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.
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01/09/2009 5:30 pm
Have you any other alternatives than bank statements? Ask them what else could you give them as proof instead of bank statements. If they say it is the only proof they will take, then go to a housing lawyer or the advice bureaux and ask if that is the case... My opinion is that if you can prove in any reasonable way that you lived there, than they have got to accept it.
01/09/2009 5:50 pm
Bank statements wont prove anything. I could change my address today and ask for a 12 month statement tomorrow, right?
I'd have a good look for an official letter with a date older than 12 months. Also if you or your mother claim any benefits that should confirm household occupants.
Just to note, you dont *need* to be a joint tenant to succeed a tenancy upon death. Seems like your asking them to create a joint tenancy so, should anything happen, you would still have to prove you lived there.
01/09/2009 7:18 pm
You may not *need* to be a joint tenant to succeed your mother's tenancy but if you are not, the Landlord has no legal responsibility to succeed the tenancy to you and will most probably *suggest* you move to a one bedroom property.
If you were a joint tenant though and assuming that the tenancy hasn't already gone through a succession then you should automatically qualify and they can't make you move anywhere.
With regards to the bank statements, it's ridiculous. If you've been paying council tax then there shouldn't be any problem. Have you been on the electorial register? That would count as proof.
01/09/2009 7:42 pm
From the Housing Act 1985, s.87...
A person is qualified to succeed the tenant under a secure tenancy if he occupies the dwelling-house as his only or principal home at the time of the tenant’s death and either
he is the tenant’s spouse [or civil partner] , or
he is another member of the tenant’s family and has resided with the tenant throughout the period of twelve months ending with the tenant’s death;
02/09/2009 11:11 am
Many thanks - With regard to what Martin Leeds post, I made that exact point to them. They said well we take all other things into account as well. (Not just bank statements) They are not going to back down on this. I think the only proof they can get - apart from me paying rent, council tax, benefits etc, is if they put my house under constant
supervision or sleep with me!
02/09/2009 11:20 am
Did your mother succeed the tenancy herself? succession can only happen once, to avoid a property staying "within a family" in perpetuity. Whilst I agree it may be a pain, I think Barnet Homes should be applauded in absolutely making sure everything is above board, even if it is a pain, else everyone in London could switch their bank account to their elderly parents address and wait for them to pop their clogs so they can get their house. I don't mean it to sound flippant, but through their actions Barnet Homes are acting in the interest of everyone on the waiting list
02/09/2009 12:11 pm
Am i right in thinking that qualifying to succeed doesnt necessarily mean the landlord HAS to succeed? Do they have discretion in the matter?
If they do have discretion and dont have to succeed the tenancy then would advise you seek to become a joint tenant.
02/09/2009 12:58 pm
Yes Joe, you're right.
Although I'm sure Barnet Homes wouldn't throw Joseph out onto the street without offering other suitable accomodation first, ie a 1 bed.
As I said before, joint tenants though are legally allowed to succeed (if there hasn't already been a succession). So becoming a joint tenant would give Joseph the legal right to succeed.
I also agree with Harry Lime. We're no longer in a position where properties can be just handed through families like they were in the 60's and 70's. So it's a landlords responsibilty to make sure that any claim for succession is real.
Also Joseph, just out of interest why would you not move into a 1 bedroom property? This would free up the 2 bedroom for a family to enjoy it like yours have for so many years?
09/09/2009 1:40 pm
With regard to Harry Lime's post they know for a FACT I live there. Unless I pay rent and live somewhere else.(That's likely) With regard to what Terry Herts states (You probably work in housing) I have been told a joint tenant can't be a son. So all my family now live in Ireland and I have to live in a 1 bedroom place, because the Council sell of blocks to Private developers. Where are they going to stay if they come over. There is no lack of housing in this country - never has been. It is one big fat lie and I can't believe how gullible the British public are! People who worked in housing used to have basic feelings, now they are robots who frequently bully people. My mother has been the only tenant by the way. IT's not my obligation, to the need of other people, that I should move out. IT'S MY HOME.....HOME! Terry Herts get your own opinion and not one of your Line Manager or Whitehalls.
