Assured shorthold tenancies with housing associations

Some housing associations give new tenants fixed term assured shorthold tenancies.

The fixed term is usually between 2 and 10 years.

You also have an assured shorthold tenancy if it's a:

If you're in temporary housing provided by a housing association after a homeless application, it could be an assured shorthold tenancy.  


Your tenancy agreement should set out how much your rent is and when to pay.

You can usually claim universal credit to help with rent if you're on a low income.

You could also get a discretionary housing payment (DHP) from the council if you cannot afford your rent.

Tell your housing association if you're struggling with rent or service charges. They must try and help you sort things out before taking eviction action for rent arrears.


Report problems quickly if your home needs repairs. 

The housing association is responsible for most repairs.

Your tenancy agreement may say what repairs you are responsible for. This usually includes internal decoration and putting right any damage you cause.

Swapping homes 

You may be able to swap your home with another council or housing association tenant if you have an assured shorthold tenancy with a fixed term of at least 2 years. 

This is called a mutual exchange. You need the landlord's written permission.

You cannot usually do this with a starter tenancy or a demoted tenancy. 

Eviction from a housing association tenancy

Your housing association must:

  • give you notice

  • get a court order to say you must leave

  • apply for bailiffs to evict you if you do not move out

Fixed term tenancies

The housing association needs a legal reason to evict you before the end of the term.

This is called a ground for possession. The housing association must prove it at a court hearing.

Depending on the grounds, the court can sometimes stop or suspend an eviction if it's not reasonable.

Starter tenancies and demoted tenancies

The court cannot usually stop an eviction if the housing association follows the correct procedure to end a starter tenancy or demoted tenancy.

What happens to your tenancy if you die

Joint tenancies continue automatically for the other joint tenant.

If the tenancy is in your name only

Your tenancy can usually pass to a partner who is living in your home immediately before your death. This is called succession to a tenancy.

If you do not have a partner but someone else lives with you, the tenancy may pass to them if the tenancy agreement says this can happen. 

You cannot usually pass the tenancy on again if you inherited it. The tenancy can only be passed on once unless the tenancy agreement allows for another succession.

If no one has the right to inherit the tenancy

The tenancy can be passed on in your will, or to your next of kin if you do not make a will.

The person who inherits the tenancy may not be able to keep it. Housing associations usually end the tenancy if there's no right to succeed. 

Complaints about the housing association

Use your housing association's official complaints procedure first. 

Complain to the housing ombudsman if you're unhappy with the response.

Last updated: 17 July 2022

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