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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My sis died in dec and I have been trying to apply for succession

Resolved Question:

My sis died in dec and I have been trying to apply for succession rights to her property but the landlord just won't allow it and gives different excuses for not doing so e.g there's no succession rights on the house, my sis was given a ntq last year which terminated her tenancy thus no tenancy to succeed to.
My sis and I both suffer from the same debilitating condition. When her condition got terribly worse I moved in with her to care for her. Her house has been my main residence for 18 -24 months. The house is owned by CDS housing and my sister was up to date with her rent payment till she passed away.
The coop would not even entertain my succession rights application despite the fact succession rights is mentioned on their website. They wouldn't tell me how to pay rents either. They keep coming to the house to harass me to leave and continue to breach my privacy despite warnings from me. They even wrote to me at my mother's address which I believe is a violation of dpa as I never gave them that address as my contact.
Please tell me what my rights are and course of action I should take
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Please accept my condolences for the loss of your sister. Do I understand correctly that she lived with your sister for approximately 18 - 24 months prioer to her passing please?

Joshua :

This is from what you say a housing association property rather than a council house?

Customer: Thanks and yes I have lived at the address for 18-24 months
Customer: Yes it's a CDShousing coop house
Joshua :

Many thanks. Have you now paid rent up to date or failing which could you?

Customer: I checked shelter website and it says I should only start paying rent once I get tenancy but it's taking too long now so I don't mind paying. And I can pay back rents instalmentally. I have asked for them for process of paying but they wouldn't answer
Joshua :

Thanks. Finally do you have a copy of your sisters tenancy agreement available?

Customer: No, I don't but I believe it is an assured tenancy
Joshua :

thank you. The position with regards XXXXX XXXXX housing association tenancies is unfortunately rather more limited than is the case with council tenancies. whilst most assured housing association tenants is can be passed on by succession to a cohabiting partner or spouse upon death, unfortunately, there is no legal right for such tenancies to be passed onto other family members unless there is a specific provision made for this in the tenancy agreement document which can occasionally be the case

Joshua :

accordingly, the first step is to obtain a copy of your sisters tenancy agreement. From what you say, unfortunately you do not hold a copy yourself. Your sisters executor or administrator as provided for in her will or in default of which are nearest next of kin has a right to obtain a copy of this document by virtue of section 1 of the administration of Estates act from the housing association

Joshua :

once you have been able to have sight of the tenancy document, you need to look for a provision that allows for the tenancy to be passed onto siblings upon death by succession. If you find such a provision, then providing you qualify as such a person under it, you have a right to succeed to the tenancy. if there is no such provision, regrettably only a cohabiting partner or spouse has a legal right to succeed to an assured Housing Association tenancy however you can make an application to the housing association to take on the tenancy as a new tenant or take on the tenancy at an alternative property that such an application would be dealt with as a new application and assessed based upon need and so on

Joshua :

do consider however that the housing association cannot evict you without a court order and they would need to seek a possession order in the County court which is likely to take at least 6 to 10 weeks

Customer: Ok. But shouldn't they at least entertain my application which they can then decline if I was found to be not eligible? The excuses they have given so far sounds flimsy- that there is no succession rights on the house and secondly that the tenancy rights and thus succession rights were cancelled cos of a ntq given over a year ago!!
Customer: i feel the people I'm dealing with are just working on assumption probably because they know of no one that has ever applied.
Joshua :

they should certainly consider any application you make and provide a formal response to it. The reasons they have given for refusing succession may turn out to be valid however they should provide you with a formal response. If they do not do so, you can raise a complaint to the complaints department at the housing association and if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can refer the matter to the housing ombudsman which can independently determine the matter

Joshua :

http://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/complaint-form/

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer: What about the breach of my privacy . And harassment. They come to the house whenever they please and bombard me with calls even when I was on Hosp bed?!! I have warned them to respect my privacy but they re relentless. The last straw was the letter they sent to my mother's address which they must have got by doing a credit history search. I ve never supplied then with the address as a contact address.
Joshua :

the housing association may notundertake behaviour which amounts to harassment. Harassment is any behaviour which they know or ought to know because you distress. This can be included within your complaint and if necessary referred to the Housing ombudsman which has the power to award compensation where they find fault. If the Housing Association has conducted credit searches against you without your permission, you may have a complaint which you can raise with the information Commissioner who can award finds where he finds unlawful actions have been taken

Joshua :

http://ico.org.uk/complaints

Joshua :

is there anything else I can help you with?

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Customer: You've been very helpful. Is there a way to save our conversation for ref?
Joshua :

I am glad it has been of some help. certainly. The thread will save to your account automatically and you can return to it at any time. Alternatively, you should be able to copy and paste the thread into any document of your choosing. Please let me know if you need any assistance with this and I will ask customer services to assist you

Customer: Thank you very much. I have just saved it. Thanks
Joshua :

A pleasure. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Customer: Ok
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