There are three types of tenancy:
- Introductory tenancies - if you are new to renting with us or a housing association
- Secure tenancies - when you have been a tenant with us for a year or more
- Demoted tenancies - if you break the terms of your agreement and we take action
Your tenancy agreement contains the conditions that apply to both introductory tenancies and secure tenancies. You should take time to read the whole document because it tells you about all your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
If you break any of the conditions of this agreement we can take legal action against you. We may apply to court to make you leave your property, or we may apply to court to change a secure tenancy to a demoted tenancy.
When you become a tenant with us you will be given an introductory tenancy if:
- you have never rented a home from us before
- you have only rented from a private landlord
- you have had a period away from being a tenant of a council or a housing association.
This will normally last for a year. You will usually be given a secure tenancy at the end of the year as long as you have not broken your introductory tenancy agreement.
With an introductory tenancy some of your rights are limited:
- you cannot apply to buy your home
- you cannot exchange homes with another tenant
- you cannot sub-let your home
- the Council can bring your tenancy to an end more easily.
Most tenants who have had their tenancy for at least one year will have a secure tenancy. Also, if you had a tenancy with another council or a housing association immediately before moving home, you will probably be given a secure tenancy at the start.
With a secure tenancy you have more rights:
- you can stay in your home for as long as you want provided you do not breach the tenancy agreement
- you cannot be made to leave your home except by a court order
- when you die, your tenancy can normally be taken over by a spouse or partner, or another family member who has been living in the property with you before your death (depending on the date your tenancy started)
- you can buy your home under the Right to Buy legislation (with certain exceptions for specialist housing).
If we need to take you to court because you do not keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement, we may apply to change your secure tenancy to a demoted tenancy. You will not have to leave your home but you will lose some of your rights.
For example, it will affect your rights to buy your home, to exchange tenancies with another tenant, and to hand on your tenancy.
A demoted tenancy will be reviewed after a set period of time and you may be given a secure tenancy agreement again if there are no further problems.