Fixed term tenancies

Content owner : Last updated : 09/12/16

What is the change?

The government has decided that new tenants and most current tenants moving home will no longer have the right to a lifetime tenancy. Lifetime tenancies currently being offered to council tenants will be replaced by fixed term secure tenancies. Fixed term secure tenancies will be between 2 and 10 years.

Please note: Government guidance has not yet been published and we have no indication when it will be. We will update this information as soon as we have more details.

How may it affect you?

It is expected that exemptions will apply to some households, including those with children under nine years old, who could be granted tenancies up to 10 years. Other exemptions are likely to be tenants with disabilities and those affected by domestic violence.

We will review every fixed term tenancy (FTT) at least six months before it comes to an end. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to offer a new FTT on your current home or an alternative property or we could seek possession of your home, with no new tenancy offered. We will write to you with the outcome of the review at least six months before your tenancy is due to end.

The changes are not expected to affect existing tenants who remain in their current tenancy but may affect tenants if they choose to move.

We are waiting for more details from the government, but at the moment, we know that:

  • All new tenants will have to have a fixed term tenancy
  • Most transferring tenants will have to change to a fixed term tenancy but may be able to keep their lifetime tenancy in some circumstances
  • Fixed term tenancies will generally be between two and five years, although some tenants, such as people with long term health needs or a disability, may be offered 10 year fixed term tenancies
  • Households with children may be offered tenancies of up to 19 years, depending on the ages of the children
  • We can decide if secure tenants who do a mutual exchange can keep their lifetime tenancies

We are waiting for more guidance on:

  • Which tenants will be able to keep their lifetime tenancy if they transfer
  • The full details of who will qualify for a 10 year fixed term tenancy
  • When we will have to start offering fixed term tenancies

What can you do?

  • Keep up to date with any publications
  • Check if you are affected by the changes

Who else can help?

  • The Council's Housing page can help if you need to find alternative housing.

  • Council Housing on the GOV.UK website includes useful information about different types of tenancy

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