Demoted housing association tenancies

You can be evicted more easily if your tenancy is demoted because of antisocial behaviour.

What is a demoted tenancy?

Your housing association can ask the court to demote your tenancy if you or someone who lives with you or visits your home:

  • is involved in antisocial behaviour

  • uses the property for illegal activity

They can do this if you have a:

If the court makes a demotion order, you will have a periodic assured shorthold tenancy and it's easier for the housing association to evict you.

The housing association will monitor your behaviour closely during a demoted tenancy. It’s important you keep to the terms of your tenancy and pay your rent.

Antisocial behaviour means behaviour that has caused or is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to another person

How long demoted tenancies last

Your tenancy will normally be demoted for 12 months. After that, you will usually have an assured tenancy. This is the case even if you were a secure tenant before.

If you had a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy your housing association can choose to give you another fixed term agreement at the end of the 12 months.

Your demoted tenancy could end earlier than 12 months if you:

  • get evicted during this time

  • give notice to end your tenancy

If the housing association gives you a section 21 notice during the demotion period, the demotion period can be extended for a further 6 months. 

How tenancies are demoted

You will usually get notice that the housing association intends to apply to court for a demotion order.

You usually get at least: 

  • 2 weeks' notice if you're an assured or assured shorthold tenant

  • 4 weeks' notice if you're a secure tenant 

You will be sent paperwork to tell you when the court hearing will be as well as a defence form. You can use the defence form to explain why your tenancy should not be demoted.

You should go to the court hearing even if you haven’t sent back the defence form.

At the hearing the court will decide whether it is reasonable for your tenancy to be demoted. They may decide not to demote your tenancy if you can show that:

  • the behaviour has improved

  • the antisocial behaviour wasn’t that bad or didn’t take place

  • whoever caused the problem no longer lives at or visits the property

They should also take into account if the behaviour was connected to you or someone in your household who has a disability, such as a mental health condition.

If the court decides to demote your tenancy, the housing association will normally give you a new tenancy agreement.

What happens if your tenancy is demoted

Most things about your tenancy will remain the same, including:


You can be evicted from a demoted tenancy much more easily than from a secure or assured tenancy.

The housing association doesn't have to prove a legal reason in court. It just has to follow the correct procedure to evict you.

Transfers or exchanges

You won't normally be able to exchange your home or get a transfer until the demotion period ends.

Right to buy

If you were a secure tenant with the right to buy, you may lose this right permanently. This is because you will have an assured tenancy at the end of the demotion period.

Last updated: 26 September 2019

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