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Tenancy Agreement

Your home is owned, managed and maintained by Gateshead Council.

The Tenancy Agreement sets out your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and those of Gateshead Council as the landlord.

It is the law that the tenant (you) and the landlord (us) must keep to the rules set out in the agreement.

The Tenancy Agreement is set out below. You can also  view the Tenancy Agreement as a PDF. (PDF) [12MB]


1. Tenancy Agreement
2. Secure tenants
3. Introductory tenants
4. Rights for both secure and introductory tenants
5. Our responsibilities
6. Rent and other payments
7. Repairs and maintenance
8. Living in your home
9. Furniture
10. Living in your community
11. Moving house
12. Service of notices and requesting written permission
13. Definitions

1. Tenancy Agreement

1.1 This is a tenancy agreement between Gateshead Council 'the landlord' and you 'the tenant(s)'. This tenancy agreement is the document you sign when you become a tenant of Gateshead Council.

1.2 This agreement is a legally binding contract between you and the council and records information such as your name, the date you become a tenant, and the initial rent. Before you sign the tenancy you will be asked to provide proof of identification.

1.3 This agreement describes your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and the rights and responsibilities of the council as your landlord.

1.4 Your responsibilities apply to you, your husband, wife, partner, civil partner, friends, relatives, and any other person living in or visiting your home, including children. Your tenant neighbours have the same rights and responsibilities as you.

1.5 The people who can live in your home are those you told us about when you applied for the property. Before anyone else comes to live with you for more than four weeks, you must get our permission. You must also tell us if there are any additions to your household such as a baby or adopted/fostered children.

1.6 If there is anything you do not understand, you should contact Gateshead Council. You can also get advice from the Housing Advice Centre, Law Centre, Citizens Advice, or solicitor.

1.7 If you sign this agreement you will become either an introductory or secure tenant, and you must comply with the conditions of the tenancy. An introductory tenancy usually lasts for 12 months, after which you will normally become a secure tenant. If we extend the introductory period, we will tell you why and give you an opportunity to request a review. A secure tenancy is usually given to those people who have already been an introductory tenant for over 12 months. We will tell you which type of tenancy you have been offered, and this will be indicated on the page you sign.

1.8 If we want to make any changes to your tenancy agreement (other than increasing the rent or other payments) we will consult with you. We will give you four weeks' written notice of any intended changes.

2. Secure tenants

2.1 If during your tenancy you break any of the tenancy conditions, we may take action to end your tenancy.

2.2 If you, a member of your household or a visitor behaves or threatens to behave in a way which is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance, or using the premises for unlawful purposes, we may apply to the court to bring your tenancy to an end using a Demotion Order. Upon granting of the order, the tenancy is replaced with a less secure form of tenancy. You will lose a number of the rights enjoyed under a secure tenancy, which includes removing the right to buy your home and the right to exchange.

2.3 You may have the right to buy your home if you are a secure tenant and this is your only home. The qualifying period is two years for tenancies that started before 18 January 2005, and five years for those starting on or after that date (the number of years does not need to be continuous). The right to buy can be suspended on grounds of antisocial behaviour. It can also be suspended and ended where a home is scheduled for demolition or within a planned regeneration area.

2.4 You have the right to improve your home, but you must get our written agreement before carrying out any improvements. Permission may be refused. (You may also need planning and building regulation approval.)

2.5 If you received our written permission for improvements you have undertaken to your home, you may be entitled to compensation when you move out. The improvements you have carried out will not increase your rent, or the purchase price of your home, if you decide to buy it.

2.6 You may have the right to exchange your home with another secure tenant, or certain assured tenants. You must get our written permission before you exchange. An exchange may be refused if you, or the person you want to exchange with, do not meet certain conditions.

2.7 You may have the right to assign your tenancy to your spouse/partner/civil partner or to another member of the household who has been living in the property for the preceding 12 months at the time of the assignment. An assignment can only occur once. It is not possible to assign a tenancy if it has previously been assigned. You may also be able to assign your tenancy to another secure tenant by way of an exchange. You must get our written permission before doing so. Permission for Assignment by way of exchange will be withheld if proceedings have begun for possession, or there is an order against you or someone who lives with you in relation to antisocial behaviour.

2.8 You may be entitled to take in lodgers and sublet part of your home. You must get our written permission before doing so. This permission will not be unreasonably withheld.

