Concessionary lettings

Concessionary lettings

What are concessionary lettings?

We have granted more than 120 lettings at less than market value to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations across the city. These range from short-term licences to long leases and this process is known as Community Asset Transfer (CAT). It enables the occupants to use a council asset (building or land) on preferential terms, often at less than the market rent or without paying rent at all.

A register of all concessionary tenancies (pdf, 101 KB) (opens new window) is maintained in order to record the level of in-kind support that the council provides annually to Bristol’s third sector.

Why do we provide concessionary lettings?

The use of council-owned assets as community buildings means local organisations can deliver facilities where they are most needed. These services and facilities are best provided and managed by local people, for local people, and bring greater independence and financial sustainability to local communities.

Another reason to grant a long lease at less than market value is to enable the tenant to get funding from government or charitable sources for investment in the property. This is an important consideration, as many community buildings require a high level of investment to modernise them or make them fit for purpose.

This meets the objectives of the Bristol Partnership’s 20:20 Plan and the council’s Corporate Plan by helping to create a diverse and accessible city made up of vibrant, cohesive, balanced and sustainable communities where everyone is valued and can thrive economically, culturally and socially.

How do we decide this?

In the past, concessionary tenancies were often granted automatically to third sector organisations and many of these leases date from the 1950s and 60s and are still valid. Nowadays, we carefully balance the granting of concessionary tenancies with the potential capital receipt they could generate, by considering the social, economic and environmental benefits they produce for Bristol.

Modern leases contain clauses that enable the council to review the concessionary terms to ensure the benefits that were originally agreed are still achieved.