Decision details

Conditions of Tenancy

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Decision:

8.1

Work is being undertaken to consider the Council’s Tenancy Conditions, as set out in You and Your Home. This is to ensure they are clear, precise, and allow the Council to carry out its statutory duties effectively.

 

This report presents the proposed changes to the Tenancy Conditions to Committee (Appendix 1) for awareness and comment, outlines the reasons for change, and updates Committee on the steps required to enact this change.

 

Additionally, the report contains interim analysis of the Section 103 Preliminary Notice of Variation consultation. A verbal update was given by the Director of Housing summarising further responses (received after the publication of this report, to the closing date (20th March) of the consultation period).

 

 

8.2

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Housing Policy Committee:-

 

1.     notes the proposed changes to the Tenancy Conditions (Appendix 1);

 

2.     notes the interim analysis of the consultation responses returned to date (13th March) contained within the report, together with the supplementary update to the consultation to be provided at committee following the closing date of 20th March given at Committee by the Director of Housing;

 

3.     notes that the Director of Housing is delegated to make the decision to approve the issue of the final notice of variation of conditions, in line with those set out in this report; and

 

4.     requests that the Director of Housing, prior to the issuing of the final notice of variation, reviews:

 

a.     condition 27 (using your home) and condition 29 (access) to be satisfied that they accommodate the obligations arising from considerations under the Equality Act 2010 (needs and expectations of diverse communities), and

 

b.     condition 36a (maximum height of hedges, bushes and shrubbery) to be satisfied that it reasonably provides for discretion as to higher heights where specific contexts of garden/neighbour agreement allow.

 

 

8.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

8.3.1

As noted above, it is vital that the Council complies with gas and fire safety requirements. The proposed changes to the existing tenancy agreement will assist with this. Primarily, this relates to Condition 29 (access). While we will always work with tenants to arrange for access with them, in cases where the tenant does not respond to our attempts to contact them, we must take steps to gain entry to the property. This is for the safety of tenants, neighbours, and officers.

 

 

8.3.2

Alongside this, the other changes either respond to policy developments, or to make useful clarifications where the current language used could be improved. This will ensure tenants, and the Council as landlord, are clear on respective responsibilities.

 

 

8.3.3

Finally, the consultation so far demonstrates a clear tenant voice in favour of implementing these changes, with a large majority of survey

respondents in agreement. It is, however, important to note that this point will be updated following the publication of this paper, when the

consultation has finished. Members will be given an overview of the final consultation at Committee, before a final consultation report is produced.

 

 

8.3.4

Following the completion, analysis and consideration of the consultation, the necessary steps to reach a formal decision will be taken in order to issue a Final Notice of Variation and bring the changes to the Tenancy Conditions into effect.

 

 

8.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

8.4.1

Do not alter the Tenancy Conditions:

Urgent changes are required to ensure the Council is fully compliant with regulator consumer standards, across all compliance areas, such as gas and fire safety. For this reason, it was not considered viable to leave the tenancy conditions un-altered.

 

Publication date: 28/03/2024

Date of decision: 21/03/2024

Decided at meeting: 21/03/2024 - Housing Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: