New Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Management Policy
Consultation has now closed
The consultation on the new Tenancy Strategy 2021-2026 and Tenancy Management Policy 2021 has now closed. Thank you for your interest. An update will be provided shortly.
To keep up-to-date on Housing related news please register your interest with our Keep Me Posted service and select Housing.
Consultation on draft Tenancy Strategy 2021-2026
The Localism Act 2011 requires that all local housing authorities must prepare and publish a strategy (“a tenancy strategy”) setting out the matters to which the registered providers of social housing (housing associations) for its district are to have regard in formulating their own policies relating to:
- the kinds of tenancies they will grant;
- the circumstances in which they will grant a tenancy of a particular kind;
- where they grant tenancies for a fixed term, the length of the term;
- the circumstances in which they grant a further tenancy when the existing one comes to an end
The draft Strategy also considers and gives guidance on the use of affordable rent as a mechanism for enabling the delivery of new social housing and the proposed use by the Council of new powers under the Localism Act to meet its statutory obligations to homeless households.
DDC last produced its Tenancy Strategy in 2011 and this now needs to be updated to reflect current attitudes at local and national level towards some of the reforms introduced by the Localism Act 2011.
Consultation on draft Tenancy Management Policy 2021
Alongside the Tenancy Strategy the Council produces a Tenancy Management Policy in which it sets out the types of tenancy it will use for its own tenants.
Like many other social housing landlords, DDC opted to use shorter term tenancies introduced by the Localism Act 2011. These flexible tenancies are usually for 5 years and intended to help the Council make the best use of affordable social housing. Since 2014 this has been the type of tenancy offered to most new Dover council tenants. In 2016 the Government introduced legislation to make it compulsory for local authorities to use fixed term tenancies although since then they have held off introducing this and have said that for now they have no plans to bring this forward.
In preparing the revised DDC Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Management Policy the Council looked at its own experience of flexible tenancies and took into account the views of other social housing providers in the district. Although there are some benefits to their use DDC also recognise that it can be unsettling for tenants to have a short tenancy and there is a risk that they won’t really feel a part of the community they are living in because they are worried they will be moving on in a few years time.
In the absence of Government guidance on mandatory use of flexible fixed term tenancies and taking into account our experience of their use and the views of other social housing providers in the Dover District the Council is considering phasing out their use for our own tenants
At the moment the vast majority of DDC tenants have tenancies that effectively have no end date and can only be brought to an end if a tenant gives us notice that they are leaving or we obtain a possession order for breach of tenancy conditions. These are often referred to as ‘secure lifetime tenancies’. There are however 616 households who have flexible fixed term tenancies and will be directly affected by any decision to stop using fixed term tenancies. The changes proposed would see these 616 households have their tenancy changed to a more secure lifetime version.
In all other respects their tenancy conditions would remain the same and their tenancy rights would improve. Whether or not you have a fixed term tenancy we are interested to hear your views on this matter and these can be given to us through feedback form here.
The decision to adopt the revised Tenancy Strategy and Tenancy Management Policy rests with the Council’s Cabinet, who approved for the draft documents to go out for public consultation at their 5 July 2021 meeting.
If the Government issues guidance in the future in relation to the implementation of mandatory Flexible Fixed Term Tenancies, the Council will revise its draft strategy to reflect the new guidance.
Who are we consulting with?
- Registered providers of social housing
- Housing applicants
- Council tenant representatives
- External agencies such as Shelter
- Other Kent local authorities
- General public
- Dover District Council Tenants