Length of fixed-term tenancies in social housing

The main facts and figures show that:

  • in 2016/17, there were 56,773 new social housing lettings with a fixed period tenancy length where the ethnicity of the household was known
  • overall, 23.4% of fixed-term tenancies were for 2 years or less, 63.3% were for 3 to 5 years, 11.5% were for 6 to 9 years, and 1.8% were for 10 or more years
  • for all ethnic groups, the most common length of new fixed-term tenancies was 3 to 5 years
  • Bangladeshi households were the ethnic group most likely to have a new fixed period tenancy of 3 to 5 years, and least likely to have one longer than 5 years
Things you need to know

Social housing is provided by local authorities and private registered providers (mainly housing associations).

Since 2012, social housing providers have been allowed to offer fixed-term tenancies as well as lifetime tenancies. The minimum fixed term is 5 years, or 2 years in exceptional circumstances.

There were 334,602 new social housing lettings in 2016/17, excluding those where a tenant started a new tenancy agreement but stayed in the same property.

The ethnicity of the main tenant was known for 318,150 of these new lettings (95.1%), and refused or missing for 16,452 lettings (4.9%).

The data shown here only relates to the 56,773 new, permanent lettings (18% of new social housing lettings in 2016/17) that were given for a fixed period and where the ethnicity of the main tenant was known.

It does not include lifetime tenancies, which accounted for the majority of new lettings in 2016/17. You can see which other types of letting have been excluded in paragraph 2.3 of the Social housing lettings quality report.

Because this data only includes lettings where the tenant reported their ethnicity, the figures published here may be different from other published figures on social housing.

There may be some inaccuracy in the administrative data used to compile these statistics due to missing responses or reporting errors when the data was entered.

The raw data has been taken from the Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing (CORE) system. The statistics presented on this page have not been published separately by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Data is presented for the year 2016/17. Data for the year 2015/16 is available in the download file.

What the data measures

This data measures the number and percentage of new lettings in social housing by length of fixed-term tenancy, for each ethnic group.

The data is for new lettings with fixed-term tenancies in 2016/17, which made up 18% of all social lettings made in that period (56,773 out of 318,150 lettings where ethnicity was known). Lifetime tenancies, which make up the remainder of new lettings, are not included in this data.

The data does not include lettings where a tenant starts a new tenancy agreement but stays in the same property (after their previous tenancy agreement ended).

The information relates to households. A household is one person or a group of people (not necessarily related) who have the accommodation as their only or main residence. If it is a group, they must share cooking facilities and also share a living room, sitting room or dining area.

The data uses the ethnicity of the main tenant. For a single tenancy, this is the named tenant.

For a joint tenancy, the main tenant is:

  • the economically active or working person
  • the oldest person, if both tenants are working or both are not working

These figures are drawn from the Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing (CORE) system in 2016/17. CORE is a complete census of new social housing lettings, which records:

  • social housing lettings
  • affordable housing lettings
  • sales by private registered providers
The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses the standardised ethnic groups based on the 2011 Census.

White:

  • English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Any other Black background

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Length of fixed-term tenancies for new lettings in social housing by ethnicity

Length of tenancy for new fixed-term lettings in social housing within each ethnic group

