Flexible council tenancies

Some councils offer flexible tenancies for a fixed term. The council might not offer you another tenancy when it ends.

What is a flexible tenancy?

A flexible tenancy is a type of secure council tenancy.

It only lasts for a fixed period of time, usually at least 5 years.

You have the same rights and responsibilities as a secure tenant during the fixed term.

Find out more about the rights of secure tenants.

You could face eviction at the end of the fixed term if the council decides not to offer you another tenancy.

How long a flexible tenancy lasts

Flexible tenancies usually have a fixed term of at least 5 years.

The council decides how long the fixed term lasts. The fixed term could be for as little as 2 years if there is a reason for it to be shorter. Examples include if you have a history of rent arrears or antisocial behaviour.

The tenancy offer should be in line with your council's policy. This should be set out in a document called a tenancy strategy - available at the council's housing office or on its website.

You can ask for a review of the length of the tenancy offered if it is not in line with the council's policy.

Eviction during the fixed term

You can only be evicted during the fixed term of your tenancy if your agreement says the council can end it early. 

The council must follow the same eviction process as for other secure council tenants.

They must have a legal reason for eviction, called a ground for possession.

For example, if you:

  • have rent arrears

  • are involved in antisocial behaviour

  • rent out your home to someone else

When the fixed term ends

Towards the end of your flexible tenancy, the council should either:

  • offer you another flexible tenancy or a periodic secure tenancy

  • give you notice if they decide not to renew your tenancy

If the council does neither of these things, you automatically become a periodic secure tenant when the fixed term ends.

If the council decides not to renew your tenancy

The council must give you 2 written notices before your fixed term ends.

1.  A 6 month notice of non renewal which:

  • tells you that the tenancy will not be renewed

  • sets out the reasons why

  • states that you have 21 days to request a review of the decision

2. A 6 month notice stating that the council requires possession - this notice period has been temporarily extended due to coronavirus.

If you don't leave when the notices end, the council can apply to the court to evict you. The court must make a possession order if the council has served the correct notices and followed the correct procedure.

Get legal advice if you're facing eviction from a council tenancy.

Last updated: 29 September 2020

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