3. Introductory tenants

3.1 In almost all cases new tenants will be introductory tenants. As an introductory tenant you must comply with all obligations in this agreement.

3.2 An introductory tenancy usually lasts for 12 months, but it can be extended for a further six months if, for example, you have behaved in an antisocial manner. If we extend the introductory period, we will tell you why, and give you an opportunity to request a review. An introductory tenancy will automatically become a secure tenancy after 12 months, unless it has been extended or if court proceedings for possession of your home have been started prior to your introductory tenancy coming to an end.

3.3 If, during your introductory tenancy, you break any of the tenancy conditions, we may take action to end your tenancy.

3.4 As an introductory tenant you are not allowed to:

  • apply for the right to buy your home (although the introductory tenancy period will count towards any discount allowed under the right to buy in future applications);
  • sub-let part of your home
  • exchange your home with another tenant
  • carry out improvements to your home
  • claim compensation for improvements or
  • take in lodgers.

3.5 An introductory tenancy is not capable of being assigned unless it is to carry out an Order of the Court, or it is to a person who would be qualified to succeed to your tenancy if you died immediately before the assignment.

3.6 Introductory tenants do have the right to one statutory succession for a husband, wife, partner, civil partner or other family members upon the death of the tenant.

3.7 Any successor to the tenancy will become an introductory tenant for the remaining time left on the original tenancy.

3.8 Introductory tenants have the right to information (see Section Four).

3.9 If in doubt about your rights and responsibilities, please ask us.

4. Rights for both secure and introductory tenants

4.1 You have the right to live in your home without interruption or interference from us, as long as you, those living with you, or anyone visiting your home comply with the terms of this tenancy and have respect for the rights of others. If any of the conditions are broken, we may apply to the court to end your tenancy.

4.2 If you die, your husband, wife, partner or civil partner may be entitled to the tenancy if they are living at your home at the time. This is called 'succession'. If your home passes to another member of your family (other than spouse) when you die, we will usually let them stay in the home. However, if the property is larger than reasonably required, we may take steps to move them to a more suitable home, either with their agreement, or by following the legal procedure for doing so. The tenancy can pass to a relative, as long as they have been living with you continuously for at least 12 months, immediately before your death. By law, only one succession can take place. If the tenancy is a joint tenancy, only one other joint tenant still living in the property after you die has the right to succeed to the tenancy. If you are living in a property and the property has been adapted for occupation by a physically disabled person or it is the practice of the landlord to let the property to persons with special needs (and there is no longer such a person living in the property) then we may take steps to move you to another suitable home, either with your agreement or by following the legal procedure for doing so.

4.3 You have the right to have certain repairs completed on time. Timescales for completion of repairs are available. In some cases you have a legal 'right to repair'. You may be able to get compensation if certain repairs are not done on time. Call the Repairs team on 0800 408 6008 for more information.

4.4 You have a right to information. If you ask, we must give you a current summary of the rules on the council's Allocations Policy. You can also ask for a copy of the full Allocations Policy. If you ask, we must give you a copy of the details you have given us about yourself and your family in your application for a tenancy or transfer. You have a right to add your own comments to these details.

4.5 You have the right to be consulted about any proposals for changes to the way we manage, maintain, improve, demolish, sell, or transfer council properties, or changes to do with services or facilities for council tenants. It does not include rent or any other charges.

See the Allocations Policy for more information on succession.

5. Our responsibilities

5.1 Contact our housing team if you have any problems with your tenancy. If it is not resolved they have a complaints procedure. If you feel that they have broken this agreement, you may complain to the council. You can obtain independent advice from Citizens Advice, the Law Centre or from a solicitor. You can also complain to your local councillor or the Local Government Ombudsman. See Notes for contact details.

