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National Homeless Advice Service

Tenancy rights with councils and housing associations

This page looks at tenancy rights for young people who rent from a council, local authority or other registered provider.

Different tenancy rights will apply in the private rented sector.

Council tenancies and housing association tenancies

When advising a council or housing association tenant it is important to know what type of tenancy they have. The ‘security of tenure’ is different depending on which type of tenancy status is held. Security of tenure means how easy or hard it is for the landlord to evict the tenant.

Permanent council tenancies:

Where the council is providing temporary accommodation, the tenancy or licence will be insecure. This means it is easier to evict the occupier.

Permanent housing association tenancies:

Council or housing association tenants who are facing eviction should seek advice immediately. NHAS members advising young people can access the NHAS free consultancy service.

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Introductory tenancies

New tenants taking up tenancies with councils may be offered an introductory tenancy. These usually last 12 months, and act as a trial period. During this period, tenants will be able to access additional tenancy support.

If the council has an introductory tenancy scheme, it must apply to all new tenants - the council cannot discriminate by only giving introductory tenancies to young people and not to new other tenants.

If the first 12 months is completed without serious issues (for which the housing provider has started eviction proceedings or extended the introductory period), then the young person will become a secure or flexible tenant after 12 months.

Introductory tenants can be evicted much more easily than secure tenants. The council does not have to prove a legal reason in court but they have to follow the correct eviction procedure.

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Starter tenancies

Young tenants taking up new tenancies with housing associations may be offered a starter tenancy.

A starter tenancy is also an assured shorthold tenancy, normally lasting for one year. As long as there are no problems with the tenancy, it becomes an assured tenancy at the end of the trial period. If any tenancy conditions are breached, it is easy for the landlord to evict the young person.

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