Your tenancy agreement

image: tenancy conditions

Your tenancy agreement or lease is the legal contract between you and Optivo. This page provides information about your responsibilities as a resident and ours as a landlord.

As an Optivo resident, you must:

  • Pay your rent on time.  If you receive welfare benefits, let us know immediately about any changes which may affect your rent or your ability to pay
  • Live in your home - you cannot sublet your home to someone else
  • Allow us access to your home for gas inspections or to carry out repairs we’re responsible for
  • Let us know if you’re going to be away for more than 28 days.  And give us details of who we can contact in case of an emergency.
  • Be a respectful neighbour – make sure everyone in your home (including visitors) is considerate and doesn’t cause a nuisance to neighbours. Read more about Anti-social behaviour.
  • Tell us when you intend to move out and give us at least a month’s notice
  • Get our permission if you want to make changes or alterations to your home
  • Get our permission if you want to run a business from your home
  • Never use your home for any illegal activities.

We expect you to:
  • Keep to your tenancy conditions
  • Look after your home (and garden where applicable) and not cause damage to it
  • Tell us about repairs needed to your home.  Remember you are responsible for damage you cause to your home
  • Report damage you, members of your household or visitors have caused
  • Always keep us up to date with who’s living in your home 
  • Keep your shared areas clear and not leave caravans, boats or untaxed vehicles on your drive
  • Take responsibility for your personal contents (we recommend you take out home contents insurance)
If you break your tenancy agreement we’ll contact you and take appropriate action. If it’s a serious breach, we can take legal action.

Our responsibilities

  • Keep to the tenancy conditions
  • Take your views into account and consult with you about significant changes to our services
  • Carry out the repairs we’re responsible for
  • Allow you to carry out your own improvements and alterations with our permission
  • Allow you to swap homes with another social landlord or council tenant.  This is providing you’re not in rent arrears, have no history of anti-social behaviour and your tenancy agreement permits it
  • Give you information on the personal information we hold on you. See our Privacy Statement.

Changing your tenancy agreement

We expect you to always keep us up to date with who’s living in your home.

Adding or removing a member of your household does not mean they've been added or removed from the tenancy agreement.

Adding a joint tenant

If you hold a sole tenancy with us and want to change this to a joint tenancy you'll need to check the terms of your tenancy agreement.

In most cases a joint tenant can be added if you’ve not breached your tenancy, are not in rent arrears and the new tenant: 
  • Is the husband, wife or civil partner of the current tenant
  • Is the cohabitee of the current tenant and has lived at the property with the current tenant for at least 12 months
  •  Agrees to take on the rights and responsibilities of the new tenancy.
You'll both need to sign a new tenancy agreement, saying you accept the new terms.

Removing a joint tenant

If you hold a joint tenancy with us and want to change this to a sole tenancy, both tenants must agree to the change. You'll also need to meet the following conditions:
  • Both joint tenants give their written consent by signing the deed
  • The sole tenant agrees to take over the rights and responsibilities of the existing tenancy
  • There are no rent arrears on the tenancy
  • There are no breaches of the tenancy.
For more information please contact us.

What if I want to move?

If you’re looking to move home there are a number of options available to you, including:
  • Mutual Exchange – this is when you swap tenancies with our permission
  • Registering with your local authority
  • Mobility Schemes
  • Shared Ownership schemes
  • Private Rented Sector
  • Housing for Older People and Extra Care schemes.

How can I end my tenancy?

You must give four weeks written notice 
  • We'll write back to you to confirm the date the tenancy will end
  • We'll visit you to inspect your property before the tenancy ends
  • You must pay your rent up to the date your tenancy ends, even if you move out before then
  • You must pay off any rent arrears, court costs or rechargeable repairs in full 
  • You must return your keys to us before 12 noon on the Monday after your tenancy ends. If you do not, we will continue to charge you the full rent.
If you leave owing us money, we will pursue you for it.
  • We may pass your name and details to a Debt Collection Agency who will pursue you for payment on our behalf.
  • We may take legal action against you and this will result into further costs added onto your account and a County Court Judgement against you which might make it hard for you to obtain credit in the future.
  • We may advise the local authority that you owe us money. This would make it very difficult to obtain further housing assistance until the debt is repaid or you have agreed and kept to a suitable repayment plan.

Before you move out

You're responsible for clearing your home, removing any rubbish and leaving the home in a reasonably decorated and clean condition.

You mustn't remove any fixtures or fittings. We'll expect you to restore any original fixtures and fittings that you have removed without our permission.

If we have to remove rubbish or carry out repairs or replacements, we'll charge you the cost. You must also remove all your belongings from your home. If you don't, we'll charge you for clearing them.

What happens if a resident dies?

Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy; trying to deal with their affairs can be complicated and upsetting. 

Here are some simple first steps to take:
  • Let us know when the resident died
  • Confirm it in writing to the Housing Officer with a copy of the death certificate.
Things you need to know
  • Rent is payable until the representative of the resident legally ends the tenancy
  • Housing Benefit stops on the date of death
  • All belongings and furniture must be cleared and the property should be left in a reasonably decorated and clean condition
  • You'll need to cancel the gas and electric supply
  •  All keys should be handed in to your nearest neighbourhood office by 12pm the day after the tenancy ends. Please ask for a receipt for the keys.

In certain circumstances the tenancy can be passed to a family member if that family member was living with the deceased at the time. Contact us to find out whether this would apply in your circumstances.