5.2 You will be given at least four weeks' written notice before any changes to your rent or other payments are made.

5.3 The structure of your home is insured.

5.4 We will arrange to repair the structure and exterior of your home and the building of which your home may form part. This includes:

  • Drains, gutters, and external pipes
  • The roof, outside walls, outside doors, window sills, window catches, sash cords, and window frames (including necessary external painting and decorating)
  • Internal walls, floors (excluding floor coverings), ceilings, doors, door frames, door hinges, and skirting boards
  • Chimneys, chimney stacks, and flues
  • Main entrance path
  • Plasterwork
  • Integral garages and stores

5.5 We will arrange repair and keep in proper working order any installations within your home for space heating, water heating and sanitation; and for the supply of water, gas, and electricity. This includes:

  • Basins, sinks, baths, toilets, flushing systems, and waste pipes (but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity)
  • Electric wiring including sockets, switches, and light fittings (excluding bulbs)
  • Gas pipes, water pipes, water heaters, fitted fires, and central heating installations

5.6 If you apply to buy your home we will continue to arrange these repairs until you have bought your home, but will not carry out any improvements.

5.7 We will arrange the maintenance and repair of any shared areas around your home.

5.8 We will keep in repair any furniture we rent to you with the home.

5.9 We will give you help and advice if you tell us that you are the victim of antisocial behaviour.

5.10 If we decide to change the terms and conditions of this tenancy agreement, we must give you 28 days' notice before carrying out these changes. This gives you the opportunity to end the tenancy before the changes come into effect if you choose to do so.


How to complain if you feel we do not meet our responsibilities as outlined in this tenancy agreement.

6. Rent and other payments

6.1 Your rent and other payments are due on Monday of each week, and you must pay them on time. If you wish to pay your rent over longer periods - for example monthly or fortnightly - then you must pay your rent in advance.

6.2 Other payments may be included in the rent and are due at the same time as your rent payments, such as: water rates, sewerage charges, service charges, tenant home insurance charges, and furniture charges. A breakdown of your rent will be given to you when you sign the tenancy agreement.

6.3 The rent year starts the first Monday in April. This may be a 52 or 53-week year. No refund of rent is given in respect of any 'non collecting weeks'. If you have rent arrears you are required to continue with your rent payments on any 'non collecting weeks'. (See definition of 'non collecting weeks' in Definitions).

6.4 If this is a joint tenancy each tenant is equally responsible for the payment of the whole of the rent, and any other payments due.

6.5 If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you must tell the council's benefit section (or DWP for Universal Credit) immediately of any change of circumstances that may affect your entitlement to it.

6.6 We may change your rent at any time. We will write to you before the change. We will still change your rent even if you do not receive this notice. The changes are usually made in April each year.

6.7 When your tenancy ends you must immediately pay any rent, other payments or costs which you owe relating to this tenancy.

6.8 We may deduct any money you owe us from any money we owe you.

6.9 You must contact us if you are having any difficulties paying your rent, or any other payments. We can provide advice and practical assistance in more serious cases.

6.10 If you do not pay your rent or other associated charges, we may go to Court and ask for you to be evicted from your home. The Court may order you to pay our costs.

6.11 We have the right to charge you for any new service provided to your home. The cost will be charged as part of your rent, or separately. We will write to you before the change.

Rent and benefits

There are several convenient ways to pay your rent, including Direct Debit or Standing Order.

If you claim Housing Benefit, it is your responsibility to make the claim with the council and provide the necessary documents and proof of identity within the timescales required.

If you claim Universal Credit, it is your responsibility to update your online journal with your housing costs, and to make sure these are included as part of your claim.

If you claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you must also report any change of circumstances immediately as they could affect your claim. This includes any changes to service charges that may be part of your rent. 

You may lose your entitlement to receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit if you don't move into the home at the start of your tenancy. In those circumstances you will still be charged the full rent.

If you allow a friend or family member to use your address as a correspondence address, this could affect your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing costs. It could mean they stop entirely.

If you claim either Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs and plan to go on holiday, please advise the benefit section or the DWP as otherwise, your benefit entitlement could stop for the period you are away.

If you have rent arrears and move away from your tenancy, including if you are evicted, you will not normally be entitled to another property until you pay the amount that is owed.

7. Repairs and maintenance

7.1 You must take proper care of your home and report any faults or damage immediately. If arrangements have been made to visit your home to carry out a repair, you must keep the appointment. Under your tenancy agreement you have the right to carry out improvements to your home, such as fitting a new bathroom suite or replacing kitchen units. Before carrying out any improvements or alterations to your property, you must ask for permission (which, if granted, will be given in writing). There is no charge for seeking this permission and it will not be unreasonably withheld but certain conditions may be imposed. Before undertaking any work you are responsible for getting the planning and building regulations approval that is required. You are also responsible for any costs involved with this work. We will have the right to inspect any work that you have done. If permission is refused you will be advised why.

