Councillors set to debate tenancy policy

Cllr Bob Lanzer
Cllr Bob Lanzer

Crawley Borough Council’s proposed new tenancy policy will be debated at a meeting of the full council after concerns were raised by the town’s Labour group.

The policy was called-in at a meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday (January 16) by Cllr Michael Jones (Bewbush), with the support of Cllr Stephen Joyce (Langley Green), Cllr Chris Mullins (Gossops Green) and Labour Group Leader Cllr Peter Lamb (Northgate).

The proposed new rules would mean an end to lifetime tenancies for new tenants and the introduction of reassessments every few years.

They would also lay out guidelines for dealing with anti-social tenants and those who could afford to rent from the private sector.

The Labour councillors claimed the changes would leave new tenants with “an uncertain future” as well as adding to the council’s administrative costs.

Cllr Joyce said: “The Cabinet member for Housing has repeatedly said that only a tiny minority of tenants would ever be refused an extension of their tenancy when the fixed term came to an end.

“Of the examples he gave, there are already rules in place to deal with evicting tenants who are causing serious anti-social behaviour, and his other example seemed to be if the tenants won the lottery, when I think they would probably make their own arrangements anyway. So why inflict this further uncertainty?”

Council leader Cllr Bob Lanzer (Con, Pound Hill South and Worth) said: “I would say we’ve made major improvements in addressing anti-social beahviour issues. We had a system thinking review and we combined a lot of efforts under one department. That being said, it remains a significant concern within Crawley and we need to be seen to do all we can to address it.

“The tenancy policy would enable a renewable tenancy not to be renewed and I believe that would get public support.”

It is hoped that the tenancy policy will be discussed at the full council at the town hall on February 27 at 7.30pm.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.