Tenancy types explained
19th April 2022
Are you struggling to make sense of all the tenancy types on the market and discover which one would suit you best? Say no more!
A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and tenant. This legal document sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties for the duration of the tenancy. It should not be taken lightly, as it is a legal document that protects both you and your landlord if things go wrong.
Before signing a tenancy agreement, you should read it carefully, even if this seems like a dull task. If you are unsure about any part of it, seek legal advice before you sign to make sure it is fair to all parties involved.
There are 4 main types of tenancy agreements which we’ll explore in more detail in this blog:
Let’s begin with Introductory Tenancy. If you are a new council tenant, you will be granted an introductory tenancy for at least 12 months. This is your probation period as it were. After 12 months, if all goes well, you will automatically become a secure tenant.
The main difference between the two is that during your introductory period, if you break any of the terms of your tenancy agreement or are found to have committed antisocial behaviour, then it is easier for the council to evict you from your home than after your introductory period has finished and you have become a secure tenant.
A secure tenant is a person or family granted a tenancy by their local council (Mayors and Burgesses, or M&B) on or after 15 January 1989. As a secure tenant, you have more rights than an assured shorthold tenant. You can apply to the rent officer for a fair rent to be set for your home and you can buy your home at a discount under the Right to Buy scheme (for details about discounts see the Your Home website). Usually, if you die your tenancy passes to your spouse or civil partner who still lives in the property, but this will depend on when you were granted your tenancy.
A flexible tenancy is a secure tenancy for a fixed period of time. A flexible tenancy allows the council to assess you as a tenant before offering you a secure tenancy. The fixed period of time is usually five years.
You have the same rights as a secure tenant during this time, including:
– The right to take in subtenants and lodgers
– The right to make improvements and structural changes (although you must get permission before starting any work)
If you have been offered a flexible tenancy, it is important that you know your rights and responsibilities so that you can meet them.
This tenancy is commonly used by housing associations and some local authorities for new tenants. The term ‘assured shorthold’ means that the property is let at a fair rent (which may be fixed for up to five years if all tenants agree) and that the landlord can regain possession of their property once a fixed period has ended.
The main benefits of non-secure tenancy are:
– Rent levels are often lower than under secure tenancies in the same area because they have not been set by the Rent Officer.
– Landlords have more options to recover their properties, which helps them to manage their housing stock more efficiently.
For more information about council tenancy types, please contact our friendly team here.