Posted on: March 2nd 2021   •    Posted in: General News, Tenants

A lifetime tenancy – a home for life!

We know this year has been a difficult one for everyone and we want to make life a little easier going forward by converting all our fixed-term tenancies to assured ‘lifetime’ tenancies.

What we are actually doing

We will be issuing you a notice which will change the assured shorthold fixed-term tenancy to an assured fixed-term tenancy (no shorthold) or lifetime tenancy.  The fixed-term is still there, but at the end of the fixed term, the assured tenancy will remain and you will enjoy the security of the tenure it provides.

The tenancies we currently manage

Starter tenancies – we issue these to new applicants for housing for the first 12 months.  A starter tenancy has lesser security which allows us to tackle any problems like anti-social behaviour quickly.  At the end of the starter tenancy, provided everything has gone smoothly we grant another tenancy of the property with greater security. Currently, we issue a fixed-term tenancy after 12 months.

Fixed-term tenancy – a fixed-term tenancy would usually last for either 2 or 5 years, and once this expired, we’d normally look at your housing needs and consider whether to grant you with a further fixed term agreement or consider whether more appropriate housing is suitable.

Assured ‘lifetime’ tenancies – an assured tenancy is referred to as a ‘lifetime’ tenancy because it has no defined end date, it will run indefinitely until either the landlord or tenant takes action to end it.  We only end tenancies where we have to, but for your peace of mind, an assured tenancy can only be ended by Havebury if one of the ‘grounds for possession’ listed in schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 is met.

What will change?

We are making changes now, which will mean eventually everyone will have the same type of tenancy: an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy.

From April 2021:

From April onwards we will only issue assured tenancies and starter tenancies that convert to assured tenancies after 12 months.

  • For all existing fixed-term tenants – we will be serving notices on you which will have the effect of changing the status and security of your tenancy.  At the end of your fixed term period, you will remain on your existing tenancy and it will be an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy
  • Starter tenants will be granted an assured lifetime agreement after successfully managing their tenancy for 12 months

What are the next steps?

We will be contacting all fixed-term tenants over the coming months to confirm their updated terms.

We want to make this process as easy for you as we can. Usually, we would ask you to sign a brand-new agreement however, we will serve you with a Legal Notice which will essentially have the same effect.


We know you will probably have questions, so we have put together some useful FAQs below.

  1. Will I have to sign a new tenancy agreement? 

We’d normally have to ask you to sign a brand new agreement however, instead of doing this we’ve decided to look at an alternative process and we’ll serve you with a Legal Notice that’ll convert your fixed term assured shorthold tenancy immediately into a fixed term fully assured agreement.

  1. Are there any legal implications to changing my tenancy? 

Your current short-term tenancy allows us to end your tenancy using Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, also known as the “No Fault Eviction”.  So if you were ever in breach of your tenancy agreement, the change to a lifetime tenancy would remove our right to a mandatory order using Section 21 and would require us to serve you with notice of any intended possession proceedings, and prove to a court in most instances that it was reasonable in all the circumstances to evict you.

  1. Is there any chance I still could be asked to move? 

The effect of this Legal Notice would also mean that there’d be no need for us to review and make decisions on your housing needs. This means you wouldn’t be asked to move to a new property if your housing needs change, which would’ve been the case at the end of your fixed term.

  1. Has any of the terms and conditions of my tenancy agreement changed?

Some things such as the terms and conditions of your Tenancy Agreement will remain unchanged and will still applicable and enforceable by both sides.  For example; any existing court orders or proceedings would remain valid and live. Once the fixed term expires those terms and conditions would again remain in place and be applicable between both of us, with no new agreement being necessary between you and ourselves.

  1. When will these changes take place? 

We are looking to have all tenancies converted by 1st April 2021.

  1. Can I terminate my tenancy if I want to? 

Yes, during the fixed term period all tenants named on the agreement and Havebury need to agree to end the tenancy.  After the fixed term has expired you can end the tenancy at any time by giving four weeks notice.

  1. If I wanted to could I still apply for a mutual exchange and will I keep my ‘lifetime’ tenancy status?

Yes, you can still apply to mutually exchange.

If you exchange with another Havebury tenant, you will both benefit from a lifetime tenancy.

If you exchange with a tenant from another Housing Association, you will take over the terms of their tenancy. Please note: not all Housing Associations are converting their tenancies to ‘lifetime tenancies’ so please check this before starting your mutual exchange paperwork.

Want to find out more about your tenancy? You can view the tenant’s handbook here.

If you have any further questions, please complete the form below.


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