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How would the transfer affect me?
About this section
The section is designed to give you the basic iformation about how estate transfer would affect you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Look up the answers to the key questions we all want answered in the FAQs section of this website.
These are dealt with very briefy below, and at more length on specific pages under this one.
Yout Landlord Changes
Your landlord will change from LBTH to Tower Hamlets Community Housing, who will then assume responsibility for all Housing Management.
If you are a tenant your tenancy will change from a Secure Tenancy with the council to an Assured Tenancy with THCH. Details here
If you are a leaseholder your lease will be unchanged, but it may be taken more seriously as far as the Landlord's responsibilities are concerned. Details here.
Your block will be upgraded to the Decent Homes standard or better.
The most obvious physical change will be a major upgrade of the whole estate. While tenants will have the insides of their flats upgraded, this will not apply to leaseholders, though leaseholders can buy into any part of the upgrade if they wish, and may be able to save quite a lot of money by doing so, since they will benefit from the same charges as are made to THCH for the same work.
There will be a major refurbishment of blocks. The aim will be to solve any issues which have been designed into the structure - replacing flat roofs with pitched roofs, for example - as well as to catch up on maintenance which has been allowed to lapse, and generally to ensure that the blocks are in good condition.
THCH takes a sensible approach to these issues - they will not replace things just for the sake of it, but they will make sure that everything works. This ensures that the money available is not wasted.
They also propose to consult very thoroughly with residents before they do any work. In their experience, residents are often much more aware of the problems with their blocks, and any unsuccessful attempts which have been made to deal with them over the years.
The work will obviously be disruptive. Every effort will be made to keep disturbance to a minimum, and provision will be made to move residents temporarily if necessary.
The general environment will be improved
You can expect better facilities, and particular attention to dealing with security and anti-social behaviour by designing it out.
Generally, leaseholders will have to contribute towards the upgrading of existing facilities, but not for the creation of new ones.
In some cases, tenants may have to pay for the running costs of new facilities through additional service charges
Once the estate is upgraded, there will be a regular (and defined) programme of on-going maintenance to ensure that standards are maintained. Maintaining standards saves money in the long run. You would be charged for such work in your service charges,
Better, more responsive services
One major difference is that a Housing Association has to maintain records of its performance and publish them. It is scrutinised throughly by an external body, the Housing Corporation, and it is also much more accountable to its residents, through a range of representative groups, and is much more transparent in terms of letting residents know who is supposed to be doing what, and in involving residents in making sure that they have.
THCH is a relatively small and local housing association, and intends to remain that way. Because of this it avoids the sense of management remoteness which larger organisations such as the council, tend to develop. Moreover the management structures make dealing with failures to deliver much more of a hassle than delivering good services in the first place.
The result is that problems with services get picked up and dealt with much more easily and quickly.
(ESG note: we have checked out with residents of THCH estates that this is true, and they confirm that it is.)
There will be a locally based handyman for minor repairs.
Leaseholders are entitled to use THCH's contractors to carry out internal repairs which the council would not cover. You would be charged for this, though at the rate THCH is charged, normally quite a lot less than open market rates.
Much more opportunity to be heard
THCH has a range of representative groups which enable residents' input into their management structure, and residents are represented at all levels of governance. If you want to be involved in the management of THCH you almost certainly can be.
What happens if they don't live up to their commitments?
In the first place, they would probably be heavily leaned on by the Housing Corporation. In very extreme cases, the whole management team could be replaced.
The ESG have also negotiated an agreement that residents could set up a Resident Management Organisation, if we wish.
This means we could take over management of many aspects of the running of the estate.
We don't, however, expect to have to do this.
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