutions
  • Keep you informed about the progress of any anti-social behaviour cases which affect you and provide support throughout the process
  • Deal with tenancy breaches and work to resolve them with partner agencies

We expect you to:

  • Keep your home and garden in good condition
  • Let us know of any issues you are experiencing in your neighbourhood
  • Respect your neighbours and behave in a way that will not cause distress or offence
  • Report any incidents of anti-social behaviour to us and/or to other agencies (e.g. police)
  • Help us to try and resolve issues informally if possible e.g. though mediation
  • Help us by keeping a record of what happened and giving us evidence when antisocial behaviour occurs so that we can deal with this successfully

Repairs and Maintenance

We will:

  • Provide you with a convenient way to report any repairs
  • Offer flexible appointments to carry out repairs
  • Provide an out-of-hours emergency repairs service
  • Be polite and respectful when carrying out work in your home
  • Where possible, carry out repairs on the first visit
  • Tell you if we are unable to complete a repair on the first visit and keep you updated on progress
  • Ensure that repairs are carried out to the standards we expect, leaving your home clean and tidy
  • Inspect all major repairs and planned maintenance

We expect you to:

  • Report any repairs that are needed to your home as soon as you know about them
  • Provide access to your property so that we can carry out any necessary work, including your annual safety checks and annual inspections
  • Contact us if you want to make any home improvements yourself
  • Agree to pay for any repairs that are needed because of damage caused by you, your family or friends

Supporting our customers

We will:

  • Work with you to identify any support you may need, tailoring this to meet your specific needs
  • Work in partnership with other agencies to support you and manage any risks as appropriate
  • Support you to live independently by providing aids and adaptations in collaboration with other partner agencies
  • Support you if you are a victim of domestic abuse or hate crime and work with partner agencies to try to resolve your issues
  • Provide information to assist you in managing your tenancy
  • Do everything we can to support you if you have been affected by emergency situations affecting your home

We expect you to:

  • Let us know if you are experiencing difficulties in managing your tenancy or if your needs change
  • Be willing to work with us if you need additional support so that we can provide this

Engagement and involvement

We will:

  • Provide opportunities for you to engage with us, including regular satisfaction surveys about our services and the quality of our work
  • Let you know how feedback from tenants and service users have improved our services
  • Continue to improve our engagement methods to suit all our customers
  • Consult with you about our service standards

We expect you to:

  • Be open and honest with us and listen to and respect the views of others

Help and advice is available to support you with housing related issues, please contact a member of the team on 01253 477222.