7.2 You will usually be responsible for the repairs and maintenance of all improvements, fixtures and fittings you have installed at the home. Advice will be given when you ask for permission to do the work. If you take the installations with you when you move, you must put the property back to the way it was before you improved it. If you don't, you will be charged for the work.

7.3 You must obtain our written permission before you carry out any gas or electrical work at your home. There is no charge for seeking this permission. Any gas or electrical work must be carried out by a qualified and competent contractor.

7.4 You must give reasonable access to your home to enable repairs, improvements, servicing, or inspections to be carried out. Legal action may be taken if you unreasonably refuse access into your home for these purposes.

7.5 At least 24 hours' notice will be given if your home needs to be inspected. In the case of an emergency, immediate access will usually be needed. Forced entry into your home may be necessary, but this is only to prevent damage to property or risk of injury to any person.

7.6 You must allow access to your home for an annual gas service to be carried out. This is a health and safety requirement (see notes).

7.7 You will be charged for the cost of repairing any damage caused to the home by you, or anyone living with you or visiting your home.

7.8 You are responsible for carrying out minor repairs necessary to keep the home in a tenant like manner.

7.9 You are responsible for plumbing in washing machines and dishwashers. You must repair any damage caused to the pipework at your home.

7.10 If you do not carry out the required repair as outlined in 7.8 and 7.9 we will carry out the repair and recover the costs from you.

7.11 You are responsible for decorating the inside of your home, and keeping it decorated at all times.

7.12 You must not Artex walls or ceilings or fix polystyrene tiles to ceilings, or walls.

7.13 You must not decorate the outside of your home unless you have our written permission. There is no charge for seeking this permission.

7.14 You are responsible for repairs that are necessary because you did not report another associated repair to us.

7.15 You must allow the Fire Service access to your home to carry out a home fire risk assessment. Inadequate heating, blocks or leaks in the flue, and lack of adequate ventilation, can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Our gas services make sure that your home is safe for you. It is important that we are allowed access to carry out this essential inspection.

Gas safety

Employees who visit your home will be wearing Gateshead Council ID badges. Please remember to check a caller's ID before allowing them into your home. If you are in any doubt you can call us on 0191 433 5353 to check if callers are genuine.

8. Living in your home

Your general responsibilities

8.1 You must use this home as your main home.

8.2 You can keep your home for as long as you want unless there is a legal reason why we can take it back. Your home can only be taken back with the approval of the Court on the following grounds:

  • You break any of the conditions in this agreement
  • We built or adapted the property for a physically disabled person and you do not need that type of home
  • We need the property for someone else with special needs.
  • We need to carry out redevelopment or major repairs to the property which we cannot do unless you move out.
  • There is any other reason under the Housing Act 1985, 1996, 2004 or any other law relevant to the use of the property.

8.3 If tenancy enforcement action is taken against you due to a breach in your tenancy agreement, this could lead not only to the loss of your home but may also exclude you from obtaining council accommodation in the future.

8.4 If tenancy enforcement action is taken against you due to antisocial behaviour, this may lead to your secure tenancy being demoted to an introductory tenancy by the Court. This would reduce your rights as a tenant. See sections two and three.

8.5 If you break any condition in this agreement we may take legal action against you, for example by obtaining a possession order, injunction, demotion order, an order suspending the right to buy your home, or by extending your introductory tenancy.

8.6 We can repossess your home if you have given false information to get the tenancy, and/or if someone has given us false information on your behalf to get the tenancy.

8.7 You may be liable for our legal costs if action is taken to repossess your property or an injunction, demotion order, or an order suspending your right to buy is made against you.

8.8 If you intend to leave your home for more than 28 days, you must make sure that your home will be looked after and secure while you are away and provide us with your contact details or of someone else in the local area who can deal with any emergency on your behalf. You must ensure your rent will be paid while you are away.

8.9 You must not run a business or trade from your home without first obtaining our written permission. Permission will not be unreasonably withheld. There is no charge for this permission.

8.10 Any furniture, appliances, carpets, or curtains provided with your tenancy are part of your home. You must keep these in good condition, and must not damage or remove them, otherwise you will be charged for any repairs or replacement.

