Most new council tenants are 'introductory tenants'. This trial period normally lasts for 12 months, at the end of which time the tenancy automatically becomes a secure tenancy. There are important differences between introductory and secure tenants. Introductory tenants have fewer legal rights, and if the tenancy agreement is broken, it can be ended quickly and easily.
To find out more about introductory tenancies, please read the Welcome to your Introductory Tenancy booklet (pdf, 187kb).
Home Contents Insurance
In the unlikely event that you house was flooded or burgled, you had a fire, or your property was damaged in some other way, as a council tenant we would pay to repair any damage to your home. However, you would be responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing your belongings.
For this reason we recommend that you consider taking out home contents insurance. This may not be as expensive as you think - the council have negotiated a simple, easy to understand scheme with Royal and Sun Alliance. You can insure your belongings and pay weekly, monthly or yearly - whichever suits you best.
If you are interested you can download an application form here (pdf, 546kb), or alternatively give us a ring on 01524 582929 and we will send you a copy. Please remember, Lancaster City Council does not receive any money from this scheme and it is just one of the options open to you - lots of other companies provide home contents insurance
A lodger is someone who lives in your household but does not normally have sole or exclusive use of your home or any part of it even if they pay you rent to live there.
If you are a secure tenant you have the right to take in lodgers, as long as this won't lead to the property being overcrowded. If you overcrowd your home by taking in too many lodgers we have a legal responsibility to take action. You are breaking your tenancy agreement if you overcrowd your home in this way.
If you are an introductory tenant you will need written permission from your Estate Manager before taking in lodgers.
If you rent someone a room but they look after themselves entirely, maybe using your kitchen and bathroom, then you are sub-letting.
If you are a secure tenant we may allow you to sublet part of your home, but you must first obtain permission from your Estate Manager.
If you are an introductory tenant, you are not allowed to sub-let part of your home.
You can not sub-let your home and live somewhere else. You must continue to live in your home if you want to keep your tenancy.
Pets are generally allowed in council houses but special rules apply if you live in a flat or maisonette with a shared common entrance, where you must obtain written agreement from the Council that you are allowed to keep a pet.
If you live in Sheltered Housing, extra rules apply. If you live in a flat with a communal entrance, then you would not be allowed to keep a pet, unless it is an assistance animal e.g. guide dog. Smaller pets, such as fish and birds may be allowed but please check with your Estate Manager first.
When a tenant dies, a spouse, civil partner, partner (including same sex partners) or relative may be entitled to take over the tenancy if they have lived in the same house as the tenant. This is called "succession."
To find out more, please read our Who can take over the tenancy when the tenant dies? leaflet (pdf, 49kb).
Joint and Sole Tenancies
You can change a tenancy from joint to sole or sole to joint providing certain criteria are met. Please read our How do you change your tenancy from joint to sole? (pdf, 43kb) and How do you change your tenancy from sole to joint? (pdf, 44kb) booklets to find out more.
Relationship breakdown is a complicated issue. Please read our What can happen to my tenancy if my relationship breaks down? leaflet (pdf, 52kb) to find out more.
Last updated: 07 March 2016