09/09/2009 2:05 pm
The point on the housing shortage, or lack of, is an interesting one. Whilst there may be sufficient homes in the UK to accommodate everyone, some are uninhabitable, some are in locations where there is no demand and quite a lot are the wrong size for the number of people that live in them.
One example of this could be someone who wants a 2 bed flat, despite living on their own, because they would like a spare room. That's a perfectly human desire, but we are talking about tax payers' money here and I for one would like to think my contribution goes towards making sure that everyone can have a decent home, not making sure that some people get exactly the home they want whilst others are left languishing in B+B.
09/09/2009 2:28 pm
JOSEPH HEFFERNAN Wed, 9 Sep 2009 14:05 GMT....
HOME is a big thing, and goes beyong having one bedroom more or or one less... If you have lived there all you life or for a suabstantial part of it in a 2 bedroom flat, I think you should be allowed to stay on... It's not just like wanting the extra bedroom because "it's a perfectly human desire"... However that's where I would draw the line... It would have been absurd if the same request is made for a 3 bedroom property... But that raises another interesting dilemmas, which is if someone has been living in a three-bedroomed property for example and the other tenant or tenants pass away, should the remaining tenant be rehoused in a one bedroom property or a two bedroomed property?
09/09/2009 6:34 pm
I agree with you Kass regarding a 3 bedroom. It would be a bit cheeky to expect to stay in a house that size. However, Councils seem to be judging people on who they are when they are making these decisions. A friend of mine in the same borough was moved from his 3 bed to a 2 bed. Him being the only tenant when his mother passed away.
A secure tanancy is no longer a secure tenancy according to a lot of Housing staff. Contracts can be amended, which begs the question what's the point in having a tenancy in the first place. As far as I am concerned 'the lack of Social Housing' has nothing whatsoever to do with Tenancy agreements 12 years ago. Any amendments of Tenure should be made illegal.
09/09/2009 7:31 pm
JOSEPH HEFFERNAN Wed, 9 Sep 2009 18:34 GMT
"Any amendments of Tenure should be made illegal."...
I agree with that. Housing associations have been changing and chopping - where convenient for them - tenancy agreements. Apparently their only duty to any change they like to bring about is that of consulting their tenants. This consulting is a joke in itiself, as everyone knows. In practice it means you RSL lets you know what changes they are going to bring about and would love to have you feedback. Which means in practice that you have no clue - because you have no checking control as tenant - what they do or will do with that how and where and if they will apply it. Which means they have wasted your time and their own public resources only so they can look they have been going about it in a legal way... I think it is illegal what they have been doing to tenancy agreements. But who is going to challenge them legally? Single tenants do not have the resources to do so. If any tenant cannot stand the injustice and challenges a SRL he is likely to end up hanging himself, like you might read elsewhere in this website. There is not in existence an independent tenant body who should be doing the legal challenges. So for all intent and purposes we tenants are defenceless.
~And to make it sure we remain that way social landlords have created situation as you can read elsewhere in this website also where 52% (but these do not include at least another 20% in my view that do not even complain for all sort or reasons - so we are talking to something like 75%) of tenants who - instead of getting on with finding jobs and coping with the harsheness of today living and contribute something to society - have to waste their whole lives (not a year or two) spying on on other tenants - with their children, friends and rest of fmaily learning from them how to do the same when they pass on. By maintaining this horrendous level of antagonism amongst their tenants these landlords have made sure there will never be an independent, united tenant body capable of challenging their abuses. If this is not a de facto a conspiracy on a large scale on millions and millions of our people what else would you call it?...
09/09/2009 7:31 pm
The secure tenancy agreement hasn't changed, the rights are part of the 1985 Housing Act which also outlines succession terms.
This is part of my job I hate, informing people that they have to leave their family home and move to a one bedroom flat, very often only weeks after they have suffered the death of a loved one.
You say "People who worked in housing used to have basic feelings" - People desperate for a home say the same type of thing to me, and also ask why single people are living in 3 bed house that would suit them perfectly. I dont mean to sound harsh and I honesty appreciate your situation but social landlords need to make best use of the dwindling housing stock.
