Authorised Absence and Abandoned Properties

Our approach to authorised absence and abandoned properties

We are committed to making the best use of our properties. If a tenant abandons their property, we aim to take possession of it quickly so that we can make it available to a new tenant in need of a home. If you plan to be away from your home for more than six weeks, you need to tell us so that we know you have not abandoned your property.

What we mean by authorised absence

An authorised absence is when we give permission for you to be away from your home for more than six weeks. If you are away from your home for longer than six weeks without our agreement, your tenancy may be at risk.

It is important to be aware that you are still responsible for paying your rent, service charges and utility bills during your absence.

What you can expect from our service

We will authorise absences of up to six months if you have a good reason to be away from your home. If you need to be away for longer than six months, we will consider your request on its individual merits. We will only agree to absences of more than 12 months in exceptional circumstances.

If we agree to your absence, we will not seek possession of your home unless you or your home-sitter breach your tenancy, or you do not return to your home when agreed.

If we suspect you have abandoned your property, we will only seek possession of your home once we have made multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact you over a period of at least eight weeks.

What will happen after we agree to an authorised absence

If we have agreed to your absence but you need to be away for longer than you originally thought, you must inform us before the date we were expecting you to return, so that we can discuss extending your authorised absence.

You need to let us know if you want someone to look after your home in your absence. We will usually agree to let a third party look after your home, unless they have a history of anti-social behaviour. You will need to sign a home-sitting agreement with us.

You must give us at least four weeks’ notice if you decide you no longer want to return to your home and want to end your tenancy.

How to contact us about authorised absences

Please contact your Resident Services Officer if you have any questions about authorised absences or would like to request an authorised absence from your home.

If you would like to discuss your case with a manager, please contact our customer service team on 020 8356 5500.