Secure housing association tenancies

Secure tenants have strong rights and can only be evicted in certain situations.

What is a secure tenancy?

You’re likely to be a secure tenant if you rent from a housing association and either:

  • your tenancy started before 15 January 1989

  • you had a secure tenancy in a different property owned by the same housing association before then


You probably don't have a secure tenancy if:

  • your tenancy has been demoted

  • you live in supported housing run by a housing association

  • you are the tenant of a fully mutual housing co-operative 

  • you exchanged tenancies with a housing association assured tenant

  • your property was transferred from the council to a housing association after 15 January 1989

If you work for the housing association and your home comes with your job, you probably don't have a secure tenancy either.

Key features

Protection from eviction

You can normally stay in your home as long as you don’t break the rules of the tenancy.

The housing association must give you notice and get a court order if they want to evict you.

They must have a legal reason or ground for asking you to leave. For example, if you:

  • have rent arrears

  • are involved in criminal or antisocial behaviour

The court may allow you to stay if it isn’t reasonable for you to lose your home.

Fair rent

You'll pay rent at a lower rate than most private renters. This is called a fair rent.

Your landlord must follow specific rules to increase your rent.

Tenancy agreement

You should have a written tenancy agreement. Ask for a copy if you don’t have one.

Your agreement will normally explain your rights and responsibilities and give information such as when the rent must be paid.

The housing association can only change the terms in your tenancy if either:

  • you agree

  • they give you a notice of variation and offer you a chance to respond

Your rights

You have the right to:

Use the housing association's official complaints procedure if you feel that it isn't treating you fairly or has failed to fulfil its responsibilities

Last updated: 26 September 2019

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