8.11 You must not do anything in the home that may cause a danger to anyone in the home or in the local area.

8.12 You must not throw anything through or out of the windows of your home, or from balconies or roofs.

8.13 You must not place anything on a window ledge, balcony, or roof that could be a danger to anyone living in or visiting your home or local area.

8.14 You are responsible for insuring your home contents. We are not responsible for loss or damage to your possessions.

Decoration and hygiene

8.15 You must keep your home neat, tidy, and clean.

8.16 You must dispose of your rubbish properly in line with the council's requirements, otherwise you may be charged for any clearances required. This includes any bulky or unusual items.

8.17 You must report to the council, the presence in your home of rats, cockroaches or other vermin or pests.

8.18 You must not leave syringes or other sharp items in areas where people may come into contact with them. You must dispose of used syringes safely.


8.19 You must keep any grass, lawns, and hedges at your home neat and tidy.

8.20 You must keep your garden tidy and free from rubbish and debris, otherwise you may be charged for clearances, including a garden tidy up. We will advise you of the costs before undertaking the work.

8.21 You must obtain our written permission before you put up or take down any fence or wall. There is no charge for seeking this permission. You will be informed if the improvement will become the council's property when you move out. If you dismantle the fence or wall when you move, you must put the property back to the way it was before you improved it. If you do not, we will charge for the work.

8.22 You must not put a greenhouse, garage or shed at your home without getting our written permission.

8.23 You must not plant large types of trees without our written permission.

8.24 You must keep all gullies, entrances to drains, external air bricks, and vents clear and free from obstruction.

8.25 You must not allow any hedge to exceed two metres in height or overhang roads pavements, or neighbour's gardens.

8.26 You must not attach any barbed wire, broken glass, or other material to your home that may cause personal injury.

If you cannot look after your garden due to your age or disability, contact us about our garden scheme.

Shared areas

8.27 You must keep any shared areas free from obstruction. You must cooperate with us to keep any shared areas clean and tidy.

8.28 You must cooperate fully with any measures we take to protect the security of your home, and you must keep all shared doors closed.

Bulky waste collection

You can arrange for a bulky waste collection. Let us know if you need help putting your items out for collection because of your age/disability. If you live in a multi-storey block, bulky waste collections can only be made from the ground floor. If you don't live on the ground floor call the Multi-storey Team on 0191 433 5414.

Pets and animals

8.29 If your home has a shared entrance you must not keep cats or dogs (except for a registered guide dog, disability dog or hearing dog).

8.30 You may keep domestic pets, such as one dog, one cat, caged birds, fish, or small mammals in your house or bungalow, if they are well cared for and kept under proper control. You must obtain our written permission before keeping any other animal.

8.31 Your animals must not cause a nuisance, annoyance, or concern to anyone in the local area including any employee or agent of Gateshead Council.

8.32 You must ensure your dog does not foul in any area of the property or in the local area. You must remove any fouling from your home, or the local area and dispose of it properly.

8.33 You must not breed any animals or birds at your home or build a pigeon creed or aviary without obtaining our written permission.

8.34 You must not keep livestock, such as horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, cattle, ducks, geese, and chickens at the property.

Unsuitable animals

Unsuitable animals include the following, but are not limited to: all wild animals, all poisonous insects and spiders; all poisonous snakes or fish, all large reptiles. You may ask us for written permission to keep more than one dog or cat, or other animal.

Vehicles and access

8.35 You can only park a vehicle within the boundaries of your home if there is a garage, driveway, or car hard standing and there is an appropriate dropped kerb entrance.

8.36 You must obtain our written permission before building a garage, car hard standing, or driveway. There may be a charge for any associated planning and building regulation applications.

You or anyone living with you, or visiting your home, must not:

8.37 Carry out major repairs to any vehicle within the boundaries of your home, on the highway, or in any other public or shared area.

8.38 Receive any type of payment for repairing any vehicle at the home. If we suspect that you are being paid for repairing a vehicle, we may ask you to prove that you own the vehicle.

8.39 Obstruct access to any other home by parking inconsiderately.

8.40 Keep vehicles, eg motorbikes, inside the dwelling or in the shared areas, except the keeping of a pedal bike inside the property. Battery powered scooters used by the elderly or disabled are exempt as long as they do not cause an obstruction.

