01/09/2009 4:58 pm
My mother has been trying to secure me as a succession on her secure tenancy. The council are claiming they need 'proof' that I live there. I have been residing at the house since 1991. They know this as I have paid council tax etc. Before Barnet Homes took over 5 years ago, the London Borough of Barnet asked us every year if we lived there. Barnet Homes are asking me for 12 months bank statements. I don't have anything to hide, but I just don't trust them with my bank details. Why should I. An employee with Barnet Homes explained to us that if my mother passed away I will have to move to a 1 bed flat. We are in a 2 bedroom flat at the moment. They are trying to say (but won't admit it) that the original secure tenancy does not apply anymore. Any thoughts on this.
Sort: Newest first | Oldest first
07/01/2013 9:15 pm
I know that this is a very late post but you don't have to secure a right to succeed to your mothers tenancy. As long as you meet the criteria then you will succeed. You will have to prove that you have been living there for more than 12 months and so you should. after all you're hoping to inherit a social housing tenancy/property. As far as bank statements are concerned I don't see what the issue is, just black out you account number and balance. We require 2 pieces of proof each spanning 12 months. This can be statements, mobile phone bills, pay slips etc... It's also worth bearing in mind that you have the right to succeed to her tenancy but it doesn't have to be at that property and probably won't be if you'll be underoccupying.
25/12/2012 5:14 pm
im a disables lady of 55yrs and live in a three bedroomed house. ive been here since it was built and spent alot of money on it and managed to raise to decent members of society. i have just recieved a letter telling me i either pay extra monies for the two unoccupied rooms as im on dissabillity benefit this has put me in a hell of a predicement........im under a sucure tenancy under the housing association northern counties.............one of the unoccupied rooms is used by my carer when he/she has to stay over if im really ill......i understand that there are indeed many famalies out there in need of a three bedroomed house, but this is my home that ive put every spare penny into...i just dont know what to do or who to turn to and im wondering if the secured tenancy is still valid and just exactly what does it mean. i do not have any rent arrears.....nor do i want to move. can anyone guide me in the right direction to get help in this matter. i do not have longevity maybe another five yrs if im lucky...all this is very distressing. thankyou all. yours hopefully julie f glen.
17/06/2012 3:54 pm
There are a number of issues that need to be clarified first namely;
a has the tenancy been succeeded before ie was it originaly held as a joint tenancy for your dad and mum, if so
you cannot normally succeed a second time;
b if the tenancy has been held soley by your mum then you can ask the landlord to assign the tenancy in your name, which cannot unreasonable be withheld- L may take two beds into account but you can convince them that it is likely to be a family home
c if not above, then you may be entitled to succeed upon your mum's death as a family member, but council may seek possession by offering alternative accomm, by then you may have a partner or family of your own whihc would support your case to succession
d if all else fails you may be able to succeed another route via council's allocations policy under discretionay grounds.
15/06/2012 12:40 pm
The laws on succession and survivorship are quite clear.
Succession happens upon the death of the tenant, therefore the landlord does not have a right to refuse succession unless any of the qualifying criteria are not met (those being main an principal home for last 12 months; eligible successor etc; no contested claim by other family members in which case the landlord gets to decide who succeeds).
It is correct that they can consider taking action to recover possession of the property if oversized; however, this is a process where they serve Notice of Seeking Possession against the successor tenancy not before 6 months and no later than 12 months and the success of the claim is only likely IF they can prove suitable alternative accommodation has been made available and every aspect of the accommodation and its impact of the successor's life has been considered (i.le. how long have they lived there - has it always been their family home, what are the implications financially, emtionally and otherwise in forcing them to move). These factors will often outweigh the need to best use social housing resources in front of a District Judge, who has discretionary power to make a possession order.
