Tenancy standard

Outcomes social landlords must deliver about the fair allocation and letting of homes and how tenancies are managed and ended by landlords.

Applies to England


Tenancy Standard

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Consumer standard 1 April 2024

1 Required outcomes

1.1 Allocations and lettings

1.1.1 Registered providers must allocate and let their homes in a fair and transparent way that takes the needs of tenants (see the glossary of terms for definition) and prospective tenants into account.

1.2 Tenancy sustainment and evictions

1.2.1 Registered providers must support tenants to maintain their tenancy or licence. Where a registered provider ends a tenancy or licence, they must offer affected tenants advice and assistance.

1.3 Tenure

1.3.1  Registered providers shall offer tenancies or terms of occupation which are compatible with the purpose of the accommodation, the needs of individual households, the sustainability of the community, and the efficient use of their housing stock.

1.3.2 They shall meet all applicable statutory and legal requirements in relation to the form and use of tenancy agreements or terms of occupation.

1.4 Mutual exchange

1.4.1   Registered providers must support relevant tenants living in eligible housing to mutually exchange their homes.

2 Specific expectations

2.1 Allocations and lettings

2.1.2 Registered providers must co-operate with local authorities’ strategic housing functions and assist local authorities to fulfil their duties to meet identified local housing need. This includes assistance with local authorities’ homelessness duties, and through meeting obligations in nominations agreements.

2.1.2 Registered providers must seek to allocate homes that are designated, designed, or adapted to meet specific needs in a way that is compatible with the purpose of the housing.

2.1.3 Registered providers must develop and deliver services that seek to address under-occupation and overcrowding in their homes. These services should be focused on the needs of tenants.

2.1.4 Registered providers must take action to prevent and tackle tenancy fraud.

2.1.5 Registered providers must have a fair, reasonable, simple and accessible appeals process for allocation decisions.

2.1.6 Registered providers must record all lettings and sales as required by the Continuous Recording of Lettings (CORE) system.

2.2 Tenancy sustainment and evictions

2.2.1   Registered providers must provide services that support tenants to maintain their tenancy or licence and prevent unnecessary evictions.

2.2.2   Registered providers must provide tenants required to move with timely advice and assistance about housing options before the tenancy or licence ends.

2.3 Tenure

2.3.1   Registered providers shall publish clear and accessible policies which outline their approach to tenancy management, including interventions to sustain tenancies and prevent unnecessary evictions, and tackling tenancy fraud, and set out:

(a)      The type of tenancies they will grant.

(b)      Where they grant tenancies for a fixed term, the length of those terms.

(c)       The circumstances in which they will grant tenancies of a particular type.

(d)      Any exceptional circumstances in which they will grant fixed term tenancies for a term of less than five years in general needs housing following any probationary period.

(e)      The circumstances in which they may or may not grant another tenancy on the expiry of the fixed term, in the same property or in a different property.

(f)       The way in which a tenant or prospective tenant may appeal against or complain about the length of fixed term tenancy offered and the type of tenancy offered, and against a decision not to grant another tenancy on the expiry of the fixed term.

(g)      Their policy on taking into account the needs of those households who are vulnerable by reason of age, disability or illness, and households with children, including through the provision of tenancies which provide a reasonable degree of stability.

(h)      The advice and assistance they will give to tenants on finding alternative accommodation in the event that they decide not to grant another tenancy.

(i)        Their policy on granting discretionary succession rights, taking account of the needs of vulnerable household members.

2.3.2   Registered providers must grant general needs tenants a periodic secure or assured (excluding periodic assured shorthold) tenancy, or a tenancy for a minimum fixed term of five years, or exceptionally, a tenancy for a minimum fixed term of no less than two years, in addition to any probationary tenancy period.

2.3.3   Before a fixed term tenancy ends, registered providers shall provide notice in writing to the tenant stating either that they propose to grant another tenancy on the expiry of the existing fixed term or that they propose to end the tenancy.

2.3.4   Where registered providers use probationary tenancies, these shall be for a maximum of 12 months, or a maximum of 18 months where reasons for extending the probationary period have been given and where the tenant has the opportunity to request a review.

2.3.5   Registered providers shall grant those who were social housing tenants on the day on which section 154 of the Localism Act 2011 comes into force, and have remained social housing tenants since that date, a tenancy with no less security where they choose to move to another social rented home, whether with the same or another landlord. (This requirement does not apply where tenants choose to move to accommodation let on Affordable Rent terms).

2.3.6   Registered providers shall grant tenants who have been moved into alternative accommodation during any redevelopment or other works a tenancy with no less security of tenure on their return to settled accommodation.

2.4 Mutual exchange

2.4.1   Registered providers must offer a mutual exchange service which allows relevant tenants potentially eligible for mutual exchange, whether pursuant to a statutory right or a policy of the registered provider, to easily access details of all (or the greatest practicable number of) available matches without payment of a fee.

2.4.2   Registered providers must publicise the availability of any mutual exchange service(s) it offers to its relevant tenants.

2.4.3 Registered providers must provide support for accessing mutual exchange services to relevant tenants who might otherwise be unable to use them.

2.4.4 Registered providers must offer tenants seeking to mutually exchange information about the implications for tenure, rent and service charges.

Published 1 April 2012
Last updated 2 April 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect standard changes from 1 April 2024

  2. First published.