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Information about Landlord Services – Rights of Tenants

May 2024

This guide is designed for the following groups of tenants:

  • “Assured” (non-shorthold) tenants (including people who were previously tenants of Council housing which has been transferred to Great Places);
  • “Assured” (shorthold) tenants of Great Places Housing Association (including starter tenants, but not tenants of Plumlife);
  • “Secure” tenants of Great Places Housing Association (not including tenants of Oldham Council)



Great Places Housing Group exists to improve the lives of the people living in our 25,000 homes across the North West and Yorkshire. We are much more than a landlord, providing a wide range of vital services to our tenants and promoting partnership work to create vibrant, sustainable communities.

Great Places Housing Association is a Registered Provider of Social Housing, registered with the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH).  Our regulator sets “Regulatory Standards” which set out clear expectations covering the way we are run; the quality of homes and services that we provide; how we set our rents; how we spend our money; and the information we give to our tenants. This is to ensure that we continue providing quality homes which are affordable and meet your needs.

We have tried to provide an easy-to-understand summary of your basic legal rights as a tenant in this document. It is not intended to replace your tenancy agreement, which is unique to you and may include additional rights. You should therefore read your tenancy agreement if you are unsure of your rights.

Legal documents such as tenancy agreements can sometimes be difficult to read and understand. If you are not sure about your rights, you can contact our Customer Hub on 0300 123 1966 – we are here to help you. You can also get independent advice from organisations such as Citizens’ Advice and Shelter England.

Making a complaint

If you feel that you have not received the level of service that you are entitled to from us then you can make a complaint. We will accept it in any format including face to face, by email, social media, telephone, post or via our online form: Contact us – Great Places

How we handle complaints

How we handle complaints

We understand that sometimes our service doesn’t meet our tenants’ expectations and it is important that you know how you can tell us what we have got wrong.

When we receive a complaint, we follow guidelines set out in the Housing Ombudsman Service Complaint Handling Code, which is a two-stage process.

What can I expect from Great Places when I complain?

What can I expect from Great Places when I complain?

  • You will receive an acknowledgement within 3-5 working days
  • We will investigate your complaint and aim to respond within 10 working days
  • If we cannot resolve your complaint to your satisfaction at Stage 1, you can ask us to look at it again at the next stage of the complaints process (known as Stage 2).
  • A different officer will investigate and respond to a Stage 2 complaint within 20 working days.

If you still do not feel that your complaint has been resolved, you can refer your case to the Housing Ombudsman Service

Basic legal rights for everyone

Health and safety

Health and safety

The health and safety of all our tenants is our priority and there is lots of health and safety law  that we must comply with, and examples of good practice that we follow including:

Asking for reasonable adjustments

Asking for reasonable adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 says that any tenant who has a physical or mental disability, and is finding it difficult to live in their home because of it, can ask us to make reasonable adjustments such as changes to taps, door handles, door bells/door entry systems, and changes to the colour of a wall, door or any other surface. The Act also entitles the same tenants to ask us to make reasonable adjustments to our policies and procedures to reduce or remove the difficulty they are facing.

It is important to note that we do not have to approve every request that we receive. We will take different factors into account, including the cost.

We want our customers to live in homes that meet their needs. While we do not have to make changes to the physical layout of your home or to other parts of your building or scheme, we will try to support you where possible.

Funding may be available to help make changes which are known as adaptations, or you may be able to apply to move to a property which is better suited to you.

Basic legal rights – All tenants

All tenants of Great Places Housing Association have the following basic legal rights:



We are responsible for maintaining many of the things inside and outside your house, such as:

  • drains, gutters and other outside pipes
  • water and gas pipes and electrical wiring
  • your sink, bath and toilet
  • your boiler, radiators, storage heaters and heat pump (if you have them)

If there are any faults that have happened because of how your house was designed or built then we may have to fix these as well.

If your home is part of a larger building and has areas which are shared by tenants such as stairways, lobbies and communal lounges, then we are responsible for repairs to these parts of the building if they belong to or are controlled by us. However, if these parts of the building belong to another organisation, we would not be able to carry out this work and it won’t be covered in your tenancy agreement.

We will tell you in advance when we intend to come to your home and carry out repairs or maintenance work, or to check the condition and state of your home, unless it is an emergency. In an emergency we may need to gain access without telling you first. You must let us into your home to carry out repairs or to correct faults, and we can take legal action against you if you don’t allow us in to carry out the work.

We do not have to carry out repairs or fix faults that have happened because you have broken the terms of your tenancy agreement. You must tell us about any repairs that we have to carry out as soon as you know about it.

If your home is destroyed or damaged by fire, storms, floods or in the event of an unforeseen accident such as a gas explosion, we will work with you and other partners to find you somewhere else suitable to live.

If you have put in your own appliances and white goods such as fridges and freezers then we will not repair these for you if they break or are damaged.

Protection from eviction

Protection from eviction

As long as you live in your home as your only or main home, you cannot be evicted unless a Court makes an order telling you to leave.

