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«Assured Tenancy – Varied Terms and Conditions Contents 1. About the Varied Terms and Conditions 2. bpha’s Responsibilities 3. Your Rights Right to ...»

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Assured Tenancy – Varied Terms and Conditions

Contents

1. About the Varied Terms and Conditions

2. bpha’s Responsibilities

3. Your Rights

Right to Occupy

Right of Succession

Rights of Consultation

Right to Information

Right to Exchange

Right to Acquire

Preserved Rights

4. Starting Your Tenancy

Your Rent Payments

Service Charges

Changes to Your Rent

Joint Tenancies

Support

Council Tax

Utilities

5. Your Home – Your Responsibilities

Insurance

Occupants and Overcrowding

Subletting and Lodgers

Tenancy Absences and Fraud

Anti-Social Behaviour, Nuisance and Domestic Abuse

Gang-Related Anti-Social Behaviour

Business Use

6. Maintaining Your Tenancy

Access

Periodic Servicing

Damage

Reporting Repairs

Major Repairs

Internal Decoration and Minor Repairs

Alterations

Adapted Properties

Improvements and Fixtures

Laminate and Wooden Flooring

Lofts

Gardens

Vehicles and Parking

Covenants

7. Health, Safety and Hygiene

Minimising the Risk of Fire

Balconies and Windows

Shared Areas

Keeping the Property Clean

Disposal of Rubbish and Scrap Metal

Pets

8. Ending Your Tenancy

Moving On

Furniture/Belongings Left Behind at the End of the Tenancy

9. Notices

10.Grounds for Possession

11.Complaints

12.Other

1. About the Varied Terms and Conditions

This Agreement varies your existing tenancy agreement. It is not a new tenancy agreement and is not intended to operate as a surrender of your existing tenancy or to create a new tenancy. Your existing rent and other charges remain as they currently are at the date you sign this Agreement and you will remain responsible for any existing breaches of tenancy such as non-payment of rent.

From the date of signing of this Agreement, the terms and conditions set out in this Agreement will replace the terms and conditions in your existing tenancy agreement and you will be bound by these new terms and conditions.

Since this Agreement affects your tenancy conditions you should sign it only if you want to be bound by it. If you are not sure about this, get legal advice from a solicitor, a Citizens Advice Bureau or a Law Centre.

This Agreement is a legally binding contract between you and us. If you need any clarification on this Agreement please do not hesitate to contact bpha or seek advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau, or Law Centre.

The responsibilities under this Agreement apply to you. It is your responsibility to ensure all other members of your household including your family, your friends and any other visitors to your home including children abide by the terms of this Agreement when at the property.

This Agreement follows guidance for all registered providers of social Housing. Where this Agreement refers to Acts of Parliament such as the Housing Act 1988 those references include any changes or modifications made to those Acts both now and in the future.

With the exception of any changes in rent or service charges, or as a result of government

legislation, the agreement may only be changed by:

(1) Agreement between bpha and you; or (2) Providing you with written details of the proposed changes and a statement explaining their effect. We will ask for your comments and give you a reasonable time to reply, usually 28 days.

We will then issue a written ‘Notice of Variation’ stating the new wording and giving you 28 days’ notice before the changes take effect.

We will make no variation using procedure (2) if it would disadvantage you. For example, we will not

make any changes which would:

• Reduce your security of tenure under this agreement.

• Reduce our responsibilities to keep your home in good repair.

• Reduce your right to be consulted about any changes to the housing management service that are likely to have a significant effect on you.

We will comply with the 1998 Data Protection Act as amended from time to time. All requests for information from your file must be made in writing. If the information you have asked for exists we will send you a copy in line with data protection guidance. We are unable to show you information about you that has been supplied by a third party without the other party’s permission. We will allow you to access the personal information we hold about you and you can ask us to correct or record your disagreement with the information we hold. We may charge you a fee for providing copies of the information.

