This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Requirements of a family intervention tenancy

This content applies to England

There are certain requirements for the creation of a family intervention tenancy.

From 1 January 2009, local authorities and private registered providers of social housing (PRPSH) have been able to grant family intervention tenancies (FIT) to their existing tenants who have been, or could be at risk of possession proceedings based on their behaviour, or the behaviour of those living with them. They can also offer FITs to tenants who do not have a secure or assured tenancy.[1] It should be noted that a tenant is not obliged to enter into a FIT; however, it may be advisable because failure to do so could result in further or continuing possession action against their existing tenancy.

Social landlords should follow the Pre-action Protocol for Possession Cases by Social Landlords before pursuing possession proceedings.

Procedure

A notice must first be served on the tenant to ensure that they are fully aware of the purpose and nature of a FIT and the consequences of relinquishing their secure/assured tenancy. In practice a decision on whether to accept a FIT will be closely aligned with the family's decision on whether or not to accept the overall support package offered to them (though there may be cases where they signal they do not wish to accept a FIT but do want to accept support).

Content of notice

The notice must contain the following:

  • reasons for offering the FIT
  • details of the accommodation the FIT will be applicable to
  • the other terms of the FIT (including those pertaining to any requirements on the new tenant in respect of behaviour support services)
  • an explanation of the insecure nature of a FIT (in comparison to a secure/assured tenancy)
  • an explanation that the tenant is under no compulsion to either, give up his existing tenancy or accept the FIT
  • an explanation of the possible consequence of not accepting the Family Intervention Project support services and FIT
  • advice as to how the tenant may obtain assistance in relation to the FIT notice served on them.[2]

Independent advice

Social landlords must provide information on how the tenant can access independent advice in respect of the notice served.[3] Guidance states that landlords should make reasonable efforts to ensure that households, which often will have multiple and complex problems, can obtain appropriate advice about the significance of entering into a FIT. [4]

Duration of family intervention tenancy

Family intervention tenancies are intended as a means of working with families that have been involved in antisocial behaviour. An FIT should run for the duration of the behaviour support programme, which is normally will be for a period of between six and 12 months, though it can be for up to two years.

Moving back into social housing

The allocation of accommodation to a family intervention tenant is not subject to the provisions of Part 6 of the 1996 Act.[5] This enables local authorities to move people out of FITs and back into mainstream social housing whenever it is appropriate.

A FIT can be converted into a secure or assured tenancy on the service of notice by the landlord.[6] A local authority, that has adopted an introductory tenancy regime, can offer an introductory tenancy and a PRPSH can offer a starter tenancy (ie an assured shorthold tenancy which later is converted into an assured tenancy). [7]

For FITs that were granted on or after 1 April 2012, the FIT can be converted into a fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy of at least two years duration on the service of notice by a PRPSH.[8]

[1] s.297 Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.

[2] s.297(5) Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.

[3] s.297(7) Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.

[4] paras 31/33 Guidance on the use of Family Intervention Tenancies, January 2009.

[5] Allocation of Housing (England)(Amendment)(Family Intervention Tenancies) Regulations 2008 SI 2008/3015.

[6] para 4ZA sch 1 Housing Act 1985; para 12ZA part 1 sch1 Housing Act 1988; Allocation of Housing (England)(Amendment)(Family Intervention Tenancies) Regulations 2008 SI 2008/3015.

[7] paras 58/61 Guidance on the use of Family Intervention Tenancies, January 2009.

[8] s.20C Housing Act 1988 as inserted by s.163(2) Localism Act 2011.

Back to top