Retired Ministers' Housing Society

Your tenancy

Find out about your tenancy agreement and what steps you should take when it comes to ending it.

Your tenancy is an Assured Tenancy, which confers many rights to you and sets out your obligations. The agreement is usually in the name of the retired minister. Newer tenancy agreements are more detailed in the breadth of information they provide.

Your tenancy agreement should contain the following information:

  • Your name

  • The tenancy start date

  • The rent – amount and date due

  • The conditions of the tenancy (for example, you shall not sublet, assign or share part of the property or use it to conduct business)

The Society would usually sign two copies and send them to you to sign in the presence of a witness, return one copy and retain the second copy for your records.

Your tenancy agreement

Your tenancy agreement gives you the right to quiet enjoyment of your home without any interruptions, except where access is required to inspect, maintain, repair or improve the property. The agreement also assures that you can remain in occupation for as long as you want, so long as it is your only or principal home. If you plan to be away from your home or through unforeseen circumstances are away for over four weeks, please tell us. You must let us know who we can contact if we need access to your home in an emergency.

Running a business from home

Your tenancy agreement does not allow you to run a business from your home. If there are exceptional reasons for this, you must write to us setting out your case. We will respond to you in writing.

Garden maintenance

You are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of your garden. Depending on where you live, some charities provide assistance.

If you plan to plant a tree in your garden, let us know about it so we can check that its location is safe. If you live in a block of flats, garden maintenance will be included in your service charge.

Keeping pets

You may keep domestic pets in your home. Be aware that your pets must not cause nuisance or disturbance to others. This only applies to properties where the Society is the freeholder. If you live in a leasehold dwelling, certain conditions may apply in relation to keeping pets, therefore you must seek advice from the Society first. You must comply with any legislation that applies to specific breeds of dogs.

Rent is due from the tenancy start date.

There are tenancies which commenced before January 2004. Special arrangements apply to these tenancies and the rent level is protected.

The amount of rent you pay, if your tenancy started during or after 2004, is based on the level of capital the Society put into the purchase of your home.

Rents are paid monthly, and most are deducted from your pension directly (with your consent), unless funds are not enough to cover the rent, in which case bank standing orders are set up instead. From January 2021, the Society is looking to introduce direct debits.

Rents increase annually, generally in January each year after the decision of the RMHS Board in September of the previous year. We will give you one month’s notice (three months in Scotland) in writing of any change in rent. The Society does everything it can to make rents affordable.

Service charges

If you live in a property (especially leasehold) where communal services are provided, these are charged to the Society, which absorbs up to 80% of these costs at present. Service charges include, but are not limited to, communal cleaning, gardening, lighting, fire equipment, door entry systems, insurance and management costs. With the exception of insurance, these will be passed on to you in small increments. We will advise you about the full breakdown of these charges wherever we receive them.

Struggling to pay your rent

Paying your rent is important and the Society has taken steps to keep rents low and affordable. We recognise that individual circumstances differ, which may affect your ability to pay your rent. You may be entitled to help through the Housing Benefit scheme. This is sometimes referred to as Rent Rebate. This is a government scheme that helps people on low incomes to pay part or all of their rent.

You can contact your local council directly, visit the Age UK website (call them on 0800 678 1602) or come to us for more information.

A lodger is someone who lives as part of your household and shares all your facilities. To have lodgers in your home, you must first seek the permission of the Society. We will give you an answer within one month.

You must not sublet any part of your home.

Your assured tenancy gives your spouse/partner the right to succeed the tenancy when the tenant dies, provided they have been living in the property as their principal home.

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Ending your tenancy imageEnding your tenancy

There are several reasons your tenancy may end, including moving into a residential home. You also have the right to end your tenancy. If you want to end your tenancy, you must give the Society at least 28 days’ notice in writing. If you do not give us this notice, rent will continue to be charged to cover the notice period.

Different procedures apply for different circumstances. These are outlined below.

  • Final date: the Society recognises that these circumstances can be difficult and will give the family or estate a maximum of three months to clear the property. Until the property is cleared and keys handed back to the Society, the rent will continue to be due from the estate of the deceased.

  • Estate agent: if the tenancy termination is because of the end of the tenancy line, the Society will be putting the house/flat on the market. It would be helpful to us if the family/estate can suggest the best local agent to use. We would then ask you to leave the keys with the agent we agree to use.

  • Equity share: if there is a share of the equity due to the estate, the Society will take the lead in marketing the property, but we will consult with the executor(s) concerning the asking price and any offers received. We will pay the estate a pro rata share of the proceeds, net of any costs, once the sale has completed. If it is decided not to sell the property, we will obtain a valuation in agreement with the executor(s) and pay the equity share on the basis of that valuation, net of the pro rata share of the valuation cost. We will confirm who the executors are beforehand, and request copies of the Will and the deceased’s death certificate.