The crux of my post is that the landlord cannot refuse a succession of the successor is eligible to succeed and meets the criteria, nor can it present itself as being automatically able to force a tenant to move to alternative accommodation. The 1985 Act, and the accompany grounds for possession in Schedule 1,
14/06/2012 2:02 pm
Hi all, hope your all well. I am looking for some advice regarding the removal of a large asbestos garage from my council property. The garage originally wasn't put up by the council but the original tenant put it up in the 1960's. It is lets say 'ready' to be taken down its a high sore. I am the 2nd tenant in this property since the original tenant. Who is responsible for the removal of this me or the council? I had a quick discussion with someone who worked for the council an informal chat and they said it could be my responsibility but I didn't put the garage up and wasn't even born then. Any advice is gratefully received. Thanks, Fred.
21/10/2010 5:08 pm
No connection, I have no duty to said person. I am not part of this 'Big Society' rubbish that the Tories and Libdems are spouting. I am not to blame for the Council giving property to people who have no connection whatsoever to the woman's borough. Take a look around Battersea and you know what I am talking about. They want to get rid off all Council property and seems to me to pay greedy landlords (Who pay no taxes) and Housing Associations (Legalised Rackmans) extorniate rents. Privatisation is cheaper haven't you heard. (That's sarcasm by the way)
21/10/2010 2:12 pm
Joe wanting to keep a 2 bed property when he is single has an interesting connection to another more recent question, given 2 hours to decide, where a young mum has been stuck in a 1 bed flat for 6 years waiting to transfer. One or two common posters on both threads seem to be supporting both Joe's wish to under occupy a property whilst stating how awful it is that the young mum had to wait so long for a property. You can't have it both ways, if there were less under occupation then the young mum wouldn't have to wait 6 years for a larger property.
21/10/2010 1:19 pm
Joe, assuming there is a right of succession, ie your mother is not herself a successor, then it is for you to prove that you live there, not for the landlord to prove that you don't.
A Secure tenancy of a 2 bed flat, particularly in London is a valuable property right and it as such the target of much fraud. In this climate it is perfectly reasonable for the landlord to insist on a high standard of proof. If you applied for a mortgage then the lender would ask to see 12 months of bank statements and if you refused to comply they would decline your application. I see no difference in principle between a mortgage lender and a local authority in terms of data protection principles and trustworthiness.
From the landlord's perspective, your refusal to provide bank statements would raise a concern that you had something to hide. Paying the rent and council tax does not prove residence
Talk of the tenancy vesting in you is rubbish, this would be in the case of joint tenants. Succession does not work in that way as there can be more than one potential successor resident in the property and the tenancy cannot vest in multiple people at once. Having said that, succession per se is a statutory right, so the landlord cannot refuse a succession to en eligible successor once that eligibility is proven.
With regards to the wanting to move you to a smaller property, in the context of the overwhelming housing demand in London it is obvious why this is. Assuming you succeeded to the tenancy then the council would have to persaude a judge that suitable alternative accommodation was avaialable and that it was reasonable for the judge to grant possession.
The poster who said that a judge would laugh at any possession claim is being disingenous as these cases turn on their facts, so each is different. There is case law but this merely confirms that the courts will balance the competing arguments and the tenant's individual circumstances can outweigh even the strongest claim by a local authority. However such circumstances may be exceptional - it is the hard cases which end up becoming precedent. In other words if you take your chances in law then you could lose.
21/10/2010 10:33 am
For those with more than one bank account, they could be requted to provide all. Provision of a bank statement woul dhave to be justified under the Data Protection Act and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Providing a bank account can show credit and debit card transactions which show an exact geographical location of use, such as purchases at shops, buying travel tickets etc. In fact a bank statement can give a profile of a person's day to day life.
Access to credit records and electoral roll will indicate home and associated addresses. Paying Council tax is not the same as proof of residency.
I would suggest seeking independent legal advice to progress the matter.
Succession of a secure tenancy takes places upon the death of tenants and those family members adn partners with successiion rights only have to prove residency with the deceased tenant(s) a period of 12 months preceeding the tenant.
