4. Keeping your housing association tenancy
You will not automatically lose your housing association tenancy because you've been placed in custody. The Housing Association will consider the length of your sentence and nature of your offence. You may be in breach of your tenancy conditions if you have committed certain offences and the housing association may consider asking you to leave your home. The Housing Association will have to follow the correct legal procedure to end your tenancy.
It is important to notify your landlord of your absence as soon as you can. Let the housing association know that you intend to return to your home after release. You should ask a Prison Resettlement Officer or contact your Housing Options Team to liaise with your landlord on your behalf if you cannot do this yourself. If you do not let the Housing Association know that you are not currently living in the property, they may think that you have abandoned the property and could terminate your tenancy.
You may want to consider the possibility of asking someone to live in your home as a nominated person while you're in prison. This is someone appointed by you to live in your home and pay the rent in your absence. You will need the Housing Association's consent for this arrangement. You can get a family member or friend to live in the property and pay rent while you are in prison.
A nominated person will not usually be entitled to housing benefit unless he or she was living with you in the property as part of your household before you were sentenced. A nominated person has no tenancy rights unless you are married (Matrimonial Rights). All tenancy rights and responsibilities remain with you as the legal tenant.