Tenancy policy

Policy statement

We aim to offer a lifetime relationship with all of our customers.

We do this by providing the best level of customer service possible and by helping to improve life chances. We also offer different types of accommodation and tenancy types as and when our customers’ circumstances change.

We also have a responsibility to make the most effective use of our homes and to protect customers’ quiet enjoyment. We believe that these objectives can best be served by offering most new tenants a fixed-term tenancy, enabling a formal review of the landlord and tenant relationship.

The key principles of our approach are:

  • Be transparent about the types of tenancies we offer;
  • Explain the types of tenancies we give and the length of them;
  • Make sure we issue tenancies that are compatible with the purpose of the accommodation and the needs of individual households;
  • Detail the circumstances in which we may or may not reissue the tenancies at the end of the fixed term;
  • Clearly set out the process for reviewing our decisions;
  • Make sure we do not directly or indirectly discriminate on the grounds of any Protected Characteristic defined in the Equalities Act 2010 or any other legislation.

Fixed term tenancies

Most new tenancies that were signed between 1 April and 9 December 2012 began with a 12 month Starter Tenancy. If the tenancy was maintained successfully in the starter period and none of the exclusions or exceptions in sections 4 and 5 applied, we then issued a five-year fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy.

Most new tenants signing an agreement on or after 10 December 2012 sign a six-year fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy with a break clause at the end of the first year. The break clause allows us to review the tenancy at the end of the first year.

Exclusions

We will continue to offer a lifetime tenancy in the following circumstances:

  • Where we are required to do so by law or regulation.
    The Localism Act 2011 provides certain protection for those who were lifetime tenants at the point the Act came into force. The Tenancy Standard, which forms part of the regulatory framework, also provides certain minimum standards.
    Therefore we will offer a lifetime tenancy:

- where a secure or assured lifetime tenant of a social landlord is moving to one of our properties let on a social rent and immediately before moving to Catalyst, they held a tenancy which began before 1 April 2012;

- to secure or assured lifetime tenants who are required to move to alternative accommodation during redevelopment or other works. We shall, on their return to settled accommodation, offer a further lifetime tenancy, including if they are forced to move to affordable rented stock, which would normally be let on a fixed term tenancy.

  • Where we have entered into a contractual commitment to do so.
  • To those entering our sheltered housing schemes. Where the tenant is new to Catalyst and is not protected by the Localism Act or the Tenancy Standard, they will be offered a starter-to-lifetime tenancy, allowing us to review the tenancy at the end of the first year.
  • To existing secure or assured lifetime tenants of Catalyst moving within our stock to a property let on a social rent, regardless of the start date of their tenancy.
  • Where the Wornington Green Residents Charter applies. Adult household members will be offered a starter-to-lifetime tenancy, allowing us to review the tenancy at the end of the first year.

End of the fixed term tenancy

We will review the tenancy before the end of the fixed term to decide whether to offer you a new fixed-term tenancy. We would normally expect to offer you a further fixed term of five years.

Where, in exceptional circumstances, we decide not to offer a new fixed-term tenancy, we will offer assistance and advice appropriate to the circumstances. Please contact us to discuss moving options.

Succession

We give succession rights for up to one succession. Where fixed-term tenancies are concerned, a successor can succeed to the remainder of the fixed term. We offer contractual succession rights to family members in certain circumstances.

A copy of our Succession Policy is available on request.

Requesting a review of our decisions

Applicants can ask us to review a decision to offer a particular type or length of tenancy or a decision not to grant a new tenancy at the end of the fixed term and should normally be made within 21 days of the applicant being notified of the decision. A copy of our review procedure can be provided on request.