A tenancy agreement is a legal document. It explains what you need to do and what we need to do for you while you are living in your home.
Here we give general guidance on the different tenancy type we use. This is summarised below, or you can ask us for a full copy of our Tenancy Policy or contact us.
Most tenants will have an assured tenancy, this means you have the right to live in the property as long as you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.
Some of our tenants have secure tenancies – usually if they have been our tenants for a long time (since before 15 January 1989) or, in a few cases, if they took over a secure tenancy through a mutual exchange.
This is an assured shorthold tenancy for an initial 12 months (the starter period). If there have been no issues with the way you have complied with the tenancy, on written notice from us the tenancy will become an assured lifetime tenancy. We may extend the starter period for a further six months if you have not managed the tenancy satisfactorily. Where we extend the starter period we will give reasons and explain what action you will need to take to address this.
Assured shorthold tenancy
An assured shorthold tenancy (AST) is granted for a minimum period of six months. At the end of the initial six months the tenancy continues as a periodic AST tenancy until it is ended by us or you. We use ASTs where we are providing properties to people who would not qualify for social housing or where the accommodation is a temporary solution prior to moving to social housing or another tenure.
Fixed term tenancies
We no longer offer new Fixed Term Tenancies. If you are an existing Fixed Term tenant you may be eligible for an Assured Tenancy if you’re not in rent arrears or have breached your tenancy. Contact us if you have any questions on this. If you live in one of our Key Living Schemes you will be given a six- month fixed term that continues as a periodic tenancy so long as there are no breaches of the tenancy and you continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme.
If you are a secure or assured tenant but you break the terms of your tenancy, or your visitors persistently behave in an anti-social way, we may apply to the court to demote your tenancy. Read more about demoted tenancies.
A tenancy agreement gives you a range of rights, some of which include the following:
- the tenancy agreement cannot be changed without your agreement.
- you can stay in your home for as long as you choose, as long as you keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement.
- we must repair and maintain certain parts of your home and keep it in a safe condition.
- you can have a lodger, provided you have our consent.
- you will be given opportunities to get involved and influence services.
- you can see information we have about you.
- you will be treated fairly and not be unfairly discriminated against by us.
You will have various responsibilities as our tenant, these are set out in your tenancy agreement and will include the following:
- you must pay your rent and/or service charges on time.
- look after your home and carry out minor repairs needed, (provide link to repairs website page). If you want to make any major improvements to your home you need agreement from us. Major improvements include installing a new kitchen or bathroom, you do not need our agreement for decorations you carry out.
- you must ensure that you or anyone living in or visiting your home does not cause any anti-social behaviour, this includes harassment, or domestic abuse on anyone living in our properties or in the neighbourhood.
- you must allow our staff or representatives to enter or inspect your home, or carry out any necessary repairs. We will give you notice when we need to enter your home, unless an emergency which could put you or other residents at risk of harm.
- you must not store any goods in any communal area or obstruct any corridors, staircases, balconies or lifts.
- you must not keep or use bottled gas, paraffin, petrol or any other dangerous material in your home or in communal areas.
- if you have a garden, you must keep it tidy by cutting the lawn and trimming the hedges.
- you must give us at least four weeks’ notice in writing when you decide to end your tenancy.
Read about tenancy fraud
Right to buy
The Government has future plans to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants.
To learn more, visit the Government Right to Buy website.
To learn more, please visit Ask Catalyst for our FAQs.