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Tenants' rights and responsibilities
If you are a council tenant, you have certain rights and
responsibilities. Your rights depend on the type of tenancy that
you hold. There are three types of tenancy agreement:
Your responsibilities are:
- to pay your rent on time and make arrangements to pay any other
debts you may have with the council
- to keep your home and garden (if you have one) reasonably
- not to disturb or harass your neighbours.
A full description of your rights and responsibilities can be
found in your tenancy agreement.
Introductory tenancy agreement
If you are a new council tenant, you will be asked to sign an
introductory tenancy agreement. This is a trial tenancy that lasts
for approximately one year. It gives you most of the same rights as
a secure council tenancy. If you break the conditions of the
tenancy and this breach is serious enough and proportional, the
council will apply to the courts for a mandatory possession order.
As long as you do not break your tenancy agreement while you are an
introductory tenant, you will automatically become a secure tenant.
The Council can also extend the introductory terms by six months if
it is not satisfied with the conduct of your tenancy. Tenants have
the opportunity for such extensions to be reviewed.
Secure tenancy agreement
After a year as an introductory tenant and providing you have
not broken the rules of the introductory tenancy, your tenancy
agreement will be converted to secure. Once you become a secure
tenant, you will gain the right to apply for a transfer or mutual
exchange or to buy your property from the council.
A demoted tenancy is a one-year, probationary council tenancy.
The council uses demoted tenancies if tenants have been involved in
View Medway Council's Housing Services' Anti-social
Demoted tenants can be evicted much more easily than secure
council tenants. Your tenancy can only be demoted by court order.
This means that the council has to provide evidence to show why it
has asked for your tenancy agreement to be demoted.
Find out more about the independent advice on tenancy agreements
and your rights as a tenant that is available to you locally or
Your right to repairs
The tenant welcome pack and your tenancy agreement gives you
information about the repairs that you are responsible for, which
usually includes internal decoration and putting right any damage
you cause. The council is usually responsible for most other
repairs, including any problems with the roof, guttering, windows,
doors and brickwork. It also has to ensure that the plumbing, gas
and electricity are working safely.
If your home needs repairs, report the problem to the council
immediately. There is a 24-hour service for emergency repairs.
Your right to be involved in housing management
Council tenants and leaseholders have the right to have a say in
how the properties that they live in are managed. This is called
tenant and resident involvement and it helps to
make sure that the service provided by the housing department is
always improving. The council believes that the more it involves
tenants in what it does, the more satisfied they will be with the
services it offers. This is why it provides plenty of opportunities
for participation. If tenants want to play an active role in
developing new tenant services or housing management, the council
will give them all the help and support it can.