Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Topic

Tenancy for life

Message

Tenancy for life or not is THE most controversial issue. Forget asb, arrears, estate mgmt and all else this is THE biggest issue. Everyone needs and should have security of tenure, whether that be as a tenant or even as a homeowner. The roof over someones head provides stability to live. Yet, should these principles - the right to shelter - be written in stone? Paretos law as Harry describes is common - 80% of tenants never seen as no need to - it is the 20% of tenants with arrears and estate mgmt problems that consume 100% of housing staff time. Yet, the 80% of 'good' tenants receive no service because of the 'bad' 20%. It is the same 20% that have created the negative impression tenancy has and yet little can be done under the current system of tenancy for life. In effect, the 20% can carry on damaging the peaceful enjoyment- a tenancy enshrined right - of all others. Something has to give. Why not have revolving 2-year tenancies? The good 80% will automatically be re-issued, the 'bad' 20% will have their tenure reviewed. A negative incentive perhaps but would such an idea as this help the 20% to accept their responsibilities as a tenant, neighbour and membr of society? The potential sanction of a two-yearly review - would this help reverse negative image of tenancy, help reduce asb, helpin many other ways? Even if the question of tenancy for life was not brought to the fore because of scarcity of supply, such questions should be addressed. After all, the 20% spoil it for the other 80%. I'm well aware that majority of the 20% are law abiding and often much of housing staff involvement is due to arrears of which HB complexities and errors are a significant part. So, even accepting that is the 'bad' tenant amount to just 5% they still are spoiling the 95% right to peaceful enjoyment of their property. This 'greater good' argument has long been used in supported housing where licences can be common to aid stability there. Why should it not be transferred to general needs housing?

Posted date

15/10/2008

Posted time

1:59 pm

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