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Starter Tenancies

This page gives you information about how L&Q uses starter tenancies and probationary periods

What is a starter tenancy?

Its a type of assured tenancy which housing associations can offer to new tenants. At the end of the starter tenancy, after an initial period of one year, it is converted to a full assured tenancy provided it has been conducted satisfactorily. If not then the starter tenancy can be ended.

What is a probationary period?

All new residents granted a fixed term tenancy will have a 12 month probationary period. If the tenancy has been conducted satisfactorily during this time, it will continue to run. If not then the tenancy can be ended.

Why is L&Q using starter tenancies and probationary periods?

We want all our residents to be able to live peacefully in their homes, and the thoughtless actions of some individuals can cause untold misery for many residents. We believe these agreements can help to establish clear expectations about behaviour for new tenants and their families from the start. However, if problems do arise, we can end the tenancy more easily as long as we are satisfied there has been a serious breach of the tenancy.

Of course the same expectations of good behaviour apply just as much to existing residents as well, although we would have to
prove satisfactory grounds for ending their tenancy in a court.

What will a starter tenancy or probationary period mean to me?

It effectively means that you are on probation for an initial period of a year. It is like a trial period for a new job. If you meet the required
standards by not breaking any of the terms of the tenancy agreement, we will covert your starter tenancy to a full assured tenancy or allow the fixed term to continue to run after a final review has taken place. These tenancies will have the usual benefits and security to remain in the home provided the terms of tenancy are not broken.

Your Neighbourhood Services Officer will make at least two review visits to your home during the first year to make sure that you are keeping to the terms of your tenancy by, for example, paying the rent, looking after your home and not causing any nuisance to others. This is also your chance to talk to us about any aspect of the services we provide.

Near the end of the 12 months we will review your first year with us and may visit a third time to help us make a decision on whether you have passed the trial period. Starter tenancies and probationary periods can also be extended by up to six months if you have not allowed us access to complete review visits or for any other reasons why it is not possible to make a decision. 

Can I appeal against the decision made?

Yes. When we write to tell you our decision we will also send details of how you can appeal, tell you about the appeals process and send an application form. You will have 14 days to appeal from the service of the Notice Requiring Possession.

Will I receive equal treatment?

We are committed to making sure our new residents receive the same equal opportunities as all other residents. We will be monitoring the progress closely to ensure that it does not disadvantage any black or minority ethnic groups or vulnerable residents.

What if I need more information?

You should contact L&Q Direct by phoning 0800 015 6536 or by using the L&Q Direct Contact Form.

Are there any other differences?

Yes, as a starter tenant or in your probationary period you will not have the following rights:

  • No right to transfer, use a mobility scheme or mutually exchange your home
  • No right to take in lodgers or sublet part of your home
  • No right to assign the tenancy unless by a court order
  • No right to make improvements
  • No right to buy or acquire your home

What happens if there are problems with my tenancy?

If there are any problems with your tenancy, you should contact L&Q Direct to discuss these.

If we receive complaints from others about you, we will act quickly to investigate and see if the situation can be resolved. Starter tenancies and probationary periods are not intended to deal with minor neighbour disputes, as we expect all our residents to act in a neighbourly way to resolve minor matters themselves. If the problem is serious, we will discuss with you what steps you can take to improve things. We will confirm a warning in writing. If you do not take the action we ask of you in the warning, we will take legal action to end your tenancy. In very serious cases we may not issue any warning and take immediate legal action to evict you.

Remember that you are responsible for your own behaviour and that of your family and anyone living with you and visitors to your home.