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Probationary tenancies

There are three types of council tenancy in Hillingdon: probationary tenancy (sometimes referred to as introductory tenancy), secure and secure flexible tenancies.

The Housing Act 1996 gave Local Authorities the choice of giving probationary tenancies [256kb] to new tenants.

Hillingdon Council are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour and breaches of tenancy conditions.

Tenants rights

Probationary tenants will enjoy the majority of rights held by secure tenants, including:

  • right to repair
  • right to succeed
  • right to be consulted
  • right to assign

A probationary tenant will not have:

  • the right to take in lodgers
  • the right to sub-let
  • the right to improve
  • the right to claim compensation for improvements
  • the right to exchange
  • *the Right to Buy

*Whilst probationary tenancies do not have this right within the trial period. The trial period will count towards a Right to Buy discount if the tenancy becomes a secure tenancy.

A probationary tenant's responsibilities

Responsibilities are the same as secure tenants, they will have to abide by the tenancy conditions they signed. A probationary tenancy will normally last 12 months. However this period can be extended for a further six months where there are concerns about the conduct of the tenant. Throughout this one-year or 18 month trial a probationary tenant must show they can keep to the terms of their tenancy. The tenancy will automatically become a secure tenancy on the first anniversary of the date the tenancy started if there are no problems.

Probationary tenants must:

  • pay their weekly rent 
  • keep their home and garden clean and tidy
  • respect their neighbours and not cause, or allow, a nuisance to be caused
  • keep to the tenancy conditions 

By statute, probationary tenants have fewer rights than secure tenants and can be evicted more easily either during the first 12 month period or during the lifetime of any six month extension. We can take eviction proceedings without the need to establish proof of reason to the courts. The courts discretion is removed and provided we have followed the process correctly, the court must make an order for possession.

Probationary tenants will be made aware from the outset that once a complaint has been made against them or a problem with their tenancy has been identified, we will engage and work with them in order to try to resolve the issue(s) prior to taking any action via the court. All probationary tenancies will be monitored closely and safeguards will be put in place to deal with "vulnerable" tenants".

Investigating arrears/anti-social behaviour or other breaches of tenancy

An investigation will take place prior to any Notice of Proceedings for Possession being served.

Minor breaches may result in written warnings or an extension of the probationary period. Serious breaches are likely to lead to the tenancy being brought to an end.
The investigating officer(s) will explore all possible "vulnerability" issues, consider all alternative courses of action including referring to/using appropriate support networks.

Tenancy Management are fully aware of the potential for those tenants less able to comply with the terms of their tenancy agreement and the risk of discrimination by other tenants.

What happens if conditions are broken?

We might issue a Notice of Proceedings for Possession.

If, for example:

  • they fail to pay their weekly rent, or
  • they, or their visitors, cause a nuisance or annoyance to anyone in the locality of their home, we can take action to end the tenancy

To bring the tenancy to an end, the tenant must first be served with a section 128 Notice of Proceedings from the County Court for Possession. Anyone receiving a Notice of Proceedings for Possession should contact the local housing office who served it to discuss the circumstances fully as it may not be to late for them to remedy the situation.

The teams to contact are:

  • Anti-social behaviour team
  • Arrears recovery team
  • Local community offices

Your rights if served with a Notice of Proceedings for Possession?

You will have the right to a review of the decision by:

  • requesting a form by contacting the rent account section
  • returned the form within 14 days from the date the notice was served
  • you will receive an acknowledgement from us within three working days
  • a review will be arranged with at least five days notice unless there are special circumstances

Where can you get information and advice?

A probationary tenant can get information/advice from the Tenancy Management service.

Useful contacts

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 12 Mar 2018 at 11:52