Only homeowners choosing to sell their property to the council and not remain living on the estate can be paid home loss payment in cash, as set out under Key Guarantee 2. To pay home loss in cash to resident homeowners, who seek to remain on an estate, would have a significant impact on the viability of a regeneration project, where there is already a commitment to enable all tenants and resident homeowners with the ability to remain living on their estate. It would also impact on the number of additional new affordable homes that could be built.
This will remain under review and considered on an exceptional basis if requested. However, such request would only be considered after the needs of residents on such other estates had been meet.
This can be considered on a case-by-case basis, but would necessitate a greater financial contribution from the homeowner.
In the context of succession the council civil partnership confers the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.
What happens to residents who have not lived in the home for more than 1 year on the death of a homeowner?
They would not be eligible to acquire the property, unless they were able to purchase the council’s share of the property.
The zero rent shared ownership offer to resident homeowners is made to compensate you for the disturbance caused by having to move home to make way for regeneration of your estate. As a consequence, you would be able to live for the rest of your life in a home of considerably higher value without having to pay anything for this benefit. The council cannot justify offering to extend that benefit to people who have no prior connection to the location, nor have experienced any disturbance from relocation.
The council will itself pay the stamp duty for the acquisition of the existing home. The council will then also cover all stamp duty costs when a homeowner is moving to a newly built home on their estate. Where a resident or non-resident homeowner sells their property, and moves away from the estate, then they will be eligible for compensation for additional costs within a 12-month period associated with acquiring a new home, such as the stamp duty associated with acquiring a new property. The reimbursement of any SDLT costs will be capped at a level that matches the amount payable on the purchase of a home of the same value as the home you are selling to the council.
The council will instruct surveyors to carry out independent valuations of homes. Homeowners are also able to instruct their own RICS registered valuers (with experience of the local housing market) to carry out a valuation for them, the council will pay for these reasonable costs. Such costs need to be agreed with the council during the purchase process.
Where it has been decided to redevelop an estate, the council will commence a process to find out how many homeowners wish to sell their properties to the council prior to regeneration taking place. Once there is a better understanding of the demand for early buy-back on an estate, then the council will develop a strategy for early buy-backs. In the meantime, the council is setting aside reasonable budgets to enable buy backs of properties in a managed way, where priority is given to those who have a demonstrable need to leave an estate.
So long as one of the co-owners in a property is resident on the estate, then the property will be treated as being that of a resident homeowner with eligibility for Key Guarantee 1.
Homes for Lambeth will pay the difference between the old and new mortgages for new mortgages of the same size as an existing mortgage.
Under Key Guarantee 1 (Option C), you would effectively experience a switch from paying a mortgage to paying a rent, where that rent is likely to be like your existing mortgage. If you were unable to renew your existing mortgage, then Homes for Lambeth would step in and pay off your existing mortgage. Consequently, you would not be putting the full market value of your property into your new home and Homes for Lambeth will have had to borrow money to pay off your mortgage. Homes for Lambeth would therefore seek to recoup the cost of stepping in to pay off your mortgage by charging a rent on your property. The commitment in the Key Guarantees is that the rent that you would be charged would be calculated based on the cost of paying off your mortgage.
No, if a resident homeowner is able to put the full market value of their existing property (regardless of whether they have any mortgage or not) plus their home loss payment into their new home.
The main difference between freeholders and leaseholders is that freeholders own the freehold of their property. This freehold has a value and this value would be included in the market valuation of the property. In addition, some freeholders do not currently pay any service charges (whereas others do). The compensation to freeholders would consequently be different (a higher value for their property). But the offers of a new property remain the same as for leaseholders
The council is under no obligation to provide nonresident homeowners with a new home. Lambeth is experiencing an extreme housing shortage. The council cannot therefore offer non-resident homeowners an ability to acquire a new home for anything other than full market value. Where new homes are built for market sale, then non-resident homeowners will be able to acquire one of the new properties at full market value. Non-resident homeowners will be compensated as set out in the Key Guarantees.
Once a regeneration project is underway, the council will let resident homeowners know the process by which they will be able to obtain a new home on their estate.
Why are tenants not being given the option to buy one of the new homes under the shared ownership option?
The objective of the estate regeneration programme is to build more and better homes. Opening this option up to all tenants would, as with Right To Buy, potentially reduce the number of affordable homes the council has to house its tenants over the longer term. The council also needs to consider how this would affect the viability of any estate regeneration project. The council will keep this under review and consider the matter in more detail on an estate-by-estate basis, if there is a demand from tenants for such an option. It would require a lump sum payment of a minimum of 25% of the value of the new property and the tenant would need to pay rent on the share of the home retained by Homes for Lambeth as well as service charges.
