Regulated tenancy

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  • Regulated tenancy

    I have inherited a 50% share of a house (50% held by cousins) which has a sitting tenant. The property has been managed by the same property management company for more than 40 years. There is apparently no supporting paperwork for this tenancy as the management company say that they do not keep records of that age.

    The management company tell us that the tenancy is a Regulated tenancy and has been since my grandmother was the landlord. She died in 1967. There is suspicion from my 85 year old mother that the original regulated tenancy agreement was between my grandmother and the current tenant's mother in law. She believes that the current tenant's husband succeeded his mother and took over the regulated tenancy. There is no paperwork to support this.

    The current tenant's husband died a year ago. The management company failed to notify us of this. They are now telling us that the widow has a right to a regulated tenancy by means of succession.

    From website, I read in their Regulated tenancy info document
    2.4 Succession
    If the tenant dies, does his or her family have to
    Not necessarily. Under the Rent Act 1977, as amended
    by the Housing Act 1988, the tenancy will pass to the
    tenant’s spouse, or someone living with the tenant
    as husband or wife, who will become a Rent Act
    statutory tenant provided he or she was living with the
    tenant at the time of his or her death.

    I then went on to find out what a Rent Act
    statutory tenant is and from the Office of Public Sector Information website:
    (b)Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect for determining what person (if any) is the statutory tenant of a dwelling-house [F1or, as the case may be, is entitled to an assured tenancy of a dwelling–house by succession] at any time after the death of a person who, immediately before his death, was either a protected tenant of the dwelling-house or the statutory tenant of it by virtue of paragraph (a) above.

    From this, I have taken it that our current tenant ha the right to an assured tenancy but then I read on Shelter's website:

    Death of a regulated tenant

    If a regulated tenant dies the tenancy can be passed on under specific circumstances. This is known as succession. The tenancy can be passed to:

    * a spouse or partner who lived in the property at the time of the tenant's death
    * another member of the tenant's family who lived in the property with the tenant for at least two years prior to the tenant's death.

    If the tenancy passes to the spouse or partner and there has not been a previous succession, the tenancy remains a regulated tenancy. If it passes to another member of the tenant's family or is a second succession, it becomes an assured tenancy. The tenancy can only be passed on twice in very specific circumstances. The second successor must fulfil certain requirements.

    Can anyone help me understand what I do actually have here? The management company insist its another regulated tenancy but have given me nothing to back up their belief, other to be told that "I have a degree you know!" (And we pay these people!!!)

  • #2
    I think you're going to have to try and find out as much as you can, possibly from council records such as archived electoral rolls as to who lived there and when.

    There are very few regulated tenancies remaining under the Rent Act 1977, and as you say, the tenancy probably is an Assured Tenancy. In the absence of a written tenancy agreement however it is extremely difficult to prove anything one way or the other.

    Only the courts can decide, and then you will need legal representation and as mcuh information as you can muster. Sorry I can't be more positive.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


    • #3
      Actually, I wouldn't break your head over it; there's not such a difference nowadays between the rent payable under an Assured tenancy and a tenancy under the Rent Act. Nationally there's more than "a very few regulated tenancies remaining", the figure is somewhere between 75,000 and 88,000, according to figures I recently obtained from HQ of what used to be called the Rent Officer Service and numbers are falling by approximately about 6 or 7% annually. The data is not easily collated as no-one tells the Rent Officer that a RA tenancy has reverted; and although landlords are entitled to reregistration every two years some landlords dont get around to applying for re-registration until well after the date to which they are entitled so to do. And somewhat surprisingly, there are still a few rent act tenancies being the subject of first registration, where for example occupancies started off decades ago as service tenancies but are latterly recognised as being subject to the terms of the Rent Act!

      You could try simply acting as if the tenancy is an Assured Tenancy. My understanding of that scenario is that landlord and tenant are essentially free to agree whatever rent they chose, albeit that if the tenant disputes the rent proposed he (or she) has the right to apply to a Rent Assessment Committee (RAC) to set a rent to determine the rent. But there is a possible sting in the tail in going down this route! The RAC has the power to set a low rent if for example the premises are in a poor state of internal decorative repair and decoration, even if the failure to redecorate arose due to the previous tenants failure to carry out internal repairs. There was one extreme case I recall in about 1992 where an assured tenant succeeded to a house that was in atrocious internal order and the RAC awarded a rent of £5 per week on the basis, the Committee said, that they could not imagine that anyone would want to rent a place in that state! I would advise, therefore, if you can,arranging an appointment to visit and that you have a good snoop round. If your present occupier has the rent paid the state they may well not particularly care what rent is determined. Have a look round and get a feel for the condition for the place. It would probably pay you to volunteer some improvements such as insulation so as to avoid being penalised if the rent is determined rather than agreed between the parties. And you can spend £1500 on insulation/ energy efficiency measures and have that outlay tax free against rental income, for now, under the Landlords' Energy Saving Allowance. An assured tenant has tenure. Just about the only ground for obtaining possession is rent arrears, and even then they would have to be substantially in arrears. In practice the Council would be likely to cough up if the tenant had entitlement to a claim rather than having another person to house.


      • #4
        Er, why post #3? The thread 'died' almost two years ago.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


        • #5
          So it did; but seems back from the dead.....


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