Locally, we are offering tenants £1000 per bedroom if they down size to a smaller property which in my opinion reflects the situation. For example a sole tenant in a four bed property would get high priority on their application, direct let status and £3000 in cash. We have about 25,000 people on the waiting list which we are also legally obliged to assist.
10/09/2009 10:04 am
I fully appreciate the concept (and reality) of having somewhere you call "home" however for those who like to kick RSL's and other formal bodies for various reasons I fail to see how wishing to have an extra bedroom to allow others to stay when visiting should take priority over other family units who are either overcrowded or living in temporary accommodation. That is the reality of the situation facing many, particularly in the South East and a very popular residential area such as Barnet. As mentioned by others, try making that argument to a family living in a one bed flat. Yes it's easy to blame others for there not being enough social housing, but face facts, there never will be enough (feel free to wail Kass, but I'm looking at it realistically) and ironicaly if in some fantasy world enough was produced there would be a tipping point and people would then moan there's too much and the assocaited problems that brings.
10/09/2009 10:33 am
Harry Lime Thu, 10 Sep 2009 10:04 GMT ....
I am not in favour of giving 2 bedrooms to single tenants in case of a NEW tenancy. WE are not talking about that here... But it is my understanding that once you get a tenancy (at least a secure one) you get a home for life... It's your home... There is nothing in the tenancy agreement of a two bedroom flat stating if one of the 2 or 3 tenants in it dies and there is a single tenant left in this two bedroom flat which says you must move into a one bedroom flat... The only way that a tenant should move in my view is if he moves of his own accord or is given an incentive to do so, as Martin Leeds points out in his comment above... So when you say that this tenant should have no choice but leave his flat and get a one bedroom what you really are saying is: either 1) tenancy agreements should not be respected by landlords; or 2) tenancy agreements should be declared null by the governement and all tenancies awarded should be awarded as temporary accomodations rather than permanent homes.... So, which of the 2 options would you choose which would fit in with you being realistic?
10/09/2009 10:56 am
There was some time ago, I remember very faintly to be honest, talk or moves that any tenant living in a property with a room or more above his/her needs would be FORCED by the local authority to accept new co-tenants in his/her home. What a fascinating experiment that would have been.... Does anyone remeber that?... What happened to that? Anyone has more details or experience on it?
10/09/2009 10:57 am
I would choose Neither Kass as the ORIGINAL tenancy is being respected, the whole issue of this thread is being to circumvent the tenancy process. My parents signed a tenancy with the council, they later exercised RTB (the shame!). However using that example their tenancy ran as normal and that was my home, theoretically if I remained at home and didn't move out, it was still under their tenancy, and there shouldn't be the assumption that the child of the original tenant is going to remain, much less "awarded" the property upon their death. In this example the tenancy hasn't been issued to Joseph, he just happens to have remained there. He is attempting to alter an original agreement to alow himself to remain and coming up against some, in my opinion, justifiable obstacles. What if he suceeds, and then has a child and history repeats itself, eventually it has to come to an end. Social housing should be set up so that the original tenancy is respected and anything else should be discretionary. If you disagree, as mentioned, explain it to the other people on the waiting list.
10/09/2009 11:23 am
Harry Lime.... Thu, 10 Sep 2009 10:57 GMT
But if, only as an example, your parents had unfortunately passed away while still being tenants living there and you had been born in that home and lived all your life in it to adulthood would you not have good reasons to go on living there if you wished (provided it was no more than 2 bedrooms)?...
10/09/2009 11:56 am
Whether or not I may have good reason to WISH to remain there, the point is still that the original tenancy agreement is being respected and the wish of anyone to remain there should be discretionary, and not a given right. Affordabilty and other factors mean the chances of "children" remaining in the family home is only going to increase and so the 3 bed house scenario is going to increase, and like it or not, Joseph would not be given a 2 bed property in other circumstances, so the wish to enjoy it to enable people to stay as opposed to others in genuine hoousing need should remain exactly that, a wish. It's not nice admittedly, but it's a realistic use of limited resources.