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Council tenants to lose right to lifetime occupation


The government has announced new plans that mean council tenants will lose the right to stay in their homes for life.

The new changes, which will be amendments to the Housing Bill, will mean occupational rights for new tenancies will only stretch up to five years at the most. If the amendment is passed into law, councils will have to provide people seeking council homes fixed term tenancy contracts of between two and five years. At the end of this term, local authorities could extend the lease or ask tenants to move. The rule change will only apply to new tenants, and will not effect existing householders.

The government has claimed that the moves will improve the ability of local councils to give homes to those most in need. Labour has claimed the move will break up communities. The plans also mean that children whose parents die will be stripped of the right to stay indefinitely in their family council home.

A spokesperson for the Department of Communities and Local Government said:
"It is only right that tenancies are reviewed after several years, to identify whether the circumstances of tenants have changed.
"This is about ensuring we make the best use of our social housing, based on need and income."

John Healey, Labour's housing spokesman said:
"People will be astonished that ministers are legislating to deny families a stable home.
"This will cause worry and upheaval for tenants, and break up communities."

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