Summary of proposed changes to Tenancy Agreement conditions

Summary of proposed changes

Following the Council’s decision to stop issuing fixed term secure tenancies, our proposal is to offer one tenancy agreement that covers introductory and ‘lifetime’ secure tenancies. The proposed changes will ensure our obligations as a landlord and the responsibilities of tenants are made clearer.

Outlined below is the summary of proposed changes to the tenancy conditions. Our proposal is to update existing conditions and add new conditions to the proposed agreement. ​

The Proposals

The proposed tenancy agreement is broken into eight sections:

1. Introduction

Section (1)

New introduction added to provide a brief opening to the tenancy agreement.

2. Tenancy Agreement

(2.1) Statement Overview

Statement added explaining who the tenancy agreement is between and how this agreement will supersede any previous tenancy agreement.

(2.2) Introductory or Secure Tenancy Option

New section added deciding the type of tenancy; an ‘introductory’ or a ‘secure’ tenancy.

(2.3) Introductory Tenancy

Additional information on being an Introductory Tenant and the introductory period.

(2.4) Tenant and Household Information

  • Revision to layout of capturing tenant and household information. 
  • New additions to layout include the type of property (tick box); if property has a garden (tick box) and date electrical certificate provided.
  • A new and revised Tenant Declaration section includes a reference to the tenant complying with the terms and conditions of the agreement; not providing any false information; notifying us of a change in circumstance; notifying us of a change in occupancy and to sign the tenant declaration.
  • A new ‘Office Only’ page also included for Housing Management purposes, including photo ID and tenant signature, confirming the likeness of photo.

3. Tenancy Conditions

(3.1) ‘Rent’ clause 

Change of title. Additional conditions on tenant’s responsibility to pay rent and any former charges. Condition on right to change charges revised.

(3.2) New ‘Service Charges’ clause 

New conditions on the tenant’s responsibility to pay service charges and our right to review and vary our charges.

(3.3) ‘Serving of Notices’ clause 

Minor revision to language and additional wording provided on serving notices relating to the tenancy.

(3.4) ‘Right of Third Parties’ clause

Minor revision to language.

(3.5) ‘Variation of the Tenancy Conditions’ clause

Section rewritten and updated to provide more detail on process around varying tenancy conditions.

(3.6) New ‘Tenant’s Handbook’ clause

Making reference to the handbook.

4. Our Responsibilities

(4.1) New ‘Possession’ clause 

Additional information on the Council giving tenant vacant possession of property at the start of the tenancy and providing 3 keys/fobs.

(4.2) ‘Repairs to the Property and Installations’ clause 

Change of title. All conditions (landlord repairs and damage to property) revised to improve wording and make clearer. 

(4.3) New ‘Repairs for Shared Areas’ clause 

New conditions on communal landlord repairs, damage to communal areas and Council being responsible for communal fire safety precautions. 

(4.4) ‘Decorations’ clause 

Minor revision to wording.

(4.5) Data Protection clause 

Condition updated to cover General Data Protection Regulation and reference Council’s Privacy Notice. 

5. Your Responsibilities

(5.1) ‘Residence and Use of Property’ clause 

Merged two existing clauses into one clause. Additional information included in the tenant’s responsibility to manage and maintain the property, including fire safety precautions. Revision to language to improve wording.

(5.2) ‘Payment of Rent and Other Charges’ clause 

Minor revision to wording on paying any costs or sums ordered in legal proceedings.

(5.3) ‘Repairs and Maintenance’ clause 

  • Wording in conditions revised to improve wording and make clearer. List of minor repairs list revised and in line with handbook.
  • Additional information including the tenant’s responsibility to dispose fat and cooking waste responsibly; undertaking repairs that are as a result of deliberate acts to or negligence of the property and possible recharges; agree not to unblock any fireplaces and to test smoke alarms regularly.

(5.4) ‘Condition of the Property’ clause 

New conditions included on condensation and adequate ventilation and not disconnecting any extractor fans or to block vents. Minor revision to language on the condition of the property.

(5.5) ‘Alterations and Internal Decorations to the Property’ clause 

  • Revision to wording regarding the tenant’s responsibility to obtain written consent before laying wooden or laminate flooring or making any non-structural alterations to internal layout of property. Additional information added on laminate flooring.
  • Additional information included on the tenant’s responsibility for any fixtures and fittings installed and using appropriate materials for decorating inside of property.

(5.6) ‘Right of Entry/Access to Your Property’ clause

Merged two existing access clauses into one clause. Conditions revised to make wording clearer on access. 

(5.7) ‘Anti-Social Behaviour and Harassment’ clause

  • Revision to list of ASB type list.
  • New conditions on the tenant to not commit an indictable offence in or around the locality of the property and damage to or within a property or shared area.

(5.8) ‘Threats and Violence Against Staff’ clause 

Minor revision to wording.

(5.9) New ‘Noise and Nuisance’ clause 

  • New conditions include the tenant to not create unreasonable noise or excessive nuisance in the property or in other areas. Non-exhaustive list added. 
  • New condition on the tenant to not leave food items or household waste out on communal areas and balconies.

(5.10) ‘Domestic Abuse’ clause 

New conditions included and wording revised to existing conditions to make section on domestic abuse stronger. 

(5.11) ‘Drugs’ clause 

Minor revision to wording.

(5.12) ‘Animals’ clause Revision to wording on existing conditions.

Additional items included on pets to make section stronger. New references to conditions for pets and dogs and pet fouling. 

(5.13) New ‘Pests and Infestations’ clause 

New condition on preventing infestations.

(5.14) New ‘Moving out Temporarily (Decanting)’ clause

Additional information on when a tenant is temporarily decanted.

(5.15) ‘Common Areas’ clause 

New conditions added on the tenant’s responsibility in communal areas. New references to keeping communal and other areas clear and fire safety including to not hoard items; tamper with fire safety equipment; to not smoke in communal areas; to not light barbeques or combustible items on communal or private balconies and to not keep or store any flammable substances.

(5.16) ‘Rubbish, Refuse and Recycling’ clause

Additional items on rubbish, recycling and correctly disposing of rubbish in refuse chutes. 

(5.17) ‘Gardens, Patios and Balcony’ clause 

New conditions added on maintaining private gardens, garden management, fences and ensuring pots on balconies are secure. Revision to existing wording on garden maintenance.

(5.18) ‘Parking’ clause 

Additional items included ensuring vehicles are taxed, insured and roadworthy and no parking or storing any motorbike or scooter in any communal or access areas. Minor revision to existing condition on parking.

(5.19) ‘Assignment, Sub-Letting and Lodgers’ clause 

Additional items added on lodgers and requirements for introductory tenants and secure tenants. Revision to wording on subletting and assignment.

(5.20) New ‘Mutual Exchange’ clause 

Additional information on mutual exchanges.

(5.21) New ‘Succession’ clause 

New conditions on succession and who can succeed the property.

(5.22) ‘Lost Keys’ clause 

Additional items added on charging tenants for key replacements and tenants not being allowed to change locks to any communal entrance door.

(5.23) ‘Remedying Breach of Conditions and Charges’ clause 

Condition split to make clearer for tenants.

(5.24) ‘Terminating the Tenancy’ clause 

Additional information included on the tenant’s responsibility to keep condition of property to the landlord’s standard. Revision to existing wording on terminating the tenancy.

(5.25) ‘At the End of the Tenancy’ clause 

  • Conditions revised to improve wording when ending the tenancy. Additional information added regarding the tenant’s responsibility to return all keys, undertake minor repairs and any reasonable charges charged back to the tenant if we need to secure the property. 
  • New condition added on storing items in certain circumstances.

6. Your Rights

(6.1) ‘Your Right to Occupy’ clause 

Conditions revised to provide clarity to tenants on their right to occupy property.

(6.2) New ‘Improvements and Compensation for Improvements’ clause

Additional information included on the tenant’s responsibility to obtain Council’s written consent before making improvements and compensation to tenants in accordance with law.

(6.3) New ‘The Right to Repair’ clause 

New information added to the tenant’s rights to raise certain urgent minor repairs.

