Affordable Rents and Fixed Term Tenancies
- 01746 335310 - Bridgnorth
- 01691 677369 - Oswestry
Frequently asked questions - Affordable Rents and Fixed Term Tenancies:
1. What does 'Affordable Rent' mean?
Affordable rent means that the rent we charge will be up to 80% of the current market rent, including service charges. For example, if the property would cost £130.83 per week on the open market then the amount we would charge would be £104.67. So although this rent is higher than social rent it is still more affordable than renting on the open market.
2. Does Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing charge affordable rent?
Yes, All our new build properties and a proportion of our houses, as they become available for re-let, will be charged at an affordable rent. Affordable rents will not be applied to flats or supported accommodation.
3. How do I know if a property will be charged at affordable rent?
The properties will be advertised through Shropshire HomePoint, as usual. It is important to check the advert on Shropshire HomePoint when you place a bid; it will be clearly state ‘Affordable Rent’ and the ‘Total Rent.’ The type of rent will also be clearly detailed on your offer letter and in your tenancy agreement.
4. Does this affect current Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing tenants?
You will only be affected if you move to a property that is charged as an Affordable Rent.
5. Will the rent increase?
The rent may increase. The rents will be set in accordance with our Target Rent Policy and Affordable Rent Framework. Rental charges will be reviewed annually, in line with the specific terms on the individual tenancy agreement and providing at least four weeks’ written notice of any increase or decrease in the amount payable.
6. Will housing benefit still pay my rent?
If you have a low income, you may still be able to receive help paying your rent from Housing Benefit. For further information regarding housing benefit you will need to contact Shropshire Council's Housing Benefit team on 0345 678 9001.
7. What tenancy will I be on?
All first social rent and affordable rent tenancies will be let on weekly periodic introductory (probationary) tenancy which will last for 12 months. This is seen as a trial tenancy and as long as the tenancy conditions are met e.g. rent is paid, no anti-social behaviour etc the tenancy will become a flexible secure tenancy or secure at the end of the 12-month probationary period. The following will be exempted from flexible tenancies and will be offered a secure tenancy:-
- Tenants aged 55 yrs or over living in appropriate accommodation,
- Those living in specialist supported accommodation,
- Those with an unrecoverable illness, disability, severe learning disability or severe or enduring mental health problem,
Please note existing secure tenants of Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing/Shropshire Council or other local authorities, or assured tenants of registers social landlords, transferring into our homes will also have secure tenancies.
However the type of tenancy and the rent being offered and the conditions of the offer will be discussed in full at the point of offer.
8. What is a fixed term tenancy?
A tenancy that is offered for a fixed period of time rather than a tenancy that can be in place for life. Such tenancies issued by us will be for a fixed term of five years. If you are offered a property, a copy of the fixed term tenancy will be sent to you with your offer letter.
9. How do I know if a property will be on a fixed term tenancy?
The type of tenancy will be clearly shown when we advertise our properties on HomePoint, in your offer letter and in your tenancy agreement. It is important to check the Shropshire HomePoint advert at the time of bidding as it will clearly be marked ‘affordable rent fixed term tenancy’.
10. Does this affect current tenants?
No if you are on secure tenancy, you will remain as a secure tenant even if you move to another one of our properties.
11. What rights will / won’t I have on a fixed term tenancy?
If you hold a fixed term tenancy you can expect the same rights as any other tenant of ours except that you will not have:
- The right to allow anyone other than your spouse or partner to take over your tenancy if you die. In addition, if you hold a probationary tenancy you will not be able to exchange your home, as part of a Mutual Exchange.
12. What is a tenancy review?
We will work with you throughout your tenancy and towards the end of each fixed term tenancy there will be a tenancy review. The purpose of the review is to assess whether the home still meets your needs. The outcome of the tenancy review will decide whether we offer you a new five-year fixed term tenancy. For further details regarding the tenancy review, please see our Guide to Affordable Rent and Fixed Term Tenancies: Guide to Affordable Rent and Fixed Term Tenancies
13. What happens when the tenancy ends?
If your tenancy review has been successful, we will issue you with another five year fixed term tenancy or a standard secured tenancy. If your tenancy review has been unsuccessful, and we have decided not to issue you with a new fixed term tenancy we will offer advice and assistance to help you find a new home.
14. Can STAR Housing/Shropshire Council end the tenancy before the end of the fixed term?
Only if you do not comply with your obligations under the tenancy agreement, such as failing to pay your rent.
15. Can I end the tenancy before the end of the fixed term?
If you wish to end your tenancy, you may do so at any time by issuing a formal written notice. You must give us four weeks written notice that you wish to surrender your tenancy. If you have signed a joint tenancy, the surrender must be signed by both/all the tenants. We may not accept a surrender from you if any of your obligations under the terms of the tenancy have not been met, for example, if you owe us money or are in breach of another obligation under the terms of your tenancy agreement.