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When you become a Council tenant you will need to agree to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Your main responsibilities are to:

  • pay your rent
  • use the property as your main and principle home
  • keep your home in a good condition
  • not breach your tenancy agreement

Our Housing Services team are responsible for the management of your tenancy agreement, regardless of the type of property you live in, but there are some additional things to consider when you live in a flat. Click here to find out about living in a flat.  

  • Get involved, have your say!

    By being involved you can help shape the decisions that affect you, your home and your community! It’s a great way to stay informed, get your views heard, meet people and at the same time improve your housing services.

    At YHN we want  you, our customers, to be involved because you are the best people to tell us what works well and what we can do better.

    We have lots of different ways you can take part so you can choose a way that suits how much time you have and what issues are most important to you. You don’t need any special skills or knowledge, it’s your experience as a tenant that counts. 

    Check out our Get Involved pages on this website for further information.

  • Can I run a business from my home?

    We are working with Sustainable Enterprise Strategies (SES) to support tenants that want to run a buisness form their home.

    Check out the Make your own money section of this website for further information. 

    Please remember you must get written permission from your Housing Services Officer before you set up a business from home.  Provided you do not breach any conditions of your tenancy agreement, planning or other laws, or cause a nuisance to others, YHN is likely to give permission.

  • Can I take in a lodger?

    Only secure tenants can take in lodgers and only with prior permission from your Housing Services Officer. 

    Check out the taking in a lodger section of this website for further information.

  • I need to end my tenancy

    Unless you are moving to another tenancy with the city council or doing a mutual exchange, you must give four weeks’ notice (ending on a Monday) to end your tenancy under the conditions of your tenancy agreement. You can always give longer notice, but if you give less we will charge you rent to cover the notice period. We need this time to arrange for another tenant to move in.

    Who do I contact?
    You need to contact your Housing Services Officer and complate in a ‘Termination of tenancy’ form. Or, you can give notice in writing. Please tell us:

    • which day you expect to move out;
    • when it would be convenient for someone to come and inspect your home before you leave; and
    • the address of where you’re moving to.

    What happens next? When you tell us you are ending your tenancy we will:

    • inspect your home and tell you what work we want you to do before you leave (if, when you leave, you have not done this work, we will carry out the work and charge you for it);
    • tell you exactly how much rent you need to pay to have a clear account when you go;
    • arrange what you should do with the keys; and
    • ask you to show your home to possible new tenants (they will always come with a member of staff).

    What happens next?

    • Do as much cleaning as you think is needed to make your home fit for someone else to move into.
    • You should do any redecoration that needs doing before you leave.
    • Make sure you repair or replace any fittings you have broken. If you do not, we will charge you for doing so ourselves.
    • Make sure your rent is paid up to date. It is important to remember that you will have to pay any outstanding arrears before you can register for Tyne and Wear Homes or be considered for a new council tenancy. We will take action to collect any money you owe us when you leave. We would prefer not to use debt collectors or go to court, so please make an arrangement with us before you go if there is money or repairs outstanding.
  • Can I have a pet?

    Different rules regarding pet ownership apply to each property type. Before getting a pet, you should contact your Housing Services Officer to ensure that you are not breaking your tenancy agreement. 

    Dog or cat:

    In a Concierge managed property (high rise flat) 

    You are not allowed to have a dog or cat unless there are very special circumstances (for example, if you have an assistance dog such as a guide dog). Even in these circumstances, you must get written permission from your Housing Services team.

    Your visitors must not take a cat or a dog into the shared areas of the block without our permission in writing.

    In a low rise flaw with a communal areaAs above
    In a houseYou are allowed to keep one dog or cat.
    In a flat which does not have a communal area (e.g. a Tyneside flat)If you live in a flat which has its own entrance, then you are allowed to keep one dog or cat.

    Small caged bird (not pigeons), small caged animals or a small aquarium:
    These can be kept in any property type without our permission. 

    Farm animals:
    You cannot keep farm animals on any of our premises.

  • I need to add/remove someone to/from my tenancy

    You must contact your Housing Services Officer if you wish to make changes to your tenancy. For example, you may wish to change your tenancy in the following ways:
    To a joint tenancy If you are the only tenant, you can ask to become a joint tenant with someone you are living with. You should do this in writing, giving the reasons for your request. We will allow this if:
    • the person you want to be a joint tenant with is your husband, wife or partner, or someone who has lived with you for at least 12 months; and
    • you have not broken the conditions of your tenancy.
    If the person you want to share the tenancy with is not your husband, wife or partner, they must confirm that:
    • they are living with you permanently; and
    • if they ended up being the only tenant, they would be eligible for the property (for example, it would not be too large or adapted for a disabled person).
    From a joint tenancy If you have a joint tenancy, but you want the tenancy to be just in your name, you must ask for this in writing. We will assess the situation and make a decision. Please note that if one tenant asks to end the tenancy, the tenancy will end for all joint tenants and we can decide whether or not to grant a tenancy just to the person who is left in the property. Our decision would normally be based on the circumstances of the person wanting the tenancy, and whether the tenancy agreement has been broken.
    Adding to household If somebody moves in to your property you must inform YHN so they are able to add them to the household.
  • What is the difference between an introductory and a secure tenancy?

