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Urgent help, Council Tenancy

(15 Posts)
Sandra7 Tue 04-Apr-17 14:38:59

Hello any help would be really greatly appreciated
I’ve lived in the same two bedroom council flat for twenty two years now, my children have all grown up and one by one flown the nest.
A few years ago I had a nasty accident leaving me severely disabled, I needed to find a carer to help me shop, cook, clean, go out, help with doctors etc but instead my son decided to quit his job, look after me and move back in.
I informed Camden Council he had moved in, normally my landlord is very responsive to questions and after a year of my son moving back in I asked the landlord if my son could be made a tenant in case anything should happen to me, some security for him, but the landlord would not reply to any of my emails, he avoided my phone calls and after months of hounding him he finally sent an email saying he’s “made a note” that my son is living with me not that my son’s been considered or any help towards giving him tenancy, he’s just “made a note” about it and hasn’t spoken to me since.
Last month (a year from my previous request) I tried to contact the landlord again but nothing, again no response. I appreciate Council flats are hard to come by but this has been our home for twenty two years and I fear if anything happens to me my son will be ordered to vacate
Is there anything I could do?

TinyPawz Tue 04-Apr-17 14:48:05

Very similar situation with my Dm. She had to change her tenancy to joint with db. Not sure if the particulars how she went about it but I know both are now on the rent book

hamble123 Tue 04-Apr-17 16:33:50

Perhaps you could contact your local Councillor who may be able to intervene/liaise on your behalf.You should be able to find his/her details online or from your local library.

Walkinglikeazombie Tue 04-Apr-17 17:34:23

Hi Sandra,
My parents are under Greenwich council so it may be different, but their tenancy is on my dads name and they wanted to transfer it to my mums.
We had to contact our tenancy officer who said that is not something they can do, but they can have joint tenancy and for that they need to provide council with a letter from my dad stating he wishes joint tenancy, as well as proof of address from my mum dated a year ago to prove she has been living at the address for at least a year.
Also, there is an option that, should anything happen to my dad, he can pass on tenancy rights to anyone he wishes to nominate.

sluj Tue 04-Apr-17 19:05:08

Think carefully before you make a joint tenancy. You don't say how old your son is but if he leaves and wants to get his own tenancy they may refuse to give you the sole tenancy on your own afterwards . They may say it's too big for you so refuse to grant a new tenancy when the joint one ends.
Have you always had a sole tenancy? Have a look at your tenancy agreement to see what it says about succession for a family member if you should die. Some will only allow it if your son needs a house of that size, some will only offer succession to a spouse.

AndKnowItsSeven Tue 04-Apr-17 19:07:34

Am confused why would you have a landlord if you are a council tenant?

Footle Tue 04-Apr-17 19:45:56

Yes exactly, AndKnow.

sluj Tue 04-Apr-17 20:02:14

The council is the landlord. The OP probably means the Housing Officer who represents the landlord

Sandra7 Tue 04-Apr-17 21:12:37

Yes, sorry I meant Housing Officer

Footle Tue 04-Apr-17 21:19:21

Have you found somewhere for tonight, OP?

Sandra7 Tue 04-Apr-17 21:31:56

Okay thank you all for your suggestions. I will find my local Councilor, get evidence my son has been living with me for more then a year and I will request a copy of my tenancy agreement and go from there. ..

Footle Tue 04-Apr-17 21:37:15

Oops, wrong thread, sorry.

Formalyknownas99 Wed 05-Apr-17 21:12:35

I think it varies from borough to borough and the wording of your original tenancy agreement, however, if your son can prove he is living there permanently (and has post/bills to prove it) and has for a number of years (not sure how many?), if anything happens to you, he has the 'right of succession' which means he has the right to inherit the tenancy/flat.
It can only happen once (he will not be able to pass it onto any of his descendents)
The fact you have notified the council means it is noted on your file so there are aware your son is there. 'My' council would not add a relative to my tenancy but noted they were living with me. When my circumstances changed and I moved out, my relative (who was vulnerable and had nowhere else to go before anyone judges!) was allowed to stay and became the tenant.
So...check your tenancy or ask your H.O. about rights of succession.

sluj Wed 05-Apr-17 21:23:49

Sorry to contradict but if you have an assured tenancy your son has no statutory rights of succession whatsoever. He may have if you have an unmodified secure tenancy. You need to check what's in your tenancy.

corer Thu 06-Apr-17 18:31:36

Camden Council tenancies will be a secure tenancy as the OP has been there 22 years. Camden will only allow spouses/partners to become joint tenants, not a son. That is their policy and a councillor won't be able to change that.

But your son does have the statutory right of succession in the event of your death, as the tenancy started before 2012. It has to be his only or main home and he would have to have lived there for 12 months before your death. You've already notified the council that he is living there but I would also recommend making sure all his relevant documents (bank statements, driving licence, electoral roll etc) are sent to your address and make sure you keep them filed safely, as they can ask for additional evidence of residence. Putting him on bills would also help. Keep paper copies of bills, rather than online ones, because they are often fussy about having original copies.

It is only the last 12 months before the death that matters where succession is concerned, so bear that in mind if he ever considers moving out, even temporarily. The council would have the right to ask your son to move to a smaller property unless he needs a 2 bed. There was a TV documentary on housing a while back where a man went back to the house he'd grown up in to care for his mum, but he had only been living back there for a few months before she died, so he didn't have the right of succession as it hadn't been a full year.

You could also consider assigning your tenancy to your son, further down the line - that would mean giving it up and transferring it to him. Obviously it would mean that you would no longer have rights to the property, so it's something you could think about if your health got much worse and you wanted to make sure the tenancy would definitely go to him after your death.

Shelter are really helpful regarding council housing, it's worth looking on their website and giving them a ring.

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