2 years or less 3 to 5 years 6 to 9 years 10 or more years
Ethnicity % Number % Number % Number % Number
All 23.4 13,305 63.3 35,940 11.5 6,526 1.8 1,001
Asian 17.8 500 71.6 2,010 10.0 281 0.6 16
Bangladeshi 11.5 84 80.3 586 7.5 55 0.7 5
Chinese 16.1 14 73.7 65 10.2 9 0.0 0
Indian 22.0 95 65.6 284 12.1 53 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
Pakistani 20.7 149 69.9 505 9.1 66 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
Asian other 18.9 157 68.3 569 11.8 99 0.9 8
Black 21.0 988 65.4 3,079 12.8 602 0.8 38
Black African 18.8 492 67.1 1,754 13.2 346 0.9 23
Black Caribbean 23.6 387 64.0 1,051 11.8 194 0.6 11
Black other 24.3 109 61.0 275 13.8 62 0.9 4
Mixed 25.2 531 64.3 1,356 9.5 200 1.0 20
Mixed White/Asian 30.4 69 61.0 138 8.6 19 0.0 0
Mixed White/Black African 19.2 63 67.3 222 11.5 38 2.0 7
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 28.6 294 62.9 646 7.8 80 0.8 8
Mixed other 20.2 106 66.8 350 12.0 63 1.0 5
White 23.9 11,037 62.5 28,846 11.6 5,363 2.0 912
White British 24.5 10,558 61.8 26,605 11.6 4,981 2.0 879
White Irish 25.4 71 63.8 178 10.5 29 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
White Gypsy/Traveller 21.7 21 62.7 61 14.4 14 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality
White other 14.0 386 72.6 2,001 12.3 339 1.1 31
Other 25.0 249 65.4 650 8.1 80 1.5 15
Arab 26.0 81 64.7 201 7.1 22 2.3 7
Any other 24.6 168 65.7 449 8.5 58 1.2 8

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, there were 56,773 new social housing lettings with a fixed period tenancy length where the ethnicity of the household was known
  • overall, 23.4% of fixed-term tenancies were for 2 years or less, 63.3% of were for 3 to 5 years, 11.5% were for 6 to 9 years, and 1.8% were for 10 or more years
  • for all ethnic groups, the most likely length of a new fixed period tenancy for households renting social housing was 3 to 5 years
  • 80.3% of Bangladeshi households had a tenancy length of 3 to 5 years, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups – but only 8.2% of Bangladeshi households had a tenancy of longer than 5 years, the lowest of all ethnic groups
  • the second most common tenancy length was 2 years or less, accounting for 23.4% of all fixed-term lettings – 30.4% of Mixed White and Asian households had this length of tenancy, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • there were no large changes for ethnic groups between 2015/16 and 2016/17, although the overall percentage of fixed-term tenancies of 3 to 5 years increased from 54.9% to 63.3%

Methodology

Methodology

The 3 main types of housing tenure in England are:

  • owner occupiers
  • private renters
  • social renters

This data refers to new lettings to social renters only. The data is based on the data collected from providers via the on-line Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing in England (CORE) system. CORE was first set up in 1989 and initially only required private registered providers (PRPs) to submit social housing lettings and sales information to support the government’s regulatory function. CORE’s remit expanded in 2004 to include local authority information.

Some questions on the CORE questionnaire are not compulsory. In particular, data on household characteristics (age, sex, economic status, ethnicity and nationality) may not be available to the housing officer or may be refused by the tenant.

The totals for new lettings used in this data differ from other published totals for new lettings, as they exclude lettings where ethnicity was refused.

Information on lettings of social housing in England is provided by local authorities and private registered providers (previously known as housing associations). Information about the tenancy, the tenants and the property is collected by data providers each time there is a new letting of a social housing property.

Weighting:

Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.

For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.

Data here has been weighted at the national level, but not at the regional or local authority area level. Weights are calculated for groups of similar local authorities, where these groups are defined by the Office of National Statistics UK area classifications, and they are based on the comparison with data from another Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government source on social housing data (Local Authority Housing Statistics).

For further information on weighting, see the Quality Report (PDF).

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Data has been suppressed if the number of new lettings in a category (for example ethnicity and income bracket) is either 1 or 2. This is mainly to avoid possible risk of disclosure and is consistent with confidentiality and disclosure practices for the Continuous Recording (CORE) system.

The CORE system records information anonymously and maintains absolute confidentiality on tenants’ circumstances. Access to record-level information is only available through a licence agreement.

Further information on CORE disclosure practices can be found on the CORE website (PDF).

Rounding

Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal place. Due to rounding, some totals may not add up to 100%.

Quality and methodology information

Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The aim of Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing in England (CORE) is to provide information about new social housing lettings, sales, tenants and buyers across England.

This information is used by government bodies and organisations to inform social housing funding, regulatory and housing policy decisions.

Download the data

Length of fixed-term tenancy in social housing - Spreadsheet (csv) 13 KB

This files contains the following: Measure, Time, Time_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Tenancy Length, Value, Numerator