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Birmingham City Council

Your Council Tenancy

Overview

This page contains information about your council tenancy. We have bought together some of the most frequent enquiries and questions that our tenants ask us. For more detailed information please consult your copy of the Conditions of Tenancy and your Tenant’s Handbook. Both of these are available to download or view at the bottom of the page.


Essential Information
  • Please note that this policy is currently under review

    Some council tenancies are held by a single person in their name only. However, some tenancies are held jointly, usually by two people, who are living together in the same property. Joint tenancies are held by civil partners/married couples and partners living together. Sometimes they are held jointly by a parent and adult child and, occasionally, they may be held by a carer and the person they are caring for.

    If you have held a tenancy as a single-named person and wish to add another person's name - perhaps, because you are getting married or co-habiting with a new partner - a new tenancy agreement will have to be created.

    If you are a joint tenant the whole tenancy will end if you or another joint tenant ends it. We will then decide whether to create a new tenancy for the remaining tenant or offer them another property. You may not have an automatic right to continue living in the property if a fellow joint tenant decides to end the tenancy or dies (See ‘Succeeding to a Tenancy’ in the section below).

  • Please note that these policies are currently under review

    There are two situations in which a person may be left in occupation of a council property. This can happen either if the tenant has died (succession), or if the tenant has given notice (left in occupation).

    Succession (where a tenant dies)

    The law is very clear about the Right of Succession. It can only occur once - for example, a partner or family member may be able to take over a tenancy if the tenant dies.

    If you find yourself in these unfortunate circumstances, the council will consider each request on an individual basis. Providing there is supporting evidence, we will decide whether you are eligible for the tenancy or alternative accommodation according to the council's allocation policy.

    However, whilst we are making this decision and if you are not eligible to succeed to the tenancy, we will charge you for the use and occupation of the property until the situation has been resolved either by possession proceedings through the county courts, or by moving you to alternative accommodation according to our allocations policy. These charges are not rent.

    Left in occupation

    A person "left in occupation" is someone who continues living in a property after the tenant has moved out, and who has not been granted a tenancy of that property.

    You will be left in occupation if:

    • the tenant or one of the joint tenants has terminated their tenancy (by serving the housing department a notice to vacate) and you carry on living there
    • the tenant has moved out of the property and you carry on living there
    • the tenant has died, no one in the household has a right to succeed and you carry on living there. If you find yourself in this situation you must notify us. We will look into your housing situation and decide whether you are eligible for this tenancy or alternative accommodation, according to the allocation scheme.

    During this time we will charge you for the use and occupation of the property until the situation has been resolved either by possession proceedings through the county courts, or by moving you to alternative accommodation according to our allocations policy. These charges are not rent.

  • A key fob is a security device which allows entry into blocks with secure or monitored access (CCTV).

    Council tenants and leaseholders are issued with two fobs at the start of their tenancy or lease if their property is in a block with secure or monitored access.

    Additional fobs are only issued in exceptional circumstances. If you want an additional key fob you must submit a request in writing . You can do this online or by post, and they will decide whether an additional key fob can be issued.

    The ability to issue an additional key fob may be limited by the capability of the door entry system as some can only be programmed to deal with a set number of key fobs. You should also bear in mind that the more fobs issued for a door, the more chance there is that the building will be less secure.

    If a fob has been lost or stolen, you must report this to a concierge, neighbourhood caretaker or security representative such as a night security officer. This is so that the fob can be cancelled on the system.

    Lost fobs must be paid for. Stolen fobs may be replaced free of charge if you have a crime number.

    Any fob which has become defective will be replaced free of charge, but any fob that has been damaged due to negligence will be charged for.

    Currently the charge for a key fob is £10 but this may change.

  • The council does a lot to make sure that its properties are in good condition and structurally sound. However there is a lot that tenants can do to protect themselves, their families and visitors to their home.

    Here is some common sense advice to protect you and your family.

    • Always make sure you know who callers are before you let them into your home and do not let strangers into shared areas. Remember that all council staff and employees of our repairs partners and gas contractors carry identification. Ask to see it before you let them into your home.
    • Only oil filled radiators can be used in flats. Please do not use portable paraffin or gas cylinder heaters. We usually allow tenants to use these heaters in other types of property but you must get written permission first.
    • Do not store gas or materials or furniture that burns easily in the property, garage or garden.
    • Do not store or repair petrol, diesel or paraffin-powered vehicles in shared areas.
    • Do not store petrol, diesel or paraffin appliances in the property except lawn mowers and garden strimmers.
    • Do not interfere with health and safety equipment, for example, fire detectors and extinguishers, door entry systems and closed circuit television.
    • Do not damage or overload lifts or do anything that may put people in the property or surrounding area in danger.
    • Do not throw anything from the windows or balconies (this includes shaking mats or carpets). Please do not place objects on window ledges or balconies that could be a danger to passers-by.
    • Do not feed wild pigeons or squirrels outside the property or on balconies.
    • Keep corridors, paths and stairs clear of rubbish, material or old furniture or equipment.
    • Keep areas set aside for emergency vehicles clear.
    • Dispose of syringes safely.
    • Do tell your local housing team immediately about any damage that has been done to the property. You may need to report it to the police.
    • There is more information on fire safety at www.gov.uk/firekills
  • Keeping a pet is important to many council tenants who want to enjoy the companionship and interest that an animal provides.

    The council defines the type of animals you can keep in the Conditions of Tenancy booklet. In general, you cannot keep livestock such as pigs, sheep or goats on your property, or animals classified as dangerous - including dogs classed as dangerous by the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

    Please be aware that if you would like to keep more than 2 dogs, or if you would like to build a pigeon loft or aviary, you must get our written permission.

    We have produced a leaflet 'Council Tenant's Guide to Keeping Dogs', attached below, which gives lots of information and a code of practice for dog owners.

    If you are troubled by barking or stray dogs or are concerned about an animal's health, our Environmental and Consumer Services pages offer advice – see ‘Related Links’ on this page

    Useful advice for pet owners in council properties

    • Be a responsible owner and provide (and maintain) the right kind of fencing to keep your pet safe and secure.
    • When choosing a pet, think about what is suitable for the type and size of your home, how big it will grow, access to the road and open space, and the number of people in your home.
    • Do not allow your pet to make a mess in communal areas or excessive noise such as barking.
    • Think carefully about the number of pets you keep. You must have written permission from your local housing office to keep more than two dogs.
    • Council tenants can keep pigeons or birds in a loft or aviary but you must get written permission from your local housing office.
    • Do not breed any animals or birds that cause a nuisance to neighbours or a risk to health.
    • Keep your animal under proper control and do not allow it to become a nuisance. If your animal is unsuitable or causes a nuisance, we will ask you to remove it and will take court action if you do not comply.
  • When a council property becomes empty the energy supplier may be changed, to SSE PLC (formerly known as Scottish and Southern Energy). If the energy supplier is changed to SSE PLC they will become the energy supplier when the new tenant moves in to the property. Council tenants do not have to remain with SSE PLC and are free to make arrangements with other energy suppliers if they wish.

    Not all council properties receive a gas supply and tenants are not allowed to have gas supplied to properties that come without such a supply.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • Yes, you have the right to make your own improvements i.e. installing a new bathroom or kitchen.

      Before you start, however, you must tell us what you are planning to do and get our written permission. We will only say no if there is a good reason, for example, if the work would make your home unsafe. Your Local Housing Team can tell you how to obtain this permission.

      Any work you have done must be carried out by a competent and suitably experienced person. If the property is damaged by the work, we will ask you to put things right. If we have to put things right we will charge you.