    When you move into a council home for the first time you are an introductory tenant for your first 12 months (the trial period). If there are no problems during the trial period, the tenancy will automatically become a secure tenancy on the anniversary of the date your tenancy started. Introductory tenants have fewer rights than secure tenants and can be evicted more easily. Your tenancy agreement will tell you if you are an introductory tenant or a secure tenant.

    Rights of an introductory tenant:

    Entitled toNot entitled to
    • the right to repair;
    • the right to succeed;
    • the right to be consulted; and
    • the right to receive information.
    • take in lodgers;
    • sublet all, or part of, your home;
    • improve your home;
    • exchange your home;
    • buy your home; or
    • assign your home.

    We may allow you to take in lodgers or carry out improvements, but you would need our permission to do so. Contact your Housing Services Officer for further information. 

  • Who will decorate my property?

    You are responsible for decorating the inside of your home. You do not have to ask for permission to redecorate your home. However, if you wish to make alterations, please see "Can I make alterations to my home" below for more detail.

    You must keep it clean and decorated to a reasonable standard, including keeping fixtures and fittings clean.


  • Can I have visitors?

    Yes. As you are responsible for your visitors you must make sure that you, and people living in or visiting your home, do not harass, annoy or cause a nuisance, or do anything likely to annoy or cause a nuisance, to:
    • any person living or working in the local area;
    • any person who lives in a council house; or
    • any of our employees or any person acting for us.
    You must make sure that you, and any people living in or visiting your home, keep any pets or other animals under control so that they do not annoy your neighbours or cause a nuisance.
  • How do I set up my utilities?

    It is your responsibility, as a tenant, to set up your utilities.

    Gas and electricity

    You will have to register with gas and electricity suppliers and make arrangements for getting connected and paying your bills.

    You do not have to stay with the companies who are currently supplying gas and electricity to your home. You can choose whichever companies you want to supply your fuel. If you want to change supplier, you must arrange this yourself. This can take more than four weeks to do, so you should act as soon as possible if you want to change.

    Switching suppliers could save you money as well as reduce the amount of energy you use. Visit the Save energy, save money section of this website for more information.


    You are responsible for paying for your water supply.

    You will need to contact Northumbrian Water on 0345 266 0585 to tell them your new address and get information on how to pay.


  • How do I report anti-social behaviour?

    If you are concerned about anti-social behaviour, you should contact your Housing Services Officer in the first instance, who may be able to help you resolve your concerns, or may refer you to the services of our Housing Anti-Social Behaviour Team. 

    Check out the Anti-social behaviour section of this website for further information. 

  • Allowing us access

    If we need to access your home to inspect it or carry out repairs, maintenance or improvements to your own or your neighbours' property, we will make reasonable arrangements with you to arrange access.

    After we have given you reasonable notice, you must allow us (or any person we give our permission to) to enter your property.

    This includes allowing access once a year so we can service gas appliances (if your property has a gas supply).

  • Can I make alterations to my home?

    You have the right to carry out improvements to your home as long as you get our permission in writing before you start. You may also need to get building regulation approval or planning permission. You are responsible for finding this out. We will not refuse permission for you to carry out work unless we have a good reason to.

    If you have permission to carry out work, you must follow any guidelines we, Newcastle City Council’s planning department and building control section give you. Whatever work you plan to do to your home, it is best to ask us for permission first. However, the list below gives some examples of improvements that you need permission for.

    • Decorating the outside of your home
    • Putting in extra electrical sockets
    • Installing central heating or moving radiators
    • Building a shed or greenhouse
    • Fitting a new bathroom suite or a shower
    • Fitting new kitchen units or replacing existing ones
    • Building a fireplace
    • Building a garage, lean-to, driveway or hardstanding for a car
    • Changing windows, front doors or back doors
    • Building a conservatory
    • Fitting laminate flooring
    • Knocking down or building inside walls to change rooms
    • Installing a stair lift or other adaptation
    • Putting up a satellite dish or TV aerial
    • Putting up wall tiles and Artex

    Check our our Alternations and Adaptations page for further information