By signing this tenancy agreement you agree that we can disclose personal information we hold about you to third parties, if it is reasonable for us to do so, in the course of our business as a provider of social housing. Examples of third parties we may need to make disclosure to are other landlords, the police, public agencies, and utility companies. We will not disclose sensitive personal information (e.g. medical records), except with your explicit consent or if otherwise authorised under the Data Protection Act.





2. bpha’s Responsibilities

a) We will make sure the structure and exterior of your home are kept repaired.

b) We will keep in repair and working order any installations provided by us for heating, hot water, sanitation and for the supply of water gas and electricity.

c) We will maintain and make repairs to shared entrances, halls, stairways, lifts, passageways and other communal areas.

d) We will insure the structure but not the contents of your home. bpha strongly advise you to insure the contents of your home.

e) We have a duty set out by legislation to inspect and repair certain gas and electricity equipment periodically.

f) In providing a housing service, we will comply with the regulatory framework and guidance issued by the Social Housing Regulator but the framework and guidance do not form part of this Agreement.

g) We will provide you with information about how to gain access to our services when you need to.

h) We will provide you with the services listed in the schedule to this Agreement for which you will pay a service charge.

i) Where we are unable to assist you with a particular query, we will direct you to agencies and organisations that are better placed to help answer your question.

j) We will endeavour to ensure that all management companies acting for us carry out the necessary works in line with bpha contracts and policies.

3. Your Rights Right to Occupy This tenancy gives you the right to live in the property and to have access to any shared areas at all

times. We will not interfere with this right as long as:

• You occupy the property as the main place you live.

• You, your family, friends and relatives keep to the terms of this Agreement.

We will only interfere with your right to peacefully occupy your home when:

• We have to gain access to inspect the condition of the property or any appliances.

• We need to carry out repairs or other works to the property or adjoining property; reasonable prior notice having been given.

• We need to gain access in an emergency.

• We have been to court and obtained an order to end the tenancy.

• The tenancy has otherwise ended.

• You or anyone else living with you has given false information to get the tenancy – obtaining a tenancy by deception is fraud.

Right of Succession

Under the 1988 Housing Act (as amended) when you die if you do not have a joint tenancy, your tenancy will pass to your spouse, partner (including same sex partner) or civil partner if your home was also their only or main home at the time you died and that they can prove they were living there with you. This is known as a statutory succession. Statutory succession rights will always reflect the most current legislation.

Successions to household members other than spouse, partner (including same sex partner) or civil partner will be granted in accordance with our discretionary succession policy which may change from time to time. You can obtain a copy of the policy on request.

If you succeeded to this tenancy it will not be passed to anyone else.

Rights of Consultation We will consult you about any changes in the management of your property which may have a significant effect on you, for example if bpha were to merge with another housing association.

Right to Information You have the right to information on our housing management policies and procedures including allocations, transfers, mutual exchanges and anti -social behaviour.

Right to Exchange You have the right to exchange this tenancy by assignment or by surrender and re-grant with another tenant of a registered provider of social housing subject to obtaining our prior written permission which will not be withheld unreasonably. The other tenant must also have the written permission of his or her landlord to an exchange and must be either an assured tenant with the same right to exchange as provided here, or a secure tenant. You may also have the right under the Localism Act 2011 to exchange your home with a fixed term tenant of another registered provider by way of surrender of their existing tenancy and the grant of a new tenancy. You will have to satisfy the statutory requirements of the Localism Act 2011.

Right to Acquire You may have the right to acquire your home. This means that you may be able to buy your home with the help of a grant to reduce the full cost. A member of staff can tell you if you have this right.

Preserved Rights If you were a tenant with Bedford Borough Council and have remained our tenant since your home was transferred to us, and you qualified for the extra rights given to tenants at the time of the transfer, you will still have these rights. If you were not a tenant of Bedford Borough Council, or you have had a gap in your tenancy, you will not have the rights mentioned directly below.

