Pay to stay was a Government policy which ensured all landlords would be charging their tenants (earning over £30k or £40k in London) the market rent to live in their home. Currently landlords have the option to do this to tenants who are earning £60k+. Pay to stay has been optional for landlords with not many choosing to implement the policy as there were too many administrative problems for staff as well as logistical complications. The plan was originally announced in the July 2015 budget by then Chancellor George Osbourne and was due to come into effect in April 2017 however the plans have been scrapped and all future meetings have been cancelled.
Pay to stay was estimated to effect 10% of social housing tenants in the UK (more than 70,000 households) and would push the annual rent up, on average by £1000 a year. The current Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell has recently announced the introduction of compulsory fixed term tenancies. The implementation of fixed term tenancies will allow landlords to periodically review tenancies and make sure those occupying the properties still have a need for that home. It also means landlords can prioritise their time and direct help towards those households with a lower income.
Pay to stay is no longer going ahead due to criticisms made by tenants, charities and council leaders. It was unfair to expect hardworking people to subsidise the lifestyles of those on higher than average income.
“The Government remains committed to delivering its objective of ensuring social housing is occupied by those who need it most. But we need to do so in a way that supports those ordinary working class families who can struggle to get by, and in a way which delivers real savings to the taxpayer. The policy as previously envisaged did not meet those aims”
The government have announced they are still looking for other ways to make sure the higher earning tenants make a greater contribution and the families who are ‘just managing’ are not forced into a worse position.
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