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The major issue which affects tenants, and the reason that housing transfer involves so much consultation is that the nature of your tenancy will change.
As a Council Tenant you have a Secure Tenancy, and as a tenant of a THCH you would have an Assured Tenancy. These terms are defined in acts of parliament, and in principle, an assured tenancy is somewhat less secure than a secure tenancy.
However, THCH has agreed to formulate its tenancy agreements in such a way that your rights are preserved. In other words, if the transfer is made, your rights are pretty much the same as before, but the type of your tenancy has another name.
Rent and Service Charges
The total of Rent and Service Charges will be the same as you would pay the Council. Your rent will be divided up into an element for rent, and a new element for Service Charges.
All rents (Council and THCH) will increase following a formula set by the government, which would be the same whether the transfer took place or not. All rents for similar properties in the same area will be the same, whether they remain with the council, or belong to a registered social landlord. Please refer to Section 4 (page 26) of the Tenants Offer Document that you have recently received.
If additional services are provided, their cost may be added to your service charges.
Transferring to THCH will not affect your benefit claim. If Mansford tenants vote to transfer to THCH, the Council will continue to pay your housing benefit either to you or directly to THCH as rent. Please refer to page 27 of the Tenants Offer Document for more details.
THCH offers the same level of protection as the Council. In 2003/2004 THCH evicted just five residents who refused to pay their arrears.
Under a secure tenancy, the judge has more discretion than under an assured tenancy. Historically, judges have tended to be reluctant to evict secure tenants, but they have no choice in some cases in the case of an assured tenancy.
For most tenants, this distinction frankly makes no difference at all. In neither case can you be arbitrarily evicted: to get evicted you need to do something pretty major.
Even then, the change cuts both ways: the same rules that give good tenants more security also give bad tenants more security. And if you are a good tenant, your life can be made hell by a bad tenant.
Please refer to page 47 of the Tenants Offer Document for more details.
Right to tenancy
Tenant's children and partners would continue to have the right to succession should you die. In addition, THCH recognises same sex partners. Please refer to page 48 of the Tenants Offer Document for more details.
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