Tenancy: where do I stand?
28/05/2011 3:56 pm
Any ideas on this (if you like hair-splitting kinds of question)? I am a tenant of an organization that has recently changed from being an ALMO to being a housing association. I was a secure tenant, having gone past the end of my introductory period.
The association is now asking us - the existing 'secure' tenants - to sign new tenancy agreements. The agreements are 'assured (non-shorthold) (preserved rights)'. I understand that a housing association can't offer a secure tenancy.
My first question is: having not so far signed the new agreement, what is my current tenure? (Did I automatically become 'assured' when the organization changed? Or did I automatically become 'assured (preseved rights)'? Or have I got no tenure at all until I sign? Or am I still 'secure' until I sign? Or what?)
Secondly, in general, what would I gain/lose by signing? And what would I gain/lose by not signing? Or does it not make any difference?
Any input would be welcome. All I have so far is the hype from the organization, saying how great things are now, and how important it is that I sign. Thanks.
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19/12/2011 11:09 am
The other side of these questions is - why were such matters not made clear before the ballot to chose the new landlord (or was there no choice offered, and no ballot taken - so tenants were just treated like so much cattle and sold to their new owners?)
25/06/2011 3:03 pm
Thank you very much for your informative replies, which have made things clearer.
17/06/2011 8:39 am
The 'preserved right to buy' is not an automatic right for those tenants whose landlord transfer to an RSL. However, recognising that most secure tenants won't vote for a transfer which removes this right most RSLs offer a contractual right to purchase the property on the same terms as if the Right to Buy existed for assured tenancies.
Given this it will be dependent on ter terms being offered by the new RSL landlord. If you haven't transferred yet then ask the question and make sure it is clear in the legally binding Offer Document on which you'll be asked to vote.
If the transfer has already taken place you may need to refer back to the Offer Document and, if it isn't clear, take some advice. My view, without having seen anything, is that you'll have transferred with the same rights as if you'd remained a secure tenant and that you'll still be able to purchase on the preserved terms of the RTB after the 5 years is up.
16/06/2011 4:18 pm
Hello. Can you answer a query I have please. If a council transfers it's stock over to a housing association but the council tenant hasn't yet accrued the five year tenancy needed to be able to right to buy does the tenant continue to gain the right to buy or is it lost? Example a secure tenant of the council of 2 years is transfered to a housing association after another 3 years of being an housing association tenant does the tenant then have the preserved right to buy? Thanks people. :)
15/06/2011 12:29 pm
You have just gone through a stock transfer and your questions are highly relevant. As your property has been transferred to a housing association, as a matter of law you ceased to be a secure tenant from the day that the transfer took place. You are now an assured tenant. There is nothing to be gained by not signing the new tenancy agreement which is more likely than not to contain your most important rights like right to buy, succession, consultation, assignment and so on. So check the document carefully. The key advantage for signing is that the housing association has signed a legally binding agreement with the council that it would abide by the terms of the new enhanced assured tenancy agreement. So the housing association will respect the preserved rights in the new tenancy agreement.
14/06/2011 4:14 pm
Perhaps you should write directly to Mr Shapps who assured everyone that such things could never happen.
What is true is that they can not terminate your existing contract, other than by terms of that contract. They can not force you to accept the new contract - but you need professional advice that not accepting does not jeapodise your right to occupy.
You need to speak to a housing law specialist without delay so that the full details can be considered and you can be advised by someone who will be accountable for that advice.
14/06/2011 3:58 pm
I'm not sure of the legal position regarding the first point, but would suspect that you have some form of assured tenancy as your landlord can't offer a secure one.
On the second point it's a little dificult to be accurate without seeing it, but I suspect that the new tenancy has both statutory and contractual rights. As an assured tenant there are two statutory 'rights' that you have lost, the right to buy and the Right to Manage. In addition housing associations are able to use the infamous 'Ground 8' (Schedule 2 of the HA 88) to get possession if you fall into rent arrears of more than 13 weeks (it removes the discretion of the courts to award possession).
What often happens in the case of stock transfer is that the agreements for existing tenants contain a number of contractual clauses to ensure that these lost rights are maintained and that other areas, such as the use of ground 8, are prohibited.
If your ALMO/council has transferred its stock these issues should have been adressed in the Offer Document and picked up by the Independent Tenants Advisor (ITA)