What is the difference between a Secure and Assured Tenancy
21/07/2010 4:47 pm
Location: Coalition Britain
I live in social housing - the house was council up until 2003, it is now a Housing Trust. I had a secure tenancy (I've lived in the house since 1982) now I have an Assured tenancy. What is the difference and do I retain all my rights?
Further, as I live in a street property I am asked to pay deinfestation, a caretaker and this year an amount for 'management fees', is this right?The street properties are being refurbished (EU funding) but the language being used by the Trust has changed - twice lately I have been reminded that I do not own the property when I have asked that a shower I paid to install is kept - is this right
Sorry I realise there are three separate issues but I really do see a difference in the way I am being treated since the Trust (Tenant led) took over.
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22/07/2010 1:54 pm
I am not a legal expert, but I would of thought that if your Council home was taken by Housing Trust you would have retained your Secure Tenancy, and not Assured Tenancy.
One way to ascertain this is to check whether you are covered by the "Fair Rent Act" (which was abolished by the Tories in the late eighties).
ie: do you have your rent assessed annually by a Fair Rent Officer at your Local Authority?
There are limited differences between Secure and Assured Tenancy though, other than your housing trust can charge "market Rents" for your home therefore, much higher rents than when covered by the Fair Rent Act.
Hope this is helpful
Roger P Murphy
29/07/2010 4:00 pm
As roger says i would be surprissed that if you had a secure tenancy before the take over, why you would now have an assured tenancy? It may be worth querrying this with your landlord as secure tenancies have slightly more rights.
The main ones being assured tenants do not have the right to buy, but instead have the right to acquire (this may not be important due to the length of time you have been in the property) Right to aquire is not as attractive as the discounts offered as less than those for RTB.
There are also some more suitable differences, succession for example. An assured tenant can only be succeeded by their spouse whereas a secure tenant can be secured by any member of the family (as long as they have lived with them for a year)
Assured tenants also have less rights in relation to lodgers and a few other minor issues.
In general a secure tenancy would be preferable from a tenant's point of view as it offers more rights.
I'm unsure about your "service" charge issues, hopefully someone else can help you with this aspect.
30/07/2010 2:24 pm
A good aspect of secure tenancy is that the landlord can only put up the rent every 2 years, instead for assured tenancy I am told it is every year.
Looks like secure tenacies have been stopped and assured tenancies borught in to rip off tenants increasing the rent every year.
Tenants sould campaign to bring back secure tenancies, at least for tenants who have been living in the same property for some time.
It is unaccceptable that even residents living 30 40 years and more in the same property should not be secure tenants.
I think every tenants who has lived in the same property for at least 4 years shouold be automatically made secure tenant.
02/08/2010 3:49 pm
The Housing Act 1985 makes clear that for a tenancy to remain a secure tenancy, the landlord and tenant condition must be satisfied. The landlord condition is that the landlord must be a one of the prescribed public sector bodies. Once the landlord ceases to be such a body such as when the ownership of the property changes from a local authority to a housing association, the tenancy ceases to be a secure tenancy and becomes an assured tenancy.
I have experience of the housing transfer process which is is known as a stock transfer. For a stock transfer to go ahead, the secretary of state must approve the transfer. The secretary of state will not approve the transfer unless satisfied that in effect the majority of secure tenants who vote are in favour of the transfer. In order to get a positive ballot, what normally happens is that the incoming landlord makes certain promises to the existing secure tenants. The most significant promise is that so far as possible, the existing council tenants are to retain most of their rights after the transfer to the new housing association landlord. For example council tenancies have a right to buy their property. Assured tenants do not. However in the new tenancy agreement to the new assured tenants following the transfer, the right to buy is preserved. Council tenants also have a right to pass their tenancy on during their lifetime but assured tenants do not. This right is preserved in the new tenancy agreement given to former secure tenants when they become assured tenants. Other matters such as repairing obligations, remain the same irrespective of whether the landlord is a local authority or a housing association.
So you are in law an assured tenant and you need to check your tenancy agreement to ensure that your landlord is allowed to levy the charges you have mentioned. I suspect that the tenancy agreement will allow them to impose such charges. Most of those tenancy agreements tend to provide that the landlord will consult with tenants before introducing new charges so check your tenancy agreement to see what it says on this issue. In respect of your shower, I suspect that the association are carrying out decent homes works which involves refurbishing bathroom and kitchens. I am sure that some landlords have a policy that they will not force tenants to have new baths or showers where tenants do not want one unless there are health and safety reasons why the bathroom needs to be changed. So please raise that with your landlord.