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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi and thank you for the time. I have a few specific questions

Resolved Question:

Hi and thank you for the time.

I have a few specific questions regarding my mother's secure 3 bedroom flat/tenancy which is managed by a housing association. My mother passed away early last week and I have been living with her for 4/5 months before her death. This is my family home, to which my mother and I have a 38 year history at this premises.

I am 39 year old professional who moved back from abroad to look after my mother during her time of ill health. We have joint bank account/ Gas Bill etc and we are both registered at this address to vote. I was also in the process of creating a home here for my fiancee and 6 year old daughter who currently lives abroad with her mother. In other words I was looking to have another child at some point in the future.

However... This is a 3 bedroom flat and since my mother has passed away, I am now here alone for he moment.

I would like to know if I am allowed to succeed her tenancy? and can I maintain this number of bedrooms?

Best
Michael
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 sincere condolences for your loss.

Joshua :

may I ask from what you say, that your mother held a housing association tenancy as opposed to a council tenancy please?

Customer:

She has been a secure housing tenant with Wandsworth... only a housing association (http://www.careygardens.co.uk) have been managing this area for 10 years now I think.

Joshua :

thank you. Do you know whether the tenancy is still a council tenancy or whether your mother was transferred from the council to the housing association? I'm guessing from what you say that if your mother has left there longer than the period the housing association have been involved, that one or the other may be the case - quite probably the latter?

Customer:

Yes she has lived here longer... as have I (as a child) Currently She pays her rent to Wandworth, but her tenancy is managed by Carey Gardens housing association. (A few months ago, i asked for a copy of her origional tenancy agrrement, they simply stated that they had lost it)

Joshua :

Thanks - to be clear, rent is paid to Wandsworth council not the HA?

Customer:

to Wandsworth as does the other residents

Joshua :

thank you. This would indicate that your mother had a secure council tenancy rather than a housing association tenancy and that the housing association is simply retained to carry out maintenance and management

Joshua :

secure council tenancies can be succeeded to buy a child who has lived with the tenant for at least one year prior to the date a council tenant passes away.

Customer:

correct. (Also, A Wandsworh lettings adviser unofficially informed earlier that because this is a 3 bedroom flat and I am the only living person who has a history of residence here, that I would not be entitled to any succession.)

Joshua :

from what you say, you would more than qualify and accordingly would have a right to succeed to your mothers council tenancy providing there has been no previous succession to the tenancy

Joshua :

however, because you are your mother's child as opposed to your mother's spouse, if the house is subsequently too large for you, the council can require you to move to a smaller property. they cannot do so where a tenant spouse succeeds to tenancy but they can with other types of succession

Customer:

There has been no succession before this. I think the bedroom part is the problem. Even through I have a Fiancee and a child (who lives abroad) but will be staying with me often... It seems that I cannot justify succeeding a 3 bedroom flat. Is this really the case?

Customer:

I see

Joshua :

the rules have now changed for new tenancies granted after 2012 which preclude succession but for existing tenancies granted prior to 2012, the above is the position. I would not know whether the adviser was advising on the basis of the new rules all the old rules or is simply just misinformed

Customer:

My sister is moving back to the UK shortly too as we planned to be with my mother and help... Maybe, by her wanting to live here to I stay here.

Joshua :

in order to justify a three-bedroom flat, you would typically need to show that you had a need for permanent occupance for you and your immediate family. The council are unlikely to be impressed by occasional visits even where those visits are relatively frequent as they do not need to count individuals who are not in permanent occupation for the purpose of occupancy calculation unfortunately

Joshua :

ideally you will be able to demonstrate that you have a genuine need for a three-bedroom apartment on the basis that you have permanent occupants living with you to give rise to a need for a three-bedroom apartment otherwise there is a risk that the Council will seek to require you to move to a smaller property following succession

Customer:

lastly... (and thank you for the time) rather than simply evict me... would the HA be obliged to move me to a smaller residence? if so, could I switch borough? a flat swap as it were!

Joshua :

based upon what you say, you have an entitlement to succeed to your mother's tenancy as we have discussed above and therefore the Council cannot simply evict you without offering alternative smaller accommodation sufficient for your needs because you would be entitled to a succession Council tenancy. If your circumstances change in the very near future, whereby for example, your fiancee moves in with you on a permanent basis, then you may be able to justify the need to stay put.

Joshua :

if you find either the housing association or Council are attempting to claim you have no succession rights as they can sometimes do, in particular if you are dealing with the housing association as housing association tenants is operate on different rules whereby succession is less common and therefore individuals you are dealing with may be misinformed about your rights, you may consider contacting SHELTER which is a national housing charity which can provide support to tenants in your situation

Customer:

Thank you and again lastly (promise) Are the HA really allowed to state that they have 'lost' a Council tenancy contract/ record

Joshua :

they can be contacted via freephone number - 0808(NNN) NNN-NNNN/strong> - and can if necessary support you in your discussions with the council via a network of local advisers

Customer:

Thank you for the excellent advice. Have a lovely evening.

Customer:

Mb

Joshua :

tenancy agreements are lost from time to time, particularly where tenancy is old, the risk of loss is greater

Customer:

Thank you for the excellent advice. Have a lovely evening.

Joshua :

however, the loss of a tenancy agreement is not fatal as the type of tenancy can be determined both by the length of your mother's tenure and other records the council maintains

Joshua :

accordingly, the loss of the tenancy agreement does not mean that your mother does not still have a secure council tenancy based on a length of occupation.

Joshua :

a pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops, please do not hesitate to contact me

Customer:

ok ;)

Joshua :

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:

thank you I will.

Joshua :

Best wishes

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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