Published: 10 March 2023

From: Housing

Crawley Borough Council has changed its Tenancy Policy to provide more long-term security to tenants.

The council’s Cabinet agreed to phase out flexible tenancies at its meeting on Wednesday (8 March).

Flexible tenancies are secure tenancies offered for a fixed term. Since April 2013 the council has offered five-year flexible tenancies for the majority of new tenancies. We have granted 2,289 flexible tenancies up to 31 December 2022 – this is under 30 per cent of all the council’s housing stock.

Of the 2,289 flexible tenancies, 500 have been reviewed at the end of their term. Of these, only 10 tenancies (two per cent) have either not been renewed at the original address or not renewed at all.

From 1 April 2023, all new council tenants will be offered secure periodic tenancies, although the council will continue to use flexible tenancies in some very limited circumstances as detailed in the revised policy.

Existing flexible tenants will be offered a new secure periodic tenancy to replace their flexible tenancy; the granting of these new tenancies will take place over a two-year period starting on 1 April 2023.

Flexible tenancies present the council with a number of challenges including:

  • The administrative process associated with reviewing a tenancy at the end of the term, which starts 12 months prior to the expiry of the tenancy
  • Considerations to creating sustainable communities
  • Providing long-term security for tenants

This change will give long-term comfort to many tenants, removing stress and uncertainty created by flexible tenancies, while helping staff manage tenancies more effectively.

Councillor Sandra Buck

Cabinet member for Housing

Crawley Borough Council

Council staff will contact tenants to surrender their existing tenancy with the grant of a new secure tenancy, in date order based on when the tenancy is due to expire. 

Tenants will need to agree to move over to a new secure tenancy. If they fail to agree or there are complexities associated with the granting of a new secure tenancy, they will need to remain as a flexible tenant until the position can be resolved or until their existing tenancy expires and is reviewed.

A small number of tenants who have a possession order against their existing tenancy will remain on their current flexible tenancy. 

Introductory tenants will also be contacted about a variation to their tenancy at the end of the introductory period.

For general Crawley housing information, see our housing pages.