ECHR Article 8
- Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
- There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
06/10/2009 12:50 pm
... at Central London County Court commented that in this most observed and documented country in the World, anyone claiming to live in a place who did not produce bank-statements was bound to be regarded with suspicion. If the evidence you produce is good, you will be in situation i), if not you will be in situation iii) trying to prove the same facts to the court rather than to the RSL.
Situation ii) will arise where it is alleged that there is over-occupation and the issues of a) whether there is, b) whether it would be reasonable to make the order, c) whether there is alternative accommodation and d) whether it is suitable are matters entirely for the discretion of the court.
In that context, the case you have cited is almost entirely useless. In situation ii) and iii) you are faced with persuading a court of the existence of particular facts and in situation ii) you also need address the issues a) to d). These are all matters of persuasion in that particular court with that particular judge on that particular day.
Case law does not assist in that endeavour unless it establishes a principle of law which the court must apply. The case you cite merely says that the decision of the trial judge was not so outlandish that it could be overturned. That neither means that the appeal court agreed with it, nor that a judge who had made a different decision in the same trial would have been wrong.
Finally, Mr Badejo expresses himself with unnecessary caution. If you do qualify and if your mother does assign the tenancy to you before her death then Ground 16 cannot apply. The wording of that Ground makes that clear. In principle I dislike elderly people signing over their property to others in anticipation of a death which may be a long time coming as it makes them vulnerable. If however, an elderly occupant of an eight bedroom council house wishes to assign it to her single son, she can and there is nothing the RSL can do to prevent it. Your mother could assign to you and Ground 16 could not apply. The RSL might still try to evict you via route iii) if it was not satisfied that you qualified as a successor and therefore assignee.
Easier all round just to get to know your housing staff!
If, however, they want to see bank statements and you maintain your concern about releasing that information, stand over a housing officer while s/he writes out that s/he has seen your bank-statements for whatever period they cover and that those statements show that you are living at the address, and signs and dates it. (I apologise for getting into minute detail, but banks' printing systems print the address as current at the time of printing. For this reason I advise RSL clients not to accept statements unless they appear to have been printed contemporaneously)
06/10/2009 12:48 pm
Further to comments above, there are putative experts on this site but I have met unqualified housing staff who are stronger on particular topics than barristers. Anyone's contribution so long as it aims to be helpful, should be welcome.
Mr Badejo's answer is technically right but may not start from where you are Mr Heffernan. I shall try to help.
Without having time to read all of the posts, I shall assume that your mother was the original tenant (that is to say, that she did not succeed to the tenancy herself. If that assumption is wrong, then most of the following is irrelevant.)
If you qualify to succeed (under s87) then immediately following your mother's death the tenancy will vest in you, that is to say, as a matter of law, you are the tenant. Many RSLs do not seem to recognise this and imagine that they have some discretion in the process. They do not. It either happens or it does not and whether it does is solely dependent on the fact of whether you, as a member of your mother's family, were or were not in residence for the year prior to her death (the rules on spouses and partners are different).
Following the death of a tenant where there might be a succession, landlords do one of three things.
i) they accept the vesting and 'grant' a new tenancy (this is a legal nonsense, but they all do it. The vestee is actually already the tenant, but you can see for administrative purposes why they want a signature on a tenancy agreement in the right name. If (as I have known happen) the vestee refuses to sign, the landlord and tenants still have all the same rights and obligations as if s/he had taken a 'new' tenancy agreement.)
ii) they accept the vesting but take advantage of Ground 16 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985 i.e. they serve notice seeking possession between six and 12 months after the death and some time later have to persuade the court that they should be allowed to repossess the home. The court may only make such an order if it would be reasonable so to do AND there is suitable alternative accommodation provided.
iii) they do not accept the vesting, serve a notice to quit (usually accompanied by a NSP as well) putatively terminating what they believe to be a non-secure tenancy (if it is a tenancy at all) and go to court to try to persuade the judge that the succession did not happen.
