Types of tenancy
Most tenants have a secure tenancy. We usually offer introductory tenancies for your first year on a trial basis. If there are no problems we will change it to a 'secure flexible' or 'secure' tenancy. You could have a sole tenancy or share a joint tenancy with another adult.
If this is the first time you have rented from us we will normally give you an 'introductory tenancy' for the first 12 months. This means that you are renting from us on a trial basis and you won't be able to:
- make any changes to your home
- take in a lodger
- move to a different home.
We expect you to pay your rent on time and not to cause any nuisance to neighbours.
If there are no problems we will usually change your tenancy to a 'secure flexible' or 'secure' tenancy after the first year.
Secure and secure flexible tenancies
Most tenants have a secure tenancy for life. Due to changes in the law, some tenancies since 2014 are 'secure flexible' tenancies and can last for up to 10 years.
Both types of secure tenancy are legal contracts and give you rights under the Housing Act 1985. With written permission from us you can:
- make improvements to your home
- take in lodgers or sub-let part of the property
- exchange your home with another tenant
- assign your tenancy to another person
- buy your home.
It also gives us the right to end your tenancy in certain situations, such as if:
- you don't pay your rent
- you used false information or were fraudulent in applying for the home
- you use your home for illegal or immoral activity
- you cause nuisance to your neighbours
- you damage your home or a nearby communal area.
We may also move you to alternative accommodation if:
- your home is due for modernisation or demolition
- your home is adapted for people with physical disabilities but you no longer need this.
Your tenancy agreement will explain your rights and our rights in more detail. If you moved before 2014 you may have an old tenancy agreement. This has been superseded by the current agreement for most tenants.
Joint or sole tenant?
If you start your tenancy agreement alone then you will be given sole tenancy. We cannot add anyone else to your tenancy even if you marry or a new partner moves in, but instead they will become part of your household.
If you apply for housing with another adult we will usually offer you joint tenancy. This means that you are both equally liable for the rent and conditions of the tenancy agreement. If one tenant breaks the agreement we will take action against both tenants.
If you have a joint tenancy and one person moves out or the relationship breaks down, you will need to assign the tenancy to the remaining tenant. You may not be permitted to assign the tenancy or remove a tenant if there are rent in arrears outstanding.