Your rights and responsibilities are set out in your tenancy agreement which is your legally binding contract with the council. The terms of your tenancy will have been explained to you when you signed the contract and you should keep a copy in a safe place. If, however, you cannot find a copy of your tenancy agreement, look at the documents below, or contact us and we will arrange for a copy to be sent to you.
All applicants new to social housing will be offered an Introductory Tenancy. These last for 12 months and during this period tenants have less rights, and courts have less discretion in deciding whether the council can evict if there is a breach of tenancy. At the end of the tenancy the council can decide to grant either a secure or a flexible tenancy, or if it has concerns about the tenancy can extend the introductory tenancy for a further 12 months.
Until recently all other tenancies were Secure Tenancies under Housing Act 1985. The rights and responsibilities of tenants and the council are set out in the Tenancy Agreement. If the council wants to re-possess a property it can only take this action under one of 16 proscribed grounds. The most common being where rent has not been paid or any other obligation of the tenancy has not been met. The council would need to prove the grounds to the County Court's satisfaction, and also show that eviction was a reasonable option.
If you do not occupy the property as your only home you are no longer a Secure Tenant and the process to repossess is simpler.
Introduced in the Localism Act 2011, these are fixed term tenancies of 5 years, and are in the process of being introduced as the normal tenancy offered at the end of an Introductory Tenancy. The main difference is that at the end of the fixed term the council can decide not to offer a new tenancy, or to offer a different property, should the tenant’s income or circumstances have changed.
Slough Borough Council manages around 6500 tenancies and 1250 flats as leasehold properties. There is a specialist team dealing with rent arrears, leasehold and the right to buy. Other housing management matters are dealt with by a named Neighbourhood Manager in three area based teams. All phone contact is via 01753 475111.
The council wants to ensure that tenants are aware who there Neighbourhood Housing Officer is, and have a duty to ensure that tenants are occupying the property let to them.
To achieve this we visit all tenants on a regular basis and will ask for evidence of who they are. We now photograph tenants when they sign for a property and will be looking to photograph existing tenants at verification visits.
Our experience is that there is little deliberate fraud but in fairness to those on our waiting list will take firm and decisive action where we believe a tenant is no longer in occupation, or has sublet.
It is your responsibility as a tenant to make sure your personal possessions are insured to protect against risk of theft or damage by accident, fire or flood.
The council, in partnership with Thistle Tenant Risks, offers the Crystal Insurance Scheme, a special-rate product for council tenants that provides up to £35,000 cover for home contents. Cover is also available for personal possessions, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, hearing aids and garden sheds, greenhouses and outhouses.
Cover starts from 79p per week for £7000 home contents cover, and premiums are paid as part of your weekly rent. For more information about the scheme please contact your housing officer or visit the Crystal Insurance Scheme.