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Brent’s Cabinet increases security for thousands of tenants by ending use of fixed term tenancies

18 June 2020

Brent’s Cabinet has approved a new approach to tenancies across the Borough. The Tenancy Strategy clearly sets out expectations of all landlords, including private landlords: and the Tenancy Management Policy reaffirms the council’s commitments to its own tenants.

The council’s aim is to make sure that all Brent residents who are renting have a guaranteed level of security in their home. The council also pledges to support Brent residents to stay in their homes for as long as is suitable for them and will continue to work actively to prevent homelessness.

The main changes to the way the council manages its own tenancies are:

  • Ending of fixed-term tenancies, and replacing them with life time tenancies

  • Introducing demoted tenancies to tackle anti-social behaviour where necessary

  • Offering joint tenancies to cohabiting couples so that both people are protected

Both the overall Tenancy Strategy and council-specific Tenancy Management Policy were agreed in consultation with existing council tenants and Brent residents in temporary accommodation.

Whilst by far the majority of tenancies work well, there are unfortunately occasions when things break down. If a council tenant has been involved in antisocial behaviour or, is using their home unlawfully, the council can now serve a four-week notice of its intention to seek to demote the tenancy for 12 months.

Brent will work closely with all social housing and private landlords in the borough to encourage them to review the way they manage their tenancies so that all renters can feel secure, whoever their landlord.

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform said:“The Covid19 pandemic has reminded all of us how important it is to have a safe and secure place to call home. I want everyone who moves into a council home to feel settled and part of their local community so that they can start building happy memories, without worrying. A secure tenancy for as long as someone needs and providing accessible and clear information about what to expect are a core part of our promise. I very much hope that all landlords across the Borough will adopt these changes”.