Flexible tenancies - frequently asked questions

What is a Tenancy Policy?

As part of a wide package of social housing reforms, the Government has introduced the requirement for all social landlords to publish a tenancy policy. The Selby District Council Tenancy Policy sets out how we intend to introduce fixed term tenancies for new Council tenants in the future.

A copy of our Tenancy Policy can be found here:- http://www.selby.gov.uk/housing-policies

What is the purpose of the Tenancy Policy?

The policy is intended to assist residents who most need our support, and recognises that the supply of housing at a low rent for life is a limited resource. We aim to balance the needs of all of our residents against this scarce resource.

Why are Selby District Council operating flexible tenancies?

The Localism Act 2011 allows social landlords to operate flexible tenancies. The council does not have enough properties to satisfy the demand and recognises that, whilst people may at some stage of their life need social housing (because for example they have become homeless), this may only be a short term need. In the longer term, many new tenants may not need the assistance of a lifetime tenancy at a low rent, and at some point in the future may be able to consider other housing options such as shared ownership, shared equity or renting privately.

What is an introductory tenancy?

This is a 1 year tenancy issued to new tenants for the first year of their tenancy. It can in exceptional circumstances, be extended for a further 6 months. If a tenant has an introductory tenancy they will have reduced rights.

What is a flexible tenancy?

A flexible tenancy will initially be granted for a fixed period of 5 years and can be renewed (for a further 5 or 2 years). Flexible tenancies will follow after the new tenant has successfully served their introductory tenancy period.

What is a secure or lifetime tenancy?

This is a tenancy that is not for a fixed period but rolls on from week to week. A secure tenancy lasts until the tenant serves a notice on us telling us that they no longer need the tenancy or by an order from the Courts.

Most existing Selby District Council  tenants are secure tenants. Selby District Council tenants moving from one Selby District Council tenancy to another will retain their secure tenancy.

What rights do tenants that hold a flexible tenancy have?

They will have similar rights to those tenants with secure tenancies. These rights include:

  • Right to Statutory Succession
  • Right to Exchange
  • Right to Repair
  • Right to take in lodgers
  • Right to be consulted
  • Right to Buy

Who will be granted a flexible tenancy?

All new tenants from 1st April 2015 moving into Selby District Council properties will be offered a 5 year flexible tenancy unless they meet the criteria for a lifetime (secure) tenancy.

How long will my flexible tenancy last?

Flexible tenancies will initially last a period of 5 years. If you are offered another flexible tenancy after this, it is likely to be for another 5 years but could be 2 years depending on your circumstances.

Do I have to move out at the end of my flexible tenancy?

Your flexible tenancy will be reviewed between 6 and 9 months before it is due to end. You will only be required to move if at least 6 months before it is due to end you have been served with a notice of non-renewal and at least 2 months before the fixed term is due to end a notice seeking possession advising you that Selby District Council intends to seek possession of your home.

What does a review of my flexible tenancy involve?

Your Community Officer will conduct a review between 6-9 months of your fixed term ending. This will consider a number of things including:-

  • How many people live at the property
  • The age and personal circumstances of each
    household member that live in your home
  • The size and type of property you live in
  • Whether your property is overcrowded or you
    are under-occupying your home
  • Whether you or any member of your household need any of the adaptations for people with disabilities that your home might have.
  • Any other relevant facts resulting in a change of circumstances.

What will happen if I am granted a further tenancy?

If you are granted a further tenancy this may be another flexible tenancy or could be a secure tenancy. In most situations this would for your existing home.

What can I do if I am not offered another tenancy by Selby District Council?

If you are not going to be granted another tenancy by Selby District Council you will be notified of the decision in writing. You have the right to request a review of that decision. Following the review you will be notified of the decision in writing and be given clear reasons for the
decision. If the original decision is confirmed, you will be given advice about your future housing options.

If you have been unsuccessful in finding alternative accommodation you will be served with a notice 2 months before the end of your flexible tenancy advising that we intend to seek possession of your home. If the matter goes to Court then an order requiring you to leave will be made as long as we have followed the correct procedure.