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Following consultation with our customers via Newcastle Independent Tenants’ Voice, Newcastle City Council has made some changes to its lettings policy.

  As part of their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly, the council is making it easier for those people to access our properties. There is still some eligibility criteria, but for some, this means that they may be given a higher priority for housing.

There’s also been a change in approach to tenant transfers so that “good” tenants are better rewarded – i.e the people who pay their rent on time, who keep their homes in a decent condition, and who are good neighbours – with the chances of them being able to move when they want to increased.

In relation to this, it’s also more difficult for customers who don’t do these things to move, so, if someone who already has a suitable home wants to move somewhere else but they’re in arrears, or their property is a bad state, or their neighbours have complained about anti-social behaviour, then they may be suspended from bidding until those issues are resolved. We’ll always work with customers who are in need and want to support to anyone who is struggling, but we think it’s fair to expect everyone to try to be a good tenant.

We’ll also be taking a closer look at new applicants’ financial circumstances to make sure they need and can afford social housing, which should help us point more people in the right direction for help to access benefits and other support.

Newcastle City Council will continue to review the changes, their impact and the need for any further changes.

You can read the updated policy here.