Livin Local Lettings Policies

Local Letting Policy 1

PROPERTIES COVERED BY POLICY

Livin properties will only be allocated when it is considered that the qualifying applicant is in a position to successfully conduct their tenancy.

Livin is therefore introducing a requirement for housing applicants to attend a ‘Pre-Tenancy Workshop’ in order to ensure they are able to successfully conduct a tenancy.

CRITERIA

Any housing applicant who will be granted a Starter or Probationary Tenancy will be required to attend the pre-tenancy workshop before they receive an offer of accommodation:-

  • Have not held a previous successful tenancy (any tenure) within the last 12 months (including regular moves which indicate sustainment issues)
  • Have highlighted any relevant vulnerabilities on their application form
  • Have a criminal conviction that may not be directly connected to a tenancy but would still raise concerns regarding the conduct of a tenancy, e.g. theft of motor vehicles
  • Have a history of anti-social behaviour
  • All applicants aged 18 -21 registered with livin or applying for a home with livin will also be assessed to attend Smart Start (this will particularly assist those who may require further support due being in receipt of housing related benefits or Universal Credit).

SUPPORT MEASURES

The workshop will include information/advice in respect of the following:

  • How to conduct their new tenancy and the requirements of their tenancy agreement
  • The likely costs of running a livin home and training on budgeting skills
  • Access to services which will assist the applicant in conducting a successful tenancy such as credit unions, furniture schemes etc.
  • Digital inclusion
  • Employment support
  • Access to grants and loans
  • Housing and council tax benefit
  • The implications of Welfare Reform, such as Universal Credit and the benefit cap

An assessment of an applicant’s capacity to conduct a tenancy will also be undertaken by the Financial Wellbeing Team and offers of accommodation will not be made to any applicant who:

1) Have no means to provide any furniture for the property

2) Do not have sufficient income to make the rent payments

3) Have themselves confirmed that they would be unable to conduct a tenancy due to needing further support, which is currently unavailable or not in place

4) Have financial commitments which mean that their expenditure exceeds their income

The Financial and Wellbeing Team and the applicant will agree a support plan to enable the applicant to prepare for a tenancy and only once the stated issue is resolved, will any formal offer of accommodation be made. Assistance will be given as follows:

1) Have no means to provide any furniture for the property

Access to the Smarterbuys Store; and access to either free or more affordable furniture; help to secure grants, if possible; or source, at least, the basics needed, such as a bed, cooker, chair etc.

2) Do not have sufficient income to make the rent payments

Help to appeal against benefit sanctions, welfare benefit checks, debt advice and help into employment.

3) Have themselves confirmed they would be unable to conduct a tenancy due to needing further support, which is currently unavailable or not in place

Identification of and referral to appropriate support providers

4) Have financial commitments which mean that their expenditure exceeds their income

livin will carry out a financial health check, where there are immediate areas for savings. livin would be able to access grants, carry out a welfare benefits check and/or refer for debt advice.

EFFECTIVE DATE

  • July 2014

AMENDED

  • October 2015
  • October 2017 (criteria amended to include 18-21 year olds)

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Local Letting Policy 2

PROPERTIES COVERED BY POLICY

  • The ‘Courts’ Shildon Regeneration Area

CRITERIA

  1. Properties within the specified areas will be let in line with the following criteria:-

  • Livin tenants that are assessed as adequately housed will not be considered until they have held their current tenancy over two years, to demonstrate there is a commitment from our tenants to build a sustainable community in their new home

  • All new tenants must have completed a tenancy support assessment and affordability check with Livin before the commencement of any tenancy

  • All applicants (or member of the household to be rehoused) must not have been found guilty of committing anti-social behaviour by a previous Landlord or the police within the last two years. Decisions will be based on Landlord references and Police checks.

  • It is an expectation that tenants will sign a Good Neighbour Agreement

   2. Preference will be given to those engaging in positive activity - 60% of homes being offered will be to applicants in part or full time work at the point of first let.

