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Decision details

Introductory Tenancies

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Decision:

11.1

The Report sought approval to elect to operate an Introductory Tenancies regime for all new council tenants. The Report outlined the statutory framework under which the council may choose to operate Introductory Tenancies, and the rationale for taking that course of action.

11.2

RESOLVED: That the Housing Policy Committee:-

 

1.     To approve the adoption and operation of an Introductory Tenancies regime (ITR), the key consequence of which would be that all new council tenants would be on a non-secure tenancy for the initial probationary period (12 to 18 months). The aim will be to implement this change on or after 01/04/2023.

11.3

Reasons for Decision

11.3.1

The recommendation of the paper is to adopt an Introductory Tenancies regime. It is vital that SCC take every action to effectively manage the increasingly scarce supply of social housing in the city. The policy allows us to do this better by allowing SCC to make use of streamlined legal pathways to seeking possession of a property where there have been serious breaches of the tenancy agreement – something other Local Authorities in core cities are making use of currently. Further, it would bring SCC in line with registered providers in the city and other South Yorkshire local authorities, meaning that Sheffield would no longer be making the necessary process of seeking possession of tenancies harder than it is for our peer organisations and operating a more generous regime. Finally, the consultation undertaken clearly illustrates the desire of the public and our tenants to implement a policy of this nature, reinforcing the notion that people are at the heart of what we do and that we listen to our customers in making decisions. Adopting this policy would signal to our tenants and other customers that we are committed to taking action, when necessary, in a fair, consistent and proportionate manner and is therefore the recommendation of the paper.

11.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

11.4.1

The primary alternate option is ‘do nothing’ and opt not to implement an Introductory Tenancies regime. The decision to adopt is discretionary, meaning the Council is not required to do so. The Council has been operating without Introductory Tenancies since their introduction in legislation, and therefore this is considered a viable option. However, this option is not recommended, as it would deny the Council a useful tenancy management tool at a time when effective management of our housing stock is increasing in both difficulty and importance. Further, it would not be taking all possible steps to improve customer outcomes when there is strong tenant voice to have a fair and effective approach to dealing with violations of tenancy agreements, as demonstrated by the fact that a large majority of those consulted were in favour of this policy.

 

Report author: Suzanne Allen

Publication date: 18/11/2022

Date of decision: 10/11/2022

Decided at meeting: 10/11/2022 - Housing Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: