Starter tenancies

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Starter tenancies
  • Rights under a starter tenancy
  • Differences to an assured tenancy
  • Obtaining possession
  • Appeal
  • The future

Starter tenancies

A starter tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy granted by a registered provider of social housing (RP) and is similar to a local authority introductory tenancy (see: Tenancies that are not secure — Introductory tenancies).

Starter tenancies were introduced to enable early intervention to protect communities from anti-social behaviour and link into the government’s Respect Standard for Housing Management.

Once a RP has opted to operate a starter tenancy scheme, all new tenants or tenants in a designated area will be given starter tenancies.

Rights under a starter tenancy

A starter tenancy lasts 12 months and, provided no action for possession is taken during this time, the tenancy becomes assured at the end of the trial period. For joint tenants the trial period ends as soon as one of the joint tenants has completed the trial period.

During the 12-month period the tenant has fewer rights and can be evicted more easily than a secure or assured tenant. Any time spent as a starter tenant with another RP counts towards the trial period.

Under a starter tenancy a tenant does not have the right to:

  1. exchange or transfer the property (but there is a right of succession to a spouse or partner)

  2. take in lodgers or sublet the property

  3. make improvements

  4. assign the tenancy except by a court order

  5. purchase the property through the Right to Acquire scheme

The trial

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