(6.4) New ‘The Right to Buy’ clause 

New information on Right to Buy conditions relating to introductory and secure tenants.

(6.5) New ‘The Right to Information’ clause

New condition on tenants right to information and requesting information. 

(6.6) New ‘The Right to Consultation’ clause 

New condition outlining that the Council will consult with tenants on matters of housing management

7. Our Rights

(7.1) New ‘All Tenants’ clause 

New condition on Council’s rights as landlord to all tenants (introductory and secure tenants).

(7.2) New ‘Introductory Tenants’ clause

New condition on Council’s rights as landlord to introductory tenants and serving relevant notices if there are breaches of tenancy.

(7.3) New ‘Secure Tenants’ clause 

New condition on Council’s rights as landlord to secure tenants and serving a notice if there are breaches of tenancy conditions

8. Other Terms

(8.1) New ‘Complaints’ clause 

Additional information provided to tenants on formal complaints.

 


 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 


Why are you changing the tenancy agreement?

We are proposing to update our tenancy agreement, following the decision to stop issuing fixed term tenancies. Our proposal is to offer one agreement that covers introductory and lifetime secure tenancies. We last updated the agreement more than five years ago and we need to bring it up to date. We also want to make some proposed changes to the terms and conditions. These proposed changes are outlined in our ‘Summary of Proposed Changes’ and ‘Table of Proposed Changes’ documents which is part of the consultation material for all tenants.

Why are you changing some of the tenancy conditions?

We are proposing changes to the tenancy conditions to ensure we make information in the agreement clearer for everyone. The proposed changes will enable us to improve the management of council owned housing and allow officers to address tenancy breaches and issues on estates robustly. 

Why are you consulting? 

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has a legal responsibility to consult with tenants who will be affected by the proposed changes and to ask for your views. We have decided to extend the consultation period from 6 weeks to 8 weeks.

Will these changes affect the security of my tenancy?

No, the proposed changes won’t affect the security of your tenancy. 

Will these changes affect my rent?

No, the proposed changes to the tenancy agreement will not affect the amount of rent you pay. 

I don’t have my current tenancy agreement anymore. Where can I get a copy? 

All tenants receive a copy of the tenancy agreement at the start of their tenancy. If you cannot find the original agreement, you can find a copy of the tenancy agreement via the link below.

lternatively, you can contact Customer Services and request - an alternative format/paper copy.

Will tenants get copies of the new tenancy agreement?

Yes, once the proposed changes have been agreed, all tenants will get a copy of the new tenancy agreement.

Will these proposed tenancy conditions apply to all tenants, including existing tenants? 

Yes, the proposed changes will apply to all Council tenants.

How long will the consultation run for?

It will run for eight weeks, starting on 8 March 2021 and closing on 2 May 2021.

How can I let you know my views on the proposed changes?

We will be writing to all tenants letting them know of the proposed changes. We encourage all tenants to let us know their views by completing the online questionnaire (or hard copy questionnaire if requested). We will look at all consultation findings and take these into account before we issue the final document.

What if I require the consultation materials or questionnaire in another format? 

If you or someone you know require the consultation materials or questionnaire in another format or language, you can contact us via email and telephone with details below.

How will you let me know the results of the consultation and how my opinion influenced the decision?

Once the consultation has been completed, all comments and feedback will be considered and included in a report that will go to the Leadership Team. The leadership team consists of executive directors and cabinet members who will review the contents and decide if they agree with the varied tenancy agreement. Once this happens, we will write to all tenants to confirm the variation to their tenancy agreement and the date it becomes effective.

When will these changes take effect?

We propose for the changes to take effect on 19 July 2021.

Does this mean my tenancy has ended or will end?

No, the date you started your tenancy with us will remain the same and will not be affected. You will continue with the new conditions. 

Will I have to sign another tenancy agreement?

No signature is required and this doesn’t affect your security of tenure. If after consultation the changes are agreed, the changes could take effect around 19 July 2021. This is not an exact date and could change but if it does we will write to all tenants to confirm any changes to the draft timelines.