I am living in a Housing Assocation flat.

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  • I am living in a Housing Assocation flat.

    At the time of moving into the flat (2006) no deposit was required, this has now been change to new tennants/existing tennants transfering to another property, must pay #1mth deposit.

    I have been in receipt of Housing Benefit since I moved into the property, (due to being retired.) the benefit is paid directly to the Housing Assocation.

    For several years now my bathroom has been suffering from rising damp to the extent that there is now black mould on the walls and ceiling.

    A Housing Assocation Manager has looked at the situation, and informed me that due to budgetary considerations that it will be some lengh of time before remedial action could be taken and therefore should I put in for transfer.

    My problem with this are as follows

    Not only will I be required to pay #1mths deposit, as my local council pays housing benefit #4 weeks in arears,The Housing Assocation Manager is stating the that I am in technical arears and must clear this before a transfer would be approved.

    I stated that I could not afford to pay what amounted to #2mth rent in advance, the reply that I received was go to Social Security and get a loan.

    Where do I stand on this, I am considering going to the council Enviromental Health Officer, to see if I can get him to declare that the property is not fit to live in.

    Thanks in advance for any advice given.

  • #2
    Environmental Health is definately your next step.

    Black mould in bathrooms can be down to insufficient ventilation/heating as it is a very moist environment, rather than rising damp per se.

    The EHO may be able to advise you about it.

    Asking your housing officer at your council if they can pledge the deposit to the housing association on your behalf.
    Citizen's Advice Bureau may be able to advise you about emergency loans you can access to get funds.

    If you are prepared to keep on complaining to your landlord, and to the council, maybe get the press in to name and shame, you stand a better chance of remedial work being done.
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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    • #3

      Thanks for the swift reply.

      It has been agreed that the problem is being caused by the failure of the damp coursing, (in the winter, the water mark can be as high as #12inches on my outer bathroom wals during wet weather.)

      As the transfer would be out of my present local council area, I would not be able to attempt to seek a pledge of deposit.

      I am not in a position to repay any emergency loans.

      To be quite frank about this, the ay I see it, is that if I am compeled to relocate due to a problem, not of my making, then the Housing Assocation should be responsible for any out lay incured by my elf, including moving expences, am I correct in thinking this?


      • #4
        I say from experience that RSL "housing Managers " on the whole have inadequate technological knowledge, are slaves to a budget and have little actual authority; this makes them unable to take effective action.

        If LHA is four weeks in arrears then that will still be paid, just as late as normal. The same applies to the flat.

        There may be a crossover of a day or so for moving, but that lost rent is the cost they incur for being unwilling to repair.

        Contact the local environmental health officer.

        And contact the HA and make a formal complaint.

        You may also like to use the ADR route for disrepair if you feel able to do so.

        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


        • #5
          Thanks for your advice.

          The stand that the Housing Assocation are taking is as follows, we do not accept that persons on council housing benefit be in arreas, it is now our policy that a tennant pays a #4 week in avance deposit, which would cover any arrears due to the councils policy of paying in arrears.

          They have gone so far as to tell me, that no matter who pays the rent, that it should be paid on the date due, and not some #4 weeks late.

          What they want me to do, is to cancel the direct housing benefit payment - have the payments sent directly to me, pay what they claim is #4 weeks rent oweing, and then when my transfer goes through, pay #4 weeks deposit


          • #6
            I wonder if the HA is an RSL or not. if you are being transferred they cannot require you to enter into an agreement that substantially changes the terms, and after all it is only their failure to repair that is causing the issue. Try explaining that via the formal complaints process and that you have contacted the EHO and completed the ADR forms.

            Either way they may accede or repair your home, both of which you will be happy about.

            If you have the time try and see a CAB advisor about "set off" an ability to repair yourself and take it out of rent due.
            Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


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