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IS IT POSSIBLE TO SWAP WITH AN "EMPTY' PROPERTY?

(5 Posts)
CelineW Sun 12-Feb-17 17:04:47

Some of you may have read my previous threads concerning the issues in our newly built affordable rent Housing Association property.

In an attempt to resolve our two years old complaint, I made an enquiry about a swap with another property in our building. The property was abandoned (tenants involved in crimes and taken away by police) more than six weeks ago, and a metal door has recently been fitted to prevent intruders getting in.

We believe a swap from our property to this property could be a sensible way to conclude our unresolved complaint. As it is right now, we can't swap except with an empty property because the issues in our bathroom and kitchen are evident to all of our visitors and so would be to anyone willing to exchange. Besides, if we were to move out from our existing property, outstanding repairs and defects would not be ours to deal with anymore but by the next tenants accepting the property.

Our property is on third floor, contains two double bedrooms, an open living area and a balcony.

The empty property is on the ground floor, contains two double bedrooms and one very small single bedrooms, a separated living room and a badly neglected back yard.

Knowing that we can afford to pay for the extra bedroom tax. We would appreciate our landlord granting the swap so that all parties involved in our complaint could move on from the issue. However, we have yet to hear from our landlord and the property is still full of the previous residents belongings.

What do you guys think are our chances to swap with an empty property?

Unsurechicken Mon 13-Feb-17 00:37:51

I'm sure the housing ass has to keep the tenancy going if on remand or less than I think 14 week sentence. Are the tenants defo not coming back? What are the issues in your property? Are you entitled to a 3 bed?

CelineW Mon 13-Feb-17 02:21:47

@Unsurechicken I believe they won't be coming back. They received several warning from our landlord and received many complaints from residents. From what I have been told they weren't involved in petty crimes, which is sad because they were sweet kids.
All the amenities in our newly built property are malfunctioning: central heating system, boiler system, ventilation system. Plus, according to a corrosion expert, there is a suspected leak in the cement foundation base where the central heating pipes and the cast iron floor support bars are intertwining. Finally, the entire kitchen may need to be taken out and redone, including plumbing and wiring - the kitchen is not fit for purpose, and according to a surveyor there is a fire risk where our cooker has been installed, etc.
Consequently, we have an unresolved two years complaint, etc..... involving our Local MP and councillors. We are trying to bring in the HHSRS to carry out an inspection.
I am drained, and I want to move, but we can't swap because the defects are visible to anyone coming in our property.

sluj Mon 13-Feb-17 09:47:23

Hi.
First of all this property may not yet be void (empty in housing speak), it can take a long time to get these things concluded but it won't be for the lack of trying on the HAs part.
You can apply for an internal management transfer which means that you have an overriding need for a transfer which is more pressing than other's needs and solves the immediate problem. You will need to speak to your landlord to see if you might qualify for that.
From the little you have said I can see a couple of potential problems with the management transfer. It sounds like it is bigger than you need which is generally a deal breaker. Also man transfers are generally like for like and the flat you want sounds like a more desirable flat having an extra bedroom, a garden and being ground floor.

Please involve your local councillors, MP and environmental health if you haven't already.

CelineW Mon 13-Feb-17 10:34:28

@sluj Thank you for your reply. Indeed a transfer is the word I was looking for. I had a brain freeze. 😀 However, thank you for the 'internal management transfer' term. Our manager is new and quite frankly: useless!

The flat that had become 'available' in the ground floor of our building has an extra very small one single bedroom - more like a desk room, and a back yard (not a garden) with access from the master bedroom only. The property's is literally in the building's communal children play area. The kitchen and living-room windows faces the children slide. Only a small metal fence separate the property and the play area. There have been numerous complaints about the kids climbing over the fences and adults drinking and smoking late at night in the inclosed communal area, etc. So indeed, it is a desirable property being in the ground floor but it has plenty undesirable elements too. Which is why I am trying our luck.

Our local councillors, MP and environmental health department are involved. 😊

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