  • Documentation: if, while clearing the house/flat, you come across any warranties or guarantees for major works carried out at the property, or Gas Safe certificates, electrical certificates, building regulations approval, FENSA certificates, etc., please send them to our office, as we may need them during the disposal process. Instructions for fixtures, such as the boiler, should remain in the property – perhaps in a kitchen drawer.

  • Utilities: the estate will remain solely responsible for utility bills until the keys are given up. When you take the final meter readings for gas, electricity and water and give them to the utility companies, please give us the same information, since we will be unable to take our own readings and advise us of the names of the current utility providers. You should give the Society’s name and our London address to the utility companies as the organisation taking over responsibility.

  • Council Tax: for utilities, please make sure that the local authority has the Society’s name and our London address as the organisation taking over responsibility for Council Tax. The estate will remain solely responsible for Council Tax until the keys are given up.

  • Rent: the Society recognises that this is a difficult time for the family in organising the move and settling the tenant in the new environment. Please note that until the property has been cleared and you give up the keys, the rent will continue to be due. Do keep us informed of progress and let us know once you have a definite final date.

  • Estate agent: it is likely that the Society will be putting the property on the market. It would be very helpful if you can suggest the best local agent to use, if you know any. We would then ask you to leave the keys with that agent.

  • Documentation: if, while clearing the house/flat, you come across any warranties or guarantees for major works carried out at the property, or GasSafe certificates, electrical certificates, Building Regulations approval, FENSA certificates, etc., please send them to this office, as we may need them during the disposal process. Instructions for fixtures, such as the boiler, should remain in the property – perhaps in a kitchen drawer.

  • Utilities: the tenant will remain responsible for utility bills until the keys are given up. When you take the final meter readings for gas, electricity and water and give them to the utility companies, please give us the same information, since we will be unable to take our own readings, and also advise us of the names of the current utility providers. You should give the Society’s name and our London address to the utility companies as the organisation taking over responsibility. 

  • Council Tax: as for utilities, please make sure that the local authority has the Society’s name and our London address as the organisation taking over responsibility for Council Tax. Again, the tenant will remain responsible for Council Tax until the keys are given up. 

  • Equity share: if the tenant has equity share in the property, the Society will confirm this to you or the person who has power of attorney if applicable. The Society will take the lead in marketing the property, but we will consult with you concerning the asking price and any offers received. We will pay the ex-tenant’s pro rata share of the proceeds, net of any costs, once the sale has completed. If it is decided not to sell the property, we will obtain a valuation in agreement with the tenant and pay the equity share on the basis of that valuation, net of the pro rata share of the valuation cost.

  • Forwarding address: please let us know a correspondence address.* We can also pass these details on to the URC Pension Department.

*We will send you a form/checklist to make sure that everything is covered, which you will send back to us.

 

  • Final date: please let us know as soon as you decide on a definite final date for clearing the property and handing over the keys. Until that date, the rent will continue to be due. It will be deducted from your pension or you should continue to pay it by standing order. 

  • Estate agent: if no retiring Minister wishes to move to the property, it is possible that we will be putting the property on the market. If that is the case, it would be very helpful if you can suggest the best local agent to use. We would then ask you to leave the keys with that agent. 

  • Equity share: if you have equity share in the property, we will confirm it with you. The Society will take the lead in marketing the property, but we will consult with you concerning the asking price and any offers received. We will pay your pro rata share of the proceeds, net of any costs, once the sale has completed. If it is decided not to sell, we will obtain a valuation in agreement with you and pay you for your equity share on the basis of that valuation, net of the pro rata share of the valuation cost.  

  • Documentation: if, while clearing the house/flat, you come across any warranties or guarantees for major works carried out at the property, or GasSafe certificates, electrical certificates, Building Regulations approval, FENSA certificates, etc., please send them to this office, as we may need them during the disposal process. Instructions for fixtures such as the boiler should remain in the property – perhaps in a kitchen drawer. 

  • Utilities: you will remain responsible for utility bills until the keys are given up. When you take the final meter readings for gas, electricity and water and give them to the utility companies, please give us the same information, since we will be unable to take our own readings and advise us of the names of the current utility providers. You should give the Society’s name and our London address to the utility companies as the organisation taking over responsibility. 

  • Council Tax: as for utilities, please make sure that the Local Authority has the Society’s name and our London address as the organisation taking over responsibility for Council Tax. Again, you will remain responsible for Council Tax until the keys are given up.

  • Forwarding address: before you move out, please make sure we have your new address and telephone number.* We can also pass these details on to the URC Pension Department for you.

*We will send you a form/checklist to make sure that everything is covered, which you will send back to us.