Your Rights

As a Riverside customer you have important rights. This page outlines some of your key rights, whether you’re living in a social rented home, shared ownership house or flat, or short-term accommodation in a supported housing scheme.

Your rights explained

Back to top

As a Riverside customer you have important rights. These are set out in your tenancy agreement, lease or license agreement and will depend on what type of home you live in – for example whether it is a social rented home, shared ownership house or flat or short-term accommodation in a supported housing scheme. Some of these rights are not always written in the tenancy agreement but are established by law.

These rights also apply where another organisation provides services to you under a contract, but where Riverside is still your landlord.

In addition, your agreement sets out the important things you are expected to do – such as looking after your home, giving notice to end your tenancy and behaving with consideration and respect to your neighbours.

Social housing tenants

Back to top

Some of the key rights which apply to the majority of our social housing tenants are set out below:

This means:

  • You have the right to live peacefully in your home without interruption or interference, provided it is your principal place of residence. This is called security of tenure.
  • Unless your tenancy is for a fixed term – which will be stated clearly in your agreement – we can only end your tenancy with a Court order, for reasons which are clearly set out in your tenancy agreement.. These include things like persistently failing to pay your rent or engaging in serious anti-social behaviour.
  • We may need access to your home to inspect or maintain it or check on your safety. In this case you have the right to receive reasonable notice, normally 24 hours, and we will aim to arrange a convenient appointment.

This means:

  • Your home must meet the Decent Homes Standard, a Government set minimum standard relating to the state of repair and type of facilities and services in all social housing. See p11 for the definition.
  • The  Homes Act 2018 also says that your home must be fit for human habitation, meaning it is safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm.
  • To ensure we meet these standards, our tenancy agreement sets out our responsibilities for repairing and maintaining the structure of your home and the facilities and services which we have installed such as your bathroom and kitchen units and heating, sanitation and electrical systems.

We must consult you – and give you the opportunity to comment – where we are proposing to make significant changes to the way in which we manage or maintain your home, or if we are proposing to transfer your home to another landlord. We must consider any comments you make in coming to a final decision.

We must provide you with information on some of our important policies and procedures, including on complaints and other key housing services. You can find out more on our Policies page.

This is the right for someone to take over your tenancy if you die, and is generally restricted to a joint tenant, your partner (if they live with you) or a member of your family who has occupied you home as their only or principal home for 12 months.

This is the right to swap your home with another social housing tenant, with our (and the other landlord’s) permission. We will normally give permission and can only refuse this for specific reasons set out in the law, such as where we have started proceedings to end your tenancy, or your home is significantly larger than required. Find out more about swapping your home on the ‘Exchange your Riverside home’ page.

The right to make improvements to your home, with our permission. We will normally give this, although may impose conditions, such as getting relevant consents from the council or using an accredited contractor.

With our permission you can sub-let part of your home or take in a lodger. We will not refuse consent without a good reason. However, you cannot sub-let the whole of your home and must use it as your principal place of residence.

Some tenants have the right to acquire their home, in some limited cases with a discount – for example if your tenancy was transferred to us from a local authority. The rules can be complicated, and so if you are interested in this option check your tenancy agreement and contact us. See ‘Buying your rented home’ for more information.

You can read more about these rights in our Privacy Notice under the section titled ‘Your Rights’.

Your Tenancy Agreement is important and you should keep it in a safe place. If you do not have a copy of your tenancy agreement, please contact us. If you are a new customer, you may also be able to access a copy of your agreement via My Riverside. Please keep in mind that your original tenancy agreement cannot be amended.

There may be further restrictions to some of your rights if you live in supported or retirement living housing because of the specialist nature of your home.

Tenants who are not social housing tenants

Some of our tenants are not social housing tenants, but pay a market rent, or a discounted market rent. In these cases, rights are more restricted, and are similar to those of tenants in the private rented sector. These are set out in the tenancy agreement.

Shared ownership

Back to top

If you part own you home through shared ownership, your rights are set out in your lease, and are very different to those of social tenants who rent their homes.

Leases themselves can be very different to each other, depending on when your home was built and how it was funded. You must always refer to your own lease for details specific to your home.

In general terms your lease will set out:

  • The length of your lease and how to renew or extend it.
  • The right to buy a bigger share of your home, which is sometimes called ‘staircasing’ (different rules may apply to individual leases)
  • Restrictions on sub-letting your home to someone else
  • Rules on how your rent is reviewed and increased, including limits.
  • Our obligation to provide building insurance, and where relevant, manage any communal services you may receive, including repairs to common areas.

Find out more detail about your lease with Riverside.

The lease also sets who is responsible for repairs, and again these vary from home to home. Get more information about repair responsibilities here.

Supported housing licenses

Back to top

Some of our customers live in temporary accommodation with shared facilities, where they receive extra support. If this applies to you, then you will have what is called a license agreement. This is not the same as a tenancy agreement and does not provide you with a permanent home with security of tenure.

However, you still have a number of important rights which include the right to live in a home which meets the Decent Homes Standard, and the right to information about some of our policies. This means that we are obliged to keep your property and facilities in a good state of repair.

We are normally able to end the license and ask you to leave for a number of reasons at relatively short notice. This includes where there is a health and safety risk, non-payment of the license fee, or if we consider that you no longer need the type of accommodation or services we have provided.

Licenses can be different to each other, and so you should always refer to your own license agreement to find out the rights and obligations that apply to your scheme. Your support worker should be able to help you if you have any questions.

Reasonable adjustments

Back to top

Under the Equality Act 2010, Riverside has a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ where a request is made by a customer who has a disability. This means that we should consider the implications of any disabilities you tell us about which are relevant to the way you occupy your home or use our services, and meet any additional needs you may have within what is reasonable, ensuring you don’t face a significant disadvantage.

A good example of this is adaptations, where either Riverside (sometimes with the financial support of the local authority) will consider requests to make an alteration or provide an additional fitting to assist you or someone within your household, to access the basic facilities within the home. For major adaptations this will always require the recommendation of a qualified occupational therapist, a professional who is skilled in assessing the needs of people with disabilities or mobility impairments.

If you feel that you need your home adapted, you can find out more here.

Note: This is intended as a general guide and is not a comprehensive or legally precise list of your rights. Always refer to your tenancy agreement and contact us if you are in any doubt. You are also free to take your own legal advice.