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Moving to a housing association home

Housing associations are social landlords owning and managing homes much like the council. Housing associations are also called registered providers (RPs) of social housing and are now the main providers of new social housing in the UK. They are non-profit organisations. Any money is put back into the associations to manage and maintain existing homes and to help build new ones.

You can only get a housing association property after you have been accepted for housing by the local authority and allowed to bid, or nominated to a housing association. Renting from a housing association is a cheaper option than renting an equivalent standard of accommodation in the private sector. If you’re on a low income you may qualify for housing benefit which will pay your rent in part, or in full.

We work closely with housing associations to develop and maintain affordable social housing in Enfield. There are a number of housing associations that have properties for sale, or rent in the borough. You can only buy shared ownership housing association properties if you have been a tenant, although you’re not restricted to buying your tenanted property.

Types of tenancies

If you rent a home from a housing association you will need to sign a tenancy agreement and comply with their terms and conditions. Your tenancy agreement tells you all the rules about living in your property and also sets out the landlord’s responsibilities. Your rights and responsibilities depend on the type of tenancy.

Starter tenancies

These are trial periods that usually last 12 months. You become an assured or fixed-term tenant after this, unless your housing association has:

  • started action to evict you e.g. for non-payment of rent or antisocial behaviour
  • extended your starter tenancy

Assured or fixed-term tenancies

These are offered at the end of your starter tenancy. An assured tenancy means you can normally live in your property for the rest of your life. A fixed-term tenancy usually lasts for at least five years (your landlord will decide whether it can be renewed). Your rights include:

  • the right to buy your home (some tenants can buy their homes under the 'Right to Acquire' if the property was built after 31st March 1997 and the housing association is the freeholder)
  • having your home repaired
  • swapping your home with another council, or housing association tenant

For more information, view the difference between tenancies (PDF) or FAQs about housing association homes (PDF).

You can end your tenancy if:

  • you give the housing association four weeks' notice in writing
  • the housing association evicts you for a breach of tenancy
  • the housing association needs to move you (e.g. to redevelop your property). In this case, they should offer you an alternative property