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Your tenancy

Our agreement with you and the different tenancies we offer.

Your tenancy

A tenancy is a written legal agreement between you and your landlord, in this case, with you and Spitalfields Housing Association. In the UK, not all tenancies are the same. Conditions of a tenancy can vary depending on a variety of reasons eg. your circumstances at the time of agreeing to a tenancy, the condition of your home and the shared communal spaces where you live.

We have recently updated our SHA Tenants Handbook, where you can find more details about your tenancy.

This section should be read alongside your tenancy agreement. It is an important document. It is a contract between SHA as your landlord and yourself as a tenant or joint tenant.

View tenant’s handbook

Tenancy types

Joint tenant

A joint tenancy means that all named tenants are equally responsible for the property and share the rights and responsibilities.

Assured tenancy

With a few limited exceptions, your tenancy with SHA will be an Assured Tenancy. It gives you the right to live in your home for as long as you require it and as long as you keep to the terms and conditions of your agreement.

The tenancy can only be ended if one or more of the conditions shown in the Tenancy Agreement are broken or if you no longer live in the property as your only or principal home.

Starter tenancy

What is a Starter Tenancy?

A starter tenancy (or probationary tenancy) is a type of tenancy which SHA gives our tenants who are new to having their own home with a social landlord.

It means that for a period of 12 months from the start of your tenancy, SHA will check that you are keeping to the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as being a good neighbour and paying your rent. During this period you do not have some rights that are available to “full” assured tenants and it is easier for SHA to take action to end your tenancy if you are not keeping to the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Why does Spitalfields Housing use starter tenancies?

They can be useful in identifying which households need support, especially when starting as new tenants. They also make it easier for SHA to take action against tenants who do not keep to the terms of their tenancy agreement, for example by causing anti- social behaviour or nuisance to neighbours.

What happens next?

During the first 12 months of your tenancy you will be asked to meet with your housing officer. At the end of the 12 months the Housing Officer will make a recommendation regarding your tenancy. This recommendation can be to move to an assured tenancy if all is well, to extend the starter tenancy for up to 6 months or to terminate the tenancy if there have been persistent unresolved issues/failure to keep to the terms of your tenancy agreement. If termination were recommended, you would have the right to appeal.

Tenancy rules

Passing on your tenancy

There are two ways of passing on your tenancy.


This means transferring your tenancy to someone else. This can be done only in the following circumstances:

  • if the court has decided that a tenancy has to go from one spouse to another as part of divorce proceedings
  • if you wish to carry out a valid mutual exchange
  • for further details contact your housing officer


If a tenant dies and there has not already been a succession then a member of the tenant’s family (usually a spouse or partner) living in the property may qualify to take over the tenancy.

There are a number of conditions to be met so please discuss any such situation with your housing officer.


If you sublet or transfer your tenancy illegally, we will take immediate legal action to repossess your home and evict any people living there. Under the conditions of your tenancy agreement, you are not allowed to sublet the whole of your home. You may sublet part of your home with written permission from SHA. Contact us today to discuss this option in advance of any plans.


You can take in a lodger as long you notify us in writing with the full details of your proposed lodger.

Planning on terminating your tenancy?

Before you leave your home, you must tell us in writing at least four weeks before you go. Check out our moving out guide for more information.