8.41 Park or drive a vehicle on any open-plan area, footpath, or grass verge.

8.42 Park any motorhome, caravan, boat, or business vehicle, other than a small van, at your home or on any other land owned by the council without our prior written agreement.


8.43 You, anyone living with you, or visiting you must not tamper with the supply of gas, electricity, or water, any other services, meters, smoke detectors, or any warden call equipment that has been installed in your home. You will be charged for any damage caused.

Combustible materials

8.44 You, anyone living with you, or visiting you must not interfere with any equipment for detecting or putting out fires in the home or in communal areas.

General fire safety advice

8.45 Check your smoke alarm regularly, and if it has a battery, remember to check if it needs changing.

8.46 Chip pans are the main cause of house fires if left unattended. Caution is advised when using chip pans and deep-fat fryers.

8.47 Take care when using candles in the home - do not leave them unattended. Place them on fire retardant surfaces away from flammable material.

8.48 Always keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

If you discover a fire

1) Raise the alarm to warn people in your home

2) Leave the home, closing all doors and windows behind if it is safe to do so

3) Call the Fire Service on 999

9. Furniture

We may rent furniture to you as part of the Furniture Leasing Scheme

9.1 The furniture always remains the property of the furniture provider.

9.2 You, your family, or anyone visiting your home, must not do the following:

  • Sell, rent or give away any of the furniture
  • Deliberately damage or vandalise the furniture
  • Remove any of our furniture from the home without our written permission

If you do, we may charge you for any repairs or replacement.

9.3 You must allow our employees and contractors to enter the home at reasonable times after we have given reasonable notice to inspect the furniture.

9.4 At the end of tenancy, you will make sure all the leased furniture is collected by the furniture provider. If the furniture is not collected before the tenancy ends or if there are missing/damaged items, this may result in additional furniture charges and we may recover these costs from you.

9.5 If you do not take care of the furniture or deliberately misuse the items, you may be excluded from the scheme and denied any future replacements.

9.6 If you get into difficulty with paying your rent, we have the right to remove the furniture package in order to help reduce the weekly amounts payable on your account.

9.7 There is a weekly leasing charge for the furniture which is your responsibility to pay.

Leasing furniture

When you sign this agreement, you will be provided with a list of furniture items available. Should you wish to request a furniture package, please complete a Furniture Application Form. If your request for furniture is approved, you will be required to sign a Leasing Agreement and The Furnished Tenancy Team will contact you to arrange delivery. We recommend that you insure the leased furniture on your household insurance. It is theft to sell, rent or give away leased furniture items. Missing furniture may be reported to the Police as theft.

10. Living in your community

10.1 You are responsible for the behaviour of every person (including children), living in, or visiting your home. You are responsible for them in your home, shared areas, and in the locality of your home.

10.2 You, anyone living with you, or visiting your home must not do anything that causes or is likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to any person residing, visiting, or engaging in a lawful activity in the locality. For example, antisocial behaviour includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Shouting or persistent arguing
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Loud music or making other loud noise
  • Banging or slamming doors
  • Trespass into a neighbour's property
  • Not looking after your garden
  • Repairing vehicles
  • Rubbish dumping, fly tipping or lighting fires
  • Allowing rubbish to accumulate in or around your home
  • Not keeping your pets under control/allowing your dog to bark
  • Throwing things from windows or balconies
  • Riding motorcycles, trial or quad bikes anywhere other than the public highway, or designated areas
  • Playing ball games close to properties
  • Being drunk and disorderly in public
  • Skateboarding and cycling on footpaths and balconies
  • Breaking shared security, e.g. allowing strangers to get into the building
  • Writing graffiti
  • Domestic violence
  • Prostitution
  • Dealing in pornography
  • Urinating outside your home or your neighbour's home

10.3 You, or anyone living with you, or visiting your home must not threaten violence, domestic violence, or be violent towards anyone living in or visiting your home. This includes employees of the council or their partners/agents or Councillors.

10.4 You, or anyone living with you or visiting your home must not harass, threaten to harass, use or threaten violence or discriminate against any person because of their race, nationality, sexuality, gender, religion or belief, age or disability, neither must you encourage or allow any person to do so.

10.5 You must not use or allow your home to be used for criminal, illegal, or immoral acts. In particular you must not use your home in connection with:

  • Cultivating or manufacturing, selling or conspiring to sell, using, possessing and dealing in illegal drugs or substances.
  • Unlicensed firearms or illegal weapons.
  • Handling or storing stolen or counterfeit goods.

