Changing or ending your tenancy
Find out how to make changes or end your existing tenancy. You can make minor changes, such as updating your phone number or email address or requesting text message updates, in several different ways:
Call our Customer Service Unit on 01442 228000 and ask for ‘ Housing’. Please note, your call may be recorded.
Visit your nearest Customer Service Centre: The Forum in Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted Civic Centre or Victoria Hall in Tring. For opening times, please visit our Contact Us page.
Changing your name
If you wish to change your own name on your tenancy, then you'll need to contact your Housing Officer - Tenancy by emailing email@example.com. Alternatively, call 01442 228000 and ask for them by name or say "Housing" when prompted.
Ending your tenancy
To end your tenancy, there are several things that you must do. If all these things are not done then it may cost you money:
- Give four weeks' written notice. You can end your tenancy by giving four weeks’ written notice that ends on a Monday. You can get a form to end your tenancy from a Customer Service Centre, or you can ask us to send you one. This form must be signed by you or, if you are a joint tenant, at least one (but preferably both) of you. If you have a Flexible Tenancy, both joint tenants must sign the termination paperwork.
- Allow our staff to inspect the property. During the four-week notice period you must allow our staff to inspect the property. We will tell you about any work that you need to do before you leave. If this work is not carried out, we will do the work and charge you our costs.
- Clear all items from the property. When your tenancy ends you must clear the inside and outside of the property of all items, including floor coverings, unless we have agreed that you can leave them. If you leave items in the property without our permission, we will charge you at least £210 for clearing the inside of the property and at least £210 for clearing the outside (see the separate ‘Getting in touch’ leaflet for the current minimum charge).
- Return the keys. A key safe will be provided at the property, and the code for this will be given to you by the Lettings Team during the Notice period. The keys must be placed in the key safe by noon on the day of termination and the Lettings Team should be notified when they are ready for collection. Failure to do this may incur additional rent until such time we are notified the keys are available to us.
Please leave the property clean and tidy, make sure that gas and electricity meters have been read and supplies have been turned off. Please also make sure that the property is left secure.
If you have a joint tenancy, it means that both you and your partner are tenants of your home and you are both responsible for making sure that the terms of your tenancy agreement are met (even if one of you leaves).
How to change your tenancy into a joint tenancy
If you are the only tenant and you want to have a joint tenancy with your partner, you will need to fill in a joint tenancy application form. Both of you will need to sign the form. We will consider the circumstances of your request, taking account of the length of time that you have lived together. We would not normally grant a joint tenancy to a son, daughter or other relative.
We may refuse an application for a joint tenancy if:
- the current tenant has rent arrears or any other charges outstanding
- a valid notice of seeking possession has been served for a breach of tenancy conditions
- there is a valid court order against the tenant for possession of the property. This also includes a suspended court order
- there has already been a succession or assignment of the tenancy
- the applicant owes money to the authority for former tenancy rent or other charges
- the applicant owns a property or has a tenancy elsewhere
- the applicant is under 18
- one party does not intend to live in the property
- the applicant does not pass the Person From Abroad test
How to take your name off a joint tenancy
We cannot remove one name from a joint tenancy. If you or your partner want to take your name off your joint tenancy, you need to end your current tenancy.
To end your tenancy, you should contact your Housing Officer - Tenancy. If you or your partner end the tenancy, this will end the tenancy for both of you. If the other tenant wants to stay in the home, we will decide if we should offer them a new tenancy. We do not have to offer a new tenancy when a joint tenancy ends. Sometimes, we may decide that they are still eligible for council housing, but they could live in a smaller home, if this happens, we may offer them a new tenancy in a different property.
We will always change a joint tenancy into a sole tenancy if we are instructed to do so by the county court after a divorce or legal separation.
If you are thinking about ending your joint tenancy, you should get independent advice or speak to your Housing Officer first.
If you need more help after a relationship has ended, contact our Housing Advice and Options team. You may also wish to contact Shelter or the Citizens' Advice Bureau for housing advice.
Ending a joint tenancy
If only one of you wants to end the tenancy and the other joint tenant(s) wants to stay in the property, we may either:
- give the remaining tenant(s) a new tenancy at the same property
- not give them a new tenancy - for example, because the property could be offered to another couple or family
What we will do depends on the type of tenancy you have. You can find out more about different tenancy types in the tenants' handbook.
If one joint tenant dies, the tenancy continues for the surviving tenant(s). If you and your partner divorce or your relationship breaks down and you can’t agree on who gets the tenancy, a court can decide this.
Ending the tenancy of a person who has died
If you are a joint tenant and you die, your tenancy will pass to your joint tenant (if there is one). If you do not have a joint tenant, your husband, wife or civil partner can take over the tenancy. This is called succession.
If you need to let us know that someone else has died and there is no one else who is entitled to take over the tenancy, then you should contact us as soon as possible. We do understand that the death of a friend or relative is a difficult time, but rent will be due for the property until their tenancy ends. (The tenancy does not end on the date of death.)
You must have a ‘Letter of administration’ to prove that you are dealing with the deceased tenant’s funeral and estate and can notify us that the tenancy will end. You need to contact us by phone or in person to request a Termination of Tenancy form. This form is not available online and must be completed, signed and returned to us with an official copy of the tenant’s Death Certificate. This is known as ‘Serving a Notice to Quit’ to us.
In order to end the tenancy we must have four clear weeks’ notice, starting on the Monday following the date that we receive the completed form.
If the tenant was receiving Housing Benefit then this ceases on the date of death, so full rent becomes payable during the termination period. Rent charges will be taken from the tenant’s estate and not directly from yourself.
Please notify our Housing Benefit Section of the tenant’s death if you have not already done so. Telephone 01442 228000 and ask for 'Housing Benefit'.