We give all new tenants a starter tenancy. This usually lasts for 12 months and will convert to a five year fixed term or an assured/lifetime tenancy at the end of the period if you have conducted your tenancy satisfactorily.
Which tenancy type will I receive after the 12 month starter tenancy ends?
From April 2013 if you’re a new tenant you will be offered a fixed term tenancy after the 12 month Starter Tenancy is complete unless:
- you currently have an assured or secure tenancy with a housing association or council, which are often called lifetime tenancies. If that is the case you will be offered a new assured/lifetime tenancy.
- you are moving into a sheltered/retirement property.
- you are moving into a property designated for tenants aged 50 years or over.
- you are moving into a property designated for letting to applicants with a local connection to the village.
If one of the above is true you will receive an Assured/Lifetime tenancy.
A fixed term tenancy is offered for a fixed period of time rather than a lifelong tenancy. It is legally known as an assured shorthold fixed term tenancy.
Aragon currently offers a starter tenancy followed by a five year fixed term tenancy. The starter tenancy is known as the trial period and usually lasts for 12 months, but may be extended for a further six months. The trial period or any extension to it is in addition to the five year fixed term tenancy period.
We will carry out a review at least 12 months before the tenancy is due to end.
Assured tenancies are long-term, and give the tenant a range of rights, including the right to exchange, the right to take in a lodger and to carry out improvements once permission has been granted by the association. These tenancies can only be ended if the tenant has broken the terms of their tenancy agreement, for example through non payment of rent or if there are serious incidents of antisocial behaviour. These tenancies can only be ended by obtaining a court order unless the tenant has left or illegally sub-lets the whole property when it is very easy for housing associations to end the tenancy.
When two people share a tenancy, it is known as a joint tenancy. Both Starter and Assured tenancies can be a joint tenancy but we would always recommend that an applicant thinks very carefully before entering into a joint tenancy as both parties have equal right to the property and are ‘jointly and severally liable’ for the tenancy. This means that you are equally liable for any breaches of tenancy, regardless of who is at fault, but we also reserve the right to only pursue one of the tenants for breach of tenancy.
If you and your partner have split up and one of you has moved out but their name remains on the tenancy, you are still both liable for any debt and any judgements against you will be in both names.
To remove a joint tenant you will need our permission and both must sign a Deed of Assignment. It is important that you let your Housing Officer know of any changes to tenants or occupants at the address as without both signatures it is very difficult to remove a joint tenant.