The Localism Act 2011 has introduced the use of 'fixed term' tenancies for registered providers in addition to the 'lifetime' tenancies that have been the norm in the public sector for many years. This new type of tenancy will last for a minimum of two years following a 12 month starter tenancy. The length of the tenancy will depend on the tenant's circumstances and are outlined below. These changes will not affect existing tenants.

Starter Tenancy

All new tenants are given a starter tenancy, except those accepting a property following an internal transfer or a mutual exchange. If you do not keep to your tenancy agreement we may take action to end it. These tenancies usually last up to 12 months. During this time, we will help you to understand and keep to the conditions of your tenancy agreement. At the end of the 12 months, providing we have not taken steps to end your tenancy, it will convert to either a 'lifetime' assured tenancy or a 'fixed term' tenancy as set out below. In some cases, we may decide to extend the initial 12 month trial period, in which case your tenancy will remain a starter tenancy for a specified period.

  • Elderly tenants living in flats and bungalows will convert to a lifetime tenancy
  • Single people or couples under 35 years, without children, will convert to a two year fixed tenancy(these will be linked with an incentive to engage in education, employment or training and may also be used where there is a history of not keeping the terms of the previous agreements)
  • All other general needs and family accommodation will convert to a five year fixed term tenancy

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

These are short-term tenancies, giving security for an initial period of six months. We can end this tenancy providing that the required notice has been served on you. Assured shorthold tenancies are usually given to tenants in temporary accommodation, to tenants in private rented accommodation or to key workers who may be in accommodation that is linked to their job.


These are given to residents who are living in shared accommodation, who do not have exclusive use of their own room, for example if we enter their room to carry out cleaning on a regular basis. We use licences in schemes such as temporary homeless accommodation. Licences are not secure. We are only required to give you one month's notice of termination.

Secure Tenancy

All council and housing association tenancies granted before 15 January 1989 are regulated by the Rents Act 1977 and are subject to the fair rent system, administered by a government body known as 'The Rent Service'.

In determining the rent the following are taken into account: property age, character, location and state of repair. Rents can be re-registered every two years to keep them up to date, or earlier if a significant change takes place. A joint application by both landlord and tenant can be made at any time.

Fixed Term Tenancy

The fixed term tenancy is a secure tenancy that is limited to either two or five years following the 12 month starter tenancy. The length of the tenancy is dependant on the individuals circumstances and is outlined above under the starter tenancy. Any decision not to extend the tenancy will be made at least eight months before the end of the fixed term.

'Lifetime' Assured Tenancy

(Housing association and private tenancies granted after 15 January 1989) An assured tenancy gives you the right to live in your home for as long as you require it and as long as you keep to the terms of your agreement. With an assured tenancy you don't have the right to buy, unless it is what is called a preserved right to buy.