To seek approval of the reviewed North Tyneside Council Lettings Policy.
Cabinet considered a report which sought approval of the reviewed North Tyneside Council Lettings Policy.
It was considered best practice to undertake a review of the Policy every two years and the last review was completed in 2019. It was timely to consider the impact of the changes made to the Lettings in 2019, to confirm that those changes had had the intended outcome.
Since the review of the Policy in 2019, there had been a number of legislative changes, which were linked to the Lettings Policy. Therefore, it was important to consider those legislative changes during the review, to ensure that the policy met these requirements and that it was fit for purpose.
The review of the Lettings Policy had taken into consideration all relevant legislation, issues identified during the operation of the current Lettings Policy and feedback from consultation with Members, staff, tenants / potential tenants, residents and key stakeholders. It was to be noted that North Tyneside Lettings Policy had received positive recognition by other Local Authorities within the Tyne and Wear area.
Focus had also been given to the outcome of the previous review, carried out in 2019. This included changes to:
· Financial Resources
· Transfer (North Tyneside Council Tenants)
· Restrictions on Bidding
· Home Offers
Since the implementation of the Authority’s Lettings Policy in 2019, key legislative changes had been enacted, namely: -
· Domestic Abuse Act 2021.
· EU Settlement Scheme covered by Right to Rent under Immigration Act 2016.
· The Armed Forces 2020.
Having carefully reviewed the Authority’s 2019 Letting Policy attached at Appendix 1 to the report against the requirements imposed on the Authority by the legislation set out above, it was clear that the Policy already met those requirements, and that the Policy was fit for purpose in that regard.
A summary of the changes introduced by the Authority’s 2019 Lettings Policy were set out in the report. Significantly, the changes that were introduced then, had had the intended outcome and all of the changes implemented operated effectively.
Having carried out a thorough review of the North Tyneside Lettings Policy, it had been identified that there were no material changes to be made. That the Policy remained fit for purpose following the legislative changes as referenced in section 1.5.3 of the report. The only changes made were minor amendments to text, to provide greater clarity to the existing policy.
Cabinet considered the following decision options:
Option 1 - to accept the recommendations set out in paragraph 1.2 of the report.
Option 2 - to accept the recommendations, subject to amendments as specified by Cabinet.
Option 3 – to not approve the recommendations and refer the content of the report back to officers for further consideration and consultation.
Resolved that the North Tyneside Council Lettings Policy, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved.
(Reasons for decision: The review has highlighted that the current policy is fit for purpose and continues to support the efficient and effective management of the housing register and allocation of the Authority’s homes. It also continues to play an important role by ensuring those in greatest housing need are accommodated
The proposals enable the Authority to continue to comply with statutory duties with no material changes to the current 2019 Lettings Policy.)