What is an introductory tenant?

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.

How long does my tenancy last?

Your introductory tenancy will last for one year, which is called ‘the trial period’. At the end of the trial period, your tenancy will become a secure or flexible tenancy. But if you break any condition of your introductory tenancy, it will come to an end before the one-year trial.

What rights do I have?

Introductory tenants do not have the same rights as secure tenants. They cannot:

  • Undertake a mutual exchange, assign the property or apply for a transfer
  • Take in lodgers, sub-let all or part of their property
  • Carry out any improvements/alterations to their home
  • ‘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.

Can you end my my introductory tenancy?

Yes

We can take action to bring your tenancy to an end if  you have broken the terms of your tenancy agreement, for example not paid your rent or caused serious ASB.

We would normally have warned you about your behaviour and worked with you to solve the issues.

If we want to end your tenancy we would serve you with a Notice of Possession Proceedings.  Find out more about ending an introductory tenancy by clicking here. 

Can I ask you to review your decision to end my introductory tenancy?

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

You can do this by:

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

Can you extend my introductory tenancy?

Yes

We can take extend your introductory period by  a further six months if you have broken the terms of your tenancy agreement, for example not paid your rent or caused serious ASB.

We would normally have warned you about your behaviour and worked with you to solve the issues.

If we want to extend your tenancy we would serve you with a Notice of Extension.

We give ‘Notice of extension’ papers to introductory tenants when they have broken the conditions of their tenancy. The legal action we are taking will result in us extending your introductory tenancy by six months.

Can I ask you to review your decision to extend my introductory tenancy?

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

To do this you can in many different ways including:

  • Completing this online review request form
  • Emailing us at customerservices@berneslaihomes.co.uk
  • Phoning us on the number shown on your notice.
  • Writing to us at the address on the letter and notice we gave you.

You must ask us to review our decision within 14 days of us 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 giving you notice to end or extend your tenancy; and
  • making sure the decision to end or extend 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 after which we will ask the court to end your tenancy or the date we will extend your introductory tenancy to.

  1. The panel can agree with our original decision. If they do, we will ask the court to end your tenancy or if we wanted to extend your introductory tenancy, we will extend it.
  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. Follow this link for further information.