Passing on your tenancy if you die (succession)

Passing on your tenancy if you die (succession)

If you are a Starter, Assured or Secure tenant you may be able to pass on your tenancy if you die. This is known as succession. These are circumstances that will allow you to pass on your tenancy, including:

  • If you are joint tenants and one of you dies, the tenancy will continue in the name of the living tenant
  • If you are a sole tenant, and there has been no previous succession of the tenancy (including where a joint tenant has died), then your tenancy will automatically pass to your husband/wife or civil partner
  • If you are a sole tenant, and there has been no previous succession of the tenancy (including where a joint tenant has died), and you are living with a long-term partner and are not married or in a civil partnership, then your tenancy will automatically pass to your partner in the following situations:
  • If you are a Starter or Assured Tenant, as long as your partner is living with you when you die;
  • If you are a Secure Tenant –
    • If your tenancy started on or after 1 April 2012, as long as your partner is living with you when you die;
    • If your tenancy started before 1 April 2012, as long as your partner has been living with you for at least a year by the time you die.

In certain circumstances, we may be able to ask you to move to a different and more suitable property if this happens. Examples would be if the house has had major adaptations that are not suitable to the new tenant or if the home is in a larger property designated for a specific group such as older people. This decision would be at the discretion of Great Places.

You may have further rights of succession, including to family members. This depends on the kind of tenancy you have and what your tenancy terms and conditions say – you should refer to your written tenancy agreement for more information. It may be necessary for the new tenant (known as the successor) to sign a new tenancy agreement.

There may be situations where the person who wishes to succeed the tenancy is not legally entitled to but we may be willing to grant a new tenancy of the same property or a different property instead.

Notification of rent review

Notification of rent review

You will be be told in advance if your rent or service charges are going to go up.  Some Assured tenants have the right to ask a Tribunal to decide if the proposed new rent is too high.

Basic legal rights – Secure Tenants

Right to assign

Right to assign

You can transfer your tenancy (known as an assignment) in certain situations set out in the Housing Act 1985.  These include:

  • a mutual exchange (see below);
  • to someone who would be entitled to succeed as a sole tenant; or
  • if the Family Court instructs it.

You must get our written permission to assign your tenancy, and you must make sure that the assignment is done using the correct written legal paperwork.  If you transfer your tenancy without our permission, then the person you transfer it to may be evicted.

Right to mutual exchange

Right to mutual exchange

You can swap your tenancy (known as a mutual exchange) with other social housing tenants in certain situations set out in the Housing Act 1985.  You must get our written permission to exchange your tenancy, and you must make sure that the exchange is done using the correct written legal paperwork.

The Housing Act 1985 sets out the situations when we can refuse permission and how quickly we must decide whether permission will be granted.  If you exchange your tenancy without permission, then both you and the person you exchange with may end up being evicted.

Right to Information and Consultation (including tenancy changes)

Right to Information and Consultation (including tenancy changes)

You have the following rights under the Housing Act 1985:

  • You must be given information about the terms of the tenancies that we offer (including your own) and the repairs that we are responsible for.
  • You will be told in advance about any changes to our housing management practices which may significantly affect you, or any proposed changes to your tenancy agreement terms and conditions, and will be asked for your views on those proposed changes.

Right to take in lodgers

Right to take in lodgers

You can let someone live with you in your home as a lodger as long as you continue to live in your home too. A lodger is a paying guest and has no legal right to stay in the long term.

If you want to sub-let part of your home, then you must check your tenancy agreement to see if this is allowed.  If your tenancy allows it, then you must get our written permission first.  We may ask about the proposed sub-tenant and to see a copy of the proposed tenancy agreement.

You are not allowed to sub-let the whole of your home as this is a criminal offence.  This can include renting out your home through online travel websites such as Air BnB and Booking.com. Illegal sub-letting can lead to a criminal prosecution and a fine or even a prison sentence.  You may be evicted, ordered to pay us any profits you made, and banned from re-applying for social housing.

Other basic rights – Decent Homes

Decent Homes Standard

Decent Homes Standard

All tenants of Great Places Housing Association, who are not shared owners, have the right to a “decent home” as defined by the Government’s Decent Homes Standard.  Your home must:

  • have no “Category 1” hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System;
  • be in a reasonable state of repair where no key building components are old and need replacing/major repair; no more than 1 other building components are old and need replacing/repair);
  • have reasonably modern facilities and services including a modern bathroom (up to 30 years old) and kitchen (up to 20 years old) in an appropriate place with a good layout and amount of space; adequate insulation against external noise where needed; adequate size and layout of common areas (for flats);
  • have gas, heating, and hot water; and
  • be a warm home with enough insulation and an efficient way of heating it.

Other common entitlements

Tenants of Great Places Housing Association may have other rights explained in the tenancy terms and conditions.  Not everyone has these rights, so you should check your written tenancy agreement to see if they apply to you, or call our Customer Hub for more information.

