Termination Policy

Policy reference number: POL-HOU-TERM
Version number: 1
Date applies from: 24/2/14


1. Aim of Policy

1.1. This Policy sets out City West’s approach when a customer serves notice to end their tenancy.

2. Policy

2.1. City West aims to sustain tenancies. It is important to us that our customers can remain in their homes with us for us long as they need or want to subject to the tenancy being conducted satisfactorily. To support the achievement of this aim, we will work with any customer who indicates that they want to end their tenancy to see if there is any reasonable action we can take which would address their reasons for wanting to move.

2.2. Where the customer has reasons for wanting to end their tenancy that either we cannot reasonably address or they don’t want us to address, we want them to leave us with the best possible impression and with every opportunity to provide us with feedback about City West and its services, including using an exit survey with all outgoing customers. We also wish the property to be left in as good a condition as possible and for the outgoing customer not to receive any recharges.

2.3. City West requires four weeks’ notice from the customer to be given in all but the most exceptional circumstances. Where, with the support of the outgoing customer, we are able to let the property to an incoming customer within those four weeks, we will waive the rent due for any remaining period.

2.4. When a customer wishes to serve notice to end their tenancy, there must be no ambiguity and so proper notice consists of a written, dated and signed declaration of the intention to end the tenancy. Any other action (for example, handing in keys at a reception desk) will be treated as abandoning the property.

2.5. City West requires its customers to end their tenancy
• Leaving the property in good condition and clear without any remaining furniture, rubbish or belongings, which would incur a recharge;
• Without incurring any recharges due to damage caused whilst a customer has been living in the property, which would not constitute ordinary wear and tear;
• With a clear rent account; and
• Leaving appropriate future contact details such as a forwarding address.

2.6. To promote such behaviour, we will publicise our Just Rewards scheme and encourage customers to apply.

2.7. From the point at which a customer first contacts us about ending their tenancy we will provide clear information and advice about recharges in the void process and work with them to ensure rechargeable work is avoided.

2.8. In order to help our outgoing customers to meet the requirements of 2.5, we will make every effort to conduct a pre-termination inspection as standard practice at the property of every outgoing customer. This will enable us to identify any rechargeable work and provide the customer with clear guidance on what they need to do to meet the requirements of 2.5 as well as timescales in which any remedial action identified must be carried out.

2.9. As a general principle, we would also make best use of the four week notice period, to reduce the period that the property will be empty by undertaking void work surveys and ordering work, thereby ensuring we are making best use of our stock and reducing void loss. Where appropriate, City West will therefore encourage customers to allow property inspections and viewings, for example, before their tenancy ends.

2.10. Adherence to this policy will result in void costs being reduced because pre-termination inspections will have been carried out, rechargeable repairs will have been identified and these will either have been put right by the outgoing customer or be disaggregated from void costs.

3. How the Policy will be delivered

3.1. This policy will be communicated to staff via the intranet. It will be published on the internet site for customers and stakeholders and news stories will draw attention to its publication.

3.2. The Neighbourhood teams will be responsible for delivering the Policy and its related procedure, with overall operational responsibility being held by the Empty Properties Manager.

3.3. If staff become aware that there are problems with effective operation of the policy or the associated procedures, they should report this to the Policy Owner. This feedback will be incorporated into the policy / procedural review process.

4. Related Procedures

4.1. The following procedures need to be followed to implement the policy:
• Termination Procedure.