Tenancy Changes Policy by luckboy

VIEWS: 22 PAGES: 4

More Info
									|`

Tenancy Changes Policy

INTRODUCTION Tenants of South Northants Homes (SNH) may hold sole tenancies or joint tenancies, depending on their circumstances. This policy outlines how SNH will respond to requests from tenants to change from a sole tenancy to a joint tenancy or vice versa. POLICY OBJECTIVES To provide a high quality housing management service to residents in accordance with best practice and the law. DEFINITIONS A sole tenancy is one tenancy that is held by one person. A joint tenancy is one tenancy that is held by two or more people. Each tenant is jointly and severally liable for all of the rent and jointly responsible for compliance with the terms and condition of the tenancy. The term “spouse” is used in S17 of the Housing Act 1988 but for the purposes of this policy, it also includes: • • Civil Partners under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 unmarried partners of either sex providing that both parties have lived together for at least 12 months

POLICY STATEMENT Joint to Sole by agreement (existing joint tenant) SNH’s Assured (Non Shorthold) tenancy agreement allows joint tenants to be made into a sole tenancy by way of a Deed of Assignment from one joint tenant to the other joint tenant with the prior written consent of SNH to do so. Following a relationship breakdown, a court may also either order that the tenancy is changed from joint names to a sole name or order one of the joint tenants to complete a Deed of Assignment to make the change happen. Joint to Sole (one absent tenant) In exceptional circumstances, following a relationship breakdown, SNH will consider a request for a tenancy to be changed from joint to sole where one of the tenants has been absent for a considerable period of time or where there are other exceptional factors.

1

In order to create a new sole tenancy, the remaining joint tenant must agree to terminate their existing joint tenancy by serving a valid Notice to Quit on SNH. SNH will then create a brand new sole tenancy on expiry of the Notice period. The prior agreement of SNH to create a new sole tenancy is required otherwise the joint tenancy will end at the end of the notice period and this may lead to the eviction of the occupants of the property. SNH will consider each case on its own merits and will provide appropriate advice to the tenant(s) involved. General Assignments for Joint and Sole Tenants If a Deed of Assignment is completed without the prior written consent of SNH, the new tenancy will be legally invalid and this in turn may lead to the eviction of the remaining occupants and the repossession of the property. SNH’s Assured (Non Shorthold) tenancy agreement allows a sole tenant to transfer the tenancy to a member of the family who would otherwise be entitled to succeed to the tenancy. This is done by way of a Deed of Assignment from the sole tenant to the new tenant. The prior written permission of SNH is required. A member of the family is a spouse (see definition) or parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece providing that they have lived with the sole tenant for at least twelve months and providing that no previous succession or assignment has taken place. Following a relationship breakdown, a court may also either order that the tenancy is changed from one sole name to another sole name or order the sole tenant to complete a Deed of Assignment to make the change happen. A joint tenant can only assign their tenancy to the other joint tenant as the other joint tenant would automatically be the person entitled to succeed to the tenancy (note: this does not apply to mutual exchanges which have different rules). Therefore it is not possible to assign a joint tenancy to someone who is not already one of the joint tenants. Sole to Joint It is at the sole discretion of SNH as to whether to agree to requests to create a joint tenancy. Generally SNH will agree to the creation of a joint tenancy between spouses (see previous definition). In exceptional circumstances, SNH may agree joint tenancies between non-spouses. Each case will be considered on its own merits and SNH reserves the right to refuse any request. In order to create a joint tenancy, the sole tenant must agree to terminate their existing sole tenancy by serving a valid Notice to Quit on SNH. SNH will then create a brand new joint tenancy on expiry of the Notice period.

2

The prior agreement of SNH to create a joint tenancy is required otherwise the sole tenancy will end at the end of the notice period and this may lead to the eviction of the occupants of the property. There are several circumstances where SNH may refuse a request for a joint tenancy. Examples of the reasons include where debts are owed to SNH by either proposed tenant, where there have been incidents of anti-social behaviour or where there is an existing possession order in place, although this is not an exhaustive list. Preserved Rights Any existing tenant(s) who were tenants of South Northamptonshire Council at the time of the stock transfer to SNH have certain preserved rights, including the right to buy. Where a tenancy change takes place either by assignment or by the creation of a new tenancy, the preserved rights will continue. Note: the rules regarding mutual exchange by assignment are different to tenancy changes. Probationary Tenants and Demoted Tenants SNH reserves the right to refuse any request for a tenancy change from probationary or demoted tenants. Subject to the prior written agreement of SNH, probationary tenants and demoted tenants may change from a joint tenancy to a sole tenancy, but not from sole tenancy to a joint tenancy. HOUSING CORPORATION REGULATORY CODE AND GUIDANCE The Housing Corporation Regulatory Code and Guidance sets out the fundamental obligations of housing associations in meeting the Housing Corporation’s regulatory requirements. 3. 3.5 Properly Managed Housing Associations must provide good quality housing services for residents and prospective residents

3.5.2 by offering the most secure form of tenure compatible with the purpose of the housing and the sustainability of the community 3.5.3 with agreements that clearly set out residents’ and landlords’ rights and obligations 3.5.4 by being responsive to the individual characteristics and circumstances of residents 3.5.6 by providing high standards of customer care The Housing Corporations’ A Charter for Housing Association Applicants and Residents (April 2007)

3

KLOE’s Audit Commission’s Key Lines of Enquiry: KLOE: Landlord services: Tenancy and Estate Management Cross-cutting themes: Diversity Cross-cutting themes: Access and customer care in housing services OTHER RELATED POLICIES Equality & Diversity Policy Domestic Violence Policy Starter Tenancies Policy Allocation Policy & Scheme Demoted Tenancy Procedure

MONITORING AND REVIEW The Housing Services Manager will be responsible for authorising tenancy changes. Monitoring will be carried out by the Housing Services Manager and the Head of Housing Services on a quarterly basis, with information being provided on the numbers of tenancy changes by type and the length of time taken to consent or refuse an application for a tenancy change. Outcomes will be reported quarterly to the Customer Committee. RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMPLEMENTATION The responsibility for implementation lies with the Housing Services Manager and the Head of Housing Services.

Person responsible for review: Date of review: Next Review:

Head of Housing Services October 2007 April 2009

4


								
To top