We agree that the Protected Right to Buy (PRTB) legislation will apply to:

• Your husband, wife or partner who succeeds to this tenancy under section 17 of the Housing Act 1988 (as may be amended from time to time); or

• A person who has been granted this tenancy after meeting the conditions to succeed. This person will be a qualifying successor for the purposes of the PRTB legislation.

4. Starting Your Tenancy Your Rent Payments bpha will agree with you whether your rent is paid weekly or monthly and your rent must be paid in the form agreed*. You must pay by direct debit unless bpha has agreed an alternative method of payment with you. Other charges may include service charges. All charges and the total amount of rent to be paid will be specified at the start of your tenancy.

*We reserve the right to change your rental period from weekly to monthly in the future. If we do we will give you reasonable notice.

You must pay your rent without deduction or set-off (this means you cannot offset debt or damages that are owed, against the rent, so as to reduce it, e.g. claiming disrepair and refusing to pay the whole rent).

It is your responsibility to ensure your rent is paid. If you do not pay your rent you will lose your home. The bpha website holds further information on claiming benefits and the type of benefits you may be eligible for.

If you are or become an employee of bpha your rent will be deducted from your pay each month if in arrears.

If at the end of your previous tenancy you owe bpha any money you must show how you are going to repay this before entering into your new tenancy. You may be asked to sign a schedule setting out the amounts you owe us and how you will pay this off. This schedule will form part of this Agreement and if you fail to keep up with the payments it will be a breach of the Agreement.

If there are any outstanding debts at the end of your tenancy you must pay us any rent and other charges or costs owed.

More information about this is available at www.bpha.org.uk or you can call us for advice.

If your circumstances change, altering your entitlement to your benefit, you must inform the benefit authority and us at once.

Service Charges Where we provide services to your home these are shown in the service charge schedule which is attached to this agreement. The service charge is a fixed service charge which means it is payable as part of your total rent charge. Service charges may include but are not limited to grounds maintenance, fire safety, lift maintenance and cleaning communal areas.

We can increase, add to, remove, reduce or vary the services provided or introduce new services at any time during your tenancy. We will consult with residents where we are proposing a significant change to the services provided.

Changes to Your Rent The rent you will pay will be set in accordance with our rent policy and any guidance on social housing rents from the government or from our regulator. We can change the rent by giving one month’s notice in writing or by written agreement with you. If your rent is charged weekly, we will review the rent payable on or after the first Monday in April following the start of this tenancy. If your rent is charged monthly the review will take effect on or after the 1st April following the start of this tenancy. The rent review notice will specify the new net rent payable and after the first rent review the net rent will be varied no more than once every 52 weeks.

Provided that the specific obligation in the above paragraph will (1) not bind any mortgagee of ours or any receiver appointed pursuant to the Law of Property Act of 1925 or otherwise by a party who has provided loan facilities to us and (2) will cease to apply to this property if it is transferred or leased by any third party.

Section 13 of the Housing Act 1988 does not apply to this rent review clause and you do not have the right to refer any notice of increase to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). However, we agree not to set your rent higher than would be fixed by the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) if you had the right to apply to the tribunal.

Joint Tenancies

If you are a joint tenant you are jointly and separately responsible for paying the rent and other charges due. This means that we can ask either of you to pay the full amount due and any arrears irrespective of whether you live in the property or not and are still a joint tenant. If you become a sole tenant you will be responsible even after the other tenant has left the home. If you are a joint tenant and one of you dies the tenancy will automatically pass to the remaining joint tenant who will become a sole tenancy through what is called ‘survivorship’. This counts as a succession.

For more information please refer to our website.

Support If you receive support services these will be set out in a separate support contract between you and bpha or the support provider together with details of any charges payable. Because the provision of support is fundamental to this tenancy, we will treat it as a breach of tenancy if you withdraw from or breach the support contract and in the event of such withdrawal or breach we may take steps to end this tenancy.

Council Tax As the householder you are responsible for the payment of council tax and registering with the local authority. If you do not do this, we reserve the right to notify the local authority. This payment is your responsibility whether you are residing at the property or not.



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