When you first move into a council property, you will usually be offered an introductory tenancy. An introductory tenancy is a trial tenancy that allows the council to decide if you are a good tenant. The trial period lasts for 12 months from the date the tenancy starts or the date you move in. We can extend your introductory tenancy for a further 6 months in some circumstances, or decide to take action to repossess your home.
You become a secure tenant twelve months from the date your probationary tenancy started. Typically, you become a secure tenant automatically after the first year, unless we have started action to evict you.
An introductory tenancy gives you similar rights to a secure tenancy, but you can be evicted more easily.
Introductory tenants can't:
- exchange their tenancy with another tenant, unless there are exceptional circumstances
- request a transfer to another social housing property, unless there are exceptional circumstances
- transfer the tenancy, unless a court makes an order or there are other exceptional circumstances
- exercise the right to buy, although the period of introductory tenancy may count towards the right to buy discount
- make improvements to your home
As a secure tenant, you can normally live in the property for the rest of your life, as long as you do not break the conditions of the tenancy.
- buy your property through the Right to Buy scheme
- swap your home with another council or housing association tenant - with your council’s permission
- transfer your tenancy to someone else in some circumstances
- make improvements to your home, you’ll need permission from the council for property alterations.
First contact visits
We’ll visit you between two and six weeks after you move. This makes sure that you get the best possible service and have all the information you need to settle into your new home and community.
We'll book an appointment, so our visit is at a convenient time for you, but it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, which includes a quick look around the property.
If you have an appointment for a visit but can no longer make it, make sure you contact us as soon as possible to rearrange. It’s really important to make sure your visit takes place as, otherwise, we may start our abandonment procedure. So if you’ve missed an appointment, and we’ve left you a card, please contact us to rebook.
We will regularly visit throughout your introductory tenancy to help determine if you are a good tenant and to offer you any support required to help you manage your tenancy.
Tenancy update visits
Once you become a secure tenant, our Housing Officer will visit your property on an annual basis. The aims of the visits are to:
- ensure that the information we hold on the household is up-to-date and relevant;
- support anyone in need, including signposting relevant agencies and services;
- check the property is still suitable for your needs;
- check the condition of the property, including any unreported repairs;
- identify and address any breaches of tenancy, such as debt.
- identify and tackle incidents of suspected tenancy fraud, or other illegal activity.
It’s really important that you allow us access for these visits, so we can ensure you are looking after your home in line with your tenancy agreement, and so we can check that we are providing the right services for you.