When you become a Brent Council tenant you are initially given an Introductory Tenancy. This is a one-year trial tenancy and although you have most of the same rights as a secure tenant or secure flexible tenant you cannot:
- Buy your home
- Vote to change your landlord
- Exchange your home
- Take in a lodger
- Make any alterations to your home.
When you have successfully completed your trial tenancy you will then be allowed to have a Secure Tenancy or a Secure Flexible Tenancy.
A Secure Tenancy does not have an expiry date and it continues from week to week until you or we end it.
As a Secure Tenant you can:
- Pass on your tenancy when you die
- Exchange your home with another tenant
- Buy your home
- Repair your home if we fail to do so
- Improve your home
- Be consulted
- Take in lodgers
- Sublet part of your home.
Secure Flexible Tenancy
A Secure Flexible Tenancy is a Secure Tenancy but for a fixed term. The term of your Secure Flexible Tenancy is set out in your tenancy agreement. Eight months before the end of your tenancy, we will review your housing need and the way you have conducted your tenancy. If we decide not to renew your tenancy, we will give you six months notice. You can ask us to review a decision not to renew your tenancy.
An Assured Shorthold and Shorthold Tenancy (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 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.
Joint and sole tenancies
You are a sole tenant if only one tenant is named on the tenancy agreement.
If two people are named on the agreement you have a joint tenancy, meaning two people are responsible for making sure the tenancy conditions are met and have equal rights to stay in the tenancy until it is ended.
Joint tenants each have all the rights and responsibilities set out in the tenancy terms and conditions.
If one joint tenant formally ends the tenancy, the tenancy comes to an end even if the other joint tenant has not asked to end the tenancy.
Adding another person as a joint tenant
We will consider offering a joint tenancy only to a husband, wife, civil partner or partner. We don't offer joint tenancies to other persons who may be living with you.
The person you wish to have the joint tenancy with will need to have lived with you for at least two years. You will need to write to us to tell us that they are living permanently at your address. The two years will begin when you tell us in writing that this person is living permanently at your address.
In deciding whether or not to give you a new joint tenancy we will look at a number of factors including:
- whether you have succeeded to (inherited) your tenancy all your rent and charges have been paid.
- You can get more information from your housing compliance officer. If we refuse to give you a new joint tenancy, we will tell you the reason.
Joint tenants have equal rights to stay in the property until the tenancy has ended. We therefore advise that you get legal advice before asking for a joint tenancy.
I have a joint tenancy and the other tenant has left - can I have a sole tenancy?
Just because one of the joint tenants has gone away or does not live at your home anymore it does not mean that their tenancy has ended. A tenancy agreement continues until it is legally ended by the tenant(s) or by us.
Both tenants will remain 'jointly and severally liable' for the tenancy. This means that the tenant who has left the home will still be responsible for any rent charges after they have left.
You should contact your housing compliance officer to discuss your situation and find out if you can get a new sole tenancy.
What happens if I have a joint tenancy and my relationship has ended?
If you have a joint tenancy and your relationship breaks down, we cannot decide who stays in the property. You will need to agree between yourselves or you can ask a court to decide. You will need to tell us what is happening.If you are getting divorced you can apply to the court to transfer the tenancy to one of the joint tenants. We advise you get legal advice.
Inheriting a tenancy (succession)
When a tenant dies, another family member may be entitled to inherit the tenancy. This is known in legal terms as a 'succession'.