Landlord responsibilities

Social housing landlords have a various responsibilities which relate to the management services they provide and their duties as corporate entities; they also have duties to comply with the requirements of the Regulator of Social Housing’s Standards (as far as they are applicable to them).


The law defines overcrowding on two measures, the room standard and the space standard. Landlords should allow tenants to apply for transfers if their home is overcrowded with reference to the rooms available for sleeping purposes (either bedrooms or living rooms).

The room standard is breached when the number of people sleeping in a home and the number of rooms available for sleeping purposes is such that two people of opposite sexes who are not living together as a couple must sleep in the same room. Children under 10 are excluded from this calculation.

The space standard is breached when the number of people sleeping in a home is more than the permitted number, having regard to the number and floor area of the rooms available for sleeping purposes. Children under 1 are excluded from this calculation and children under 10 are treated as a half person.

Management transfers

You may be offered a Management Transfer by your landlord in where you need to move home urgently; reasons for such transfers being offered include:

  • domestic abuse
  • violence, harassment, intimidation, or threats of violence likely to be carried out
  • the need to protect witnesses who have agreed to go to court to give evidence on matters of anti-social behaviour
  • major works to the property needing to be carried out.

Subletting and lodgers

Local authority secure tenants – you can sublet part of your home with your landlord’s written permission. If you sublet part of your home without permission, you are in breach of your tenancy agreement. Your landlord cannot unreasonably withhold their consent to a request to sublet part of your home and cannot attach conditions if they allow you to sublet.

Housing association assured tenants – you may be able to sublet their home if your tenancy agreement allows you to do so; if it contains a term about subletting this will be the case. If the term says that you need your landlord’s consent, then your landlord cannot unreasonably refuse it.

Periodic tenancies – if your tenancy agreement says nothing about subletting, you cannot sublet without your landlord’s permission and they can refuse for any reason.

Fixed term tenancies – if your tenancy agreement says nothing about subletting, it is possible to sublet and your landlord’s consent is not required.

In all circumstances you cannot lawfully sublet all of your home. If you do, you lose your status as a secure tenant and your landlord can evict you.

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

Statutory responsibilities for social housing landlords under the Children Act 2004 placed responsibilities on them to protect children. The Care Act 2014 extended that responsibility to protect vulnerable adults alongside their existing responsibility for safeguarding children.

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