Your tenancy agreement - Introductory and secure tenancies

Content owner : Last updated : 05/03/11

If you are transferring from another Kirklees Council property as a secure tenant, or if you are transferring as an assured tenant of a registered social landlord, such as a Housing Association, your tenancy will be secure straight away. If not, you will be an introductory tenant.

Introductory tenancies

Introductory tenancies were introduced for all KNH tenants in 2008. Introductory tenancies are, in effect, probationary tenancies that normally last for 12 months. During that time the introductory tenants’ rights are limited.

Introductory tenancies require every new tenant to comply with these basic requirements::

  • Pay rent on time
  • Comply with conditions of tenancy
  • Not cause anti-social behaviour.

Introductory tenants have fewer rights and less protection than secure tenants. Failure to comply with the above requirements may end with the tenancy being reviewed by a panel of officers.

This panel has power to extend the introductory tenancy for a further 6 months or revoke it; in this case we take the matter to Court where a Judge will give KNH possession. If we need to take this action then a Notice of Possession

Proceedings (NOPP) will be served. These are not warnings. If we serve you with one then we will pursue it to Court. Most tenants comply with their tenancy conditions and so, at the end of the 12 months, their tenancy automatically becomes secure.

What we will do if you do not follow the terms of your introductory tenancy agreements

The vast majority of introductory tenants are responsible people and will automatically become a secure tenancy.

However we are serious about collecting rent payments and protecting people from anti-social behaviour. We will take swift action to end an introductory tenancy if those things happen.

You should be aware at all times that you are responsible not only for your own behaviour but for those living with you and visitors to your home – inside it, outside and anywhere in the locality.

However, if this cannot be achieved, we may have to consider eviction. If we have to evict an introductory tenant, we can do it more quickly and easily than is the case for secure tenants.

If we are considering evicting you, we will tell you in writing. You can ask for a review of the case, which you must do within 14 days of the letter. We will then review your case using a senior manager who has no previous knowledge of the circumstances.

If the manager agrees, the court will confirm the eviction, and you will lose your home.

Secure tenancies

Most council tenancies are legally known as secure tenancies unless you are an introductory tenant. This means that we can only end the tenancy if we get a court order. There are strict rules in the Housing Acts that control the circumstances in which the court will grant this type of order.

If you become a secure tenant, you must still behave responsibly and keep to the rules of the tenancy agreement – but if we wanted to take possession of the property you would have the right to put your case at a court hearing. A judge would then decide if we could evict you. We would have to show that we have a valid reason to evict you. These are called ‘grounds’ and are defined by law.

Before going to court we would have to serve you with a Notice of Seeking Possession, setting out which ground is being used and our reasons for serving the Notice.

Under the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003, we can also apply to the courts to demote a secure tenancy to a less secure one for up to a year. We can do this when the behaviour of a tenant, family member or visitor is causing or threatening to cause nuisance or annoyance to someone who isn’t a member of the household.

If your tenancy is demoted, you will lose important rights enjoyed by secure tenants:

  • right to buy or acquire
  • right to exchang;
  • right to sublet, take in lodgers or improve the propert.

Any repetition of antisocial behaviour or rent arrears during the demoted tenancy can result in you losing your home.

As long as you pay your rent and you and your household follow the other terms of your tenancy agreement, we will not ask the court to make an order for possession, unless, for example, we need to move you to redevelop your home.

However, to be a secure tenant, you must live in the property as your only or principal (main) home. If you do not, we will be entitled to serve a 'notice to quit' on you and get possession of the property.

Both you and the council also have a number of legal rights and obligations which are set out by Acts of Parliament.

For example, as a secure tenant, you have the right to:

  • pass on your tenancy when you die;
  • exchange your tenancy with another secure tenant;
  • buy your home, under the Right to Buy;
  • repair your home, if we fail to do so;
  • improve your home;
  • receive compensation for some improvements when you leave;
  • be consulted;
  • take in lodgers; and sublet part of your home, as long as you have permission, in writing.

Tenancies for people under 18s

If you are under 18 you will be granted what is known as an Equitable Tenancy and we will require you to identify a trustee to act on your behalf.

The trustee must accept that any notices or demands for payment served under this agreement can be served on the trustee until you are 18. The trustee is also responsible for making sure that you look after your home and do not cause nuisance or harass your neighbours.