Right to Buy and Right to Acquire

Right to Buy and Right to Acquire

Some social housing tenants may have the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire their home. The Right to Buy was originally for Council tenants, but tenants who have been transferred to us from a Council home may still have the Right to Buy.

The Right to Acquire may be available for newer tenants on former Council estates, or for tenants whose homes were funded through Government grants. If you have the Right to Buy or the Right to Acquire then you can buy your home from us at a discount, depending on the kind of right you have, how long you have lived in social housing, and whether you have ever bought under Right to Buy or Right to Acquire previously.  More detailed guidance is available below:

Assignment and Mutual Exchange

Assignment and Mutual Exchange

The Regulator of Social Housing requires all social landlords to help tenants swap homes with other social housing tenants where it is appropriate.  Here we set out when we will allow Assured tenants to transfer or swap their tenancies.  Starter tenants are usually not allowed to do this until they have completed the probationary period.

Right to Information and Consultation (including tenancy changes)

Right to Information and Consultation (including tenancy changes)

The Regulator of Social Housing requires all social landlords to be open and transparent with tenants, involve tenants in making decisions about housing management issues, and treat tenants with fairness and respect.

Additionally, some Assured tenants of Great Places Housing Association have the same rights to Information and Consultation as Secure tenants.

Questions and answers

Here are some explanations that you may find helpful:

Who is the Regulator?

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) promotes a viable, efficient and well-governed social housing sector able to deliver more and better social homes.

They set standards and carry out robust regulation focusing on driving improvement in social landlords, including local authorities, and ensuring that housing associations are well-governed, financially viable and offer value for money. They can take appropriate action if the outcomes of the standards are not being delivered.

Who is the Housing Ombudsman?

The Housing Ombudsman investigates complaints and resolves disputes involving the tenants and leaseholders of social landlords (housing associations and local authorities).

It is a free, independent and impartial service and its work is funded by annual landlord subscription fees.


What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous gas that can make you seriously ill if you breathe it in. Carbon Monoxide can be made by fires and appliances that burn gas, wood, oil or coal. It is colourless and does not smell, so you cannot tell if it is around you.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • feeling weak
  • confusion
  • chest and muscle pain
  • shortness of breath

Common household appliances used for heating and cooking can produce carbon monoxide if they are not installed properly, are faulty, or are poorly maintained.

Appliances that can cause carbon monoxide include:

  • gas boilers
  • gas cookers and clay ovens
  • gas or paraffin heaters
  • wood, gas and coal fires
  • portable generators

Using barbeques or camping stoves inside, and turning on vehicle or lawn mower engines in your garage, can also cause a build-up of carbon monoxide.

If you think you might have carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • stop using appliances you think might be making carbon monoxide (such as a boiler, cooker or heater)
  • open any windows and doors to let fresh air in
  • go outside
  • get medical advice as soon as possible – do not go back into the affected building until you have got advice

More information about Carbon Monoxide can be found on our Gas Safety page:


What is Legionnaires' Disease?

Legionnaires’ Disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. The risk increases with age but some people are at higher risk including:

  • people over 45 years of age
  • smokers and heavy drinkers
  • people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease, diabetes, lung or heart disease
  •  anyone with an impaired immune system

More information about water safety and Legionnaires’ Disease can be found on our website:

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural fibrous rock. It was widely used within homes and other buildings until 1999. There are three main types:

  • Crocidolite (also known as blue asbestos)
  • Amosite (also known as brown asbestos)
  • Chrysotile (also known as white asbestos)

Asbestos acts as an insulator (to keep heat in and keep out cold), has good fire protection properties and protects against corrosion. Because of this, you may find it in many construction materials and building fittings including ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, boilers and sprayed coatings. It was extensively used from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s but can be found in buildings built before the year 2000.

More information about Asbestos can be found on our website:

What is an Assured tenancy?

Assured tenancies are lifelong tenancies which only end if you:

  • choose to leave
  • get evicted

What is succession?

Succession rights mean the right to take over the tenancy or inherit it when someone dies. Joint tenancies always pass to the other tenant named on the agreement.

If there is no joint tenant, the following people can sometimes take over the tenancy if you’re:

  • the tenant’s partner
  • a close family member who lives there

When the tenancy passes on in this way it is called succession.

What is a component?

Building components include the home’s structure, other external elements such as the roof or chimneys, and internal services and amenities, such as kitchens or heating systems.

What is Right to Buy and Right to Acquire?

The Right to Acquire is meant for housing association tenants. Right to Buy is for council tenants. If you were a council tenant when your home moved to housing association ownership, then you’ll need the Right to Buy scheme.

For Right to Acquire, the maximum discount available is £16,000. Again, this discount will vary depending on where you live. If you sell the property within five years of buying it, you’ll need to pay back some or all of the discount you received. If you sell within 10 years, you’ll need to offer it back to your previous landlord or another local social landlord.

Details about Right to Buy, Right to Acquire and Right to Shared Ownership can be found on our website: