Agenda item


The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities to submit a report seeking approval to adopt a new Tenancy Agreement for the Council’s residential landlord function with effect from April 2021.


Andrew Cotton, Director for Housing and Communities introduced the report, the purpose of which was to seek approval to adopt a new Tenancy Agreement for the Council’s residential landlord function with effect from April 2021.


Mr. Cotton advised that provision of high quality council homes and landlord services was a high priority for the Council.  The tenancy agreement was key to the delivery of this commitment and due to a number of changes in legislation, policy and practice, the existing agreement was in need of revision and updating.


Mr. Cotton confirmed that the Council had undertaken consultation and engagement work with tenants and with the Tenants Forum and Executive Committee (TFEC), the results of which were reflected within the draft agreement before Members (and summarised at paragraph 5.6 of the report).  A summary of amendments to the existing agreement was detailed within the table at paragraph 5.5 of the report.  If adopted, the revised agreement would be implemented on 5 April 2021 and the Council would need to give formal notice of this at least four weeks before this date.


Mr. Cotton highlighted that permission to use the painting of Holwell on the cover of the agreement had been given by the artist, a centenarian resident of Gretton Court and the words on the cover (‘Working Together’), had been suggested by TFEC.


Councillor Alan Pearson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities thanked Mr. Cotton and his team, noting that the revised agreement was the product of a great deal of work.  The most important aspect of this work had been the consultation process. The agreement set out both Council responsibilities (as landlord) and tenant responsibilities and active engagement from both tenants and TFEC had been vital.


During discussion the following points were noted:


·         Members thanked Mr. Cotton and his team for their work.

·         Members were pleased with the revised agreement, noting it was comprehensive and detailed both Council and tenant responsibilities clearly.

·         Members were pleased with the consultation process.  The views of tenants were crucial to the revision of the agreement.

·         TFEC were supportive of the revised agreement.

·         The existing agreement had not been significantly amended for a number of years and it was important to review and update the agreement periodically, in line with amendments to legislation.

·         Paragraph 11 (Equalities and Safeguarding Implications) reassured Members that measures were in place to effectively ensure that all tenants would be able to access and understand the revised agreement, with additional support available if needed.




1)    NOTED the content of the report and the responses received to the consultation on the revised Tenancy Agreement;


2)    APPROVED the proposed Tenancy Agreement (to be effective from    5 April 2021;


3)    DELEGATED authority to the Director for Housing and Communities:

·         to serve the Notice of Variation;

·         to make any minor formatting and/or wording amendments to the proposed tenancy agreement if required.


Reason for the decision

The Council’s Corporate Strategy 2020-24 commits to “providing high quality council homes and landlord services” as Priority Theme Two.   An understanding of the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant is a keystone of the delivery of this theme; a clear, unambiguous tenancy agreement is vital to this. 


The current tenancy agreement has been reviewed to take into account changes in legislation and good practice; there are a number of new subsections that have been introduced to the revised tenancy agreement to make it easier to identify clauses. 


The numbering, titles and layout of the revised Tenancy Agreement has been adapted to make the agreement easier to read and understand and to be more “user friendly”.  A new introductory section which sets out the key rights of tenants has been included at the start of the agreement at the suggestion of the Tenants Forum Executive Committee.  This allows tenants to see at a glance their key rights such as the right to be consulted or the right to make improvements.


The tenancy agreement is the single most important document defining the relationship between the Council and its tenants. The current tenancy agreement has been in place for a number of years and does not reflects current legislation, or give the Council as a residential landlord the ability to properly manage its properties – for example, to be able to gain access to carry out inspections.   The revised tenancy agreement resolves these issues.

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