It is easier for everyone if, in anticipation of a death, the tenant and the potential successor make a point of regularly bringing the successor's occupation to the attention of the RSL. Meet the housing officer, go to the area office when reporting disrepair, write and sign letters when balcony lights go out. If the RSL knows the potential successor is there, then the issue of the succession will never come up as you will be dealt with under i) above. As I hope your mother will live far beyone 12 months from now Mr Heffernan, the field is open for you to begin your charm offensive.
In the dreadful event that your mother died before you had established 12 months occupation in the minds of the RSL, you will be in the position of proving some of your occupation looking backwards . Alternatively, if the RSL just didn't accept your evidence, you would need to persuade a court under iii) above. There is no magic document which proves occupation, but in a recent case the presiding judge at Central Lon
22/09/2009 2:33 pm
Firstly may I apologise to all that I have not had an opportunity to post an earlier response. I am afraid I forgot the password and there are so many of those passwords to remember these day.
I do not propose to respond to all the posts. I will simply focus on the original question. This says that in effect the tenant has been trying get her son "as a succession" on her tenancy. The terminology that has been used is somewhat confusing but I am assuming that you are trying to establish now with the Council that in the event that your mother passed away, you will be treated as a successor to the tenancy. It may well be that your mother is trying to assign the tenancy to you in her lifetime.
A person who is a member of the tenant's family is qualified to succeed to a secure tenancy provided they have resided with the tenant at the premises as their principal or only home for a period of 12months ending with the tenant's death.
As a matter of law, the burden is on the person who claims to succeed to prove that they are entitled to succeed. The Council does not need to prove anything and the Council is right to require proof of residence at the property for the relevant period. That proof of evidence need not be a bank statement but the potential successor will need to provide other evidence such as driving licence, utility bills etc.
Even if the potential successor actually succeeds to the tenancy, where there is under occupation, the Council can seek possession of the premises but it will have to be show that there is suitable alternative accommodation available and that it is reasonable for the court to make an order for possession. In dealing with the issue of reasonableness, the court will consider all relevant circumstances at the date of the hearing of the claim for possession. The question of reasonableness is a matter for the court based on its findings on the evidence presented to it by both the Council and the tenant.
Therefore even if the Council have told the tenant that the potential successor will have to move to smaller accommodation, ultimately, that decision is for the court to make in the event that the Council seeks possession.
It is stated that the Council are "trying to say (but won't admit it) that the original secure tenancy does not apply anymore". Provided the tenant resides at the premises as their only or principal home then the tenancy is a secure tenancy and there is no question of the secure tenancy not applying any more. Even if the tenant was or is the subject of a suspended possession order which they have breached, changes introduced by the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 means that the secure tenancy continues irrespective of any such breach and the secure tenancy only ends when the tenant is evicted.
The potential successor and the tenant should seek further advice on the possibility of the tenancy being assigned to the potential successor. This is permitted by section 91(3)(c) of Housing Act 1985 and I do not believe that the under occupation provisions in the Housing Act 1985 applies to an assignment to a potential successor.
14/09/2009 3:34 pm
Joseph, please calm down, I have no desire to get into a row with you. There are experts on this forum, and I would suggest this guy in particular could help you:
He has certainly responded to posts in the past and may well be on holiday or something, so will hopefully pop up at some point. I'm not mocking you for using google, and you're correct that I had to look it up too, but I do think the case you found is not particularly like yours, most notably because you have not succeeded the tenancy yet and are unwilling to provide proof of residency.
Most London based landlords that I am aware of will allow under-occupation by up to one bedroom, so my suggestion to you would be to provide the proof of residency when the time comes and you could probably reasonably expect to keep the flat. If you're served a posession order, by all means fight it and you would have a decent chance of winning, but it is not guaranteed even then, not least because you have lived there for 18 years, not the 'exceptional' fifty years in the case above.
14/09/2009 3:09 pm
First of all there are no 'Experts' on this forum. If there were they would have mentioned this relevant case. So, therefore googling something makes much more sense and has been great deal more benefit.
