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9. Property Management Transfers Allocations Manual - Property Management Transfers: Version 5.2 September 2009 Page 9-1 Property Management Transfer Policy 9.1 Property Management Transfer Policy 9.1.1 Introduction The Office of Housing (OOH) offers current tenants an early housing transfer in the following circumstances: when there is a greater demand for the tenant's existing housing than the housing to which the tenant wishes to move, to improve stock utilisation, eg. a single person living in a threebedroom flat is moved to a one-bedroom unit, the tenant’s current housing is uninhabitable due to fire, flood or vandalism, a tenant of a movable unit is required to transfer as a result of action initiated by the owner/occupant of the main dwelling, or a tenant of a movable unit is required to transfer as a result of legal action to initiated by the OOH against the occupant of the main dwelling to recover that property. Transfers under this policy are designed to: meet the existing tenant's housing needs improve stock utilisation and plan for future housing needs. Tenants retain current tenancy conditions when transferring for property management purposes. OOH Relocation manual Policy relating to tenants who are asked to transfer so that their existing housing can be redeveloped, sold or extensively upgraded is detailed in the Relocation manual. 9.1.2 Waiting list management and stock utilisation transfers The OOH identifies households for property management transfers from the pool of existing transfer applicants where: there is a higher demand for their existing housing than the housing to which they wish to move; or the tenant’s current property is under or over-utilised and there is a lower demand for the housing size that they are eligible to transfer to. Page 9-2 Allocations Manual - Property Management Transfers: Version 5.2 September 2009 Property Management Transfer Policy The OOH identifies households for transfer due to under or overutilised housing when tenants (or residents) lodge: an application for rebated rent, an application to transfer to a smaller or larger property, and/or a request to sign a new Residential Tenancy Agreement for their current property as signatories to the previous agreement have moved out. The OOH may also check tenancy records to identify over or underutilised properties if new housing is being built. Consent to transfer The OOH will generally only transfer a tenant as a property management transfer where they agree to the transfer. If they do not agree to the transfer, they can remain in their current housing. If tenants agree to transfer and their current tenancy commenced prior to 17 November 1997, they retain their current tenancy conditions on transfer. Eligibility Applications & Eligibility chapter in this manual Tenants who agree to move for stock utilisation purposes are generally eligible to transfer only if they meet the OOH Wait-turn housing eligibility criteria. In limited circumstances, the Housing Services Manager (HSM) may approve Property Management transfers for non-eligible households. The HSM considers: the demand for housing in the locality, ie. the number of applications on the waiting list for the housing the increased rental revenue, if applicable whether more people would be housed from the waiting list whether the tenant has repayments, if applicable maintained satisfactory arrears whether the tenant has met their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 in relation to care of the property, behaviour towards neighbours, etc., and whether the condition of the property is such that the tenant cannot remain. Allocations Manual - Property Management Transfers: Version 5.2 September 2009 Page 9-3 Property Management Transfer Policy 9.1.3 Transfers due to uninhabitable housing Tenants whose property has been made uninhabitable due to fire, flood, natural disaster or vandalism are eligible for a property management transfer. The OOH immediately arranges an inspection of the property in order to determine the condition of the property, and alternative housing for the household where the property is determined to be uninhabitable. If the damaged housing can be repaired within a reasonable timeframe, the household is also given the option to return to the original housing. 9.1.4 Transfers from movable units Movable unit occupants who are required to transfer are eligible for a property management transfer. This could occur as a result of: action initiated by the occupant/owner of the main dwelling, or legal action initiated by the OOH against the occupant of the main dwelling to recover that property. 9.1.5 Househol d income and asset eligibility Generally, tenants relocating due to their existing housing being uninhabitable are not required to meet the OOH’s Wait-turn rental housing income and asset limit eligibility criteria. Tenants who own property in which their equity is above the general housing asset limit are also transferred. Tenants of movable units required to transfer as a result of action initiated by the occupant/owner of the main dwelling such as a decision to sell their property, or legal action taken by the OOH against the occupant of the main dwelling, are not required to meet the OOH’s income and asset criteria. 9.1.6 Payment of relocation costs The OOH pays the same costs for tenants relocating for property management purposes as tenants relocating for major upgrade, sale or redevelopment. However, relocation costs are generally not paid in the case of uninhabitable housing, or where the tenant of a movable unit must relocate, unless the housing was made uninhabitable due to a failure by the OOH to maintain the property. Costs include electricity and gas connection fees, mail redirection and the removal of household items where the OOH has requested the tenant to relocate. Telephone connection fees are also paid where the tenant already has a telephone at their current property. OOH Relocation manual Page 9-4 Allocations Manual - Property Management Transfers: Version 5.2 September 2009 Property Management Transfer Policy 9.1.7 Offers of housing Applications from tenants approved for Property Management transfers are placed after Special Housing Needs applicants on the waiting list. Applicants are generally able to specify a location within their preferred waiting list area, depending on the availability of stock. Applicants may request a particular type of property (house, flat, etc.) where they demonstrate a need for Special Accommodation Requirements, or where the HSM has approved the request for stock management reasons. If an offer is refused, the OOH may make a second offer of housing. Signing a Residential Tenancy Agreement Signing Tenancy Agreements chapter in this manual Tenants who transfer sign a standard Residential Tenancy Agreement for the new housing. They retain their current tenancy conditions for the new property. Allocations Manual - Property Management Transfers: Version 5.2 September 2009 Page 9-5 Property Management Transfer Procedures 9.2 Property Management Transfer Procedures 9.2.1 Transfers for Stock Utilisation Reasons Identify households currently under or over utilising stock Identify households that are currently under or over-utilising stock by: checking property size against household composition for high demand stock types checking transfer applicants’ household composition on ISIP checking transfer applications when they are submitted, and checking rebate applications when they are submitted. 