Brent Council hopes to inspire private landlords to follow its lead by giving tenants more security by introducing life-time tenancies.

The London borough has overhauled its tenancy strategy and will be working closely with all private and social housing landlords to encourage them to review the way they manage their own tenancies.

It wants to incentivise them to encourage longer tenancies and rent at local housing allowance levels and to promote community-led housing in the private rented sector and deposit guarantee schemes.

A council spokeswoman tells LandlordZONE: “Our hope is that landlords will work with us so the private rented sector is an affordable and accessible housing option for Brent renters.”

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Brent has replaced its fixed-term tenancies with life-time tenancies and has also introduced ‘demoted’ tenancies to tackle anti-social behaviour (a form of tenancy that reduces a tenant’s security of tenure and rights).

It says that while the majority work well, when things break down and a council tenant has been involved in antisocial behaviour or uses their home unlawfully, officers can now serve a four-week notice of intention to demote the tenancy for 12 months.

The council’s updated tenancy management policy pledges to support residents so they can stay in their homes “for as long as is suitable for them” and it has promised to work actively to prevent homelessness. Brent is now offering joint tenancies to cohabiting couples so that both people are protected.

Secure home

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, says the Covid-19 pandemic is a reminder of how important it is to have a safe and secure place to call home.

She adds: “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”.

“Tenancies without an end date will become the norm once Section 21 notice evictions are banned, as is already the case in Scotland,” says Tim Frome, Legal Director of Landlord Action.

Read more about Brent council.

Picture credit: Steve Cadman.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Lifetime tenancies, not for me, demoted tenancies, possibly alright for wealthy, powerful local authorities that have access to their own legal departments, for Small private landlords with outgoings to pay and who rely on the income from their rental a disaster in the making. Rather stick pins in my eyes than take the risk.

  2. Another crazy scheme set up by a Council who think the private sector let property out to tenants out of the goodness of their hearts. What with this and the utterly pointless selective licensing schemes I am seriously thinking of selling up my properties. But guess what, they will probably be sold to owner occupiers so yet more properties are removed from the rental market. The Councils really do not understand how counter productive some of their policies are.

  3. Has anyone asked the Banks and Insurance companies what they think about this? People cannot wait to have a dig at landlords, yet they forget its the Banks that will insist as part of the mortgage, that the property is only let to a professional, as well as the Insurance company, who also will either not insure, or increase the premium where the tenant is not professional. Not sure how the Banks and Insurance companies, who love to tell Landlords how to operate their business, yet somehow manage to steer clear of the public and medias wrath against landlords. Its becoming quite a joke.

  4. What is the problem with lifetime tenancies.
    As a LL it wouldn’t concern me.
    Indeed I would welcome it.

    However there would be a few caveats to that.

    These would be

    Ability to remove rent defaulting tenant.
    Ability yo increase rent annually using the S13 process.
    Ability to remove tenant when wishing to sell up
    Ability to remove tenant who breaches tenancy conditions like having illegal occupiers or dogs.

    Ability to remove ASB tenants.

    Now if the Socialist Republic of Brent agrees with all that I’m all for lifetime tenancies.

    Sadly I doubt they mean any of this.

    Which is why many LL will be selling up when S21 is abolished.

  5. Think its time to sell up, they seem to think we are social landlords we are not Its OK for councils to come up with these schemes they are government backed and financed by the tax payer. If they want us to rent at the same rates, offer lifetime tenancies take on bad risks then we need the same structure put in place , our salaries, copper bottom pensions losses repairs all indemnified by the state ,plus, no income or corperation tax on rentals in line with the local authorities. They can’t have it both ways

  6. Why none of the landlords and their organisations can see the following most legally challenging aspects of abandoning S21?
    1) Rights of private ownership towards Real estate objects are to be cancelled/halved (did we already have a National referendum on switching to Socialism, endorsed by the Monarch? Why it has happened already in the Northern part of the Kingdom – Scotland? In a way we did and we have chosen the Conservatives, i.e. to conserve what we had – good old Capitalism where pro-active individuals are incentivised. Do the Ministers correctly understand their public mandate? Do the anti-landlord activists understand the consequences for the private rent sector – with the new proposed status of the ownership, shared between the Landlord and the Tenant, how many would prefer just to sell a spare dwelling in order to better their own living conditions or to let their children to occupy them? Councils have the means to rent off the Private Landlords – nationally the scale they do that is negligible. Are there any Landlords rejecting Council to be their Tenant for subletting?
    2) Tenancy Agreements are to become non-commercial in essence and it will affect insurance/re-financing/inheritance – would it ease the taxes, inheritance, for example, as you pass/transfer something which is not fully yours? It is already not exactly commercial (you pay, I provide) as the Government has removed it’s legal endorsement as the Guarantor of the deal by introducing plentiful regulations with unpaid duties towards the Landlord to maintain. What commercial is in the Government’s interpretation (you, Tenant, don’t pay Rent, but I, Landlord, still provide Maintenance)? I remind for the new to all this: Section 21 prescribes that the Tenant is allowed to stay in the rented property for around 5+ months without paying rent – during the duration the Landlord at own cost should do all essential repairs (with only gas boiler and C/H system we are talking potentially thousands of pounds, especially via the reputable companies; existing insurance schemes do not cover many costly things like a Powerflash).
    3) Even with S21 yet present (not applicable due to the quarantine at present) it is hardly fare, that after tenant stops paying rent, the landlord is fully and solely responsible for a maintenance/repairs to gas/electric boiler, C/H system, water/sewage piping, taps, showering/bathing/toiletting, electric systems, roofing, glazing etc. It is already a form of expropriation: under the existing Social arrangements the Government is expected to help the needed and to motivate the successful, not penalising them in form of property confiscations and forced maintenance labouring (Councils provide the same maintenance, but externally – lightening, street cleaning/draining – they are entitled to collect payment for that under the threat of jail: why the Landlord are forced to provide the same maintenance, but internally, free of charge under the threat of jail or loosing up to 75% of his estate for failing any of the maintenance duties/costs, until he/she successfully invest further in a legal eviction? Planning to abandon S21, clearly the Government should at least provision that the Tenant, by stopping/reducing rent, takes the responsibility for maintenence (in other words – local Councils, as understandably those who do not pay rent and do not vacate – require social assistance). Why the Governments/Councils would not take the mortgages and build/buy the houses to rent out with option of Life Time Tenancy: who on Earth would rent then of the baddies, profiteers and black-marketeers – the Private Landlords/Landladies? Simply because the extra logistics for that would be hugely expensive and the private landlords truly save big societal resources by their services for a modest reward mainly in the form of remaining on the property ladder, preventing their savings been eat by hyper-inflation and saving themselves from the poverty, which otherwise would reach all stratas of the society.
    4) How much would be a ransom amount to pay the tenant to release the property of the Life Time occupation? Why can’t the Government appoint accordingly the Ombudsman for the fair ransom?

    Can we remind the Brent Council, that LifeTime tenancy does exist already – everything beyond Shorthold Tenancy (over a year in duration – not to be confused with the Periodic)? Any owner can issue an over a year Tenancy, but those who attempts to save a hard-earned cash from hyper-inflation – by investing in real estate – do need flexibility and want their option opened: either to move into the better area/bigger dwelling conditions or to accommodate the grown children in a spare estate. So the mandatory LifeTime Tenancy is OK for very wealthy landlords. For the rest the option is anyway already there as a sitting/regulated tenancy.

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