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Council tenancies - your rights and responsibilities

Types of Council Tenancies

Kingston Council offers one of three tenancy types to new tenants.  

Introductory tenancy 

Most new council tenants with Kingston Council will be given an Introductory Tenancy for the first 12 months. If the Introductory tenant does not break any of the tenancy conditions (for example, ensures the rent is paid, keeps the property and garden kept in good condition) the tenancy will automatically become a Secure tenancy after one year. 

Secure tenancy

Secure tenants are able to keep their tenancy for as long as they choose. Secure tenancies are sometimes also known as Lifetime tenancies. 

The council can only seek to recover possession of the property under certain legal grounds.

Secure tenants have the right to: 

Non-secure tenancy 

The council will usually offer Non-secure tenancies to those being provided with temporary accommodation. Non-secure tenants have much fewer rights than Secure tenants.       

Your Tenancy 

You will sign and be given a written tenancy agreement before you move in to your home. This is an important legal contract between you, the tenant, and Kingston Council, your landlord. 

The tenancy agreement states the type of tenancy you have been given and includes information about:

You should read your tenancy agreement carefully and ensure that you are familiar with the terms of the agreement. 

Joint Tenancies

If a tenancy is in more than one name it is called a joint tenancy. Both joint tenants are equally responsible for the conduct of the tenancy. This means that if rent arrears arise both tenants are jointly responsible for repayment of the debt, regardless of which person normally pays the rent to the council. 

Relationship breakdown 

Joint tenants continue to enjoy equal rights to the tenancy and remain jointly liable for the payment of the rent even if their relationship has ended and/or one person has moved out of the property. 

In these situations, each joint tenant should obtain their own independent legal advice. The council is unable to unilaterally decide who should continue to live at the property. 

If one joint tenant gives notice, the whole tenancy will come to an end even if the other joint tenant doesn’t agree and/or wants to stay in the property.

Appeal a tenancy decision

Flexible tenancy instead of a secure tenancy

If we offer you a flexible tenancy instead of a secure tenancy, you may appeal.

You need to write to the Allocations and Resettlement Manager within 48 hours of being offered the property, telling us why we should offer you a secure tenancy, with any supporting documents. We will then contact you within two working days of receiving your written appeal to let you know the outcome.

Flexible tenancy isn’t being renewed

If we decide not to renew your flexible tenancy, you may appeal by writing to the Housing Operations Manager, within 14 working days of being told our decision.

We will let you know the outcome within 10 working days of receiving the appeal. In some cases, we may contact you to arrange a hearing.

Last Modified: 24/10/2022 16:03:36

Housing Contact Centre

You can get in touch with our Contact Centre

Address: Guildhall 2
High Street
Kingston upon Thames

Telephone: 0208 547 5003