This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at

Starter tenancies

This content applies to England

A brief look at starter tenancies.

Starter tenancies are periodic assured tenancy or fixed-term assured shorthold tenancies granted by private registered providers of social housing (PRPSHs) to their new tenants for an initial probationary period of one year or 18 months. If the trial is successful, the tenants become entitled to longer security of tenure, usually in the form of an assured tenancy, or a longer fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy.

The PRPSH starter tenancy scheme has been held to be identical in all material respects to the local authority introductory tenancy scheme.[1] However, the starter tenancy scheme was not statutorily created by legislation, so it is always necessary to look at individual tenancy agreements to work out what a tenant can expect to get at the end of the probationary period.

In England, a PRPSH that decides to operate a starter tenancy scheme must give starter tenancies to all new tenants, or all new tenants in a designated area. This can be checked by viewing the PRPSH's tenancy policy and procedure documents. See Tenancy strategies for more information about matters that PRPSHs must take into account when framing their own tenancy policies.

[1] Riverside Group Ltd v Thomas [2012] EWHC 169 (QB).

Back to top