Housing association starter tenancies

Many housing associations give new tenants a starter tenancy. 

It is an assured shorthold tenancy, usually for a 12 month trial period.

At the end of the 12 months, the housing association may give you:

The housing association could extend the trial period up to 18 months if there are tenancy problems. For example, rent arrears or antisocial behaviour.

Paying rent

You can get help to pay your rent through the universal credit housing element.

Your rent is more likely to be covered in full if you are not working.

Universal credit will not cover some service charges including:

  • meals

  • personal care and support

  • heating, water or lighting in your home

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 starter tenancy can pass to a partner who lives with you if you die. The tenancy can only pass to another family member if the tenancy agreement says this can happen.

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

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

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

Eviction from a starter tenancy

It could be quite easy for the housing association to evict you using the section 21 process.

Your housing association must still give you notice and get a court order.

Ask for the eviction policy if your housing association says they will evict you.

You can ask for a review of the decision. A review gives you the chance to say why you should be allowed to stay.

Last updated: 14 July 2022

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