9.2.2 Transfers for Waiting List Management Reasons Establish whether there is a greater demand for the tenant’s existing housing compared to where they want to move. Tenants who have not lodged an application for transfer Conduct a Home visit or write to the tenants who have not lodged an application to transfer asking them to contact the office. Once contact is made, determine if the tenant is interested in transferring and whether the stock type, size and location they wish to transfer to is likely to become available within a reasonable timeframe. Also request information regarding their preferred location and if they have any special accommodation requirements. Tenants transfer who have lodged an application for For tenants who have already lodged an application to transfer, establish if the area they wish to transfer to is less in demand than that of their current housing. 9.2.3 Obtain approval from the HSM Prepare a report providing details of the proposed property management transfer/s and the reason/s and benefits of the proposal. It may be necessary to include some or all of the following details in the report: Page 9-6 Allocations Manual - Property Management Transfers: Version 5.2 September 2009 Property Management Transfer Procedures the number of bedrooms in their existing housing and the number they are eligible for, the demand for the tenant's existing housing and the demand for their preferred location area, approximate waiting times if the applicants were approved for a Property Management Transfer. Submit the report to the HSM for consideration and approval. Once authorised by the HSM, contact the tenant and advise them that: they have been approved for a Property Management Transfer, and their current tenancy conditions will apply if they agree to transfer. Matching Clients with Housing chapter in this manual Write an interview report, update their early housing status and check that all documentation is attached to the application. Place the application on the appropriate waiting list that matches the applicant's housing size and preferred locality. Ensure any location or housing type details are included on the file and on ISIP. Tenants who do not wish to move Advise tenants who do not want to move that the opportunity to transfer will remain if they decide to move at a later date. Write an interview report and place a copy on their tenancy file. No further action is required. Offer the housing Offers of Housing chapter in this manual If the applicant refuses the offer of housing, advise them that the property will be offered to another applicant on the waiting list and will not be available to them if they decide at a later date that they do want to accept the housing. Check with the tenant the reason they have refused the offer and advise the HSM. Mark the offer of housing as refused and return the application to the waiting list until another suitable property becomes available. Sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement Signing Tenancy Agreements chapter in this manual If the offer has been accepted, arrange an appointment to sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement. Allocations Manual - Property Management Transfers: Version 5.2 September 2009 Page 9-7 Property Management Transfer Procedures Advise the tenant that: OOH Relocation manual current tenancy conditions apply in their new property, and the relocation costs that will be paid by the OOH. Explain the process for paying these costs. Make arrangements with the removalist. Note: A pre-sign up information session may be conducted with the tenant to enable the tenant to ask questions and to fully understand the conditions of the new tenancy. The information session can be held at the time the applicant accepts the offer. 9.2.4 Transfers due to uninhabitable housing Arrange with a FSO to conduct an inspection of the property immediately and to prepare a written report on the condition of the property including: the damage sustained to the property if the property could be made habitable with immediate repairs, or if the property is not habitable, if it could be repaired and the likely time frame. If the property is uninhabitable, provide the report to the HSM recommending immediate transfer of the household. Determine alternative properties that are currently vacant that the household could move into, and offer these. Once the tenant has accepted a property for transfer, provide them with the keys and arrange for a sign up. In some circumstances, the sign-up may occur after the keys are handed over to the tenant. Commence the new tenancy from the date the keys are provided, and terminate the tenancy on the damaged property from the same date. Where necessary, arrange for any credit balances to be transferred from the vacated account to the current account. Note: If the tenant has an existing transfer application, use this to create the new tenancy. In order to ensure that they retain their transfer application, once the new tenancy has been created, register a new transfer application and backdate the effective date to the date of the application used to create the new tenancy. Advise the tenant that if property damage occurred as a result of failure by the OOH to adequately maintain the property, their Page 9-8 Allocations Manual - Property Management Transfers: Version 5.2 September 2009 Property Management Transfer Procedures removal costs will be reimbursed. If the property is to be repaired, advise the tenant that they will have the option to move back once the repair works are finalised. 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"Property Management Transfers"