Surrey

No more Guildford council lifetime home tenancies

A Surrey council is to stop giving lifetime tenancies to its social housing tenants.

Guildford Borough Council said that new tenants would be given a one-year introductory tenancy followed by fixed term contracts usually for five years.

A spokeswoman said the new agreements would help tackle overcrowding and under occupation by moving tenants to housing that better suited their needs.

The council said those with existing tenancies will not be affected.

'Fly the nest'

Councillor Sarah Creedy said: "We expect that most flexible tenancies will be renewed because we don't anticipate there being a lot of moves or short occupations.

"A young family, for instance, is likely to be able to stay in a family home till their children fly the nest - which could be 16 years or more.

"A retired or single person might stay in a one bedroom flat, for their whole lives if they wish."

The government introduced a change in the Localism Act 2011 which allows councils to introduce tenancy contracts of two-years duration.

New legislation beginning in April 2013 will also reduce the amount of Housing Benefit to working age tenants where they have more bedrooms than the family needs.

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