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A flexible tenancy will be offered for a fixed period of time rather than a tenancy that can be in place for life, so new customers may be offered a property for a term of five years, after a one year introductory tenancy. A notice of the fixed term tenancy duration will be sent to customers with their offer letter.
All existing tenants who have a secure or introductory tenancy will not be affected, and if you transfer to or from another social rented property, you will retain existing tenancy conditions.
Secure tenancies will still be offered to some customers, e.g. those aged 60 years or over, or those entering into supported housing.
What is a flexible tenancy?
This is a fixed term form of secure tenancy that is limited to five years (following the 12- month introductory tenancy), instead of being available for however long the tenant wants it. We will review flexible tenancies at least twelve months before the end of the fixed term.
What is an introductory tenancy?
If you are a new tenant you will be given an introductory tenancy for the first year. All new tenants are given a 12-month introductory tenancy. As long as rent is paid and tenancy conditions are observed, the tenancy becomes a flexible tenancy or secure tenancy.
What is a secure ‘lifelong’tenancy?
This tenancy lasts as long as the tenant wants it. The tenant can continue to live there as long as they pay their rent and observe the tenancy conditions. Sometimes secure tenants are required to move to another secure tenancy to allow regeneration of housing estates. Housing association tenants with the same type of tenancy have what is called an ‘assured tenancy’.
Why are you operating flexible tenancies?
There is a very limited supply of council housing and strong demand for it. Flexible tenancies mean that Shropshire Council owned homes will become available more regularly as people move into alternative accommodation. This will help us ensure that council homes are available for people in the greatest housing need.
What rights do flexible tenants have?
Flexible tenants will have broadly the same rights as lifelong secure tenants, such as:
- Right to exchange
- Right to take in lodgers and so sub-let part of the property
- Right to repair
- Right to be consulted
- Right to buy
- Right to statutory succession
- Right to assignment
What rights do ‘lifelong’ secure tenants have?
Secure tenants have the same rights as flexible tenants but there is no time limit on the length of the tenancy.
Who is given a secure tenancy?
The following tenants will normally be given a secure tenancy following their 12-month introductory period:
- tenants aged 60 or over, who are living in appropriate accommodation (ie not under occupying)
- those who are living in specialist supported accommodation ie sheltered, supported or extra care homes
- those with an unrecoverable illness, disability, severe learning disability or severe and enduring mental health problems, which means that their circumstances are unlikely to change during the length of the tenancy
I am an existing secure or assured tenant. What happens to my tenancy?
The rights of existing secure tenants are protected in law. You will not be affected by the introduction of flexible tenancies. If you move to another council property, you will remain as a secure tenant and will not have a 12-month introductory tenancy.
Who is given a flexible tenancy?
New tenants who do not meet the criteria set out for ‘lifelong’ secure tenancies will be given a flexible tenancy following their 12-month introductory tenancy.
Who will decide what kind of tenancy I will be offered?
The member of staff responsible for deciding whether you will be offered a new home will also decide what type of tenancy you will be entitled to depending on any individual circumstances, and the property type.
What if I do not agree with that decision?
There is a right of review of the decision. This will be explained in your offer letter.
How will you review flexible tenancies?
We will carry out a review of the housing needs of flexible tenants no less than twelve months before that tenancy is due to come to an end. The review will consider, for example, whether the rent is being paid, the continuing needs of tenants (such as whether the home has more bedrooms than needed), or any assets that might have been gained.
What are the possible outcomes of a tenancy review?
There are a number of possible outcomes of the review:
- You may be given a new flexible tenancy and stay in your current home.
- You may be given a new flexible tenancy and move to a different home (for example, you may need fewer bedrooms).
- You may be given a ‘lifelong’ secure tenancy and stay in your current home (for example, if tenants become terminally ill).
- You may be given a ‘lifelong’ secure tenancy and move to a different home.
- You may be given notice that your flexible tenancy is being terminated.
What will happen if it is decided that I no longer require a flexible tenancy?
You will be given at least six months’ notice of the intention to terminate your flexible tenancy, and legal notice at 2 months.
We will offer you support to explore other housing options, such as moving to another Shropshire Council property, renting privately or buying a property. If you refuse to move when the notice period expires, the council will start eviction proceedings.
Can I appeal a decision to terminate a flexible tenancy?
Yes. There is a review process. This can be found in the Tenancy Policy.