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ARCH annual report


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Review of lifetime tenancies 26/11/2015

We previously advised our members that the government intend to introduce proposals to end the granting of lifetime tenancies in the Housing and Planning Bill.


The Chancellor announced in the summer Budget that the government will conduct a review of lifetime tenancies. The Budget set out a commitment that "The government will review the use of lifetime tenancies in social housing to limit their use and ensure households are offered tenancies that match their needs and ensure the best use is made of social housing" (Summer Budget para 1.155) 


We can now advise that the intention is to require councils to issue fixed-term tenancies of between two and five years to all new tenants.


It is understood that this will apply to all types of accommodation and there are no general exceptions envisaged. However, for existing tenants with secure lifetime tenancies who choose to move, councils would have a limited discretion to continue to give lifetime tenancies, for example where tenants are transferring because of under-occupation, moving for work or freeing up particularly sought after accommodation (e.g. adapted accommodation).


The government is also likely to propose changes around succession of tenancy - no change for succession of tenancy to spouses or partners, but restricting additional succession rights to a fixed-term tenancy. 


We understand these proposals have yet to be approved by Ministers. If they are approved we understand these changes will be introduced by amendment into the Housing and Planning Bill.


We'll keep our members informed.

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