Housing management

Being a tenant in social housing

Your rights as a tenant (including an introductory tenant)

As a tenant of Sutton Council you have rights covering the type of tenancy, the condition of your home and the standards you should expect from us. We have a duty of care to you,  ensuring these rights are upheld.

Before taking up a council tenancy and moving in to your property, please visit the Sutton Housing Partnership website for details of your tenancy and rights. If you are moving into a Housing Association property and want to know more about your tenancy and rights, please contact them directly.

The Housing Advice Service provides advice on:

  • Notices to quit accommodation or eviction notices

  • Rent - increases and arrears

  • Disrepair

  • Deposits

  • Relationship breakdown

  • Welfare benefits 

  • Homelessness

  • Housing options

If you need advice on any of the above please call 020 8770 5000 (select option '3', then option '3' again). Your details will be taken and a housing advisor will call you back. 

Introductory council tenancies

An introductory tenancy allows close monitoring of the tenancy in the first 12 months and will help housing managers to identify and take action on unacceptable behaviour, providing support to vulnerable tenants as needed.

Introductory tenant rights
An introductory tenant will have the majority of rights held by secured tenants, including:

  • rights of succession

  • rights of assignment

  • right to repair

  • consultation rights

However, there are some limitations to the introductory tenancy where the tenant does not have the rights to:

  • take in lodgers

  • sub-let part or all of the property

  • make improvements to the property

  • exchange or buy their property *

* for the right to buy, while introductory tenants do not have this right during the trial period, this period will count towards a Right to Buy discount if the tenancy becomes a secure tenancy.

Why we use introductory tenancies
Sutton Council and Sutton Housing Partnership (which manages the Council's homes) are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and breaches of tenancy conditions from Council tenants. The new scheme will help housing managers to deal more effectively with problems of anti-social behaviour and circumstances where new tenants seriously breach their tenancy agreement during the first 12 months. Please ensure you are familiar with the introductory tenancy, detailed below. The use of introductory tenancies sends out a clear message to new tenants about the consequences of breaching their tenancy conditions.

The responsibilities of an introductory tenant
Responsibilities are the same as for secure tenants in that they will have to abide by the tenancy conditions, which will be given at the start of the tenancy.

What happens after the 12 month introductory tenancy period
After the 12 month period the tenancy will become a secure tenancy if the new tenant has maintained the terms of the tenancy. However, if the new tenant has consistently breached the tenancy terms during this time possession action can be commenced.

What happens if the terms of an introductory tenancy are broken
Once a complaint has been made against a tenant or a problem with their tenancy has been identified, Sutton Housing Partnership will engage and work with them in order to try and resolve the issue. Eviction will continue to be pursued as a last resort and only after appropriate support has been offered to the introductory tenant to improve their behaviour.

Need more help? If so, please contact Sutton Housing Partnership by email at: customerservices@suttonhousingpartnership.org.uk

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