Your rights as a housing association tenant
If you are a tenant of a housing association or other voluntary housing organisation, your tenancy is now covered by the residential tenancies legislation. Housing associations, co-operatives and similar organisations, known as approved housing bodies (AHBs) were brought under the scope of this legislation on 7 April 2016. Two major effects of this change are:
As noted above, since 7 April 2016 housing associations and other approved housing bodies come under the scope of the residential tenancies legislation. On this date the relevant sections of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015, which amended the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, came into effect.
While there are several types of approved housing body, the term housing associations is often used when referring to all types. Read more about these bodies.
Tenants of housing associations now have the same rights and obligations as tenants in private rented housing, with some exceptions, which are:
- The minimum standards for food preparation, storage and laundry purposes do not apply to housing associations, so they do not have to provide their tenants with white goods, such as washing machines
- Rent reviews will be carried out in accordance with the tenancy agreement (if there is one) or else no more than once a year. There is no specific notice period in the legislation, but it does state that notice must be given as soon as is practicable.
- You may not assign or sublet the housing association tenancy
- While most housing association tenants will get security of tenure – known as Part 4 rights – after 6 months or more into the tenancy, this does not apply if you are living in transitional accommodation and the tenancy is for 18 months or less
- While the housing association can validly end your tenancy providing all the legal requirements are met, it cannot terminate a Part 4 tenancy for the reason that it requires the dwelling for its own or family member occupation
You can find out more in our document on Landlords’ rights and obligations.
If you are a joint tenant and your relationship with your joint tenant has ended and they have left, you can read information about housing and relationship breakdown here.
To find out what you or the housing association can do about anti-social behaviour, you can read about anti-social behaviour and housing here.
To find out about passing on a tenancy if someone dies, contact the housing association to establish its policy.
To find out who is responsible for different types of repair and the minimum physical standards you are entitled to, you can read about repairs, maintenance and minimum physical standards here.
If you or a member of your family has a physical or intellectual disability or mental health difficulties, and your home requires alteration in order to make it suitable, you may be entitled to a Housing Adaptation Grant for a Person with a Disability.
Where to apply
For any queries about your rights and obligations, you can contact your housing association or the Residential Tenancies Board.
You can also contact Threshold, the national housing charity, for information and advice.