10.6 You, or anyone living with you or visiting your home must not damage or threaten to damage property. For example by engaging in:

  • Arson or attempted arson
  • Interference with security and safety equipment
  • Damaging shared areas or facilities
  • Breaking windows or doors
  • Writing graffiti
  • Placing rubbish, paint or any other offensive substances on any part of a house or building.

10.7 You, or anyone living with you or visiting your home, must not be convicted of any serious arrestable offence within the local area, for example, theft, burglary, robbery, wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm, possession or production of a controlled drug, with intent to supply etc.

10.8 You, or anyone living with you or visiting your home must not run a business from your home which is likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to others. For example (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Car repair and maintenance
  • Printing
  • Any business where you would have to use noisy equipment such as hydraulic equipment, industrial sewing machines, or controlled substances such as chemicals.

Business permission

You must get our prior written permission to operate a business from your home. Permission will not be unreasonably withheld.

Consequences of antisocial behaviour

10.9 We have powers available to help tackle antisocial behaviour. These include:

  • Taking legal action against you for possession of your home, an antisocial behaviour order or an injunction. A possession order could result in you losing your home and not being able to get another council home.
  • Extending your introductory tenancy if your conduct consists of or includes antisocial behaviour.
  • Demotion of tenancy if your conduct consists of or includes antisocial behaviour. If this happens you will lose your right to buy your home and the right to exchange. See 2.2 for more information.
  • Refusing a request for a mutual exchange if your conduct consists of or includes antisocial behaviour.
  • Suspending your right to buy if your conduct consists of or includes antisocial behaviour.

11. Moving house

Your responsibilities

11.1 If you want to end your tenancy you must give us at least four weeks' written notice. If you do not give proper notice you will continue to be responsible for the rent and other payments.

11.2 You must return all keys and electronic fob keys (if provided) for the property to us, no later than 12 noon on the last day of your tenancy. You will be responsible for further rent if we do not receive your keys/fobs on time, and for any damage caused if you leave the house unsecured.

11.3 You must pay all rent and other charges up to the date your tenancy ends.

11.4 You must give us access to your home to allow us to carry out an inspection of your home after we receive your termination notice.

11.5 You must leave your home in a neat and tidy condition. You must make good any damage to your home before you move. If you do not do so, you will be responsible for any costs incurred in repairing the damage.

11.6 You must remove all of your possessions, animals, rubbish, and private papers. If you do not do so, we will charge you for any removal and storage costs incurred, and the cost of looking after any animal you leave in your home.

11.7 You must report all repairs that are needed at the home (before you leave) and replace or repair broken items that belong to us. If you do not, we will carry out the work and charge you for doing so.

11.8 A joint tenancy will end after four weeks' written notice has been given by either tenant. At the end of the notice period your home must be vacated and the keys returned to Gateshead Council. (See notes on next page).

11.9 You must not allow any person to remain living in your home when your tenancy ends.

11.10 You must make sure all fittings and fixtures you have installed, and which you are leaving in the home, are in good working order.

11.11 You must make sure all furniture you rent from us is left at the home. If there is any damage to the furniture we will charge you for repair. If there is any furniture missing we may treat this as theft and report this to the police.

11.12 You must make sure all fittings and fixtures you have installed, and are removing from the home, are replaced with the existing fittings before you leave. If you do not we may carry out the work, and if so, will charge you for doing so.

11.13 You must remove any greenhouse(s), shed(s), kennel(s) etc., before leaving the home, and must reinstate the land to our satisfaction. If you do not we may carry out the work, and will charge you for doing so.

11.14 If the tenancy ends because the tenant has died, the tenancy can be ended on the Monday following the death of the tenant if the home has been fully cleared of all furnishings, paperwork, and effects. The tenant's representative can extend the tenancy for a week at no charge to clear out furniture. After that a weekly charge will be made which is the same rate as the weekly rent payable.

11.15 If you move out of the home without telling us, we will treat the home as abandoned. We are required to serve a 28 day Notice to Quit before ending the tenancy. You will be charged full rent for the 28 days. Your tenancy will then come to an end.

