Tenancy Types


WFHA uses 3 main types of tenancy – Secure, Assured and Assured Shorthold. The Housing Act 1988 introduced Assured Tenancies.  If your tenancy with the Association commenced before January 15 1989 you have a Secure Tenancy. After that date tenancies will be Assured, or in certain rare circumstances, an Assured Shorthold.

The main difference between Secure and Assured Tenants is how we set your rent. Secure Tenants’ rent is set by the Rent Officer, andAssured Tenants’ rent is set by the Association in line with legal and regulatory frameworks.  WFHA has a Rent Setting Policy, which is available on request.

We do on occasions issue a Licence Agreement which is a short term agreement, with no legal rights to tenure, and can be terminated at anytime without notice. These will only be issued at specific supported housing schemes.

In all cases the tenancy agreement forms the basis of the landlord/tenant relationship. As well as being a legal agreement, it clearly sets out the rights and obligations of both parties.

As is implied by the term “Secure Tenant”, we can only end your tenancy by applying to court and obtaining a court order for possession. We would only do this for a valid reason such as:- Anti Social Behaviour, or non-payment of your rent. One of the most fundamental conditions of your tenancy is that you have to pay rent for your home.

Assured Tenancies were introduced by the Housing Act 1988. These tenants have, in theory, fewer rights than Secure Tenants. However, the only way we can end your tenancy is again by applying to court to obtain an order. As with Secure Tenants we would have to have a valid reason. Arrears of rent or misconduct are the most common reasons.

Assured Shorthold Tenancies are used where the aim of the scheme is for the tenant to move on to more independent living, rather than providing permanent or long-term housing.

This is the right to take over a tenancy when a tenant dies by a spouse or member of your family who has lived with you for a minimum of 12 months. With joint tenants, on the death of one of the joint tenants the remaining tenant(s) will automatically become either the “sole successor” tenant or a “reduced joint tenant”. This will continue until there is only one tenant remaining. Arrangements are slightly different if a) the flat is specially built for the older person or b) the flat is likely to be under-occupied.

The Housing Services Team will be able to clarify this subject. A tenancy can only be “inherited” once.


This means you hand over your tenancy to someone else. Usually a Secure Tenancy cannot be assigned but there are exceptions where an assignment is legal and the tenancy can be transferred by deed.

These are:

  • The right to exchange
  • Assigning to someone who would be entitled to succeed
  • A court order as a result of matrimonial proceedingsThe transfer by deed needs to take place formally and a member of staff must oversee the process.

It is illegal to sub-let the whole of your home. However, and only with our written permission, you can sub-let part of your home or take in lodgers. Generally we will only refuse permission if the result will create overcrowding, but other factors such as how much rent you plan to charge will be taken into consideration. Other people living with you will affect any Housing Benefit that you are eligible for, so check beforehand. If we do feel permission needs to be withheld we will state our reasons in writing to you.

In a joint tenancy (where more than one name appears on the tenancy agreement) all tenants are equally responsible for the property and share the rights and obligations. They are jointly and severally responsible.

The number of persons permitted to reside at your home is defined in your Tenancy Agreement. If you do want to take in a lodger, or sub-let part of your home, it may be possible. Please see Section on Sub-Letting.

You must request our permission in writing before keeping any pets, except for guide dogs. It is most important that pets are kept under control. It is your responsibility to ensure that your pet does not foul in communal areas, including gardens.

Your home is for residential use only and may not be used for business purposes.