In order to communicate effectively our position when offering new tenancies to housing applicants, this policy confirms the:-
The main aims of a robust Tenancy Policy are twofold.
This will contribute to the following corporate goals:
The policy will cover all general needs, sheltered and extra care tenants of Adactus Housing Group where new tenancies have been created.
The Tenancy Policy is required to ensure the organisation and its customers understand the types of tenancies offered, the circumstances that determines the type offered and that this is clearly communicated to all. Additionally, the Tenancy Policy will include newly introduced arrangements such as Affordable Rent Tenancies (Assured Tenancy let as Affordable Rent) and will suitably capture the organisation's position in terms of offering lifetime or fixed term tenancies.
We will provide new tenants with a written agreement (a Tenancy Agreement) that sets out their rights and responsibilities and our rights and obligations. This will be fully explained at the lettings interview. The overwhelming majority of our tenants have a 'tenancy agreement', with a few residents in supported housing having a 'licence agreement'.
We will grant new tenants the most appropriate form of tenure when letting our property. The new tenancy may be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (starter tenancy), an Assured Tenancy, an Assured Tenancy let at Affordable Rent or a Secure Tenancy.
We will grant Assured Shorthold Tenancies (starter tenancies) to most of our new tenants in general needs and sheltered housing, in accordance with our Starter Tenancy Policy. Assured Shorthold Tenancies will run initially for twelve months. Should there be no breach within the first twelve months of this tenancy, this will automatically convert into an Assured Tenancy.
We will grant Assured Tenancies (or Secure Tenancies) to new tenants where they already have security of tenure, i.e. they already have an Assured or Secure Tenancy. These could be applicants who are transferring from within the association, have completed a mutual exchange / transfer from another registered provider or have preserved Secure Tenancies.
We will grant Assured Tenancies let at Affordable Rent for all our new build homes and a small number of general relets. These tenancies are let at a rent rate which is 80% of the market rent in that locality and will be in accordance with our Affordable Rents Policy. These tenancies will be clearly marketed as such.
For both Assured / Secure Tenancies and Assured Tenancies let at Affordable Rent, these will be offered as Periodic Tenancies (also known as lifetime tenancies). Should there be no contractual breach either side, the tenancy will continue.
A small number of other new tenancies will be offered as part of a licence agreement, such as to supported housing scheme residents.
Contact Centre staff and Lettings staff will be responsible for the management of in-bound queries from prospective new tenants. Good communication with prospective new tenants will ensure that they are aware of the conditions of the new tenancy being offered, and that all parties understand the terms of the tenancy.
All new tenants will receive clear guidance on the type of tenancies offered by the organisation.
This policy has an overall positive equality impact. It is likely to have a positive impact on the well-being and prosperity of the new tenants and existing tenants who want to stay in their home.
The Assistant Director, Tenant Maintenance Services will have overall responsibility for ensuring the implementation of the policy, procedure and performance management.
As this is a new policy, the Assistant Director, Tenant Maintenance Services will ensure that an interim evaluation of the policy is completed by February 2012. This will include a review of customer and staff feedback in order to assess whether service standards and policy aims are being met.