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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My mother has been living in the same house

Customer Question

My mother has been living in the same house ( previously owned by our local council, now by a private housing Association ) all of her 75yrs. My grandmother lived in this house previously having moved in in the late 1930's, mum has inherited my grandmothers rights as tenant. I believe it is called a secure tenancy, this was put in place by the council when they passed over the homes to this housing association. The house is a semi-detatched house. Mums neighbour was moved out in June 2011 thinking that the house was to be refurbished. This person was offered this new house as a permanent residence within months of moving in and has signed a new tenancy agreement. In February 2013 my mother recieved a letter and then a visit from the HA telling her she would have to move out because the house next door was unsafe.They told mum that was why they removed her neighbour because it was so unsafe and likey to collapse. When questioned they admitted that they would be demolishing both and redeveloping the site. Mum asked to see the structural survey that said nextdoor was unsafe, after repeated requests and involving our local MP and newspapers they gave us a few sheets of the 8-9 section report. I asked for a full and complete report but they have refused, giving reason that, it contained 'commercialy sensitive material that would be inappropriate to share'. I doubt that the report says that the house is beyond repair, I am suspicious at how they removed the other tenant and am sure it is more to do with building more houses on the large gardens. I am also very concerned for the health of my mother and the stress this is putting her under. Her whole life is wrapped up in this house, she knows all of her neighbours and it is quite a unique street of houses in many ways. Surely mum cannot be forced to move out of a house that she is a secure tenant in. Please can you give me an answer or direct me to someone that can Regards XXXXX XXXXX

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 years ago.

Josh-2010 :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Josh-2010 :

Could you tell me whether the HA have served any form of formal notice yet or has their contact been restricted to date to informal discussions please?

Expert:  Joshua replied 4 years ago.
I understand you are having difficulties with the chat function. I am very sorry if you have experienced any inconvenience. I will repost my above post below:

Could you tell me whether the HA have served any form of formal notice yet or has their contact been restricted to date to informal discussions please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A Notice of intended Demolision

section 80 was emailed to mum on 27th March 2013 by the HA

This is the standard form issued by our local council to anyone wishing to demolish a building.

So the intention to demolish has come from our council offices and not mums landlord.

A section 81 was served on FODDC by the HA on 28th March 2013 The demolition is purported to be needed according to the HA because the property at NO:5 is in danger of collapse and they think the same problems will occur in mums house at NO:7 . The occupant of no:5 moved out in June 2011 because they told her they were going to be doing repair work on the property. Once out they had her sign the tenancy agreement in the new property. In Feb this year mum was told she had to get out. As a result of the publicity this has caused locally, the HA are putting out statements now saying they had to evacuate the tenant of NO:5 at short notice, urgently because the land moved suddenly leaving the house unstable.If this is so if they were so concerned with the NO: 5 stability did they not contact mum at NO:7 with view to moving her out straight away? Why if they have a full structural report on this dangerous property will they not let us see it? Why if this property has been so dangerous since June 2011 is it still not fenced off? They have now offered mum 3 propertys, 2 of which are totaly unsuitable, and told her she should make her mind up in 4 weeks. They have also told me they will get her out even if it meens taking her to court. They are insenstive bullies. I think they are going the route of claiming the property at NO:5 is unsafe as this is the only way that they can demolish 2 properties to build many more, but I just cant find the law that supports this. Mum is desperate to stay in her family home and we know that the building next door is not unsafe and needing to be demolished. Please help or point me in the right direction. Thank you Julie.

Expert:  Joshua replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the further information.

There are a number of grounds for eviction under the Housing Act. Providing rent is up to date and a tenant does not breach her tenancy terms then a secure tenant cannot be evicted save in very limited circumstances. One of those circumstances is where the landlord can show that they need to demolish the property or wish to redevelop the same. The HA can not simply make up this as a reason but must be able to reasonably demonstrate that they intend to do so - a couort would expect to see plans, proposals and permissions, funding plans and so on to demonstrate that the proposal is genuine. There is case law to support that where a landlord is involved in subtifuge on this point and do not intend to redevelop or demolish then the court will not make an order or will revisit an order made previously if new evidence comes to light to call into doubt the landlords evidence.

Unfortunately if the HAs plans are genuine and they do intend to demolish and/or redevelop then the landlord will be able to evict your mother from the property but and it is a very important but, the court can normally only issue a possession order if your landlord can show that your mother is to be provided with suitable alternative accommodation and that this accommodation must be suitable for your specific needs. It must be of the size and type that she requires and offered on the same terms of tenancy; the court will alsoo take into account the rent offered. It does not however have to be of exactly the same standard as the present accommodation.

the council will likely to be able to let your mother have further information on the basis for the demolision and why it is required. If they are seeking possesion on the grounds of demolision and you can demonstrate that on the balance of probability it is not required this may amount to a defence however if they switch to a claim on the grounds of redevelopment and this intention is genuine then there is no defence to the application subject as above.

Is there anything above I can clarify or assist you with any further?