Your tenancy explained
There are four types of Council tenancy:
- Introductory Tenancy
- Secure Lifetime Tenancy
- Flexible Tenancy
- Demoted Tenancy
It is now widely acknowledged that one of the ways in which Anti-Social Behaviour may be tackled effectively is through the implementation of Introductory and Demoted Tenancies.
All new Dartford Borough Council tenants are offered an Introductory Tenancy. This does not apply to existing Council tenants or those seeking to transfer or exchange. A Tenancy is demoted as a result of unresolved anti-social behaviour.
What is an Introductory Tenancy?
You start as an Introductory Tenant. Your tenancy will run for a period of 12 months. Provided you conduct your tenancy in a satisfactory manner during this trial period, you will then become a Secure Lifetime or Flexible Tenant on the date 12 months after your tenancy started.
During the trial period Housing Officers will be very closely monitoring the conduct of tenants to ensure that there are no breaches of the tenancy agreement including any anti-social behaviour or non-payment of rent. Any such breaches that do occur, or other failures on the part of the tenant to comply with the terms of the tenancy, will be taken seriously and may lead to the Introductory Tenancy being brought to an end.
What are some of the differences between an Introductory Tenancy and a Secure Lifetime or Flexible Tenancy?
An Introductory Tenant does not have all the rights of a Secure Tenant. Whilst you are an Introductory Tenant you are not able to improve or exchange your property. You do not have the right to buy although the period will count towards the discount and you could be evicted more easily should you breach your Tenancy Agreement.
What happens if I break my Introductory Tenancy agreement?
The conditions of your tenancy are laid out in your tenancy agreement, which you should read very carefully.
Action may be taken to end your Introductory Tenancy if you breach any conditions of the tenancy agreement such as, for example:
- Not paying your rent
- If you, your family, visitors or pet cause nuisance, annoyance or inconvenience to anyone in the locality of the property
In all instances where a condition of tenancy is broken, a Housing Officer will approach you first to try to discuss this matter and sort out any difficulties. If this does not resolve the matter, the Council will then seek to end your tenancy by serving you with a Notice of Proceedings for Possession , which will end your tenancy 28 days after the date given on the Notice.
Unless you have asked the Council to review your case, after the 28 days are up, the Council will apply to the County Court for possession of your home.
If the Court is satisfied that the Council has followed the correct legal procedures, then it must grant a Possession Order and you will be asked to leave on the date given by the Court (unless the Court postpones the date). You have no right to appeal against the Court's decision.
Apart from the Council taking action in Court to end an Introductory Tenancy because of a breach in tenancy conditions, there are other circumstances which may lead to the ending of an Introductory Tenancy.
- A transfer of the Council's housing stock
- Where the Council decides to revoke the Introductory Tenancy scheme
- Circumstances arising which have the effect of making a Secure Tenancy no longer Secure, such as where the tenant ceases to occupy the property as his/her only principal home
What are my rights if I am served with a Notice of Proceedings for Possession?
If you think that the Council has acted unfairly in their decision to end your tenancy you have the right to request a review of this decision. A "Right to Review" form and further details of how to follow this procedure will be included with the Notice.
Where a request for a review is received, the review will be held before the date on which the Notice expires. You will be notified of the date and time for the review in advance.
How can I obtain further advice?
You can contact:
- A Dartford Borough Council Housing Officer on: 01322 343133
- The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to give you advice and support
The local office is situated at:
Trinity Resource Centre, High Street, Dartford , Kent DA1 1DE
Telephone: 01322 472979
You may also want to seek advice from a Law Centre or a Solicitor
Information regarding your tenancy agreement