You can find out about the different kinds of tenancy there are by looking in the Council’s Tenancy Policy. You can get a copy from the download part of this page.
If you have never been a Council or Housing Association tenant before, or you have had a break in your former Council or Housing Association tenancy then you may be offered an Introductory Tenancy. These run for 12 months, unless:
- We serve a Notice of Intention to Seek Possession and then make an order to the court to end the tenancy early for example due to rent arrears or anti social behaviour or
- If the tenancy is extended for an extra 6 months because the Council considers that there are issues regarding the conduct of yourself, someone residing with you or visiting you or you fail to pay the rent (including paying arrears) when due.
- Provided you have been a good tenant after 12 months your tenancy will automatically become secure.
Introductory tenants do not have the same rights as secure tenants for example they:
- Cannot undertake a mutual exchange, assign the property or apply for a transfer
- Cannot take in lodgers, sub-let all or part of their property
- Cannot carry out any improvements/alterations to their home
- Cannot ‘Right to Buy’ their home.
When you are offered accommodation we will tell you what type of tenancy you qualify for. After 12 months assuming you have maintained the Introductory Tenancy satisfactorily, you will then be offered a Secure Tenancy (also known as Lifetime Tenancy), unless we have already advised you that your tenancy will be a Flexible Tenancy.
From 1 April 2014 Berneslai Homes have been offering Flexible (Fixed Term) Tenancies to some new tenants.
Flexible tenancies help make sure you get the right type of home when you need it and assist us in making the best use of the limited housing available in Barnsley. Flexible tenancies have many of the same rights as secure tenancies, including 12 months as an Introductory Tenant, but your tenancy has a fixed end date.
We either offer a five year or two year Flexible Tenancy. (We do not offer a flexible tenancy for less than two years).
5 Year Flexible Tenancies – Most people will be offered a 5 year flexible tenancy, which is the standard for Barnsley. Because we have a shortage of larger homes or home specifically built or have had significant adaptations for people with disabilities, we will offer 5 year flexible tenancies where the property we are offering you:
- has four or more bedrooms or:
- has been built specially for people with disabilities or:
- has had significant adaptations to make the home suitable for people with disabilities.
Significant adaptations could include an extension. In addition, we would offer a five year flexible tenancy where the property we are offering you has had three or more of the following adaptations: stair lift, through floor lift, level access shower, ramp, wider doors, lower kitchen units etc.
2 Year Flexible Tenancies – will be offered in a small number of cases, to people who have previously been involved in incidents of anti-social behaviour and/or have serious rent arrears but are making efforts to address previous difficulties.
To give applicants the opportunity to continue their change of behaviour and to continue making payments off any rent arrears/ tenancy related debt we may offer a two year flexible tenancy.
A Secure Tenancy is given to those tenants that move (either by way of a transfer or mutual exchange) and were a Secure Council Tenant or an Assured Housing Association Tenant at their previous property. before the move took place.
Presently, as a secure tenant you can live in your home for the rest of your life as long as you comply with your tenancy agreement. Secure tenancies can only be ended by a court order, following a court hearing to look at the reasons behind the breaches of tenancy.
Secure tenants (along with Flexible Tenants) have a number of rights which other tenants do not have including:
- The right to exchange your home with another Council or housing association tenant provided you have obtained prior written consent from the Housing Services or housing association (your future landlord).
- Subject to eligibility you may have the Right to Buy your council home.
- The right to make improvements to your home, provided you have obtained prior written consent.
- Right to assign the property (give it to someone else) or apply for a transfer
- Right to take in lodgers, sub-let all or part of their property
- Right to carry out any improvements/alterations with the Council’s written permission.