Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Young people to be restricted to two year tenancies

A London council is planning to introduce two year tenancies for all single people aged under 25.

Barnet is proposing to bring in the rule for new tenants from April as part of a shake up of its housing allocation policies.

The blanket restriction comes despite government directions to the social housing regulator, the Tenant Services Authority, that tenancies of fewer than five years should only be issued in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Under Barnet’s plans young people would have their tenancies reviewed every two years, and the agreements would be conditional on unemployed tenants taking part in skills, education, or training that could lead to a job.

New tenants who are aged over 25 would be offered a five year tenancy, the standard minimum outlined by the government.

In common with other councils that are currently reviewing their tenancy policies to take advantage of new powers in the Localism Act, Barnet is also looking to prioritise social housing for servicemen and women, and at measures to tackle under occupation.

Tom Davey, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘Rather than a home for life irrespective of your circumstances, we are looking at how we can use the Localism Bill to support people in housing need in Barnet given our limited housing stock.

‘Our overarching aim is to make sure that the council’s housing stock is used as effectively as possible to provide homes for Barnet residents who are unable to find a home in the private sector. This can be done by helping people move on from council housing once they are earning enough to be able to rent or buy a home of their own.’

Readers' comments (13)

  • I would have thought some form or equalities would apply to this, as it is clearly negatively targetting a group. Granted I'll admit younger people 18-25 tend to get tenancies and then ignore all help and run them into the ground. Most of these become "homeless" at 18 (with mail still being forwarded through their parents, so they end up in a property at 18, which many simply can't manage on their own, and prefer to spend income (benefits included) on other things rather than rent. If this focuses on making sure they have (and use) support to learn to manage a tenancy in those 2 years then all good, but I suspect it might be a way to make sure those that don't end up out sooner rather than latter.

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  • Rick Campbell

    "Fairness" agenda of this odious government?

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  • As someone who has just left my mid twenties I really would not mind this proposal as long as my tenancy was extended after the two years and not used as means to evict me without cause, which I doubt it would be.
    Maybe this Council should consider SSST's for all under 25 year olds if they want to be very brutal about it; at the end of the day no young person is going to object to this if they are well behaved because it won't affect them. All this human rights nonsense scares me - I work with young adults and quite frankly think it would be a great idea with proper support.
    There are too many young people who think they are above he rules and quite frankly it is because they are. They get to behave how they like because there are no consequences!

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  • Surely anyyoung person who looks after their tenancy and enages with support and training/learning opportunities has nothing to fear? Only those who can't be borthered to work , learn or look after their home will have issues.

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  • Rick Campbell

    The tenancy of 10 Downing Street should be limited to 2 years in some cases based on the principle ("principle" and "10 Downing Street" in the same sentence is an unusual event) that having entered into a costly war abroad. the PM has 'sorted his/her legacy out' and it's time to move on.

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  • Peter Wicks

    So after two years are the young tenants given a tent on the front lawn they used to cut?....how sick can this country get.Strongly agree with Rick about the tenancy of number 10...but instant eviction if the tenant was of unsound mind.....

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  • F451

    If Barnet wished to offer restricted period tenancies on a racial basis, or a disability basis they would rightly be castigated. Why then is it acceptable for them to exhibit such blatent ageism - because the government does also?

    If the under 25's are not full citizens then they should not have to pay full tax.

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  • F451 - surely not an argument from analogy from you?

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  • F451 that is pretty broad - it is to address the issues based on facts - not nice I know but would not affect well behaved tenants and would teach the others to behave.

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  • Joe Halewood

    Interesting - just looked for ASBO stats and they are no longer published by the Home Office. Strange that as they always revealed that majority of ASBOs were served on those over 25. Strange? Do I mean coincidence?

    So are Barnet using the (statistical and oft repeated) myth that ASB is committed by under-25s as rationale for this proposal?

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  • F451

    @ willow_nik - Joe seems to put a lid on your argument.

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  • Jimmy Cricket

    I note that tenancies will be REVIEWED after 2 years, not terminated. Additionally I see nothjing wrong with ensuring that they maximise their opportunities by attending skills, education, or training events (although history would reflect these have minimal impacts). Oh, and whilst we're all banging on about age discrimination I also note that allocations will prioritise servicemen (not ex servicemen??) and women!!!

    There we go, age and sex discimination all in one. Well I suppose they need somewhere for the young lady to iron!!!

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  • They say you can tell a lot about how civilised a country is by how it treats its children, and young adults. This country fails dismally, and I cannot wait to finish my degree, and take my professional skills and 3 foreign languages elsewhere. I'm reaching the point where I would advise any young adult to do the same thing, because it seems that if you're under 35 in this country, there's nothing down for you...

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