Council Tenancy Information.

There are four types of tenancy:

1. Introductory Tenancy

2. Secure Tenancy

3. Non secure tenancy

3. Fixed term tenancy

Introductory Tenancy

Unless you are transferring from a secure tenancy, you will start your tenancy as an ‘introductory tenant’. Your introductory tenancy will last for one year. If you do not break any of the tenancy conditions during this time, you will automatically become a ‘secure tenant’. If during your introductory tenancy you break any of the tenancy conditions, the Council will take action to end your tenancy. By law, during your introductory tenancy, you do not have the same rights as a ‘secure tenant’. You cannot do the following:

  • apply for the right to buy your property
  • vote for a change in Landlord
  • sub-let part of the property or take in a lodger
  • apply to exchange your tenancy

Secure tenancy

By law, as a secure tenant you have the right to stay in the property. We cannot evict you from the property unless we can prove grounds to do so to a court and the court grants an order for possession. As a secure tenant you ill enjoy a number of rights not available to introductory or non-secure tenants.

Non-Secure tenancy

Some tenancies are neither secure nor introductory. They are known as non-secure tenancies. These apply if, for example:

  • a property is linked to your job
  • a property is let to temporarily
  • you sub-let the whole of the property
  • you do not live in the property as your main home

In these cases you will not have the right to:

  • buy your property
  • succession for members of your family
  • exchange your tenancy with another tenant
  • ask for another contractor to do an urgent repair when the repair has not been done in time
  • sub-let part of the property
  • compensation for improvements

The tenancy can be ended by either you or the council giving 28 days notice to quit in writing and ending on a Monday.

Flexible fixed term tenancy

A flexible fixed term tenancy lasts for a fixed period of time (normally five years unless there are special circumstances). When your flexible fixed term tenancy ends, the council does not have to give you another tenancy. Early in the final year of your tenancy, the Council will contact you to discuss your future housing options. They will decide in accordance with gtheir Tenancy Policy whether to offer you another tenancy and, if so, what length this will be.

Your Rights as a Tenant

Your tenancy conditions give you the right to live in the property. We will not interfere with this right unless we have to take action because of reasons given in the Housing Acts 1985 or 1996 or any future law. We will take action if you break any of the tenancy conditions.

Using the property

You must live in the property as your main or only home.
You must not run a business or trade from your home without first obtaining our written permission. We will not refuse permission unless we feel that the business is likely to cause a nuisance to other people, or damage to the property. If we do give permission for you to run a business from your home, and it causes a nuisance, we will withdraw the permission.

Purchasing Another Property

While you are a tenant you must not purchase another property, either on your own or jointly with another person and sub-let without first obtaining our written permission.

A Change In The Type Of Tenancy

Secure tenants
If you do not live in the property as your main home or you sub-let it, you will no longer have a secure tenancy. You will become a non-secure tenant. You can get more information and advice from the housing office.

Introductory Tenants
If you do not live in the property as your main home, or you sub-let it, you will no longer have an introductory tenancy. You will become a non-secure tenant.

A change in the occupants

You must notify in writing, within 28 days, of any long-term change in the people who are living in the property. Other members of the household should let us know if the tenant dies.

You must tell the housing office if you are going to be away from the property for more than 12 weeks. We will then know you have not abandoned the property. This information will be kept confidential.

The Right To Take in Lodgers

Secure Tenants are allowed to take in lodgers, but you must tell us immediately if you do and you must not allow your home to become overcrowded.

Introductory and non-secure tenants are not allowed to take in lodgers.

You must not transfer , hand over or sub-let the whole property to another person, or allow the property to become overcrowded by other people living or staying there.

Secure tenants must not sub-let or hand over a part of your property without first obtaining the written permission of the Director of Housing. This will not be withheld unreasonably if you are a secure tenant.

Introductory and non-secure tenants must not sub-let or hand over a part of your property in any circumstances.

Secure Tenants have the right to exchange your tenancy with another secure tenant provided that you both have written permission from your landlords. Permission can only be withheld on the following grounds:

(a) If either party is required to give up possession under a court order
(b) If possession proceedings have been started against either party
(c) The accommodation is considered unsuitable for the new tenants’ needs
(d) The accommodation is linked to the tenant’s job
(e) The property has been adapted for a disabled person
(f) The property is in sheltered accommodation

We may ask you to pay any rent arrears or put right any other breach of the tenancy agreement before we give permission for the exchange to take place.

Introductory and Non-Secure Tenants do not have the right to apply to exchange your tenancy.

Right of succession

Secure and Introductory Tenants:
When you die your tenancy can pass to your husband or wife if they were living with you at the time of your death. This is called ‘succession’. If you do not have a husband or wife the tenancy can pass on to a member of your family, including your partner, if they had been living with you continuously for the past 12 months before your death. If a joint tenant dies the tenancy can pass to the other joint tenant and this will count as succession.

By law, a second succession is not possible, but we may agree to give a new tenancy to a relative in certain circumstances. Also, in some special cases, such as carers or partners of single-sex couples, we may also agree to give a new tenancy. Your housing office will give you more information.

Non-Secure Tenants do not have succession rights.

The right to buy your property

Secure Tenants
In certain circumstances you have the right to buy your property. You should contact the Home Ownership Unit if you need more information about this.

Introductory And Non-Secure Tenants do not have the right to buy your property.

Serving a Notice

You must send any written notice by post or by hand either to your housing office or the Councils housing department.

You can end your tenancy at any time by giving us 28 days notice to quit in writing. The tenancy must finish on a Monday. In the case of joint tenants, one tenant can end the tenancy by giving us notice in the same way, When you move out of the property, you must leave it vacant. In addition, the property must be in good repair, free from damage and clean. This also applies to communal areas and sheds for which you are responsible. You must remove all your belongings and any rubbish. If you leave anything behind we will remove it and you will be charged for the cost of removal and/or storage. You will also have to pay for any any repairs or other works that we have to carry out at the end of your tenancy, which were your responsibility, or were caused by a breach of your tenancy conditions.
You must return all keys including entry fobs to the housing office when you move out of the property. If you do not do this, we will charge you additional rent until they are returned and/or change the locks at your expense.