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succession of tenancy
08/08/2010 8:28 pm
I am currently helping my father to take over his mothers tenancy. she passed away 2 weeks ago and ive contacted his housing office and told them of the circumstances. they have asked me to put in a covering letter as well as some ID. They told me that he would be on the council tax bill, ive looked into this and it turns out she only had her name on it and was recieving a 25percent discount. my father was not aware of this. he is currently on benefits and most of his benefit letters came to me as a care of address as i deal with all his paper work as he is not very good with reading. he has his bank statments, driving licence, doctors dentist and also letters from the job centre who send a cab to pick him up for some of his appointments at th address he is trting to stay in. he has various other letters dating up to ten years back. All his neighbours are willing to write letters stating that they know him and that he has been living there for several years. He genuinly has no where else to go and i dont know what to do next. I find the lettings department at his housing (peabody) very unhelpful they have basically told me no before even seeing his case. They told me that a notice to quit was issued for the property the day my gran died. im so worried that him not being on the council tax is going to jepodise his chances of staying on in the property or even down sizing to a smaller property. I believe that my gran did not want him down on the council tax as she thought it might affect her pension.
If anyone has any advice it would be gratefully recieved
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08/08/2010 11:55 pm
Peabody - does that mean your gran had an assured tenancy? Was her name the only one on the tenancy agreement? What has happened to your Grandad? It could be that your gran's tenancy was a succession. Benefit debts I think remain with your gran, and it may not be possible for these to be passed on, but check that. proof of residency will be required - for either one or two years, depending on the tenancy type, (unless there has already been a succession). How come your dad didn't know a notice had been issued? Suggest independent legal advice - your Council may have a homelessness advisory service - to look into the facts properly.
09/08/2010 8:05 am
no she had a sole tenancy and it was secure tenancy that was issued to her back in the 70's this was when my grandad also died....he hasnt recieved any paperwork regarding the notice to quit i was told about the NTQ over the phone. we are going to seak legal advice i think. do you know what proof of residency they will require. i have his bank statments ,doctors, hospital and dentist letters. also his driving licence and various other documents that date back several years. his benefit letters came to me as a care of address as i dealt with his claim. thanks for your advice
09/08/2010 8:42 am
I suggest your get Legal Advise or speak to the Shelter Line type in Shelter you may have to wait a long time for a answer but normally very good with people
09/08/2010 10:04 am
If your father's mother was a secure tenant and was the first person issued with the tenancy agreement she had (i.e. no-one passed the tenancy onto her), it is possible that the tenancy can be inherited by your father. However, you need to look at the tenancy agreement to see what the criteria is to be able to succeed - the information will probably be under a clause heading of 'succession'. From the information you have already provided, I would say that the difficulty may be in proving that your father lived there for at least 12 months before she died. Did the Housing Association know that he was living there? When you say that you were sent his mail as a 'care of' address, did any of the organisations sending you the mail have the address of the property where he was actually living on their system? If so, you could try to get hold of these records as proof of your father living there.
With regards to the Notice to Quit - ask the organisation for a copy of the notice to be sent to you along with their certificate of service proving that they delivered it to the property. The notice may possibly be invalid which may buy you some more time (look on the internet for the requirements of a notice - basically the main things would be who it is addressed to and the expiry date). I would ask the question about how they could serve a notice on the same day that your grandmother died - find out what time they found out about your grandmother's death and what time they served the notice.
There may be an issue with the Council seeking to recover the unpaid Council Tax discount but unfortunately this is not an area I know much about.
09/08/2010 6:34 pm
A link to direct.gov.uk about debts and liability on death.
Proof of residence - normally one peice to prove address, and one ieice to prove identity. Passport, driving licence etc, plus electoral roll, benefits, council tax or bank statements. However each organisation will have their own 'usually accepted' forms.
09/08/2010 6:42 pm
secure tenancy - right of succession to family member. Often 'sucerssions' were not properly executed, so legally was not actually a succession, but a new tenancy.
assured tenancy - can only pass to spouse, civil partner, partner or joint tenant.
You really do need a legal specialist.
09/08/2010 7:51 pm
thank you everybody. he has lots of ID and ive spoke to the benefits department who can issue him with a letter that states he was living at that address but i was a care of as i deal with all his affairs. the next hurdle is sorting out the council tax bill i know my gran didnt want to have him down at living at the property as she was worried it would affect her pension even tho i had explained to her that it wouldnt as my father is on benefits himself she was very old fashioned and just didnt understand, being 89 i didnt want to push her. he is happy to come to an agreemnt to pay the council tax bill and will downsize from the 3 bedroom to a one bedroom as the property holds sad memories of her death, i just cant have him homeless hes nearly 60 himself and not in the best of health. im so grateful for the help and am going to fight this to the very end for my father.