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Housing association starter tenancies

Many housing associations give starter tenancies to new tenants.

This is to check if you can manage before giving you a tenancy with more rights.

A starter tenancy usually lasts 12 months.

After 12 months, your housing association could give you:

The housing association can extend your starter tenancy for another 6 months if there are problems. For example, if you have rent arrears or behave antisocially.

Paying rent

You can get universal credit housing element to help with rent if you have a low income.

Universal credit is more likely to cover your full rent if you are not working.

It can pay some service charges, for example the cost of heating in communal areas.

Find out more about how the universal credit housing element is worked out.

Repair rights 

Your housing association is responsible for most repairs.

Find out how to get repairs done.

Passing on a starter tenancy

A partner who lives with you can inherit your tenancy if you die. You do not have to be married or in a civil partnership.

Your tenancy can only pass to another family member if the agreement says this can happen.

Swapping homes with another tenant

You cannot swap homes with another housing association or council tenant if you have a starter tenancy.

You can usually do this when your trial period has ended. This is called a mutual exchange.

You need your landlord's permission.

You can sometimes transfer to a different property if you need to move urgently.

Eviction from a starter tenancy

It's easy for the housing association to end a starter tenancy.

But they must still give you a correct notice and get a court order.

Usually they only do this if there is a reason, like if you have rent arrears or behave antisocially.

You can ask for a review of the decision. A review gives you the chance to say why your housing association should let you stay.

Ask for the eviction policy if your housing association want to evict you.

Last updated: 28 April 2024

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