The succession rights will be the same as your current succession rights under your secure tenancy. Succession rights for current secure tenancies depend on when the tenancy was granted. If a secure tenancy was granted before April 2012, then succession can pass to a spouse, civil partner, other family member or carer who has lived with the tenant for at least 12 months before the tenant’s death. If a secure tenancy was granted after April 2012, then succession can only pass to a spouse or partner who is also occupying the home at the time of the tenant’s death, or to the tenant’s child(ren) if they have been living in the tenant’s home with them for at least 12 months before the tenant’s death.
An assured lifetime tenancy is for as long as you chose to live there. This assumes that you do not breach the conditions of the tenancy.
The council can help you get in touch with the relevant housing departments in the local authorities in other places that you may wish to move to. The council can also help you understand their procedures and to complete forms. The council does not, however, have reciprocal arrangements with other local authorities and your ability to obtain a home, wherever you wish to move to outside of Lambeth, will depend upon availability of council homes in that area.
The council defines vulnerability as those whose ability to live independently is at risk due to an array of circumstances and needs. This includes residents who require additional care and support services both in general needs and specialist housing, regardless of age. Vulnerability is not necessarily permanent; people’s needs change over time. The Key Guarantees embed within them commitments to ensure that those with disabilities and special needs are given the extra help that they require enabling them to move home. In progressing estate regeneration projects, the Housing Regeneration team will abide by the council’s approach to equalities, which are embedded in the Lambeth Borough Plan. The Housing Regeneration Team will ensure that housing needs assessments will be carried out for all affected households and the council’s equalities duties will be embedded in all decision making throughout an estate regeneration project. Equality Impacts Assessments will be assessed at key stages.
No. Rent arrears will be deducted from home loss payments
The rent increase for the new homes will be phased in over a 5-year period, after which the rent will be at the full amount for your new home. From that point forwards, any annual rent changes would be determined in the same way as those for Lambeth council homes.
Unless they are a dependent child, they will not be considered as part of your household.
The council will carry out a medical assessment to determine what aids and adaptation you would require. Where this medical assessment shows that you will need aids and adaptations to your new home, then they will be built in and paid for by Homes for Lambeth. This will not come out of your home loss payment.
It applies to everyone who has a housing need below the size of their current home. So, if you live in a three bed flat currently, but your housing need is for a one bed, you will be offered a two bedroom home.
Will tenants be compensated for accepting a smaller property than what they are eligible for under the Key Guarantees
Where a tenant chooses to downsize to a property that is smaller than that for which they are eligible under the Key Guarantees, then they would be compensated under the same arrangements as the council’s Tenant Incentive Scheme.
Is the size of a new home offered the same whether I were to move away from the estate or take a new home on the estate?
Yes. Whether you take a new home on the estate or choose an alternative home elsewhere in the Borough, you will be offered a home that meets your housing need.
See Guarantee 2 for secure tenants. The council cannot re-house adult children into separate homes as this would conflict with the council’s Allocation Scheme and could be considered unfair to other tenants and those on the housing waiting list. As a result, the council won’t be offering separate accommodation for adult children. For homeowners, it may be possible to make shared ownership homes available for adult children; but this will have to be explored on an estate-by-estate basis and considered in the context of project viability and affordability to the potential purchasers.
Secure tenants would need to make sure that the adult children are either on or added to the tenancy as authorised occupants and that they use the home as their main and principal home. They would then be considered as part of the household.
There will be a “right to return” in those circumstances where the council/Homes for Lambeth has asked a tenant or homeowner to move temporarily off their estate to cater for the phasing of development. In these circumstances, there will be a “right to return”, where the council/Homes for Lambeth will commit that suitably sized accommodation will be available on the new estate and that those with a “right to return” will be considered with same priority for a new home as those that continue living on the estate. It is anticipated that there will only be very limited circumstances where the council/Homes for Lambeth asks someone to move temporarily off the estate.
If a secure tenant decides to move away from your current estate, but wishes to retain an option to return, then they would need to notify the Housing Regeneration Team. Secure tenants remaining on an estate would have priority for new choice of homes. When an estate has been mostly built (or, where relevant, a phase has been completed) and all the secure tenants remaining on the estate have been re-housed, then the Housing Regeneration Team would contact those who have retained an option to return to ask if they now wished to exercise that option and return to the estate. Anyone responding to that offer would be provided information on what homes are available and how they can bid for those new homes.Only after all those who wish to take up the option to return have moved back to the estate would new homes be made available to those on the general waiting list.
