Types of tenancies
Your tenancy agreement is a binding contract between us (the landlord) and you (the tenant).
Types of tenancies
As a local authority landlord the types of tenancy we can use are set out in law. The type of tenancy which you have depends on your circumstances but it will be one of the following types:
An introductory tenancy is a probationary tenancy for twelve months. After the trial period, the tenant may become a secure tenant if they meet the conditions in their tenancy agreement.
The terms and conditions for this type of tenancy are:
- a 12 month trial period (can be extended a further six months)
- the same level of service (as secure tenants)
- same obligation to pay rent and meet Tenancy Agreement conditions
- less security if you break tenancy conditions
- fewer rights (e.g. no right to buy, exchange or carry out improvements)
Introductory Tenancy Agreement
The vast majority of our Introductory Tenants go on to become Secure Tenants.
As a secure tenant you can live in the property for the rest of your life as long as you comply with your tenancy agreement. Secure tenancies can only be ended by a court order, following a court hearing to look at the reasons behind the breaches of tenancy.
As long as you have kept to your Tenancy agreement – as an Introductory Tenant – then you will become a Secure Tenant (after the initial 12 month period or in 18 months in the case of an extended Introductory Tenancy).
As a Secure Tenant you have the legal right to stay in your Council home as long as you keep to the conditions of your tenancy. There are some circumstances, for example redevelopment, where the council can make you move to another property. If this is likely to happen you will be given plenty of notice.
Most secure tenants enjoy considerable rights which are covered in the 'Secure tenants' rights' link under Rights and Responsibilities.
If you are moving from a Secure Tenancy with another Council or a Housing Association then you will be given a Secure Tenancy immediately.
Under a joint tenancy, all the tenants share equal responsibility.
A Joint Tenancy is where both people sign the Tenancy Agreement and are equally responsible for meeting the conditions of their tenancy. Both of you will both responsible for paying the whole rent (not just your share of it), for clearing any missed rent payments (again, not just your share). This is the case even if you are not living at the property.
You can apply for a joint tenancy at any time if you’re married, in a registered civil partnership or have been a cohabiting couple and lived together at the property for at least 12 months. If your secure tenancy started before April 2012, you may be able to assign your tenancy to another family member. Check with your Neighbourhood Management Officer.
To apply for a Joint Tenancy, download and complete this application form and:
- supply a letter from each of you
- proof of I.D.
- proof that the address has been your main address for at least 12 calendar months e.g. electricity bill or an official document
When another person’s name is added to a sole tenancy a new Tenancy Agreement has to be created.
If you rent a property by yourself then you will be a sole tenant.
A sole tenancy is in your name only. You are fully responsible for meeting the terms of your Tenancy Agreement and for paying your rent as well as other costs that you are liable for, such as council tax and utilities.
Changing or ending your tenancy
If you need to make any changes to your tenancy or end it, go to the changes in circumstances section. This includes information on what to do when a tenant dies.