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Tenancy policy

9. Joint tenancies

  1. 9. Joint tenancies

    1. 9.1. The tenancies granted by Great Yarmouth Borough Council may be held on a sole basis or jointly by two or more joint tenants. Joint tenancies may be awarded at the time of allocation or an existing sole tenant may apply for a new joint tenancy to be granted. There is no legal right to a joint tenancy and GYBC will consider each application upon its merits.
    2. 9.2. Consideration will be given to awarding a joint tenancy at the point of offer of a tenancy where the partner or prospective joint tenant are both eligible to be housed in accordance with the Housing Act 1996 and meet one or more of the following:
      • the applicant's spouse, registered civil partner or partner who has continuously resided with the applicant in the previous 12 months
      • the applicant's carer where a medical need for a residential carer exists and the carer has either:
        • surrendered a tenancy from a Registered Provider in order to move in with the tenant to provide care
        • lived with the applicant or not sought independent accommodation for a period of 12 months or more due to undertaking caring responsibilities of the applicant and where the exceptional circumstances of the case mean that awarding a joint tenancy will substantially increase the likelihood of that tenancy being sustained
    3. 9.3. Where an application for a joint tenancy is made by an existing sole tenant, the same criteria will apply as above, with the word 'tenant' substituted for 'applicant.
    4. 9.4. To ensure the best use of the Council's housing stock, children of applicants or tenants will not normally be considered as joint tenants unless exceptional circumstances criteria as a carer are satisfied.
    5. 9.5. A joint tenancy may not be awarded in any of the following circumstances:
      • the existing tenant has more than 3 minor breaches or is significantly breaching their tenancy agreement
      • the prospective joint tenant has an interest in another property or land
      • the prospective joint tenant has previously demonstrated that they are unable to sustain a tenancy or are unsuitable to be a tenant. This will be by conduct that, if a secure tenancy was in place, would result in a breach of that tenancy
      • the property has additional features or adaptations which are specific to the needs of the tenant and, in creating a joint tenancy; it would have a direct effect on the possible future best use of the property
      • dwelling is in excess of the household housing needs at the time of the application
    6. 9.6. Termination of Joint Tenancies
      1. 9.6.1. A joint tenancy may be terminated by any joint tenant by providing the statutory notice. The notice will terminate the tenancy for all joint tenants. Any joint tenant who has not submitted the notice to terminate can apply for a tenancy of the property in their sole name.
      2. 9.6.2. In such circumstances, a request for a sole tenancy should be made prior to the end of the tenancy unless there are exceptional reasons why a request should be considered after the end of the tenancy. Any decision to offer a new sole tenancy of the property or another suitable property is at the discretion of the Council as exercised by the nominated officer.
      3. 9.6.3. In considering requests made in accordance with 9.6.1 for a new sole tenancy to be issued the following factors will be considered:
        • whether the tenancy has been satisfactorily conducted in accordance with the requirements of the tenancy agreement
        • whether the remaining tenant would have had the right to succeed to the property
        • whether there are special characteristics about the property and the remaining tenant does not require the type of property they are living in
        • whether the dwelling house is significantly in excess of the household housing need at the time of the application and whether it is reasonable to ask them to move to smaller accommodation to support better use of our housing stock
        • whether the remaining tenant is a perpetrator of domestic abuse and the other tenant has left the property as a result of that abuse
        • where there is evidence that matrimonial or court procedures were in progress to change the tenancy into the sole name of the remaining tenant but the processes had not been completed or the order issued prior to the serving of the notice to quit
        • any exceptional circumstances which are relevant to the decision
      4. 9.6.4. Where a decision cannot be made on whether the remaining tenant can be offered a new sole tenancy before the end of the joint tenancy, they will be allowed to remain in the property on a use and occupation basis without security of tenure or any of the rights of a secure tenant. A use and occupation charge will be made. Any failure to pay the use and occupation charge or conduct which would be akin to the breach of the Council's tenancy agreement will result in eviction. For minor breaches including failure to pay the use and occupation charge, the occupier will be provided with appropriate support and will have three months to rectify the issue before eviction is considered.
      5. 9.6.5. If a decision is not made prior to the end of the tenancy or where a decision is made to offer a sole tenancy of a different property, the former tenant will remain in the property on a use and occupation basis. Where the decision is made to offer a sole tenancy of a different property the remaining party will be entitled to one suitable offer of accommodation through the Housing Allocations Scheme.
      6. 9.6.6. In some limited cases the decision will be not to offer a sole tenancy of the property or any other property, in which case action will be taken to recover possession of the property they are residing in.
Last modified on 06 November 2023

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