So, if this is a superficially vague case (Seems pretty red hot on the money to me) maybe you or one of the 'experts' would like to tell me of a more relevant precedent. I say relevant - Not a case where a person is living in a 4 bedroom house. I am talking about a case where someone has a spare room.
Let me explain how the Law works. You take an arguement or judgement and use it to your advantage. It really is as simple and basic as that. There has to be a good reason for a possession order. A Councils's lack of housing stock is not a good reason.
By the way, why are you mocking me for using Google. You didn't have a clue of the case until you googled it yourself.
14/09/2009 9:24 am
Well, Joseph, the point of this part of the forum is to 'ask the experts'. After a brief spurt of action at the start of the section being set up, the 'experts' seem to have gone to ground and you're left with us and our NVQs. I would hope that a collection of experience housing professionals would be better than google and a solicitor playing to the crowd, but never mind.
Looking at the case you mentioned, the problem there is that the appeal was brought by the Council against a judge's previous decision based on his dsicretion. The appeal was rejected on the grounds that the judge had acted within the law in applying his discretion and that was as far as the appeal went.
In terms of the case the judge heard, it related to two people who had already succeeded to a three bedroom house. The male defendant was born in that house and was around 50 years old. So, yes, if you have already succeeded, were born in the house and are around 50, it may be reasonable to assume that, were you to go to court to fight a posession order, a judge may rule in your favour.
Law is a very complex thing and I don't think reliance on a superficially vaguely similar case is neceesarily a good idea.
13/09/2009 6:22 pm
I did not hire a solicitor. I never said I hired a solicitor. Your right I ask for help and all I get is patronising people who think they are Perry Mason because they have an NVQ in Housing. Some people have been helpful, but others have come across condescending. I done my own research -
Bracknell Forest Borough Council v Harry & Denise Green. Appeal rejected. The judgement ruled attachment to a family home overrides a Council's suitable offer of accomodation.
I suggest nobody on here should comment about anything if they have a political agenda, or try and rubbish my circumstances. By the tone of your post, you seem wound up because there are people who agree with me.
13/09/2009 4:38 pm
Please do not call me a Tory.
Like Martin Leeds said, why come on here and ask for 'expert' advice and then disregard it?
If you read all of our earlier posts we were all trying to help you but then you got on your high horse and hired your solicitor and called us all thick.
As the one who's believing everything that a solicitor is telling him I think we're not the only ones that aren't so bright! Of course he's going to tell you you've got a case, he's charging you by the hour!
I'm tired of this. Do what you like! I'm out.
13/09/2009 12:42 pm
"ILAG... Sun, 13 Sep 2009 11:58 GMT .... The more feral and irresponsible and downright criminal they are, the more their "need" is and thus the higher priority they will have for housing..."
However good intentioned a governemnt policy might be, is the local landlords who create havoc with their application of lack or convenient application of those policies. They will help anyone who is a friend or related with one of their staff and use the same procedures to victimise the tenants who complain to them or against them.
13/09/2009 11:58 am
JH: "I will move out and let a feral, scumbag Jeremy Kyle type family move in, and let the whole area turn into a no go area"
Sadly, JH is right. Thanks to "needs" based allocation. It appears that - in an area of high demand - every time a decent tenant, allocated under the old merit based system, dies and their tenancy is not succeeded by their (generally) decent family, the LA take back the flat and move a "feral scumbag Jeremy Kyle type family" in, as JH amusingly and accurately puts it.
This is because these feral scumbag families are legion and have positively been encouraged to breed by Labour policies over the years. Housing officers are now supposed to be "non-judgemental" of the behaviour of these creatures. Behaviour that has lead directly to their "need" in the first place. A vicious circle. The more feral and irresponsible and downright criminal they are, the more their "need" is and thus the higher priority they will have for housing. This hand-wringing middle class lefty paternalism goes on to create more of same. And it will go on and on until the whole rotten needs based allocation system is scrapped and housing officers start getting judgemental about who they allocate tenancies to.
I hope, for the sake of your neighbours and your community, you manage to succeed the tenancy.