Tenants of London and Quadrant (L&Q) Housing Trust, the second largest housing association in the UK, will no longer have Fixed Term Tenancies (FTTs).
The trust says it has conducted “extensive research” and consultation with its residents and concluded that FTTs caused anxiety about the tenancy renewal process.
It also said that FTTs had failed because they introduced “arbitrary” renewal dates that did not take into consideration individual circumstances of tenants. The Trust adds FTTs “act as a barrier” to mobility.
FTTs were introduced by the government in 2011 as an alternative option to open-ended assured tenancies for those living in housing associations. It encouraged housing associations to move its residents onto such contracts.
L&Q says it is one of the first housing associations to extensively review FTTs, and conclude that the aims of the policy are not being achieved.
FTTs offer housing association tenants a fixed contract, typically five years, on their tenancy. Open-ended assured tenancies however, effectively guarantee the resident a home for life.
The association currently houses around 250,000 people in more than 92,000 homes mainly in London and the South East. Around 41,000 homes have assured tenancies while 8,500 have been issued FTTs since 2011.
L&Q say that it will now move 8,500 residents with FTTs onto open-ended assured tenancies and only offer this option in future.
David Montague, chief executive of L&Q explains: “We found FTTs 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.”
Fayann Simpson, board member and chair of the L&Q resident services group says: “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.”
Moneywise has contacted the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for a comment. We’ll update this piece if we receive a response.
Open-ended assured tenancies vs Fixed-Term Tenancies: what’s the difference?
People who become tenants of housing association properties are typically offered a 12-month ‘trial’ contract to begin with.
Tenants then become an ‘assured’ or ‘fixed-term’ tenant once passing the 12-month trial period.
Assured tenancies are effectively for life – the contract guarantees the tenant the right to live in the property without end date.
Fixed term tenancies are more limited – generally offering five-year contracts. L&Q say it typically offered six-year tenancies under FTT. Once the tenancy period ends the landlord will decide whether it wants to renew the contract.
Find out more about housing association homes on the government website.