transfers and the new affordable rent policy
13/03/2012 7:42 pm
Hi I would like to ask for some advice on the following situation.
I am a tenant with a housing association and have a secure tenancy at £114 per week
I currently live in a first floor 3 bedroom flat and need to move to a ground floor flat as my wife is in a wheelchair,I have been resonable and said I would accept a 2 bedroom flat,I thought this would please the housing association as there are fewer 3 bedroom flats than there are 2 bedroom flats.
The housing association has offered me a suitable flat to view and I am second on the list,
The problem is they want me to change my tenancy to a 5 year one which will be reviewed at the end of the 5 years and they say the rent will be £280 per week, I work and don't claim benefits and I don't want to claim any benefits.
I think this sort of scenario will become more common as time passes,It seems that people who work are being discriminated against by the new affordable rent policy that has been introduced,I thougt the main reason for the policy was to cap the rent charged by private landlords not to price working people out of the social housing market..
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19/03/2012 4:54 pm
Have been adviced today that they will renew my secure tenancy,
The reason is because they have to,
look at this doc
Gregg Shap states that they must retain your tenancy and give you the same rights,
The only way that they can take away your secure tenancy is if the property is "an affordable rent property"
The only way they can make this an affordable rent property is if someone rents it on these terms,if the previous tenant had a secure or assured tenancy then this property is NOT an affordable rent property no matter what they say.
They still want to charge £280 rent per week though,
Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts about how they should calculate the rent,previously they just made it the same`as the previous tenants and then the rent officer reviewed it every 2 years,should this still be the case?
19/03/2012 4:55 pm
Sorry forgot to post link
19/03/2012 7:03 pm
is this a transfer requested by you or a request to downsize requested by the HA?... For what I know, there are no secure tenancy available anymore, so if you move into the new property make sure that there is something written on paper that yours is an ongoing secure tenancy... But while you can carry over the secure tenancy in the new property, I suspect the new rent you will pay will be depending on similar properties given to new tenants at the same time as you... If the request to downsize is from the HA you should have some compensation, plus removal expenses, etc... Before making any other step I would ask the HA for a full policy details in writing of what would happen in a case like yours. I would also put to them in writing any doubts you might have and ask for a reply in writing from them. Do not do anything without having written proof from the HA.
19/03/2012 8:52 pm
I think the HA just want to re let all empty properties under the affordable rent scheme to make more money.
I looked at the TSA wesite and it states that if a secure tenant moves within the same HA stock then they must retain all the security of thier original tenancy,so the rent should be set by the rent officer.
When they told me that I would be retaining my secure tenancy they said the rent "might still be £280" ,,How can they say might be they should know exactly what the rent is.
It seems to me that they do not have a clue about anything as last week they were adamant that the new tenancy would only be be granted as an affordable rent tenancy but now they have changed thier mind.
Is there anyway that I can find out if a fair rent has been set for the new place previously ? ,does the HA have to give me this information ?.
Obviously I wont be signing anything until I am 100% sure. Dave
19/03/2012 9:50 pm
Maybe you have done it already, but you should write to your HA and ask to know if there was a fair rent set there. Even if they refuse to tell you, you will have proof you have asked them in writing... If I wre you and not getting the answer I would go round to the new place and inquire as much as possible from neighbours to find out who the outgoing tenant was. Also if the neighbours have been there for a while they would also know and just try to get from them what their rent is like... One thing I know, if the HA wants to, they have plenty of excuses and ways to deny any information. It's a nightmare dealing with them.
19/03/2012 10:00 pm
I would have thought that secure tenancy = fair rent... Ie the only rent applicable to a secure tenacy is a fair rent one, assessed every two years... It would be odd to have a secure tenancy with a rent of a temporary tenancy which would go up every year... However when the new place is first offered to you at £280 then you'd have to wait the next rent increase for the fair rent officer to assess the rent for the first time. As you know the fair rent officer might also increase such a rent as well as lower it... So I would want to know when was the rent in the new place last assessed by a fair rent officer and when it will be the next time.
20/03/2012 5:16 pm
Thanks for the info,as far as i'm aware the previous tenant lived there a while so the rent should be reasonable,
As you say the rent officer sets the rent and I am sure the rent officer will not say that they can charge £280 per week.
Do you know what the situation is as regards target rents
The average in Brent is £95.02 and the target is £101.05 no weighing as this is 2 bedroom
So i should be looking at around these figures
23/03/2012 1:41 pm
If you have a 'secure fair rent tenancy' with the housing association, I assume your tenancy began before 15th January 1989? If you want to transfer within the same housing association and, as long as, there is no time lapse between the end of your current tenancy and the new one, then you will have to be given a secure fair rent tenancy of the new flat. Your protection comes from Schedule one Housing Act 1988 (look it up).
It is very worrying that the housing association at first thought they could give you a fixed term tenancy of 5 years and charge a so-called 'affordable' rent. Both actions are entirely unlawful. It is even more worrying that I suspect this will happen increasingly. Why are staff not trained on the provisions of the Localism Act 2011 and the regulator requirements in terms of what happens to existing tenants like yourself? Seek good local face-to-face advice from a CAB and/or law centre