What is a Scottish Secure Tenancy?
Most of our tenants have a Scottish Secure Tenancy. This type of tenancy is the same as other tenants living in council or housing association homes anywhere in Scotland.
Some tenants may have a Short Scottish Secure Tenancy. The main differences in the conditions of tenancy are that the Council can bring the tenancy to an end more easily, as a court will not question the reason for eviction.
In addition, tenants with Short Scottish Secure Tenancies do not have certain statutory rights: on death, for a family member to take over the tenancy.
Breach of tenancy
A breach of tenancy is the term used when you fail to keep to the terms of your Tenancy Agreement (eg not paying rent, harassing your neighbours).
You and your family can be made to leave your home. We do not want this to happen and will provide you with support and advice to help prevent this. If you do not correct your breach of tenancy we will take you to court, through the following stages:
- we deliver a legal 'Notice' to you and certain other members of your household who are 16 and over. This gives reasons for taking action against you, and a date when we can start taking action to go to court
- if we decide to take court action, the court will write to you giving a date for the hearing
- at the hearing, the court may allow you to put your side of the case, and will decide whether you have to leave your home.
Can the terms of my tenancy be changed?
We can only vary the terms of the Tenancy Agreement in consultation with you and all other tenants affected.
Can I always stay in my home?
Tenants of Scottish Secure Tenancies have full security of tenure. They have the right to stay in the home for as long as they wish provided they do not breach the terms of the tenancy. Partners or relatives may be eligible to take over the tenancy when the tenant dies. For Short Scottish Secure Tenancies, tenants have security for the period of the tenancy.
What are my rights?
You have contractual and statutory rights. Your contractual rights are set out in your Tenancy Agreement. Your statutory rights are laid down by Acts of Parliament.
The Tenancy Agreement
The Tenancy Agreement is the legal document that you sign at the beginning of your tenancy. It gives the details of the contract between you and North Ayrshire Council. This section is only a summary.
By signing it you agree to abide by the Conditions of Tenancy. These are the rights and responsibilities that both you and the Council must observe.
Our main responsibilities are to:
- consult you on any proposed changes to the tenancy
- keep your home wind and watertight and in good repair
- keep all pipes, drains, gutters and installations for heating, water, gas or electricity supply in working order
- provide you with information about our complaints procedure, and our policies on rent setting, allocations, exchanges and repairs if you ask for this information
We have the right to:
- change your rent or other charges provided we have carried out consultation and taken tenants views into account. We must tell you the new charge at least 4 weeks before it is due
- be let into your home to carry out inspections or repairs, or to service appliances. We must give you at least 24 hours’ notice
Your main responsibilities are to:
- pay the rent and other charges on time
- keep your garden tidy
- take care of the property, keep the inside properly decorated and carry out any repairs you are responsible for
- ensure that everyone in your household and your visitors behave responsibly. They must not cause nuisance to neighbours, or harass or threaten other people, including our staff
- ensure that you are not overcrowding the property
- let us know in writing at least 4 weeks before you intend to leave
- write to us asking permission if you want to carry out any alterations to your home
You have the right to:
- live peacefully in your home without being unnecessarily interrupted by us, your landlord
- appeal against decisions we make
- exercise your legal rights as a tenant
What if the council fails to carry out its duty?
You should talk to a member of staff about a complaint. In most cases problems are resolved quickly and efficiently. However if the matter is not resolved you should follow the council's formal complaints procedure.
Short Scottish Secure Tenancy
A Scottish Short Secure Tenancy is a tenancy which lasts for a specified period of time (at least 6 months) which can be terminated as soon as it reaches its end. Certain tenants have Short Scottish Secure Tenancies because of their particular circumstances. The main differences in the conditions of this tenancy are that we can bring the tenancy to an end more easily, as a court will not question the reason for eviction.
Tenants with a Short Scottish Secure Tenancies:
- only have 'security of tenure' (the right to live in the house) for the period of the tenancy
- do not have certain statutory rights like sub-letting the home, or on death, for a member of their family to take over the tenancy
When can the Council grant a Short Scottish Secure Tenancy?
The council can grant a Short Scottish Secure Tenancy where there has been a history of anti-social conduct on the part of the tenant, or a member of their household, or where the Council is allowed to grant a temporary let eg to someone who is homeless, or to new council tenants, as on a trial basis.