13 May 2021

Furnished tenancies – an essential service

As the furnished tenancies manager at Torus, I oversee around 1,600 furnished tenancies, and over the past 23 years, Torus have provided over 5,500 furnished tenancies across the North West.

Our furnished tenancies are offered to general needs tenants, but we know that those who need them most are some of our most vulnerable in society. Many come to us with nothing but whatever their background, we provide them with a furnished property containing essential furniture items, such as a bed, a cooker, and a fridge. Basic items that many of us take for granted.

It is our belief that individuals who have already been through so much should not be offered an empty box; they need a home to get their lives back on track. And of course, some of our tenants simply need a helping hand to get started. The cost of the furniture is covered through the service charge on both housing benefit and Universal Credit and the tenant has peace of mind of knowing that the items will be maintained and replaced when necessary.

Torus provide furnished tenancies because we believe it is the right thing to do. It means our tenants have the best chance to sustain their tenancy and to have a decent standard of living. As an added bonus, it also creates a profit for Torus which we reinvest to provide our tenants with additional sources of support.

We know that if we did not provide furnished tenancies, some individuals would be living without essential furniture items for months, or even years. Imagine waking up after a poor night’s sleep on an air bed, or on the floor, only being able to eat food that can be made with a kettle, not wanting to invite family or support workers into your home because you haven’t got a sofa to sit on. The furnished tenancies we provide prevent our tenants experiencing the harmful effects of living in furniture poverty.

We are strong supporters of End Furniture Poverty and through their work and our experiences, we know that the impact of living without essential items can be devastating for people, affecting their physical and mental health, their social wellbeing and their finances.

We believe every social landlord should provide furnished tenancies and we hope our webinar coming up on 18 May, 11:00 - 12:30, with End Furniture Poverty and the Chartered Institute of Housing will give them the guidance, advice and support they need to get started. You can book your place here.

Written by Ian Fyfe

Ian Fyfe is the furnished tenancies manager at Torus.