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Introductory Tenancies

Everyone is entitled to live safely and happily in their homes.  Most tenants treat neighbours and the local area with respect.  Kettering Borough Council will use all measures available, within the law, to deal with any person who refuses to behave properly.

The Housing Act 1996 gives local authorities powers to deal with tenants who disrupt the lives of law-abiding residents. New tenants, who behave in this way, can now be evicted from their homes more easily and quickly.

What is an introductory tenancy?
An introductory tenancy applies to the first 12 months of a council tenancy. It is like a settling-in time or trial period before a secure tenancy begins. Your tenancy agreement shows the date that your introductory tenancy begins and ends. You will automatically become a secure tenant after 12 months as long as we have not applied to the court for a possession order, or served a notice on you to extend your introductory tenancy.

Who will have an introductory tenancy?
All new tenants of Kettering Borough Council will become introductory tenants, unless they are transferring or exchanging from a secure tenancy or a housing association assured tenancy.

Further Information
Rights and Responsibilities

By law during your introductory tenancy, you do not have all of the rights of a secure tenant but you do have the responsibilities. As an introductory tenant you must show us that you are responsible enough to keep your home by:

- not behaving antisocially, (your tenants' handbook has examples of antisocial behaviour);
- paying your rent and charges on time; and
- looking after your home and garden.

Introductory tenants cannot:
- exchange their home;
- transfer the tenancy, (unless a court order you to);
- take in lodgers or sublet the property;
- exercise the right to buy, ( but the 12 months may count towards  the discount when you become a secure tenant); or
- carry out improvements to the property, (but small improvements may be allowed with our permission in writing).

In the first year your neighbourhood manager will visit you every 3 months and will offer advice, support and guidance on how to manage your tenancy. They will be happy to discuss any problem related to your tenancy.

If you break any of the rules in your tenancy contract, your neighbourhood manager will get in touch with you and tell you what you need to do. If you don't do what we ask you to do and a problem carries on, we will serve you with a Notice of Termination. This means that, after 28 days, we will go to court to ask for possession of your home.

Your right to appeal against our decision to go to court
Within 14 days of getting the notice, you have the right to ask us to look again at our decision to go to court. You can do this by filling in the review form attached to the notice. You should put your reasons why you feel your tenancy should not end. A friend or relative can complete the form for you. The law says that we must look again at our decision if you ask us to. A date will be set for this as soon as possible after you have asked. This is called the review.

The review panel
The review panel is responsible for looking again at the decision to end your tenancy. The panel is made up of 2 senior council officers. Neither of them will have been involved in the decision to serve the Notice of Termination.

A review hearing
You can ask for an oral hearing which gives you a chance to explain why you think your tenancy should not end. At an oral hearing you may bring a friend or advisor with you and, if you want, they can speak for you. The panel will discuss the reason why the notice was served and you, or anyone with you, will be able to ask questions.

If you have asked us to look again at our decision, the review will take place even if you do not ask for, or attend the hearing.

If you do not ask, in writing, for a review of our decision within 14 days, we will automatically ask the court for possession of your home.

Decision of the review panel

We will tell you the review panel's decision within 5 days of the review or hearing. We will tell you before the date on the notice when we can apply to court for possession.

If the review panel changes the decision and agrees that your tenancy should not end, we will not apply to the court for possession of your home. Your introductory tenancy will continue for the rest of the 12 month trial period.

If the review panel's decision agrees with the decision to end your tenancy, we will carry on with the notice of termination and apply to court for immediate possession of your home.

Once you have reached this stage the Judge at court will give us an order for possession of your home that will result in you being evicted.

Should I worry about being an introductory tenant?
Introductory tenants have nothing to worry about as long as they behave responsibly. By sticking to your rights and responsibilities you will become a secure tenant at the end of the 12 month trial period.

Get in touch with Kettering Borough Council

Email: customerservices@kettering.gov.uk. Telephone: 01536 410333.

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