What is a secure tenant?

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.

What rights do I have?

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.
What happens when we serve you with a notice of demotion?

We give ‘Notice of demotion’ papers to secure tenants when they have broken the conditions of their tenancy. The legal action we are taking will result in us demoting your secure tenancy for 12 months. This will give you less security as a tenant and you will have similar rights to an introductory tenancy.

Can I ask you to review your decision?

You have the right to ask us to review our decision.

You can do this by:

You must ask us to review our decision within 14 days of serving the notice on you.

What happens if I ask you to review your decision?

We will set up a formal review panel hearing. The panel is made up of three people who have not been involved in your case. They are either Berneslai Homes Board Members or tenant representatives.

At each panel hearing, there will always be at least one board member and one tenant representative. The third member can be either a board member or a tenant representative.

We will write to you at least five days before the review telling you when and where it will take place.

You can go to the review, or if you prefer, you can ask someone else to go to the review to represent you. You can also have witnesses to support your case.

The panel will consider:

  • any information you provide; and
  • any information the officers provide.

The panel is responsible for:

  • checking that we have followed the correct procedures in demoting your tenancy; and
  • making sure the decision to demote your tenancy is reasonable and justified.
What happens next?

If you go to the review panel, we will tell you the panel’s decision. We will also confirm this decision in writing within five working days or before the date shown in your notice, which tells you the date when we will demote your secure tenancy.

  1. The panel can agree with our original decision. If they do, we will continue with the action to demote your tenancy.
  2. The panel can disagree with our original decision. If this is the case, we will withdraw the notice and your tenancy will continue.

Advice – If you want independent advice about your situation, you should contact a citizens advice bureau, housing-aid centre, law centre or a solicitor.

If you want advice about the possibility of homelessness, you should contact the Homelessness and housing advice on 01226 773870.



Can you evict me?

Yes, but evicting a tenant is a last resort. If you seriously or consistently break the terms of your tenancy, we will ask the court for permission to evict you. We will only evict you if what you have done is serious and the court agrees with us. We will always try to work with you to sort out any problems before we take legal action.

Behaviour that may lead to us ending your tenancy includes:

  • rent arrears or constantly not paying your rent on time;
  • nuisance, annoyance or harassment in the area you live in;
  • using your home for criminal activities;
  • deliberately damaging your home, gardens and shared areas;
  • giving false information to get the tenancy; or
  • not looking after your home or garden; and so on.

If we want to evict you, we have to follow certain legal procedures. Our secure tenant rent section gives you more information.