Can anyone advise on a Tenancy matter please
15/08/2012 3:02 pm
My Dad moved into his girlfriends flat in 1992. It is a 2 bed HA flat. He paid the rent in cash every week since he moved up to now. His partner moved out in 2006 and informed the HA at the time. The housing officer agreed to transfer the tenancy to my Dad and an appointment was set up. When he attended the appointment, the housing officer was on sick leave and it was postponed. He did not follow it up and neither did the HA. A few years ago, the HA was transferred to a big RSL. Dad lost his job last year and is on JSA. He used his savings to pay the rent as my sister does not earn very much. He has in arrears of £150 and can no longer pay in cash. Is he a legal tenant? Can he claim Housing benefit?
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15/08/2012 9:18 pm
The girlfriend did not succeed her tenancy, She moved into the flat as a sole tenant from when it was newly built.
16/08/2012 0:10 am
based on the info you give here, no, he has no tenancy in the property.
I would suggest, if he has a housing need that he asks for a discetionary succession to the original sole tenancy (girlfriends) it is possible the RSL may refuse, this depends on many many other factors so dont let this worry you!!! they may equally accept - any evidence he may be able to provide to show this as his sole residence since 1992 and sole occuapny since 2006 woudl certianly strenghten his claim.
overall - this is a complex issue (given the transfer) and i would urge on the side of caution in seeking legal advice (forums like this should be taken with a HUGE pinch of salt!)
hope that helps, good luck.
16/08/2012 12:30 pm
Would the matter of Tolerated Tresspass apply here?
If the landlord has over the past 6-years treated the occupant as a tenant, written to him as a tenant, and accepted payment from him as a tenant then be default is he not now a tenant? On that basis the scope for refusing 'fomalising' what has been a working practice, by issuing a proper tenancy is very small. Indeed, the argument for the formal tenancy being applied retrospectively exists.
@Laura - nothing I've written here is advice, but I've posted it in the hope that people with more specific area knowledge than I may be prompted to further advise.
A question area - you mention your sister does not earn much - why is this relevant to your Dad's ability to pay. Is she also resident in the flat?
16/08/2012 1:55 pm
Thanks for the advice so far, yes - my sister lives with him and has done since the girlfriend moved out. He has lots of paperwork from both HA's which I am going through piece by piece. My Dad has lots of proof that he has been living there for 20 years.
16/08/2012 3:53 pm
Laura, in terms of your questions, no, he is not a tenant. He can claim Housing Benefit as he lives in the property and it is reasonable for him to claim it so he can pay the rent (you don't have to be a tenant to claim HB).
Ignore the tolerated trespass and discretionary succession red herrings quoted above.
There is some evidence of a lapse by the landlord in that they had - presumably - a request to assign the tenancy and didn't follow it through. Your father needs to ask the landlord if he can be the tenant and, if not, why not. He can then get specific advice - other than very simple questions, these forums don't work very well as a housing advice service!
16/08/2012 5:16 pm
H4rdwork - I think red herrings is a little harsh a description, especially as I made it clear that I was asking a question to the point not issuing advice.
My basis for asking is, even though no possession order is operating, the circumstances do remind me of those that the following legislation was published to deal with:
Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 Section 299 and Schedule 11
Housing (Replacement of Terminated Tenancies) (Successor Landlords)
(England) Order 2009
Section 299 of the 2008 Act introduces Schedule 11 Parts 1 and 2. Part 1 amends the relevant legislation for the future. Part 2 restores tenancy status to existing tolerated trespassers. The Successor Landlord Order extends Part 2 of Schedule 11 to those cases where there has been a change of landlord after the former tenant had become a tolerated trespasser (and where the new landlord has failed to sign a new tenancy agreement with the occupant before the Order came into force)1. In this guidance these cases are referred to as “successor landlord cases”.
The provisions in Schedule 11 and the Successor Landlord Order are intended to resolve the problem for all existing tolerated trespassers and to ensure that no tolerated trespassers are created in future.
If it is not relevant, that is fine by me, but no need to be nasty H4rdwork.
Apologies for Laura - it is depressing when genuine people ask for help only to have posters start arguments around them.
I hope you find the advice you need and would point you to Bill's advice. But do pop back and see if you get a 'blue panel' answer as these people are actually clear about what they know and can advise.
17/08/2012 8:23 am
I don't think it's nasty to describe irrelevant phrases interjected into a debate, presumably in an attempt to give a veneer of knowledge, as a "red herring". (Copying and pasting pieces of legislation doesn't work either, by the way).
I have no argument with you Chris - as you acknowledge in your post, and validate by your answer, this is a field you know nothing about.
17/08/2012 10:00 am
Thanks H4rdwork - this is true, I do not have knowledge of this issue, which is why I'm seeking knowledge. As someone who does know (by implication if not statement) could you help by pointing us to the appropriate piece of legislation or guidance.
That woud help inform me - but most of all it would help answer the question Laura needs answers to.
23/08/2012 12:49 pm
My post 16.08.12 at 3.53 contains the advice Laura needs.
Tolerated trespass was a huge topic some time ago, the discussion of which is of no benefit to Laura because it is completely unrelated to her father's circumstances. If you're interested, raise a separate thread and people can post on that.
23/08/2012 2:21 pm
Is that your way of saying that you do not know H4rdwork?
There is no shame in not knowing - I'm not ashamed that I did not know, but you implied knowledge so why not share it?
23/08/2012 3:02 pm
Trying to bait me is rather unchristian Chris and won't work.
If you're so interested in Tolerated Tresspass, why not start a thread and find out?
23/08/2012 3:14 pm
Deepest apologies for the misunderstanding H4rdwork - I meant why not share the knowledge about the relevent legislation to the situation laura's Dad is in - I should have made that clearer and so avoid you thinking negatively about my motives.
It would help Laura to know the legislation - and I would then be able to go and improve my knowledge too, as would anyone else reading here, and you would have played the expert role by sharing your expertise.
Why so suspicious?
24/08/2012 12:56 pm
There's no directly relevant legislation. It's common law.
24/08/2012 1:26 pm
'Common Law'? Are you sure H4rdwork?
There is no tenancy law involved, not even subject to guidance?
However do landlords ensure consistency and fairness in their assigment and succession practices then H4rdwork?
Thank God for the Saxons then, or none of us would have a clue about letting practices if it were not for their common law (or are you celebrating, it's Friday lets be humourous?)
24/08/2012 3:30 pm
It's more thanks to the Normans than the Saxons.
There's a little bit of case law too.
24/08/2012 3:52 pm
That's an entirely different area for debate, confused by the Viking overlayering of both cultures and then contourted by the old rule that the victor gets to right the history. But at least we have reached an understanding about matters, and what each understands!
I could ask what Norman has to say to Laura's Dad, but it would probably involve a bicycle so I won't!
If you do actually remember any real laws on this though, do be sure to share them, especially with Laura as it will help the case.