Managing your tenancy

Introductory Tenancy

New Brent tenants will be offered an introductory tenancy. These last for 12 months and are like a ‘trial’ period.

You will automatically become a secure tenant after 12 months, unless we have:

  • started action to evict you
  • extended your introductory tenancy for a further 6 months

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

  • make major improvements to the property
  • swap your property with another council tenant
  • apply to buy your property through the Right to Buy scheme

Secure Tenancy

As a secure tenant, you can normally live in the property for the rest of your life, as long as you do not break the conditions of the tenancy.

You can:

  • rent out rooms - but you cannot sub-let the whole property
  • buy your property through the Right to Buy scheme
  • swap your home with another council or housing association tenant - with the council’s permission
    transfer your tenancy to someone else in some circumstances
  • make improvements to your home - you’ll need permission from the council for some types of work

Secure Flexible Tenancy

A secure flexible tenancy is a secure tenancy but for a fixed term, usually of five years.

In 2020, Brent Council’s Cabinet approved a decision to end the use of flexible tenancies and replace them with lifetime secure tenancies. This decision was made as the council recognises, now more than ever, how important it is to feel secure in your home.

Under the terms of the Housing Act 1985 your flexible tenancy will be automatically converted to a secure tenancy on the date that your fixed term is due to end. There will be no need for you to sign a new tenancy agreement.

You can opt out of this conversion by emailing

Shorthold Tenancy

Assured Shortholds and Shorthold Tenancies (AST) are used if the property is:

  • owned by a private landlord and managed by Brent Council
  • owned by Brent Council

Shorthold tenancies allow the council to let these properties for a short period, for example six months.

Your tenancy can be either a fixed-term tenancy, for example six months or periodic tenancy. Periodic tenancies can run indefinitely, or until either you the tenant gives the council notice or the council serves a Notice to Quit on the tenant.

Unless outlined in the tenancy agreement, the council cannot increase your rent within the fixed term of the tenancy. However, if you renew your tenancy for another term, the landlord has the right to increase the rent for the next period of fixed tenancy.

Inheriting a tenancy

When a tenant dies, another family member may be entitled to a succession.

Joint tenancies

Under a joint tenancy, all the tenants share equal responsibility.

You can apply for a joint tenancy at any time if you’re married or in a registered civil partnership. If you’re a cohabiting couple or related (e.g. brother and sister), you will have to be able to prove that you’ve lived together for at least 24 months.

If only one of you wants to end the tenancy and the other joint tenant(s) wants to stay in the property, Brent will decide whether to:

give the remaining tenant(s) a new tenancy at the same property
not give them a new tenancy, for example because the property could be offered to another couple or family
If one joint tenant dies, the tenancy continues for the surviving tenant(s). However, usual succession provisions do not apply to joint tenancies.

If you and your partner divorce or your relationship breaks down and you cannot agree on who gets the tenancy, a court can decide this.

Demoted tenancies

The council can apply to the court to demote a tenancy where the tenant, or someone living with or visiting the tenant, has:

  • engaged or threatened to engage in antisocial behaviour, or
  • used or threatened to use the property for an unlawful purpose.

A demoted tenancy lasts for 12 months, the terms of which are similar to that of an introductory tenancy.

The council must first serve a demotion notice to you at least 28 days before beginning court proceedings.

Further advice

You can find more information on your tenancy in the related documents below.

Related documents
Pdf 1.6MB
Updated: Jan 31, 2019, 11:27 AM
Pdf 304.6KB
Updated: Jan 31, 2019, 11:27 AM
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Updated: Feb 04, 2019, 01:57 PM