The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Isn’t there always a succession query…?
An RP granted a joint assured tenancy to Mr and Mrs M pre-2010. Mr M has recently died, his grandson and partner have approached us asking if they can succeed to the tenancy as they have been living at the property for the last 16 months, looking after their grandfather after he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. They have been helping with the bills and rent. Their grandmother left the property in 2014 when his grandfather started drinking heavily, she hasn’t been in contact since. Can we let the grandson succeed? His partner is expecting a child soon.
As this was a joint tenancy between Mr and Mrs M, the tenancy has passed from Mr M to Mrs M. You can’t “stop” the tenancy passing via the right of survivorship to the remaining sole tenant, even if it is believed she was not living at the property at the time of Mr M’s death. This is something that happens automatically by law, the tenancy now stands in the sole name of Mrs M, the tenancy has passed to her by succession - this will count as a succession right and therefore the succession right has been used up, there will be no right of succession for the grandson to use.
You also can’t agree to bypass Mrs M and give the tenancy to the grandson now – the tenancy has passed to Mrs M as the remaining joint tenant automatically by operation of law on the date of death – you don’t have to fill in any paperwork to make it happen (you just need to change your records to her name).
If Mrs M has not been living at the property nor using the property as her only or principal home, then you do have the option of bringing the tenancy to an end by serving an NTQ on her (if a periodic tenancy) for non-occupation. If you do start court proceedings against her for possession and a possession order is made, then that may assist the grandson is getting rehoused.
If you have any questions relating to this query, please contact Helen Tucker.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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