Please clarify what will happen in the case that I am required to move temporarily to enable estate regeneration
The arrangements for double moves would differ for tenants and homeowners. In the case of tenants, the council will make a second home loss payment if a tenant is asked by the council/Homes for Lambeth to move more than once AND if they must live in a temporary home for more than 12 months. This additional payment will not be made if a tenant is offered a suitable permanent home that meets their housing needs and then chooses to move a second time to an alternative home. Disturbance payments would, however, be paid for each move. If a homeowner is asked by the council/ Homes for Lambeth to move more than once, then they will only be offered one home loss payment (linked to the value of their original home); they would, however, not have to pay rent for the duration of their temporary move; but they would have to pay service charges. If at any time a homeowner is offered a suitable home, but does not want this to be their final home, then they would have to pay rent and service charges in any temporary home until they moved to their final home; Homes for Lambeth would, however, pay reasonable disturbance payments for the subsequent move.
As set out in the Key Guarantees, the council has committed that secure tenants will be offered homes sized according to their housing need (see Key Guarantee 2) and homeowners will be offered homes of the same number of bedrooms as they currently have. All other characteristics of new homes (whether they have gardens or not, on what floor they are, etc.) will be developed through the masterplanning process. The allocation of new homes will be done through the Local Allocations Strategy. Residents will have the opportunity to influence both the masterplanning process and the LAS for their estate. Residents will also be able to express preferences through the Housing Needs Assessment process that takes place at the beginning of the masterplanning process. Every new home will have outdoor amenity space (balcony, garden or terrace).
Can the council provide disturbance payments as lump sums instead of residents having to provide evidence through receipts?
The council is considering the request for lump sum disturbance payments. If this approach were to be adopted, then size of payment would be linked to size of home. It should be noted that the council also provides direct assistance to tenants such as removals service, disconnection and reconnection of appliances, provision of a paint pack and provision of new flooring. Additional direct assistance is available for those with special needs. A decision will be taken on whether to move to a lump sum payment in 2018.
Once masterplanning on any estate gets underway, the council will involve residents in the drafting of a Local Lettings Plan. This will set out a process and prioritisation system, which will set out how tenants and homeowners can apply for new-built homes. The council’s allocations scheme will still apply.
The council will consult with current homeowners and secure tenants on the future tenancies and leases that Homes for Lambeth will offer. Details of the consultation will be provided in due course. Please contact the Housing Regeneration Team or the Independent Adviser for your estate who will explain how you can get involved.
Both the council and Homes for Lambeth will be responsible for delivering the Key Guarantees. Which party will be formally responsible for delivering a Key Guarantee at any one time will depend on when it is required in the development process. For example, the council has already started early buy back of some properties and helped some secure tenants move to a new home away from their estate. However, when homes start to be built, it is Homes for Lambeth that will be offering the new homes to tenants and homeowners.
What assurance will the council give that the Key Guarantees will not be watered down or retracted through the estate regeneration process?
Any substantive changes to the Key Guarantees would require a new Cabinet decision that would be subject to a fresh consultation with residents.
How do the Key Guarantees relate to Homes for Lambeth, future tenancies and leases, and future housing management
The Key Guarantees relate to the whole regeneration process. They are aimed at giving residents certainty that they can move into a new home on a rebuilt estate. The Key Guarantees also set out what residents can expect of the council and Homes for Lambeth during the estate regeneration process. The council will be talking to residents about future housing management arrangements and the details of Homes for Lambeth tenancies and leases.
Has there been any independent review of these guarantees? How does the Lambeth offer compare to other boroughs doing similar schemes?
The council commissioned TPAS (Tenant Participatory Advisory Service), a well-respected organisation that helps tenants and leaseholders, to review the Key Guarantees and benchmark them against the practice of other local authorities. The conclusions of this review were that:
• The draft Key Guarantees exceeded minimum legal requirements; and
• the draft Key Guarantees performed very well in comparison to those offered by other local authorities, in many instances exceeding those provided elsewhere.
The full TPAS Review can be found at estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk/improving_the_key_guarantees.
The Key Guarantees are designed to allow you and your family to stay living on the estate and we hope that you will do so. However, if you decide that the best thing for you and your family is to sell your home to the council please get in touch with your local estate regeneration team.
Through engagement with residents it is clear there are mixed views on this. Some residents want a shorter construction programme even if this means moving more than once. Others prefer only one move even if this means a longer construction programme. Given this the council will discuss with residents on each estate about the construction programme and try and find the best mix between the two approaches. Hence the objective has now been set to minimise disruption for residents.
New homes will be more environmentally efficient than existing homes and therefore more cost effective to run with more efficient heating and hot water systems, improved insulation, all of which will contribute to lower costs of running the home. Being newly built homes, there will be much lower levels of capital expenditure required on the properties for many years. There is, however, a possibility that the Council Tax will be higher than for existing homes on the estates. The council cannot guarantee that monthly outgoings will be lower, but we fully expect them to be.
Any substantive changes to the Key Guarantees would require a new Cabinet decision that would be subject to a fresh consultation with residents.
The Key Guarantees will remain in place for current homeowners and secure tenants of that new estate.