11 March 2019
A picture of Sanctuary tenants to be offered lifetime tenancies

Housing association Sanctuary Group has added its weight to the growing number of social landlords which have announced they will phase out fixed term tenancies, after consulting with residents.

Sanctuary has nearly 9,000 tenants currently on fixed term arrangements and from 1 April 2019, they will be offered a lifetime tenancy when their existing agreement comes up for renewal.

Residents on Sanctuary’s National Resident Scrutiny Panel debated the issue and called for fixed terms tenancies to be phased out. Their recommendation was confirmed by Sanctuary Group Board last month.

Sanctuary Group has more than 100,000 homes in total, including its 100 care homes, student accommodation, social housing in Scotland and supported housing stock.

The move will provide Sanctuary’s tenants with long-term security by removing the need to renew their tenancies, a process which is both ineffective and an unnecessary worry for tenants.

Chair of Sanctuary’s National Resident Scrutiny Panel, Wendy Burridge, said: “I was always unconvinced by fixed term tenancies. As a representative of Sanctuary tenants, I am really pleased that they have decided to scrap them and give residents the security they deserve.”

Sanctuary Group Chief Executive Craig Moule said: “We believe everyone should be able to live in a decent home, where they feel safe and secure.

“Our social purpose – the reason we were set up 50 years ago – was to provide a home that people could afford, where they could raise a family and grow old.

“Lifetime tenures are preferred by our residents and they make for stronger, more engaged and thriving communities. We are pleased to join our peers in the sector who have already taken this step.”

Sanctuary is letting all those on fixed term tenancies know of the change.

Fixed term tenancies were introduced by the Localism Act 2011 with the aim of allocating social housing to those who need it most and not giving lifetime tenancies to people whose circumstances might change in the future.