Home > Housing > Housing for Tenants > Resident Information > The type of tenancies we offer

The type of tenancies we offer

Introductory tenancy

An introductory tenancy is a probationary tenancy granted to new tenants and is intended to help landlords see whether their new tenants will be able to manage their tenancies effectively. If there are problems during the probationary period, landlords can take steps to end the tenancy more easily.  

When do we offer this to you?

All new Council tenants will be offered a 12-month introductory tenancy at the start of their tenancy. If needed the Council can take steps to extend the introductory tenancy by a further 6 months. If at any point during the probationary period the tenant breaks the terms of the tenancy agreement the Council may take steps to bring the introductory tenancy to an end through possession proceedings.  At the end of the introductory period  tenants who have demonstrated they can manage their tenancy well will move on to a secure tenancy.

What are your rights?

There are limits to what you can do with an introductory tenancy, for example you cannot:

  • Make major improvement to the property
  • Swap your property with another council tenant (mutual exchange)
  • Apply to buy your property through the Right to Buy scheme

Secure tenancy

A secure tenancy, sometimes referred to as a secure lifetime tenancy, has no end date. This means that if you conduct your tenancy properly and do not break any of the conditions of the tenancy agreement you can continue to live in your home indefinitely. There are some very rare occasions when you might still be asked to move despite your tenancy being conducted well but these are usually connected with a need for the Council to redevelop the area. A secure tenancy is the most secure type of tenancy provided, and can only be offered by the Council.

When do we offer this to you?

A secure tenancy is offered to tenants who have successfully completed an introductory tenancy without breaking with their tenancy agreement. 

What are your rights?

As a secure tenant you have improved rights. You can:

  • Rent out rooms – but you cannot sub-let the whole property
  • Apply to buy your home under the  Right to Buy scheme. (please note there are some types of property  that are exempt from the RTB scheme)
  • Apply through the mutual exchange scheme to swap your home with another council or housing association tenant – with the Council’s permission
  • Make improvement to your home – you’ll need permission from the Council for some types of work

Flexible tenancy

A flexible tenancy is a tenancy for a fixed period. This is usually for at least 5 years, though in some circumstances it may be between 2 and 5 years.

At the end of the fixed period the Council may decide to:

  • Offer you another fixed term-tenancy
  • Offer you a secure tenancy; or
  • Not renew your tenancy

When do we offer this to you?

The Council previously offered all new Council tenant’s flexible tenancies upon the successful completion of an introductory tenancy, however in our new Tenancy Strategy 2021-2026 and Tenancy Management Policy 2021, we have decided to phase out the use of flexible tenancies. Existing Council tenants who have not breached the terms of the flexible tenancy will either:

  • be invited to use the break clause in their tenancy agreement and re-offered a secure lifetime tenancy


  • continue until the end of their fixed term and then be offered a secure lifetime tenancy

If you are in breach of your tenancy conditions you will retain your fixed term tenancy until the breach is remedied, at which point either of the 2 options above will apply to you. No other changes will be made to your tenancy agreements and rights.

Demoted tenancy

A demoted tenancy is applied for by the Council by court order when a tenant has broken with the conditions of their tenancy agreement, used or threatened to use the property for an unlawful purpose or has been the cause of or been involved in anti-social behaviour.

A demoted tenancy lasts for 12 months and at the end the Council will decide whether to resume the tenancy or issue a notice for eviction. During the demoted tenancy tenants can be evicted much more easily than a secure or flexible tenant.

What rights do you have?

Demoted tenancy are very similar to introductory tenancies in that you have limited rights and less protection from eviction than a secure or flexible tenancy.

When will I become a secure tenant again?

If you do not cause nuisance or break your tenancy agreement in any other way and you have complied with the court order, your tenancy will revert back to a secure tenancy.

If you do not comply with the court order, the Council will:

  • obtain a possession order to evict you; and
  • serve a 4-week notice with decision to seek possession of the property

Non-secure tenancy

These types of tenancies are granted where the tenancy is not intended to be permanent, for example when we have accepted a duty to re-house a homeless person or family in temporary accommodation by virtue of Homelessness legislation.

What rights do you have?

As a non-secure tenant there are limitations as to what you can do due to the nature of the tenure. You will not be able to:

  • Rent out rooms
  • Buy your property through the Right to Buy scheme
  • Swap you home with another council or housing association tenant – with the Council’s permission
  • Transfer your tenancy to someone else in some circumstances