EFFECTIVE DATE

  • June 2019

REVIEW DATE

  • June 2020

Local Lettings Policy 3

PROPERTIES COVERED BY POLICY

  • Units classified as low demand (see definition below) within Livin Housing Limited's stock within Shildon and Newton Aycliffe (Western Area and Agnew)

CRITERIA

Low demand will be defined as follows:

  • Any property in the specified areas which has been advertised via the Durham Key Options Choice Based Lettings system for two consecutive cycles without being successfully allocated.
  • Where a property has been classed as 'low demand' for the purposes of this local lettings policy, should a similar property in terms of size and unit type become available in the same location, this will also be recognised as being low demand without the need for being advertised via Durham Key Options.
  1.  Where a property meets the definition of low demand as above, Livin will carry out a direct let to avoid keeping the property empty and to best make use of social housing stock. The following criteria will be in place:
  • Prospective tenants must be recieving support from Durham Homestay housing support service.

EFFECTIVE DATE

  • August 2020

REVIEW DATE

  • September 2021

Local Lettings Policy 4

PROPERTIES COVERED BY POLICY

  • Hamminkeln Place, Salters Lane, Sedgefield, TS21 3FN

CRITERIA

All allocations will be made in line with the Durham Key Options Lettings Policy, with the addition of the following criteria:

  • Priority will be given to applicants with a local connection within the Sedgefield parish boundary.

For the purpose of this Local Lettings Plan “Local Area” refers to the Sedgefield parish boundary. Local connection is defined as follows

  • The applicant(s) must be currently resident in the “Local Area” and have lived there for a continuous period of 12 months. Or,
  • The applicant(s) must be in continuous full-time or part-time employment or formal employment training within the Local Area for at least 6 months prior to their housing application date (or date of offer of accommodation). Or, 
  • Applicant(s) living outside the Local Area who have been awarded Welfare Priority following assessment of their housing need(s) within Durham Key Options and this is specifically to give or receive support. This priority will be considered where a move to the Local Area only would enable support provision; the person(s) giving or receiving the support must live in the Local Area and where failure to deliver this support could result in tenancy / independent housing instability*.

*Appropriate evidence will be required to prove eligibility. This may include third party medical evidence.

Where no acceptable bids are received from applicants who fulfil the Local Connection criterion within Band 1, we will consider applicants with a Local Connection in the next eligible band and so on.

Where no acceptable bids from applicants with a Local Connection are received, Livin will allocate the applicable property in line with the standard Durham Key Options Common Lettings Policy.

Affordability assessments may be carried out prior to formal offers.

EFFECTIVE DATE

  • March 2021

REVIEW DATE

  • March 2022

Local Lettings Policy 5

PROPERTIES COVERED BY POLICY

  • Eden Gardens, Sedgefield, TS21 2BP (6 x 2-bedroom houses and 7 x 3-bedroom houses)

CRITERIA

All allocations will be made in line with the Durham Key Options Common Lettings Policy with the addition of the following criteria;

  • Priority will be given to applicants with a local connection within the Sedgefield parish boundary.

For the purpose of this Local Lettings Plan “Local Area” refers to the Sedgefield parish boundary. Local connection is defined as follows

  • The applicant(s) must be currently resident in the “Local Area” and have lived there for a continuous period of 12 months

or

  • The applicant(s) must be in continuous full-time or part-time employment or formal employment training within the Local Area for at least 6 months prior to their housing application date (or date of offer of accommodation).

or

  • Applicant(s) living outside the Local Area who have been awarded Welfare Priority following assessment of their housing need(s) within Durham Key Options and this is specifically to give or receive support. This priority will be considered where a move to the Local Area only would enable support provision; the person(s) giving or receiving the support must live in the Local Area and where failure to deliver this support could result in tenancy / independent housing instability*.

*Appropriate evidence will be required to prove eligibility. This may include third party medical evidence.

Livin Housing Limited will give preference to applicants in the following priority order;

  1. Local connection
  2. Application date

Where no acceptable bids are received from applicants who fulfil the Local Connection criterion within Band 1 or the advertised preference band, we will consider applicants with a Local Connection in the next eligible band and so on.

Where no acceptable bids from applicants with a Local Connection are received, Livin will allocate the applicable property in line with the standard Durham Key Options Common Lettings Policy.

Affordability assessments may be carried out prior to formal offers.

All allocations will be made through the Durham Key Options Choice Based Lettings System.  This Local Lettings Policy will apply to first let only, all future lets will be allocated in line wiht Durham Key Options Lettings Policy.

EFFECTIVE DATE

June 2022

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