Revised Tenancy and Rent Strategy and Tenancy Policy

Closes 18 Mar 2019

Opened 4 Feb 2019

Overview

Wandsworth Council is required by legislation to develop and publish clear and accessible policies including a Tenancy and Rent Strategy and Tenancy Policy which the Council has had in place since 2012 and 2013 respectively. These documents set out:

  1. the kinds of tenancies we will grant;
  2. the circumstances in which we will grant a tenancy of a particular kind (e.g. 'secure' or Flexible Fixed Term Tenancies);
  3. the lengths of the terms we grant;
  4. whether we will grant a further tenancy when an existing tenancy is coming to an end.

Privately registered social housing providers with rented stock in the borough will need to take account of this revised draft strategy when developing their own individual policies once it has been adopted.

We are now inviting feedback on the revised 
Draft 2019 Tenancy and Rent Strategy and the Draft 2019 Tenancy Policy.

The most significant points in the revised documents are summarised as follows:

Type and length of tenancies granted

  • Other than in exceptional circumstances, the Council will offer initial ten-year flexible fixed term (FFT) tenancies to all applicants (other than those who were already social housing tenants as at 1st April 2012 and have remained social housing tenants since that date).
  • This kind of tenancy will continue to be preceded by a 12-month introductory tenancy.
  • Subsequent FFT tenancies continue to be offered for five-year periods.
  • In exceptional circumstances, an initial FFT tenancy of less than ten years or a FFT offered at review stage of less than five years may be offered. Exceptional circumstances include when a tenant has not managed a previous tenancy well, has a history of anti-social behaviour or non-payment of rent or when the property is due to be decanted for regeneration purposes


Fixed term tenancy renewal

In making the decision on whether to renew a fixed term tenancy and if so, what length and at which property, the revised Tenancy and Rent Strategy and Tenancy Policy set out what the Council must consider and what the Council expects registered providers to consider:

  • Household profile – in cases of under occupation, the Council or registered providers may offer accommodation to the tenant appropriate to the household’s size.
  • Household income and financial circumstances – if the household’s income or savings would allow the tenant(s) to purchase a shared ownership property/ explore other ownership opportunities on the open market, the Council or registered providers could work with the tenant(s) to explore these housing options. 
  • Behaviour of the tenants and their household members during the tenancy – if the tenant has a history of anti-social behaviour or non-payment of rent, the Council or registered providers may choose to shorten the FFT tenancy offered upon review or not offer a new tenancy.
  • Immigration status – the Council must confirm that a tenant is eligible for social housing and does not lack the required immigration status before granting a further tenancy.
     

What has changed

The most significant change proposed in the revised Tenancy and Rent Strategy and Tenancy Policy is to extend the length of the initial FFT tenancies offered by the Council from five to ten years.

For information on other changes to the Tenancy and Rent Strategy and the Tenancy Policy and a summary of an analysis carried out on FFT reviews conducted by the Council so far, please see the Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Report attached to at the bottom of the page.


Equality Impact Needs Assessment

An Equality Impact Needs Assessment (EINA) was undertaken on 26th November 2018 and the 
full document is attached at the bottom of the page.

The EINA highlights the overall positive impact the proposed changes will have for prospective Wandsworth Council tenants, specifically more security of tenure as a result of the initial FFT tenancy length being extended from five to ten years.

The EINA also highlights a potential negative impact the new policy will have on FFT tenants whose immigration status has changed, meaning they are no longer eligible for social housing. The new policy has introduced an assessment of eligibility at the FFT tenancy review stage.


Next steps

Following a review of all consultation responses and any amendments that may be necessary, the Council aims to finalise and adopt both documents in Spring 2019.


Have your say

We are keen to hear the views of everyone who would like to comment on the revised Tenancy and Rent Strategy and Tenancy Policy, including those from groups and organisations working with residents and registered providers developing their own Tenancy Policies and Strategies who work with the Council.

Please read the supporting documents attached at the bottom of the page before giving us your views. You can complete the online survey by clicking on the link below.

If you would like a paper copy of any of the documents including the questionnaire, please contact us at consult@wandsworth.gov.uk

Please be advised that the consultation closes on 18th March 2019.

Give Us Your Views

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Open to all

Interests

  • Wandsworth Borough