Cabinet considered proposal for the adoption of the Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Management Strategy. Adoption of this strategy would fulfil the requirements of the Localism Act 2011. The Council was required to develop and publish a Tenancy Strategy setting out the Council’s preferred position on the type of tenancies granted by registered providers of social housing in the district. The strategy was advisory and used by social landlords as guidance.
The act also required the Council, as a social housing landlord itself, to produce a Management Policy which set out how Thanet District Council will operationally grant and manage tenancies. The Tenancy Strategy and Management Policy, last published by Thanet District Council in 2018, needed updating.
The Tenancy Strategy set out the council’s position on the use of fixed term tenancies, affordable and social rents, mutual exchanges, succession rights and arrangements for dealing with tenancy fraud. In most respects the strategy recommended remained the same as that taken in 2018. One significant difference related to the use of fixed term tenancies. In light of national and local changes in attitude to their use, the cabinet report recommended that they should not be used as a preferred tenancy type.
One of the original objectives of fixed term tenancies was to enable social housing providers to make the best use of the social housing stock, and not renew tenancies when households no longer had a need for that home. In reality however this had not led to an increased turn-over of tenants, and social landlords had not used the legislation to end tenancies in this way.
Experiences from across social housing providers, including TDC, had identified a number of problems with the use of fixed term tenancies. These included:
· Tenants feeling concerned and anxious about their futures based on their tenure type;
· Lack of investment by families in their home and community because they feel they will have to move on;
· Little impact in terms of stock turnover and vacancies;
· Potential conflict with the Government priority to give tenants a stronger voice;
· Significant administrative costs involved with the scheme particularly where the majority of tenancies are set to continue.
Council had consulted with the tenants about the proposed new strategy. A small number of tenants contacted the council as a result of the consultation and expressed support for the proposal to end the use of fixed term tenancies.
Councillor Whitehead spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1.
Councillor Jill Bayford proposed, Councillor Bob Bayford seconded and Cabinet agreed the following recommendations:
1. The contents of the draft Tenancy Strategy;
2. The contents of the draft Tenancy Management Policy.
Report to follow.
Bob Porter led the discussion and made the following comments:
Members asked questions and made comments as follows:
Bob Porter responded as follows:
Members noted the report.