Housing provided at below market prices and allocated on the basis of need to people who live or work in the area or need to move to the local area to receive/provide support and who are unable to afford to purchase or rent houses generally available on the open market without financial assistance..
The local authority will allocate vacant properties according to priority on the housing register and suitability for the available property. New tenants will be required to sign a tenancy agreement prior to occupation of a property.
Councils provide caretaking services to residents of low-rise and high-rise council flats. These services include repair and maintenance, and the cleaning of communal areas such as lifts and hallways.
Dealing with requests to change the terms of a tenancy for existing tenants. This covers transfer of tenancies, requests for joint tenancy, succession to tenancy.
Communal heating charges for council properties are divided among all residents on an estate, the proportion is added to their rent account.
The local authority deals with repairs to communal areas within council accommodation such as communal lighting in a block of flats, or the communal drainpipes to a block of garages.
The local authority is responsible for repairs to communal areas in blocks of flats including stairs, door entry systems, communal lighting, landings, communal windows, courtyards and sheds.
Where the demolition of nearby property may pose a risk to tenants in council property the authority may offer the tenant alternative housing either temporarily or on a permanent basis.
Where the demolition of nearby property causes disturbance to tenants in council property the authority may pay a disturbance allowance in compensation for the disruption while the demolition work is taking place.
The local authority will continually review and assess housing conditions in the area to help determine which properties are unfit for occupancy or are abandoned.
The tenant is responsible for arranging for meter reading and disconnecting of supplies of gas/electricity and for handing in the keys of vacated property. The council provide advice and support in these circumstances.
Tenants of local authorities, housing action trusts and housing association can have their tenancies demoted if their landlord thinks they have been involved in anti-social behaviour.
Process for ending a tenancy of an allocated home. This includes provision of information to tenants about what they need to do in order to end the tenancy and any requirements which must be implemented before vacating the property (such as payment of rent, cleaning etc.)
The council provides an estates management service for land and property in the area. Services provided include sales, lettings, acquisitions, property management, asset valuations, insurance valuations, professional property advice.
Garages may be available for rent to council tenants, leaseholders and private tenants and a waiting list is usually maintained for these. The authority will process applications and issue rental agreements which usually include restrictions on the use of the garage. The Council is generally responsible for making structural repairs to its property, which includes garage blocks. Where the damage has been caused by the leaseholder they may be asked to pay for the repairs.
Inspection and servicing of any gas fires, boilers or other appliances at least once every year in any accommodation where the council is the landlord. This work must be carried out by a competent Gas Safe registered installer who must provide the householder with a certificate confirming that the appliance has been checked and is safe to use.
A low demand or 'hard to let' property is a property where one or more of the following symptoms are exhibited: a small or non-existent waiting list for the property; tenancy offers on a property frequently refused for reasons other than personal reasons; higher than normal rates of tenancy turnover for a property in an area. Many initiatives used by councils and Registered Social Landlords to let low demand properties are based on making the property more attractive to the potential tenant. This includes offering incentives such as a rent-free period if the tenancy is accepted; offering a decoration, furniture or white goods allowance; or offering a garden tidy.
Where a property is unfit to live in the LA may decide to demolish it and redevelop the site (which may mean the clearance of neighbouring property). The council will usually offer the owners the market value of the property and repay expenses associated with moving plus possible compensation. Where the property is rented tenants will be given priority for re-housing in a council property.
The local authority or Registered Social Landlord uses a housing point system as a guide to priority when allocating housing. The points system reflects the current situation or condition in which an applicant lives.
Housing Associations are 'Registered Social Landlords' not private landlords. They provide housing in a very similar way to the Council and are non-profit making. People on the local authority transfer list or housing register may be offered a Housing Association property instead of a Council home.
The local authority provides support and assistance to residents who are victims of a crime such as homophobic crime, racist crime, or general crime committed in their home or whilst in the vicinity of their home. If the resident is a council tenant and the council are unable to resolve the problem they may offer the tenant the chance of being re-housed in a different area.
