Tenancy agreements for council homes

A council home tenancy agreement is a legal contract between a council tenant and Swindon Borough Council. It sets out the terms and conditions for the tenancy.

There are three types:

  • One-year introductory tenancies - for all new council tenants
  • Flexible tenancies - for most new council tenants following a one-year introductory tenancy
  • Secure tenancies - for sheltered housing tenants following a one-year introductory tenancy, and for secure and assured tenants who are transferring or going through a mutual exchange

Flexible tenancies

We offer flexible tenancies to council tenants. These last for a period of five or ten years, and follow a one-year intoductory tenancy. They offer most of the same rights as a secure tenancy - the main difference is the fixed term period.

We offer five-year flexible tenancies to people who do not have dependent children, and ten-year flexible tenancies to people who do.

Flexible tenancies help us make sure we are making the best use of our housing stock and that tenants live in properties that are suitable for their needs. A housing officer visits the property at least nine months before the end of fixed tenancy, and makes a decision as to whether or not we are going to offer the tenany another tenancy. 

Terms and conditions

Potential, new and current council tenants should read and understand the terms and conditions in a tenancy agreement. You can download a sample flexible tenancy agreement. You should read this in conjunction with the Tenants' Handbook, which includes additional information.

Challenging a flexible tenancy offer

You cannot challenge the offer of a flexible tenancy because you would prefer a secure tenancy. However, you can challenge the length of time of the flexible tenancy you have been offered. To do this you must:

  • contact us by post or e-mail within 21 days of receiving your tenancy offer
  • say why you think the length of the tenancy being offered is not appropriate

Secure tenancies

We offer secure tenancies to all new sheltered housing tenants. This will follow a one-year introductory tenancy.

Secure tenancies are also offered to current secure and assured tenants who are undertaking a transfer or mutual exchange. In other words, we won't move someone on a secure tenancy onto a flexible tenancy.

Terms and conditions

Potential, new and current council tenants should read and understand the terms and conditions in a tenancy agreement. You can download a sample secure tenancy agreement. You should read this in conjunction with the Tenants' Handbook, which includes additional information.

Comparison of tenancy types

The table below shows a list of tenant's rights, and whether or not they are upheld by the different types of tenancy we offer.

Right One-year introductory tenancy Five or ten-year flexible tenancy Secure tenancy
Right to buy No Yes Yes
Right to transfer or exchange (moving) No Yes Yes
Right to repair Yes Yes Yes
Right to take in lodgers No Yes Yes
Right to sublet part of property No Yes Yes
Right to be consulted Yes Yes Yes
Right to statutory succession No Yes Yes
Right to make improvements No Yes Yes
Right to assign the tenancy No Yes Yes

Information for tenants on compensation

We aim to provide good quality homes that are well maintained and meet the needs of our tenants. Services are sometimes susceptible to random failure and from time to time things go wrong. A Housing Tenancy Compensation Guide (FOI Publication Scheme), providing information on what circumstances could warrant a compensation claim, is available to view in our Freedom of Information database.

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