Priority neighbourhoods and flexible tenancies
We have leased various properties in the city from private owners, that were not in occupation. The properties have been leased for a 10 to 15 year period. These properties have been renovated and brought up to a lettable standard and then let out to customers on the housing list.
These tenancies are offered as a flexible tenancy.
Flexible Secure Tenancies
A flexible secure tenancy is a new tenancy type introduced by the Localism Act and is very similar to a secure lifetime tenancy but it has a fixed end date.
For the period of the flexible tenancy, you would pay your rent to the council, the council would carry out any necessary repairs to the property and you would have some of the same rights as council tenants.
At the end of the flexible tenancy period, you may have the option to remain in the property and become the tenant of the private owner (with the agreement of both parties) or the council will decide whether a tenancy or another property will be offered, in accordance with our Tenancy Policy.
Length of a Flexible tenancy
The flexible tenancies will vary in length but will be never less than two years.
If a property is to be offered on a flexible tenancy, the advert will state this and will also say how long the tenancy will be there for. The tenancy will only become a flexible secure tenancy upon the successful completion of the introductory tenancy period.
At the end of a flexible tenancy
Our tenancy policy sets out the review criteria at the end of a flexible secure tenancy. To request a copy of the Tenancy Policy please telephone 01482 300 300.
Well in advance of the end of the tenancy the council will conduct a review of the tenancy and look at how the tenancy has been maintained. Where the tenancy has been maintained well the council may consider offering an alternative council property should a suitable property be available at that time.
For Priority Neighbourhoods flexible secure tenancies it will not be possible to make an offer of another flexible secure tenant or a secure lifetime tenancy at the same property because the council does not own the property. The owner of the property may wish to offer an assured shorthold tenancy to you at the end of the lease term.
Mutual exchange and flexible tenancies
Secure lifetime council tenants and assured tenants of social housing have some legal rights to swap or exchange home with other tenants. This is usually referred to as 'mutual exchange'. A similar right also applies to flexible tenant through the process by which this takes place is slightly different.
However, because the council does not own the houses with the Scheme it would not be able to offer any tenant coming into the property anything other than a secure flexible tenancy. In additions, the council will be unable to agree and exchange into a scheme property where the council has less than three years left on its lease of that property.
Moving to another council property
Flexible secure tenants, including Priority Neighbourhoods flexible secure tenants, are permitted to transfer to other council properties in the same way as secure lifetime tenants. You would need to register a new Homesearch application and successfully bid for another property or be awarded a direct letting.
Priority neighbourhoods flexible tenancy and the right to buy
Flexible secure tenants generally do have the right to buy in the same was as a secure Priority Neighbourhoods flexible tenants will not have the right to buy the leased properties because the council does not have the the right to sell them. Priority Neighbourhoods flexible tenants will however build up right to buy years during the flexible secure tenancy period and these will count should you be re-housed into another secure council tenancy.
Responsibility for repairs
The council has leased the properties from a private owner and during the lease the council is responsible for repairs and maintenance. As a flexible secure tenant you will raise repairs in the same way as any other council tenant and they will be carried out by the council's contractor.