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Cost of living support

Advice and support to help manage the rising cost of living.

Types of tenancy

Different council tenants have different tenancies. These give you different rights and responsibilities.

Your tenancy agreement is a legal document and tells you all the rules about living in your property.
 

Secure tenancy

Most council tenants are secure tenants.

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.

You can:

Notice of Seeking Possession

If you do not act in a way that you should do as a tenant, we may seek to evict you. To do this we will serve a Notice of Seeking Possession.

We may serve a Notice of Seeking Possession if you:

  • are in arrears with rent
  • have breached any conditions of the tenancy agreement with the council
  • are engaging in anti-social behaviour

There are 9 other grounds for serving a Notice of Seeking Possession.

The Notice of Seeking Possession sets out why the notice is being served. The amount of the arrears of rent is stated, if there are arrears. It states which condition has been breached and gives the details of what the council considers has been done or not done to breach the condition, if there is a breach of any condition. It gives details of the behaviour which the council considers to be anti-social and the effect it is having on the neighbourhood and other residents, if anti-social behaviour is involved.

The notice of seeking possession tells the tenant how to get help with their housing and problems and states that proceedings to obtain an order for possession from the county court will not be commenced until after a stated date. That date is 4 weeks after the notice is served on the tenant. The tenant then has 4 weeks in which to rectify the breaches and get assistance before any action is taken in the court.

Anti-social behaviour

The exception to the 4 weeks' 'grace' is a notice of seeking possession which includes allegations of anti-social behaviour. In that case proceedings can be commenced in the county court immediately, but the council has to prove to the court that the behaviour was so serious, a wait of 4 weeks was unreasonable considering the effect the behaviour was having on the neighbourhood.

Court order

The judge in the county court must be satisfied that it is reasonable to grant a possession order. The judge usually has two options, to grant a possession order and if the tenant does not leave the property the county court bailiffs will evict them (after the council has applied for a warrant of possession); or the action can be adjourned with the council able to come back to Court if the tenant continues to fail to pay the rent and some payment to clear the arrears, continues to breach a condition or indulge in anti-social behaviour.
 

Joint tenancy

Under a joint tenancy, all the tenants share equal responsibility.

You can apply for a joint tenancy at any time if you're married or in a registered civil partnership. You must usually have lived together at the property for at least 12 months if you're a cohabiting couple or related (like brother and sister).

What joint tenants are responsible for

Joint tenants are both responsible for all the rent and charges. That means if one tenant leaves we can collect all the rent, charges and any arrears from the remaining tenant.

Either joint tenant can give notice to end the tenancy. The other tenant would then have to leave unless we decide they could stay breaching their obligations under their tenancy agreement.
 

Demoted tenancy

A demoted tenancy is a one year probationary tenancy.

Your secure tenancy can be changed to a demoted tenancy if you breach your tenancy agreement by behaving antisocially or causing nuisance in the area, or threatening to do so, or use your home for illegal activities such as drug dealing.

Only a court can decide whether this is going to happen.

If your tenancy is changed to a demoted tenancy

If your tenancy is changed to a demoted tenancy, you do not have the right to:

  • sublet, assign or exchange your property
  • make improvements to your property
  • buy your property through the Right to Buy scheme

If we intend to seek a demotion order we will give you 4 weeks notice in writing.
 

Non-secure tenancy

As a non-secure tenant, you can normally only live in the property for a short time such as when you are offered temporary accommodation because you are homeless.

In this type of tenancy you do not have the same rights as as secured tenants.

Notice to Quit

If you have a non-secure tenancy we may decide to:

  • offer you a secure tenancy
  • ask you to leave the property

If we decide you should leave the property we'll serve a Notice to Quit on you. We have to give you 4 weeks to leave the property. If you do not leave we can commence proceedings in the county court for possession of the property.