Council plans to end ‘lifetime’ tenancies
Crawley Borough Council is to consider conducting renewals of the tenancies of Crawley Homes tenants every five years.
The proposal – which would not affect current tenants – would see an end to the traditional ‘lifetime’ tenancies as the council attempts to ease the pressure on its housing stock.
The proposed changes have come about because of the greater flexibility given to providers of social housing by the Localism Act 2011.
The Act requires local authorities to publish a tenancy strategy by the new year giving guidance to providers of social housing in the area on how they should approach these new flexibilities.
Crawley’s proposals – which will be considered by a meeting of the full council on Wednesday October 24 – include checks on tenants’ ability to pay their rent, whether the property is still suitable for a tenant’s needs, the number of people occupying a property and whether any breaches of the tenancy agreement have taken place.
Speaking at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on Wednesday (October 10), Cllr Richard Burrett (Con, Pound Hill North), portfolio holder for housing, said: “The vast majority would be renewed but in some circumstances they may not, such as if the home was under-occupied or had a disabled adaptation that the tenant no longer required or they could enter the private market. Then they would be given advice and assistance.
“If a tenant was guilty of serious anti-social behaviour or rent arrears, it would be within a landlord’s right not to renew the tenancy. It would mean we would not have to go through the bother of proof in court.”
Cllr Burrett added that no tenancy would be ended if that left the council with a duty to re-house those involved.
The suggestions were welcomed by Cabinet members but have been opposed by Labour councillors.
Cllr Colin Lloyd (Lab, Tilgate) said: “The Tory Cabinet’s cold, analytical approach to housing completely fails to understand how frightened many tenants will be feeling about their future in their homes.
“Crawley Tories’ top priority seems to be enforcing harsh Government housing policy as efficiently as possible.”
The full council meeting will be held at the town hall at 7.30pm.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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