The Government have introduced a Bill in the House of Lords
which could pave the way for Regulations to bring in fixed term
tenancies under the Housing & Planning Act 2016
The Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse)
Bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 19 December 2017
and received its Second Reading in the upper House on 9 January
2018 and is due to be considered at Committee Stage in the Lords on
This short Bill would amend changes to the law on secure
tenancies for social housing tenants introduced under Part 4 of the
Housing & Planning Act 2016 (but not implemented as
The Housing & Planning Act 2016 and Schedule 7 of the Act
introduced the requirement for local authorities to grant mandatory
fixed term tenancies for all new tenancies and the phasing out of
life-time secure tenancies and Schedule 7 of the Housing and
Planning Act 2016, once in force, will require that new secure
tenancies may only be offered for a fixed term period lasting
between two and ten years, with some exceptions. This Bill will
impose a duty on local authorities to grant an "old-style" secure
tenancy to victims of domestic abuse.
During scrutiny of the Housing and Planning Act in its passage
through the House of Lords, concerns were raised that existing
secure tenants fleeing domestic violence might lose their life-time
tenancy when they were rehoused. The Secure Tenancies (Victims of
Domestic Abuse) Bill seeks to prevent this by making it a
requirement that social housing tenants in England who currently
have a life-time tenancy and are fleeing domestic violence be
granted a similar life-time tenancy in their new home.
Given the strong opposition in the Lords at the time to the
passage of Part 4 of the Housing & Planning Act and Schedule 7
of the Act, the introduction of this Bill by the Government
underscores the intention of the government to press ahead with the
phasing out of life-time secure tenancies and the introduction of
mandatory fixed term tenancies.
The passage of this Bill, assuming this gets through, will
undoubtedly reduce opposition to and pave the way for the
introduction of the necessary Regulations under Schedule 7 of the
Housing & Planning Act 2016 to introduce mandatory fixed term
tenancies. We have spoken to officials at the Ministry of Housing,
Communities and Local Government who say that they can't be
definitive about timing of the regulations under Schedule 7.
We will keep members advised as the Bill progresses.