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secure tenancy

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A residential tenancy in which the tenant has statutory protection if he occupies the rented property as his home. It applies only if there is a certain kind of landlord, such as a local authority, the Housing Corporation, or a housing action trust. Certain tenants are excluded from protection; these include students, the occupants of almshouses, licensed premises, and accommodation for the homeless, and those renting accommodation on long leases or who have a service tenancy.

If a secure tenancy is for a fixed term, the tenancy continues at the end of the term as a periodic tenancy. A landlord can only terminate a secure tenancy by serving a notice on the tenant in a special statutory form and can only obtain possession with the tenant's consent or, if this is refused, by a court order. An order is granted only if the landlord has statutory grounds similar to those required in the case of an assured tenancy. When the holder of a secure tenancy dies, his spouse or a member of his family who has lived with him for the past 12 months can succeed him as tenant. Under certain conditions, secure tenants have a right to buy their rented property, at a discount on the market value of the property, and with their landlord supplying a mortgage. The Housing Act 2004 gives landlords the right to suspend completion of a right-to-buy sale where some types of court action relating to antisocial behaviour are pending. The Housing Act 1988 contains provisions for the transfer of public-sector housing to the private sector and to housing action trusts. See also introductory tenancy.

Subjects: Law

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