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Your tenancy

When you first move into a council property, you start off with an introductory tenancy which lasts for 12 months. After this period, if there are no problems, you move to a secure tenancy.  Please see the conditions of tenancy page for details.

Introductory tenancies

Your introductory tenancy can easily be ended if you break the tenancy conditions. You will need to:

  • Pay your rent on time
  • Keep the property in good condition
  • Make sure that you and anyone living at, or visiting the property, do not cause a nuisance to neighbours
  • Make sure the property is not used for illegal activities, e.g. drug dealing
  • Let workmen into your home to carry out repairs

You have fewer rights than a secure tenant. This means you cannot:

  • Make improvements to the property, e.g. painting the outside
  • Rent out rooms
  • Swap your home with another council tenant
  • Apply for the Right to Buy scheme, where tenants buy their property at a discount

Secure tenancies

After 12 months you become a secure tenant, providing you have not caused any issues such as antisocial behaviour. Your rights as a secure tenant include:

  • Being able to live in your home for the rest of your life, unless you break the tenancy conditions
  • Buying your home at a discount after a certain amount of time
  • Renting out rooms
  • Swapping your home with another council tenant as long as you have permission
  • Being kept up to date about things that affect you
  • Carrying out improvements to your home (for most work you must get our permission first)

Joint tenancies

A joint tenancy is where you share responsibility for the property with another person. This usually happens with couples who are married, in a civil partnership or in a relationship

In joint tenancies both tenants share responsibility for things like paying the rent on time. If one tenant moves out they can sign a document giving the other tenant responsibility for the whole tenancy.  The remaining tenant is responsible for paying all the rent from then on. The remaining tenant is also responsible for paying any outstanding rent.