11.16 Abandoning the home could mean that you may not be entitled to another home with us - for example, you have left with rent arrears or damaged the property.

11.17 We may store any furniture and belongings taken from the home for a limited period or until you make arrangements to move them. We will charge you for this storage. We will try to contact you to arrange collection of the belongings. If we are unable to contact you, or if you do not collect the belongings, we may sell them and use any money we get towards any of your unpaid rent or other charges.

11.18 If you are a joint tenant, the whole tenancy will end if you or the other joint tenant ends the tenancy.

11.19 We will ask you to allow us reasonable access to show potential tenants around your home during your notice period.

11.20 Your home may be advertised on Gateshead Home Choice before you leave your home.

12. Service of notices and requesting written permission

Service of Notices

12.1 Any Notice, including Notice to Quit, can be served on you by leaving it at your home or by sending it by post.

12.2 We will assume that you have received all letters and notices within 72 hours if we posted them, or within 24 hours if they were delivered by hand.

12.3 Any Notices should be sent to Gateshead Council or any other address that you may be notified to send your Notice to.

Requesting written permission

12.4 You need the written permission from Gateshead Council to comply with some conditions in this agreement. Requests for written permission should be made in writing to Gateshead Council or email (for further information contact your local housing office).

12.5 Even if we give our written permission, you may still need to get planning permission and comply with building regulations. We may withdraw our permission if a nuisance is caused, or if the alteration or addition becomes unsightly or a danger, or if the structure of the home is damaged.


Permissions are not only to safeguard the home, but also to make sure that any work done could not injure you or any other person.

13. Definitions

Animal - includes livestock, bird, insect, reptile, spider, fish, or mammal.

Antisocial behaviour - an act, or failure to do something which causes or is likely to cause, nuisance, annoyance, harassment, alarm or distress to anyone.

Assignment - a method for transferring your tenancy to someone else. The law does not allow you to assign your tenancy, except if you exchange your home with another council or housing association tenant. If there are legal proceedings in matrimonial cases, your tenancy can be assigned to your spouse, partner or civil partner following a Court Order. You can assign your tenancy to someone who would qualify to succeed to your tenancy (for 'succession') if you had died immediately before the assignment.

Exchange - to swap tenancies with another council or housing association tenant.

Fixtures and fittings - for example, kitchen units and appliances, sanitary ware, plumbing, shower and heating systems, electrical circuits, sockets, switches, lamp holders, doors, locks, glazing, fitted wardrobes and shelves, fires and surrounds, aerials, sheds, conservatories, and garages.

Garden - lawns, hedges, flowerbeds, trees, shrubs, outside walls, fences, paths, and yards.

Home - the whole of the property let to you under this agreement, including the house, any garden, any garage within your garden, but not including shared areas.

Improvement - any alteration or addition to the home.

Landlord - Gateshead Council.

Lodger - a person who pays you money to let them live in the home with you.

Neighbour - includes everyone living in the local area, including other tenants, people who own their own homes, and local businesses.

Non-collecting weeks - this is where the annual rent has been divided over fewer than 52 or 53 weeks, to give tenants 'rent free weeks'.

Partner - a person you live with as husband/wife.

Relative - a parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, steprelative, and adopted child.

Rent - payment made by a tenant for occupation of the home.

Shared areas - the parts of the building which all tenants or any other person can use, for example halls, stairways, entrances, landings, shared gardens, lawns, and landscaped areas.

Sublet - allowing another person to live in part of your home with agreement from Gateshead Council.

Succession - if you die, your husband, wife, partner, civil partner, or another member of your family may be entitled to the tenancy if they are living with you at the home at the time of your death. This is called 'succession'.If you don't have a husband, wife, partner or civil partner, the tenancy can pass to a member of your family, as long as they have been living with you continuously for 12 months or more immediately before your death. By law, only one succession can take place. If the tenancy is a joint tenancy, only one other tenant still living in the home after you die has a right to succeed to the tenancy.

Vehicle - this includes, for example, car, motorbike, bike, moped, boat, caravan, van, minibike, trailer, and mobility scooter.

Visitor - people not living with you but who come to see you at your home.

We, us, our - Gateshead Council, Councillors, officers of the council, and agents acting on their behalf.

Written Permission - a letter from us giving you permission to do something.

You - the tenant, and in the case of joint tenants, any one or all of the joint tenants.