Thursday, 30 October 2014

Tenants to be balloted on stock transfer

Council house tenants in Caerphilly will be balloted on the transfer of housing stock to a housing association early next year.

Residents in the local authority’s 10,980 properties will be balloted in February or March 2012 on whether social landlord Castell Mynydd could take over the properties.

The association could pump up to £173 million into the properties to bring them up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2017.

The council had initially said it could not achieve the work, but after a financial review announced it could bring the properties up to the WHQS by 2019 or 2020 if tenants voted against the transfer.

A spokesperson for the council said: ‘The council has agreed a revised timetable that envisages additional information being sent to tenants at the beginning of January 2012 for a further 28 day period of consultation.

‘The additional information is still in preparation and the additional cost has not been quantified. Subject to the outcome of the further consultation, the ballot is anticipated for February or March 2012.’

Readers' comments (19)

  • Once again as the law stands the leaseholders of Caerphilly Council will be exempt from being able to vote on the Stock Transfer even though, through their service charges they will be paying towards future repairs, services and major works programmes by the new landlord should the stock transfer go through.

    When will this basic infringement of leaseholders human rights be challenged in the European Courts?

    Have tenants been warned that their rents are likely to be increased after the five year period following the stock transfer and that their secure long term tenancy rights might change as a result of the transfer going through.

    God help all the residents of Caerphilly, as Large Scale Voluntary Stock Transfers invariably benefits the local authority, the new landlord but seldom the tenants and most definitely the leaseholders who would be paying VAT on all major works programmes that as a branch of Government the local authority is exempt from paying.

    Stephen West

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  • Rick Campbell

    Hiya Stephen.

    Good luck with the cause -- I wonder if there's value in the arguement that leaseholders could have their property taken from them by the landlord in certain circumstances?

    It is very important, and I say this as a supporter of our stock transfer, that ALL the information is given to those involved and that ALL that information is both truthful and of good quality (as full information as possible) -- both sides of the debate need to be highlighted EQUALLY.

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  • Stephen.
    I'm not going to pick up on the substantive point here about LSVTs. This will doubtless carry in exactly the same vein as it has since the very first transfers in the late 80's / early 90's.
    However this is the second time (that I have seen and noted) your implicit claim that LSVT infringes Human Rights and should be tested in the European Court. To my knowledge (and I am quite happy to be corrected) Human Rights legislation came in as part of the UN Declaration on Human Rights following WW2 and was mainly to prevent the rebirth of circumstances which led to Auschwicz etc. The conflation of genocide and a number of people not having a vote over who owns the freehold of their property is absurd. I fully agree that there is an arguable point, but to revert to Human Rights legislation not only is absurd but also provides a simple target to those (particular fueled by the Daily Express and Daily Mail) who want any excuse to attack Europe.
    Please argue your case rationally, but not on Human Rights grounds.

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  • Melvin Bone

    Neil you are sounding more like a Daily Star reader with that rant.

    Of course anyone can ask that the Human Rights legislation is considered as that is the way the law stands. It does not mean it is relevant...

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  • F451

    How about agreeing that people should have equal rights regardless of tenure. In this instance therefore leaseholders should have as much interest recognised as other tenants.

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  • Rick Campbell

    The Local Authorities are very keen to trot out the following or a version of it :-

    The ballot is to change the landlord of the property. Leaseholders do not have a landlord in that context, so therefore will not be ballotted.

    The inference being that Leaseholders have already chosen their landlord -- i.e. they are 'their own landlords'.

    However, an interesting point I would make is that as the property and often associated land is the subject of the transfer then, as Leasholders pay ground rent, perhaps they should be consulted.

    Furthermore, where there are garages rented from the council and they are subject to the transfer too, should not garage renters be ballotted too? *(Could mean that where there are two tenants to a house and 1 is a tenant of a garage, that could mean 3 votes for the household?)

    Just saying, just asking.

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  • Hi Melvin.
    It was a declaration which everyone signed up to / accepted: in many ways it's more like a governing framework like the 10 Commandments. It is arguable that anything COULD be linked to those but the way lawyers have taken it (in pro bono interest of course) gets into Talmudic minutiae. As Thomists argued about how many angels fit on the head of a needle, or whether transubstantiation occurs led to 5 centuries of sectarian warfare, so the use of the general in the specific (when lawyers get involved) creates absurd consequences. Human Rights are fully understood by all - when they are 'transgressed' for a RTB owner-occupant who signed a contract, with legal advice, then I'm sorry - that is garbage. It is nothing to do with the legislation, it is the construction of it by vested interests.

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  • Rick Campbell

    I suppose the council could always sell off their housing on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood to existing housing associations?

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  • F451

    What, you mean like a natural justice definition of democracy Neil - perish the thought that even peace may break out and all could share in a commonwealth.

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  • Rick Campbell

    oooppps, I think the arthritis has got to my head ot I've been stung by summat (as they say around here) very nasty -- my last post should say ...

    I suppose the council could always sell off their housing on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood basis to existing housing associations?

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