The council work with tenants to ensure the safety of all council housing estates. They will address issues of nuisance and harassment and ensure all areas are well lit and secured (entry doors etc.).
If a tenant fails to pay rent or breaches any aspects of their tenancy agreement the local authority has the right to evict the tenant by applying to the court to repossess the property.
The council may refer tenants to Registered Social Landlords (housing associations) within the council area or to the housing division of another LA where a move to another area is a possibility. RSLs will normally operate a scheme with the council whereby a proportion of their property is set aside for people on the council's housing waiting list.
Every council tenant must pay rent for their property. Rent is usually payable weekly and may include other regular or communal charges associated with the property. The local authority will help tenants to claim any available assistance with paying their rent.
The local authority is responsible for setting the level of rent based on how much it needs to spend on services for its tenants. Rents should be published giving reasonable notice of any changes (usually at least one month).
As well as officers taking repair reports, collecting rents and other payments, managing rent arrears and dealing with breaches of the tenancy agreement; local estate staff can also help and advise on a number of other issues including moving, adaptations and multiple tenancies
Housing transfer is the voluntary transfer of ownership of all or some of a local authority's tenanted and leasehold homes to a private registered provider in return for a payment for the value of that stock. Authorities are encouraged to transfer where this represents good value for money and where it will lever in additional private investment that delivers growth through more affordable housing, local economic activity and providing a robust, long-term future for estates and neighbourhoods, including by compliance with the Decent Homes Standard.
A new tenancy in local authority property does not generally become secure for a defined period after it starts. If at any time before the end of this period the tenant misbehaves the local authority can initiate proceedings to evict the tenant. In Scotland a Scottish short secure tenancy is a short term or probationary tenancy agreement which can be given to tenants by a council, housing association or housing co-op. SSSTs are offered: for lets for a trial period, after which your tenancy may be upgraded to a Scottish secure tenancy, or for temporary lets.
When a person leaves a council tenancy they become known as a 'former or late tenant'. If there are arrears at the end of the tenancy the Council will continue to pursue these. The council will discuss repayment terms with the tenant and could, if payment is not made, summons the former tenant to Court to get an Order for payment
This service provides lists of tenants wishing to move, either within the area or to other areas. Existing tenants can exchange their home with another tenant provided the landlord agrees the mutual exchange.
The aim of the service is to provide support to new tenants. A support worker will be assigned to each individual who will work towards helping the tenant to live independently.
Information about all publicly owned land and property which may be published or can be made available to the public on request.
The local authority processes applications to go on the housing register and allocates points to prospective tenants according to their current circumstances. The criteria under which an authority are likely to accept/reject applications to go on the register are published together with information on the application procedure.
The local authority deals with tenants who are in rent arrears by arranging mutual repayment of arrears by instalments. If the arrears continue to rise the local authority may take the tenant to court.
The local authority is obliged to send details of a tenancy to the Rent Office for private tenants in receipt of housing benefit whose tenancy commenced after 1 January 1989, the local authority is obliged to send details of your tenancy to the Rent Officer. It is the responsibility of the Rent Officer to tell us if you are being charged a reasonable rent for your accommodation. The Rent Officer will make a determination and advise us of the appropriate rent to be used in your Housing Benefit assessment.
The right to buy scheme allows a secure tenant who has held a local authority tenancy for two years to purchase their property at a discounted price.
Tenant participation is the full involvement of tenants in how their homes and estates are managed, with the aim of improving housing services and improving the quality of life in local communities.
Provision of a reference to a mortgage lender for tenants wishing to purchase their own property. References may also be provided to a landlord for tenants moving into privately rented accommodation.
The local authority deals with squatters and unauthorised occupants in council property and will take action against a person who is squatting or who has unauthorised occupants in empty properties.