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The UK’s second largest housing association to only offer lifetime tenancies to their resident

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 3 years ago

London’s largest housing association London and Quadrant (L&Q) Housing Trust has announced that after conducting extensive research and consultation with its residents they have decided to scrap Fixed Term Tenancies (FTTs) for all of their tenants.
The association currently houses approximately 250,000 people in more than 92,000 homes mainly throughout London and the South East, with around 41,000 homes having assured tenancies, while 8,500 have been issued with FTTs since 2011.
L&Q say that it will now move 8,500 residents with FTTs onto open-ended assured tenancies and will only offer this option in future affording their tenants security of tenure, with no agreed end date, after they concluded that FTTs cause anxiety about the tenancy renewal process and “were not achieving their desired policy outcomes”.
It also went as far to say said that FTTs had failed because they introduced “arbitrary” renewal dates that did not take into consideration individual circumstances of tenants and significantly “act as a barrier” to mobility and that the biggest problem to meeting housing need, including downsizing, is the lack of available suitable homes.
The news comes after the government’s announcement last month that they would be giving up on their proposed policy to scrap lifetime tenancies entirely and create rolling fixed-term tenancies.
David Montague, chief executive at L&Q, said: “We found [fixed-term tenancies] to be a crude tool that have not fixed the problems they were created to address. What’s more, the renewal process causes unnecessary worry for residents.”
“We share the government’s determination to tackle social stigma. Ending fixed-term tenancies, introducing a new home standard, linking rents to local incomes and a £250m long-term investment in communities to build skills and opportunities are all designed to ensure that everyone has a safe, secure, quality home they can afford.”
Fayann Simpson, a board member and chair of the resident services group at L&Q, said: “I’m delighted that L&Q has made these changes following extensive consultation with residents. It will help thousands of residents to feel more secure about their home and their future.”
So, what are the differences between an open-ended assured tenancy and FTTs?
FTTs were introduced and encouraged by the government back in 2011 for those living in housing associations as an alternative to open-ended assured tenancies.
Open-ended assured tenancies are effectively for life as the contract guarantees the tenant the right to live in the property without an end date.
However, FTTs are more limited and offer housing association tenants a fixed contract, typically five years, on their tenancy and once the tenancy period ends the landlord will decide whether it wants to renew the contract.
Currently, those who become tenants of housing association properties are typically offered a 12-month trial contract to begin with and then become an ‘assured’ or ‘fixed-term’ tenant once passing the 12-month trial period.